‘We are not a team because we work together , we are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.’
This is my favourite team quote, but I still think we ask a lot of teams. Basically, a team is a group of people from different backgrounds and with different lifestyles who often only have work in common – and we expect them to work well together.
Being a team manager means trying to ensure that your team is happy, productive and motivated, which is far from easy. Sometimes everything goes really well. At other times, there are difficulties. These can be due to:
- Poor communication
- Mismatch of skills and roles
- Line Management style
- A ‘personality clash’ amongst team members
Teams need different personalities.
On the one hand they need individuals who have creative approaches, and who will kick start new ideas and projects.
On the other hand they need individuals who can ensure agreed and tested procedures are followed, and who will be finishers.
On the one hand they need individuals who have a clear sense of direction ,and can forge ahead.
On the other hand they need individuals who can check for consensus, and make sure team members are happy and on board.
It is a big challenge for team managers to channel these different personalities, and to ensure that through effective communication and maximum use of individual strengths the team is not only productive but happy and motivated.
The last few months have thrown yet another challenge at team managers – teams working remotely. Personality influences how an individual will cope with remote working and what will trigger stress.
One personality type will need to plan the day, build in breaks and create a dedicated workspace. They will find lack of structure, or lack of information and understanding a trigger for stress.
Another personality type will need to stay connected and ensure they do not blur the lines between work and home. They will find sudden change and time pressure a trigger for stress.
A third personality type will need to be able to share and celebrate success. They will find lack of involvement and influence a trigger for stress.
A fourth personality type will need to create daily actions and new opportunities. They will find lack of focus and indecisiveness a trigger for stress.
It is important for team managers to maintain an understanding of how different personalities in their teams will react to different ways of working so that they can continue to get the best out of their staff.
Picking up that individual team members are suffering stress is far more difficult to do remotely, but being aware of the link between different personalities and stress triggers will help considerably.
Clarity 4D uses colour to describe different personality types, which is easy to understand and easy to make a common language within an organisation.
Based on Clarity 4D, I can help with hints and tips for remote team management, and with ideas for heading off stress caused by remote working. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further.