Understanding the various personalities on your team is important for getting people working together in the way you'd like. That is why so many organizations use the personality assessment created by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers when putting together effective teams. Personality assessment tools can help select the right team members - people who are likely to bond, innovate, and follow through on the company's goals such that the output... Read more

One of the most challenging work transitions comes when you face the prospect of leading a new team for the first time. Getting people to work together is not easy, and many team leaders rush over the basics in order to start achieving goals. But the first weeks and months are critical for starting a team off on the right foot. What actions should you take to set the team up for success? How will you get the team working well together, manage conflict... Read more

When putting together a team, conventional wisdom dictates that you strive for a mix of personalities and do whatever it takes to build equality within the group. Inequality of status - where it's pretty clear how everyone ranks compared to their peers - discourages people from sharing ideas and can lead to people feeling undervalued or disrespected. These hot human emotions distract teammates from their tasks and can disrupt even the most focused... Read more

There's something rotten in the state of recruiting. When a candidate looks at a job ad, they would be forgiven for thinking that all employers are looking for people with a specific list of skills  - 10 years' experience within an S&P 500 company/advanced understanding of technology platforms/specific industry certifications/proven track record of managing large teams.

Once the candidate gets to the job interview, it's a different story.... Read more

Time and again, strong levels of trust in teams have been shown to build employee engagement, enhance customer loyalty, and drive profit growth. When team members have a high level of trust in leaders and each other, the group becomes notably better at achieving business goals.

But while the business case for trust is fairly straightforward, the "how" is considerably more complex. Specifically in relation to work groups, we can define trust as... Read more

What is the secret of productive teams? For the longest time, Google believed that the best teams consisted of the smartest people who got on with each other. But an observation of 180 of its internal teams provided a surprising result: the "who" didn't actually matter. There was nothing showing that a mix of skills,... Read more

Differing opinions, divergent viewpoints, and conflicting ideas are healthy and central to progress. They broaden our perspectives, stretch our minds, and help us to arrive at the best possible strategy and practices. Research suggests that constructive disagreement is enormously important to the success of a team. It increases participation in decision making, encourages collaboration, reduces anxiety, and results in better choices and more creative... Read more

When it comes to harnessing the strengths of teams while avoiding the weaknesses, team leaders have a tough job. Not only must they capture the full diversity of knowledge contributed by team members, they must also provide the right motivators such that individuals feel enabled and engaged with their job. Get the balance wrong, even slightly, and the result can be ruinous.

If that sounds dramatic, then know this: engaged employees are... Read more

In dynamic and competitive markets, it's almost universally understood that the old ways of working don't work any more. Every company has to think outside the box if it is to achieve higher levels of performance. Creativity is the tool that allows teams to work faster, and smarter, and quickly find their way to workable solutions to unique problems.

For anyone in charge of teams, this poses something of a challenge. Boosting your own creativity... Read more

Anyone who has worked in business has, at some point or another, smelt the stench of stale teams. Teams that started out as a success story, wowing clients and higher ups with their creativity, commitment and enthusiasm, can quickly grow complacent. The fact is, it's a hard slog to sustain a high-performing team. Serious graft is required to keep team members rowing in the same direction week after week, year after year.

Fortunately, for teams... Read more

Though we often think about dialogue as a simple conversation between two or more people, it is better defined as the medium through which people with different viewpoints may voice and share possibilities. It requires a number of skills beyond talking: setting aside ego, listening without judgment, creativity, and problem-solving. The idea is that people with alternative perspectives work together so that everyone may attain a deeper collective... Read more

Look around the workplace, and it's clear that conversation isn't what it used to be. Across the office, people are frantically reading, typing, and hitting "send" on emails, texts and social media. We're communicating all the time, perhaps more than ever before. Ironically, everyone's too busy to have an actual conversation.

Communication, as it tends to play out in workplaces, is a structured affair. We monitor our words carefully, give polite... Read more

All work and no play can make Jack a very dull boy — and it can also lead to stress, absenteeism, and burnout. Even the most confident manager can find it difficult to motivate a diverse team of individuals who are so under pressure, they've forgotten how to enjoy their job.

Most managers and HR professionals are convinced that making work fun boosts an employee's ability to perform at optimum levels and deliver a better-quality service, even... Read more

In today's economic landscape, it's more important than ever for businesses to accomplish more with less; a process known as boosting productivity. Productive employees output more work per specific unit of time than less productive employees. It is this increased efficiency that makes the business money.

But keeping employees productive is hard work. Why? Because productivity is primarily an inside job. You can't force it on someone. It comes... Read more

One of the biggest sources of workplace conflict shows up in differences on the fourth dimension of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - Judging versus Perceiving. A person whose style is "J" will schedule things in advance, organize their work with attention to deadlines and keep their eyes firmly on the goal. A "P" on the other hand, is pretty loose and free wheeling. They like to work on multiple projects simultaneously and to keep their options open... Read more

There's no shortage of guidance about how to respond to negative feedback. Whether the criticism comes as a shock or is entirely expected, the same advice is consistently touted: Listen carefully, don't get defensive, and act on the feedback to improve your performance.

This is good advice. The problem is, it's aimed at Thinkers. When a Thinker is taken to task, their natural response is to weigh up the evidence and look for the logic behind the... Read more

Anyone who applies for a senior position in a collaborative environment should prepare for the possibility of a peer-to-peer interview. Organizations will often schedule one as a final stage in the hiring process when they're fairly confident about your candidacy. The idea is to turn you over to your potential teammates, or peers, who will grill you to make sure you're a team player and can rub along nicely in the trenches.

Perils for INTJ... Read more

People get promoted for all sorts of reasons, not all of which have to do with their skills, qualifications or seniority. So if you suspect that your boss has less experience than you, you may be right.

Working under a less-experienced manager can be incredibly demoralizing, especially if your manager is an energetic, young upstart fresh out of school. So what do you do? Raise a ruckus, complain to your coworkers, or simply keep your head down?... Read more

Ah, the open plan office. It's to the 21st century what the cubicle farm was to the 1980s - everywhere. Today's employers are tearing down walls as a business imperative and with them, the barriers to communication and idea flow. Even freelancers are leaving their solitary kitchens and coffee shops. Formal co-working spaces, which offer pay-per-desk access to a community of... Read more

Everyone fails from time to time. Even the most accomplished leader is capable of dropping the ball and letting people down. While tough for anyone to deal with, mistakes are a fact of life. Handled properly, they can present a great opportunity to learn, improve and sustain your career advancement.

Sometimes, however, a single mistake can wreck a person's reputation. This usually happens when the mistake-maker doesn't handle the situation well... Read more