The ultimate goal of a team building workshop is to arrive on the other side with a more productive, happier, and healthier workforce. Improving the way team members interact with their leader and each other is definitely worth setting aside time for, but it doesn’t have to involve obstacle courses, fire-walking, or free-falling backwards off of a tree stump.
Conducting team-building training using assessments is a fantastic way to provide objective insight and improve workplace dynamics. Whether you have an established team wanting to kick off the new-year on the right foot, or a newly-formed team that could use a bit of preventative maintenance, assessments are an invaluable tool for customized coaching and team building. Here are 3 ways that assessments can improve workplace dynamics.
Heightened Levels of Self-Awareness and Perspective
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of personal development. The right assessment tool can provide individuals on your team with a deepened sense of who they are, what they value, and why they behave in the ways that they do. Receiving this information from an objective source allows someone to realize any blind spots they may have, and be open to improving areas of weakness.
By understanding themselves better, your team will become more sensitive and aware of the way others may perceive them, and their actions.
Real World Application: Steve prefers working in a fast-paced environment with little to no small talk. He’s results-oriented, and frankly, has little to no respect for people who he thinks waste time. Sally, his coworker, tends to be slower-paced and deliberate about her work, and she loves small talk. When Steve interacts with Sally, her slow pace drives him crazy and he tends to lose his temper with her, becoming short and terse. This intimidates Sally and makes her shut down. She usually tries to avoid Steve altogether. When Steve is made aware of his personal tendencies via a DISC assessment, he is able to understand how Sally is “wired up” and he’s able to better interact with her, which lessens the tension and improves the working dynamic.
This heightened level of self-awareness allows team members to tweak the way they interact with others so that communication issues don’t stand in the way of creating successes for the company.
Improved Communication within the Team (And Increased Productivity)
The exchange of ideas and information becomes much more efficient when your team members are aware of their own communication style as well as the communication preferences of those they interact with on a daily basis. Unique and varied personalities make a team dynamic work but they also pose the risk for miscommunication and unnecessary friction.
Assessments show your team members how to communicate and interact with people who aren’t exactly like themselves, and this results in less noise and increased productivity. For example, there are probably members of your team who have dominant, fast-paced personalities and others who prefer a steady pace and calm approach. If both of these types understand themselves and are aware of the preferences of others, they can adjust their interaction styles and avoid ruffling each other’s feathers.
Better Understanding of What Motivates Team Members
The best leaders are skilled coaches, and the best coaches adapt their approach to meet the needs of individual team members. Assessments provide objective insight into what motivates each unique personality on your team, and the way these motivators play out in the workplace. Using DISC assessment results provides a solid foundation for understanding an individual’s personality style, but a more comprehensive assessment that includes values, motivators, and personal skills can heighten the degree of insight even more.
A key task of a leader is to create the most productive and rewarding work environment for each member of the team, and to craft their coaching language in a way that resonates best with the individual.
Having the tools to adapt coaching approaches is a worthwhile investment in an employee engagement initiative, as Gallup research shows that the main factor in workplace discontent is not wages, benefits, or hours, but the boss.
When you better understand the communication style that your team members will be most receptive to (and what will motivate them the most), the result is better engagement from employees who are performing at their full potential.
Implementing assessments in the work environment improves the way team members interact with their leader and one another, and this will naturally lead to a more positive and productive work environment. The added benefit is that your team’s increased self-awareness and communication skills will translate to better customer interactions, as well.
In order for assessments to be successful, make sure that you dedicate a specific time for reviewing the results with your team—ideally, off-site and away from distractions. Consider also hiring a consultant or facilitator with an in-depth understanding of your organizational culture. And by all means, make sure the assessment tool is comprehensive, convenient, and easy to interpret.
Published on September 29, 2015