Agreeableness in the Workplace Leads to Highly Successful Teams


When leaders can count on solid teams to conduct business, whether it’s making product or selling product, they’ll leave the competition behind. What makes a highly successful team? It often comes down to the agreeableness in the workplace among team members.

Agreeableness in the Workplace and Manager Fit

Paul White points out that you can reduce friction in your department when your “team members voluntarily submit to a selected leader.” Managers and employees won’t always agree on every detail. But if your employees spend their time arguing or refusing to take direction from you, progress will stall. You can determine who to add to your team by studying the profile generated by the psychometric assessments they take. A solid assessment system will allow you to measure the Four Fits of a team member, especially how well they fit with the manager.

Team Performance and Hiring Assessments

Some business leaders are pretty sure their venture will succeed if they populate their organization with “mini-me's.” They will hire, often subconsciously, team members who remind them of themselves. That kind of hiring practice can lead to disaster. If you’re running a sales department, you may have already learned that not every rep should be a new business hunter. Yes, you need people to locate business prospects, but you also need team members who excel at closing deals or taking care of account management.

If you want to know who has natural business hunting traits, ask the candidates applying for your open position to take a psychometric assessment that also assesses sales acumen. Keep in mind that a good candidate may not score as high as you wished for a particular selling trait. For example, your favorite candidate may have a high score for negotiating. While that’s a plus, if you’re truly in need of a new business hunter, review the rest of the candidate’s profile. If you see that they are highly coachable and you’re willing to put in the work to help them develop their new-​business hunting skills, you may end up with an excellent, and ultimately, loyal employee.

Empathy Reflects Agreeableness

When you build a team for the long term, or for a short intense project, if your team members don’t have agreeableness in the workplace, you’re sunk. They must accept your role as leader. And they must possess the skills and mindset to get the work done. But they also should possess empathy for the other members of the team. If a critical element of a product or process breaks, you want team members who will rush in to support each other instead of trying to compete for a better position in the long run. One way to ensure the individuals you hope to add to your team will cooperate during good times and bad is to review their profiles.

Individuals with high assessment scores for empathy have compassion for another person’s problems. They will slow down and try to understand the problem. They will offer to help because they want the project and everyone in the group to succeed.

One way to ensure you have the right mix of work traits in your organization is to inventory them. A comprehensive assessment system will allow you to review work traits across your team or department. If your current team scores low for empathy or positivity, start looking for additional members who score high on those traits. Your chances of success, and for agreeableness in the workplace, increase when you add individuals who score well for collaboration and emotional control.

Managing a team can be both rewarding and challenging. You can increase the odds of successfully launching a product or service when you make decisions based on work traits.

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Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.