Author’s Note: When assessing teams and individual talents, one of the profiling tools we used is The Inventory for Work Attitude & Motivation, or better known as iWAM. With the tool, we can measure your people across 48 competencies, and over this series of articles, we will be exploring deeper into each of the different sets. And because it’s easier to reference them against their behavior, we will create fictional characters for each different competency sets. By fictional, do know that they do not reflect anyone in the real world. After all, the focus is their behavior and the psychology behind it, rather than the person themselves. The aim is so you can understand your team members and leaders better, what makes them do the things they do, and from that understanding, develop better work relationships.
Here’s a quick snapshot of June, someone who’s motivated by having Sole Responsibility
- June is very conscious of hierarchy where she works
- When she is given a task, she usually prefers the list of responsibilities to be communicated clearly
- She will not be able to work well, unless her responsibilities are defined
- Sometimes, it may seem like she is not a good team player and prefers to carry our her work on her own
When you look at the snapshot, can you identify a couple of Junes in your team? The good thing about June is, they have tremendous clarity when it comes to their job responsibilities, and also the management hierarchy where they work.
As a matter of fact, sometimes, they are also aware of the responsibilities of others in her team, more than the person themselves at times! That’s because for June to function well in the team, she has to know what she is directly responsible for, and that she isn’t.
This is quite evident when you issue out a task to your team, and ask them to work together on it. The Junes on your team will probably break down the project and discuss with the rest who will be in charge of which area.
Because of this, shimmy seemed to be calculative, or not the best team player. The truth is, she just need everyone’s responsibilities to be outlined properly, especially hers.
As a leader, one way to help June is to assure everyone else that it’s how she keeps herself productive, and clarity is always a good quality to have when executing tasks. At the same time, encourage June to work together with the team, to be in their presence and not silo herself out, so the rest of your staff will feel that she’s part of the team.
Here’s a quick snapshot of Kent, someone who’s motivated by having Shared Responsibility
- Kent is all about doing things together
- Is regarded as a good team player
- Prefers to have multiple parties working on a project
- Can sometimes be unsure/insensitive about the hierarchy in companies
As you can expect, Kent is the total opposite of June. He’s one that loves to work together with others, and thrive when the responsibilities are shared amongst everyone, instead of properly outlined.
Many would assume that Kent is naturally a good team player since he likes to function as a team, which may be true. However, the real motivation behind is that he just loves to have shared responsibilities over a task or project with his colleagues.
The set back is sometimes, he may not be clear about what needs to be done, and may drop the ball on his actual responsibilities. If you have a couple of Kents in the group, and everyone assumes the other person is going to handle the task, that would lead to disastrous outcomes.
To work with Kent, you will need to outline the key responsibilities, and the shared ones as well. Make sure everyone on the team are on the same page. You can also allow them to work together, not just in proximity, as long as they are not motivated by Individual Environments, like this post here.