The process of forming a new relationship can be broken down into five steps: judging, understanding, appreciating, respecting, and finally valuing. Whenever you form a relationship with a new person, you’ll go through these steps. Whatever step you end on will determine how strong your relationship will be.
The problem with many workplace relationships is that they begin and end at the first phase: judging. We all judge people when we first meet them. It’s part of our biology. We form first impressions based on sight within milliseconds (.07 seconds to be exact) of meeting new people. Those impressions get reinforced or altered as we speak to them, but if we don’t take the time to actually get to know the people we meet, we’re likely to rely on our initial judgements, which are almost always incomplete or simply wrong.
Judging the people we work with without bothering to understand them — and then, hopefully, appreciate, respect and value them – is perhaps the main cause of workplace conflict. Uninformed judgements lead to personality clashes, stress, poor communication, and a lack of trust.
Fortunately, team assessments can address this problem.
Team assessments give everyone on your team a clear, unbiased perspective on one another’s personalities, work styles, and decision-making processes. They help each individual better understand their own personality traits as well as why and how they work best with others.
Assessments for team members aren’t a magical cure-all. They’re not going to turn everyone on your team into best friends overnight. But team building assessments can help you jump past the hurdle of judgement and collectively move into the understanding phase.
When two clashing personality types get clear information about why their personalities come into conflict, conflict becomes much easier to avoid. Baseline information about personalities and work styles helps everyone know themselves better and know the people around them better, setting a strong foundation for better, more cohesive working relationships.
From a point of understanding, it’s up to the team leader to take the reins and push their team toward appreciating, respecting, and valuing one another. Not everyone will reach that final phase, but your whole team will get closer to that ultimate goal with the help of valid, reliable personal assessments.