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Working For The Enemy – A Lesson in Conflict Management

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Have you ever had a boss who you could never see eye to eye? Did it seem that every thing that you did was wrong? Did you think you were working for the Enemy? Wait, don’t quit! There may be a reason why the two of you are complete opposites.

As you know everyone is different in almost every different way. People and the way they act and react are due to their nature and nurture. In other words, they act the way they do because of their genetics and their environments. Their environment includes the way they were raised as children by their parents, their social involvements with the opposite sex, and their prior work environments. These factors, when all put together, make up who we are and make us unique. The key to getting along with your boss it to first understand his/her values when compared to your own.

I had a boss in a previous company, who for the life of me, I could not get along with. He was a very intelligent individual, who I desperately wanted to get approval from, however I could never understand why he did the things he did and why he could not respect the decisions that I made. Given the same problem, we would come up with two completely different solutions.

Luckily one day, during a team building exercise, my group preformed a personality test call Myers-Briggs. This test can categorize a person’s personality based on four distinctive areas. They are Extraversion-Introversion, Sensing-Intuition, Judging-Perceiving, and Thinking-Feeling. Using the information gained from this test, the practitioner can tell you to what degree you fall into these areas and what key personality traits that you are likely to have. It was scary how accurate this test was for me and the rest of my group.

What was really interesting was that my boss and I were polar opposites in every single category of the Myers-Brigg scale. There was no wonder why we couldn’t get along and see eye to eye.

Both my boss and I learned a valuable lesson that day. We learned that if we were to get along then we would have to view each situation from the other’s point of view. Using the test results we were now able to understand how each other would handle the problem, and we began to respect each other more and more.

Two years later, we still talk on the phone and hold a lot of respect for each other. If not for Myers-Briggs, I would not truly know myself or my new friend. If you think you are working for the enemy, I strongly urge you to take the test. You many see things in a whole new light.

Working For The Enemy – A Lesson in Conflict Management by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes