October 20, 2014, by Giselle Kennedy

How to discover your team personality

The chances are you’ve been a in a team before and that you have developed some excellent transferable skills that you can talk about at an interview. But employers increasingly want to know what kind of persona you usually adopt in a group context and what kind of team role suits you the best. Have you ever stopped to think about how would you communicate your team character to an employer? This week, Kate Lansley, YHA’s Youth Engagement Coordinator, re-caps on her team building skills workshop, which she delivered on Wednesday 15 October. Over to Kate…

You know that bit on your CV where you start feeling really uncomfortable, because you have to blow your own trumpet? The bit where you have to say what an amazing person you are and why they should hire you right now? In that section, you probably have written ‘great team member’ (and if you haven’t, you should probably stick it in there now). But apart from being a lovely buzz word or phrase, what does being a ‘great team member’ actually mean? How can you embellish that skill so it’s not just a bullet point on a CV, but a real sell-able quality that you can use to increase your employability?

In YHA’s skills workshop this week, we explored two theories that can show you what kind of team member you currently are, how you interact with other personalities, and how you can improve your team skills. Belbin Team Roles (1981) can show you which role you automatically assume in a team. There are nine essential roles which need to be considered when constructing a team, and it’s important to make sure you have a good balance of all of them.

Secondly, doing a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory allows you to discover your personality type. Understanding how you interact with other character types can help you spot trouble before it even happens. You can help keep the team harmony and navigate these hot spots with ease.

Self-awareness is, in my opinion, the most important trait of a good team member. Being aware of how you and others are feeling will help you to react quickly to certain situations and can give your team the ability to shine!

In an interview, particularly the competency-based format that’s now so popular among employers, you will probably be asked to evidence what makes you a good team member. The questions I’ve been asked have all boiled down to one thing: give us an example of a time where you worked well as a team member to achieve a goal? I asked YHA’s CEO, Caroline White, for her ideas on what makes a good team leader. She said that when answering the tricky ‘team member’ question, you should keep these top traits in mind:

  • Good communication skills
  • Able and willing to work collaboratively
  • Recognises their own strengths and weaknesses and those of other team members
  • Able to listen and take feedback
  • Takes responsibility collectively and individually

Being a good team member and having the ability to positively influence your team is key to being a great employee. The next time you look at your CV, make sure to mention this skill!

If you would like to attend future Nottingham Advantage Award skills workshops, then please click here to see what’s on offer. YHA will be running a leadership skills workshop on Wednesday 5 November, 3pm. To reserve a place, please ensure that you sign up on MyCareer! 

Posted in Skills WorkshopsStudent Experience