When you gather a team together to tackle a project, it’s usually tempting to bring together people you have an affinity with or who are similar to yourself. And that makes sense. Harmony within a group of people is much easier to maintain when you have people who share common interests
However, when you’re providing solutions for a project or team exercise, then having like-minded individuals can be a detriment, as like-minded individuals will only think of like-minded solutions. A group of clones will only approach, see and understand problems the way you do. It can be so detrimental that you might end up wishing that you were doing the project by yourself or having taken total control and just told the other team-members what to do.
In order to get optimal results, you will need to move outside of your comfort-zone and team up with others who you may not naturally gravitate towards to bring in a different perspective or outlook on what goals of the project you want to achieve. Naturally, you will need to choose people with the relevant skills, experience and knowledge base of the tasks at hand. But it might actually help to bring in a wild-card. By that, I mean someone who is not in your usual line of work, someone who can bring in a freshness and naivety to the role, because they will be able to ask questions from an outsider’s view and point out observations that the team might be oblivious to, being so inside the work.
Workers are divided by their conative behaviour which gives everyone a Natural Working Style. In forming a team, you should try to have a mix, or at least an awareness of your team-members’ conative instincts:
Verifier: People who drive the group to deep information-gathering and researching.
Completer: People with a dogged attention to detail and routine, bringing structure to the group.
Improviser: People who contribute a high level of creative thinking.
Authenticator: People who think through the physical/mechanical requirements of the project.
Having a group combined of people with these disparate elements may seem like a recipe for disaster. However, with good leadership and mediation, this can be managed.
Knowing your team-members’ Natural Working Style will give you an immense advantage to create an environment where these people can work. And by having the awareness of what instincts your team-members have, means you can resolve conflicts and encourage tolerance of everyone’s different strengths.
Once you have your team together, your project management must perform 3 roles in order to measure its success: the ability to index and track a wide range of activities and present them in various formats, present some form of critical path which can be broken down in measurable and achievable steps, and finally, allow team-members to make progress reports against their deadlines.
With my book Revolutionise The Way You Work Using Microsoft Outlook, I show you how Microsoft Outlook can perform each of these functions for individuals, teams and even right up to large organisations.