A leader, whether in a business context or otherwise, cannot do everything himself or herself. In a team environment, each member relies on the other to accomplish the goal of the collective. As such, a team is only as strong as its weakest member.
High-functioning teams build each other up by complementing individual members’ strengths and collectively overcoming weaknesses. As a leader, you are responsible for facilitating this development. Knowing how to create the best environment for collaboration and open communication can be tricky. Here are a few tips for how to build different personalities into a cohesive team.
Center the Team Around a Mission
The “why” of any team is important. Knowing the reason that a team exists is a prerequisite for members buying into the framework. Establish firm targets for success that can be measured and, therefore, celebrated once they are met. Everybody likes to feel like their efforts mean something, so when everyone is on board with a collective vision of what success looks like, they are much more willing to make the necessary efforts to reach those goals.
Identifying Relative Strengths
Knowing your team members’ respective personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, and their interests and disinterests can help you determine how to allocate tasks, both daily and long-term, to your team.
A large part of organizing any team into an effective unit is to delegate responsibilities to the right person, meaning the worker most likely to produce outstanding results while gaining personal job satisfaction from the role.
Unfortunately, many workplace issues simmer underneath the surface so that leaders might not even be aware that they exist. Creating a healthy way for employees to air their frustrations and, ultimately, to resolve intra-team conflicts is important. You can do this with an anonymous feedback system through which team members can voice their concerns without fear of retaliation from other team members or leadership.
It may help to use a tool like the Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument before actual issues occur. This tool helps people understand how they react to disagreements and differing goals. It can also help you understand your team members and how they might work together—or not—when tension arises.
Set the Example of Teamwork as a Leader
Being a member of any group that relies on one another for success necessarily means some level of sacrifice. The only question is how much a team member is willing to sacrifice to make the team’s success possible. As a leader, you can set the tone by “practicing what you preach”. Your team members will pick up on your dedication and likely emulate it.
These are just a few ways to integrate different personalities into a high-performing team. As you build your team, try to understand them both as individuals and a larger group. See how they work together and what their goals are. This will help you build the most effective and successful possible.