What makes your team tick?

Gaining a better understanding of the constituent parts of a team and its collective personality is a great first step to get it performing at the next level, here’s how.

Companies with good communications are three times more likely to outperform their competitors. It’s identified as a key strength for good leadership and one of the top requirements when hiring.

It’s vital that we communicate well when working remotely and is one of the most significant factors for creating effective virtual teams.

Understanding our own communication style, what we prefer and how we appear to others is really valuable, having that insight at a team level can be game-changing in terms of the team’s collaboration, engagement and performance.

We use a psychometric tool called Lumina Spark which we find really effective working with teams. Lumina shows 8 aspects and 24 qualities of personality and acknowledges that you can be high or low at both ends of a personality continuum and so embraces paradox rather than pigeonholing, for instance, we can be both practical and conceptual. 

One of the other features we really like about Lumina is that it also reports on three levels of personality:

Underlying: You most natural, who you are at home, with those that know you well

Everyday: How you show up at work, how others see you, our work persona

Overextended: Who you become under stress or reacting to unexpected events. 

Working remotely may create different challenges for individuals and for a team, the way we like to communicate might be being met or be completely undermined. If we’re more introverted and prefer working alone and written communication, remote working can be an effective environment for us. If we’re someone who prefers face to face discussion and is more extroverted, getting energy from being around people, working this way can be really difficult and demotivating. Those individual preferences can also affect the team dynamic.

Lumina enables us to explore a team view, mapping the individuals and seeing a collective team “personality” so we can see at a glance where and how people fit in a team and how that team may be seen by others.

Lumina doesn’t report on anything that isn’t completed during the questionnaire, so there are no assumptions or judgements. This provides a safe way for a team to discuss different qualities, communication styles and ways of working.

 Here are six ways this can be useful for organisations:

  1. Having identified the “personality” of the team we can also see how the team changes under pressure and discuss what behaviours then show up.
  2. We can identify the top strengths of the team and how individuals contribute to the team dynamic.
  3. It’s also possible to find hidden strengths that the team members may not currently be using in a work situation but are needed particularly in lockdown and to address new challenges in the future.
  4. Teams can often hire similar personalities, this analysis allows us to identify the gaps and possible blind spots in the team 
  5. Greater awareness of how the team operates and the contribution of our teammates can increase collaboration, engagement and performance. We can also address conflict and different ways of working.
  6. Using the common language from the tool can be really helpful for improving how the team communicate with other stakeholders and external clients, particularly those that we find difficult!

Increased self-awareness can really help how we perform and develop. It’s really powerful to apply that to a team and use those insights to communicate better, collaborate better and ultimately perform better.


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