It’s not always easy to get the best from each team member. Especially when our primary focus is on project delivery.
Getting the best from each team member is hard work
We all know that team members are individuals and they each have their own personality quirks. Often things that really get on our nerves.
You get along with some people, and others you just struggle with. No other way around it.
It’s not easy being the person that has to lead or manage all of these different people. And you are expected to deliver a project outcome despite it.
Working with different people impacts our communication ability
Why? Basically, each individual hears things and takes them in, in their own way. As Jill Valdez explains “If I’m communicating based on my personality, as opposed to the person I am trying to communicate to’s personality, I’m speaking Greek and they’re speaking Latin.”
You’ve had this happen to you, haven’t you? Explained something, thought everyone understood you, and they were in agreement, then a few days later there are issues.
This happened because someone misunderstood what you said; misinterpreted what you said; basically didn’t understand what you said and didn’t say anything.
Understanding differences will help
To get the best from each team member you first need to think of them as an individual with individual differences.
Once you are aware that each individual you are working with is different it will make life easier.
And yes, this totally contradicts the edict that you need to have a ‘TEAM’ working together to deliver a project.
What’s interesting is the more you focus on the individual’s differences the more involvement in the broader team is likely to occur.
Why understanding differences helps with getting the best from them.
Realize that their personality may mean that they don’t hear you the way you expect.
Be prepared to consider your team member may not understand you, and communicate in a way that fits with their style, or way of taking information in, rather than yours.
If I am a visual learner, for instance, and all you do is provide me with written material, I will find it hard to be on the same page as you.
When my background is technical and you talk to me about the process it’s not necessarily in my realm to understand what or why I need to know about it.
By understanding these little personality traits and working with them you will ultimately get the best from that team member.
How to get the best from each team member
Realize they are an individual and treat them with respect. Work to get to know them and how they take in information.
Notice that what you are saying doesn’t compute Become aware of body signals or ways that team members will be showing you, other than words, that they don’t quite get what you are saying. Change up your delivery.
Find their strengths and utilize them. Each team member will have strengths and be willing to utilize them for the team’s betterment and the desired project outcome. Work with that, not against it.
Be okay with being different to them knowing that they have their way of functioning and so do you. Realizing this will help when things don’t always go as planned.
Jill and I speak more about this in this Project Management Insights episode.
Project Management Insights – Ranked #7 in the Top 15 Project Management Podcasts by Feedspot.