As an agency owner you know that your most valuable asset is your team. Understanding them as individuals and helping them understand each other so they work well together is vital to your agency’s long term success.

So how do you make that happen?

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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week I am coming to you from Honolulu, Hawaii. And I want to talk this week about your team and the importance of them knowing how to work well together. We spend so much time focusing on the project management tools we use and the systems and processes and efficiencies of how the work moves through the ages, all of which super important. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that the people that work for us are people. And as we know, people come in all shapes and sizes. And the more you understand your coworkers, the easier it is to work well together. There are all kinds of ways that agencies have embraced this idea and help their employees learn more about each other. So whether it’s doing a Myers-Briggs Test, and by the way you can get the Harry Potter version or the Disney Princess version if you would like, or you do its test like 16 personalities which is Myers-Briggs and a couple other things baked together, the outcome of all of those, or Strength Finders is another great one that many of you do, the outcome of any of those kinds of tests is that they give you insight into each person as an individual. They also give me insight into that person and how we might work well together or where we might bump heads, which allows me then to strategize how I’m going to approach that person in a new project or whatever. Lots of agencies are creating whole exercise and an ongoing campaign around getting to know their co-workers, identifying who are like you, who are different from you, how you work well with people who have different personality types. So I’m not so sold on any one of the tools. Some of them are more fun or more playful than others, so you’re going to want to match that up with your agency’s personality. But I am a huge fan regardless of what tool you use that you help your team, including you, learn more about the people around them and how they can work well together. Some agencies have really blown this out. They have posters on their wall that show all the different personalities with headshots of each person so that at a glance I can go, “Oh right! Lisa is one of those,” or, “Bob is one of those,” or, “Oh Babette is complete opposite of me. She’s one of those.” Other folks are having lunch and learns where they learn about the different personality types. They’re also then translating that and trying to type their clients or their vendors. In some cases, some agencies have actually asked their clients to take the same personality test, and then they swap. The client gives them their data and then the agency says, “Well, here’s your team, and here’s what they’re made up of. They’re a bunch of this type or that type, and here’s the corresponding information about how to work with them.” I’m not sure that I have a strong sense of which one is better or best, but I do know that the more we know about the people we work with, whether that’s inside the agency or our own clients or vendors, the better the relationships are and the better the outcomes are. So the holiday season is a great time for this, sort of what feels like play but actually is a really great business tool. It’s a great time of year to do something like this, so I highly recommend it. Again, it might be Myers-Briggs, might be Strength Finders, it might be 16 personalities, there are lots of them out there, so don’t limit yourself to those go ahead and explore. But learn a little bit more about your team, and figure out better ways for you guys to work together. Alright, talk to you next week.

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