People often hire people exactly like themselves, which is a big
mistake, according to Global Business Educator and Author Catherine
Mattiske. Instead, high-performance leaders seek out opposite and
contrasting opinions. Because if you have a team thinking just like you,
you end up spinning your wheels and never getting anywhere.
A balanced team is one constructed of people who differ widely, bringing a variety of mindsets, points of view, and opinions, Catherine says. Each works on a different part of the puzzle, seeing the task at hand from their unique perspective, which allows them to come together to create the most robust and most viable solution.
How can such a team be constructed? How can you make sure your team has a balanced diversity of thought?
Why Have Diversity of Thought on Your Team?
Everyone’s learning gets energized in different ways. Some of us learn better while alone, others in groups; some are fueled by the written and spoken word, others numbers and data; some of us want to classify and sort, and others enjoy a rhythmic flow, beat, or sequence. Catherine calls this our “Power Up.”
As a leader, to strive for a diverse, balanced team, you want these varied types of learners, listeners, communicators, and thinkers on your team. A team that approaches problems differently, providing a different perspective, results in inclusion, ideas that you may never have considered, and coming up with solutions you may never have thought of. Imagine a workplace where different thinkers work together in harmony and tinker to provide solutions to the problem at hand. Now contrast with a team solely comprised of people fueled by numbers and data — those solutions are bound to be one-sided and static, especially if the leader is fueled by numbers and data. “It’s easy to hire people like ourselves,” says Catherine. “And, just because they are like you doesn’t mean that they provide the optimum mixture of thought, productivity, and ideas to the team. Balance and diversity are the keys.”
How to Have Diversity of Thought on Your Team
With her 30 years of experience, Catherine has compiled each of the
“Brain Fuel” and “Processing Power” profiles down into 12 “Inner Genius
Archetypes.” This is known as the Genius Quotient (GQ). Every one of us
fits quite snugly into one of the 12 Archetypes. After gaining knowledge
of which Archetype you are — and which 11 you aren’t — you can quickly
identify them in others and create perfectly balanced teams. However, this doesn’t mean you need to recreate a Round Table of
exactly 12 employees with each of the 12 Archetypes — though it would be
nice! Catherine instead suggests:
1. Avoid hiring anyone who matches your own Inner Genius Archetype.
You already have you — why do you need someone to parrot your same
thought processes back to you?
2. Populate your team with at least one Archetype of each of the four
“Processing Power” profiles. This ensures your team members are
tackling the problem from a different angle.
3. Use the “Inner Genius Wheel,” a communication tool used to design
emails, presentations, reports, and any other form of communication.
When people use this tool, they can ensure that everyone will be hooked
in, engaged, and influenced to action.
4. Use the “Inner Genius Team Map,” a leadership tool used to determine which Archetypes to create your team from. The Team Map quickly shows which Archetypes are related by “Processing Power” profiles. This tool is valuable for a team-building session to bring the entire team on board with who’s who and optimize working together.