The type of personality assessment you implement in your team building journey is dependent upon the specific challenges that your team faces. In all situations, personality assessments are an effective way to encourage team productivity.
If you are looking for a fun and straightforward exercise to strengthen camaraderie, then implement the "short and sweet" team building method. However, if you want to drive transformation and long-standing results with more complicated team challenges, then you'll need a robust methodology. Let's talk about the workplace challenges that benefit most from a robust personality assessment and the steps you'll need to take to overcome them.
*This post is a shortened version of Chapter 5 from our 73-page eBook on Teams. If you find this information helpful as you scroll through, you might be interested in checking out the full chapter in the eBook for more tips, diagrams, and guides.
The Deep Dive Method
"Deep dive" assessments are most useful for team challenges such as:
- Conflict resolution
- Improving morale
- Onboarding new team members
- Clarifying miscommunication
- Interpersonal dynamics
These challenges are a natural part of every workforce and learning to overcome them will drive productivity, understanding, and alignment within your organization. Since these are deep-rooted challenges, remember that the process will take significant time and investment—you'll need buy-in from leadership, team members, and may even need a certified coach to help facilitate the session.
Let’s get started on discussing the steps to execute on your vision!
Step 1: Gain Team Insights and Buy-in
Generate excitement about your team’s session as you will be facing more deep-rooted issues. Discuss the overall benefits of the session and how they will impact your team. The more buy-in you get, the more likely people will maintain a willing attitude and walk away from your session with actionable insight. Let team members know you recognize the problem and are committed to working with them to fix it. This demonstrates that you are on their side and establishes trust before the session.
It's vital to understand the unique perceptions of each member with the specific challenge. Conduct interviews with everyone to understand the problems they are facing. When you are on the outside looking in, it can often be hard to gauge the severity of a cultural or departmental issue. Conversations with the people in the midst of the challenge will help you get to the heart of the matter more quickly.
During these one-on-one conversations, you want your employees to feel comfortable opening up to you. One of the best ways to do this is to reinforce that they are in a safe environment. As they discuss interpersonal dynamics and examine their behavioral assessment report, emphasize that there is no “right” or "wrong" personality type.
Ask these questions to illuminate each person's perspective on the challenge at hand:
- What do you like about your current position?
- What do you dislike about your current position?
- How well does your team collaborate on projects?
- What improvements could be made within your organization?
- What three things would make your job better?
- What motivates you?
- Can you describe our team's unique challenge?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the issue begin to design the session framework and how you will tailor the assessment information to meet the needs of each person.
Step 2: Complete All Session Prep-work
As you prepare to kick-off your team building session, here are some helpful components to keep in mind:
- Bring materials such as printed copies of the individual reports, name tags, props for team building activities, and a session PowerPoint
- Arrange tables into groups and create a seating chart
- Set up any team building activities to allow for a seamless transition between discussions and activities
- Distribute materials that participants may need such as pencils, paper, props, etc.
As you begin the session, be transparent about your goals and the challenge that you are trying to overcome. Remember that honesty and a willingness to grow is critical to improvement.
You'll also need your team members to become familiar with the session facilitator and the particular personality assessment you are using. Most powerful and scientifically-validated personality assessments require a certified coach or trainer to facilitate the report as it provides an accurate interpretation and analysis of the personality report data. You may have to hire a professional consultant to facilitate your team building session or become a certified coach yourself.
Step 4: Gather as a Group
With a baseline understanding of the assessment in place, acquaint yourself with the results of each person on the team and formulate a set of questions to discuss with the group. Since the goal of this session is to overcome a challenge, make sure there are plenty of in-depth conversations that directly address the problem.
You can also pepper in activities during your time together to lighten the mood, reinforce the assessment’s concepts, and encourage your team to work together. Here is a list of discussion questions to start your conversations on page 48 of our Ultimate Guide to Using Assessments for Team Building eBook.
Step 5: Engage All Team Members in the Session
To maximize the impact of the session, make sure that everyone has a chance to participate and express their viewpoints during discussions. It’s essential that people share honestly to resolve the conflict at hand. Remember - breaking up conversations with activities is an excellent way to lighten the mood and get people working together.
Step 6: Gather Session Feedback
After the session, gather feedback from the group and gauge morale. This is critical information that will help combat the current conflict and better tailor future conflict resolution strategies to the needs of the group.
If the open discussion helped boost morale and engage your team, be sure to reinforce the concepts discovered. Whether with team meetings or daily activities/conversations, remind your employees of the progress made and how to keep the momentum going. Once you’ve noticed an improvement in the overall team issue you are looking to solve, you can begin to schedule your sessions with more time in between.
These steps may seem overwhelming at first, but once you become more familiar with the process and hash out your specific goals, you'll find that the process is easy to understand. More importantly, you'll begin to reap the rewards of your hard work to drive powerful results within your team and organization.
Get More Insight From Our Assessments for Team Building eBook Series
This topic is featured in the first of our three-part Assessments for Team Building eBook series. Get all the information you’ll need to select an assessment, so you can save time and focus on what matters--optimizing your team! Download the eBook today!
Anna is a Houstonian Aggie with a passion for words, minds, and personality. With a degree in Communications and Psychology, a Marketing role at Birkman is the perfect combination of her interests. You can often find her trying new restaurants or whipping up recipes in her own kitchen. Anna also enjoys traveling, cats, volleyball, and spending time with her family and friends.