The Main Ingredient

There are certain essential ingredients that go into baking a cake.  One essential ingredient for most cake recipes is flour. Without the flour there would not be a cake. Personality clash is to workplace conflicts like flour is to cake.  They are both essential ingredients. Take away the personality clash and the conflict may disappear.


The workplace is made up of a variety of personality types.  One personality type prefers to be organized and scheduled in a very neat and clean environment while another prefers to be with people in a room that may be messy.

A personality clash can be removed if people respect personality differences as individual qualities. Studies have found that communication, teamwork and productivity increases when there is an understanding of one’s own personality along with the understanding of their co-worker’s personality. This is because personality type helps explain behavior.  Personality type can predict a person’s needs, values, interests and conflict triggers. Therefore, according to personality theory, each person has a predictable comfort level with a certain type of behavior and environment.

This week’s blog asks you to think about personality clashes. Each of the following questions represents a different personality type according to the “True Colors Personality Assessment” method. Try to answer these questions to determine your personality type and if a personality clash was the main ingredient to a recent workplace conflict:

- Do you like data, answers, information, research or problem solving?

- Are you organized and scheduled and like a very neat and clean environment?

- Are you a “people-person”?

- Do you love spontaneity and like to take risks?

- If you answered yes to any of the above questions, would the person you had a recent conflict with say "yes" to the same question or a different question? If they would say "yes" to a different question then their personality's wants, needs, values or interests may clash with yours and be the main "ingredient" of the conflict.

Dr. Gail J. Shapiro is a True Colors Personality Assessment Facilitator. Go to the products page at for your own personality assessment session (called a “30 Minute Add On”) to learn about your personality, how other personalities may clash with you and what to do about it. You can also book her for a True Colors Personality Assessment workshop for team building, increased productivity and improved communication at your company.