Personality Conflicts…

Here we go…

PART 1: Personality Conflicts.


Pilots are a bunch of determined and high achieving individuals.  Why else would you spend stacks of money and put in so much work into a career.  When you put a group of people together with these common traits and combine it with a common goal – LOOK OUT!

You will at some stage in your aviation career have at least one personality conflict.  The good news is that even if you have just earned your CPL or have been flying for years – we are all trained professionals.  Sometimes we are not all on the same page, but we all have the same accountability to our licences and commitment to keeping this industry safe.

I work in close conditions with other humans.  This may be with another pilot or directly with passengers, so skills need to be developed to be able to get the job done no matter what.

Developing your confidence helps to see that experiencing a difficult personality is only temporary.

Our Tips For Reducing Personality Conflicts…

Tip 1Keep the Big Picture – Get the job done

There is no point holding a grudge over something that annoyed you then forget to put the wheels down.

Tip 2Remember That You don’t have to like everyone but can still work together if professional


Tip 3You Might Be Wrong 


Remember that your way may not be the only way.

Tip 4Don’t always assume that they are the one with the problem

Take a look at yourself regularly and see if you could have approached things differently

Tip 5Never take personal issues into the Flight Deck.

Remember people there is a time and a place!

De-identified Example

THE SITUATION –“I was flying with another pilot who made every step I made difficult.  I really did not like this person but got on with the job regardless.  Things came to a head when the other pilot’s eyesight let them down and selected an incorrect flap setting at which point we were getting towards critical stage of landing process.  I needed to raise my voice to alert the other pilot to the mistake as the big picture was that we were close to final approach.  The problem was fixed and nothing was said afterwards.

Landed without incident. “


“What I took from this was –

  1. I had tolerated the difficult behaviour which meant that when the urgent situation arose my change in tone got the immediate response that I required and meant a go around was avoided.
  2. I kept the big picture of getting the job done
  3. I realized that I still had to fly with this fellow for a few more days but not the rest of my life and this help me get over it!
  4. I picked my battle based on the best outcome for the aircraft.
  5. I found out later that this fellow had recently been through an unhappy divorce.  He obviously hadn’t read our eClass about not bringing personal issues to a flight deck!  What you can gain from this is that if you have something going on at home – don’t go to work.  There is too much at stake.”


PART 2: While Training.

For the best part of your flying training you should expect quality instructors with the appropriate credentials.  A ‘good’ instructor should have the ability to adapt to your best learning environment.  Not theirs.  Don’t forget that you are the customer.

Occasionally there may be the situation where you feel that you aren’t progressing or something just doesn’t ‘feel right’ with your instructor.  Additionally, you might feel other trainees may leave you feeling lacking in confidence with certain comments they make.

For these reasons I’m sure you’ll want some tools to address and move on.

If you ignore the problem now, it could affect your future career.  Whether in career progression and/or confidence.



What to do if you have a Personality Conflict…


  • Talk to someone more experienced before taking any action – they may have had a similar experience or know someone who did and could give advice
  • Talk to me at the Webinar or use the Pilot Advice Service!!!!
  • Try to pick a good time to speak directly before things escalate
  • Try to change instructor without making a big deal – you may work WITH them one day.
  • Possible mediation with another ‘pilot friend’.

REMEMBER – The toes you step today connected to butt that needs kissing later!  In other words be aware if you upset someone now, they may remember forever and may in on your future interview panel!

Be sure you have attempted to address as once things escalate they can go global and out of your hands.

You should expect to be treated fairly and positively.

If all other methods don’t work being in a pilot’s union can be helpful.  We will look at legal support in a future eClass.


PART 3: Aviation Peer Group Pressure.

Yes I know – we are all adults however the phenomena of peer group pressure is still possible. 


The difference in this industry is that it’s not your personal attributes but your personal actions that will be scrutinized.

This could be in the area of aircraft handling, decision making, incidents or as simple as a faux pas on the radio.  It can also be cleverly disguised as well meaning fellow trainees or CPL holders that are also searching for the illustrious first job. 

I have spoken of these well meaning ‘pilot police’ in an earlier eClass, so let’s move on to how to deal with them.

Things to be aware of…

  1. Never ASSUME that other pilots know your whole story.  Judgement can be passed on the minimum of facts.  So it could be flawed.
  2. There will be a conversation in hindsight but you have a choice on what really matters.
  3. It is possible that you may have to be the first to do something different so not necessarily wrong so GET THE JOB DONE WITH THE FACTS YOU HAVE. (eg. Diverting around weather.  By the time you get to a point it may have moved so you may be the first to divert the other way)
  4. Listen to your gut feeling not the arm chair experts
  5. Use the opinion of the ‘Pilot Police’ in a productive, motivating way.
  6. Don’t forget that when discussing someone else’s situation or misfortune to be mindful of that it could be you.
  7. On the job front, never take one person’s idea of the facts, find out for yourself.
  8. If none of this helps, talk to a mentor – this means ,e! (You have the Pilot Advice Service as part of your membership)

PART 4: Standing Your Ground.

Leading on from the sections above, at some point you will have to stand your ground. 

It could look like this…

Dealing with a difficult colleague

Making a decision that doesn’t please your boss

Taking a calculated risk on career progression

FACT: Standing your ground can be lonely place.

(But it shouldn’t hurt!)

So be sure of the bottom line –

  • Communicate what is that you are unhappy with
  • Remember that your situation could be different to others
  • Be thorough of the rules and SOP’s (standard operating procedures)
  • Be clear of your required outcome
  • Always endeavour to have regulations or facts to back you
  • Make your decision
  • Remember at the end of the day “What is the safest course of action?”
  • Get advice if you are unsure (not always possible)

When you’re sure of the bottom line – It’s easier to be confident

PART 5: Questions for You. 

  1. Have you had a personality conflict?  If so, would you handle it differently now or are you on track? 
  2. Why is it important to be aware of your future career when resolving a personality conflict?
  3. Do you think that any of this will ever happen to you?  If you answer no, then re-read or file the above because at some point some part this class will come up.
  4. Where do you get support if you have stood your ground or are thinking about it? (We hope you get this right!)


 Congratulations on completing this Eclass.  Check out below the Eclass calender to see what’s in store!

Next week’s preview…’Fatigue and the Aviation Industry…’

Find out how doing anything that you can even before you start will be of immense value to your career.

If you have any questions or comments please send them to info@ouraviationsecrets.com

Look forward to speaking with you at the Webinar.

Don’t Worry!

You will be sent the Webinar Invitation Link and Instructions closer to the time.


To Your Flying Success!

http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-156-8639FF5164CAE1AC8E9290F679F028DBCaptain Craig Baker

Airline Pilot and Pilot Safety Advocate

Eclass content will be available up to 3 months in advance. Any changes will only occur after requests from members.