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Why Can't People Get Along and Just Do Their Job?

Nov 11, 2011

By Dr. Sabrina Schleicher


Each personality type has an Achilles Heel. Left unchecked, your Achilles Heel will undermine you and keep you from attaining what you want most in life. Is your Achilles Heel wreaking havoc in your life?


Dr. Jones,* the owner of a busy private practice, is a Leader-People type on the PeoplemapTM Personality Questionnaire. He is known throughout his community as a caring, compassionate physician. He has strong personal values about how people should be treated. Dr. Jones regularly expresses his appreciation for his employees. In spite of his strengths in communicating and motivating others, morale has been low and there's a lot of conflict among his staff. There's a lot of drama at work! Why was this happening despite Dr. Jones' best intentions?

When Dr. Jones sought my services, he shared with me what he most wanted--to serve the people of his community with exceptional care and to build a great team whom he could support in achieving their goals.


Dr. Jones expressed his frustration with the on-going drama occurring with his staff. "It seems there is always one person stirring up trouble. When that person leaves, it settles down for awhile, but then the drama starts again. Why can't people just get along and do their jobs?"

Dr. Jones kept his nose to the grindstone and tried to ignore the "office drama." He ignored the finger-pointing and accusations among members of his staff. It seemed directed at one particular staff member, but Dr. Jones didn't want to confront her. He doesn't like confrontation. This staff member regularly came in late, left early, took long breaks, made insensitive comments to patients and generally performed poorly. This had gone on for several months and the situation was getting worse, instead of better. Dr. Jones confided in me that he fantasized about closing his practice just to end the drama.


Although the rest of the staff was extremely frustrated with this particular co-worker, they were even more frustrated with Dr. Jones for not doing anything about the situation. In fact, one of Dr. Jones' best employees confided in me that she was strongly considering a job offer she recently received. Dr. Jones had more problems on his hands than he even realized!

What was at the root of these problems in Dr. Jones' office? Dr. Jones' Achilles Heel was undermining the very thing he wanted most and wreaking havoc in his business. What he most wanted was a harmonious workplace where everyone got along. Instead, he had on-going office drama that just wouldn't go away.


What is Dr. Jones' Achilles Heel that kept undermining him despite his best intentions? Dr. Jones is overly concerned about the needs of others and he does not want to offend anyone. He was reluctant to confront his staff member because he did not want to upset her. In spite of her chronic poor performance, he did not want to fire her because she had a family to support. Dr. Jones was so focused on her needs that he was neglecting his own! Dr. Jones certainly had some challenges in front of him. He needed a lot of support to address his Achilles Heel as he turned the situation around. He did it. And, he learned valuable lessons along the way that he continues to apply.


*Dr. Jones is a fictitious name. The situation described above is compiled from several clients with whom I have worked. This scenario is one I hear often.


Dr. Sabrina Schleicher is a business and executive coach, corporate trainer and licensed psychologist. A certified PeoplemapTM Trainer and ChangeWorks® Practitioner, she owns Tap the Potential LLC, a coaching firm specializing in coaching and training to empower individuals and organizations to thrive! To receive more pointers about workplace communication, team-building and employee engagement, sign-up for Dr. Schleicher's newsletter at

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