Conflicting Views – Rule breakers & Rule followers
In all areas of life – at work, with family or friends, at church or our social groups – personality differences can create stress and challenges. The way that you interpret those situations depends on your own personal point of view. One way of categorizing behavior is by viewing one’s propensity to be a rule follower or a rule breaker.
The Rule Followers are the conscientious types that like details and structure. They are also steady because they resist change and want to know what to expect. The Rule Breakers can be both dominant and influential because they do whatever it takes to find a solution. They tend to be self-motivated and may not ask permission, they simply DO!
Complete tasks as outlined
Resistant to change
Dislike vague policies (insist that details be stated)
Problem solving skills
Outside the box thinkers
Work well in “grey” areas
Can appear disrespectful (or lazy)
Chafe at restrictions
Both personality types have positive and negative attributes and the categories aren’t hard and fast. Our challenge is to map out a way to get along and facilitate a positive work environment which leads to successful projects. Getting along with others, regardless of their ability to follow or break the rules and regardless of their personality, takes a wholehearted commitment to understand and respect other peoples perspective. The challenge is we rarely listen! And because we don’t listen, there is no understanding!
So, where do we go from here?
Step 1: Mutual respect
How do we express respect? We listen to other people’s point of view, we ask questions to gain understanding. Remember, we don’t lose our values or beliefs by seeking to understand; in fact, we may even gain a new insight that had not previously been considered.
Step 2: Be Honest!
When sharing, be honest and don’t say only what you believe the other wants to hear. Also, be sincere in your listening; keep your mind open to hearing and receiving the information. Sometimes the information you receive will prompt you to change, and sometimes it will validate your skills and efforts. When a compliment is given, give one back! If you aren’t ready to give an authentic compliment, then watch for an opportunity.
Step 3: Learn from your mistakes!
We all make mistakes and sometimes we have to make the same mistake multiple times to learn. Don’t try to hide your failure; the true growth in life happens here!
Step 4: Acceptance
Accept the other person’s point of view. If you have gone through these steps and the conflict hasn’t been resolved, turn your energy toward acceptance. If there are things that need modified on your behalf, wholeheartedly focus on those actions for 30 days and you will experience a life change for the better!
Whether you’re naturally a rule follower or you were born to be a rule breaker, it’s important to be able to find common ground with others, especially when experiencing personality conflicts. Treating others with respect builds trust, which is a vital part of a successful business, a happy team and a productive conservation. The next time you find yourself at opposition with another, remember these four steps and start listening!