Team Work – It Takes All Sorts

By Sarah Dutton

As MK’s Directors’ and Office Coordinator, I oversee the workings of our office, and that includes the people who work within it! As well as trying to keep everyone calm and level-headed (I like to think I lead by example here) I’m really keen on ensuring the team is happy and, in turn, working as productively as possible. Working as a team doesn’t just mean turning up to the same office, and working alongside the same people each day. Here at MK, we’ve put considerable effort into getting to know each other’s nuances and ways of working.

It might be something as simple as being aware that someone really doesn’t like to be disturbed until after they’ve had their first cup of coffee, or something a little more complex such as understanding how someone responds to criticism, or how they typically cope with conflict.

These things are interesting but can also prove to be very helpful in order to be the most productive team possible. Some organisations may see the kind of exercises required to really glean this information as simply being extra work – but when looking at the bigger picture, it’s clear to see that the long term effects of putting effort into these areas can pay dividends.

It allows the employer to recognise the strengths of their current team and thus makes it easier when recruiting to recognise that having a team full of people with different strengths and outlooks on life presents a real opportunity.

My immediate team is a trio – a trio who balances each other extremely well! We are each so different but this is why it works so well; we each recognise the strengths we bring to the table, are comfortable sharing our weaknesses and have each other’s backs. Awareness (of ourselves, and of each other) has been key to us reaching this point. I am extremely proud to be a part of this team!

The MK Team as a whole has taken part in various assessments including Myers Briggs, Johari window, learning styles, conflict styles and Belbin team roles amongst others. Inevitably, there are both differences and similarities, but overall these tests go to show that it takes all sorts to build a strong, successful and well-aligned team.