Teamwork: Know, Share, and Leverage the Power of Personality

you-x-ventures-Oalh2MojUuk-unsplashHave you ever wondered why someone did, decide, or say something you won’t have? Personality has a tremendous influence on how we take in data, process it, draw conclusions and interact with our world. When you understand the power of personality, you will have greater insights into how you and others think, decide, and do.

campaign-creators-gMsnXqILjp4-unsplashI encourage everyone to explore their natural tendencies through the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment and find out which personality type best describes him or her. There are 16 primary types that explain why people tend to think and behave the way they do.

ESFP: Enthusiastic Improviser

ISFJ: Practical Helper

ESTP: Energetic Problem-solver

INFJ: Insightful Visionary

ENTP: Enterprising Explorer

ISTJ: Responsible Realist

ESFJ: Supporter Contributor

ISFP: Versatile Supporter

ENFJ: Compassionate Facilitator

INTP: Objective Analyst

ENFP: Imaginative Motivator

INTJ: Conceptual Planner

ESTJ: Efficient Organizer

INFP: Thoughtful Idealist

ENTJ: Decisive Strategist

ISTP: Logical Pragmatist

Regardless of your personality preferences, you have a choice to act in ways you believe will help you succeed in any relationship and environment. Yet, without stress or external influences, we all have a natural way of expressing ourselves.

nesa-by-makers-kwzWjTnDPLk-unsplashNo personality type is better or worse, because they all bring value to solving problems and growing a business. If each team member understands who they are and others on their team, they can intentionally leverage the power of personality to win. If you want to bring the power of Myers-Briggs to your office, let’s discuss a workshop that can unleash the power of personality among your teams.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

The Power of Cognitive Diversity to Solve Problems

cognitive diversity

Inclusion & Diversity is a hot topic in today’s business environment that holds the underlying belief that diversity will result in better decisions and outcome. The inherent thinking is that diversity, as embraced in the components of age, gender, and ethnicity, will provide different perspectives, points of view, and approaches that will enhance a company’s ability to solve problems and grow. The concept sounds logical, but surprisingly, research doesn’t support that differences in age, gender, and ethnicity, by itself, contribute to higher team performance. Reynolds and Lewis (2017) found that demographic diversity had no correlation with team performance.

The research found that the highest performing teams had diversity in perspectives and methods of processing information when working with new, uncertain, and complex problems (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). Referred to as Cognitive Diversity, what the best performing teams had in common were the: (1) ability to leverage existing and generate new knowledge and (2) preference to use their own expertise and put into effect the know-how and ideas of others.

There’s a high positive correlation of cognitive diversity with performance, which is independent of education, culture, and other social conditioning (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). A person’s cognitive approach is an internal trait that’s hard to identify in the hiring process, so companies typically focus on other attributes. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to bring others aboard who think and express themselves the same way as they do. It’s also not uncommon for those who think and reason differently than the prevailing culture to suppress their different ways of looking at things in order to fit in and be part of the team.

Successful companies encourage cognitive diversity by making it safe for their employees to express their natural cognitive tendencies and authentic selves. With authenticity and leadership as two of my top five core values, I truly believe that servant leaders lead with authenticity and help others lead with theirs as well.

Reference

Reynolds, A., Lewis, D. (2017). Team Solves Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse. Harvard Business Review


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

Co-leadership: A Theory that Sounds Good but Doesn’t Deliver

coleadership1.jpg

Let me re-phrase: I’ve never seen co-leadership achieve its intended objective. Theoretically, if two is more than one, then co-leadership should deliver twice as much value as single leadership. In my experience, dual leadership sometimes produces less than one. Why does co-leadership not deliver when the theory sounds so attractive?

Why Co-Leadership Doesn’t Work

In many cases, co-leadership is set up for failure from its start. Co-leadership by its design means co-responsibility, and yet, co-leaders rarely take the time to discuss co-leadership objectives, boundaries, responsibilities, decision-making, accountability, and deliverables. These areas need to be defined, discussed, and decided between the co-leads; otherwise, one or both leaders will believe he or she is doing more than a fair share, which can then lead to feeling:

  • overwhelmed for having an increased workload
  • resentful for not getting fair credit or that the other is getting more credit than deserved
  • unproductive because of wasting time circling back to bring the other up-to-speed
  • stifled for not being able to make timely decisions
  • frustrated in the communication process and slowness in achieving goals

A co-leadership structure can make leaders feel less empowered

Ideally, co-leaders should have complementary, not similar gifts, so that leadership has a breadth of strengths to lead a team. What happens, more often than not, is that co-leads share similar talents, and tension results when each feels he or she cannot lead in their gifting without checking in with the other.

Resentment can easily build when one co-lead is pulled toward a priority outside of the team and leaves the other lead with the same accountability and more responsibility. Co-leads are more likely to become distracted, because they know they have a co-lead who can pick up the slack. The second co-lead may or may not have time to pick up the extra work. What happens next?

Over time the team notices a fraction in the co-leadership. Teams are emotionally and mentally attuned to the unity of their leadership. In some ways, teams are like families. When children sense their parents aren’t united, each aligns with one parent more than the other based on personality, similar views, and loyalty. The team naturally starts to split into subgroups in which energy is pulled away from the task and wasted on unhealthy team dynamics. When allowed to play out long enough, one co-lead typically emerges as the single leader, so why waste precious time and resources setting co-leadership up for failure.

When Co-Leadership Works

As mentioned, I’ve never seen co-leadership work, which then begs the question: how could co-leadership work well. In my opinion, co-leadership might be a viable choice when two very different teams or cultures need alignment and co-leadership serves as continuity. For co-leadership to work, the co-leaders should have complementary skills and clearly defined co-leadership responsibilities, boundaries, and decision-making power, which should then be communicated with the rest of the team so there is no confusion.

Co-leadership is a tall task even for the seasoned leader. Before considering co-leadership, define the compelling reason and payout.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Why You Should Hire a Coaching Facilitator

Team facilitatorCoaching facilitators earn their position on the team. If you don’t have a coaching facilitator, you could be throwing money away on wasted employee hours, missed opportunities, and drawn out decision-making. When you don’t have a coaching facilitator who can float among departments or project teams, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful resources that can extract and optimize the best from your teams. Coaching facilitators add value by:

  1. Ensuring teams have clear objectives and goals
  2. Aligning and maximizing use of team resources
  3. Achieving clarity on member roles and responsibilities
  4. Preparing team meeting agendas
  5. Keeping the team on point, on task, and on time
  6. Asking challenging questions of the team
  7. Guiding the team through brainstorming processes
  8. Building team consensus
  9. Capturing and documenting meeting summaries and deliverables
  10. Holding team members accountable for performance

Some people haven’t had the opportunity to work on well facilitated teams. When teams work with a coaching facilitator, they exponentially grow their impact and enjoy the process. Coaches are also able to train others in the organization with these key facilitator skills. Reach out to learn how a coach facilitator can help your team before better.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Leadership: How to Build High-Performing Teams

Performing TeamsMarcus Buckingham (https://youtu.be/MtaINQHWMt0) has studied team performance and concluded that the extent to which team members agree with the following eight statements will predict the degree to which any team will be high-performing.  These statements relate to how members feel about their personal participation and interaction with the team.  The only valid answers are those expressed by each member regarding his or her own experience.

  1. I am really enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
  2. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
  3. My teammates have my back.
  4. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
  5. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
  6. I have a chance to use my strengths every day at work.
  7. I know I will be recognized for excellent work.
  8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow.

In my view, this field research should cause every leader to pause and ask of themselves several questions:

  1. Do I as a leader have a well-designed mission? Am I clearly and consistently communicating that mission to my team?
  2. Am I leading with a core set of values? Am I hiring and adding to the team those who inherently share these same values?
  3. Do I develop and sustain a culture that fosters winning as a team, while at the same time recognizing and rewarding individual contribution?
  4. Do I clearly define the objectives and expectations for my team?
  5. Am I aware of my team members’ strengths and weaknesses? Do I purposefully empower them to drive on their strengths and provide opportunities to challenge them?

High performing teams can be designed when you understand the key parameters involved in constructing a winning team.  You no longer need to cross your fingers and rely on luck.  If you would like help determining what and how to strengthen any team dynamic, reach out for a conversation.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach and consultant with an extensive background in leadership and business development.  She coaches individuals as well as designs and facilitates workshops.  She has a passion to help organizations engage all their employees.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com.