As we come to the end of the articles about anger, fear and adjustment I do want to touch on something important – Personality.
Each of us brings unique strengths and weaknesses to a team. When it comes to Personality unexpected change and stress can often illuminate these strengths and weaknesses. You might be nodding as you ready this…
Someone who struggles with adapting to change may have stopped communicating during meetings, or is taking it out on others with aggression. Your people who are good with change, are probably the ones coming up with solutions to problems and thinking on their feet. Another example of how different personalities will be impacted is the extroverts who could be struggling with so much social distancing from colleagues, while the introverts are likely to be loving it!
So as a leader, what do you do about this?
First, you are going to need to accept that these differences exist. Like it or not. This doesn’t mean that people who are not communicating or being grumpy are allowed to continue this way. Nor does it mean that extroverts can call whoever they want whenever they want. You and your team need to agree on boundaries of what is okay and what isn’t, and to call it out.
Before your next group meeting, ask everyone to come up with a way that they can gently, call each other out, when their “weakness” rears its head or when the team isn’t working together. It needs to be something funny, and everyone needs to know what it is, and agree to it. I have used this technique with teams for a while now. I have seen individual teams members put a stress ball in plain view to let the rest of the team know they are feeling stressed. I have seen another team send around a coffee emoji through their internal messaging system to alert the team needs to down tools and grab a coffee. Maybe that is everyone stopping what they are doing and agreeing to meet back on skype or zoom later, with a coffee from their local or kitchen, in hand. I have one client who uses the word ‘pineapple’ to signify that the team is not functioning. Bringing humour is what we need right now and also highly effective.
Maybe have your team think about this one over the weekend and discuss it at your ‘tap tap meeting’ (as discussed in this article ‘Getting your team back on track‘ or next team meeting.
Margie Ireland works with CEO’s, executives, HR professionals, managers and leaders. Margie is a psychologist with a strong commercial background of 25 years and specialises in supporting highly capable leaders to thrive in challenging times. To discuss your needs and to book an initial no-obligation chat click here.