How to Build an Effective Team

It may surprise you to find out, but the best way to build an effective team is by hiring the right person to start with. Read that again. The best way to build an effective team is to hire the right person. For example, one of your first considerations is that you should hire for your weaknesses rather than your strengths. While this is easy to write, it's much harder to accomplish. LeadersWay has consulting programs that help you identify your needs and find the right applicants to grow your organization in the right way.


At LeadersWay, we utilize the TTI suite of assessment tools to help you understand yourself and your team.. TTI's research-backed behavioral assessments are administered to employees and leaders alike and "help groups deliver awareness of self, recognition of others, and skills to adapt for improved communication." The TTI test results provide a black and white outline to see what's going on in your organization. It helps you understand where your strengths lie as a group and assess what personality types you should add to the team. While typically you might hire for a set of skills, it turns out that what you're looking for is far more profound and arguably harder to quantify: you need the right personality and the ability to fit that personality into your organization.


The Success Insights ® Wheel from the TTI assessment test

In this example, we can see the natural and adaptive style of the test subject. This person is a Natural: (49) SUPPORTING RELATER (ACROSS) and Adapted: (49) SUPPORTING RELATER (ACROSS).


From TTI:


The Success Insights® Wheel is a powerful tool popularized in Europe. In addition to the text each subject receives about their behavioral style, the Wheel adds a visual representation that allows

each person to:

  • View their natural behavioral style (circle).

  • View their adapted behavioral style (star).

  • Note the degree they are adapting their behavior.

Each person's Natural style (circle) and Adapted style (star) are plotted on the Wheel. If they are plotted in different boxes, then the subject is adapting their behavior. The further the two plotting points are from each other, the more they are are adapting their behavior.


When a group or team takes the behavioral assessment, it would be advantageous to get together, using each person's Wheel, and make a master Wheel that contains each person's Natural and Adapted style. This allows the team to quickly see where conflict can occur. You will also be able to identify where communication, understanding and appreciation can be increased.


So, in the case of our subject above, the assessment considers them:

  • A good supporter

  • A team player

  • Persistent

  • Cooperative

  • Sensitive to others’ feelings

  • Accommodating

  • Dislikes Confrontation

  • Persistent

  • Controls emotion

  • Adaptable

  • A good listener

There is a lot more depth to the TTI, but this is a useful overview. Of course, we'd love to go more in depth about how to utilize this in your hiring and team building process, and you are welcome to contact us for more information on the TTI.


Communication is Key

If it is true that the most successful teams are diverse (and we think that is the case), then it is evident that the role of leadership is to facilitate the ability of the team to communicate effectively. Effective communication involves:

  • Exploring how each member fits into the team and why.

  • The development of different personnel.

  • Understanding the biases of both leadership and team members (unconscious or otherwise).


Suppose a team can truly understand one another and is committed to effective communication. In that case, you will find that your organization can tackle the most difficult elements of your work in a much more dynamic and effective way.

“You have to teach people to speak to one another and be comfortable with each other, before you teach them to how have difficult conversations.”

If you haven't done an assessment like the TTI, you don't really know what kind of tools the individuals on your team have in their tool box. Remember, almost every problem that occurs in the workplace is the result of poor communication. These include

  • Not speaking truth to power

  • Hypocrisy (I say yes when I mean no)

  • People not speaking because they are afraid

  • Fear driving the things we do

If any of this information has piqued your interest, or you'd like to learn more about the TTI testing protocol, effective communication, or have any general inquiries, don't hesitate to contact us.

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