It’s Not Personal, It’s Personality

Blog Posts - Jan 9, 2017

Alexis Sparks
Leadership & Culture

Every company wants to be a high-performing team that works seamlessly through every project or client it takes on. What’s stopping your company from being that well-oiled machine?

As Patrick Lencioni describes there are five dysfunctions of a team that breaks down a group:

  1. Absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results

Most teams fall into one of the five dysfunctions of a team because they do not understand each other. What adds to the misunderstanding is the fact that humans categorize each other within 150 milliseconds and then after 30 minutes we have made judgments (Harvard Business Review). That is a very small amount of time to build a good rapport with your colleagues to be successful. So, what do you do now?

Most of these pitfalls are attributed to the lack in understanding each other’s personality qualities and the dysfunction in communication styles. For example, you might be a person when talking about a project likes to discuss all the details with the group. Whereas, the leader might not see the importance and consider your efforts overbearing.

While there are highly self-aware people, that does not mean that others working with them understand their personality qualities and communication style. If all employees become self-aware of their qualities and those of others, it will be much easier to be a high-performing team. A high performing team understands their underutilized strengths, communication preferences, weaknesses, and common behaviors within the team. This will allow each member to identify their role within the team resulting in effective change. Examples of highly performing teams that are easily recognizable that do all of this are sports teams. And when they do it very well they are the most successful.

For those of us who either lack the self-awareness or just need reassurance, we look to personality assessment tools to help. Most tools will put you in a box, saying you’re either introverted or extraverted and making it harder to understand who you are relative to working with others.

At Think Shift we use a personality assessment tool called Lumina. It not only allows you to understand your qualities, but it also helps you understand the qualities of others on your team.

The gift Lumina provides when building high performing teams is allowing the members to understand not only themselves but each other. This ultimately will open up the dialogue to have conversations about their personality preferences in order to create. There is no right or wrong personality.

Some of the benefits of Lumina are:

  • Understanding the makeup of your team and the different personalities
  • Learning how to communicate effectively within the team
  • Tools to encourage team harmony and group development
  • Learning what to do when a team is not performing
  • Understanding how to positively influence a team

In order to develop a high performing team, you first need to establish team awareness through Lumina or you by having a conversation with your team and asking them:

  1. What is their preferred method of communication?
  2. Do you prefer to speak to think or think to speak?
  3. Would you rather be part of the brainstorm to create the concept or be the person that executes and makes the idea become a reality?
  4. Would you rather find consensus or the best idea that not everyone agreed with?

These questions should open a discussion within in the group and hopefully start a constructive conversation that can build their trust and rapport in one another.

For more information about Think Shift’s services and the personality assessment tool Lumina, reach out to Alexis at [email protected].