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Opposites Attract: How We Leverage our Differences to Work Better Together

I want you to win in your organization. But in order to win, you must work well with others who don’t think or process the way you do. And whether you’re working from home or back in an office setting, the key is putting forth the effort to learn how to work better together, even if that is using helpful resources like the Enneagram.

It’s a challenging time with many organizations working remotely, which brings another challenging layer to teach connectedness and understanding. 

In this episode of the One Next Step podcast, LZ and I dive into a discussion on how we learned to use our differences to our advantage.



Here are some key takeaways we shared:


1. Know Yourself

The first step to working better with others is to simply know who you are. 

Know your strengths and weaknesses, what sets you off and energizes you, and how these traits come out when you’re communicating with other people. A great place to start is one of the many personality tests out there. 

We love the Enneagram, but you could also consider the DiSC or Myers Briggs personality tests.

When you know yourself, you’re better equipped to be authentic and get to know others, which ultimately leads to better communication and an easier time working together.

Understanding each of your personality types, learning how to communicate, and being mindful of your differences with your partner or team members is key.


2. Don’t let your personality profiles become labels and excuses.

For instance, if you’re a high D on the DISC, you don’t want to be known as the high-energy person who never listens to others and has a “bull-in-a-china-shop” mentality. At the same time, saying, “that’s just the way I am” does nothing to help you grow or improve your relationship with others.

Use these tests as a starting point to build from — a way to improve yourself as a leader and better understand those you work with — instead of an excuse for bad behavior.

These personality labels can be used to encourage one another in the day-to-day.


3. The best leaders and team members have aligned their personality styles with their jobs.

A lot of times people let personality and communication differences start to spread each other apart, and that becomes cancer to an organization. You have to learn how to leverage  communication in order to get to the heart of what you and your team are doing.

Know yourselves, know each other's motives, and find the middle ground in between. Compromise is at the heart of every great relationship.

Everyone should want to work in a position that aligns with their natural strength. That’s why most accountants are high Cs or maybe 1s on the Enneagram.

When you’re following your natural strengths – instead of working in the tension of your weaknesses – you’re more energized, more productive, and a better leader.


We rounded up all of the personality assessments we use at BELAY and where you can find them. Download this episode’s activation guide, our Personality Assessment Cheat Sheet.

Collectively, they can help you discover how you interpret the world, manage your emotions, and show up to others around you.

And, if everyone on your team shares their findings, you’ll be on your way to leveraging your differences to better the organization.