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May 2012
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Team Building – Dealing with different Personalities

Dealing With Different Personalities: Following are the strategies to be adopted while dealing with the following personalities:

The Leader – the most complex behavior to manage.

Make sure to focus his/her energy in order to keep the workshop under control.

The Producer – contributes with a lot of idea.

Make sure to get him/her involved whenever additional ideas are needed.

The Facilitator – likes having the workshop move forward.

Make sure to get him/her involved when tense discussions / opposing views are taking place.

The Follower – doesn’t add new elements.

Ask him/her open-ended questions to keep him/her involved.

The Passive – doesn’t participate and is looking forward to the end of the workshop.

Ensure to keep him/her involved to avoid having other adopt the same attitude.

The Detective – is always asking for an explanation and additional details.

Answer his/her questions and do not hesitate to use a “parking lot” for detailed issues.

The Opponent – doesn’t believe the workshop adds value.

Use the “boomerang” technique with open-ended questions.

What about difficult behavior

The Talker – lacks discipline, and cannot stay focused. 

Define workshop rules in advance. Remind him/her that other participants need to contribute.

The Quiet – doesn’t seem bored nor passionate about the topic.

Understand the reasons (Timidity: reassure him/her beforehand ; Afraid of being judged: make favorable comments following interventions)

The Expert – always has an argument and/or a solution to suggest. 

Ensure to get the opinion of the group, and show that other’s ideas are also important.

The Skeptic – always challenges what is being discussed. 

Use the “boomerang” technique. Ask him/her to detail the rationale behind the objections and ask the group to comment

The Perfectionist – would like everything to be clear to an excess. Always interrupts and ask for specific details. 

Ask him/her to become the scribe. Ensure involvement on important issues requiring detailed discussion

The Aggressive – could feel singled out and will over-react vis-à-vis the facilitator and/or other participants. 

Remind him/her of the rules. Rephrase his /her intervention to highlight the positive elements

The “Saboteur” – doesn’t want the workshop to succeed, is sarcastic and aggressive.

Isolate him/her with the help of other participants

Remind him/her of the workshop objectives and ask him/her to contribute or leave

The “Blackberry addict” – cannot stay focused nor contribute. 

Define workshop rules in advance to avoid blackberry usage.

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