Mindful Meetings: Personality Types & Effective Collaboration At Work

Written by Trisha Bhullar

We’ve all witnessed messy meetings. Split decisions, misinterpreted actions, and lost objectives hinder effective collaboration at work. In some cases, this could even cause long-term unhappiness within your team. But don’t fret! The problem and solution simply lie in personality types. Once your team establishes a solid understanding of work personality types, project management will be a breeze. 

 

DO PERSONALITY TYPES REALLY HINDER EFFECTIVE TEAMWORK?

I’ll let the statistics do the talking. It’s been found that approximately 75% of employees say their boss is the most stressful part of their job. 30% of employees further dread going to work because of their colleagues. This personality clash within teams or between teams and managers thus directly affects mood and motivation. In such cases, employees focus on dealing with their emotions instead of completing tasks efficiently. At the same time, they’re discouraged from creating high-quality work. 

So in a nutshell, personality types affect team dynamics, employee morale, creativity, employee retention, and productivity at work. Calling this a concern is definitely an understatement! 

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH PERSONALITY TYPES? UNDERSTAND THEM! 

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to encourage effective teamwork during meetings. You just need to understand the personality types at the table and put their actions, words, and ideas in the context of who they are. Here are the four most common personalities you’ll meet in the conference room, and tips to work well with them. 

 

#1 THE DOMINANT PERSONALITY

Dominants are extroverts. They are confident, which also means they aren’t afraid to express themselves — especially when they believe they’re right. During meetings, a Dominant might control the conversation and veer it off course. In such a situation, gently step in and reassure the Dominant that his/her ideas have been valuable, while subtly opening the floor to other ideas. This ensures that an array of perspectives are heard, which is great for team morale and creative-thinking. 

 

#2 THE EXPRESSIVE PERSONALITY 

Expressives are great for keeping meetings lively, but their tendency to become overly-excited may lead to agendas being abandoned. Alternatively, their unfiltered thinking-out-loud that could impact the entire team’s brainstorming process. To mitigate this issue, create a system of sharing that encourages mindfulness. One example could be a Round Table style of idea-sharing, where each person gets a fixed time to share ideas and other members are expected to listen when it’s not their turn. This encourages team-wide engagement and keeps everyone on track! 

 

#3 THE ANALYTICAL PERSONALITY 

Analyticals are great contributors but tend to be more introverted, and less willing to engage in spontaneous brainstorming. They generate ideas best by working in a quiet, focused space. Because of this, they may seem detached, quiet or hesitant to participate during team discussions. To minimize this, encourage meeting organizers to send out agendas the night before a discussion, giving Analyticals plenty of time to prepare their ideas beforehand. 

 

#4 THE AMIABLE PERSONALITY

Amiables are nice, gentle individuals. This, however, means that they’re afraid of conflict — specifically saying “no” to an idea. Amiables live on the fence during meetings. This could lead to hidden feelings, meeting delays and frustration with his/her indecisiveness. In order to work around this, make sure everyone is asked to give their explicit stance on the issue. If matters are more sensitive, use an anonymous poll system to absolve the Amiable of all pressure, encouraging him/her to actively engage in team discussions. 

 

THE UNMENTIONED PERSONALITIES

Of course, plenty of other personalities exist. Take the time to read up on the specific traits and tendencies of these personalities — it’ll go a long way in encouraging effective collaboration at work! 

 

THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSONALITY TO UNDERSTAND: YOURSELF! 

It’s human nature to assume that the problem lies with someone else. But mindfulness also includes attaining a better understanding of yourself. By taking the time to understand your personality type’s quirks, you might be able to catch yourself before clashing with another personality! 

Ultimately, effective collaboration at work can be encouraged through an array of solutions. We’ve turned to workshops for communication, or productivity tools (say, a Timeqube) to keep discussions on track. But at the end of the day, the most important driver of success is teamwork— and that only comes with a seamless understanding of yourself and your colleagues.