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The killer team. Understanding styles and skills to leverage potential.

Paul Anthony / May 26, 2008

Posted in: Archive

At work we recently underwent some psychometric tests, which were aimed at helping to understand the different skills and preferences that were active in the team. This cognitive understanding will allow us to build teams comprising of people with complementary traits and skills, thus avoiding a natural tendency to surround ourselves with like-minded people as heterogeneous thinking groups are more innovative and creative.

There are four main traits that everyone has, most of us have acquired skills and preferences that make us fall into one or more of the below categories.

A wise *colleague* of mine once said “It’s hard to soar like an eagle, when you are surrounded by turkeys”. This post will hopefully make sure you dont hire turkeys.

1). The Doer – Tigers

They enjoy results and the activity that leads to the attainment of those results. They learn by doing and they are prepared to make some mistakes along the way to deal with the consequences.

People with Tiger as their predominant style, tend not to prioritise all the actions they must complete, they move ahead at full steam because everything is urgent. When you ask a Tiger if they are busy the answer is always yes. A tiger’s approach to problem solving is to move straight to action.

Develops personal work plans
Good action learning skills
Good observation skills

2). The Methodologist – Eagles

They are good at capturing how things are done so results can be efficiently repeated. They learn through observation and reflection and are better able to predict the future and pitfalls along the way.

Eagles are all about planning – and analytical skills. Eagles tend to see things in black and white. Eagles will feel comfortable developing plands and procedures. They will tend to approach tasks by first formulating a plan before moving to action. Other’s might view this as “lets get organised” rather than “lets get started”.

Highly developed process development skills
Good at performance management skills
Good at predicting future performance requirements

3). The Opportunist – Unicorns

They are good at identifying solutions, often identifying several solutions at any one time.. They are global learners, they absorb information randomly, often giving them the ability to solve complex problems quickly.

Unicorns are focused on delivering innovation and opportunities for the business which they regard as their own. Unicorns are not constrained by tradition and convention, they like to find new and different ways of doing things.

Highly developed creative skills
Ability to generate multiple solutions
Global learning skills

4). The Community Builder -Dolphins

Good at team tasks, and enjoy group accomplishment. They are sensory and intuitive learners, and enjoy exploring possibilities and relationships. They utilise the strengths of their team to accomplish tasks and solve problems.

As Dolphins place the emphasis on team achievement they will expend time and energy on communicating and coaching others when developing and implementing solutions to problems.

Highly developed communication skills
Collaborative delegation
Prioritising and work balance

So how can it help?

So how can we best apply this to building the killer team? Becoming aware of our own styles can help us adjust and adapt as managers and leaders – therefore becoming more productive, we can also be more tuned into others chosen way of working, and in turn understand their methods more thoroughly.

What style do you think you have?

  • building
  • Business
  • dolphin
  • eagle
  • learning
  • leverage
  • skills
  • styles
  • teamwork
  • tiger
  • unicorn

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