help teams shine

3 Personalities That Help Teams Shine

There’s something inherently powerful about a group of individuals working together to accomplish a common goal. Business is no different. Teams are at the core of how business gets done. As the manager of a team of professionals, there are a lot of questions I constantly ask myself. How do I help teams shine? How do I help them work together more effectively to be more productive? How do I challenge them to develop, both personally and professionally?

Teams are at the core of how business gets done.

To some degree, managing a team is a game of compromises. You can’t please everyone all the time, and there’s an element of give-and-take when planning team meetings, strategy sessions, brainstorms, etc. However, with the right leadership strategies, you can empower your team of individuals to combine their strengths toward shared success and help teams shine.

Celebrating Your Team’s Differences

With so much emphasis placed on teamwork, it’s important to remember that each member of our team is a unique individual with their own work style, preferences, likes and dislikes. Unfortunately, Instead of recognizing and celebrating these differences, we often try to shoehorn things like collaboration into one big, team-wide mold.

It isn’t so much about catering to each team member’s individual whims. Rather, it’s about understanding what makes each of your team comfortable enough to perform at their highest level.

Consider some of the following unique personalities, and how their differences — not their similarities — help teams shine.

Consider some of the following unique personalities, and how their differences — not their similarities — make them shine in a team environment.

The Brilliant Introvert

Since my team is primarily made up of creative professionals, we’ve got somewhat boisterous personalities, to say the least. However, occasionally a team member will join us that bucks that trend. More reserved than outspoken, it can be easy to think that they’re lost or disinterested in team gatherings because they rarely, if ever, speak up.

That idea persists until you get a follow-up email from them with a brilliant insight that breaks the entire problem open.

As the team leader, you must provide more reserved employees with an outlet that makes them feel comfortable, such as a consistent post-meeting email thread or a shared team workspace. This ensures that no ideas get lost and that you’re not only listening to the loudest voices in the room.

Speaking of which…

The Loudest Voice in the Room

With boisterous personalities come big, bombastic ideas. There’s always that person on your team that thrives in group settings, regardless of the meeting’s size or purpose. They are consistently the first voice that addresses any problem or question.

This person can be invaluable to you, and getting them into their comfort zone—that is, out of their cubicle and in front of a whiteboard or webcam—should be a priority when attacking new projects or problems. It’s also important to rein them in and keep them on task once the spotlight is off; setting up accountability through visible goals and action items is the key to unlocking this team member’s potential.

The Preparer

This team member is a diligent researcher and outliner. Their love of being prepared is only matched by their hatred of being caught off-guard. Similar to the introvert, they may not provide many new ideas during your meeting, but they can quickly become your go-to for adding valuable business intelligence to your decision-making process.

It’s important not to spring things on this team member. Once you approach them with a question or problem, give them time to pull their information and insights together. And again, giving this team member a place where their work can be shared, like an online team project space, is the key to unlocking their potential and maximizing their value to your team.

It’s up to managers to learn and understand how each of our team members works best with others and to facilitate those preferences and strengths to bring out the best in our people.

I’ve learned that collaboration — or more specifically, collaborators — are all different. For my fellow managers, it’s up to us to learn and understand how each of our team members works best with others and to facilitate those preferences and strengths to help teams shine.

Sean O’Brien is the strategic voice of PGi, managing the company’s internal and external communications, including his role as the primary spokesperson for PGi. He works directly with PGi Chairman and CEO Boland T. Jones, President Ted Schrafft and the executive team to craft and communicate PGi’s vision, strategy and corporate objectives. In addition, Sean is responsible for identifying, analyzing and completing corporate development opportunities, including strategic investments, mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining PGi in 2003, Sean had a successful Wall Street career spanning equity research, sales and investment management. This financial background and his unique talent for strategic communications make him a strong voice for PGi in the marketplace, where he helps foster a two-way dialogue between the company and current and potential investors, media outlets and the analyst community. Sean lives with his wife and two daughters in Alpharetta, Georgia. He is an avid supporter of the arts and has sat on the boards of the Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet and Ballet Arizona. He also served on the boards of various non-profit organizations, including Safe Haven Family Center in Nashville and Atlanta’s Next Wave Society of the Georgia Aquarium, and volunteers with Junior Achievement of Georgia.

  • waltersabo

    The term “team” and “team member” is repulsive to introverts. Repulsive. Having to sit in a group with a bunch of boisterous stage stealers is a horror and depletes the introvert’s energy and ideas.

    A “group room” is horrible. Unless you’re running an NFL franchise, the team concept is repulsive to many of the people you want to nourish.

  • Leanne HoaglandSmith

    From my almost 20 years of experience, most people truly do not know what they do well. Hundreds of opportunities are missed because of this lack of knowledge and because people waste incredible energy focusing on what they do not know well (past negative conditioning). Until people are truly assessed, they are working on the presumptions of others and their own false beliefs. Also Dan Pink in his book brought into the conversation the ambivert – a mixture of introvert and extrovert. This actually shows up within the DISC profile.

  • There’s a more human way to do business.

    In the Social Age, it’s how we engage with customers, collaborators and strategic partners that matters; it’s how we create workplace optimism that sets us apart; it’s how we recruit, retain (and repel) employees that becomes our differentiator. This isn’t a “people first, profits second” movement, but a “profits as a direct result of putting people first” movement.

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