In this team building post, Mary Barry, discusses the team building assessment tools we use in our workshops. She covers what they do, how they are different and key things to consider when choosing one to use for your team.
What Team Building Assessment Tools Do You Use in Your Workshops?
The primary assessment tools we use, that are designed for individuals, are Myers-Briggs (MBTI) for personality types identification; Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), which is based on a relationship awareness theory; and EI 2.0 for emotional intelligence.
We also use the 5 Dysfunctions of a team. It is the only assessment we do that does a breakdown of the team vs individuals and is one of my favourites.
All of them are designed to improve leadership skills, team dynamics and understanding the strengths and the potential opportunities that you have on your team to improve relationships.
These tools are used to improve team performance and team relationships which we believe is the foundation to high performance.
What’s the Difference Between the Tools You Use?
All assessment tools and their results should be applicable to people’s relationships. We, at Summit, believe that the foundation to any high-performance team is relationships.
Relationship awareness theory would suggest that we all have three primary motivators, and they have to do with people, performance or process. But we don’t all have those same motivators to the same degree.
Some of us are more driven by performance. Some of us are more driven by people and some are more driven by process.
So it’s understanding those differences and what makes us tick that these tools help us better understand ourselves.
These tools are very useful because they identify what your natural strengths are. They also identify where you might have red flags when things are not going well in your relationships with your work teams.
They lead you to ask what you could be doing differently. Because ultimately we have choices. We don’t have to behave in the way that we prefer. We can choose different behaviors in order to get better results.
Key Considerations When Choosing an Assessment Tool
The assessment should be reasonably simple to complete. Time is valuable and people don’t have the time to complete lengthy questionnaires. A tool should offer flexibility in how the assessment and the results are delivered including compatibility with various devices so you have options to complete the assessment and view results.
Also, assessment results should be easy to remember and that it makes sense. It should resonate with when they read their results, they should say, yeah, that is me. That’s totally me. In our workshops we make sure that the results are presented in such a meaningful way.
In some, before we give people their results, we ask them to self assess themselves as we’re describing different facets of the assessment tool. Then we give them the results and most of the time they match but sometimes they don’t.
It’s important to understand that these tools are not meant to pigeon hole people or categorize them. These tools help us understand a little bit more about ourselves and the people that we work with so that we can interact more effectively with them.
These tools tell me my strengths and weaknesses. And, we often say that a weakness is really no more than a strength that has been overdone or misapplied. So just because I’m extroverted, let’s say if I’m going to use an MBTI term, it doesn’t mean that I should always be extroverted or put another way, that every time I’m acting in a way that demonstrates extroversion, I’m being effective.
There are times where I need to step back and not be talkative, or the outgoing one. I need to stop and listen to the others that are on my team that might have more of a preference for introversion.
And that might mean I have to give them time to think about things. What I learn about myself, with these tools, ties into understanding where my strengths are and where others strengths are because we all have them.
More content on Leadership Development and Team Building
How Do You Know What Workshops and Assessment Tools to Recommend?
So it starts with a conversation with our clients and prospective clients in the form of a needs assessment. We apply the Stephen Covey rule of highly successful people, by starting the needs assessment with the end in mind.
We need to know what it is you want to accomplish with your team along with where you’re experiencing roadblocks and challenges right now. We drill down as much as possible and explore the potential areas where your team is breaking down and if relationships are potentially at risk.
There is absolutely no point in using these tools and a workshop, if it’s not going to accomplish the results that you want, so we do this needs assessment either by phone or online meeting prior to recommending what tool(s) and workshop(s) for you and your team.
During this session we’ll ask how much time and effort you and your team can commit to learn about themselves and each other and apply what you’ve learned. In other words what needs to be done to make it stick!
One of our clients wisely put it recently when she said the most important part about today’s workshop is tomorrow. “We’ve learned a lot about each other and ourselves, what are we going to do with this?”
How Do Teams Apply What They’ve Learned?
The first assessment tool that I took when I entered this field was the Strength Deployment Inventory or SDI. I had just left a longstanding job at a telecommunications company where I had up to 50 people reporting to me.
Once I took the assessment and reviewed the results I slapped myself in the forehead and finally understood why some relationships were easy to develop and some were challenging. Plus, I would have had a range of options I could have chosen to interact and behave with people.
The idea behind all of these assessment tools is that the results are shared within the team. So it’s not just understanding what makes me tick and where I’m effective and where I’m not, but it’s also gaining understanding as to what makes other people tick.
It helps me better know how I can communicate more effectively. That could mean I have to choose a different communication style, or maybe I have to think a little bit further before I send an email. It can even mean how much information I should share with you.
Need Some Help?
If you’re considering a workshop involving any of these assessment tools, we would enjoy hearing from you. Let us help you determine which one is the best fit to help you get where you want to go.