We’ve been stressing the importance of collaboration as a core team competency. Often this competency can seem elusive, even after it’s stressed as a key team operational principle. Here’s a recent example. A team of investors was drawing on its research analysts to support its work. Some of these extended team members collaborated easily with the investor groups, but others strongly resisted suggestions from the investors and often didn’t follow up even when clearly asked to do so. Yet, among the research analyst group, strong collaboration is very evident. Why is this?
We used assessments to probe more deeply into these interactions. We found that the recalcitrant researchers tested as Group 1 personalities under the Four Groups 4G assessment. A Group 1 personality characteristic is the desire to build cognitive models. Once these are built, Group 1 individuals who have high dominance as an internal motivator will be highly resistant to suggested changes to the model. We tested the recalcitrant researchers with the Sigma Personality Research Form E assessment and found that they all demonstrated high dominance. Once this was understood, we were able to coach them to interact differently with the investors.
There are several things that can be learned from this experience:
- ● Group 1 individuals may need some intervention for them to collaborate on certain teams.
- ● No one assessment will tell the full story. In this case, it took two different assessments to reveal the root cause of the challenge and design the right approach to address it.
- ● Team building exercises need to be supported by a strong assessment process.
You may be wondering why the research analysts were able to collaborate well with each other. The reason is that they built their research model together. This provides another lesson. Where possible, it’s very helpful to have individuals from different 4G social groups develop the initial models with the Group 1 team members. This will facilitate later collaboration.