How Personality Types Can Help You Build Better Teams

How Personality Types Can Help You Build Better Teams

Personality types shape teams and can ultimately lead to the success or demise of a project or other corporate initiative. Comprised of a variety of types: quiet or loud, introverted or extroverted, compliant or argumentative, the best teams leverage their unique blend of people to make things happen.

In other words, they are able to negotiate disruptions and other challenges and move forward with action and results.

These nine tips describe how different personality types can help you build better teams:

1. The best teams have a certain level of harmony. While you don’t necessarily want a team where everyone thinks exactly the same, you do want a team that knows how to achieve agreement on crucial matters, ultimately. Therefore, while you want a variety of personality types, you want a common denominator to be their ability to pull together. Whether this common denominator is scrappiness, loyalty or passion, find the one thing that unites your team.

2. The best teams show respect among members. As well, while not everyone will agree all of the time, you want to ensure that respect emanates between team members, always, even during some of the tough discussions. In other words, if you have even one team member who is behaving in a way that all the others fail to respect, or, if there is one team member who continually shows disrespect to one or more members of the team, then undue pressure begins to mount. Team members who regularly honor others with respectful words and actions help build better teams.

3. The best teams have constructive debates. It may seem like debating can be a slippery slope, and sometimes people argue just to argue. It also may seem that when you have opposing views that the more your team argues, the more members will dig in their heels defending their position. However, the best teams have personalities that have evolved them into capable negotiators and decision makers, able to navigate the complexity of different viewpoints and come together for a best outcome.

4. The best teams have members committed to a true culture of cooperation. While there may be periods of time when the feeling of flux and discord erupts – especially with a team of deep thinkers and strategists – the well-shaped and managed team understands that their ultimate goal is results. And, to gain results, they must ultimately cooperate to keep the engine humming.

5. The best teams like each other, and as such, are comprised of likeable people. Likeability doesn't always mean they get along; in fact, there are many teams where certain members may take awhile to realize they are fond of one another. Through a series of events, chance happenings and/or collaborative encounters that pushed them together into a constrained situation or timeline, they later realized their synergies were positive, and their personalities well-paired.

This doesn't mean the best teams always get along – there are times when flare-ups expose needed issues within or without the team and are ultimately helpful for healing and future health. However, throughout your team, likeability should be an undercurrent that keeps the team flowing forward.

6. The best teams care about the customer. Whether the customer is an internal colleague, a leader up or down the chain, or is someone external, it is imperative that all members are driven to create solutions on the customer's behalf. In other words, putting the customer last is not acceptable; so all persons on the team must have traits that show an orientation toward customer service.

7. The best teams are hungry to win. If all members have an underlying craving for growth, customer satisfaction, winning awards, bettering performance from quarter to quarter, pleasing their boss and whatever 'winning' looks like, then the likelihood of the team being highly ranked accelerates.

8. The best teams have members who are positive thinkers. While it's easy to be optimistic when things are going smoothly, when an industry – or the economy as a whole – hits hard times, morale can plummet. Positive thinkers who have a glass-half-full mentality are points of strength for teams. Even when the market may be saying, 'it's impossible,' positive tempered employees move through the fog of others' negativity for creative, often real solutions to get the team on a winning path again.

9. The best teams have humble team members. While it may seem to some that humility equals softness, it really is quite the opposite. The most confident and strong members have personalities founded on humility. They recognize it takes a team to achieve their goals, and that, in addition to their confident strengths, they rely on their mates to move mountains.