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The benefits (and challenges) of a team with high tolerance

Believe it or not, our research found that a medium-to-high motivation level for tolerance is found in people who experience entrepreneurial venture success, and it can also impact how teams operate in a business context.

by Catie McHugh
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Tolerance. It’s something that we all should practice, something fundamental to harmony between humans from all different walks of life - all those different ideas, expectations and ways of simply existing all have to live side-by-side somehow!

November 16 is the International Day for Tolerance and, well, we’ve got a fair bit we can say on that! You see, tolerance is one of the forty-eight critical attitudes and motivations we measure as part of Fingerprint for Success. Believe it or not, our research found that a medium-to-high motivation level for tolerance is found in people who experience entrepreneurial venture success, and it can also impact how teams operate in a business context.

So, let’s say you’ve got or are part of an awesome team; each of you is unique and brings a particular set of skills to the mix. It’s a team of high tolerance, with everyone allowing each other to just do their thing in getting the overall job done. Cool, right? It most certainly is, but let’s take a deeper glance into how this unfolds in a work setting:

High tolerance teams are free to be more innovative and creative

A team that is generally ‘high tolerance’ is respecting of each other’s different approaches to their job and their values, with no strict adherence to specific modes of conduct.

This creates an environment where individuals feel free to creatively explore their work, come up with new, innovative concepts and fully utilize their talents in their role without restriction, or having to conform to a rigid set of business standards.

When people are not boxed in by an unchanging set of standards, some real magic can come out - and it’s crucial in the rapidly evolving world of an early-stage startup.

They work well across cultures

People and teams who are motivated towards high tolerance are, in general, very adaptable folks.

This often means they thrive across cultures and connect well even in virtual workspaces, which is often the norm in new, online-based businesses. They fit in and achieve common goals without allowing restrictive prior structure and practice influence current situations and tasks, which is just the kind of agile thinking needed in fast-moving business.

The downside? ‘Bad’ behavior can go on too long.

Tolerance is great, but what happens when tolerance is very, very high?

Off-the-charts tolerance can mean an individual is extremely uncomfortable imposing rules and modes of conduct on others, even when that person is behaving in a way that could be detrimental to a business.

In other words, they may be too tolerant of bad behavior that can eat away at a happy team like cancer. There could be a saboteur in the mix, or something dreadful like a perpetrator of harassment going unpunished. It can spell curtains for a thriving team culture when left unchecked.

What’s your motivation for tolerance? Find out at Fingerprint for Success.

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