Teams: how to finesse your colleagues

team meeting | Ann Daly PhD | coaching womenLearning to be an effective team member, and then team leader, is an essential step on the road to leadership. And it’s not easy. People are, well, people. They come from different places than we did, grew up with different families, attended different schools, and well, they’re just different. While that’s why team work is such a challenge, it’s also the key to working well with our fellow team members: see them as different, respect them as different, and relate to them as their difference requires.

It is easy to assume that everyone thinks the way you do, but we all have different ways of behaving. — Grant & Greene

To give you a general sense of how to do that, I share here a typology of working styles outlined by Anthony Grant and Jane Greene in Coach Yourself @ Work. Once you figure out who you’re dealing with, you can adjust your behavior accordingly. Of course, there are more than four types. Go ahead and develop your own expanded typology. And then become the best team leader ever.

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  • are: logical, quick thinkers
  • focus on: actions and results
  • shadow side:  impatient, pushy
  • respond well when you are:  fact-oriented, direct, logical, respectful of their opinions
  • respond poorly when you are: slow, emotional


  • are: flexible, intuitive
  • focus on: influencing others
  • shadow side: talking more than listening, poor follow-through
  • respond well when you are: upbeat, appreciative of their contributions
  • respond poorly when you are: focused on detail, inattentive to their value


  • are: clear, conscientious communicators
  • focus on: detail, structure, pattern
  • shadow side: critical, inflexible
  • respond well when you are: precise, fact-oriented, encouraging of thought and reflection, receptive to their advice
  • respond poorly when you are: vague, erratic, too quick


  • are: good listeners, steady, reliable
  • focus on: people
  • shadow side: ‘yes-woman’ prefers to maintain harmony than deal with problems
  • respond well when you: demonstrate that you value and trust them
  • respond poorly when you are: critical, angry, unfair

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