Team Role FAQs: Individual Performance
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Team Role FAQs: Individual Performance

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Am I best using the role I prefer?

Not necessarily.

Maxium team or individual success is achieved when the right team role is used for the right circumstances. For example, the operations team of a nuclear power station will be successful if they use team roles such as Conductor and Curator, but not if they use Innovator or Explorer (in fact, they are required by law to adhere to pre-defined procedures). In this situation, team success is derived from ‘specialism’ in those particular roles - i.e.: there is a low need for flexibility because ‘appropriate adaptation’ means the use of just 2 or 3 particular roles. However, the ‘new business’ department of a marketing agency needs to continuously innovate in order to win business. This requires specialism in team roles such as Innovator and Explorer.

Inflexible team members, who stick to their own naturally preferred roles, can be successful when the circumstances only require the use of those roles. However, in many instances this can cause problems, and significantly hinder the team from achieving high performance. First and foremost, this is because the individual doesn’t adapt appropriately, and therefore fails to achieve optimum performance. However, it can also have a damaging effect on the rest of the team, because some of their efforts are diverted away from productive effort into accommodating that team member. The focus of team effort then becomes dealing with the died-in-the-wool team member, rather than on achievement or improving performance. In fact, where two team members fail to adapt, and take very different team roles, teamwork can sometimes be dominated by efforts to resolve the unproductive conflict that ensues.

So, in order to be successful in your job, you need to use the roles that will give you the maximum amount of success - using your naturally preferred role might not be the one that leads to optimum team or individual success.

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