Team Development: Why Is It Important, and How Can It Get You to Hogwarts?

Team Development: Why Is It Important, and How Can It Get You to Hogwarts?

“What if I don’t fit in? What house will I be sorted into? I don’t know magic. . . .”

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d gotten my letter from Hogwarts when I was 11 years old. I think you would be, too.

And okay, this post won’t give you the secret to going to Hogwarts.

But similar to how Harry felt when he was off to his first year at Hogwarts, being part of a team without knowing the whole story can be scary.

Every colleague brings something new to the table, and each person has qualities that outshine others’. This is essential for team development.

Kind of like the four houses of Hogwarts.

So how can you experience your own piece of the wizarding world in your workplace? Here’s what you can learn about team development from the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.

DiSC Training vs. the Sorting Hat

This summer, the 9 Clouds team took part in a DiSC training session: our own version of “sorting” into our proverbial houses at Hogwarts.

The first and most important lesson in sorting is that regardless of where you’re sorted, one house is not lesser than another.

This can cause a lot of stir for those diehards who think Gryffindor is clearly better than, say, Slytherin. Well, my friends, it’s not.

You’re sorted into your house because of your strengths — just like each employee is chosen for their role at a company because they stand out in certain categories.

For a team that’s constantly growing, it’s important for 9 Clouds to know our own team members’ best qualities.

To do that, we turned to DiSC, the leading personal assessment tool for workplaces. DiSC stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness — the four main personality types according to the psychologists at Everything DiSC.

I prefer to think of them in terms of Hogwarts houses.

Dominance = Slytherin

D stands for Dominance, a quality that Slytherins know well.

To most HP fans, Slytherin is the “worst” house due to the less-than-favorable wizards who have come out of it. But as we know from our beloved J.K. Rowling, Slytherins are merely ambitious.

Ambition is a very good quality for any team member to possess — so rejoice, Slytherins!

The people in the “D” profile have similar qualities: direct, results-oriented, firm, strong-willed, and forceful.

It’s not surprising that the members on the 9 Clouds team who fit into this category include our CEO, our project management director, and one particularly data-driven content creator.

Influential = Gryffindor 

I stands for Influential.

We’re talking about influencers here. Top dogs. Winners of the House Cup. AKA Gryffindors. These people are brave!

The qualities for the “I” profile include outgoing, enthusiastic, optimistic, high-spirited, and lively.

Your coworkers who fit into this profile might surprise you. Our own “I” team members include our co-founder, Scott Meyer, and one project manager (myself).

Steady = Hufflepuff

S stands for Steady. For Hufflepuffs, steady can also mean loyal.

In my opinion, Hufflepuffs get a bad rap. Their loyalty is actually vital to the community at Hogwarts.

It was interesting, but not altogether surprising, that almost all members of our creative team at 9 Clouds (including our creative director, John Nelson) are part of this group.

The traits of the “S” profile include even-tempered, accommodating, patient, humble, and tactful.

These are slightly counterintuitive traits for traditional “creative types,” but the creative team here really trusts one another and is always willing to help others — qualities any Hufflepuff would admire.

Conscientious = Ravenclaw

C stands for Conscientious.

Smart is always the first word that comes to mind when I think about Ravenclaws. Their qualities match up to our “Muggle sorting” almost perfectly.

Qualities for the “C” profile include analytical, reserved, precise, private, and systematic.

One “C” on our team is our creative technical officer, Allen Day — probably the most dead-on sorting you can get, if you ask me.

Some overlap in personality types can occur as well. Both our CEO, Sarah Carnes, and our project management director, Jenny Lockhart, are on the line between “D” and “C.”

From Hogwarts to 9 Clouds

What does this all mean? To break it down in plain text: each person helps the team move forward.

Really, Hermoine should have been in Ravenclaw because of her intellect, yet she was sorted into Gryffindor. But maybe it’s not that she was more brave than intelligent — maybe it’s that she was both, and she needed to share her intelligence with the other Gryffindors.

Ron could have been in Hufflepuff, too. He continually showed fierce loyalty to his friends — but he was also sorted into Gryffindor.

We all know Harry could have been in Slytherin, but he talked the Sorting Hat out of it so that he could be in Gryffindor. (Can you say dominance?)

If their personalities were all Gryffindor through and through, they wouldn’t have been able to help each other in the ways they did –literally keeping each other alive.

You’re your best self when you’re part of a team of people who bring other aspects to the table.

Find people who are aspiring to similar goals but who have different talents and qualities than yours. Together, you can make magic.