How to Use Personality Type to Build Teams in Organizations that Accomplish Goals and Score Big

By Jack Speer | February 10, 2013

If you are an internal OD or HR consultant, are you satisfied with the degree to which you are at the elbow of senior leadership throughout the organization? If you are an external consultant, do you and your services have the type of “staying power” that ensures ongoing engagements with your clients?  Whether you are internal or external, how do you deliver the type of value that puts you central to the business?

Personality Type—a Tool through the Treacherous Maze to Organizational Success and Profitability

The answer lies in being that “Sherpa guide” who helps leaders navigate the tricky maze of recruiting, developing, retaining, leading and deploying teams.  There is no better way to do this than through a rigorous understanding of type and how to apply it to leaders and teams.

Teams Manage 90% of Your Company’s Assets—Your Organization is in Their Hands

As the team performs, the organization succeeds; as it fails, the organization fails with it.  Teams that function well are the most important factor in organizational success after cash in the bank or building a product the public will buy.

Consider the Value of a Team.  The overall cost of personnel is about 10% to a successful organization, surprisingly low.  But the really surprising fact is that the people and teams in the organization control 90% of the organization’s asset allocation.  In plain language, a teams’ leadership will drive the organization down the highway to success or they’ll run you off the road.

How Do You Learn Team Leader Skills—Really?

maze-captionOver the years we haven’t had any organizations that have told us, “The majority of the managers in our organization are really effective.  They are natural leaders.”  Most organizations will say, “Many of our managers are struggling or failing.”

Most of the organizations that you are a part of have a powerful need to improve their managers.  There is a constant churn of managers who are replaced by someone else.

The problem is that most management training programs don’t address the real issues or teach effective skills.  Organizations realize they need better leadership, but most don’t believe that training will improve their organization.

Why aren’t organizations better at teams?   Here is the reason.  Our whole approach is wrong.  We educate engineers, attorneys, IT people, accountants and financial people and we hire the best.  They are hired for their individual skills and not for their role on the team.  They’ll never do any better until they learn to run the plays that a team runs and learn to lead the team.

When they can’t lead, organizations bring someone in to “fix them,” rather than teaching them the skill.  People who don’t know how to lead teams don’t need to be “fixed.”  They need to be taught to lead, and an important component of teambuilding is the use of assessments such as personality type.

So what are the components of an effective teambuilding using scientific assessments?  The following are some basic principles.

  • Use Personality Type to Turn Your Teambuilding Session into an Opportunity for Each Participant’s Personal and Professional Growth.  Our technical and financial participants in our teambuilding sessions make their professional decisions based on data.  When we talk to them about how they function as managers, they doubly value scientifically validated data.   The data that measures preferences is highly convincing to them.Our company, Delta Associates, Inc. uses MBTI Step II, Form Q, which we find extremely useful for teambuilding.  The facets for preferences help managers understand the unique nuances of how they “do” their types and provide an excellent platform for coaching.
  • Make Your Teambuilding Session Successful Before It Ever Begins—Interview your participants first and debrief them by phone. We don’t want to walk into the room with anxiety wondering how these people will react to what we tell them.  We administer a personality assessment for each participant in a class before the class begins. Then we interview them, do a short debriefing, and ask them about their expectations for the class.
  • Apply Personality Type to Business and Organizational Issues.  Personality type is an excellent framework for personal exploration, and many people use it for personal development. When you’re building a team however, if organizations pay you for your work, is because you are solving an organizational issue. Essential to building a team that can achieve its goals in increasing revenues, market share, creating new products and services and taking the company to the next level is embedding teambuilding into the business of the organization.
  • Help the Team Understand Their Own Dynamics.  Assessments such as MBTI and other personality assessments, the 360-degree assessment, the FIRO-B, and the CPI 260, paint an accurate picture of the individual members of your teams and how they work together.
  • If You Want People To Be Enthusiastic About Your Training, Be Sure To Begin With a Subject So Fascinating That We Cannot Fail To Draw Interest – Helping the Person Understand Themselves. We have several exercises in which we draw people into our subject through the window of personality type. These are techniques that are easy to use. Contact Us.