Embracing Different Workstyles to Bring Projects to Life
Few would argue that diversity strengthens organizations. Different skills, perspectives, and ideas contribute to more well-rounded, responsive, and creative workforces that position their companies for greater success. In the same way, different personalities and a diversity of work styles enhance team performance and productivity.
It is natural, at times, for team leaders to think, “my way or no way” — labeling one personality trait or personal work style as right and another as wrong — but this can hinder team performance and morale.
Robust, high-functioning teams, however, include different personalities and incorporate a variety of strengths and work styles. The benefits become especially evident when you consider the lifecycle of a project. From the inception of an idea through implementation and promotion, team members with different skills and work styles contribute to ensure its success.
The Thinker (Ideating the Big Idea)
Teams need thinkers. They are the ones who wake up in the middle of the night with a new idea — then ideate over it on a long run or in the shower. They collaborate with others to brainstorm and put flesh to skeletal thoughts.
The newness of something doesn’t scare them. They are able to envision a different path forward and they will invest their time and individual strengths strategizing how to turn their ideas into a reality.
Big picture thinkers cannot exist in a vacuum though. Their strong suit is generating ideas and creative thinking, but they can become so enamored with a concept that they develop blind spots — they can’t always see its limitations or how it may need to evolve before it can be implemented. They also may not have the patience, discipline, or detail-oriented workstyle to effectively execute their ideas.
This has often been the case with startup companies. A great thinker can have an innovative solution, but they need to be willing to lean on team members with different skills and work styles to help execute the vision.
The Analyzer (How We’ll Make it Work)
Smart ideators partner with effective analyzers. These are the logical workers with their feet firmly on the ground.
They look at the world as it is, not as it could be. And while that may sound dull to some, every great idea that has ever become a reality was first questioned, tested, and possibly even modified.
Analyzers help do that. They consider the potential paths forward and help determine a plan of attack that is most viable to reach a project goal. They think through the realities of R&D, manufacturing capabilities, and marketing budgets.
Analyzers understand what structures and processes need to be put in place to deliver consistency, mitigate risk, and bring an innovative idea through to fruition.
The Doer (Let’s Do This Thing)
Once an idea has passed the analysis stage, it’s ready for implementation. This is where doers jump into action. They inject a sense of urgency and a can-do attitude into a project.
Doers are skilled at planning and executing a strategy. They adeptly solve the practical, day-to-day problems that are sure to arise along the way. And because they tend to be detail-oriented workers, doers and implementers are also able to manage the minutia others often overlook to complete tasks and ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Doers take the baton from thinkers and analyzers to get projects across the finish line. Without them, creative ideas would stall and windows of opportunity would be missed.
The Communicator (Listen Up)
From start to finish, ideas and projects need to be properly communicated and promoted. It could be an internal initiative that needs an executive sponsor; or a new strategy employees need to understand so they can align with the mission. If it is a project focused externally — maybe a new product — it will need sales support and possibly a marketing campaign.
Communicators are the team members who help craft the message, rally support, or promote a purpose. Being people-oriented and demonstrating effective communication skills, they have the power to persuade, inform, and build consensus across teams.
Together with doers, communicators help see an idea through to a successful launch. Their efforts to position and promote a concept can be a game changer when it comes to an idea’s acceptance and ultimate audience adoption.
High-functioning Teams are Multifaceted
High-functioning teams are not one dimensional — they are multifaceted, including a variety of personality types and work styles. That diversity is a positive thing to be embraced. All strengths and styles are needed, as they all contribute in valuable ways to turn an idea into a successful reality.
For more on high-functioning teams, access Birkman’s High Performing Teams Program. By understanding and appreciating their team members’ strengths, successful team leaders can better identify the roles and functions each type of worker is best suited to fill when implementing a new idea or project.