Have you seen firms where the team members are almost carbon copies of each other, and the owner? The good thing about this is that it’s easy to get along with everybody; but there’s a downside! The easiest way to recruit for your team might be to find people that think alike, but it’s not! 

I’d like to correct a common saying, I’m sure you’ve even said it:

Great minds think alike

 Great minds should NOT think alike

  • Should we all think the same?
  • Should all think the same as you?
  • Think of the technical changes in the last few years and all the other changes. Where were you on all of them? Did everyone work out as you expected? Would other, well constructed views have helped?

My team exercise nearly went wrong.

When coaching we often help firms improve the way the their teams work together. There’s a simple exercise that we sometimes run where each member of the team looks at their communications style and stands in an area with the other members of the team who have the same preference. We use it to highlight differences, similarities and strengths of the different styles. It’s one of those simple ice breaker exercises you could do with your team and can really improve communications.

It nearly went wrong one day though, when all members of the team had the same preference! The skill of a good facilitator is being able to adapt plans quickly.

The owner later admitted to me that she recruited by looking for those that would fit in the team; she had succeeded! But she did see that this was causing problems, the team were not coming up with different ways of doing things,the firm was not improving and there was too much “groupthink” (a trait where everybody confirms each others thoughts, so no new thinking occurs).

An idea to help you find the right person for your business.

Don’t just recruit on technical strengths; also consider how people think – are they prepared to say something different to you?

That might be slightly uncomfortable at the time, in fact you may not like it at all and it might feel like a challenge. Ask yourself: would it help your firm overall? Are all of your clients like you, or maybe some of them have different thought processes – in which case could somebody different help you address them?

Have you ever seem groups of people that all work in the same way and wondered how effective they were?

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