How to Identify & Respect the Roles on Your Team!

More information related to your Teamability Self-coaching report.

  

Understanding the ten Teamability® Roles is helpful in many ways. Knowing how to show respect to a particular person is vital to motivating them, as well as increasing their engagement in the organizational culture. Retaining good people is much easier in a culture of respect and engagement. And you, as a leader, will find the benefits of more effective teaming express themselves in many ways that bring your vision to life.


The Founder

What They’re Like:
Founders are not leaders in the sense that they round people up and get them to work. Rather, the ultimate Founder is one who can be so inspiring to their peers that followers insist on that person’s leadership. In some ways, it’s similar to a political candidate being drafted by popular acclaim, a person that inspires others to follow them, whether or not they do it intentionally. Typically, they will have started many organizations, clubs, get-togethers, parties, movements, etc. They often have been elected to be the president or asked to be spokesperson for an organization. Keep in mind that some people WANT to do this kind of work but will admit that no one agrees that they can, or wants them to. Even though they may be eager to have the opportunity, a person’s job-responsibilities should be – as much as possible – aligned with their Teamability Role.


Types of Work:
Founders are often seen as ‘born leaders.’ They can make great managers and executives if they learn to rely on their team to get to the Vision, and focus on respecting each one for the way in which they are drawn to contribute. They will often thrive in positions where they lead others in new, creative, or innovative directions or in positions where they are going to be the authority, even it is only the final authority over one small department. Many are also very comfortable in situations where connections need to be made with many other people as in fundraising or politics.


Respect:
The best Founders don’t want respect shown to them personally. Those that do demand respect, just to satisfy their own egos, are not the kind a team needs. You want a Founder who wants respect and attention shown to the Vision, the end goal that is to be accomplished. For example, an outstanding politician, one that truly is a statesperson, wants attention paid to the Vision of the kind of society they are working for. An outstanding Founder in business wants attention paid to the kind of organization and organizational accomplishments that they see coming in the future.


The Vision Mover

What They’re Like:
Vision Movers are hard-driving, assertive, forceful people who have no real wish to be the one in the spotlight but prefer to be just behind the scenes. They don’t want to DO the work themselves but they want to direct other people to do it. Their special contribution is to figure out HOW to get the goals accomplished. They don’t set the goals, just work on planning how to achieve them.  Keep in mind that they may not always get along well with Founders although once they give their loyalty, they will work hard to accomplish the Founder’s Vision.


Types of Work:
Vision Movers are very good at anything that requires forcefulness, plentiful ideas, and long-range thinking. They are planners, however, not doers and they are not necessarily noted for their organization and follow through. They are more like lieutenants than generals, and can make excellent managers if they have an action-oriented team that follows the plan. They tend not to get along well with each other since they can get into power contests rather easily. Most can work either alone or with other people, as long as things can get done the way they think best.


Respect:
Respect for a Vision Mover is easy. Just do what they tell you to do or sensibly convince them that something should be done a different way. They aren’t generally concerned about whether you agree with them or not, as long as you do what you are told. They tend to be authoritarian and hierarchical so they are often quite comfortable in a military style atmosphere. The best ones can take orders as well as give them.


The Vision Former

Recognition:
Vision Formers care about people in a very pure sense. They are focused on what they think is best for people, not necessarily what the people want. They focus on behavior and ethical standards, but they are not just passive evaluators. They want to actively work to make the right things happen in the right way, to enlighten others to be their best selves. Vision Formers are very high level organizers who want to bring people together and helping them to adjust to each other in a way that maximizes productivity.


Types of Work:
Vision Formers contribute two things to the team: First, they can help to evaluate plans and foresee consequences particularly well. Second, they can make arrangements to bring people together to accomplish things. The best Vision Formers don’t just say that something won’t work but they step beyond that to say it will work better this way. They are particularly valuable in a position where they serve as monitors of organizational compliance to make sure that it is adhering to the standards set. Anything that involves making sure that long term plans are being carried out properly is fertile ground for their abilities. 


Respect:
Respect for a Vision Former is best given in healthy helpings and with considerable formality. They can be sticklers for proper protocol, not because it flatters them but because it is the foundation for good human relations. If they are not appreciated, they will be likely to just withdraw their support and watch people collapse. They do not expect unthinking obedience but do take great offense at having their advice and actions ignored. They are at their absolute best when working with a Vision Mover and vice versa.


The Action Mover

What They’re Like:
The Action Mover seems to be eternally busy doing things. Often they were on sports teams in school, possibly in the student government, and generally active learners and excellent students. They are always ready to give you a hand and get the team whatever it needs. They tend to prefer thinking in the short-term rather than long-term planning, so you can depend on them when you want to get something done fairly soon.


Types of Work:
Action Movers can make superlative salespeople for complex products, because they think about their customer, not just profits. This also makes them good fits for the responsibilities of business development. They can also be very good as day-to-day managers although not in the type of position that requires long-range planning. Because Action Movers care about people, they are often successful in customer service or customer relations. If the work focused on getting what is needed, especially quickly, an Action Mover can usually handle it.


Respect:
The best way to show respect for the Action Mover is to show respect for the limited amount of time they have available. Action Movers typically have much more to do then they have time for and they really want to satisfy everyone. This doesn’t mean that they can't handle demands, just that they feel respected when others let them know how much they appreciate what they do for the team and how hard they work. Because they tend to take on more than they can get done in the twenty-four hours allotted to them each day, pairing them with an Action Former to help organize their priorities can enhance their effectiveness.


The Action Former

What They’re Like:
The easiest way to characterize an Action Former is by the degree of effective organization that a person with this Role will contribute to the team. Where most people have to struggle to stay organized, Action Formers typically have everything set up in lists and perfectly arranged. They don’t even think about it, they just treat it as a fact of life. They are drawn to helping others stay organized and making sure they get done what is needed. 


Types of Work:
Action Formers can be wonderful managers, because they really want to help people learn to do their jobs better. Their ability to organize also makes them the ideal administrative professionals. They not only keep themselves organized but they are usually happy to do it for others they work with as well. They also serve well in high-touch jobs including HR and training. Any time a job requires a high level of efficient organization and hands on management, an Action Former should be considered.


Respect:
Action Formers want people to cooperate, not in the sense of instant obedience but a willingness to work together in a cordial and productive way that gets the team to the goal. Anything destructive that takes away from that kind of collective effort will be seen as disrespectful. Therefore, showing disrespect to another team member will often be taken as a sign of disrespect to the Action Former also. Expressing appreciation for what this person contributes and recognizing how hard they work is another way of showing respect.


The Explorer

What They’re Like:
Explorers are people who a hundred years ago would have been said to have ‘wandering feet.’ They are very restless, not in an immediate sense of being unable to sit still but in a broader way of wanting to travel and experience new things. They often enjoy jobs that involve a lot of travel and being on the road. They will often have moved around and lived in different places or even different countries. They dislike feeling tied down, although it is important to them to have a safe and stable ‘home base’ to return to. Explorers are very eager to look far ahead and guide others to the best paths. They are particularly good at providing warnings of danger that may lie ahead.


Types of Work:
Explorers are often good at business development especially when the work involves finding new opportunities. Almost any kind of work that involves moving around a lot is a joy to an Explorer. There is a kind of planning where you don’t know exactly where you want to be but you feel like you’ll know it when you see it. It’s uncertain, it’s focused on the future, and it’s very much aligned with innovation. Rapid change is not a problem when you feel like you live in the future.


Respect:
Explorers always want to bring something back to the team that they can use. It might be new ideas or new technology or even people with unique skills or knowledge, but respect is best shown to them by appreciation for the prize they return with. They want to tell you what they saw or found or did and that is where appreciation for their accomplishment can be focused to show them that their efforts on behalf of the team are appreciated. Explorers don’t care as much about thanks for doing their job as they do about admiration for the treasures they bring to the team.


The Watchdog

What They’re Like:
Although Watchdogs often are concerned with money, often working in finance functions, that is not the key to understanding them. They are focused not only on making do with what is available but turning what is available into whatever is needed. They are very eager to supply the team’s needs and desires but they don’t do this by going out and finding it. Instead, they make the best possible use of what they have. Some Watchdogs express this as the belief that there are acres of diamonds in the team’s own backyard. They want people to get along well and do what they are supposed to do. If they encounter someone who doesn’t, they will try, more or less gently, to get that person to behave and cooperate for the good of the team.


Types of Work:
Watchdogs are, of course, ideally suited for financial work that involves management and distribution of assets.  They are not as interested in making investments or gathering more money. They are also well suited to protective work of all kinds, since they really care for people. As a rule, they do well at jobs that are detail oriented and involve consistent work that focuses on taking care of people’s needs. 


Respect:
Watchdogs may not be respected to the extent they deserve, because others usually want more than can be supplied. Consequently, the best way to show them respect is to show appreciation for what they give. Showing wonder at their ingeniousness in making what is available work for what is needed is a very good way to show them respect. Another way to show them respect is to recognize that they are doing the best they can with the finite resources they have and that this, too, is a service to the team that needs to be appreciated.


The Conductor

What They’re Like:
Conductors have the zeal to make sure the team does things the right way. They are fixers, almost irresistibly drawn into fixing things so that they are as they should be. If something is broken, they will be the ones that rush to try to fix it. Sometimes they can be a bit impulsive about doing this, but they mean well. They are devoted to the accomplishment of their goals, in the service of the team, no matter what obstacles get in the way.


Types of Work:
Conductors make excellent troubleshooters of every kind. They can handle difficult customer service problems, especially of a technical nature. They can be excellent teachers or trainers, because they want to ensure that their students learn to do things the right way. They may also enjoy work involving persuasion, such as sales of items that fix problems, counseling (which they may think of as fixing people,) collections, and the like. Because they like making things right, they’re often doing some form of quality control, whether as part of their formal work or in some other way. 


Respect:
Respect for this Role is shown by a willingness to cooperate with getting the end goal not just accomplished but accomplished properly. They want appreciation shown to them for what they do for the team: some simple thanks for their efforts and recognition of their value is all that’s needed. They also want to be trusted, without question. Conductors can get angry if they feel they are being mistrusted or mistreated.


The Curator

What They’re Like:
Curators often seem to blend into the woodwork in a large group because they’re so modest and unobtrusive. While they are often subject matter experts, Curators don’t volunteer their expertise. Instead, people have to go to them. Once someone does, the Curator will share great wisdom. They are the people that you go to when you want to know something about the organization and don’t know who else to turn to, the keepers of the institutional memory. Often they won’t be able to tell you exactly what you want to know, but they will be able to point you in the right direction.


Types of Work:
Curators are very good at any job that involves the acquisition, preservation, and recovery of knowledge, such as librarian or knowledge management professional. Any time you have a large breadth and depth of information to evaluate and determine what of it is important and worth keeping and using, a Curator will know what to do. They have a sense of what will be useful in the future and what is just useless clutter.  This can be a difficult decision to make as an organization moves forward. The Curator can help with this.


Respect:
Respect for the Curator, even more than the other Roles, is essential. Each Role, when not respected, will react a bit differently but the Curator simply doesn’t have anything to offer UNTIL respect is shown. In this case, the respect is directed best not at the person but at the wisdom the person offers. Curators want to see the team reach success and so working with the ideas they give, taking the time to understand them, and applying and using them is the best way to show your respect for a Curator.


The Communicator

What They’re Like:
Communicators are the team’s community builders, and are often very well-liked. They are friendly, affable, outgoing, and love to chat with people in a casual way, which makes them natural adept at spreading the Vision of the team. They quickly form relationships up and down large organizations, and enjoy connecting people, especially when they know one has a problem the other one can help them with. Communicators want to listen as well as talk, so they will seem to suspend time when they’re deep in conversation. 


Types of Work:
Because they are so friendly and like to chat with people, Communicators are generally excellent at customer service or in positions where a lot of customer contact is required. They can make wonderful teachers and are also drawn to helping professions from medical to clergy to politics. Most Communicators also appreciate opportunities to advance in the organization.


Respect:
Communicators want people to like them. Respect for what they do is nice, but what counts with Communicators is that they feel they are liked. They want to spread good will and understanding, and also be admired for their personal qualities. In a sense, their idea of respect is very traditional. They want people to hold them in esteem and see them as dignified, also. They tend to feel they have an image to uphold, not only of themselves but of the people they represent.



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