Compare lets two people see their profiles side by side. Their differences. Their different needs.
This can give people permission to get curious about someone else, instead of criticising or clashing with them. It helps you adjust not just your behaviour, but also your story. Realising other people’s actions are often not something to be taken personally, and something you can and should talk about with them.
Conflict happens. Especially in effective teams.
It’s part of relating to each other, and if you don’t have conflict that can be even worse. That might mean people are actively avoiding it, instead of being fully honest, or holding important boundaries.
It’s usually pretty easy when people see things the same way we do. It smooths our communication, our assumptions and our trust. We also feel seen, heard and understood. Like singing in harmony.
But when someone wants to go about things in a different way, and sees things very differently to you? It can quickly become difficult. In our mind, they become difficult. They are the problem.
Add into this that many of us don’t like to disagree - or don’t know how to do it. Especially with people we don’t know so well or who have power in our relationship, such as a customer or a manager.
So what do we do? We criticise them. Maybe only to family outside of work, or to another colleague. Or if you are bolder or pushed into confrontation - we criticise someone directly.
But “behind every criticism, there’s a wish” (Esther Perel).
Personality gives us a shared language to talk about our differences. And what we really need to talk about – our needs.
Let’s look at some examples …
It’s easier to criticise your colleague for speaking over you – than you say you need them to listen to what you have to say, and respect you enough to let you finish.
It’s easier to criticise your customer for being rude and demanding – than to say you need to feel appreciated for the time and effort you take to help them.
It’s easier to criticise our boss for not caring about us – instead of saying we need dedicated 1:1 time to talk about our progress and opportunities.
Sadly... it’s especially easy to criticise the people we are closest to and care about the most. So equipping people with a better self-awareness practice when it comes to conflict can even carry benefits into their life outside of the workplace.
Our needs are part of our personal story. But the old saying is that there are two sides to every story. And both are different from fact.
Because someone having a strong opinion isn’t a problem if you also like a bit of debate and passion in discussion. But it is if you feel dominated and unable to make your case in the moment.
Here is my profile, alongside the profile of a colleague I work closely with most days:
myFacet5 lets me see our similarity and our contrasts visually mapped out. This can give a useful hint of which Factors to focus on - in our case – a fairly large difference in Will, and a bit of a difference in Control too.
That insight alone can probably be attached to most of our niggles and clashes.
myFacet5 then helps me start to interpret some likely patterns for how this personality dynamic might show up.
I can explore our relationship by Factor, so let’s start with WILL.
A likely frustration of mine is likely to be …“you may feel they are telling you what to do and not listening”. And a helpful challenge for me is then to “think ahead and prepare your argument well. Be prepared to stand your ground”
So a small shift into stubbornness might be worth a try.
And it’s not always about difference. Sometimes our similarities can work against us.
Taking a peek at ENERGY: while we “allow each other to work without interference”, we “may not may not communicate effectively or frequently enough”.
So I’m starting to build a picture here that it’s very easy for me to not communicate clearly or enough. A really helpful recommended challenge to me is to “share ideas in development and invite feedback regularly”. As it happens, I’d already started doing more of this and it has been helpful for both of us.
I can also look at our two personalities by ELEMENT: starting with our collective Strengths across each factor, and also grouped by Risks, Frustrations and Challenges.
And my favourite thing about the Compare feature is something quite easy to miss: I can Swap Profiles.
This means I can get some sense of how they experience my personality style. Which is great for building empathy and ensures the conversation doesn’t just become about what I need, but what “we” need.
Taking this perspective also hugely develops our own self-awareness.
In every relationship, there are two people.
We can’t change the other person.
But there’s a lot we can change.
Our perspective. Our assumptions. Our story. Our willingness to be honest.
We naturally interpret other people’s actions through the lens of our own personality. And that colouring quickly leads to misunderstanding.
If two people in a team seem to clash, try getting them to share their Facet5 Profile, and use the Compare feature to see their two personalities at play.
Paradoxically, this personal data – can depersonalise conflicts and help see our preferences and differences more objectively.
By working through conflict together, they gain a better understanding of how they prefer to work, and what matters to them. It also creates a healthy practice: that team members can clash, reconnect and often feel closer as a result of taking time to work on their relationships.