As a manager, do you find a real variation in the personalities of the team of staff that you manage? This probably gets you thinking what the best approach is with each employee. Or maybe as an employee, what differences or similarities do you find between you and your colleagues? Other common questions I hear are ‘what makes a team successful?’ ‘how do we deal with conflict?’ ‘how do we create a high performing team?’ ‘how can we set it up so everyone wins?’ These are common questions to consider when building and working with a successful team. So how about discovering what makes your employees tick and how to create a successful team?
I recently have had the pleasure to facilitate our Maximizing Team Effectiveness Training with a client at multiple office locations across Canada. They are being proactive by taking a great approach in implementing our Team Effectiveness Training at all new locations prior to opening. This is a great way to set up a team to succeed by getting to know each other’s true temperament from the start, how they can collaborate successfully with one another and build a high performing team. Now, you may be curious how we do that and what would that include.
The purpose of this blog is to share with you key insights to the value of knowing your employee’s traits and understanding their profile type. It includes a few basic steps to creating a successful, high performing team along with ways to improve the underperformers.
Think in terms of a puzzle… Teams are built in a similar way with multiple pieces (the employees) that make up the bigger picture (the organization). Identifying factors that make new teams gel and dysfunctional teams more productive can be accomplished through assessing each individuals temperament, understanding personality styles, gaining insight to each person’s strengths and developmental areas and how this influences their style of communicating and relating, and identifying key actions to leverage the strength in each person which supports the success of the team as a whole.
The first step is to assess each employee and identify their own personal traits. This can be done using the McQuaig Word Survey which identifies four main traits including Dominant/Accepting, Social/Analytical, Relaxed/Driving, and Compliant/Independent. In the Team Effectiveness Trainings that I facilitate, I see participants awaken to a whole new level of self-discovery and self-awareness when they read through their own Word Survey report, affirming how accurate and insightful it is. They gain new insight to how their trait scores compare to how they perceive them self and how those traits play out within their team in positive or negative ways.
Personal Profile Types
The second step is to understand the person’s Profile Type which is identified with their Word Survey as each person is a specific profile. The McQuaig Profile Types include two categories, the Generalist and the Specialist, with multiple Profile Types that fall under each of those categories. This provides insight to how and why an employee is successful in their role, may be failing miserably or anything in between. It also provides the opportunity to see the different Profile Types that exist on your team and how they work successfully together along with areas they may be challenged. The great thing is that each team member can identify more effective ways to communicate and how to be on the team in order to build a high performing team and succeed together.
The third step is to assess each employee’s opportunity for personal development including what their natural strengths are and where they need to focus to develop further. The Self-Development Report provides a detailed list of the person’s strengths and areas that they need to work on in relation to their traits. In the Team Effectiveness Training we identify how each person can apply their strengths and draw on each other for those areas of expertise and in turn build a high performing, empowered team.
SMART Team Goals
The fourth step is two parts; 1) having each team member create a personal action plan, setting SMART goals, and indicating one action from the Self-Development report that they are willing to commit to in order to be a valuable contribution to the team and fulfill their piece of the puzzle and 2) having the team create a team action plan with SMART goals and indicating one action the team is willing to achieve together. Each person will realize the value that their contribution is and in turn strive to be a top performer.
In summary, as a manager, understanding each member of your team based on their natural temperament and profile type can simplify your approach for managing and developing employees along with supporting the team in being successful. In turn, as an employee, understanding yourself at a higher level will also assist you in understanding others and your similarities and differences, which will support you in your success as a high performing team. Providing team effectiveness to your work environment with the use of assessments identifies with accuracy and improves performance and end results.