If you’ve ever managed a team, you’ve undoubtedly run into that member who you know has so much to offer, if only . . . they could break away from the details and put more into selling . . . they could cut down on the socializing and take charge more often . . . they could temper that tendency to take over with a little more diplomacy and understanding of others. And if you’ve been tempted to correct, cajole or train these team members into handling their work assignments and interactions in a fundamentally different way, then you’ve probably realized at some point that you’re pouring your energy into the wrong bucket!
The key to effective team management isn’t remolding your staff members’ basic approach to their tasks and work relationships; it’s recognizing their natural styles and strengths and harnessing them to achieve the best possible outcomes. This is not to say that individuals can’t improve their skills or become more adept at navigating through the organizational landscape. Providing formal training and opportunities for an employee to stretch by assigning a new or bigger task are both excellent ways of developing your team. But for each person (including you!) there is a personal bedrock perspective that informs the way they get things done. Rather than waste energy trying to uproot innate tendencies, why not use them to the best advantage?
The first step is finding and implementing a “diagnostic” tool that can tell you and your team members where they stand on the continuum of possible work styles. One of the most widely used is the DISC personality assessment. While no one is purely a one-style pony, DISC identifies which of four basic types is a person’s strongest theme: Dominant, Influencer, Steady or Compliant. This identification process opens team members’ eyes to the fact that they are surrounded by fellow employees who see and approach things differently—not better or worse—than they do. This can be a real revelation and the first step toward valuing differences and reducing unnecessary conflict. Perhaps best of all, it gives you as manager the insight needed to stop wasting energy trying to change people and start matching employees with the tasks and responsibilities best suited to their style. Contact Magnovo Training Group for more on DISC Personality Assessment.