The Real Cause of Conflict

Over the years several psychologists have developed tests to evidence and describe the different personality types, including Jung, Myers-Briggs and the Big Five Personality Tests, which is now the most extensively acknowledged and used model of personality. The Big Five was developed in the 1970’s by two different research studies which though completed differently came to similar conclusions: that a majority of personality traits can be defined under five broad themes, extroversion, emotional stability, orderliness, accommodation and intellect. All other personality traits can be correlated to one of these independent personality traits (Howard &amp. Howard, 2007). However, there is a weakness with this theory, as researchers have not been able to completely agree on what exactly the fundamental aspect of each personality trait is (Howard &amp. Howard, 2007).
People frequently seek and admire personalities that are different from their own, and being appreciative to these positive attributes they have may hinder them to realise it could cause stress and be a significant contributor to disagreements. Usually people seek out individuals who fill these personality differences, in which to have personal or working relationships with. A lot of people who have personalities where they are exceptionally well-organized are often drawn to partners who have a preference to handling situations in an easy going and effortless manner. In comparison rational, sensible thinkers prefer affectionate, sensitive partners, and vibrant extroverts may have a preference for strong, quiet people (Landau &amp. Landau, 1997). The same can be apparent in working relationships between co-workers. This is most likely because they perceive their counterparts as being more relaxed at managing situations they themselves would find hard to achieve (Landau &amp. Landau, 1997).
As Smallwood (2009) states, differences in individual personalities can work to an advantage in teamwork, as there is an chance for the team members to merge together, not in the case that everyone thinks the same and agrees, but that everyone’s individual strengths and abilities can work together to create a stronger, and more effective conclusion or solution to the problem they are working on. HowveHHowever, these personality differences can also cause significant problems when working in a team, as they clash rather than compliment each other (Smallwood, 2009). These problems may occur when one individual feels that their way is the only ‘right’ way to do something. However, as evidence shows there is always more than one way to reach the same result, and an individual can learn a lot from watching how another person achieves these results. Smallwood (2009) suggests that teams do require different personalities to produce an effective work environment where the different attitudes and abilities produce an effective whole, from its different parts. however, it is easy for an individual to become judgemental of another team member who does a task in a different way from which they would, rather than appreciating the differences. In addition, team members will sometimes judge the behaviour of a co-worker, by assuming they are feeling a certain way because of their outward behaviour. For example, if a co-worker is quiet, the individual may assume that they are angry, as this is how they