When previous strangers are brought together to acheive a common goal - differences in personalities, methodology & ethic can cause tensions. How we successfully cope with this develops the core strengths of the team as a whole.
Having worked together twice previously, I feel our team has begun to recognise & respect how our distinct personalities & different approaches previously caused friction - we will ensure this does not happen again.
I have complete faith that our team has the accumulative skills to deliver a brilliant project & our previous experiences will make us more aware of crisis before it creates a breakdown in communication.
01.02.12 | Strengths & Weakness’
After last Monday’s lecture I completed & then purchased my detailed profile report from Myers Briggs, my pattern “INFP” (or “ENFP”) is summarised below;
- Extraversion 47% - Introversion 53%
- Sensing 36% - iNtuition 64%
- Thinking 37% - Feeling 63%
- Judgement 46% - Perception 54%
Myers Briggs also detailed my preferred Team Roles my “top four” being;
- Innovating - 22
- Campaigning - 24
- Harmonising - 20
- Exploring - 23
My lowest “scores” were almost more interesting “analysing & clarifying” scoring a lowly 15 & 12 respectively. Myers Briggs was developed on Carl Jung’s theories one of which was to use colour in defining personalities within teams. Jung suggested my colour is Brown - a combination of “red & yellow” personalities;
Yellow : tends to focus on innovative ideas, possibilities or the unknown
Red : tends to focus on values, feelings, compassion & important beliefs
Whilst Id love to look at the above & think “whoah! - I have great team strengths” - in actual fact it also highlights where my weakness’ are - (example) my inability to follow structured rules, logical or tangible reality must seem alien & incomprehensible to a team member with differing core values to mine.
So, what does all this mean to me & more importantly to my team mates?
Having read “Conflict in Teams” ; Task Based Conflict;
I’ve long realised (given I’m nearly forty) my tendency to become frustrated when I feel creativity is being suffocated by (what I perceive to be) irrelevant, minor detail. My brain functions on an ethereal level - I “see” in shiny sparkling, multi-faceted colour with almost childish enthusiasm. I realise I am infuriatingly spontaneous when it comes to creativity; intuition, inspiration. Knowing my own capabilities & limitations see me focusing on the end goal & worrying less about what rules I follow in order to get there.
I tend to throw contrived process’ to the kerb which must be an utter nightmare for a Project Manager who concentrates on planning in detail, following logical & tested pre-defined steps. I quickly loose enthusiasm & patience when (what I believe should be) a flexible, freeflow of blue-sky thinking is forced into a grey box full of text & then defined to the nth degree.
- referring to my Myers Briggs profile report - Ive been called an “extroverted introvert” in the past (& until I became ill had never considered myself in any form introverted) - playing weird & wonderful characters on stage, teaching, always willing to stand up, speak out, ask questions, engage - but the past three years have shown me a true sense of my own mortality, medication caused me huge weight gain & Ive found myself a far more self-conscious human being.
I withdrew from general socialising & became quite insular - in retrospect I can see how this affected me in our previous group projects. In some respects I’ve forgotten whom “I used to be” & been forced to accept this new persona, something I resent deeply. Coupled with bereavement I realise I may have lacked empathy for things I consider trivial.
I also became less likely to challenge process’ I knew were fundamentally flawed, which fuelled my own frustration in compromise; previously where I would have been far more direct in voicing skill shortfalls, I sugar coated words until a stand-off crisis point had been reached. My self-inflicted anger then exploded & could have placed our project in jeopardy.
I find negative approach personalities exceptionally difficult to tolerate or understand - in “my previous life” I based training both humans & horses on a “recognition, praise & reward” system. Im now self employed, a tough decision to leave well paid employment I adored especially as a soon-to-be-skint single mother with a mortgage.
…but - My small business has clients in USA, Canada etc & Ive worked hard to achieve this via word of mouth, portfolio & trust. Clients trust me to deliver (irrespective of my bohemian approach) both on time & on budget. I realise I have expected others to instinctivly acknowledge this, yet perhaps did not afford them the same respect.
As a child I was taught the diffusive technique of “you could be right” - this allowed another the right to voice opinions valid to them as an individual, whilst negated the requirement for agreement on my part. We all think differently, cope differently when faced with difficult situations; I often overlook that & expect others to see solutions which are intuitive to me.
I also tend to forget I’m older & have enough life experience to say,
”this will work out fine - let’s not sweat the small stuff”.