Guest Blog. No ‘I’ in Team: Summoning your team spirit in a new environment

By Guest Author, Nishadi Ranasinghe.

You’ve impressed the bosses, and settled your mug into its 4pm desk space. Now down to some real work. One thing about being a new starter in an established team is to understand the people around you, whether that be the life timer averse to change, or the off shore teams desperate to impress.

One key to getting the most from your colleagues is to work out how they tick and ensuring joint objectives are met with minimal rebuttal. It also means you can engage in minor small talk of a Monday morning without gritting your teeth!

Consider your working environment. A number of souls at different stages in life, thrown together for differing reasons. Graduates, Mums, Bachelors, Part time models, Semi-pro footballers all grace the scene in a normal ‘Business as Usual’ office. There’s bound to be conflicts that arise for a countless number of reasons. So what do we do to move positively through a project with our motley crew of colleagues?

Why we DISC them of course!

Dominants

These guys come in ALL shapes and sizes. Spot the obvious first, but be wary of the inconspicuous. Treat them with lots of praise. The Dominant personalities must be right, and will do the utmost to convince themselves that you are wrong and they are right. Allow them an ear just to let them listen to the sounds of their own voices.

Recommended Phrases:-

‘I completely agree’

‘Given that you are the expert in this field’

‘Yes, that’s what I was thinking’

Influencer 

The fun seeker. Have a laugh and enjoy the journey these personalities take you on. Their charm and charisma is the way they will uplift any dull work situation. They are most interested in moving to the next item on the agenda, so make it quick and get to the point, preferably over a drink or three!

Recommended Phrases:-

‘How was your weekend?’

‘Did you catch any of Gogglebox last night?’

‘What are your lunch plans?’

Steady Relator

Mother hen. People who like things the way they are, and are averse to change. If these guys have a touch of dominant in them as well, they can be a difficult personality to get around. Make sure your ideas reference the greater good. Have a think about who to drop into the conversation that has validated your opinion, and make sure that person is of consequence to Mr/Mrs Steady Relator. Cuddle them through the new thing, and manage their expectations.

Recommended Phrases:-
‘We might use a phased approach’

‘I’ve spoken to XYZ, and they agreed’

‘I feel we might benefit from…don’t you think?’

Compliant 

Fact, figures, and evidence. This is the key to a compliant heart. Making sure that this colleague is clear on any idea, and ensuring they sold on its benefits using examples is the best way to get you through this relationship. Start with a bit of background but get into the nitty gritty straight away. These guys like lists, they like structure and creativity can be a stumbling block. Love them like an irritating younger sibling.

Recommended phrases:-

‘This will mean X amount of savings over Y number of years’

‘I will make all 5 changes you have recommended, but I disagree with 2 and here is why’

‘I’m not convinced of your idea, but I am happy to consider it because you have explained 3 clear benefits’

Lastly one thing to remember is not to lose yourself, and enjoy the challenges new people bring. The ability to be flexible to the people that surround you is a strength. Consider your communication methods as your greatest ally, and practice practice practice. People can be one, more or bits of all of the above, but learning to relate to your colleagues even if they do not relate to you is an asset that once learnt can never be unlearnt.

Have fun!

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