There are not many jobs that do not require teamwork in some way, shape, or form. As a leader, it is especially important to function well in a team and help the teams you supervise to function effectively. One of the keys to successful team performance is building a diverse, complementary team. How do you do that?
Each team member will bring their personality, experience, and talents to the team. As a leader, you may have a tendency to hire people that are like you. It's a natural tendency because we will see in others what we admire in ourselves. The danger in that is your team will have all of your strengths and ALL of your weaknesses! On the other hand, when teams are diverse, strengths and weaknesses are balanced. Here are three types of people who you definitely want to have on your team:
Strengths: This team member likes to get things done. They keep the group on task and focused on the goal at hand. They do not like to waste time and take pride in accomplishments, big or small. The doer takes action and gets results.
Weaknesses: Doers tend to move quickly, sometimes too quickly. Rather than analyzing all options available, they may jump on the first idea for the sake of getting things done. Doers may make other team members feel rushed. Doers are often impatient with others who do not move as quickly as they do.
Strengths: This team member does not make a decision until all options have been identified and analyzed. Thinkers conduct research and look for examples to follow. Thinkers may play "devil's advocate" to help identify the weaknesses in a plan so that they can be addressed up front rather than after implementation. Thinkers plan out the details and write them down.
Weaknesses: Thinkers are often perceived as slow or indecisive. They may spend too much time planning and not enough time doing. Thinkers irritate doers.
Strengths: This team member is the champion of the team. They provide encouraging words and respond to the social and emotional needs of group members. Cheerleaders stay positive and highlight the strengths in others. They help doers and thinkers to get along. (This team member usually advocates for snacks and refreshments at meetings!) Cheerleaders often make the interpersonal connections necessary to make plan implementation effective. They are the "people-person".
Weaknesses: Cheerleaders can be seen as wishy-washy and touchy-feely. They will go along with the ideas of doers or thinkers and may feel guilty about picking sides. Cheerleaders can be overly emotional and can seem distracted or off-task. They may have issues with time management and make team meetings run long.
Every team member has strengths and weaknesses, but an effective team acknowledges these and balances them. Is your team dysfunctional? Contact me for a team assessment!