working styles

How to successfully use different working styles within a team

We all like to work differently. Some people leave things up to the last minute, others rather hand in everything way before the deadline. Some people are big picture thinkers and loathe details, whereas their counterparts love to dot every I and cross every T. But how can these different working styles find common ground within a company? And how can they all be managed successfully?

Let’s have a look at work styles in detail. There are four distinct styles:

  • Big picture, lots of new ideas, strategic
  • Detail-oriented, usually very organised and plan focussed
  • Logical and data oriented, analytical
  • Emotionally oriented, usually very supportive and expressive

Hardly anyone fits in only one category, of course, but many people will have one strong tendency with only little bits of the other categories thrown in.

How to leverage working styles within a team

There are many personality tests out there that can help to determine a person’s primary working style. As a manager it is a good idea to know your team’s work styles. This way you can make the most of people’s natural tendencies and put them in the right positions. You probably wouldn’t want to give the big picture thinker a load of spreadsheets to analyse. They wouldn’t be very happy and probably wouldn’t do a very good job. Your logical, analytical person on the other hand would thrive with this task.

By leveraging everyone’s strength, you are making the most of the available skills in your team.

It is also a good idea to make sure that each team member understands the value they bring to the table. At the same time, let them know the importance of contributions of differently “wired” colleagues. This way, everyone feels supported, heard and understood.

It is important to find out a person’s working style at the interview stage. If your team urgently needs a detail-oriented colleague and you’re hiring yet another big thinker, you might be setting that team up to fail. It has been shown that we often hire people who are similar to ourselves, so it is important to be aware of the need for different working styles within a team to cover all the bases and lead a team to success.

By making your team feel valued and allowing them to work to their best capabilities, the environment at work will be more productive and people will feel more relaxed.

How the Work Well Practice can help

We run corporate workshops to improve wellbeing at work. You can also sign up for a complimentary strategy call, where we can discuss your needs in detail. Alternatively, you can ring 075 222 777 22 or email

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