The “there’s no I in the team” mantra is an oft-repeated mantra, but to make sure your team is operating at its best, consider taking a look at how different work styles help your team dynamic. How do they affect A seamless mix of different work styles creates a well-structured team, and a successful team takes advantage of the diverse range of styles of its members.
Why is it that you tend to bang heads during one project with one coworker and not with another? Do you get frustrated when a project’s deliverables are not made or some details are missed? This is where working styles come into play.
What are the practices?
A work style is how you naturally work in a team environment. It takes into account how you prefer to communicate, how you handle conflict and your collaboration preferences.
Like the Meier-Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram personality tests, work styles are often based on self-reported answers to a variety of questions. The difference with work styles is that they are specifically designed for a business or workplace type of application. Several models are available, including, but not limited to, the DISC model, Deloittes Business Chemistry, and the Belbin Team Roles model. Each model details their roles and offers advice on both strengths and weaknesses.
Why should you be aware of your style of work?
Knowing your work style and collaborative style adds another tool to your self-awareness toolkit. Introspection helps you understand where you excel and where your biases may lie.
Teamwork requires communication, collaboration, compromise and conflict resolution. Once you understand your own style and that of your peers, these parts of your work can become more effective. For example, if you prefer to research the finer details, such as a certain project feature, you may be less likely to see the impact of the feature in the bigger picture. Someone else on the team who prefers the big picture perspective may be less in touch with these personal details, but may be the one to manage deadlines and get the project moving.
As with any type of personality test, it is important to note that people should not be pigeonholed into the same type and there are always flaws. Rather than relying solely on one type to determine team structure, work styles are better used as a framework or guide to better understand team dynamics.
Why should leaders care about working style?
A good team leader understands that maximizing the strengths of individuals can lead to a more productive and communicative team. When work style comes into play, you can identify where your team may be lacking and assign project components to those who excel in that type. Compromise becomes easier when you can appeal to another person’s style, essentially restoring a perspective.
Leaders should also care about working style because a cohesive team means increased morale, and who doesn’t want a happy team?
different work styles
As mentioned earlier, there are many frameworks available to you. For this excerpt, we will focus on the DiSC model, first described by William Moulton Marston in his 1928 book. feelings of ordinary people,
While there are four distinct quadrants, people can be a mixture of the two types. The two axes determine your focus orientation (work vs. people) and your decision-making speed (fast vs. medium).
- D for dominance: This type is direct and of equal consequence. They hold strong opinions and are driven by competition and success.
- i to effect: This type is great at influencing and convincing others. They are motivated by social recognition.
- s for stability: These types of people are patient and enjoy helping others. They are motivated by collaboration and team achievements.
- c for honesty: This type is analytical and cautious. They are motivated by having knowledge and being able to demonstrate it.
Managing different work styles
Since different collaboration styles have different communication and project goal values, knowing one’s work style helps you manage the team better. You can monitor behavioral trends and resolve conflicts before they begin.
This helpful guide goes into depth on how to communicate, motivate, and identify areas that may be lacking according to the DISC model. If you pay for the appraisal, you’re likely to receive additional details on each specific type as well as a map of each individual. We all have a combination of the four working styles but most are strongest of one to two types.
5 ways to improve collaboration based on work style
In addition to understanding your team’s different styles and their preferred collaboration methods, there are other ways you can generally improve your team’s collaboration.
- creating psychological protection Occurs within a team when people feel safe bringing up ideas and concerns without fear of retaliation or embarrassment. The ability to harness your authentic self and feel secure within a team carries a lot of weight.
- set up workflow Within the team for effective productivity and time optimization. When workflows are personalized, it recognizes that people do things differently and shows that team leaders prioritize this.
- Use tools that facilitate collaboration Because without the right tools, you can only move forward as a team. Business collaboration tools like Asana, Jira, Slack and Zoom are all ways for different personality types to collaborate. Some tools are better than others in some areas and it is often best to evaluate what works for your team and keep the number of tools to a minimum to avoid switching back and forth.
- build a culture of recognition To boost morale and make people feel like they are part of the team. Most people like to be recognized for their success and work, although the priorities in this approach vary. Whether it is private or public, be sure to understand how individuals like to be recognized. You don’t want to embarrass someone in front of the whole company if they prefer a small group identity scenario.
- Understand how remote working can affect your collaboration efforts, Remote work comes with its own set of challenges and remote team management is no different. When you’re not able to stop at a coworker’s desk for a quick chat or create a meeting on the fly, you need to put in place processes that replicate the kind of collaboration that’s missing.
During remote work, bonding with teammates will probably require moving from casual desk visits to a scheduled virtual social hour. Use a variety of communication methods: email, video, phone and document to appeal to different styles.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with working and collaborative styles, it’s time to put the research into action. There are many free online evaluations available as well as paid consulting companies that will come up with a customized level of assistance.
Use the results of these tests to change your communication methods and help others manage their work better. A team that plays to its strengths is more effective and productive. And when you’re improving your team, it doesn’t hurt to recognize that many people are on the verge of burnout. Encourage habits that grapple with burnout to avoid an over-stretched team.