When it comes to work teams, research shows that the more diverse a team is, the more likely it is to consider a variety of approaches and end up with innovative, effective ideas. This has implications in selecting new team members. While people are naturally drawn toward other like-minded individuals, selecting hires based on similarity rather than diverse skills and personalities can actually hamper the team’s effectiveness.
Here at Good&Co, we look at cognitive and personality diversity. Cognitive Diversity describes differing perspectives and processing styles whereas Personality Diversity describes differences in personality traits between individuals.
It has been shown that cognitive diversity enables teams to complete tasks and solve problems more quickly than those compromised of people with similar thinking styles. Teams consisting of team members who all have very similar personalities may be bound to run into problems.
For example, a team comprised of individuals who are naturally sociable and empathetic, but not particularly results-oriented may be cohesive, but they are unlikely to get things done.
Overall research has shown that teams perform better when members have a good awareness of each other’s personality characteristics and are willing to embrace their differences. Managers should strive to promote both diversity and cohesion in teams; this way teams can come up with innovative ideas and be able to implement them successfully.
The following study can be used to learn more about how team dynamics can improve or negatively impact the productivity: Team Dynamics.
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