The importance of adapting to your teams individual working styles
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been insanely curious about people and what makes them tick. Over the course of my working life, I’ve had the privilege of working within a number of different teams — all varying in size and with different hierarchies.
A team rarely consists of just one personality type, and that is certainly something to be celebrated. It’s really important to adapt to your teams individual working styles to promote a happy, healthy and productive working environment.
Step back and examine the different ways in which people like to work
As a personal example, within the team of creative designers and web developers, that I work with, some will never look at their ticket notes and going over to speak to them is the quickest way to get the best outcome. Others prefer emails and ticket notes, some like to know ahead of time what their week looks like, and others don’t. Some people are through and through introverts, others extroverts — and then we have those in the middle. I myself am an introvert by nature, preferring to listen and observe, instead of speaking out loud.
As a leader, it is incredibly important to be tuned into our team’s personalities and their quirks, it’s unwise (and unproductive) to try and fit everyone into the same mould. People thrive best in terms of productivity and performance when they feel the organisation recognises them as an individual.
Adapting your own working style
It was for me, a little daunting when I became the spearhead for two creative designers and four developers in a new industry, having been used to managing a smaller team, and in a field I’d worked in for years. As a Digital Project Manager, it’s important for me to recognise the various personalities within my web- delivery army. If one piece of the project puzzle comes loose, the whole thing can come crashing down.
Ultimately, every day we have a goal and objective to achieve, and we naturally can’t stand around pandering to everyone’s exact needs. However, in order to achieve maximum productivity and a generally happy and healthy culture, it’s important to identify what each member of your team reacts best to. Some prefer time to contemplate, others are much more energised by group activities. Of course, this is only something that comes with time, and getting to know people personally.
Am I really thinking about the personalities on my team?
If you’re a leader of a team, take a step back and assess. Ask yourself, as a leader, am I really thinking about the personalities on my team? Could I help to improve efficiency, happiness and productivity by adapting my leadership style to suit those around me? The answer is almost always, yes.