How To Build High-Performing Tech Teams
How To Build High-Performing Tech Teams
In 2016 Google announced that it had discovered the secret ingredients for the perfect team. After analysing interviews and data for years, it found that effective team performance is driven by the average level of emotional intelligence among the members, and the degree of communication between them.
Wider scientific evidence puts more focus on individuals’ personalities as playing a significant role in determining team performance.
In particular, personality affects:
- Your role within the team
- How you interact with the rest of the team
- Whether your values and core beliefs are synonymous with the team
This combination of psychological factors and communication dynamics are the main determinants of whether people can work well together. But what about when there seem to be substantial compatibility issues between you and your colleagues, regardless of how similar your expertise and technical backgrounds are? This is where applying personality theory from the very outset of a team collaboration can really pay dividends in producing better results.
The origins of personality theory can be traced back to the fifth century BC, when Hippocrates identified four distinct energies exhibited by different people. Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung wrote about the model of personality in his 1921 work “Psychological Types”. Jung’s work on personality and preferences has since been adopted as the seminal work in understanding personality and has been the subject of study by thousands of researchers.
This research suggests that a good understanding of self, both strengths and weaknesses, enables individuals to develop effective strategies for interaction that can help them to better respond to the demands of their environment. In modern times where all individuals are returning to normalcy in a post-pandemic world with different needs, expectations and modus operandi, considering personality types is a key ingredient in building high performing teams for any organisation.
The personal style of communication will vary from one person to the next. Teammates could be gregarious, sociable, and focused on others’ needs, or be totally reserved and more comfortable focusing only on their own agenda. Some people like to take strong initiative and showcase their creativity in front of others, whilst others would be happy to play along a plotted chart and focus on completing tasks as expected.
The way you interact with others, your ability for decision making, key strengths and possible weaknesses, all define your role within a team and the value you can add to it. Projecting sympathy and understanding towards others through nurturing and supporting could work for one person while another member could prefer compartmentalisation of their personal and professional demeanour and stick to facts and processes when it comes to conducting themselves in offices.
If an objective and impatient person is put in a room with a jovial over-thinker, they will both surely have to change their usual approach towards a project to reach a common point and get the results they need. Sometimes putting pressure on employees through a constricted brief and definite deadline may not be the best way to get results. While it could work for most, some people can be emotional and vulnerable and strong-arming them to get things done could be seriously counterproductive.
In another scenario, letting a group of hyper-social and creative people get together to accomplish time-sensitive tasks could lead nowhere. Execution of projects demands a healthy mix of democratic and consensus decisions kept in check with an autocratic boundary. Making sure your team is a mix of both kinds of personalities can ensure good qualitative and quantitative outputs.
It is useful to have a visionary with a “glass half full” outlook paired up with an articulate person who likes to stay focused and follows things through to completion, for example. Each person brings a unique set of gifts, attributes and expectations to the environment in which they operate. Being an enthusiastic team builder who thinks out of the box and being a cool analytical observer are both necessary components for a high-performing team, but will likely require two very different personality types.
The whole dynamic rides on the tracks of effective communications. Communication can only be effective if it is received and understood by the recipient. For each person, certain communication strategies are more effective than others, so understanding which strategy can get the best out of each individual is key.
What is more useful is that you are aware of how you like to communicate and be communicated with whilst understanding other people’s preferences. Being able to see a comprehensive assessment of your personality type, including both the obvious bits and possible blind spots, can be extremely insightful. Suggestions for development could help you achieve a balanced outlook with respect to others. Understanding who your opposite type is as well – what are their preferences and what you can do to make processes more compatible with them – can unlock the true potential of a team.
At Vidatec we use the Insights Discovery personality profile that offers a framework for self-understanding and development. Generated from several hundred thousand permutations of statements, each profile is unique. It reports statements which your responses indicate may apply to you. You may feel that some statements don’t resonate with you, but that may be because they are a blind spot.
We use and share these profiles internally to identify the key areas in which we can develop and take action as individuals and as a team. Sharing important aspects with friends and colleagues and asking for feedback from them can be helpful, especially in areas which seem particularly relevant to you, and then develop an action plan for growth, both personally and interpersonally.
If you are working towards building a high-performing team with a deeper understanding of people and personalities, it’s time to rethink the fundamentals. If you want to work with a technical partner that truly understands team dynamics and managing people, then Vidatec can help. Speak to one of our experts today to get more information on how we can help make your next project a success.