Team Chemistry!

I have to confess, I love personality tests. I find people fascinating and have experienced significant professional and personal epiphanies through such tests. While they don’t adequately paint a full picture of someone’s personality and propensities, they do provide windows into relational dynamics that can prove tremendously useful in leading teams. The tests can be great resources to better understand employees’ strengths and weaknesses as well as give insight into ways to motivate them to excel in their positions to the benefit of your company.

This month’s issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on a personality test catered to the workplace called “Business Chemistry” which was developed by Deloitte. According to the article entitled, “The New Science of Team Chemistry,” in order to get the performance you need from your team, it requires tapping diverse work styles and viewpoints as well as learning to effectively manage the missing components and relational tensions of your team. Business Chemistry identifies four primary work styles:

  • Pioneersvalue possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination on their teams. They believe risks are worth taking and that it’s fine to go with your gut. Their focus is big-picture. They’re drawn to bold new ideas and creative approaches.
  • Guardiansvalue stability, and they bring order and rigor. They’re pragmatic, and they hesitate to embrace risk. Data and facts are baseline requirements for them, and details matter. Guardians think it makes sense to learn from the past.
  • Driversvalue challenge and generate momentum. Getting results and winning count most. Drivers tend to view issues as black-and-white and tackle problems head on, armed with logic and data.
  • Integratorsvalue connection and draw teams together. Relationships and responsibility to the group are paramount. Integrators tend to believe that most things are relative. They’re diplomatic and focused on gaining consensus.

Each of these workstyles has benefits and drawbacks that are helpful to know as you identify your personal workstyle as well as the workstyles of those you lead. As a leader, it is also useful to recognize how each workstyle interacts with the others to more quickly anticipate the gaps and the tensions.

As you go about the remaining days of your work week, here are a few questions to think about as it relates to the dynamics of your team:

  • Which work style do you most identify with? What are the strengths? What are the weaknesses?
  • Which work style is most difficult for you to deal with? What are the strengths? What are the weaknesses?
  • Considering the work styles of those on your team, how can you more effectively leverage the strengths of each work style and minimize the weaknesses?
  • What is one way you will leverage a different work style of someone on your team next week?

About the Author
Hilary Tricerri is a consultant with Morrison, working primarily in our Grants practice. To get in touch with Hilary, please find contact information for Morrison here.


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