10 Signs your Team Could Benefit from a Team Personality Assessment

  • December 12, 2015

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23095496 S

Is your team experiencing any of these themes?

  1. PEOPLE HIDE THEIR MISTAKES, SHORTCOMINGS, AND FLAWS.

  2. PEOPLE BLOW OFF MEETINGS FREQUENTLY JUSTIFYING THEY ARE WORKING ON OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS.

  3. PEOPLE HOLD GRUDGES; DON’T OVERLOOK PAST ISSUES.

  4. PEOPLE ASSUME NEGATIVE INTENT ON THE PART OF OTHERS.

  5. ALMOST EVERYONE IS WEARING A MASK OR PUTTING ON A FAÇADE.

  6. PEOPLE DON’T ASK FOR OR OFFER HELP.

  7. DISCUSSIONS CONSISTENTLY REVERT BACK TO THE STORMING PHASE.

  8. CONFLICTS END UP GETTING RESOLVED BUT LEAVE A BAD AFTER TASTE.

  9. LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE DOMINATE THE DIRECTION THE TEAM HEADS.

  10. PEOPLE WITH OUTLYING STYLES HAVE TO FIGHT FOR AIR TIME IN MEETINGS AND RARELY GET ASKED FOR INPUT.

If you selected 2 or more of these themes, your team could benefit from a better understanding of the team’s personality and how to leverage this insight for greater performance.

NIETZSCHE APTLY SAID:

“Madness, while the exception in individuals, is the rule in groups.”  “Research consistently shows that teams underperform, despite all the extra resources they have. That’s because problems with coordination and motivation typically chip away at the benefits of collaboration.” (Why Teams Don’t Work, HBR, May 2009 J. Richard Hackman, the Edgar Pierce)

When team members know the individuals they are working with, they attain a different level of trust with each other.  Countless research has been done and books have been written on the critical role trust plays in effective teamwork.  Mistrust within teams kills engagement, cripples relationships, destroys communication, encourages game playing and politicking, ruins credibility, and crushes the team’s productivity and morale.

Because trust is considered by organizational experts to be a measurable competency that can deliver real results, and personality awareness can greatly lead to trust, you may want to consider that personality awareness is far more than a soft skill to teach your team.  Rather than doing training on how to build trust, consider helping the team understand it’s personality better.

A Case Study:

A global manufacturing plant leadership team I worked with had several members with very strong personalities.  Each had a lot to offer and were motivated by their deep passion to contribute in their own unique ways.  While unintended, they became a source of distraction for the team by their dominating communication styles and the assertive patterns they played out when negotiating differences.  They often diminished the quality of team interactions by not recognizing the impact they had when they overplayed their participation.

TO SOLVE THIS CHALLENGE, THE LEADER ADDED A DAY FOR TEAM BUILDING ONTO THEIR QUARTERLY OFF-SITE OPERATING REVIEW PROCESS.

I guided the team to assess their team personality style using the Enneagram personality system and the Team Integrative Enneagram questionnaire.  I prefer to use the Enneagram due to the Enneagram’s complexity, subtlety and dynamic qualities that enable teams to explore team dynamics at a layer of richness many other frameworks do not.  Prior to the session everyone identified their individual Enneagram personality type and how that shaped their communication style.  During the session, they learned about each other’s personality and communication styles.  They discussed the implications of the team’s blend of styles on the way they approached solving problems.  The Enneagram team personality assessment enabled them to decode their behavior and explore the dysfunctional behaviors that was limiting their performance.

SOME THEMES THAT THEY EXPLORED WERE:

  • their strong bias for action compared to thinking and feeling
  • their tendency to deal with conflict assertively
  • that some personality types were significantly under represented that could help offset some of their dominant tendencies

The quality of discussion they experienced went a long way to increase self- and other-awareness.  After making some commitments and plans for off-setting some of the overused strengths and mitigating some of their blind spots, they returned to work.

A WEEK AFTER THE TEAM BUILDING SESSION:

They revised a plan for rolling out a new process in the plant to include a pilot over the weekend vs. an immediate roll-out, which was what they typically would have done.  Even though some of the hard charging personalities felt some resistance to going slower in the roll-out, they agreed to the pilot.  They based this on their awareness about their bias for action and agreement they made to counter balance this in the future with more planning and including more diverse input from other types not represented on the team.  It turns out the pilot failed and had to be redrawn which took several more weeks to accomplish a plant-wide roll-out than originally intended.  However the cost savings by not rolling out a flawed process saved them thousands of dollars.  This was truly a case where personality awareness helped drive a bottom line return.

Consider asking your leader to create a practical team building experience using a team personality assessment that help you learn about each other’s motivations and give you practical strategies for coordinating your work together. Teams that can leverage diverse skills, thinking, and personalities are better able to innovate and give their company a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Better team connections translates to better bottom lines.

TAKE THE TEAM QUIZ TO START YOUR JOURNEY OF FINDING THE TEAM PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT THAT WORKS FOR YOU!

Or email Diane to see a sample of the Integrative Team Enneagram Personality Assessment and a free consultation on how this could help your team.

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