Why Teams with Time Style Diversity Are Stronger

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By Tracey Foulkes


When it comes to teams, difference is good. If we were all the same, we might as well be replaced with a bunch of robots.

If a team doesn’t come to conflict, it seldom reaches its potential. Without conflict, teams become stagnant, which affects overall morale, productivity and frankly, your bottom line.

Here are a couple quick reasons how contrasting working styles can be an advantage:

  • Mixed skills minimise team procrastination and bring opportunity for growth. Think of it like a cheerleading squad pushing players to their full potential.
  • Individuals get to play to their strengths within the group.
  • Stimulates creativity. Thinking outside of the box and your normal habits pushes boundaries.
  • Prevents complacency. Stagnation is a real productivity killer. Driven teams are constantly hungry to learn.
  • Creates a sense of community. Everyone pitches in in their own way to get the job done.
  • Supports authenticity. You don’t need to compromise who you are to fit in at work.


The 5 different time management styles

Over at Get Organised, we identify 5 distinct ways that people manage their time. While these differences sometimes cause conflict, a diverse mix of time management styles can actually bring out the best in your teams.

Let’s go through the five styles and some suggestions on how to align them:

1. Perfectionist:

You know who they are … they’re your team mates that put equal emphasis on things that are urgent and important and not urgent and not important. So while they produce great quality material, they run the risk of running out of time which places strain on a team, especially when it’s low value work that’s taking precedence.

Though they can potentially drive each other insane, get your Detail Dodgers to help your perfectionists prioritise effectively.

2. Detail Dodger:

This creative big picture thinker has no problem with getting things done. They fire-cracker their way through tasks and motor through their to-do lists. The problem comes in when outputs lack quality; so connecting them with the more linear time management styles: Perfectionist, Procrastinator, and Last Minute Racer tends to make a whole lot of sense.

Get your Perfectionists to assist your Detail Dodgers with proofreading and high detail-orientated tasks like statistics and in-depth research.

3. Drop & Hop:

This is the super creative team player that has lots on the go, lots started, but nothing necessarily finished. While they are great to have on the team when it comes to idea farming, they frustrate colleagues who are waiting for them to finish things.

Buddy the Drop & Hop up with the Detail Dodger to help cut through the clutter and bring closure to partly finished projects.

4. Procrastinators:

We’re all guilty of this at some point, particularly when we are tired or overwhelmed. So while most of the time management styles fall prey to procrastination some of the time, the Procrastinator delays action most of the time. This leads to missed opportunities.

Partnering dominant Procrastinators up with your Drop & Hoppers can be just the answer you are looking for. It’s often just by getting started that half the battle is won, and the Drop & Hop has lots started.

5. Last Minute Racer:

Often seen as the rescue style for an underperforming Drop & Hop, Perfectionist or Procrastinator, this team member hangs on until the last minute before taking action because they feel they deliver a better result when under pressure. So while they seldom miss deadlines, as a team player they leave their colleagues hanging on.

Partner your LMR’s with your fast-moving Detail Dodgers or creative Drop & Hoppers. This way, even if a project is left to the last minute, at least it has been started.

* * * * *

While some teams seek a blissful environment where colleagues are the best of friends, all skipping, harps and roses, the fact remains that when we challenge thinking, fight for what we believe in and reject a clone-like mentality, we shift boundaries, learn and grow.

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Images: [1] Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig; [2] Alex.


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