Building Stronger More Effective Teams

Photo Credit: Emily Wilson Photography

A successful company functions more effectively and productively when the employees of that company operate with a team mindset – each member identifying with a particular role or roles and focused on the long term goals of the company. Effective teams will help a business to grow and flourish. So what can you do to build a stronger more effective team at your firm?

There is great value in every member of your firm understanding each team member’s strengths, weaknesses, innate talents and how those can be best harnessed to create a strong team. You want a team with varied strengths, weaknesses, talents and areas of expertise. Hopefully you have covered that variety and balance in your hiring process. But creating that balance on your team is only one part of the equation for a successful team. It is also critical for everyone on the team to understand each member’s valuable contribution to the firm’s success and how that can best happen.

An effective tool to build a more effective team at your firm is to use one or more of the assessment tools available. Each assesses one of 3 parts of the mind – cognitive or thinking, feeling, and conative or doing.

Cognitive assessments, like the SAT, evaluate your reasoning ability and your knowledge and skills –or “thinking”. This assessment would be addressed during your hiring process. Including questions that evaluate the reasoning skills of the prospective employee is a valuable addition to just looking at their resume.

Once you hire your team, then you want to help them see how each team member contributes to a successful firm and realize to how the firm’s success means success for the entire team. A successful team is built of members who know how each balances out the other members of the team – their strengths and weaknesses – not just related to their skillset, but includes what they enjoy and don’t enjoy doing. It includes each member’s understanding that some are “big picture” people, some are more focused on details.

We have used and previously mentioned the Kolbe Indexes and the CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder), and you also may be familiar with the DISC or Meyers-Briggs. The Kolbe is “conative” – evaluating the instinctive talents you were born with. They identify the way you take action – your natural way of doing things. The other 3 assessment tools are “affective” – evaluation personality, preferences, and interests. They focus on what you like, dislike or want to do.

Consider incorporating one of the assessment tools in your business. You might have everyone complete it just prior to a team get-together and then make it fun for everyone to share their results and discuss ways each person’s unique attributes can build a stronger team – but don’t stop there – have them keep those results handy and use them as a regular reminder of how their differences as well as similarities combine to create a stronger more productive team.

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson

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Drue Lawlor

Director of Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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