The trick here is learning how to deal with conflict in the healthiest and most effective way within your control. Here are four common personality types at work and how they approach each type of conflict. I use the four personality types of Lion, Monkey, Camel, and Tortoise to give readers a better idea of their workplace personality types and their ability to deal with conflicts.
Leo approaches conflict
Leo approaches conflict in a very drastic and direct way. An “unhealthy” Leo will approach each conflict as a win-lose situation. This can be a bit “brutal” in acting or expressing anger. The Leo personality’s goal is to win the conflict. He will do anything in his power to gain victory over his opponent. This type of conflict can cause difficulties and stress in the workplace.
In contrast, a “healthy” Leo will approach conflict with assertiveness but not too much emphasis on wanting to win the dispute. Straight talk is extremely helpful when faced with any dilemma and is therefore a strong point of Leo.
When dealing with your Leo co-workers, it’s best to speak frankly and honestly. You need to understand that the reactions of people in this group are often stronger and should not be “indifferent” to the reactions of this group. It’s also helpful to set appropriate boundaries when in conflict with Leo. This is like telling a Leo that you won’t allow him to raise his voice or act violently around you.
Camels approach conflict
Camels approach conflict with a black and white mentality, right and wrong. The “unhealthy” camel will approach conflict by making an effort to understand the facts. The person will spend too much time creating obstacles instead of resolving conflicts. Camel’s goal is to demonstrate competence and draw attention to details that rarely lead to conflict resolution.
In contrast, “healthy” camels approach conflict with the desire to provide accurate information that can be used to solve the problem. Having reliable data is essential to successfully resolving any type of conflict and is therefore a strong point of camels.
When dealing with a co-worker, it’s best to make sure you’re well informed before engaging in a conflicting discussion. You should also let the Camels know that what you are saying is based on factual information and that you are reputable enough to solve any problem.
Monkey approaches conflict
Monkeys will approach conflict by trying to defuse and please all parties involved. Monkeys represent the type of person who advocates for anyone they feel is being taken advantage of or is underdog. A person with the “unhealthy” Monkey personality type may approach conflict with a slightly “uncharacteristic” joke or deliberately downplaying the seriousness of the problem. If these methods do not work, the Monkey group can “gossip” spreading rumors or deliberately manipulating to gain an advantage.
In contrast, the “Healthy” Monkey will approach conflict using humanistic skills to create healthy dialogue and communication around the issue at hand. Creating clarity is extremely important when faced with dilemmas. This is a strength of the person who has the personality of the Monkey group.
When dealing with a colleague with the Monkey personality type, it is best to make a connection with them before stepping into the situation. This can be like a small talk or show your appreciation for the other person before diving into the conflict. You need to know that Monkey people are very sensitive to your words and will remember what you say. Help the Monkeys not see conflict as personal attacks, and instead simply focus on solving problems.
Tortoise approaches conflict
Turtles approach conflict by trying to avoid any uncomfortable situations. People of the Turtle group are often very afraid of conflict. An “unhealthy” Turtle bearer can approach conflict by hiding in his shell. This passive approach can cause a lot of frustration and confusion in the organization. This group’s strategy of silence can destroy any relationship.
In contrast, a “healthy” Tortoise will approach conflict by using its listening skills to thoroughly understand all issues. Then create an environment that is calm enough to deal with the problem. Taking the time to thoroughly understand the root of a problem or dilemma is valuable in conflict resolution and is a strength for Turtles.