The most effective project teams are a diverse mixture of people whose roles play to their individual strengths. These roles are largely determined by a combination of thinking style (divergent or convergent) and work orientation (people or task-oriented). Each type brings a different contribution to the team effort and getting the balance right can mean the difference between a team that gets things done and one that falls into disarray.
Let’s take a look at the four major roles a person can play on a team…
1. The Champion
A Champion is a divergent thinker with a people orientation. These are the people who promote ideas, rally the group, and drive change. They focus on the big-picture goals, setting events in motion and ensuring people are enthused about the project and motivated to act. They encourage brainstorming and welcome new ideas and alternative approaches. Without them, teams often lack vision and direction. Too many Champions, and the team might have difficulty maintaining momentum.
To be effective, the Champion needs to understand how different people are motivated. Not all stakeholders share the same level of creativity or appetite for innovation. Everyone wants to feel like a contributor, even if their individual contribution varies.
2. The Creator
Creators generate ideas, design solutions, and welcome creative challenges. They also look at the big picture and consider the long-term outcomes of different options and approaches to problem solving. But unlike the Champion, a Creator tends to be a doer. They are more task-focused than people-oriented. Creators sometimes prefer to work away at the task on their own and then reconvene when the job is done. They may need encouragement to build consensus instead of assuming people will simply comply with their decisions and business approaches.
A team with too many Creators could have difficulty coming to agreement on a course of action and may ultimately devolve into a group of people independently working toward the same goal rather than collaborating as a group.
3. The Implementer
When it comes to the daily work activities and administration required to make good on team objectives, Implementers have it covered. Their satisfaction comes from the actual process of execution and back-room administration. Implementers are not typically innovative thinkers or change agents. They tend to operate in the realm of the practical, where systems must be standardised, and procedures followed if the work is to get done.
A team lacking Implementers will usually lack efficiency as well, and the ultimate output might not measure up to specifications. Their responsibilities might not always be glamorous, but everything falls apart without them.
4. The Facilitator
Facilitators are the glue that holds things together. They manage the relationships both within the team and externally, and they make sure people have the support they need to perform their tasks. They serve as liaisons between the team and its external stakeholders and sometimes between team members. Companies rely on teamwork because teams deliver results that no one individual can generate alone. A Facilitator is essential for maintaining that wholeness.
A Facilitator is a people person who wants everyone to get along and work harmoniously toward a common goal. So, they tend to be uncomfortable or feel stress if a team starts to show strain or if others push back.
Know Your Team Members
Understanding these four roles and knowing which of your staff members fall into each category can be critical when choosing your team members. Without a balance of all four role types, a team may struggle to get started, struggle to keep going, get bogged down in their own task work, produce an inferior outcome, or fail to achieve the goal completely.
A Caliper assessment can save you from this.
We have a tool that can help you understand your employees’ work styles and skill gaps so that you can put together an efficient, collaborative team that works together to produce the desired results.
Give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.