What makes a team successful?

1 September 2022, By Paul Lillywhite

emotional intelligence, people writing on whiteboard

Paul investigates what makes a team successful and how psychometric tests like DISC and Personal Values can help.

What Makes a Team Successful?

I don’t think there is one single answer to this question, but I do know it is more than a single ingredient.

As many of you will be aware I use the DISC profiling tool nearly every day and it is an amazingly accurate and reliable indicator of work placed behaviour. It helps me understand both individuals, inter-relationships and team dynamics. Plus it helps the individuals and their colleagues understand each other better.

However, in a team you often find a diverse range of profiles, and frequently find the line manager has a very differing profile to most of their team. This is good as each bring their own particular strengths; however, this can lead to difficulties in understanding and especially communication.

When you ask the question: where do these behaviours come from? The answer is the individual’s values and belief system.

What A Good Team Looks Like

I have had the absolute pleasure recently of working with one of the most cohesive teams I have ever come across, there is little hierarchy and the senior management work alongside the rest of the workforce, who are highly skilled in their respective roles. Everyone has an eagerness to learn and be better. Very few employees leave once they have completed their probation, quality of product and customer service are excellent.

social media, people, values

The MD is a DI profile, there are a couple of other ID profiles, but the rest of the team are IS or C lead profiles, and the overall TEAM culture is SC.

Using both the PVP Personal Values Profile and the CVP Corporate Values Profile, mapped to both their existing Values statement and a group team values exercise we discovered an amazing level of synergy between the three.

  • All but 2 of the team shared the facet of Ability utilization – developing your own skills, knowledge and expertise to help others as a major motivator.
  • Eighty percent of the team shared the facet of Social Interaction – working in a group or team where there is opportunity for social interaction as a major motivator.
  • Eighty percent also shared the facet of achievement – the need to be a high achiever and produce good results as a major motivator.
  • Seventy percent of the team shared the facet of Personal Development – expressing the need of the individual to develop and improve themselves both personally and professionally as a major motivator.
  • Sixty six percent of the team shared the facet of Concern for others – the need to help others solve problems also as a major motivator.
  • Sixty six percent of the team shared Freedom of lifestyle – the importance placed on the freedom to plan one’s own activities, to live the way one wants to.
  • And finally one hundred percent of the team shared Prestige – a desire to be recognized and have an elevated status for your achievements as a potential demotivator.  
personal values Graph

Out of the team of 18 people there were only a handful of significant variances with individuals compared to the collective corporate values model. This is truly amazing given we know that it is very difficult to change or modify your values, as they are deep seated in us.

What Role Do Psychometrics Have to Play?

Now I know the astute will have realised that this team has formed over a lengthy period of time (length of service in many cases is 10 years plus). It has been achieved through skillful interviewing and robust recruitment processes, where there has been involvement from the MD at all times. Assessments other than DISC have only been introduced into the business recently.

However the reason I wanted to share my findings with you is that it highlights the advantages of assessments in allowing an organisation to fast track this process and identify where there is a good fit right from the start.  

Equally it allows the team I have just described above to “fine tune” there behaviours on a path of continual improvement and definitely helps the team leaders to modify and adapt to the individual requirements of new members of their team as they expand and grow.

If you would like to try a free DISC or Values test, follow the link below.