I have found that second to managing people working on a team can be one of the most difficult parts of a job. We tend to be drawn to people who have similar work styles as we do and find working with people with different work styles very challenging. I have found this to be especially true between those who are visionaries and those who are implementers.

People who are visionaries tend to be big picture focused, and change oriented. They are usually full of great ideas and tend to overlook the details. People who are implementers tend to be systems oriented and more resistant to change (at least unjustifiable change). They are not usually idea people and can see what could go wrong when a new idea is presented. Any of this ringing any bells?

Of course the catch here is that both types of people are needed on a team. Some people are able to play a bit of both roles, but typically when that is the case their strengths are not quite as pronounced in those areas as those who function on only one side of the spectrum.

So what to do? Recognize the differences. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is by using a personality profiling tool. However, no matter what method you use to identify the differences the important thing is that you do. Then, identify the strengths that each member of the team brings to the table and discuss the ways you can best capitalize on those strengths. You will quickly find that the differences you identified are exactly the strengths you need to diversify your team. Recognize that the differences are what will make you a great team while at the same time increasing the amount of conflict between you. Remember that conflict is not bad! Addressing the conflict in a healthy way is the key to utilizing it to catapult your team to greater successes.

In a nut shell, capitalize on the strengths that your differences bring to the team. This allows you to laugh about the differences, to talk about them without it causing conflict because you know that you need them as much as they need you, even if you do drive each other crazy at times.