4 Productivity Styles to Build a Cohesive Team

Building strong relationships will consistently be a essential ingredient in forming successful teams.

In reflecting on a fun post I wrote about The Student Affairs Morning Personalities, I realized that understanding each others’ workplace personalities is a key part of creating a high-functioning, happy team. The characteristics conveyed in the post help convey working styles in a lighthearted way, making it easier to communicate with colleagues.

Another way to understand communication is identifying productivity styles. The best teams maximize the talent of each individual, realizing each person’s potential and their contribution to a common purpose.

In reflecting and thinking of the personalities of the Presence team, I thought about how we share our different productivity styles in our day-to-day work and recognize each person’s contributions to the team.

I encourage you to reflect on your own leadership team and delve deeper into understanding others’ working styles and how they feel most productive. The next time you’re planning a large project or want to delegate tasks to a team, consider discussing these four productivity styles to optimize your teams’ strengths! ?

The Frog Eater

This individual is typically the most realistic person on the team. They often track and prioritize their time the best, including ‘eating their frog‘.

This phrase describes someone who gets into the office early and accomplishes their largest task (and often most dreaded task) at the beginning of the day. Their focus is described as “laser-like” as they complete projects and tasks. This person often more outcome-oriented rather than process-oriented and focus on getting to-do’s off their plate as quickly as possible.


The best way to describe this human: competitive. They thrive in competitive environments and want to continually be the best. They’re not huge fans of side conversations and when they come to work, they tend not to talk about their personal lives. For this reason, they’re dependable and consistent with their work.

Contributions to a Team:

  • Consistent when completing tasks
  • Enjoys solving problems

Productivity Tools:

Here are tools they’d most enjoy using during the work day.

  • Pomodoro: a timer for Chrome (can use a smartphone app or website as well) to track time to boost efficiency and stay focused
  • Wunderlist: a great reminder for to-do items and tracks items on your list(s)

The Passion Planner

It may be easy to pinpoint who this person is on the team.

This person loves sequential, organized tasks and lists. They love to immerse themselves in all of the details of a project, while not always the best at prioritizing tasks. This person stays up-to-date with all of the new calendars and encourages others to utilize calendars to plan projects effectively. This person has the most up-to-date calendar in the office and you can always find out what they’re up to.


While they’re not the most spontaneous on the team, they are prepared. You will become their favorite person if you provide an agenda at your meeting (or better yet, e-mail an agenda prior to the meeting).

This person is most focused on tracking progress and seeking out win-win situations.

Contributions to a Team:

  • Detailed-oriented
  • Enjoys action steps in planning

Productivity Tools:

Here are tools they’d most enjoy using during the work day.

  • Way of Life: an app that tracks habits like drinking water, sleeping, or meditating – really anything
  • Toodledo: a place to track more than to-do’s- create structured outlines, track life goals, and track habits

The Storyteller

Also known as the ultimate team player.

They’re most annoyed when people lack emotion or fail to extend personalized messages. This person loves stories and often brings emotions into their work in a productive manner. They may ask questions about tasks that will benefit the entire team and think about the larger picture of life.


They’re great at bringing people back ‘down to earth’ and do their best working in an environment that has a clear mission and vision.

Contributions to a Team:

  • Facilitates team relationships
  • Persuades others through stories

Productivity Tools:

Here are tools they’d most enjoy using during the work day.

  • Trello: a way to management to-do lists through color-coded items and shows history of moving the card between columns
  • Office supplies that are colorful and useful

The Ideator

This team member brings ideas to life.


They take broad concepts and are able to make connections. Although they won’t admit it, they enjoy having pressure to complete projects and often get bored if they don’t have an array of tasks they’re working on.

They tend to get lost in ideas which makes them a great catalyst for change and pushing the envelope to talk about new concepts in the workplace.

Contributions to a Team:

  • Strong vision for the future
  • Integrate many ideas and concepts

Productivity Tools:

  • ZenPen: a blank canvas for writing with minimal distractions
  • White boards for mind-mapping, brainstorming and other low-tech tools

Some teammates may feel they don’t fit any of these categories and maybe they’re best categorized as a intrapreneur. They constantly try new productivity styles to understand their co-workers and stretch their mind.

Which productivity style best suits you? Do you feel you have combined productivity styles?

How have you used productivity styles to build a team?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @CheckImHere. Thanks for reading!

Kayley Robsham

About the author: Kayley Robsham (she/hers) is a former Community Engagement Manager at Modern Campus Presence, the complete student engagement platform. Learn how we can help get your students involved.