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Working with Teams – the Personalities

Teams have Personalities

It takes some time to get to know your team members.  Take the time to listen actively to what is being said and who is saying what.  Active listening takes effort.  You are just no listening for what is said, but also for what is not being said.  Listen to see the following:  Who speaks first and last.  Who gets quiet when others speak.  Who participates and who does not and when they are doing each.  Who continues to restate their point even if others are not listening. Who is trying to summarize. Who is working to achieve unity.  Who is stubborn.

By actively listening you can quickly figure out who will work with you, how they will contribute and who will put up roadblocks.  You will learn how to work with each of them to avoid the negatives that they may bring.  You can approach each person or topic using the flexible and creative styles that you may have in your talent mix.

Don’t go in with one way of getting things done. Avoid placing all of your efforts into one type of interaction.  Work with the team to get past the road blocks that may arise.

How to work with or against differing personalities

Let’s say that one person on the team comes in with a predisposed perspective as to the conclusion of the topics that you need to discuss.  They already have their mind made up and they are trying to bully their way to a quick conclusion.  They just think that the team is inconvenient demand placed on them by management in order to make it seem democratic.  They may say “We all know that ABC is the answer so lets cut to the end and be done.”

I would suggest that you ask a lot of questions to get the entire team thinking about the outcome.  Ask about the pros and cons of the ABC answer.  You could say “ABC may be the answer and it has viable components, but we really should take a full look at the question so that management knows that we have done our homework”, then start asking questions.  Get the team to start talking and they will soon uncover some area that has not been fully explored.  Once you uncover something, the team will start discussing other options and you may get past the “quick answer” perspective.

There are many more personalities that are involved in teams.  I have just scratched the surface.

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