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The Role of the Individual within a Team


“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Aristotle

DCW TeamWhen we begin building teams, whether for work, sports, or even trivia at the local pub, we have to consider the strengths of the individuals that we are utilizing. We try to identify the leader, the follower, the creative, the big picture visualizers, the devil’s advocate, the nitpicker. However, in some cases, identifying and stereotyping these personality traits can inhibit the team building process.

When profiling the personalities on a team, the goal is typically to deepen the connections within the group and give each team member insight into how to best handle one another. However, this plan can easily backfire.

Have you ever taken a personality profile assessment and found yourself limiting what you could and could not do? For many, this is a common reaction, and one that is very counterproductive when it comes to team building. For example, a team member who finds that they may have a more aggressive personality may fall back on that when they are arguing a point to use it as an excuse for their behavior. While the test was designed to help this individual acknowledge their aggressive nature and try to be more understanding, it instead triggered the opposite response.

The most important component of building a successful team is building one that respects the individual contributions of each member. This is at the core of our team building programs at Drum Cafe West. While each program is tailored to the needs of the individual organizations we work with, at their core, they are all about fostering respect for the individuals that make up the team. When we view our collaborators as equals, it’s easier to relate on a personal level and respect one another as we want to be respected.  It is this respect that allows teams to go from talented individuals to an unstoppable collaborative force— and that’s something that every organization could benefit from.

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