Great managers recognize that teams can fall into patterns. Sometimes the patterns are good, sometimes the patterns are not so good. Good patterns create teams that are efficient, effective, and able to accomplish more than a team leader would ever suspect. Bad patterns create teams that do not, or cannot accomplish much of anything without a high degree of stress, waste, or both. Team leaders have more of a role in how a team goes than they may suspect. If a team has fallen into patterns that are not helpful to the bottom line, try these two strategies.
Sponsor Personality Assessments for Team Members
Learning the different ways people on a team see, think, and feel, can be beneficial to the operation of a team. When team members know each other’s personality styles, they have information that will help them as they interact with each other. Three assessments that are most commonly used for this are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® (MBTI), TRACOM’s Social Styles ® and the color-based True-Colors® personality assessment by True Colors International.
In general, personality assessment instruments give team members and team leaders information in three different areas; how team members approach their work, what motivates team members at work, and how team members view the work they do. In TRACOM’s Social Styles model, being able to work effectively with different social styles is known as having versatility. This concept of being able to adjust to communicate effectively with others regardless of their ‘type’ is a worthwhile concept no matter what assessment instrument you choose to use. Knowing how others see things, how they prefer to communicate, and what their needs are can be extremely helpful. As team members work to communicate in the ways that best suit each other, you will likely find more productive team members and a more effective team.
Take on a New and Challenging Project
Often a team can fall into a rut because they are working on the same, or closely related, tasks day in and day out. Of course teams exist because members of the group specialize in a particular area of the work. Working together, team members can accomplish more than they could as individuals. But as everyone knows, when the same activities are done every day, things can become stale. To rejuvenate your team, find a project that would be a challenge for your team members and at the same time move the organization forward. A project having some visibility would be even better. Who doesn’t like a little recognition? The project should be one that is doable while still leaving time to deliver on regular duties. Be sure the project adds unique challenges that can stretch team members’ skills. It’s the new challenges that will bring new energy to the group and this new energy will be just the thing to put team members back on track.
These are just a couple of ideas that I have used to help teams find new ways of seeing things, new ways of doing things, and in the process become a newly energized group. Even though routine can be good, finding new activities to alter the routine can make the workplace an even more fulfilling place to be. Of course there are many ways to turn on a tired team. The more creative you are, the more energized your team can become.