I recently faciltitated a team building session for a senior management team at General Mills. The team consisted of nine individuals, each with a senior leadership role within the same function. The team was seeking to build trust and relationships by gaining a better understanding of team dynamics, their role on the team and insight into the styles and preferences of the other individuals on the team.
I based the process for this team building workshop on Patrick Lencioni’s book titled “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.” In his book, Lencioni discusses the following 5 team dysfunctions: absence of trust, fear of conflice, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and, finally, inattention to results. Each must be addressed in order to overcome the dysfunctions. We decided to address “trust” in this initial workshop.
Prior to the workshop, all team members were asked to read this book and to fill out a survey that would help identify the strengths and weaknesses of the entire team. In addition, each participant filled out a Tracom Social Styles Profile. The combination of these two tools helped the team understand where the team as a whole needed to focus and how to better work with one another.
The Social Style Assessment that each team member completed identifies four behavioral styles, each with positive and negative attributes related to productive work relationships. The model charts behaviors on two scales related to an individual’s assertive and responsive behaviors. When combined, those scales reveal the four quadrants of behavioral patterns, or Social Styles: driving, expressive, amiable, and analytical. The key concept of applying Social Style is understanding Versatility, a measure of how well a person works with others.
The process of the workshop focused on a combination of trust building exercises, where particpants were asked to gradually reveal more about themselves — both personally and professionally, and understanding the team dynamics.
After participating in this Team Building Session, team members have a better understanding of and appreciation for:
1. The overall team dynamics and how each individual plays a role in those dynamics.
2. Team dysfunctions in the areas of trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results and a foundation for beginning to build a more cohesive, high functioning team.
3. Their individual social style and how it affects the way they interact with and are perceived by team members.
4. Their degree of versatility as it relates to their social style and how it influences their behavior.
5. The styles of team members and how they relate to individual strengths and weakness.
6. Tools for working with the different social styles and becoming more versatile, and thus more effective as a team player, in their own styles.
I would recommend The Five Dysfunctions of a Team to almost any group seeking to increase team performance and results and create more effective relationships.
—- Cindy Diamond, Principal Diamond Marketing Solutions & IGNiTE