Sirwin
Sirwin

Team Building - Getting the right people

By rah | rah | 8 Aug 2022


This is part of my ongoing series on what it takes to build an effective team, In previous posts I have discussed purpose and goals as well as leadership and now we are ready for the nuts and bolts - and that is the people who make up the team. I was originally going to do this as two posts with the first focused on blend and the second based on character but I have decided to merge the two together.

Blend

the key to successful team working is specialisation and diversification.

Your team must contain the entire skill set you need within its gene pool. In other words every possible skill must be contained within the team's DNA unless in certain very specialised circumstances it is more cost effective to outsource. Consider a football team, not everybody can be a striker nor can everybody be a goalkeeper. Everything needs to be balanced and the key to successful team working is specialisation and diversification. Efficiency should also be at the heart of any team working philosophy and it is important to ensure that we are able to deputise, but avoid rather wasteful duplication. It might be within the team that more than one person is required with very similar if not identical skillsets. Again the football team is a great illustration. Such teams often feature two central defenders who are more or less required to do the same job. This ensures coverage and there is no duplication.

It is also worth looking at the role of a "Number 2". Such a person can often form a bridge between the team and the leader but essentially this person functions as a go to person who is an effective deputy, a doer, a person who gets things done and a trusted right hand person.  These people can often be the difference between success and failure.

Character

We've all heard it; "there's no I in TEAM", well yes that is true, but I must play my part and mustn't shirk responsibility.

We are looking essentially for people who can work together and who can bring an team working ethos into what they do. They should have cooperative attitudes and be focused on common goals while at the same time building effective and constructive relationships. Those who are closed and unwilling to do this have to by definition be either lone wolves or shoved off into some corner to do their thing.

Neither scenario is beneficial in the long run.

This raises the question of which is more important; soft or hard skills.

Historically the answer has been hard skills because without them their is no specialised task completion. However, it is now widely believed that a good grasp of soft skills is the key element in personal and professional development. The one caveat is that soft skills for a long time were considered to be intuitive and personality driven. Recent research has shown otherwise. Intrinsically linked with emotional intelligence, soft skills should be developed hand in hand with hard qualification. If you know you are tactless and blunt learn tact, if you know you are chaotic in your communication learn to do it properly.

Only when somebody fails to be open to such learning do they close the door on themselves and that's exactly what they do.

One final pearl of wisdom connected with this is to avoid negative stereotyping.

Please don't label me and give me a chance

I was speaking with female client of mine who works in IT relatively recently and she said that one of the problems she faces is the assumption by others that because she works in IT she is awkward and difficult to get on with and so she is treated as such. If the communication coming her way is blunt to the point of rude she can hardly be blamed for reacting (and reinforcing the stereotype) from time to time. Personally, I've never had any communication problems with her. She's warm and personable with a sense of humour and all she was saying is "Please don't label me and give me a chance".

As always stay safe and stay well my friends

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rah
rah

I love reading and technology as well as history. I teach English and Business to professional clients as well as soft skills with a focus on communications. I am a big fan of both Sheffield Wednesday and Lincoln City Football clubs


rah
rah

Experienced Business Owner and Coach and Tutor who now trades in Crypto. It is proving to be an interesting journey with so much technical language involved. Follow me as I learn the trade (and how to trade). Made some howling mistakes to begin with, but still learning and will share what I learn as I learn it for the benefit of the community. - RAH

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