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Good Soul Toolbox

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

The 411/118 on Getting to Know Your Team

From interviewing for a role, to onboarding and stepping into the regular rhythm of management and communication, you should be getting to know your team at a deeper level. We are, after all, devoting most of our waking hours to work.


Interview Tips

While we focus more generally on initial interviews, make sure you also ask open-ended questions that require real examples, responses, and feelings to start the discovery of your potential team member. Include revealing questions in addition to role-specific ones so you get a gauge on culture fit. Some examples include...

  • Describe your favorite boss in the past and why?

This gives clues about the best style of management they respond to (need support, independent, leadership flavor) and how they like to be directed (micromanaged vs gimme-the-goal-and-get-outta-my-way).

  • Tell me about a time you achieved a great goal as a team and why this felt so successful?

This will offer commentary on team vs individual dynamic, support needed, fun factor, goal orientation, competitiveness, ideal colleague environment, and other social cues.

  • Tell me the exact reason I should not hire you?

Because of the direct nature of this question, it demands a direct answer and is usually a pretty good bullshit-o-meter.

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Resources that Bolster Onboarding and Ongoing Communication

To understand what lights a person up visit and consider having your team fill out the survey. If that’s too touchy, feely for your work vibe visit Appreciation At Work for the work version:

The Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation

Quality Time

Acts of Service

Tangible Gifts

Physical Touch

Or the Expanded MBA version.

To know your strengths and the strengths of your team consider the body of work with Gallup Strengthsfinder

Clifton Strengths Assessment Strengthsfinder 2.0

There are many ways to identify your values. Consider visiting for a simple 3 value exercise based on what cues are around you and what you spend your time and money on.

Dr. John Berardi’s Change Maker Academy or book Change Maker

To find your why consider Simon Sinek’s work around his Golden Circle (Why, How, What) and viral Ted Talk - Start with Why and his books devoted to the topic Start with Why

and Finding your Why

To work more cohesively and to understand what unpins a team read 5 Dysfunctions of a Team - Patrick Lencioni

For happiness read online shoe and clothing company Zappos Tony Hsieh’s 21 year CEO - Delivering Happiness


Fun Team Exercises

Pet Peeve Energizer: Host a meeting by opening with this fun but informative ice-breaker - everyone shares their pet peeve - the PG version of the game - “never have I ever.”

3-App Game: You’re on a deserted island. There is wifi on the island and you have a permanently charged phone but you can only have three apps. What are they? Have everyone fill it out on a piece of paper, shuffle them, hand them out and start the guessing game.

Pimp My Calendar: Have each team member plot their perfect workday and week in terms of flow and energy to #GSD - then they have 1 minute each to present it! Discuss how you could get the best out of the team based on what you learn from individual stories.


Team Question Starters and Talk Topics...

  • The best way to get feedback from me is (immediately, tomorrow once I’ve slept on it, in-person, written, etc)...

  • My power hours - when I get the most and best quality work are (early bird vs night owl)…

  • The biggest thing that kills my flow at work is…

  • My most effective stress busters include ( walks, exercise, massage, friends, drink)...

  • How do you do stress? Or how do you best process when you receive bad news or something doesn’t go your way at work or home? How do you respond and how can I help?

  • When I do something great I like to be recognized by... (shouting from the roof-tops, a note to the boss, a quiet word, gifts - this will likely relate back to the 5 languages of love/appreciation)...

  • A skill or talent or view I have that is not being fully utilized now is...

  • My favorite charity is...

Interested in our content? Subscribe to Soul Bites to get snackable tips, trends and thought leadership for those in the business of talent.



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