Leap Year Lesson #27: Use the 3 C’s When Forming Teams

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Business Processes
Tags: , , ,

I am on a team at work that didn’t exist many months ago. Until last month, the only member was the manager. I joined in December. Next month two more join us. We’ll add more down the road. It is a rare and wonderful opportunity to start from scratch building a team. I’m not the one doing the hiring, but my manager involves me in the process, letting me interview candidates and offer my opinion.

Years ago when I was the training manager for Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky offices of ExecuTrain, I had a pretty good track record of hiring trainers. I didn’t have final say there either, but I had significant input and can’t think of a single bad call in the 20+ person training staff. They were a joy to work with and several relationships from that experience still exist today about 15 years later.

For a number of years when considering job candidates I have followed a rule of looking at three C’s – competence, character and chemistry.

Competence refers to the question of whether the person is able to do what you need them to do or whether they have the ability to learn to do it. People don’t always have to know everything coming in to a role.

Character addresses questions like: Is this someone I can trust, who will work hard, has integrity, won’t undercut other team members, and seems like a genuinely good person to be around?

Chemistry speaks to the need to get along with others on the team. Is this someone I would really like to spend 40+ hours a week with every week?

So every job candidate I evaluate gets a simple thumbs up or down from me for continued consideration based on the 3 C’s. If multiple candidates pass the test, then we make a call based on other details we deem most important. The process works well and not just for employment, but for forming teams in other contexts such as volunteer organizations.

Next time you add someone to a team, remember leap year lesson #27 – Use the 3 C’s when forming teams.

I’m curious, though. What other considerations do you use when forming teams? Let me know in a comment.

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