The Bright and Dark Team Personalities

Team Personalities - Team Sport Females

Team personalities matter greatly and no more so in the world of sport.  When you look at successful teams, England’s great run in the football World Cup or Ireland’s women’s hockey runner up position in their world cup, you get the sense that here are teams motivated to achieve to their maximum.  Everyone working together to win and succeed.  We though probably won’t reach these levels of achievement and so in today’s business world we are faced with the often-difficult task of working in teams were people often whine about the work, slack off, or put up with the credit taker who delivers nothing.

Indeed recently, having toxic team personalities was highlighted in St George’s hospital in Tooting, London, when patients were put at risk by a “dark force” dysfunctional team of surgeons.  The team personalities really impacted in this instance

So, do all teams have ‘dark forces’.  It is interesting to consider that team personalities differ tremendously and depends on the nature of the work, team scope and team dynamics.  Teams can be highly focused and competitive, wanting to get the task completed.  On the other side they can be highly composed, absorbing challenges and setbacks.

At the individual level we all have a range of mechanisms in approaching team work, having both a ‘bright side’ as well as a ‘dark side’ to our personality.  We all have our own personality preferences, and these do tend to take prominence although they are no fully ‘fixed’.  Research indicates that there are between 4 and 8 individual team personalities.

Of course, we always want to acknowledge all the good aspects of our personality but beneath this gloss is your ‘dark side’.  So, what dark forces do you have?  What team personalities do you possess?


Bright Side – This is the individual who seems to know everyone and how to leverage the resources in getting the team up and fully performing.

Dark Side – They tend though to be over-enthusiastic and if progress isn’t pretty instant, will become bored and at times disillusioned.


Team Personalities - TeamworkBright Side – This is the person who generates most of the ideas as well as identifying many of the solutions.

Dark Side – When their ideas are negatively evaluated, they can become defensive and may react adversely to any criticism.  They may even go off in a huff!  Because they are so focused on their idea or solution they often miss other team demands and priorities.


Bright Side – This person seems to be the ‘Super Man’ or ‘Super Woman’, the ‘Change Champion’.  They make things happen and lead from the front and can be highly competitive.

Dark Side – They have a ‘disruptive’ side to their personality, may come across as aggressive and can be very impatient.  The ‘disrupter’ side means that they often fail to communicate effectively with their team causing disharmony.

Do you think Donald Trump or other leaders fit this category?


Bright Side – They believe in respecting everyone’s opinions and are very respectful of each individual.  They are highly efficient in coordinating the work of the team and ensure the teams talents and resources are fully embraced.

Dark Side – Because they are trying to ensure that everyone is happy they often become distant from the team.  This results in them becoming professionally detached and disengaged from the team.


Team Personalities - Team Achievement

Bright Side – This is the person who makes the team feel good about itself.  They are always cooperating in a manner that leads to a fully functioning team and ensures that the environment is always a harmonious one.

Dark Side – Conflict in the team causes this person real difficulty.  They want to run away from anything that upsets the team harmony.  When challenged they are likely to be indecisive and would rather sit on the fence, before upsetting anyone.


Bright Side – The person is generally energetic, action-oriented and focused on getting results.  They focus on the task in hand and translate ideas into action.

Dark Side – They are capable of vying for the leadership role and can become quickly frustrated when team members spend too much time on ideas and not enough on the actions required.  As they are fixed on actions and results they find it difficult to adapt when situations change rapidly.  They can often become disinterested when performance is not linked to the team task.


Bright Side – A very useful person who often prevents the team from going off the tracks.  They offer critical and objective comments of the tasks in hand.

Dark Side – This person is almost like a judge.  Analytical by nature they can also be the quiet person in the team.  Often, they wait until the last minute before advising where things might go wrong.  Therefore, they can be frustrating to work particularly when they overuse their deliberations.


Team Personalities - Team ConflictBright Side – This person is a good team player, being supportive, flexible and adaptable.  They are good at implementing and finishing team tasks and like to bring others’ ideas into action.

Dark Side – Other team members often perceive them as lacking vision, but they can be frustrated by other team members’ lack of activity.  Often, they struggle to assert their views or generate new ideas and may seem overly anxious about the team keeping to the plan.

What Team Personalities Do You Have?

For many working in teams is really enjoyable but team personalities can really impact on the efficiency and effectiveness when the ‘dark’ team personalities come to the fore.  To assess team membership contact Dominic McCanny | Click on the box below:

Contact Dominic McCanny