We have all heard this saying before and no-doubt understand the sentiment behind it. Teamwork is only effective when people come together to work towards a common goal. It doesn't work as well when one person feels superior to all the others, insisting that their way is the best way. Ego is one of the greatest enemies to effective teams.
As a rugby fan, I have always admired the New Zealand All Blacks. They have the highest percentage winning rate in international rugby and one of the highest in any sport across the globe.
Legacy by James Kerr is a wonderful book that charts their success, distilling it into 15 lessons in leadership. The first of these lessons is “sweep the sheds”. This is the idea that no player ever becomes too big to do the small things that need doing. Even the Captain (probably the most famous rugby player in the world at any one time) sweeps out the changing rooms after games. Sweeping the sheds is a collective practise to keep the players and the team humble.
Individuals within teams
Every team is made up of individuals who all bring something different to the table.
No two people are the same. No two people have the same temperament, skill set and experience. No two people’s behaviours will be identical. No two people’s leadership styles will be exactly the same. No two people will respond to stress in the same way. Individuals come together to form teams and we’d be fools to overlook this individuality.
All this said, teams are also a lot more than the sum of its parts. There is a beauty in bringing together very distinct individuals to form a team. Through the coming together, new ideas are sparked. New creativity is inspired. In a healthy way, new competition can be fostered. We can help bring out the best in others, leading others to help bring out the best in us. As the common cliché declares:
You can go faster alone, but further together.
A common goal to galvanise the individuals within the team, firstly in commitment to one another, and secondly, to a common vision, can make a team more effective. And there are certainly tools that can help with this - like personality profiling.
What is personality profiling?
We outlined what personality profiling is in a previous blog. They help us understand ourselves and other people better, which in turn enables relationships to grow to be stronger. As we have already seen, teams are full of “I’s”. How these “I’s” relate to one another is perhaps the most significant factor in the team’s success.
How can C-me add real value to my team?
There are many effective personality profiles available on the market. One of the great strengths of the tools that C-me provides is that they are deeply relational. We want to help you to understand yourself better, but always in relation to other people. As an example, you can see from the image below (taken from one of our commonly used reports), that each section offers bespoke statements for the individual, with more general characteristics at the bottom. This enables a user to reflect on themselves in relation to other people.
When every member of a team has a C-me profile, they can be used for really engaging conversations about people’s preferred ways of doing things. It is a tool that really helps the positive affirmation of each other, feeding the realisation that we all bring something unique to the team.
One way we can help further this conversation is by plotting whole teams on our Colour Wheel:
Visually seeing the different behavioural approaches of each team member, helps us understand the “I’s” that make up our teams and supports us in bringing out the best in them.
As two senior school leaders recently remarked:
“The profiling and workshops that C-me recently delivered remotely have given us a common language for talking about difference and made a marked difference to our communication as a staff team. We feel better placed to deal with conflict and support one another. We would thoroughly recommend C-me as an excellent provider.” Louisa Mulvany, Deputy Head, Thames Christian School
“As a Head I used colour-profiling with my Prefects and Senior Staff and found it to be very effective in building teams.” Alastair Reid, Former Head Teacher and currently General Secretary of TISCA
So is there an “I” in my team?
Yes – it is true that there is no “I” in a team. But it is also true that every team is full of “I’s”.
Have you considered using C-me to help bring together these individuals to form an even more effective team?
We’d love to support you on this journey. Get in touch with our team.