Working with a team of people last week we engaged In a fabulous conversation about wanting to play off the strengths of each person in the team so they shifted into the high-performance stage of team development. This is the space where people are totally real with each other while importantly bringing out the best in each other and also delivering expected results for the business.
USING MBTI TO BRING DEEP INSIGHTS
We used the diagnostic data from the Expanded form of the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) report which brings deep insight to the dominant hand of their personality to explore what each person brings “naturally” to the team. This expanded report brings such a richness of data – it does not merely tell you if you have a preference for Introversion or Extroversion, it dives into 5 facets and this is where the deep insights come from.
People either like to initiate a connection with someone or they would prefer to “receive” connection by someone else reaching out to them – and then once they are connected do they prefer to be expressive or contained with what they share. You truly see light bulb moments as people become aware of what they do and how it feels when they start to play to their strengths.
Someone I am coaching now knows she has a strong preference for receiving and then once connected is actually very expressive – and this meant people saw her as highly extroverted yet she did not feel that way and found connection with other people quite exhausting. This kind of deep clarity means she now allows herself a “set time” to mingle and be expressive and then she leaves, as that is enough!
As the conversation unfolded during the day with the team of people I was working with and we explored the MBTI preferences of each team member it also became clear people needed higher levels of self-trust. The confidence to know when they speak and share insights or ask questions that they “do” add value! This is no doubt more challenging when someone has a preference for introversion – preferring others to initiate conversation and finding it challenging to express their thoughts and feelings. While also finding a way to jump in because those with a preference for extroversion take up a large proportion of airspace in meetings and conversations. So it can take more time before those with a preference for introversion start to feel and believe they are adding value within the team.
Often overlooked, this is a critical step in being the kind of leader, team member and human you want to be – and it all starts with integrity and intent. Integrity is the deep clarity and accountability to stand up and “be” who you want to be. I immediately think of Adam Gilchrist (former Captain of the Australian cricket team) and his habit of “walking” even before being given out by the umpire, when he knew he had nicked the ball while batting. Whilst sometimes infuriating to the Australian public, such was his integrity. Its all about doing the right thing, and especially when no one else is watching!
The intent of your actions and conversation is important to share openly with others – and this means we have to question ourselves about our intent and call ourselves to account – which is why many people don’t do it! Try calling out your intent when sending an email or engaging in a conversation and feel the difference. For teams of people working together and seeking high performance, it is critical for each person to have this level of self-trust.
KNOW HOW VALUE IS BEING ADDED
For people to feel secure and safe within a team they want to know they are adding value and people appreciate this value. This then begs the question – when you listen to people sharing their insights and asking questions, do you recognise their contribution and acknowledge the value they’ve created irrespective of whether they have a preference for extroversion or introversion?
How do your team members really KNOW that they are adding value?
In my experience, feedback is the best way to support your colleagues to feel confident they are adding value within the team and especially if it is delivered “at the moment of the question or the insight being shared”. It is really quite simple – thank the person for the question and share the impact the question had on you. For example, “it triggered me to dig deeper into my subconscious and find the real reason behind my behaviour and now I am clear on what I want to change for next time”. Everyone benefits from highly specific feedback if we are all serious about igniting the true potential of each other when working in a team.
Round this out by using the power of reflection – say at the end of each week or each month – set aside 20 minutes to reflect on the value you unleashed. We recommend you use the Six Thinking Hats as a basic framework to drive a disciplined thought process.
To be a high performing individual within a high performing team requires high levels of self-belief in the value you unleash within the team. This requires
- an understanding of your strengths and how they play out within a team,
- strengthening your self-trust,
- seeking feedback about the value you add within the team
- reflecting regularly on the value you unleashed.
Do this and you strengthen self-belief in the value you unleash.