FinTech and payment organizations: have you ever considered the strength profiles of your highly skilled teams?

Written by GaintheLead

September 22, 2021

Diversity has become the new normal in fast evolving industries like payment & fintech. Next to the obvious types of diversity, what if you had a metric to select the optimal people for your team, and the role you want them to play in the team no matter what their cultural or hard skill related background is?

When developing or growing a dynamic team in a fast-growing company, considering the optimal interpersonal strength profiles and finding the optimal balance, can be a catalyst to improve the team’s performance. Within the Fintech industry, the everchanging environment demands team members to grow and develop their interpersonal skills in order to achieve targets in a seamless and effective manner.

So let us dive in and also have a bit of fun with this 🙂

 

Interpersonal strength profiles

The LiFo© (Life Orientation Model) is a scientifically sound model which describes interpersonal, communication and mental strengths. It explains how people think and behave.

Leaders can use it to:

  • Select optimal team members
  • Assign roles/tasks which get the most out of people’s strengths
  • Ensure understanding of communication
  • Easily understand what kind of support each team member needs
  • Understand and resolve misunderstandings/conflicts
  • Effectively motivate people

So let us have a look at the different strength profiles. For each profile we will cover 3 points, so that you can take some practical points away and use them if you want to.

  1. Main characteristics of the strength
  2. Key success factors of leading people with this strength
  3. How to “not get much” out of this stregth 🙂

 

Strength 1: Performance & Values

01. Main characteristics of the strength

Employees with this strength live by personal high ideals and values. They have a strong opinion on what is right and what is not. They want to do the right things in a good way and will fight for it.

Doing things with purpose is very important to them. They have high expectations of themselves and others, and in the right environment, will go more than the extra mile to help you, the team and the company succeed.

You can spot them easily because they are driven by the question “why” and will ask it.

02. Key success factors of leading people with this strength

When assigning a task, invest time into explaining the purpose of the task, especially how it delivers value to the team, other teams, stakeholders and the company. Show all the connections to other tasks/projects.

When you praise them, make sure to emphasize their impact on the company.

03. How to not get much out of this strength 🙂

Be unfair to them. Ask them to do a task, and when they ask why, just say “senior management wants it” with no further reasoning. This will certainly spike some frustration, especially if repeated over time.

 

Strength 2: Activity and Goals

01. Main characteristics of the strength

Life motto of this strength: “Give me a goal, ideally a challenge, and I will get it done!” People with this strength are happy to do tasks which are uncertain and unclear in how they will pan out. They take the initiative and just get going. Additionally, when the going gets tough they are happy to step up and do what is needed.

They rarely take things personally, are strong at convicting others and determined to succeed.

02. Key success factors of leading people with this strength

Setting them with clear goals and timeframes is kind of obvious. Just as important though, is to give them a very clear framework about what they can decide and what they need to check in with you. As they can have a tendency to get things done “no matter what,” this can potentially lead to burning bridges and harming relationships. So, give them extra goals like: “To make this more challenging, an extra goal on this project is to get purely positive feedback from … stakeholders.”

03. How to not get much out of this strength 🙂

Let them do detailed analysis and plenty of documentation. Relentlessly, for days/weeks 🙂

 

Strength 3: Rationality and structure

01. Main characteristics of the strength

Where the activity strength profile is challenged, rationality blossoms. Being able to dive into detail and analyse all aspects of a topic is something people with this strength excel at. They have the skill set to be able to plan way into the future, considering many variables, like how the company and its stakeholders typically behave. They can spot challenges ahead of time and incorporate solutions into their planning. If you agree on a procedure with a rational strength person, you can rely on their exact execution. They work meticulously until a task is completed.

02. Key success factors of leading people with this strength

Take your time. Once you hand over a task/project to a rational strength employee, they will plan, spot many challenges and uncertainties and come back with (many) questions. A strong leader takes time to listen, answers the questions and makes sure the employee feels secure so they can excel and perform.

If you have an employee who gets blocked because they keep spotting new challenges and problems, make sure to limit the scope of the task and ask them to write down all additional problems they see in a backlog, for future consideration. This helps them focus on the scope rather than going down a rabbit hole.

03. How to not get much out of this strength 🙂

Provide them with little information and ask them to just get it done. When they come back with challenges/questions, interpret their behaviour as “being difficult”. Tell them to stop asking so many pointless questions.

 

Strength 4: Cooperation and relationships

01. Main characteristics of the strength

Empathy, diplomacy and great networking skills. You can often spot this strength because they know many people within an organisation. As they excel at networking, they often know about what is going on in many/most areas of the business. Due to their fine antennas for people’s feelings, it comes naturally to them to integrate people in the team, support the resolution of conflicts and build strong relationships which help get things done across the organisation.

02. Key success factors of leading people with this strength

Take time to talk with them about them, their life and everything! Ask them regularly for their opinion especially when dealing with sensitive topics as their view and understanding of people can help you and the team achieve more. When assigning tasks or projects emphasise who they can work with and how they can build their network.

03. How to not get much out of this strength 🙂

Always have an “important” reason you are not able to spend time having a personal conversation. Explain that “we are not here to be friends, this is just business.” 

Maybe you are reading this and thinking, “this sounds logical, but the world is not just black and white!” You are right. Most people are unique mixture of the strengths and each strength is a grey scale. Additionally, the strengths change if we are inside or outside of our comfort zones. This is particularly visible in the fintech and payment industries as there tends to be high pressure, tight deadlines and constantly moving targets, which keep putting people outside their comfort zone.

This gets very interesting when we look at the communication skills and styles of each strength. Imagine putting a mostly rational strength person on a project with a predominantly activity-oriented person. When they start discussing what to do it can look like this:

Activity: “Cool, let’s get going, I’ll do this and you do that!”

Rationality: “Hang on, we need to think this through carefully, if we do it that way it won’t work, because…”

Activity: We can deal with that if it really happens, we don’t have time, we’ve got this!”

Rationality: “yes, but….”

Activity: “Stop blocking, all you ever see is problems!”

 

Have you ever seen a similar situation especially within fintech or payment organizations? Maybe when sales discuss with compliance or product development?

With the exponential growth of the sector, having a well-structured team with a unique blend of strengths is at the heart of driving growth for your business. As a leader, knowing the strengths of your team and helping the team members understand each other, can unlock performance gains, reduce conflicts, and make working together more fun!

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