How to Build a Great Team Based on Personalities, Not Just Skills

Every manager wants the most skilled and talented individuals working for them.  However, hiring exclusively for skill alone can backfire and be counterproductive.  Other factors like communication, personality, and emotional intelligence can prove to be just as important when it comes to the desired outcome.  The truth is personality differences can actually lead to stellar results because personalities influence cooperation, shared cognition, information sharing, and overall team performance.  In a nutshell, the recipe for a great team includes a variety of personalities.

There are different categories of personality that employees might display:

Results-Oriented:  These people are natural leaders who love to organize and take charge.

Relationship-Focused: These employees are attuned to other’s feelings and are good at building cohesiveness among team members.

Process and Rule Followers: These employees pay close attention to details, processes, and rules.

Innovative and Disruptive Thinkers: These people naturally focus on innovation, anticipate problems, and recognize when the team needs to make changes.

Pragmatic: These team members are practical and aren’t afraid to challenge ideas and theories.

The ability to blend these personalities is crucial to the success of a company.

Just as cooking ingredients vary depending on the food you are making different organizations need different combinations of talents and personalities.  That said no company should compile a team that is made up of exactly similar individuals.  These distinct personality differences help emphasize uniqueness and balance out each other’s roles.  It takes the right mix of skill and personality to build a productive team.  The role each person plays should depend on both their skill and their personality.  All too often organizations focus solely on function and skill and hope that the team’s overall performance is good.  However, a more effective approach is to focus equally on skill and personality.

Just how, then, can companies determine the personalities of their team members?  One way companies can do this is by administering a personality test.  This can help employees determine which personality category best describes them.  Once the manager has identified their employee’s personality traits, they can give them specific tasks and responsibilities that are suited to their distinct personality traits.  This is a great way to maximize the skills and talents of your team while celebrating their unique differences.  This knowledge will also help team members learn how to work better with their teammates, something that is crucial for building a successful team.