After a long season of having our heads down on client work and pushing out several site launches and marketing campaigns, we like to assess results and improve our systems and communication as a team.
One of the things that I'm fascinated with in business and life in general is people. Managing projects overseeing work and communication from clients and coworkers provides an interesting perspective for how different people with various personalities work and communicate together, or fail to do so. Often, improvements that can be made revolve around understanding and contextualizing to different people who think, act, work and communicate in different ways.
A helpful taxonomy for understanding personalities on a team is identifying and assessing everyone's IQ, XQ, and EQ. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team as you assess strengths
Who knows everything?
The IQ person is not just a person who knows a lot, hopefully that describes the whole team, this is the person who leads through knowledge. They are so top heavy with knowledge it almost hurts their likability. But, they just simply know the right stuff and help save time because they are the go-to person when the team needs deep technical knowledge. It's not that they can't get things done and don't have feelings, they have just enough of those things to support what they know, and that's how they like it. They are more excited about the fact they know what to do than they are about doing it. This person is most likely a solid technical resource who will need help from other team members to get them to communicate what they know and get things done.
Who does everything?
The XQ person is not just a person who can get things done, again, that should describe the whole team, but this is the person who leads through execution. They push so hard to hit timelines and check off daily tasks that it will most likely lead to conflict. The fact is though, without them, deadline integrity doesn't exist, and they are the go-to person when the team needs to get something done yesterday. They definitely know stuff, and they have emotions, but they lead through keeping things on a timeline and getting projects launched efficiently and on time. They are more excited to finish a project on time than if it is 100% perfect and everybody is still their friend when it's over. This person is a solid manager, but will need the team to assist them with understanding the big picture and making sure nobody is burning out or angry.
Who feels everything?
The EQ person is not just someone who understands people, this is a person who leads through relationships. They are so friendly at times that they may lose sight of important project details and deadlines. However, this person is often viewed as the glue that keeps the team together, and they are the go-to person in the middle of conflict. They have technical knowledge and enjoy getting things done on time, but they lead through keeping morale high. They are more excited when other people succeed than they are about their own success. This person is a solid communicator, but will need the team to help them understand technical details and deliver projects on time.
How's your team doing?
Almost everybody leads in one area as a major strength, has a secondary area where they are pretty good, and one legitimate weakness. There are many tools for understanding your team's strengths and weaknesses but this simple breakdown has been helpful to me for making quick assessments and determining what areas need to be focused on to have a more knowledgable, effective and happy team that delivers amazing work to our clients. So how is your team doing?