A great deal of work goes into the blending process of tea and coffee, to conjour up different tastes and flavours to tickle your tastebuds. Transferring the metaphor to teams, it’s really important that you get the blend of personality types right in order to benefit from optimal performance.
In my business we use a psychometic test developed by Myers-Briggs to ascertain the dominant personality characteristics across members of our senior management team and external salespeople.
When first assessing the results, it provided some real breakthroughs in our thinking and understanding of our team blend. It allowed us to understand why some meetings always tended to go a certain way, who would have a natural tendency to plan or do things at the last minute, who our best ideas creation people are and who our best critical thinkers are likely to be.
When you get such clarity, it really allows you to drive your recruitment strategy and team dynamics. If you walk away from an interview thinking that a person is really good (setting aside technical competency), often it’s because they have a similar thinking pattern to you and you seem to gel.
By using psychometric tests, you can you understand your own personality type better and ensure that you are not recruiting a company of “mini-me’s”, you can also have a sense check against job functions. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily want a project manager whose natural personality was to leave things to the last minute. Alternatively, your business might be dominated by a team of people who are all highly creative, people that love the next idea before finishing the previous, you may need to add a strong finisher/completer to provide that balance.
Managing people is considerably easier when you can get more supporting data, it allows you to marry the components of displayed behaviour you see every day, with core beliefs. Opinions you have formed about people may be changed, levels of output increased and your blend of team tuned for optimal performance.
The key takeaway is this. Be aware when recruiting, when holding meetings and when setting up projects of your decisions around who you select to work with you. Choose relevant to ability to get the task done, not on how well you perceive you get on with somebody.