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3 qualities of a good team player (and how to find them)


The key advantage of companies is flexibility and quick response to market changes. Following the trend allows the transition to a flexible management model. This, in turn, involves teamwork.

At the heart of any effective company is the organization of the work of teams to create unique, innovative solutions, methods, technologies, products and services for a limited time, their improvement and maintenance throughout the product life cycle.

A “correct” development team is a team of specialists united by a common goal and solving all the tasks assigned to them throughout the product life cycle.

Each team member has a key role and a set of basic and additional knowledge. The latter are extremely important for building a highly effective team.

The key principles of team building are voluntary entry into its composition and focus on results. Each team member performs that part of the general task that his team identified with him, and not the part that he usually performed on the instructions of the leadership.

Seven plus / minus two

A team will be as effective as possible, and its activity will be productive if it includes no more than 9 people (the formula is “seven plus / minus two”)

A feature of the team is collective responsibility. All team members, regardless of the positions in the staff list, “earn” if the team as a whole worked efficiently, and “lose money” if the team did not achieve a result.

At the same time, individual responsibility and especially the individual financial incentives for employees are completely excluded.

The most effective solution is when the short-term team result does not have a direct correlation with compensation. It can only be a long-term (annual or more) promotion related to the results of the work of teams as a whole or even the company as a whole.

A humble candidate - a pawn in a strange game

Modesty is believed to be the ability to "think less about oneself, more about others." Modest candidates are the exact opposite of those who behave arrogantly and selfishly and establish their laws, regardless of the opinions of others. Modest employees often help colleagues and do not boast about their personal successes.

Lensioni emphasizes that modesty is the most important of the three qualities he listed, but far from the only one worth looking for in team players. Humility in itself is sometimes undesirable.

For example, a humble candidate without thirst for action and emotional intelligence easily falls under the influence of others. Lensioni calls such people "pawns" and notes that they tend to reduce the overall potential of the entire team.

Thirsty Action Candidate - Bulldozer

According to Lensioni, any team player must have a thirst for action in order to move forward. These are hard workers who not only give 100% themselves, but also motivate other team members.

Hyacinth Marketing owner Michael O'Donnell claims to always favor active people. “If I have a choice between an experienced professional and a young person who is thirsty for action, I always choose the second option. Such people will do anything to achieve success and benefit the company,” says O'Donnell.

But the thirst for action is not all. If such a person does not have modesty, he simply will not be able to get along with anyone. He, like a bulldozer, will push others, undermining their desire for success, and ultimately the whole idea will collapse.

High Emotional Candidate - Seducer

Candidates with a high level of emotional intelligence can handle other people. Emotional intelligence provides many benefits, including the ability to empathize with other people and take a rational approach in the process of collective problem solving.

In an interview with Forbes, Lencioni notes that candidates with a high level of emotional intelligence "understand the dynamics of the group, and therefore they say and do what everyone benefits." Being part of a team, such people easily make contacts and build relationships.

Unfortunately, their ability to quickly conquer others and charm everyone and everyone extends to those who conduct interviews. If you hire charming people, your team will not be able to work at all. Everyone will mess around, knowing that this will get away with them.

Modesty + thirst for action = random errors

Modest candidates with a thirst for action, but without emotional intelligence, have some potential for success. Their main disadvantage is that sometimes they express their thoughts without having thought them over properly. In addition, they often make mistakes, but at least they have the courage to admit it. You can very well hire such people if you are ready to engage in the development of their emotional intelligence.

Modesty + emotional intelligence = cute couch potato

On the other hand, modest candidates with a high level of emotional intelligence, but without thirst for action, are more often idlers. Of course, it is pleasant to communicate with them, and they take care of their colleagues, but the results of their work, as a rule, are disappointing. If you cannot properly motivate such people, in the long run the whole team expects an inevitable collapse. Other team members will have to do their job for lazy people, and this, as you know, does not affect the atmosphere in the team too well.

Thirst for action + emotional intelligence = skillful politician

According to Lensioni, this is a very dangerous combination of qualities. Imagine some famous politician. This is an experienced person who knows what he wants, and for the sake of it is ready to stick a knife in the back of the first who gets in his way. There is no place for such people in a good team, so you should not hire them.

Ultimately, making concessions is not necessary. If you want to get a worthy player in your team, look for someone who has three qualities at once.

How to attract modest people with a thirst for action and a high level of emotional intelligence?

First of all, you should change the recruiting process and pay attention not to technical skills, but to personality traits of candidates. Even the NFL understands the importance of this approach. In the end, a destructive personality can prevent a team from realizing its potential or simply destroying it.

Here's what you need to do:

  • Organize an interview to evaluate the true identity of the candidate. If you have the opportunity, schedule an appointment outside the office to see how the applicant behaves in the real world. In particular, Lensioni advises to play football with him or go shopping. Charles Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger calls each candidate to a restaurant and urges the waiter to serve him the wrong dish, and then evaluates how the candidate responds to other people's mistakes. Of course, those who begin to swear and get angry are immediately denied.
  • Do not conduct scattered interviews. If you still prefer to speak with candidates in the office, do not conduct scattered interviews. For example, if the applicant needs to communicate with several representatives of your company, all these people should communicate with each other, share observations and pay attention to problem areas. In addition, you can conduct group interviews to eliminate possible misunderstandings. In the end, one person may notice something that others do not notice.
  • Get accurate answers. Lensioni is a supporter of conversations in the style of the series Law and Order and advises openly interrogating candidates. If the interlocutor is trying to get away from the question, ask again and again until you get an answer. If it seems to you that the candidate is hiding something, most likely it is. Do not give up your suspicions, lead the conversation in the right direction, using various formulations. For example, if a candidate gave a vague description of how he copes with conflicts, ask if his friends consider him vindictive. If the candidate responds to such pressure with aggression, this will also tell a lot about him.
  • Scare candidates with sincerity. If you don’t understand how active the person sitting in front of you is, try to scare him with your sincerity. Tell us about how important the enthusiasm of employees is for you, and that those who are not enthusiastic do not take root in your team. This will give your candidate a way to retreat and possibly save you a lot of time and money.
  • Find a way to determine if the candidate’s values ​​match your company’s. Lensioni cites Southwest Airlines as an example, which tested pilots for a sense of humor, inviting them to try on khaki shorts right at the interview (previously this clothing was part of the uniform). Some believed that they were being played out and refused, and some willingly accepted the challenge and ultimately received offers.

These small changes in the recruiting process will help you hire people who can strengthen your team and increase your overall productivity. Such people are likely to find a common language with their colleagues, and you will create a strong and successful team.

Where to get specialists for the project

In domestic practice, as a rule, teams are formed from among the existing employees of the company and it is extremely rare to resort to the practice of hiring professional external teams.

Plus, the team consisting of employees of the organization is obvious. People are in the context of the organization, they know all the stakeholders, stakeholders, the nuances of the business environment and other aspects of the work, both internal and external.

Minus - the lack or lack of competencies of staff members in the field of new management approaches.

Reasons for Teamwork Failure

The most common problem in Russian companies - management decides to implement a team approach, but everyone continues to live according to the laws of unity of command.

Indeed, the design approach implies a certain loss of controllability. There is no need to be afraid of this, because the autonomy of the team from the leadership is the key to success, which will bring the company to a new level. Moreover, the results will be visible in the very near future.

Another frequent reason for the failure of teamwork, in addition to the reluctance of management to transfer power into the hands of teams, is the resistance of the employees themselves. How to overcome it?

Learning how to effectively interact with project team members

A mature team is fully responsible for their work. Most administrative, financial and personal matters are decided by team members. The team itself plans work, distributes roles and responsibilities, overcomes technical and other difficulties with minimal external intervention.
What exactly do employees need to be taught in order for a team to become mature?

In order to create such a team, it is necessary to develop and analyze the goals and vision of the endpoint, the business value of the team being created. The team develops with clear rules of work and common corporate values, as well as regular work on errors.

Team members need to learn modesty, the ability to accept a variety of managerial and personal styles, to create an atmosphere in which creativity and new approaches to integration are encouraged and supported.

Team training has proved itself:

  • to develop effective interpersonal communication skills,
  • conflict management
  • developing abilities to take into account interpersonal differences when working in a team,
  • development of emotional intelligence, trainings aimed at the development of cohesion and mutual support. A ready-made solution in this area can be a joint rest and joint training.

The development of team culture is impossible without the institution of mentoring and understanding of common tasks at the organization level.

The philosophy of the team is formed in presentation materials, in the speeches of the founders of the company, information documents. The goal is to create a certain image of the corporation in the eyes of employees, to convey its mission and values.

Perhaps you need to involve the marketing department, as internal marketing is no less important than external. This is another non-obvious way to teach effective interaction.

When you create a team, do not forget that great results are never obtained without great people, and vice versa - great people and culture are most often associated with the most effective organizations.