The difference between a fun work environment and a boring one is how well you get along with your colleagues. The difference between a successful team and an unsuccessful one is how well they understand each other. In an ideal world, every team will have both – good relations and understanding – but in reality they at least need the latter.
When you’re assessing team performance it’s important to look at how the different temperaments on the team may be interacting. This could be the key to why a team seems to be less than the sum of its parts.
How to use temperament profiles to understand your teammates
If you find someone on your team abrasive, have you considered that they may be highly analytical and that they simply don’t register how emotions play into decisions? If you feel that some of your colleagues can’t keep up with your fast pace, do you think it’s possible that they just need to plan ahead and dislike pressure and deadlines?
These are just a couple examples of how temperament plays into how we perform our jobs, which is why your team needs to understand each other to function well.
Next time you’re about to lose your patience or get frustrated with a team member, place their McQuaig profile next to yours. Look at how they’re similar or different. Consider how any differences would affect the reason you’re feeling friction and empathize with how they might be making adjustments to work with you. Then reflect on how any similarities might allow you to get along easily and see if you can use any of those likenesses to get past the issue.
An even better approach would be to use some of the activities outlined at the end of this article to open up the profile discussion before any issues arise. Being proactive about understanding your teammates can save you a lot of time and stress.
How to assign roles and activities based on temperament
If you use The McQuaig System, you know that different roles have different temperamental demands. This is why you create benchmarks for roles and measure people against them. But what about temporary demands for a project? Within your team, there will likely be certain people better suited for specific tasks than others. Make the most of it by breaking up the necessary tasks into groups for each profile type on your team. For example, assign the client-facing work to those who are more social and leverage the analytical ones to build the reports.
An easy thing to pick out with McQuaig profiles is whether people are more dominant or accepting. Those who are dominant will be more comfortable, and actually happier, taking the lead. When you know each other’s’ profiles, it’s clear who will be best focusing on the big picture and who will better honing in on the details.
Diversity is a beautiful thing and you should embrace it. Diversity is also a key component of successful teams as people will cover each other’s weaknesses. If you have a team of very compliant people, who will be the one to challenge the current processes to find efficiencies? In the opposite direction, if everyone on the team dislikes working within a restrictive structure, who will make sure the necessary policies are met? Acknowledge and appreciate the differences across your teammates because what you don’t have, they do.
How to make understanding temperaments fun
Try these activities for interactive ways to create understanding among your team when assessing team performance:
Do’s and Don’ts
Provide each team member with their Strategies for Coaching and Development section of the Word Survey Report.
Have everyone get into pairs and compare their reports to see how they would get along and why they may have challenges working together.
Continue to switch pairs until all partner combinations have been done.
Present Your Profile
Split the team into groups based on the same profile type.
Have each team complete the following statements and then present their responses to the rest of the group:
We are great on a team because…
We may drive others crazy because…
We prefer to contribute to the team by…
If you want to persuade us, you should…
If you want to annoy us, all you have to do is…
Want to learn more?
By Rachel Cwang