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Team Building & Self-Awareness

Over the last decade ‘Team building’ and ‘self-awareness’ have become well-known management buzzwords; everybody seems to know they are important, but it seems few truly understand how or why they are both so important and the potential impact they can have on improving organisational performance, and in turn improving an organisation’s overall success.

Neither word is new; in fact, self-awareness has been favoured by successful leaders and managers throughout history, boasting that getting to know oneself through learning their own skills, abilities and indeed shortcomings, is the key to success. Vast amounts of academic research has proven that leaders benefit from being self-aware and the significance of this is demonstrated by a study carried out by the Cornell School of Industrial Relations (2010) who found that self-awareness was the strongest predictor of overall success for the leaders studied.

With the benefits so evident and so widely acknowledged by the many academic studies carried out in this area, a shift has now started to take place which highlights the importance of this for each individual team member within an organisation, rather than specifically those in charge. A team of self-aware individuals will allow both individuals and management to identify their individual core strengths and use this to ensure they are working to the best of their ability and in their most productive working environment. Armed with this information, effective and strategic team building can then be enforced by management to create the optimal working environment for members of their team, both socially and physically.

Interestingly, research suggests that organisations are not as self-aware as they believe they are and therefore many organisations could dramatically benefit if they decide to act on this. Companies need to realise that they are missing a trick by not looking in the mirror and identifying and then subsequently acting upon these vital areas of potential improvement. Certain assessments have been specifically developed in order to help businesses build effective teams comprised of self-aware individuals. At Marmion we use i3 profiling; a trait-based assessment tool that manages talent whilst embracing individuality.

Organisations who decide to implement i3 profiling or similar trait-based assessments can hugely benefit from gaining a detailed understanding of each team members natural instinctive behaviours. Based on this information, managers or leaders can then ensure each individual is managed with this information at the forefront of their strategy. Looking at the results collectively, the most productive environment for the team as whole can be established. This will include identifying any areas or skills that an individual may be lacking and overcoming this by pairing this individual with another team member who excels in that skill and thus bridging the gap.

This technique ensures all the necessary skills required for the roles are covered without having to consider hiring a new member of staff who possesses the required skill(s), whilst encouraging team members to use each other’s strengths to learn and grow. With regards to recruitment, identifying group traits through i3 can also highlight any similar patterns that tend to occur in businesses through managers subconsciously hiring a similar type of person every time they bring on a new member of staff. In fact, without the use of i3 profiling, many managers may be completely unaware they are doing this and whilst hiring individuals who share the company’s values and beliefs is critical, hiring the same type of people for every new hire is likely to create a homogenous internal culture consisting of a workforce of people who do the same thing.

Introducing trait-based assessments, such as i3 into a business can have dramatic results. For any organisation, either large or small, it seems like a logical step to take in order to fully benefit from each individual member of staff they have on their team. It is without a doubt a brave move to make, as it highlights areas of weakness and therefore areas of improvement for a business, therefore companies need to be ready to make relevant changes by adapting and then implementing the knowledge acquired. Only when a company is ready to hear the truth, can it truly benefit.

If you are interested in learning more about trait-based assessment and analysis and how it can benefit you as an organisation to understand more about your employees and their natural drivers and instinctive behaviours, please call Janet McGlaughlin or Matt Pallister now on 0113 332 0678 or email

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