The Importance of Personality Over Skill When Growing a Team — Lessons From a Director

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Hallie Falquet

Photo courtesy of Sprinklr.

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April 19, 2024 at 2:34AM UTC

Career journeys can take you to interesting places! Just ask Hallie Falquet, who has had a particularly unique journey. Falquet has been a journalist, non-fiction book editor, pilates instructor, health coach, social media manager at a weight-loss company and a solution consulting manager.

Now, she’s the Director of Sales Enablement at Sprinklr, where she directs programs that enable their sales and presales new hires and tenured employees. “Think onboarding and continuing education,” Falquet explains.

Falquet credits her impressive array of experience to always being open to learning and new opportunities. “I have been successful because I've always been willing to do projects outside of my core role,” she explains. “This has exposed me to more people and job possibilities than I ever would have known by staying in my silo.”

And, throughout her diverse experience, what’s one unique thing she’s learned? Well, Falquet tells us that it’s putting an emphasis on keeping the well-being of your direct reports — and your culture — at the forefront when growing your team. 

For example, Falquet notes that bringing a highly skilled person onto a team who is not a cultural fit is never worth it. “An  enthusiastic and optimistic team working together will outperform a team of highly skilled individuals who cannot collaborate any day,” says Falquet.“For a team to work in the truest sense of the word, compatible personalities are as important as compatible skill sets.”

Here, Falquet reveals more about what she’s learned about leadership and career development during her own journey.

What is your No. 1 piece of advice for other women who are moving into or want to move into leadership?

My biggest piece of advice is don’t let a lack of experience keep you from applying for a leadership position. No one meets every single requirement of the job description, and hiring managers aren’t expecting that. Everyone has to start somewhere! When I look to promote someone to leadership, I’m looking mostly for the willingness to learn, compassion, and a history of mentorship or coaching.

Think about what you’ve done outside of a professional setting that shows leadership qualities. A hiring manager will look to promote those skills you already possess.

What do you hope that your direct reports are getting out of working with you?

I hope my direct reports feel supported in their professional and personal lives. I challenge them to improve, but with a carrot, not a stick, and never at the cost of their mental health. I know from personal experience that when I enjoy coming to work, and know that my boss has my best interest at heart, I am more productive and do better work. So I try to create that same environment for my team.

Speaking of personal experience, what was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?

I knew that they supported me, they coached me when I needed it and otherwise they left me alone! Being micromanaged makes it impossible to grow. By giving me autonomy and responsibility, I was able to do my best work.

What’s something at work that you’re especially good at?

I'm very good at distilling complex information into an easy-to-understand format. I think that's why I was a good book editor back in my early career, and that skill has continued to help me through managing complex situations at work.

And what are you trying to improve on?

Organization. I can easily get sidetracked and miss deadlines. I am always reading the latest productivity book to try to learn how to be more efficient in my day-to-day life.

Interested in joining Falquet at Sprinklr for the next step in your career journey? They are hiring! Click the following link to check out current opportunities.

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