Today’s workplace is full of challenges, but none is more frustrating than working with individuals who are dramatically different than you. They either have different work ethics or just do not seem to see the world the same way you do. No matter how hard you try to get along, they just rub you the wrong way. What will it take for them to get it right?

I remember hearing an old saying, “Everyone is weird but me and thee and thee is a bit weird too.” Isn’t that the truth, anyone who does not see the world as we do must be weird! We often argue to have people see our point of view, yet they just don’t seem to get it. Ironically, it may not be that they are trying to annoy us, but they just see the world differently, and there are a number of reasons for this.

First, Myers-Briggs is a personality preference indicator which measures how people perceive the world and make decisions. This indicator, based on work by Carl Jung, asserts that there are 16 different personality types as indicated by the abbreviation of four letters.

The first letter Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I) indicates where the person gets their energy. The second letter Sensing (S) or iNtuition (N) designates how an individual takes in information and interprets it. The third letter Thinking (T) or Feeling (F) specifies how an individual makes decisions and the final letter Judgment (J) or Perceiving (P), indicates how a person relates to the world.

The combination of these four letter results in 16 different personality preferences which dramatically see and experience the world differently. When you argue with someone and try to get them to see the world as you do, it may be a waste of time unless you can find some common ground.

Add to this the fact that for the first time in history, five generations now inhabit the workforce. Historically, there have been 3 to 4 generations in the workplace with little difference in their work ethic and how they saw their role in the workplace. Starting with the Millenials or those born between 1997 and 1997, things started to change.

The newest generation named Gen 2020 or 9-11’s and the Millenials were raised with technology and see the world dramatically different. The oldest generation’s dedication to work is in distinct contrast with the youngest generations who try for a more work/life balance.

All of these differences in perception and work ethics cause many sources of conflict in the workplace. The key is to try to understand that different life experiences coupled with differences in perception cause people to see the world very differently.

These barriers in the workplacet can only be overcome if we take time to try to understand each other. Try to find common ground or understand why something is important to another person. By learning about the differences and why they occur, you can take a huge step towards resolving conflict. Even creating an awareness of the differences helps to reduce the animosity between people.

Instead of getting upset with someone, try to understand how they see the world.