Does Your Team Make Music Or Noise?
Think for a minute, if you will, of a philharmonic orchestra. Made up of between 70 and 100 musicians, playing up to 24 different instruments, a well-led orchestra produces harmonious and beautiful music that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. The secret of how this happens lies heavily in the “well-led” part. A great conductor understands each of the different musicians in his orchestra, and the sounds their various instruments produce. He knows exactly how to ensure they each perform at the right time, in complete harmony with the other musicians. A conductor lacking in this innate understanding creates disharmony among his players, with predictable, ear-shattering results.
It’s the same in business. Every company, every department, every team, is made up of different people with different personality types. The potential for discord, conflict and failure is huge. And yet, the solution is not to avoid cognitive diversity. In fact, numerous research studies show that it actually improves, not undermines, team performance. It just has to be managed properly. And the secret to doing that is to understand the different personality types making up your team, as well as the strengths and skills each type brings to the table. Then all you have to do is get them to play the same tune at the same time!
Understanding Group Dynamics
“Group Dynamics” is not a new thing. Social psychologist and change management specialist Kurt Lewin is generally credited with having first coined the phrase way back in the 1940s. Since then, countless research, building on Lewin’s original observations, has been done, and his early findings are still central to good management practices today.
Research shows that when teams have a positive group dynamic, team members are almost twice as creative as a group with an average or poor dynamic. They trust each other, hold one another accountable for the results they achieve, and work towards a collective goal.
Teams with a poor dynamic, on the other hand, exhibit disruptive behaviours. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to come to any kind of unified decision. Poor group dynamics often stem from a failure to appreciate and understand the different personalities within a group, and how to get the best from each of those personality types.
The Role Of Personality In Team Performance
There is so much more to “team fit” than skills and experience. Increasingly, studies show that our personality plays a significant role in how our team performs. It also helps determine what role we have within our team, and how we interact with the other members. You may find that several member of your team have similar work backgrounds in terms of expertise and technical experience. And yet, this doesn’t make you all the same kind of person, and there may often be significant compatibility issues between you.
Each person in your team actually has two roles to play. The first is a functional role. This is based on their job description and technical skill, and applies to the actual, physical job they are employed to do. The second is a psychological role, and this is all to do with the kind of person they are.
Problems arise when too much emphasis is placed on functional roles. We see this played out all to often on the sports field, when a team performs consistently dismally, despite having some of the most talented players available. But if there’s no psychological synergy, and if their manager isn’t someone who understands the different personalities of the players and knows how to get the best out of each one, it’s impossible to achieve great results. In business, forward thinking HR practitioners have learned to ensure there is synergy between functional and psychological roles.
Enneagram – Helping You Understand Your Team’s Personality Types
You don’t have to be a trained psychologist to understand your own personality type – and those of your team. Enneagram uncovers the patterns and focus that subconsciously drive and motivate our actions. It’s an essential tool for relationship building, conflict resolution and improved team dynamics. In simple terms, it explains why we behave the way we do, highlighting nine distinct personality types and their different points of view.
People’s perspective is their reality, and when you see a situation through someone else’s eyes, you gain a far deeper understanding of their motivations and behaviours.
To help you see just how effective Enneagram is at defining personalities, take this shortened (but highly accurate) version of our Integrative Questionnaire. You’ll receive an analysis report telling you into which of the nine personality categories you fall, and the characteristics of that personality. Once you’ve taken the quiz yourself, why not share it with others in your team?
PLEASE NOTE >> This quiz aims to give you a reasonable indication of your personality type. We highly recommend that you and your team members take the full Enneagram Personality Profile for more robust results that we can help you workshop with your team.
Please contact Ellen Edwards from Emediate People Practices on 0829402486 or email@example.com to book a meeting to discuss your team’s specific needs and to experience the amazing impact on team dynamics and productivity.