Four Key Characteristics Your People Need to Excel at Work

Four Key Characteristics Your People Need to Excel at Work

24th March 2023

Four Key Characteristics Your People Need to Excel at Work

24th March 2023

There are four essential building blocks that underpin a positive, high trust culture where collaboration, problem solving and great teamwork combine to drive innovation and high levels of employee engagement, customer satisfaction and productivity.  Culture is played out by what people say and do every day – how they interact with colleagues and customers, their attitudes and belief systems – and lays bare whether they are equipped to excel in the workplace.  Here, we share an overview of the essential characteristics that need to be in place to achieve a positive, inspired culture where every team member has a mindset of ownership and responsibility, optimism, respect for each other and a strong belief that they really make a difference.


When we have a strong sense of self-awareness and self-management of ourselves and everyone around us, we can build optimism, motivation and a sense of value and self-worth – all vital components of a balanced and successful team able to relate to the views of others and build strong relationships with customers and colleagues.  Having the ability to recognise our strengths and weakness makes us more aware of our emotions, thoughts and behaviours so that we can recognise when we need to take a step back from challenging situations and consider our options.

Here are some things to think about when considering your own levels of awareness.  On a typical day at work, are you able to:

  • Notice and manage your emotions – how they fluctuate throughout the day in relation to certain triggers and situations
  • Have insight into how you are coming across in the workplace
  • Consider the situations and emotions of others around you, including customers and colleagues?
  • Understand how much control or influence you may or may not have in certain situations?
  • Evaluate situations objectively with confidence and capability?
  • Choose how you respond to challenging situations?
  • Carefully consider everyday goals and outcomes and the most sensible steps to take to reach them?

Having a real awareness of yourself and others makes us more empathetic and appreciative of other people’s perspectives, which in turn helps us to be more productive, confident, proactive and motivated, particularly when we are part of a team made up of many different personalities.


Our mindset is at the heart of everything we think, feel, say and do and impacts every aspect of our lives.  It’s a framework that can shape our response and reaction to every situation that comes our way and drives our interaction and relationships with others. 

In the same way that we need a fit and healthy heart to pump blood around our bodies, it’s also vital to have a fit, healthy and resilient mindset to ensure optimum performance across everything we do. Having a positive, optimal mindset equips you to:

Step up and take ownership and responsibility for your role, empowered by a determination for successful outcomes and to see a clear way forward whatever the challenges and obstacles to progress – and certain you have done your best and treated the customer as you would like to be treated yourself.

Be optimistic knowing there is always a solution and a positive outcome in any situation.  Having optimism means buying into the future of the business with a positive attitude, confident in the team’s ability to work together with strength and resilience, even in the face of adversity.  Optimistic people radiate happiness, humour and understanding, leading to increased productivity and wellbeing.

Be able to really listen and show respect by considering what others have to say.  People who recognise the value of feedback, seeing setbacks as critical learning tools rather than threats and irritations will strive for long term solutions rather than shortcuts and quick fixes, understanding that positive actions show customers you really listen and genuinely care about their goals.

Be highly motivated with a firm belief that I really do make a difference – confident their contribution is worthwhile and recognised and demonstrate a strong sense of purpose.  They can rise to new challenges with confidence, safe in the knowledge that individual contribution is valued and a key part of the team dynamic and outcomes.

Imagine the power and outcomes of a team where every person is equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to have an optimal mindset … problems are solved, customers are satisfied and working together is a motivating, rewarding and successful experience. 

Collaboration and Co-Creation

Great collaboration between team members who are bonded by culture and a shared sense of responsibility is key to the success of any organisation.  Collaboration is about a tightly knit workforce working well together and at the top of their game – showing active involvement, questioning and challenging skills and being supportive of one another.  Being open and honest gives everyone the opportunity to be engaging, co-creative and inclusive so that working relationships can flourish on a foundation of mutual respect and a sense of belonging. 

When a team or group can happily pull together, problems are solved, and barriers swiftly overcome as people are motivated by a sense of purpose and achievement.  Having certainty that every member of the team is equipped to take ownership and responsibility is a key element to success, as a rock-solid knowledge that everyone can have full trust in each other to do a great job is the foundation for a rewarding team culture where collaboration, kindness and fun are key.

Communication underpins everything

The way in which we choose to communicate lies at the heart of whether we succeed in and make the most of our dealings and opportunities with others, whoever they may be and whatever the situation.  Positive, clear and engaging communication skills that build two-way trust are powerful and an essential foundation upon which to build excellent awareness skills, an optimal mindset, to achieve effective collaboration and build strong and meaningful relationships. 

Whatever the thrust of the conversation, it’s important to use positive, influential language, always ensuring that the first thing you say is constructive, empathetic, positive and solution focused as this demonstrates inclusion and respect and builds trust.  When we start on the positive, we encourage the brain to be more receptive, open to solutions and ready to listen.  Whether we’re dealing with a challenging or straightforward situation, there are tools and techniques that make it easy for us to fully consider every option and keep us moving forward in a calm and positive manner.

Having the ability to communicate in a more confident, optimistic and capable way also helps us to maintain our composure when under pressure.  Whether you are actioning a request, looking to better understand a situation, gathering more details, communicating disappointing news, managing a complaint or explaining what you can do, having superb, positive communication skills at your fingertips can help you to construct the right message for the most successful outcomes, and therefore more harmonious and healthy relationships, too.

MGI Learning’s Mindset, Language & Actions Toolkit explores and ingrains every aspect of the characteristics your people need to excel in their roles, successfully embedding the four important building blocks so that they become a natural and inherent part of everything they think, feel, say and do.  Our engaging and enjoyable Learning Journeys provide people with the self-management and communications tools, templates and strategies to consistently grow higher levels of positivity and trust so that everyone can excel in the workplace, whatever comes their way.

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