Optimizing Your Internal Teams for Better Work Outcomes-Avoid Bias

By Evelyn Milani

Human nature dictates that we have inherent biases that surface in today’s lightening-speed business climate. We are working in overdrive/auto-pilot and we need to make quick decisions when we delegate work. This may cause us to overlook the quiet contributors who are just waiting for an opportunity to shine or prohibit us from partnering team members that would not always self-select to collaborate based on personality styles.

Great managers hire a variety of strengths and personalities to optimize their teams for better work output. This provides diversity and a variety of perspectives. How can you ensure that everyone is well-equipped to collaborate, from your type-A personalities to your “quiet contributors”? Thoughtful, analytical, critical thinkers are not often offering up opinions and feedback because our more outgoing team members may take the center stage at every opportunity, or they may be shy and worried about the response to input on the team. Quick, assertive, confident contributors can act quickly with little information. Blend these two personalities and WOW!

Here are a few tips for an effective manager who can leverage all strengths on a diverse team:

Encourage open dialogue in a team setting. If you have a team member who is hesitant to contribute, tee-up a request for perspective ahead of the meeting so they are not caught off guard. Share that the team would value their perspective and ask whether they would be comfortable with a request for feedback in a team meeting setting.

Partner up team members with diverse perspectives and communication styles to collaborate; ie: client-facing team members with highly technical team members. This will blend perspectives and improve outcomes. In addition, it may provide more confidence for shy communicators and more empathy and critical thought perspective for outgoing communicators.

Provide a framework for successful project outcomes. “This is what success will look like, you guys develop a plan to help us get there”. Facilitate meetings, don’t always direct meetings. Provide guidance and input and let the team create and act on the details of the roadmap you provide.

Check your team’s progress regularly, have the teams document new workflows so a repeatable, meaningful process can be established for future use and success.

Move team members around to allow for collaboration among team members. This builds a stronger collaboration and opens doors for everyone on the team.

The goal and value of iterating this way are to create better collaboration, systems and workflows that promote contributions from everyone on the team and that will result in a better project outcome.

If I can help you recruit high impact people for your teams, write me at [email protected]