Teams are a combination of unique individuals, making this random combination into a well-oiled and high functioning machine is difficult. When we get it right, teams are worth a multiple and not just the sum of its members. The combination of different personalities, learning styles and leadership approaches will influence how a team will become most effective. A well balanced combination of differences infused with some appropriate leadership can lead to fantastic achievements.
Solving the mismatch
When we ‘change the conversation we can change the culture’ (Peter Block). Identifying and celebrating differences is step 1, we can start to appreciate other individuals and focus on their strengths. Members of a team can solve most of their frustrations and conflict by understanding themselves and others. To make a team work more effectively interventions to start the conversation about this can help. There are plenty of tools available that will help to understand these complicated dynamics. When we then work with leadership to find effective leadership for individuals and teams a healthy culture can evolve.
The final challenge is to put systems in place to keep the conversation going. The only way to achieve great, autonomous working teams is by keeping the conversation going. Effective coaching cultures within teams are highly effective to keep performance high and conflict at a minimum. By creating a culture where differences are used as an advantage and with a lot of understanding for personal differences; teams and organisations will be great places to work.