The more you know and respect your employees or co-workers the easier it is to work with them, says Jim Henion, director of consulting services for Cooperative Resources International. At a recent workshop on personality types, he explained that differ-ences between person-alities are natural, and should not be perceived as a bad thing.

These differences are why some people prefer variety, and draw their energy from being around other people. However, others may work well alone, and prefer to work on one project for a long time without interruption.

Certainly there’s much more to an individual’s personality than just a few simple traits. That’s why it’s worthwhile for employees and supervisors alike to learn more about what makes the people they depend on tick.  

The key, Henion said, is to discover your co-worker’s personality preferences, which can offer you valuable clues as to how to work with him or her more effectively. There are many avenues for assessing personalities. The Briggs and Myer’s test is probably the most well known. Consultants and university personnel who specialize in employee management also can help.

“We often forget that we have to do some adjusting to accommodate the other people’s styles,” he said.