Kate Ward graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State University and has more than 20 years of experience in training development. She has authored dozens of programs, first for CareerTrack and then for TreeLine Training as Senior … Read more...
Jackie and Tom are members of a software development team. The team is focused on a new application that is to be rolled out next month. Jackie is the senior member and feels responsible for the team’s reputation. She believes the current version doesn’t have enough bells and whistles. Tom believes their reputation will be more affected by the number of bugs still in the software, and thinks they should eliminate those before adding new features.
If you were Jackie, which of the following would you say to Tom?
The best response is 2. Tom is a Systematic style, which you can tell by his attention to what is wrong rather than what is right. Brainstorming with Tom is not likely to generate the ideas that Jackie is looking for, while giving Tom the role of investigator and implementer will play to his skills.
So what does this mean for your team? Your own experience tells you that team members take on different roles -- some are officially assigned while others are informal. A high-performing team takes advantage of each team member’s style strengths while minimizing their weaknesses.
There are eight essential team member roles:
Each style is a valuable contributor to a team. The key is getting people with different styles to work together productively so that each collectively strengthens the whole.