Don’t Yield to The ‘Personality Clash’ Get Out Clause.
“These two are having a personality clash, what shall we do?
You my friend, manager extraordinaire, don’t do anything.
The inference in the question above is that we intervene like a parent, pull the scrapping kids apart and walk away… until the next scrap. (Dealing with effect here, not tackling cause).
The ‘personality clash get out clause’ is just too easy a go too tactic for allowing folks to not take responsibility for themselves, for not recognising that their JOB, as a professional, is to figure out how to work with other people.
Our job is to sometimes work with people we don’t like. Period. You can’t, nor do you need to like everyone you come in contact with.
Your job is to build a working relationship that gets the job done, not just bow out at the first sign of relationship tension and stickiness.
The Alternative Approach
Rather than intervene like a senior parent, make it very clear that the two clashers need to sit down in a room…. and figure out how they WILL work together; that is their job, not yours. “Don’t leave the room until you have worked out how to navigate the challenges of your relationship, put the work in, don’t just throw the towel in”. You might say by way of direction and confidence in their ability to sort problems out.
You could of course utilise Team Chemistry tools to help them help themselves. (We use DiSC Comparison Reports) to help folks recognise their hardwired differences and similarities as a vehicle for resolution .
People are pretty smart when you crate the space for them to hold themselves to account for success; sometimes we are a bit too hasty to step in and disempower them.