Personality Clashes

A particular kind of ego problem crops up from time to time and will doubtless surface in a project or two of yours. It seems to me especially predominant in IT circles. Someone has learned a unique skill in the IT world, and because others cannot rise to his level of expertise, he grows a giant head, becoming snotty and unapproachable. Problem is, you need him on your team—he ' s someone you cannot do without in order to bring your project to an elegant close with wonderfully crafted deliverables. How do you manage communication in an environment like this? Especially when others desire to learn what this person knows and to attain some personal growth by watching him work.

You manage this kind of thing with teambuilding. Often, a person like this is, in reality, an introvert. People who ' ve risen to the level of excellence very often are hiding behind the arrogance façade because they don ' t want you to know how fragile the rest of their life might be. Teambuilding efforts, especially those that center around understanding personality types (such as Myers-Briggs and others), can bring out interesting dialog and break a lot of ice among team members.

By going through such exercises, you find out how a person likes to have information delivered, and you can thus make an effort to deliver information in the style he or she prefers. This might sound like you ' re bending over backward to get information to someone, but I would ask you this: If you deliver information in such a way that it ' s not correctly understood, and this creates results you hadn't asked for, have you helped yourself? What' s your priority, communicating the way you prefer to communicate or getting things done?

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