5 Key Roles in Successful Team Development
In today’s team based approach to the work environment, organizational success depends, more than ever before, on people working together effectively. This requires a clear understanding, by the individual, of his/her personal strengths, a real appreciation of the difference in others, and how their strengths interact with those of others. This knowledge is the foundation for successful team development.
Each member of a team has his/her individual characteristics and behaviorial preferences. The success of the team will depend to a large extent on how well they interrelate and capitalize on the strengths of each individual.
All of us have heard of the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you”. Today, Dr. Tony Alessandra, in his Platinum rule, disputes that. He argues that to build constructive relationships, we should do unto others as they would like to be done unto. Certainly a different perspective!
People are different, and if leaders are to be effective they must understand that “one size does not fit all”. Leaders, to be effective, must adapt their approach to meet the needs of their followers.
In a well functioning team you can recognize 5 key roles being played out.
- Role #1 is that of the Creator who takes a conceptual approach to the task. These are the people who generate ideas.
- Role #2 is that of the Advancer who takes a spontaneous approach. These people communicate and/or promote the ideas.
- Role #3 is that of the Refiner who takes a methodical approach. These people challenge the ideas, and/or point out their weaknesses.
- Role #4 is that of the Executor who takes a normative approach. These people implement the ideas.
- Role # 5 is that of the Flexor who plays the role of the deal-maker and can step in to fill any gaps in the other roles.
Although most people can stretch to perform each of the roles, these stretches are often stressful and energy consuming. The most effective teams consist of individuals who play to their strengths and use their natural talents. The key element to remember is that everyone has a preferred role that can be used to help teams create their best solutions.
So the process is likely to develop as follows. The Creator come up with an idea, the Advancer likes the idea and promotes it. Then the Refiner clarifies any objections, and pokes new holes in ideas that make them better, and the Executor gets the information they need to implement the plan or idea. Through the whole process the Flexor plays the role of the deal-maker – providing team balance.
The Team Dimensions Profile™ is an instrument that helps us identify our most natural approach, and our most comfortable role, on a team. We can also use the Team Dimensions profile to help us interact successfully with team members who have different behaviorial patterns. The Team Dimensions Profile™ describes an individual’s preferred role and explores the strengths and challenges of that role. From it you can discover what you do best in a team atmosphere, and you can gain valuable insights into your work habits. In addition you can learn about other team members’ contributions, the value they bring to the process, and how to work effectively together.
Remember that teams are groups of diverse people united by a common goal or purpose. Operating effectively they exemplify the acronym T.E.A.M. (“Together Everyone Achieves More”).