INTJ? Driver? Blue? Earth? Influence? Shaper?
I’m an advocate of using profiling tools within teams to help people work better together through understanding themselves, understanding others, noticing preferences and adapting approaches.
When it comes to completing them myself though, there’s a part of me that rebels. I don’t want to be labelled. I don’t want to be put in a box. I don’t want people to think that because I have certain character preferences that I will ALWAYS behave that way.
I think I used to feel that the profile would define me.
What I now appreciate is that a profile is a neat way of summarising typical traits and behaviours. The core, if you will. Of course there will be variations according to mood, environment, context etc but if we can work with a fairly steady base, we can adapt our approach to get the very best out of those around us and use our human emotional intelligence to deal with the variations as presented.
Consider these three benefits to using a profiling tool with your people.
- It provides a common language that people can use when discussing the preferences and characteristics of each other that is least likely to upset or cause offense. (As a driver in social styles, I have been called bossy before which stung somewhat!)
- It raises the profile of profiles. That is to say raising awareness that we are each different yet have similarities, that we bring our unique qualities to our workplace and that we can engage with the possibility of bringing out the best in those around us.
- It’s a brilliant learning activity to do together as a team as the learning can be extrapolated within the team, across the organisation, applied to customers and suppliers and crucially used by the employee outside of work too. Any learning intervention that I can use in other areas of my life gets a big thumbs up.
There are loads of free resources out there, as well as more robust, accredited ones. No matter what you choose, do invest in a facilitator to help you and your people understand and challenge their results. Whether an in-house L&D practitioner or an external provider, the profile only takes on its value when it is understood and engaged with so this resource is crucial to the success of the exercise.