Why Varied Team Behavior is a Good Thing


Interactions between differing personality traits pose potential conflicts.

People with extremely varying behavior can be daunting to work with. Everything about them may seem different, from perceptions of the world to communication styles. While it can be challenging to work well together, teams with varied behavior have the potential to deliver incredible results.

Let’s look at an example. There’s an executive team comprised mostly of energetic, assertive, and driven people. They love to make progress and are always looking for the next step. The CEO and COO are the exact opposite. They are both patient, preferring to take time to gather all the facts before making a decision.

Understandably, this creates some interesting conflicts. A team member comes up with what they see as a great idea. The forecasted ROI is impressive, they’ve created room in the budget, and they’re ready to start now! They present the idea and promptly get shot down. The CEO and COO see too many risks involved and don’t understand the value proposition based on the data at hand.

The team member is upset. They feel a complete disconnect by leadership on the perceived value of their idea. If not resolved these feelings may escalate, causing the employee to feel unappreciated, or even leave the company.

Situations like this are common. Team behaviors can clash destructively. Let’s explore how this situation could have been avoided with behavioral awareness and adaptations.

The team member comes up with their stellar idea. They’re excited! While they’re in the process of setting up their proposal, they think about the behavioral traits of the CEO and COO. They know initially they’ll be meet with skepticism. The CEO and COO will want a full risk analysis and see all the details up front. The team member spends additional time gathering these pieces and presents to the executive team.

As predicted, the majority of the executive team love the idea, with the exception of the CEO and COO. They voice their concerns, but the presenting team member has come prepared with answers. The team member knows this isn’t a personal attack, but rather the careful and hesitant personalities of the CEO and COO. After addressing initial questions, the CEO voices potential problems and successes the team member hadn’t considered. They’re able to bounce ideas off each other, perfecting the idea.

This outcome is favorable in every way. Each team member feels valued and heard, and the end result is significantly improved upon. If every team member was fast paced, they may have jumped into the plan before thoroughly weighing possibilities. While without assertive personalities present, the original idea may not have even been proposed.

The employee in our example used behavioral awareness to adapt their idea for success. They considered the CEO’s behavior and planned accordingly. We call this a “learned behavior” or adaptation. While these don’t come naturally and can feel very counter intuitive, they are well worth the effort.

Consider the behavioral traits of your team. Are you actively taking into account how behaviors interact? Our Team Scan assessmentprovides a clear, easy to understand analysis of different behaviors and how they work together. Our knowledgeable staff guides you through each trait, highlighting potential problems and how to resolve or avoid them all together.

Behavioral awareness can transform your entire organization. Improve communication, streamline projects, and encourage better workplace relationships. Strive to make your business a place employees are proud to be a part of.

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