Communicate on the Same Wavelength



Temperament – what does it mean? What does a team leader need to know about temperaments?

People don’t change, but they can improve themselves. Using one’s own temperament in a new way, they can bend it to serve other values (Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt).

What is temperament?

Temperament is a set of constant behavioral traits that can already be visible from infancy. Example: some babies are calm while others cry very loudly. The difference is our emotional reactivity, which is one of the characteristics of temperament, and it determines how intensively we react to difficult situations. The other five features are:

  • Liveliness – our overall rate of response

  • Perseverance – which depends on, among other things, the speed at which we’re able to recover after experiencing difficult emotions

  • Sensory sensitivity – affects how we perceive sounds or smells

  • Activity – determines the tendency to undertake tasks that arouse emotions

  • Resilience – (Strelau, 1995, 2006).

How important is one’s temperament in a team setting?

The intensity of our temperamental traits affects many areas of our lives, including social interactions and work performance. How temperament influences human behavior is most easily observed in difficult situations e.g., during conflicts and complications that arise during the implementation of a plan or strategy.

Highly reactive people can react through withdrawal or resignation. They will feel overwhelmed in a chaotic and rapidly changing environment (Nowak, 2021). On the other hand, those who have a high level of endurance can cope well with challenges and are usually not very emotionally reactive.

Therefore, what some team members might equate with security, others may find boring. This, in turn, can generate communication barriers, hinder cooperation and threaten the overall success of a project.

Temperament – challenges in the workplace

It’s easy to imagine that employees with different temperaments plan activities and achieve goals differently. That’s why a good leader adjusts the pace and variety of tasks to suit individual predispositions. The lack of such a match affects the overall effectiveness of the work performed, and individual employees can pay a high psychophysiological price (Nowak, 2021).

Temperamental traits are unchanging – but the same trait can manifest itself through different behaviors depending on the period of a person’s life. What happens when an employee with a high level of activity finds themself in a work environment that is not compatible with their temperament? They are unlikely to shout or break things – after all there are social norms and regulations at work. But they will probably not achieve the desired results in the implementation of tasks, and this will show up in the results of the entire company.

How to transform knowledge about different temperaments into good communication practices?

A good leader realizes that people who easily succumb to difficult emotions may need more empowering and motivating messages to complete a task well. For example, introverts, who aren’t always the easiest of conversation partners, are similarly demanding. However, it’s worth remembering that temperament is only the foundation of a human personality. Who we are and how we think is the result of the combination of what we are born with and what we have experienced.

Therefore, a well-developed management strategy captures both temperamental and personality traits of employees in order to adjust the way of delegating tasks and communication to them. Empatyzer measures these characteristics using reliable tests. Thanks to this, the user who initiates communication with another team member receives hints on how to talk to that person and what to avoid in communication with them, so that their cooperation is a success.



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