How could a manager use knowledge about personality and attitudes to form a high-performance work team?

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personality and attitude are central to the work performance of individuals or teams.  An effective manager has a good knowledge of both in his or her people and capitalizes on them to create a successful team. 

There are tools available to the manager who would like to have a better understanding of personality, for example, the Myers-Briggs test, which assesses personality along four different dimensions, such as whether one is an introvert or an extrovert.  Having some understanding of this dimension alone can help a manager create a better-functioning team.  One introvert in a group of extroverts may have wonderful ideas, but he or she will have a difficult time getting them out.  Appointing a team leader who understands personality differences will provide someone who can bring out the best in everyone on the team. 

Another way in which in an understanding of personality is helpful is in determining what assignments  should be given to a particular group.  People who are quiet and "dreamy" might be far more productive with a research and development goal than they are assigned to a marketing task. 

Attitude is really about motivation, I think.  An effective manager should be alert to difficulties with attitude, so that he or she can decide what sorts of motivations are necessary to effectuate a change in attitude.  Some managers like to use a carrot, while others like to use a stick.  And of course, the culture of the entity will sometimes dictate which is used.  But either way, without a good attitude on the part of every member of the team, it is difficult to accomplish goals without some animosity.