T.E.A.M. Style Guide
T.E.A.M. Communications Styles is built on four core styles
Workplace teams who use these styles and develop an understanding of them enjoy better communication, more integrated teamwork, higher levels of productivity, and greater success. These four styles are Tell, Engage, Analyze and Mediate. There are also many combinations of these styles. Most people are a blend of two or more styles. The T.E.A.M. report shows how these styles interact to form a person’s primary style. More importantly, they lay out a road map that shows each style how to best communicate with others.
The table below is a brief summary of the four core styles. It can help you identify other people’s styles and their preferences for how they might like to be treated. Guessing their style can give you some clues as to how you can shift to better connect with them. People usually treat you the way they want to be treated, so think about their actions at work to help identify their style.
People with the T or Tell style are quick and direct when speaking, and make decisions quickly. They focus primarily on the task and on completing as much work as possible, as quickly as possible. As a result, they don’t engage much in social conversations. They find long or frequent meetings very frustrating, and prefer to work alone.
People with this style don’t especially value positive feedback and rarely give it to others. They feel they are a good judge of their work and don’t need to hear it from others. T’s find it challenging to supervise or work with people who value interpersonal engagement or who focus on high quality to the detriment of high production.
People with the E or Engage style are, like the T’s, quick to speak up and make decisions quickly. However, they focus primarily on connecting with people and bringing creativity to their work. As a result, they do engage more in social conversations and enjoy working in teams and brainstorming as a tool for problem-solving. They focus on the big picture and connections between systems and tend not to get into great detail.
E's are intuitive and creative thinkers who sometimes have difficulty explaining their ideas and decisions in a step-by-step manner. People with this style can be very persuasive and tend to explain their ideas by using stories. They tend to be enthusiastic and optimistic when they are in a positive workplace.
People with the A or Analyze style are much more deliberative in their thinking and decision-making. They focus primarily on the task, but they delve into details and take their time to carefully check their work, focusing more on quality than quantity. They also don’t engage much in group conversations, unless the conversation is focused on the task.
A's provide long and detailed instructions and answers to questions and want the same level of detail from the people they work with. Accuracy and specificity are very important to them and they tend to ask a lot of questions. They gather a lot of data and analyze it carefully before making decisions.
People with the M or Mediate style, focus primarily on connecting with people and building strong work relationships. As a result, they engage more in social conversations and especially enjoy working closely with colleagues and in teams. M’s like to work in a harmonious workplace and focus on promoting collaboration and mutual support. They are helpful and tend to be accommodating if they feel well treated. They greatly value positive feedback and try to give it frequently.
M's tend to avoid conflicts and don’t like to receive or give critical feedback. They are deliberative in their decision-making. They take time to think through how each decision will impact others and how they can be shaped to be as positive as possible for as many people as possible. They often gather a lot of opinions before making a decision.
As you read these descriptions, you may have some insights into your style and that of others. The T.E.A.M. Communication Styles report identifies each person’s style, including where they are a blend of styles. It further explains how other people might see things differently, and in fact how someone with good intentions could end up annoying people with other styles. Note the situations below:
Examples of things each style finds annoying
- Having decisions delayed
- Taking extended time to study problems rather than just resolving them
- Long stories or detailed explanations
- Having to engage in social conversations during the work day
- Being asked a lot of questions
A real-life example of T.E.A.M. styles shaping perceptions
An Executive Assistant came to one of our T.E.A.M. programs to find out how to improve her relationship with her boss. After taking the assessment, she understood that she was an “M” (people-oriented) and her boss was a “T” (task-oriented).
Her T.E.A.M. assessment showed her how to adjust the way she was communicating with her boss. She later reported that her new “secret” was being “mean” to her boss… and now everything was great!
She explained that she goes into her boss’ office, gives her boss the information she needs, gets the information her boss wants to deliver, and walks out without any friendly discussion. To her, that’s being “mean”. To her boss, it’s “perfect”!
Don’t wait! Take the test today! See how simple, accurate, and useful it is.
Find out what your primary style is and learn more about the styles of your co-workers and boss. Unlock the secret to connecting better with the people in your life.