There can be personality conflicts on teams and at the meetings. Some meetings are like a verbal fist-fight – someone leads with a sarcastic statement, someone responds with an innuendo.

Even though people selected the same industry, interviewed to work in the same organization, personalities might still clash.

Hopefully you have a ground rule that you can refer to that will stall or permanently stop the disrespectful speech. If not, it’s time to establish one.

When a sarcastic statement is voiced, ask for specifics, or ask them what they mean by their comments.

A useful method to manage personality conflicts is to split the meeting participants into two or three sub-groups and put them on separate teams.   You may be able to create some friendly competition that will produce positive results and soften the personality clash.

Also, taking a break or two can help diffuse the tension.

If it continues to fester, you can simply stop the meeting and ask the group or team for suggestions. Get it out in the open and discuss it rationally. It is clear that these two people find it challenging to work together. As a group, brainstorm twenty or thirty ideas that could be considered that could help make meetings more constructive than destructive.

When it comes to personality conflicts at work…we need to find a way to make it work. Sometimes people are scrapping with each other to get appreciation or at least get some attention. Sometimes it is their personality or sometimes it is their sense of humor. No matter what it is…it is destructive…to the team and to morale. Have the courage to address the issue and move your meetings forward.

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