Is 2014 The Year Of The Team?

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Creating and developing an effective team is essential for success in any business. We all know that a good team needs a shared objective, a clear understanding of that objective, trust, a suitable mix of skills and talents, the ability to communicate clearly and be ready and able to share expertise. Put all that together and you get better productivity, better response times and numerous other benefits.

All well and good but, how exactly do you select the right people?

Profiling tools have been around for years. Most started life in the US but nowadays these tools are used worldwide. Psychometrics, behaviour analysis, personality dynamics; all are used to improve team development and team working. A good profiling tool when used properly can take much of the guesswork out of team creation and team development – but still leave enough room for the personal knowledge you may have of different individuals. Many profiling tools can be used just as well for the selection and nurturing of individuals as well as groups, for example in the field of PA development and close confidence training.

Although many of these team profiling tools follow one of two ‘standard’ models, the Belbin model or the DISC profiling model, there are also many others available. Essentially they all try to assist in the selection and development of high-performance teams, the raising of personal effectiveness and self-awareness among team members and ultimately, establishing working relationships which are productive and long lasting.

As knowledge of business psychology and management continues to evolve, new tools for team working and team development are constantly being developed. The choice is much larger than you might think and, in order to make an informed choice, it is best to be able to directly compare one with another. New, exciting and truly innovative systems are out there but a broad understanding of what is available is essential when selecting the best tool for the job.

For companies using teams working primarily online, specific tools have been developed for the selection and development of ‘virtual’ teams. This is a response to the number of companies now ‘moving’ to the cloud. Whilst based around similar principles to real-world assessment tools, these virtual team profiling systems take into account the needs of online communications, information sharing and how to maximise on cloud flexibility.

It’s not enough however to just say that using a particular tool ‘might be a good idea’. They cost money and you will still have to put forward a convincing business case. Thankfully, good profiling and team development tools are not for single use only and can be used on an ongoing basis to further develop the team or individual concerned. In this way, maximum ROI can be achieved and the economic case for the purchase and use of the tools enhanced.

When assessing personal strengths and weaknesses, personality types or considering the dynamics of a team, professional profiling tools can be of great help. Nevertheless, your own knowledge of a person is also important, especially if you are the one tasked with motivating them. Personal conflicts, as well as harmony, can make or break a good team which is why it is important to discover how today’s advanced profiling tools can help you to develop the best team possible.

Till next time,

Isobel