Any successful team consists of a mix of personality types. A team in which everyone has the same personality type, is more likely to experience conflict between its members. When a problem arises in the team, everyone is more likely to try and take the same role in solving it. To motivate your team effectively, it is vital that you identify your personality type as well as the personality types of your team members. It is also essential to realize that different personality types have different ways of motivating others, and different ways in which they are motivated.
Identifying Your Own Personality Type
Those aspects of your character that arise when around others or when doing something important, defines your personality type. Various tests have been created to identify your personality type, but perhaps the best way to detect your personality type is to examine your reaction to a problem which affects the whole team. How do you react to a problem?
- Do you immediately look for a solution to the problem?
- Are you instinctively worried by what happens?
- Do you ask other people to help with the problem?
- Do you comfort the people in the team that are stressed by the problem?
- Do you stand on the fringes, making comments and jokes?
All these reactions are helpful in the team and can contribute to overcoming the problem. The “problem solver”, the “consensus seeker”, the “nurturer” and the “humorist” are all classic personality types. All these personality types have an equal part in making up a successful team.
- Without problem solvers, the team would be more likely to deviate from the team’s plan.
- Consensus seekers make sure that problem solvers do not become too independent.
- Nurtures ensure that a problem does not become a crisis.
- The humorist ensures that everybody remains in high spirit despite the problem.
How much we allow our personality to show is often limited by convention and reason. Most people will also avoid being seen as too one dimensional.
Identifying the Personality Type of Other Team Members
While most people have a clear idea of their own personality type, it is more difficult to identify the personality type of other team members. The best way of identifying the personality types of others is by speaking to them and observing how they behave in various situations. Ice Breakers and Team Building Activities are also effective ways of getting to know the personality types of your team members. These activities highlight people’s priorities and show a lot about their personality type outside of the activities. The team building activities will show which team member is a dominant character, who is pragmatic, who is light hearted and so on. In these activities, you will pick up if two or more people are competing for the dominant position and which members choose to play a less confrontational part. Ice breakers and team building activities are excellent for learning about the personality types of all the team members.
Motivating the Different Personality Types in Your Team
Different personality types motivate other people in different ways and different personality types are motivated differently. The conciliatory personality type will motivate the rest of the team by speaking to them one-on-one. They will allow the other team members to see where they can excel and improve. They have the ability to share good news discreetly and put bad news in a good way. The dominant personality type is more likely to deliver criticism one-on-one as they will be wary of not de-motivating the rest of the team by delivering criticism in the open. Good news, on the other hand, will be delivered loudly and shared throughout the team. The dominant personality type will want to spread the joy and motivate the rest of the team to try and achieve the same.
Different personality types will contribute to your team’s motivation in different ways. By assigning each team member the correct role within the team, you enable them to get the best out of themselves and their team members.