One of the most common questions during the hiring process is the classic ‘how will this person fit in with our culture?’ In order to improve team dynamics, it’s critical to find an answer to this question for each new hire – and it’s even more important to put this understanding to use.
At McQuaig, we call the relationship between personality traits ‘blending.’ Using the theory of blending, we can dive deeper into understanding how individuals might act during tasks on the job. We’re also able to see how one employee’s personality might interact with other personalities on the team. This understanding is one of the key strategies to improve team dynamics: the more insight you have into the natural temperament of your team, the more effectively you can position employees to naturally do their best.
One way to observe this is by looking at two different, but similar, McQuaig profiles. For example, if you looked at the profiles of a Generalist and a Pioneer, you might see a noticeable difference on their Social/Analytical scale. You’d likely notice that both of these people seem to be equally self-starting and driven to complete their work, but perhaps one is much more comfortable speaking in public than another. In this example, you’d be seeing that Social/Analytical difference in action.
You can also see blending patterns at work within a single personality profile. Multiple people who share the same profile could seem surprisingly different at first glance. That’s because their unique blend of traits emphasizes certain characteristics of their temperament while dampening others. One person might see a project roadblock as a problem that inhibits progress, while another person views it as an exciting challenge. On the surface, these two people might seem like they have drastically different temperaments, even though they might share an equal amount of drive and conviction to overcome the roadblock.
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So how does knowing all this help you to improve team dynamics? The key is understanding how blending patterns in individuals can affect the team as a whole. By using a combination of assessment tool data and in-person interactions with your employees, you’ll get a better handle on your employees’ work and communication preferences. How does each person tackle projects? How do they prefer to be communicated to, and how often? Becoming familiar with the answers to these questions – and acting on them – can lead to the entire team feeling truly understood, supported, and motivated to do an amazing job.
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Remember that these answers will differ from person to person – even between people who share the same personality profile. And that might be the most critical piece of truly understanding blending patterns: to improve team dynamics, a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t cut it. The same personality trait could take on many forms between employees.
As a manager, it’s crucial that you’re leveraging this knowledge to take your team to new heights. Assessment tools, and the reports that come with them, can do much of the heavy lifting – but interpretation still needs that human element. Ensure you’re keeping an eye on the blending patterns of your employees, and you might be surprised to see how this understanding can make a world of difference to your team.