From there, we can jointly define the client’s strengths, areas to improve, and next steps.
The team and individual assessments are sometimes called inventories in that there are no right or wrong (or no good or bad) answers.
Instead, they allow for self-learning and development as well as productive conversations and planning between team members.
They have identified 34 “strengths” that people have in varying degrees. Think of these as your “natural talents” which get refined with practice, feedback, and experience.
Recent research and several well-known books highlight the advantage that comes from focusing on people’s strengths rather than trying to solely “fix their weaknesses”. This assessment provides the user with either a report of their top 5 Signature Strengths or the entire 34 rank-ordered. By focusing training, coaching, and other developmental efforts on talents, we grow our strengths even stronger.
We have found that CliftonStrengths® is a particularly valuable tool in teambuilding or when leading an organization away from a negative culture to a more positive, respectful one. In that situation, we combine CliftonStrengths® with establishing/implementing/reinforcing organizational core values. Individually and with small natural teams, we can focus the discussion on each other’s strengths, how the team can leverage those, and create action plans for accountability and follow through.
The instrument consists of nine interconnected personality types. Each has a number representing a personality and mindset. We have a basic “dominant type” from birth although we are likely to have pieces of ourselves in adjacent types called “Wings”.
The Enneagram is a deep and revealing instrument. It features three “Centers” (groups of three personality types) that describe our typical emotional responses to stress. As well, there are “Levels of Development” that can help us baseline ourselves and move up the Unhealthy -> Average -> Healthy chain.
The tool is used in both a business context (workplace interpersonal dynamics) and a spiritual one (enables us see the gifts we have to offer each other when we are living as our true healthy self; identifies unhealthy places and habits we are likely to default to when we feel stressed or afraid.) In both settings it is a powerful means for facilitating self-awareness and development.
In this inventory people are assessed along four continuums:
As shown in the graphic on the right, the results are presented in 16 possible combinations, each having a unique explanation.
We have found that some people use the MBTI® as a “language” or a shortcut to communicate with each other. We use this tool together with others listed on this page to help teams and organizations communicate, collaborate, and trust each other better to build enduring excellence.
The book “Type Talk at Work” is a great resource that provides a workplace context to the MBTI.
It’s based on the theory that teams full of similar people perform worse than teams with other planned criteria. The instrument describes nine skill sets that, in the proper combination, position a team for high performance. Ideally, a mix of all nine are present.
Each of the nine skill sets has a role definition, strengths, allowable weaknesses, and a “don’t be surprised to find that” concern.
We see the Belbin Team Roles® most effective in building and/or adjusting the team membership. In Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about “getting the right people on the bus and in the right seat”. Managers can use the Team Roles to ensure team members are assigned roles to match their strengths.
Secondarily, the instrument can help individuals understand their role and its contribution/value to the overall team mission and vision. Finally, team members can understand each other and their roles and act with a more deliberate “Internal Customers” mindset.