Modern Management Skills Based on Your Teams’ Personality

Boost your management skills through understanding more about the personalities in your team. This enables you to understand what drives and motivates them at work. It also provides insight into their behaviour and reactions. As a result you can learn to adapt your management skills for each individual.

More and more focus these days is being placed on using the strengths of team members. Less emphasis is placed on to trying to develop their weaknesses. This has implications for your management skills. Employees are more engaged and committed when they are doing work in line with their preferences and strengths. So you need to hone your management skills.

There are a vast number of personality theories.  A single post cannot do justice to any one of the theories. However, for ease of use I have decided to purely focus very briefly on the Belbin team roles.

Belbin believed that balanced teams perform better. “Balanced” refers to a team that is made up of people with different capabilities. Belbin wrote an insightful book called ‘Management Teams – Why They Succeed or Fail.

Belbin describes the following roles within a team:

  • The Co-ordinator: makes group objectives clear, ensures there is an agenda, establishes priorities, highlights problems, summarises the discussion. They are decisive, but not over-bearing in discussions.
  • The Shaper: guides the team effort, looks for trends and patterns in the discussions and looks at the practical aspects around the feasibility of a project. They can be very pushy, but achieve results.
  • The Plant: is the originator of ideas. They offer suggestions and proposals that are usually original and revolutionary.
  • The Monitor-Evaluator: contributes a well-considered and objective analysis which enables the team to make well-thought through decisions. Thereby minimising risks.
  • The Implementer: turns decisions and strategies into specific and manageable tasks, clarifying objectives and pursuing them logically.
  • The Resource Investigator: explores other sources outside of the team for ideas, information and developments. They then bring this information back to the group. They are generally the team’s sales-person, representative and explorer.
  • The Team Worker: likes to gain co-operation and will find ways to minimise conflict and disruption in the team, especially in times of stress and pressure.
  • The Finisher: maintains a continuous sense of urgency and is persistent regarding monitoring and follow-through.

As you well know, each of these roles is essential for a high-functioning team. It is important to ensure that each team member is utilised in a way that plays to their strengths. Most of us have 2-3 roles that are strong. Other roles score much lower. Determine individual roles  by completing the questionnaire.

In reality we will not always have a team consisting of eight people. What is important though, is to ensure that within the team there are members who cover all eight roles. Often some people are quite able to perform more than one role in a team. In small teams in particular, people are often quite comfortable to assume more than one role.

Let us consider one or two examples: e.g If you give a person who is predominantly a Plant, the role of Finisher they will most certainly become demotivated. The Plant is creative and loves coming up with new ideas but will want someone else to run with the implementation thereof. Implementation will bore them.

In a team under stress it is the Team Worker who will find ways to bring harmony back into the team. Do not however expect the Shaper to be the person to facilitate peace and calm. The Shaper is too driven to achieve results often ignoring the softer issues within the group.

Team roles can be used too to resolve certain challenges e.g. Poor team performance calls for a strong Co-ordinator or Finisher. A team where there is a lot of conflict needs a Team worker or good Co-ordinator. Teams that are just performing in a very average way need a Resource Investigator or Shaper to bring in new ideas or energy.

As managing director you will know what your business needs in terms of the phase of growth the company is in. e.g. if you have strong competitors you will rely strongly on a Resource Investigator with good ideas.

So you need to be clear on what team skills and roles are most needed for the business but also what team roles each of the members can play.

Where there are people there will be dissension and friction. This can most certainly be minimised through understanding and valuing individual differences and strengths. Business mentoring will help you to identify the strengths of your team members and to find ways to best capitalise on these to give your business a competitive edge.

Posted in Management.