Getting the best from a team is a real challenge, but it’s about one of the most interesting elements of my job as the MD. As with any challenge, a toolkit of techniques can really help you to understand where to start.
A free and fast toolkit for understanding profiles
So far I’ve been profiled using DISC, ColourWorks and I have recently become a fan of the 16Personalities tool which is based on the Myers-Briggs toolset. The tools all point to similar characteristics and while some offer more business derived outputs.
At the bottom of this post is a link to two of the tools we use at Supplyant to see how our teams work together. It includes a comparison of the 3 different types of profile above and a way of mapping your own teams.
I really really want to be a good boss so the changes start with me. Some of the basic truths I’ve spotted from working with experts and my team below.
- Opposite sides of the circle
Your opposite on the chart is the person you need in your life, they have all the attributes you are missing and the two of you together are far stronger than the individuals.
- Identifying our inspirers vs cynics vs introverts vs extroverts vs starters vs finishers
Everybody is different and the team needs a mix to function effectively. As an example putting introverts into roles that require high levels of group communication is going to be a major area of pain.
- Management vs Expertise
Its was always a mystery to me why people didn’t see a path to management as the best opportunity to grow. Some people are much happier with a path to expertise over a path to management. Understanding the profiles helps identify experts vs leaders within the team.
- How the results are viewed
Each individual i’ve seen use these tests seems to look for certain things first. A trend I’ve seen many times are introverted types looking straight to strengths to build self confidence with extroverts looking to weaknesses to build on.
Value to My Team
Managing upwards and understanding your teammates is not easy. It’s an unwritten rule at Supplyant that if you cannot say what you need to say in 5 bullet points then it’s not going to keep my attention (terrible I know). Applying this logic to team mates can take what was a high friction meeting into a communication where both sides understand each others strengths and modify communication to reflect this.
Value to ME
Understanding my own weaknesses as a leader has been a real challenge. I know I can be pushy, over confident and not provide enough detail to my team. As Supplyant has grown I know I have to address these challenges and part of that is getting in a team with complimentary skills. What comes with bringing in team members who address my weaknesses comes friction with our differing views on any given situation.
Value to my customers
We make a point of wherever we can trying to understand our own customers profiles so we can team them up with the right management to make sure e-commerce problems are solved quickly and efficiently.
Thinking about your own customers and tweaking advertising to suit.
Who are you selling to? What works for one group of customers doesn’t work for another.
Think about the following situation (from my early days in the big wide world)
I at one time worked selling services to public services companies. My experience showed that generally people in this type of organisation value safety over and above risk. Advertising can be tuned very cleverly to these types.
Which do you think would work for these risk-averse character types.
- Buy today, receive tomorrow
- 100% no-quibble money back guarantee
Have a go on 16 personalities, it’s fun, free and pretty insightful.
Download our kit:
I would never class myself as an expert in this subject, more of a keen amateur. There’s a mountain of experts out there if you’d like a pro on it.
If you’d like to know more about some of the techniques we are using around this to influence the team & e-commerce sales i’d love to hear from you.