What role you play in a team?

A team is a group that shares responsibility for producing something together. Simply working closely with each other, wearing the same shirts, does not make you a team. Teams are unique because each member cannot complete the work without the work of other members. So the roles of each team member plays are critical for building high-performing team. Especially for dynamic project or new teams, the “role” of the word is more worthy of our attention than “job”. The ability of a role is relatively simple needs. And every successful team needs a mix of skills and roles. Therefore, the project manager should focus on diversifying the team member roles, rather than solely evaluating members on their individual talents. Especially just having a set of individual stars is not the key to build high-performing team.

My former boss is an excellent leader. She is experienced at identify people’s talents, skills, personalities. She can always put the right people in the right position, exert their advantages and compose a diverse team. Usually, she defined the work needed to be completed for the project, recognized the roles and what skills are required, then analyzed the character and team roles of every team member. It is worth mentioning she used FPA (Four-colors Personality Analysis) test as a supplementary tool to better and get a deeper understanding of personality traits and the potential of each subordinate. This approach is according to Dr. Carol Ritberger, a world famous behavioral psychologist and author. FPA states that there are four distinct personality types in the world, and each one has a special color: Red or Orange, motivated by power; Blue, motivated by intimacy; Green, motivated by peace; and Yellow, motivated by fun. Each color with their own unique way of seeing situations, expressing themselves, solving problems, and interacting with people. FPA has been widely used it in recruiting and team management in the companies over the world, it effectively helps manager or employee themselves to find out their personal tendencies, weaknesses, what they need from their peers, how they react to certain situations, areas of personal growth and their ideal work situation. Further, he stresses that human’s character is inborn, people just have one or two main characters and others are influenced by a variety of complicated things, such as grow-up environment, life experience, education and so on. So you can also find a way to develop some personality traits of other colors based on FPA test result.

What color are you

In addition, one of the dimensions for determining whether a team is high-performing is capacity for continued cooperation. That is, team members want to work together in the future after accomplishing a project. They do not feel exhausted from all their resources, but get better at working together, they feel belonging and strive to learn from mistakes or from each other. So they can consistently continue to succeed.

If you are curious about FPA, please check the reference below, it has the test and results analysis.


About FPA: https://general-psychology.knoji.com/which-color-personality-are-you-red-blue-green-or-yellow/

4 thoughts on “What role you play in a team?

  1. Jing very interesting topic. I have never heard of the FPA but seems like a tool that should be used before assembling a team for a project. Having a right mix of personalities will give you a diverse team. You can run into problems if you have a team where everyone has a dominant personality or everyone is passive. I think we got lucky with our project for this class because everyone had a different personality. We were able to communicate and collaborate seamlessly. I’m not sure how beneficial FPA would be when working on a project at work hence I don’t have the luxury of picking from a large pool. I believe it is at least worth while to know where you are.

  2. Jing great article! I’m not fond of the FPA at all, after reading your blog I was definitely informational. Mix personalities bring great chemistry to the team, everyone can have great ideas that lead to great projects. Different career backgrounds and personalities made our group chemistry very interesting. Learning about the tool FPA which is intended for the analysis of the scope for projects. This tool could really be a helpful tool to find personality types to bring effective project management groups together.

  3. Hi Jing,

    Though I had never heard of the Four-colors Personality Analysis, I have taken a number or personality tests to assess my skill-sets. Some of them tend to be fairly accurate while others miss the mark. Nonetheless, I think the more significant point you made in your post is that your manager consciously chose specific individuals for portions of projects. This is a fundamental and essential part of management. The ability to identify talents, skill sets, and personality traits can enable a person to be successful at assigning roles and tasks. When it came to our group project, for example, Kevin took ownership of certain tasks that fit his skill set. He maintained much of the relationships with our charity contacts – a function he is comfortable doing on a regular basis. Similarly, Al took ownership of various writing portions of the project; he seemed to enjoy that aspect of the project. It was great that our group members were able to chose the individual functions and roles. However, I think it would have been much more difficult for the PM (me in this case) to have assigned roles. So, the bottom line is that when we are put in this position, we will have to effectively choose who does what. Hopefully, like within our group, those being assigned positions will also help in this decision process.

  4. Hi Jing,

    Great blog! My team at work consists of 7 people and in the last 2 years we have grown to become a high performance team. I’m on the team that everyone wants to be on. We created a well oiled machine where we can work together and collaborate on major projects to retrieve goals. The first thing we learned was to show respect among your peers. With that you build trust and honesty to improve communication within your team.

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