An understanding of temperament can reduce conflict – by Warren Guscott

Effective people seem to know who they are, what their strengths and limitations are, and as a result generally behave in a ways which they know make them happy. Effective leaders also appreciate the strengths of others, and behave compassionately. They inspire those around them.

Take Alex for example, a successful sales executive. Despite his excellent sales turnover, the sales manager has a negative perception of him because he does not complete his call reports. When he does, they are superficial and lack the detail the manager wants.
To explain this conflict we asked Alan, a Coach and Psychologist who consults to NeuroLab, if there was a connection between people’s perception of others and their temperament type? “Most definitely, the two are correlated”, says Alan; “Our temperament influences the way we view our world. Human behaviour is complex and dependant on more than mere temperament or personality though. Experience, environment and a multitude of other factors need to be taken into consideration when really understanding human behaviour. Understanding the various temperaments however gives us a foundation of understanding regarding how we prefer to behave and think. It also gives us an understanding of how other temperament styles prefer to think and behave. Once you start understanding temperament styles, it’s as though the lights get switched on and you can start to navigate your way into understanding yourself, your perceptions and your interactions with others.

Alex’s behaviour and style indicates that he fits the personality type who enjoys a faster paced lifestyle and gets bored with mundane and repetitive tasks. Alex gets things done and values freedom more than anything. In order to reach his targets, he sometimes has to side step procedures. His manager, on the other hand, values structure, procedure and order in maintaining a well functioning and successful business.
The clash between these two capable people is not about competency, but about perceptions, work styles and values. Alex values his ability to supply his client no matter what. The manager values organizational structure and correct procedure. If Alex could gain an insight into how a person of his managers temperament thinks, organizes, communicates and managers, he may be able to adjust his behaviour. In turn, understanding Alex’s values could relieve this conflict, and even allow the manager to harness Alex’s strengths. A proactive manager would make certain concession and possibly avail the services of an admin person to assist Alex with his paperwork. Alternatively, verbal or short feedback information in the form of email could relieve Alex‘s frustration and free him up to get out and sell, which would translate directly into increased profits.

When you know what your core strengths, values and limitations are, and feel good about them, you can improve your performance and increase your potential for success. And when you achieve an understanding of others core strengths, values and limitations, you have the basis to communicate, motivate and achieve common goals more efficiently and with mutual respect.

NeuroLab are licensed to offer the Insight Learning Foundation Temperament Profiling Assessment in team development workshops. Presented by a registered psychologist and an accredited trainer, these workshops help each team member identify his or her dominant temperament style. This understanding raises their awareness of how their work, communication and organisational style impact their professional interactions. Neurolab then introduce emotional intelligence skills to stimulate communication, synergy, understanding and ultimately productivity.
Warren is an accredited trainer and NeuroLab associate. For more information contact warren on 083 651 9178 or email: or visit