How to Build Your Ultimate Work Team

A group of people working on something at the same time does not automatically make them a team.

So it begs the question: 

Should you build teams around people you are naturally compatible with so you can all get along?

Or is there a benefit to hiring diversity in behavioral styles? If so, is the tradeoff worth it?

After all, you want high performance, not high maintenance. Amirite?

On the surface, it appears one would be best-served hiring people who are naturally compatible to build a stellar team. Wouldn't that mean less tension and arguing?

Not so fast!

Socially speaking, you don't need a crystal ball to predict compatibility. It's quite easy if you know what you're looking for. 

Socially - we are drawn to people most like us, behaviorally. Fast-paced, people-oriented people tend to like other fast-paced, people-oriented people. Slow-paced, task-oriented people tend to like other slow-paced, task-oriented people.

Surprisingly - what works socially doesn't necessarily turn out best in a work team. At work, the dynamics differ a great deal. "Like" often competes or conflicts with "like." Our behavioral styles are based on our needs. Therefore, the similarities that worked socially get in the way at work because they have the same set of needs. Fulfillment of those needs (resources, rewards, time, space, and attention) are in limited supply.

For the most part, behavioral diversity pays dividends.

Each style communicates, influences, involves others, and makes decisions differently, bringing their strengths (and weaknesses) into the mix. Anytime one over-relies on a strength, it becomes a weakness. Other team members can serve to keep that in check as well as compensate for the weaknesses. Same-style groups simply do not have these advantages.

Differences in communication style bring new perspectives to problem-solving, creativity, and team-building. Although this can be slow-going at first, the key is to focus on each other's strengths rather than differences or weaknesses. The team member's willingness to adapt to others' styles is a key indicator you are building a high-performance team.

Ultimately, choosing the ultimate team depends on what you want your team to accomplish.

What's the most critical outcome or result you want to garner? Which attributes would best-help to reach that outcome?

Whom you choose to put on your work team is very likely to affect the team's outcome or success. So choose wisely. Bring together the group that is most likely to adapt to one another and deliver the desired result.

If you want to learn more about behavioral styles and how to work with each, get our Free Guide to The 4 Personality Types and Exactly How to Get Peak Performance from Each.