What's your Team Management Profile?*
Good teamwork is fundamentally important in many organizations. All too often, however, team members are chosen simply because they happen to be available for a particular project. So, have you ever been part of a team of hard-working and talented people, which has failed to achieve its goal?
This may have been because people were assigned roles that didn't use their strengths, or because the team didn't have the range of abilities needed.
We're not talking about technical skills here – it's usually easy to make sure that your team includes individuals with the necessary knowledge and experience. But it's harder to make sure the team has people who are good at the more general aspects of work – such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision-making, planning, implementing, and fact-checking. When a team includes members who are good at each of these different roles, it is far more likely to be effective.
If we assume that people tend to be better at doing things that they enjoy, managers need to understand each individual's preferences. They can then bring together a group of people who have the "right" strengths – strengths that complement and balance one another – and they can put people in the best position to use these strengths.
One way to do this is by using the Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile, developed by Dr Charles Margerison and Dr Dick McCann.
The Team Management Profile is a psychometric tool (measuring things like aptitude and personality) that has been used in personal and team development for over two decades. The profile consists of 60 questions that explore how an individual at work prefers to:
From there, a profile is built that highlights a person's role preferences.
Margerison and McCann identified eight role preferences, and developed the Team Management Wheel shown in Figure 1 to describe them.
Figure 1 – The Margerison- McCann Team Management Wheel*
The role preferences are as follows:
The "Linker" role, shown in the center of the wheel, involves integrating and coordinating the work of others within the team, and in relation to external interfaces. This role has to be done by everyone, although the team leader has particular responsibility here.
The Margerison-McCann model assumes that people are more capable and motivated to perform the "Types of Work" that they prefer.
As such, the completed Profile identifies one major role as well as two relates roles for each person. It shows you:
The Profile report helps managers understand why people are motivated to do some things and not others. It also gives some insight into each person as both an individual and a team player.
Margerison and McCann also developed other related tools, such as the Types of Work Profile Questionnaire. This determines which of the eight Types of Work in the Team Management Profile (plus the additional "Linking" type) are critical for the various tasks that the team has to perform. This can be combined with the Team Management Profile to produce a report mapping a person's work preferences to the requirements of the job.
The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile can be used in various ways.
As a manager, you can use the Profiles to examine whether you've assigned people to the right tasks. The more you match jobs to people's strengths, the better your team and your organization will be. And when you recognize patterns of work preference, it's much easier to assign tasks that people find motivating and rewarding.
This increased understanding of your team members also helps you prepare development plans that will excite your staff. If you demonstrate a high interest in individuals' preferences, that can go a long way toward building a strong work relationship – which leads to higher levels of staff satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
Sharing the Profile results with fellow team members also helps increase overall team understanding and unity. For example, when Jim knows why Sally cares so much about details, and Jim understands that paying attention to detail is a relevant and essential role within the team, it's easier to find ways to get along and work together – even though Jim might be impatient and prefer to get things moving.
Your teams may be highly structured and well established – or they may be informal, ad hoc, and even "virtual." Regardless of the type, it's important to understand team dynamics and measure team effectiveness. Teams are expected to perform well, which means that individual team members must perform their roles well. The Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile helps you recognize the roles necessary for your team to operate at its best, and determine which individuals are best for each role.
By matching and balancing team roles and individual preferences, you have a formula for a high-performing team. When people work within their preferences, they're more capable and productive – and, as a result, the team operates more smoothly. The Profile helps you not only create stronger teams, but also develop skills and promote mutual understanding between team members. This makes it much more likely that people will work together effectively, and achieve their objectives.
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