November 10, 2013   by

It takes all kinds of people to make up a Chama. You are going to gather a variety of personalities as you recruit members into your Chama. Although it may be tempting to try to make all your Chama members fit into a basic personality mold, effective leadership respects member differences and looks for the positive strengths in every member of the Chama. Deal with different personalities as a leader to strengthen your Chama. The truth is, not everyone on your Chama is going to approach things the same way. To succeed as a Chama, everyone has to look beyond the differences in personality and opinion to get things done. That is not always easy. Clashing personalities can hurt morale in the Chama. When leading a group like this that has different people with different outlooks; here are some wise tips.

The quiet one

This person may just be shy, bored, tired or unsure of themselves. The quiet Chama member who keeps to himself may have deep and valuable ideas bubbling around inside. Often the creative type with amazing ideas, this person’s gifts and intelligence can benefit a Chama. Make a special effort to draw this person out; ask for their opinion on something; ask them something about themselves; tell the person you appreciate their participation. Slowly drawing them out like this can unleash their potential.

Likes to argue

This is a person who is critical of ideas, the Chama and other Chama members. For whatever reason they disrupt the positive flow in meetings by arguing. They may think they are a know-it-all who only thinks their way is the right way. They may feel under appreciated so they put down everyone else. If the person is critical of ideas, use that response to test the work the Chama is doing to see if this person is actually providing good feedback. If they are critical of others, tell them the effect that is having on both the Chama and individual Chama members. Be clear about the fact that their behavior is harmful to the overall goals of the team.

The Complainer

This type of Chama member seems to have a problem with everything. They may even complain just for the sake of complaining. Whatever deeply seated the roots of their behavior it is disruptive and leads to an unproductive Chama. Listen to the person’s complaint and if it is true, set aside time to solve the problem. Point out that complaining is not good for the Chama. Comment towards solving the problem. Ask the person to join with you to improve whatever is disturbing them.

The Optimist

Everyone loves this person because she is funny, witty and optimistic. This Chama member often feels most comfortable in the spotlight, showcasing her clever wit and interesting ideas. Use the optimism of this person to set a positive tone in the Chama. This person may need coaching on staying organized, planning details and being punctual for meetings, but she can be wonderfully creative and has excellent people skills.

The Take-Charge

Your take-charge Chama member has capable skills that make her a natural leader. She bristles when given directives and commands, even from those in authority. She makes decisions easily, applies logic effectively and may even think she is above the rules. Use the energy of this Chama member to motivate and energize the Chama. This person may have trouble over-extending herself, with too many time constraints, but she makes an effective leader and would make a great deputy-chairman for the Chama. You can coach her to step into your shoes in your absence and you can be sure that she will do an excellent job.


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