Admit it: at some point in your life you have all claimed in an interview or written on your CV that you are a great team player! And yet, you can probably think of a specific colleague with whom you dread working on a project together. The reason is normally a different communication style or personality profile.
For instance, if you are a creative and quick-thinking person, you might be annoyed by someone who is rather detail-oriented and reflective. Or if you are direct and focused on goals and results, you might struggle to cooperate with someone who asks everyone for their opinion before taking a decision.
A variety of personalities brings enormous value to a team, as they all contribute through some unique strengths that others might be lacking. So as a Manager, how can you make sure that you enhance team work while avoiding potential conflicts?
The very first step is identifying those strengths. Ask yourself: what do each and every individual team member excel at? Some might be great at numbers and analysis, others at project management and presentation skills. Giving the same task to everyone and expecting the same level of performance is quite unrealistic, so diversifying and personalising tasks is key.
Based on the above, what is the best task I could assign to that person? We tend to focus a lot of energy on how to improve our team members’ weaknesses and sometimes we give their assets for granted. Make sure you consistently give everyone the chance to shine!
In the context of a team project, what opposite skills do you recognise within your team? How can you make sure everyone brings those skills to the table? How can you facilitate mutual support between peers?
Finally, remember to monitor your own communication style. Are you rather direct or indirect, formal or informal? How can you mirror the style of your team members to communicate smoothly? Make a conscious effort to flex your style and you’ll see magic happen. For example, if you are very loud and talkative, try to remain silent for once with that quieter team member. They will surely surprise you!
To conclude, strong teamwork and a positive working atmosphere among colleagues and between employees and Manager represent indispensable pillars to sustain the growth of a business. They generate engagement, motivation, enthusiasm and pro-activity, which translate into both efficiency and quality of work.
We are experts in communication training and certified to conduct DiSC® Behavioural Assessments, a widely recognized tool to promote inter-team communication and cooperation.