Today we're going to look at three different areas:
- The importance of self-awareness in a team
- The new Team and Build assessment and the corresponding team interpretation guide
- Tips and tricks when using Teams Database in your FinxS Account.
Self-Awareness in a Team
Building self-awareness is one of the most extraordinary things you can do for yourself and the people in your team. The better you and your team understand yourselves, the greater the tolerance factor for each other tends to go up. This is why I'm such a big advocate for using the team analysis in so many different situations. As individuals, the more we truly understand why someone might be reacting or acting in a certain way, the more we can learn not to take things personally or know how best to deal with that person in a specific situation. Knowledge gives such insight. Not only that, we can truly understand team members key traits in what makes them tick. For example, understanding a team members motivations and strengths. Understanding those factors might affect how we may designate specific tasks to certain team members. There's a link to behavioural styles and natural inclination or alignment and performing particular tasks. Knowing those can be so insightful.
I want to share a story with you about two teams. Recently, a situation reminded me of why self-awareness in a team is so important, especially when it comes to collaboration and working well together. When I say self-awareness, I also mean awareness of others and how you fit into their world. I was in a meeting at a company with several different managers, approximately nine of them. They had all undertaken behavioural training, and in this case, it was several Extended DISC training sessions over the past 18 months. These managers used the team analysis in their teams, and they used Extended DISC profile types extensively. It had become second nature and part of the company's culture to understand the different styles even recruits were given training during their onboarding. I'd noted that at times the staff had a healthy sense of humour towards each other regarding their styles and, of course, their differences. Their differences included things like their reactions and actions, implementing tasks and their decision-making. They didn't poke fun, but they were willing to chat about their actions in a light-hearted way. So, in this meeting, it was evident that the managers were trying to communicate well as I could see them adapting their language, speed, reasoning, facts and the content etc., to the person they were addressing at the time. That wasn't to say there wasn't tension and, at times, some conflicting opinions. When that happened, they all took a breath and would realign their thoughts again. What I noticed is that they didn't need to attack each other. The others would chime in and say things like 'okay Peter, back off a little bit, David needs some space to process that' or 'Sharon, look, you have a creative way of thinking and you like to contribute to this discussion so how about we give you some time to tell us your ideas.' There was the time allotted for those that might not be forthcoming, and there were whiteboards for those that needed to learn more visually, not just audibly. The team also asked for a contribution from those that needed to talk out loud to think. Even after that meeting, the senior manager asked for emails regarding the meeting to be sent to him over the next two days to give people time to process. They did try to cater to all the different styles. I saw that there was a lot of respect for each other's differences. They were very interested in using these differences to be effective and successful with what they were trying to achieve. It was such a positive mindset and one of the most productive meetings I've ever attended. I'm not saying it was easy as there was some tension over the difference of opinions at times, but I can say that they got through the agenda, and they were very respectful of each other right from the beginning.
Shortly after that meeting, I went to another typical monthly meeting at a different company in a different industry. During that meeting, I witnessed people lose their cool and verbally attack others for their opinion. Also, sub-teaming and alliances from all levels came into play. It got heated, and yet nothing on the agenda was particularly prickly, so it shouldn't have gotten to that. Yes, the company were introducing some basic changes, but I can honestly say that nothing too big came into play. Some didn't even want to talk as they felt unsafe, so they remained quiet. Yet, I know they had some great alternatives to present as I'd already talked to them prior. Some were typically extroverted and more outspoken in the discussion, and they tended to dominate the meeting while others were backed into the corner and were coming out fighting. They did achieve a certain amount on their agenda, but not in a healthy way. I could see that there were many hurt feelings that day, and a few after the meeting even whispered how unproductive their team is and how the team was terrible at finding traction in any direction. It was disappointing for me to hear. Now I could see why they wanted some help solving communication issues, team-building and collaboration, and especially conflict resolution using Extended DISC.
The two different meetings spoke volumes to me. Both had agendas and processes established for their meetings, but the latter team had no understanding of each other's roles or styles, and they had no awareness of themselves or their colleagues. Therefore there was not a lot of tolerance for each other's differences. I had the chance to ask the first-team what made their overall collaboration successful they said the very words I wanted to hear right back to me. They explained they now have an awareness of each other, and that awareness built a tolerance for all their differences. They understand each other so much better. It's given them more patience and insight into how to utilise each other's strengths. Wow! Tolerance, awareness, differences, strengths, it was magic to my ears!
I had given one team DISC training, and therefore they had an awareness of each other's styles, and the other team had not yet learned about DISC. This difference made me realise how vital understanding team dynamics is, and it was right in front of me. The first team was aware of their different team members, team roles, motivators, stresses, potential challenges, and communication. All of this knowledge is so helpful for highly functioning or trying to achieve a high-performing team. I recommend doing some team dynamics training for any team-building and highly recommend using a team profile assessment with any group you manage or consult with.
This brings me back to the powerful team analysis reports. As a team, we might look at the design or makeup. We need to analyse where everyone sits in the diamond, in what areas are the team strengths and are they being utilised? Other questions are whether communication issues are a challenge, which DISC types complement each other in a business sense, or does anyone have a completely different DISC style that requires different communication and support. We also need to think about if there are dominant styles overlapping or groups of people that could produce sub-teaming. The team report sheds light on the team, the individual members and can help us answer these questions.
Applications of the Team Analysis
So, what is the Extended DISC team analysis? Well, it's a tool that combines all of the individual assessment results into one report. It demonstrates the team dynamics, strengths, and development areas. It illustrates how the team members adjust their behaviour in the existing environment by reading the arrow maps. The team analysis can assess a large number of individuals. It's unlimited, but be careful with this because you can produce a massive report if you have many people. As a result, it enables clients to perform various more complicated team analyses at a very cost-effective price.
Some of these applications of the Extended DISC team analysis include:
- Identification of effective behaviours
- Succession planning
- Strategic decision making
- Team development and team building
- Interpersonal communication
- Staff retention and engagement
- Conflict resolution
In a nutshell, the team analysis provides a clear, easy-to-use framework to understand some complex issues. The report can help solve potential problems and improve the performance of individuals and the team. It also presents a safe environment to discuss challenging topics productively. The team analysis provides the big picture that enables decisions to be made with confidence. Consultants can also utilise it in helping management align their business and team strategy. The team analysis can be used in recruitment and with a potential team member to analyse whether they may or may not be balancing the team's competency to ensure a healthy team dynamic.
The Team Analysis has a workbook theme running through it where specific questions are asked about the assessed team members and where they sit on the diamond. The report includes designated areas to write answers to these questions. The questions ask about team distribution, gaps, overlaps, strengths, development areas, and leadership. Questions also relate to the direction of the arrows and trends or factors that might influence the team. The report gets you thinking about the overall makeup of the current team dynamics. Remember, you can put potential candidates in there and the mix to see how they might fit. As long as a respondent has already generated an individual assessment, you can add them to a team using your FinxS login. Doing this can help see where the challenges might be or how the leadership might need to manage the potential team member and what strengths they might bring to the team. It's a great idea to go through the report and answer the questions, as you'll be amazed at what information you can pull out by doing so. I use the team analysis for any management, recruitment, and other consulting as it holds so much insight.
What is the Team & Build Assessment?
Over the last month, HR Profiling solutions released a new report, and it's called the team and build assessment. This is a shorter style type of report, and inside there are some similar graphics as the team
assessment report but not the workbook questions. The omission of the workbook pages keeps the report a lot shorter, which is great for those who are already skilled in analysing the information without needing questions as prompts. However, if you like the workbook prompts, you can also use this in conjunction with the new interpretation booklet, and I'll talk about that shortly. Don't forget for consultants who might like to lead the questions or lead the team and team leaders through their steps then this report could be suitable because it doesn't have the workbook or the questions, just the tools and the graphics.
The Team and Build assessment includes the individual's profiles in a chart and graphic form so you can examine them for special cases. If you need a bit of reassurance in that area, the assessment also has a chart that contains information about the special cases. For example, it might show that in the chart that there is a tight profile one or it might be saying that there is a reverse shift, but you still need to be trained in the special cases to know how to use the information or understand what the information means. So, the team and build assessment has some great competencies at the back of the assessment, and they are now divided into three areas. These areas are management, people duties and administration. You can see that on the slide (14.26). You can view all the selected team members against the different competencies to compare and analyse information easily. This is useful for many areas, such as succession planning, as you can compare people and see who might have effective behaviours in which area.
Distribution of tasks is another factor you can analyse using the team and build assessment. It allows you to analyse strengths or team roles. I've just used it recently on a project where I could flesh out behaviours that might be needed in this project and then go and search for the people that might be a good fit naturally. As well as the new team and build assessment, there is also a new brochure available called 'Extended DISC Assessment Suite for Teams.' This is an excellent brochure as it gives an overview of all the applications that the team assessment can be used in, it provides a brief overview of the assessment itself and looks at how to set up teams in FinxS, and we'll be having a quick look at that soon. You can find the brochure available for download in the VIP area. Also new and truly insightful is the interpretation guide for the team analysis, and this has some great information on it for debriefing and analysing assessments. It's even got things like examples of different interpretations and for different situations. What I mean by that is that it's got the following information:
- how to give assessment feedback in a team
- an example of team training and the content that a consultant might include when doing that
- consulting with the team roles
- consulting in a management team
Furthermore, it talks about each tool and how a consultant can apply it to different situations. So, it's got all the information you need with each diamond and graphic, and it refers back to the workbook questions to help prompt and give you guides and information on how and what you could be looking for in the report. It's very handy to have that around if you are managing or consulting or needing to sort a debrief into a team report.
FinxS Open Preview
Lastly, I wanted to make sure that you know you can further explore your team without using any of the reports or creating a report yourself. You can do this through Open Preview. You can find this in your FinxS account and can use it at no additional cost, provided you have already generated a report against a candidate's result. By all means, play with the data as much as you can by selecting the team members you'd like to see the information on. You can view their results against things like behavioural competencies, job templates and many graphics. Don't forget there are many new diamonds in the online FinxS system now, and they can provide information in different areas that will help you understand where the team members mapped as individuals and as a team. If you haven't used Open Preview, try to take some time out, log in, and play with the data. You'll find it very useful as some of the information is not in the reports.
FinxS Team Database
Remember, you want to save yourself some time from selecting your team members each time you go into Open Preview. You can select and save your team. You'll find this under the Teams Database in the main menu of FinxS. It'll guide and prompt you to collect who you would like in your team, then name it and save it. So doing this allows you to add and remove team members who may not be in the team anymore. You might find this a lot quicker than having to go in and pick everyone again, especially if you have quite a few in your team.
I've highlighted the importance of a team analysis today, and I've done that through just a little scenario that came to light recently. Being aware is so important in a team. Being aware of each other's strengths, challenges, motivators, and fears can breed a culture of tolerance for situations that might have resulted in conflict. Not only that, but awareness can help leaders understand how to utilise their team members better by analysing the information they have at their fingertips. We know that in doing this, we motivate members, and this builds on employee engagement. I can't recommend using the team and build assessments more! The assessment has so much great information, and now with the interpretation guide, it can offer you excellent and in-depth insights. Don't forget that the team and build is a shorter style report, and consultants could use it in conjunction with the team interpretation booklet. Using both of them together can give you impressive aspects and insights into all parts of the team. Finally, if you want different or more information from the reports, log into your FinxS account and explore with Open Preview and hit the teams button, as this could save you a lot of time.