If you work with even one other person, we’re sure the relationship is not entirely frustration-free. Perhaps you’re the business brain and your partner is the creative – it’s great that you compliment one another, but it doesn’t always lead to easy conversations..Add a full team into the mix and you suddenly have a whole host of skills and personalities to contend with. Whether you’re the manager of a large team or even looking for assistance with how to deal with family members, giving some
If you work with even one other person, we’re sure the relationship is not entirely frustration-free. Perhaps you’re the business brain and your partner is the creative – it’s great that you compliment one another, but it doesn’t always lead to easy conversations..
Add a full team into the mix and you suddenly have a whole host of skills and personalities to contend with. Whether you’re the manager of a la
rge team or even looking for assistance with how to deal with family members, giving some thought to working alongside others is always worthwhile.
Here, we explore why team dynamics is so important, how this plays into your own self-awareness and also take a look at the well-known Wilson Social Styles to enable you to work more smoothly with others’ differences.
Working in a team is inevitable
From the minute you entered a classroom, you will have been expected to interact and get along with others in as harmonious a way as possible. Friendship groups you choose, work teams you don’t choose and the family you can’t control: working well with others is crucial to making your life as easy as possible. Even if you are a more solitary person who has perhaps chosen self-employment, there will still be people you need to work closely with in the form of clients and customers; accountants and delivery drivers. To put it bluntly, there is no escape from other people so the more effort put into understanding how someone else thinks, the smoother-sailing your own life will be.
Being aware of others’ personalities will lead to greater self-awareness of your own.
And vice-versa. We know ‘self-awareness’ can be a little overused these days but it’s not all journalling, mindfulness and yoga. Having a strong sense of self is empowering within a work environment, especially if you happen to work in a more traditional industry or organisation where you may feel the need to temper down your personality somewhat in the office. Knowing what skills and roles fit you and your character best will help you excel in projects and stand out from your colleagues.
If you manage a team or simply work alongside others the majority of the time, being able to identify others strengths and weaknesses in a team dynamic will make leadership easier, improve communication and help identify potentially strong partnerships you may have overlooked before.
How personality tests can make teamwork easier
We’re sure that at some point you will have completed a personality test. Whether for fun in a magazine or a more serious requirement for a job interview, people are always fascinated by the idea of ‘labelling’ themselves and others.
Everyone has their own unique motivators and experiences which are impossible to try and get to the bottom of: a personality test provides a nice clear box to put yourself in.
For example, if you know you’re the kind of person who needs a clear deadline to work well, but your manager/teammate can never pin down a specific date, you’re likely to come across problems. To your mind, the other person is deliberately making your life difficult by being too laid-back; yet to their mind you are a control-freak who can’t self-manage.
Imagine what a little background understanding can do in this type of situation. For a start, it will put fault-finding out the window and will enable you both to have more constructive conversations that hopefully satisfy both of your requirements. Knowing even vaguely how both yourself and someone else could be motivated in a work environment can only make interactions more positive and less stressful.
Another way in which success doesn’t have to be stressful…
Wilson Social Styles
Wilson Learning created the four Social Styles in order to bring about higher productivity, better relationships and more effective collaboration in the work environment. It takes into consideration the following two factors:
Assertiveness: the degree to which a person attempts to control situations or the thoughts/actions of others.
Responsiveness: the readiness with which a person outwardly displays emotions/feelings and develops relationships.
30 questions ask you to place yourself on a scale of 1-4 on various factors (for example, are you more quiet or talkative; impulsive or reserved?) and the results will place you in one of four categories:
Analytical (Low responsiveness, low assertiveness): Logically ordering and analysing data
Amiable (High responsiveness low assertiveness): Emotional and personal reactions to experiences
Driver (Low responsiveness, high assertiveness): Quick reactions to here and now sensory input
Expressive (High responsiveness, high assertiveness): Imagination and thought
If yourself and the team you work with are each able to understand your own and others social style, this can be the first step to improving your team dynamics.
As an example, if you are Analytical and a team member is Amiable, it may be tricky to agree on priorities but you should be able to work together well on the pace at which a project should be undertaken. This is most likely to be the dynamic in the previous example above: an analytical member of the team will need the attention to detail a deadline provides, whilst the amiable colleague will be too passive to pin anything down.
Knowing that there are overlapping areas of agreement will at least reassure you both you won’t be continually butting heads!
Whilst this is a very brief overview of one way of evaluating and improving team dynamics, Wilson’s Social Styles have a lot to add to this field and at NMIOB we find it an especially helpful way to make a start on business and team coaching.
If you’d like to learn more about the social styles and how we can help you and your team perform and achieve more, get in touch with us at nomoreifsorbuts.com.