In today’s complex and diverse organisations, it is rare that you will find two people who see the world in quite the same way. Our own perceptions of the people in our lives are directly affected by our past experiences, our expectations, and where we place our attention. It’s no wonder barriers in communication arise, but when the perceptions individuals have about each other can significantly affect the operation of the organisation, it’s something that you just can’t ignore.
Further than not seeing the world through the same eyes, the differences between you and your ‘opposite’ can feel vast and completely unapproachable. When your opposite is a direct colleague, this can be a frustrating, exhausting and negatively charged relationship.
“If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.” Carl Jung
Assigning Meaning to Behaviour
Human beings are as complex as the world we built. When we assess behaviours that don’t fit our needs or expectations and we don’t understand the why, we tend to fill the gaps. And that is the problem – we don’t know our opposite type. We judge their behaviour. We spend too much time tackling what we ‘see’ (the behaviours we find such hard work) that we aren’t able to get beyond that and get to know the person.
Lacking an Insights Discovery Personal Profile?
“An individual who will not see his own weaknesses… will find reasons everywhere else for his inability to accomplish more of what he sets out to do.” Carl Jung
- Try and work out what it is about that person that you’re finding so difficult. Self-awareness will allow you to compartmentalise your own triggers, ie is this person frequently late to meetings whilst you value punctuality?
- Is the feeling mutual? Does this person find you as intolerable as you them?
- Jot down three things that you admire about them. Chances are at least one of them is something you feel you lack yourself.
- Remember that it takes two to tango. Unfortuntately, without self-awareness on both sides, the relationship is unlikely to improve.
- Put some time aside to talk to them. It might feel futile but, unaddressed, this crucial conflict will bubble just below the surface for as long as you let it, boiling over into emotionally charged outbursts (at probably inconvenient times).
The Difference a Profile Makes – things you can do to appreciate your difficult person
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung
- Start by trying to analyse:
– what it is about that person you find such hard work
– the order in which your difficult person uses their colour energies.
- Are there any similarities between your colour energy mixes?
- Check in with your ‘Blind Spots’ (page 12).
Quite often, we fail to recognise when we ourselves are displaying behaviour others might find difficult. In your Insights Discovery Personal Profile, these are your ‘Blind spots’. Is there any correlation between what you are observing from your difficult person and your own behaviour, perhaps on a bad day?
- Similarly, you can find your ‘Opposite Type’ on page 13. This describes the individual that is psychologically very different to you. Does this sound like your difficult person?
- Ask yourself: is this person truly difficult? Or is that a manifestation of your own perceptions and projections?
- Take a look at our Beginners Guide to Discovery to reflect upon the completely different stand points of each dominant colour energy.
- Close your inbox, pick up your Discovery Personal Profile and seek out your difficult person. Ask them to read it and leave it with them. Whether they’ve experienced Insights Discovery before or not, this is the first step towards a better workplace relationship, and will provide them with a clear view of who you are and why you are.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Carl Jung
Hopefully, the rest will come. Ultimately there is no substitute to better understanding, and that will only surface through dialogue, so get talking. The smallest insight can alter one’s perception, and that’s all that’s needed to start this transformation from ‘difficult person’ to ‘valued person’.
Read up on insights discovery, conflict as opportunity, trust and emotional intelligence