Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs ; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Like in sports, in business the performance of team is not just based on the individual talents. It is also, and maybe even more, based on the global efficiency of the team. To be efficient, a team leader needs to ensure that all the team players are pulling at the same rope, towards the same direction. That first step ensures that all the energy that is spent, is used in favor of the objective and not against it. A second step is to set the team organization, in a way that each team member is in the position to deliver its maximum performance. To make this possible, a team leader has to understand the individuals’ and interpersonal dynamics of the team. Personality tests and concepts such as the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are two of the most used tools used by leaders to understand and manage these dynamics.
Criteria to use when selecting a team member
An individual’s resume will tell what one can do, but it will not tell how well one will be able to do it, in a given team and situation. Team leaders have to select team members for skills but also for their potential to fit and perform well in the team. As Kris Frieswick says “companies are increasingly taking steps to ensure that the hires they make are a good fit, not only with the job description but also with the people whom they will be working” (Frieswick, 2004). While making sure that one will fit well in a work environment, it is also important to ensure that one will be motivated to perform well. “Since management is all about getting things done through others, knowing what motivates and how to motivate others can improve the effectiveness of the managers”. (Buhler, 2003).
The selection process used in the simulation
The members selected in the simulation are Daniel Nichols, Lisa Stafford, Nicola Minelli and John Connor. They all are good performers at work, which demonstrate that put in the right situation they can achieve and exceed their objectives. They all have different levels of aptitudes in areas such as manage conflicts, communicate with others, meet a deadline, analyze and report on a situation or take the appropriate actions to solve a problem. All these aptitudes were required at different levels to complete the tasks listed in the simulation. The main reason to choose these four people within the six choices is their personality. It allowed making the best possible match between their aptitudes and the requirements of the different tasks.
Factors to consider to manage teams effectively
A leader has to ensure that the team is performing optimally and achieving the objectives expected. Leaders have to follow-up and understand the level of motivation of the team members. The lack of motivation is a good indicator that tells that something is going wrong. The level of motivation is a direct link between a members’ performance and therefore of the team’s performance. The lack of motivation could warn about many dysfunctions such as, the organization is wrong or not appropriated anymore, the plan was not well communicated or not provided with enough training. Eventually the lack of motivation could warn that there are communication problems within team, or the objectives and rewards are not well understood or sufficient.
The role that an individual’s personality can play in the success of the team
One’s personality can diminish the success of team by affecting the motivation of the rest of the team or complicating the team working mechanism. Those bad effects can happen in many different ways. For instance, if a team player is not a communicator, and works in an environment that requires communication, this team member performance will be impacted and so will be the performance of the team.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality preferences
As Perl says:
“MBTI is a tool that can be used to achieve effective communication with other people. People receive, process, and act upon information differently. If you understand their preferences and then communicate in a way that they understand, chances are you will not only get what you expected, but those with whom you communicate will feel good about how they received and acted on your communication” (Perl, 2001).
Being sure, that someone perceives a request correctly and in an appreciated manner, is the first perquisite to ensure that the job will be done. The second prerequisite is to ensure that the individual is put in a situation that matches the individual personality, or in other words “set for success not for failure”.
The MBTI was elaborated to test individuals by using Jung’s theory of psychological types. Individuals are judged on four dimensions and are assigned a personality that reflects these four dimensions (Wethayanugoon, 1994).
a.Extrovert vs. Introvert. An Extravert will prefer social settings while an Introvert will prefer solitary settings. An Introvert will not do well in a very outgoing team or job, such as sales representative. An Extrovert will be less comfortable in a job that requires more analytical and individual thinking, such as an accountant.
b.Intuition vs. Sensing. It reflex whether a person prefers facts and realities rather than hypothesis and future meanings. “Sensors” base their thinking on facts, they are more practical and common sense oriented. “Intuitives” are more abstract and more oriented to what reality could be rather than what it is.
c.Thinking vs. Feeling. It reflex whether a person judgment is based mainly on logic and objectivity versus personal and social values.
d.Perceiving vs. Judging. It reflexes a preference for openness and spontaneity versus planning and decisiveness. “Judgers” will prefer to take decisions and move on, while “Perceivers” will keep their mind opened for new discussion and analysis.
The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
As George Hayhoe says, “Abraham Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs holds that much of human behavior is motivated by unsatisfied needs and the lower-level needs must be satisfied before higher-level needs can be addressed.” (Hayhoe, 2004). Maslow defines the human needs in five categories, often represented as a pyramid. From the bottom, one can find the “physiological” need such as food and water. The second level is the need for “safety”, which includes physical and emotional needs for safety. The third level is the “social” need, the need to belong to a group such as family or friends. The fourth level is the need for “esteem” such as being appreciated and being confident. The fifth and last level is the need for “self-actualization”. In this highest category, the objective is to achieve a level of competency in a certain activity or mastery of a skill (Jones, 2004). It is not for individuals to feel being better than others are, is to “have peace and satisfaction in who they are and what they are capable of doing” (Jones, 2004).