No matter the realm of your operations, you are going to eventually be working within a team. With a larger group, more personalities will come to the table – and with a greater number of personalities, we see an increase of ego, thirst for power, miscommunication and lack of vision.
This also proves true when working with remote teams over a great number of geographic regions. Some of the questions we may ask ourselves are: What kind of problems will we face as a team? What can we do to identify potential issues? But, the most important question will always be: How will we overcome these issues – or avoid them altogether? Let’s dig into some basic points of attention:
The larger the team, the harder it is to communicate. This often happens as personalities clash and respect begins to dwindle. If people communicate differently, deadlines are regularly missed, projects are delayed, and objectives are non-transparent. Without understanding, misinformation reigns supreme. As power struggles ensue, productivity and quality tend to fall below expectation. Understanding the personalities of each team member and how they naturally interact will help the team better communicate. Whether a person is a more visual learner or they need to be presented clearly with the facts, knowing your team will allow for more effective communication and unity throughout.
When people work towards a common goal, share a similar ambition and have the same vision, you tend to see teams work more passionately, more aggressively and with a heightened amount of productivity. When members of that team have a different focus, projects may take a different direction than originally intended, and progress itself begins to slow down. From the very beginning, teams should find common ground and work towards a common goal. This needs to be implemented into scope and revisited regularly. Without a common value, there is no vision and without vision, there is no direction.
Without taking the time to assess what matters most to other members of your team, conflict is inevitable. Without trying to understand the other members of your team and why they want to go another route, you will never be able to solve your problem. If conflict continues to remain unsolved amongst the team, whether with your current project, in the workspace or on future production, eventually people will quit, processes will become sabotaged and actual altercations may come into fruition. A negative environment is no place to work, passion will be lost in the meantime, and worse, any negative impact to the customer can be detrimental to the company. The best solution is to try to understand other members of your team, why they want to do things a certain way, why things are important and then make certain compromise.
With too many chiefs at the table, who do you go to for final authority? Likewise, if everyone is doing their own thing -- or doing the same thing – how does anything get done? If too many people are engaging in market research, for example, there is going to be a lot of wasted time and redundant information collected. If there is more than one leader, who will actually take charge to lead the team? If administration continues to rely on the other administrators to file key documentation, or everyone files that documentation at once, the team looks unprofessional, clients become confused (losing trust in your brand) and certain procedures might be neglected. Creating an internal hierarchy will allow for better delegation of tasks and team members will better understand their roles and responsibilities.
Leadership is considered ineffective if there are no controls set in place. Without an effective leader, communication plummets, quality isn’t upheld, conflict isn’t resolved and the project has no direction. We have leaders in place in order to better guide and support the team, create balance, stay up on tasks, and make sure the project is thoroughly done with client satisfaction. The leader should understand each person on their team, what makes them tick and how to better motivate them to succeed. A leader who cannot do this is ineffective and should be replaced immediately.
If teams took the time to get to know each other better, they would be better off. Understanding the motivations, core strengths and values of one another, they will be able to work together with heightened potential. Members can be grouped based on areas they are more passionate about and the areas in which they thrive. Weaknesses can actually be embraced, developed or minimized based on the work being delegated. Communication will improve, productivity will increase, and the work environment will remain positive. Knowing your team is the hardest part; the rest will fall into place.
Start opening lines of communication for better understanding your team with personality and team-based assessments today!
Written by: Jessica N. Abraham
+1 (330) 599-5580