Jennie Marshall | 5 February 2013
Do you ever wonder why your team just isn’t connecting or collaborating? Do you wish people could understand each other and just appreciate the strengths each person brings to your team?
Research suggests that 85% of the reason teams of people
struggle when working together is due to interpersonal skills and
personal preferences, and only 15% is due to issues of technical
This probably isn't a surprise. You've experienced the frustration yourself that's caused by poor interpersonal skills and the resulting negative feelings they generate. But what can you do about it?
- Remember we're all different. We all look at the world through different eyes. We don't like the same things and or want the same things from each other. We don't have the same work styles and motivations. In other words, we have different styles - from behavioural styles to learning preferences. From leadership styles to feedback preferences. We have lots of filters operating in our brains that make us the unique individuals we are. The more you understand what your own styles are, and those of your team members, the easier it will be to understand them.
- We need those differences. The key thing is to recognise there is great value in the differences each team member brings. These differences make your team stronger in the long run, but can sometimes be frustrating. The more you understand styles in teams, the easier it will be for you to value the diversity.
- Learn to leverage the strengths each team member brings. Once you've identified the strengths of each unique team member, it makes sense to leverage those strengths and assign projects accordingly. For example, let your more analytical team members assess your quality control requirements and let your more interactive team members discuss the value of your project over lunch with the client
You've got to emphasise the need to develop the interpersonal
skills of each team member. It's critically important and doesn't
come naturally to many people. When you do this, your team members
will capitalise on the diversity of strengths each team member
brings. As a result, they will enjoy working with each other, be
more productive, and move towards higher levels of team
Check out our variety of courses to develop your interpersonal skills by clicking here .