So, which types get along best? “I kind of hate to answer that question, because you need all personality styles,” Rush says.
True. But you also need to know which relationships might benefit from a little extra attention and compassion.
“If I were to generalize, feelers are going to tend to get along better with each other typically, because they really care about their relationships more than anything else,” Rush observes. The way feelers make decisions is based on relationship harmony, really thinking through how a decision is going to impact people before any facts enter the equation.
But if you need someone to prioritize the company’s bottom line and make tough decisions, even when they may negatively impact others, your team better have a thinker close by.
“The thinking types love to debate,” Rush says. “They can be really fierce. So, they might [argue] and call each other names, and then they’re patting themselves on the back and saying, ‘Let’s go have a beer,’ afterwards.”
In a private setting, this is all well and good. In an office, however, it might require some deft management.
“Really competitive types have to win and get the last word. Meanwhile, everyone else is quiet,” Rush says. Managers can intervene by asking people with those personality traits to try being silent in the next meeting and just listen to what everyone else has to say.
“Then there’s some self-awareness that goes on within the person, and they can recognize, ‘I actually got a lot out of that because I wasn’t talking all the time,’” Rush explains.
Rush recalls growing up as a feeler with logical parents. “I’d come up with this great idea, and I’d be so excited, and I’d share it with them,” she says. “They would rip it apart. … I would be completely deflated and not even want to continue my research or launch this new idea. They would need to know all the facts gathered before they could approve or disapprove.”
Now, imagine that dichotomy in an office. Chances are, you can recall more than imagine.
The truth is people come in all sorts of configurations. Rush and her manager line up the same way on three of the four categories. Where do they differ? Rush is an extrovert, and her manager is an introvert.
“We’re really different, even though it’s just that one variable,” Rush says.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Since organizations rely on the strengths each personality type brings to the office, learning how to optimize your work relationships according to personality can be a rewarding use of time and resources. Rush suggests the following: