Putting Together an Effective Team: Is Your Team Pulling Together?
October 30, 2006

Much of the work in today's corporations is done in teams. However, team results range from highly productive to dysfunctional. Research shows that well-functioning teams have members that fill four different roles:

  • Creator - generates ideas
  • Advancer - communicates ideas
  • Refiner - challenges ideas
  • Executor - implements ideas

Each of these roles requires different skills and abilities and the wrong person in the wrong role can spell disaster. Have you ever worked on a team where the person in charge of communicating with upper management dropped the ball? Have you ever seen a project doomed from the start because no one was in charge of implementing the decisions?

If you are depending on teams for key projects in your organization, make sure that you have the right people in the right roles. One tool that can help you identify your team's talents and speed up this process is the Team Dimensions Profile 2.0. It's a research-based, online assessment that takes about 10 minutes to complete. You'll quickly see the strengths of your current team members and determine whether you need to make adjustments or assignments to maximize team function.

Of course people aren't one dimensional; you may find you have employees who can fill more than one role. For instance, one employee may focus heavily on analysis, a "refiner," but also have the ability to see realities and put ideas into a concrete plan, an "executor."

Teams having a balance of employees able to satisfy each role will be invariably more productive than those that don't. Naturally there are times when employees have to be stretched beyond their preferences, especially at smaller companies. However, an understanding of the other roles may help an employee communicate with others better and easily step into different work roles when called upon.

Understanding how people perform in a team atmosphere will give valuable insight into their work habits and contributions to the team process. When managers know their employees' natural tendencies and preferences, they can assign work roles accordingly, making their teams effective and their company more productive.

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