Team dynamics can be a make or break factor in creating a high-performance team- which in turn can affect the overall performance of an organization. This is especially true when an organization is small since everyone works so closely together, but it can be just as true in a larger organization. This is because creating a high-performance team is more than just putting a bunch of smart people together in one room. In her book, Emergenetics International founder Dr. Geil Browning writes, “It’s essential to bring diversity and perspective to your company. Mixing it up in terms of gender and racial diversity is essential, but [you also must bring] different thinking and behavioral styles together.”
The first step to creating a high-performance team is to make it a WEteam, composed of people who represent each attribute in the Emergenetics model. When a WEteam is in place (assuming everyone is competent), the group has the potential to solve problems faster, think of more creative solutions, and work together in a more productive manner. As Geil describes, the Conceptual minds will make sure there is a long-term company plan, the Analytical minds will make certain it is profitable, the Structural minds will figure out how to make it possible, and the Social minds will make sure everyone knows about it.
But a high-performance team goes beyond just having a WEteam in place. Just because you have the right people on a team doesn’t mean they will know what to do with each other or how to work together. This is where team dynamics can really make a difference.
A high-performing team starts with self-awareness at the individual level, but team members must also understand what everyone else brings to the team and how to best interact with their counterparts. It sounds so simple, and yet many times organizations just lump together a bunch of people and expect them to know how to work with each other. The truth is, improving team dynamics can sometimes be as simple as facilitating a “Getting to Know Each Other” activity. (But if you’re looking to facilitate a more complex team activity, we’ve got a whole series!)
What better way to get to know someone than by understanding their thinking and behaving preferences? Here’s an Emergenetics look at the different types of people that will likely be on your team and how they’ll show up:
The Analytical Brain
Those with a preference for Analytical thinking can be very good at helping to define and analyze problems. They see themselves as straightforward, clear, and purposeful. They are driven by facts and figures and are most likely to be the one that says, “Let’s check out our decision to see if it makes sense to implement.”
The Structural Brain
Those with a preference for Structural thinking can be excellent at implementing the solution to the problem. They see themselves as the source for making systemic links to determine the scope of a problem, and they organize the components of a problem and the possible solutions. They are the ones likely to say, “How does this idea apply to our situation?”
The Social Brain
Those with a preference for Social thinking can be excellent facilitators in the group process. Think of this attribute as relational- they’re interested in the people side of things, and they regard their interpersonal skills as their strongest contribution to the team. They weigh all proposed solutions equally and are great at making alliances within a group and recognizing office politics. They’re the ones likely to say, “What do you think of this idea?”
The Conceptual Brain
Those with a preference for Conceptual thinking are usually quite good at generating ideas (keep in mind though, everyone is creative!) and making the quantum leaps necessary to brainstorm and creatively solve difficult problems. They often plunge into the problem-solving process and focus more on the desired outcome and not the details involved in getting there. They are likely the ones to say, “Let’s look at this problem in a different way.”
The Expressiveness Spectrum
- Those on the 1/3 of the spectrum: know how to listen and will let others talk. They prefer to connect with others quietly or in 1-1 situations.
- Those on the 3/3 of the spectrum: make sure every idea is discussed and are comfortable working the room.
The Assertiveness Spectrum
- Those on the 1/3 of the spectrum: can see both sides of an issue and make their case without creating conflict
- Those on the 3/3 of the spectrum: embrace confrontation and take a competitive approach to completing a task
The Flexibility Spectrum
- Those on the 1/3 of the spectrum: are not easily distracted and will make sure a decision is reached
- Those on the 3/3 of the spectrum: are open to many ideas and don’t mind extended discussion
A basic level of understanding and appreciation of others can do wonders for the way a team works together. If you already have an Emergenetics Profile, good news- you have access to the Emergenetics+ mobile app, which according to TLNT Magazine is like a “coach in your pocket.” If you don’t, well that problem is easy to fix, and The Emergenetics Blog has a ton of team resources. Here are a few of my favorites: