Building Teamwork with NBC’s ‘Community': What the Characters Teach You About Staff Personalities
NBC’s Community is an excellent TV show that for two years has been snubbed in Emmy nominations, critical acclaim, and until now, the QLP blog. However, my soapbox about this consistently funny, introspectively meta, and amazingly brilliant show will have to wait for another day. Today we’ll focus on the dynamics of everyone’s (and it should literally be everyone’s) favorite study group and how you can use them to streamline teamwork in your business or organization!
Jeff Winger: Smooth Talker Extraordinaire
The Jeff Winger
The Good: A smooth talker, this employee can make anything sound good. His charisma and charm is infectious, and you can’t help but agree with everything he says.
The Bad: He doesn’t really care about company projects, just himself. He’s there to do the bare minimum and collect his paycheck.
The Fix: Explain to that employee exactly how the latest product or promotion affects him. Also have him give presentations or handle PR disasters.
Britta Perry: All Work, No Play
The Britta Perry
The Good: This employee is always serious about the project at hand. She does her best to keep the group focused.
The Bad: She can be negative past the point of a worst case scenario. It’s likely that she will upset the balance of the group with said negativity.
The Fix: Ask this employee specific questions to bring out focused answers. If she offers negative scenarios, challenge her by suggesting she develop solutions to those possible outcomes.
Abed Nadir: Non-stop Talking Dictionary
The Abed Nadir
The Good: If you need to remember a ton of facts, this is the employee that will. He is full of information and can produce it at the drop of a hat.
The Bad: He is so eager to share what he knows that he won’t stop contributing. His conversation topics might deviate from the project at hand.
The Fix: Explain that group meetings might not be the best time to lose focus. If the employee really believes that he has something worthwhile to add, ask him to send you an e-mail or meet with you privately.
Annie Edison: Doe-eyed Control Freak
The Annie Edison
The Good: She is always prepared, always motivated, and always willing to take on more work. The lifeline of the group, this employee will pick up the slack of less-motivated group members.
The Bad: Your other employees could notice this and start to pawn off their work on her, causing her to become overwhelmed. She also might decide to try and completely take over the project.
The Fix: Delegate a work-intensive part of the project to this employee. She’ll feel value and accomplishment when finished, but stay busy enough that nobody can take advantage of her can-do attitude.
Troy Barnes: Loyal But Lacking
The Troy Barnes
The Good: An employee with unending loyalty will stick to the project at all costs. His general enthusiasm will motivate everyone else in the group.
The Bad: This employee’s lack of experience could hold up the group’s progress. His excess of questions would detract from the ultimate goal.
The Fix: Spend one-on-one time with this employee to bring them up to speed in any knowledge they are lacking. Ask if they have any innovative marketing or social media ideas.
Shirley Bennett: Passive Peacemaker
The Shirley Bennett
The Good: This peacemaker employee will keep the group calm and amicable. Her excellent mediation skill will put out many of your group’s fires.
The Bad: While good at getting others to talk, she might be passive about vocalizing her own needs and create some underlying tension.
The Fix: Communicate to her that your door is always open. Also help her convey her opinions and feelings to the rest of the group.
Pierce Hawthorne: Tweets? Circles? What is this madness?
The Pierce Hawthorne
The Good: A fountain of wisdom, this employee has tons of experience under his belt, and the other group members can learn from him.
The Bad: This employee is removed from the current generation. He will potentially have problems communicating with younger members of the group and take longer to support new marketing techniques.
The Fix: Have younger group members (like an Annie or Troy) take some time to explain social media and current marketing trends. Also let him offer older, but still effective, marketing strategies.
Do you watch NBC’s Community? Any other strategies we can learn from Greendale’s premier study group? Do you fit into any of the categories?