Design work is a team sport. Have you ever been on a team that’s a dream to work with? Great teams are energizing, get great results, and support our growth as designers. Conversely, dysfunctional teams can sap our motivation and often produce sub-par results. Since so much of design work requires working in teams and collaborating with others, it’s natural to wonder why some teams thrive while others nose-dive. So why do some teams work so much better than others, and what can you do about it as a team member or team leader?
Ingredients for a high-performing team
In 2012, Google set out to study what defined high-performing teams . The multi-year research project, code-named “Project Aristotle,” found that the number one determinant of high-performing teams is “psychological safety.” Psychological safety can be characterized as comfort...
Indeed, certain personality types pair better than others, which can greatly affect workplace interactions. However, with strong leadership and a commitment to understanding each other, any personality type can learn to work together effectively. Leadership is critical in this situation; the leader must identify each personality type and create a work environment that encourages collaboration and understanding. With the right leadership in place, any team of people with different personalities will be able to learn how to work together and get the job done. In addition, leadership can provide guidance on how conflicts between personalities should be handled, so that all team members feel comfortable and supported. Any personality type can work together in harmony as long as leadership is willing to take the time to understand and honor each team member's individual strengths and weaknesses.