Saturday, July 20, 2024

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make With Your Team Members

Whether your running a project, managing a team, or leading a company, what’s the biggest mistake you can make with your team members?

It depends … it depends on the person. You see, everyone is unique – we all know that. But the problem is that the most important things to know about your team members isn’t readily visible.

What they are passionate about shows: you see the energy whenever they talk about it or are doing it.

When they are at their best shows – it’s outwardly visible as when they are in stress.

But the most important part of them, their needs and expectations, are on the inside – they don’t show. And when their needs consistently go unmet there are problems. That’s when the stress behaviors start to kick in. By then it is too late.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know the biggest mistakes you could make with your  team members – on an individual basis?

Real World Examples

For example, the biggest mistakes you could make with Jane are:

  • Excluding her from team activities or questioning her popularity
  • Failing to follow through on financial commitments made to her
  • Telling her that she has done well when that is not really true
  • Making light of her emotional issues
  • Making her conform unnecessarily
  • Pushing her to make up her mind quickly

But the biggest mistakes you could make with John are:

  • Beating about the bush with him
  • Forcing him to participate unnecessarily in group activities
  • Failing to make it clear exactly who is in charge
  • Telling him that he has done well when that is not really true
  • Interrupting when he is concentrating
  • Making him conform unnecessarily

Notice how different these two employees are with respect to their needs and the kinds of things you can do that could send them.

The Tool

About five years ago I found an inexpensive tool that I’ve been using with my clients ever since to help them quickly discover the likely triggers individuals on their team have. It’s called the Biggest Mistakes You Could Make Report produced by world-renowned personality experts Birkman Consultants International.

Getting Maximum Value – Putting the Tool to Work

While there are great benefits of having this information, I’ve found that most of my clients find the real value by using the report as discussion points with their individual team members. Simply asking their team members to look over the report and highlight the sentences that seem the most true primes the pump for self-reflection and awareness on the part of the team member. It opens the door for a very productive conversation as the two of you explore and discuss the points starting with the most significant.

Some helpful questions to answer are:

  • What is the most important point you’d like me to pay attention to?
  • Can you think of any examples in your daily work where these things come up?
  • How would you like me to respond instead?
  • What underlying strengths do you feel these points bring out?

I’ve also had good success when the team member asks other trusted team members, family, and friends to look over the points and highlight the most accurate. These responses can then be combined and compared. Patterns may emerge that highlight major themes which may provide some additional light on triggers to stress behaviors as well as surface hidden strengths of the team member.

Strengthening Couples, Kids

I’ve had such good success with this report my clients have even asked to use this as a couple or with their kids especially those parents raising teens. When done in a spirit of humility and curiosity, it’s been a way to open clogged communications lines and results in a happier, more peaceful home environment.

Take Action Now

If your relationship with a team member is strained and taking its toll on getting results please email me at to learn how you can take advantage of this tool. If are an existing premium client I will provide you with your report at no additional cost. If you are not yet a client, let me know. It will be the best $35.00 investment you’ve made all year.


Comments are closed.