Q: Everyone in my department currently gets along well. I need to hire an additional person; how can I ensure that I do not hire someone who will have a personality conflict with my other employees?
A: No matter if you work in a small company or a large firm, chances are you have had some personality conflicts at some point. As you are looking to hire someone, do not be too hard on yourself. It is nearly impossible to know if the person you spent an hour interviewing will get along with your current team.
As you go through the hiring process you make sure to ask questions that can give you an idea the type of personality they have. Ask how they got along with they’re co-workers and supervisors. If there professional relationships were a reason for leaving a former position this may give you a clue that they have had personality conflicts before.
Even when you are cautious, you may hire someone that doesn’t mesh well with other employees. This will happen! Below is a list of things to have your employees do to solve the problem before it gets out of hand:
Do not try to recruit others to take your side. Everyone needs to vent, but in the workplace this can do a lot of damage. Do not go to others looking for them to side with you. This will make the fire spread and the whole company or department’s moral will be affected.
Do not respond to the person while you are upset. Reacting to a situation in the moment can cause us a lot of trouble. We may say things or do things that we can never take back. Take a step back and think through what your response should be; this way you will not regret how you conducted yourself.
Look at yourself in the situation. As much as we try to pass blame on others, we are responsible for our actions. No matter if you started the problem or not, how you act is up to you. If you are reacting viciously, brutally, or disrespectfully you have some blame in the situation and need to fix it.
Look for the strengths in the other person. When things are not going well we tend to focus on everything negative. Changing your view and looking for good things will help your attitude and your outlook. This is especially true when you are looking at a person and picking out things they do that can benefit you and the company.
Communicate! I believe that most personality conflicts that occur, both in the workplace and out, are caused by not understanding where the other person is coming from. Being able to discuss the problem often will help. Remember though, that effective communication can not happen if one of you is not willing to listen or portrays anger in their speech.