Occasionally, I am delighted to catch a rerun of the old TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. As one who studies personalities and how they work together (and sometimes don’t work together), I have to say the show provides some pretty rich content for my research. Now while it is funny to watch, it is also pretty true to life.
When it comes to groups of people – whether they are family, friends, or a working team – everyone in the group is not the same.
A good blend of personalities makes a team…
More Interesting. Just picture a family where all are C-wired. It would be the quietest house on the block…so quiet the neighbors might be checking in occasionally just to see if they are still alive.
More Balanced. Think of a family of 8, including 6 I-wired children and two I-wired parents, and you will see the importance of balance. I mean, after all, someone in a family has to pay the bills, do the laundry, and keep the kids out of the emergency room.
More Productive. You would think that if every person on your team was a very driven D-wired individual, your productivity would go through the roof, right? Well, think again. About the only thing hitting the roof would be the D-wired people! In this case of too many generals, the army to carry out the strategy is missing. D’s blended with other personalities is actually the more productive team.
More Engaged. If everyone in your organization were like our S-wired friend Raymond, they’d be out playing golf and taking it easy every day. Unless you are a professional golfer, this could be problematic – not to mention, expensive. As much as we like the idea of taking it easy, the fact is, with too much ease, the work won’t get done. If each personality is working in his or her strengths zone, not only are they more engaged as individuals, the whole team is engaged on an exponential level.
In my work, I often have the pleasure of doing team Strengths Mapping, where we chart the different personalities of the team onto one circle, divided into four quadrants – D, I, S, C. It is divided into introverts and extroverts, task people and “people” people. And the fact is, every single person is important to the team. An empty quadrant is a sign of dysfunction.
The I’s have ideas. The D’s get things moving. The C’s come up with a detailed plan. And the S’s implement the plan smoothly.
No I’s, no ideas. No D’s, no movement. No C’s, no plan. And no S’s, no implementation.
So take a look around you – at your team, your family, your organization. If you think you’re looking a bit like our dysfunctional family on Long Island, take heart. Notice what is anemic in your organization. Is it lack of ideas, lack of progress, lack of planning, or lack of implementation? This tells you what kinds of people are needed to round out your team.
To learn more about Strengths Mapping for your team or organization, contact me. I would absolutely be thrilled to help you and your team be the best you can be!