This post is from the Collabnet VersionOne blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Do You "Really" Know Your Team? How to "Turbocharge" Interactions
This is outdated VersionOne V1 post.
Have you ever stated, “I didn’t know you could do that?” If so, you were not only stating the obvious, but also exposing a flaw in team formation. What would the result have been if you had known this characteristic about your teammate earlier? Agile recognizes that people are unique individuals, instead of replaceable resources, and the highest value is achieved through interactions. People have unique physiognomies, however there are also internal characteristics such as motivational gifts, natural talents, learned skills, developmental environment, and personal passion, which can provide a much richer team experience. Discovering these individual talents and sharing them at the team level can turbocharge interactions and lead to higher productivity. Here is an activity I have used with many people which is designed to expose these characteristics and facilitate better conversations. Create a Personal Purpose Profile (PPP) Starting at the Individual level, each person creates a Personal Purpose Profile (PPP) or triple P. The triple P helps people understand their uniqueness in light of the five areas of focus. Each area reveals a different aspect of individuality and presents opportunities to connect with people. Write PPP at the top of a paper and get ready to create a deliverable which will be a panoramic look at your life. It can be text-oriented or graphical, black and white or more colorful. Motivational Gifts The first area is to determine your motivational gifts. This will help develop understanding and relevant perspectives as a foundation for interaction. In researching how people communicate and collaborate over 25 years, there are 7 responses or motivations that are regularly displayed during events, scenarios, or interactions. In addition, these reactions show up in people from an early age more like a gift rather than learned behavior. Each person will typically have one main motivational gift, but can demonstrate some or all of the 7 gifts outlined below. This helps answer “Why don’t others see things the way I see them?” Here is a working definition - an individual's first reaction when presented with an event, scenario, or interaction. The 7 gifts and brief definitions are as follows:
- The Perceiver sees life as all or nothing, right or wrong, and there is no gray area.
- The Servant seeks to help with any situation.
- The Teacher desires to share learned information.
- The Encourager wants to give courage to people.
- The Giver looks to invest time, talent, and money.
- The Ruler understands the big picture and needs to control it.
- The Compassionate is sympathetic to people’s issues.
Do any of these sound familiar? Take a few minutes to examine these gifts and make a few notes, drawings, or doodles on the paper, which identifies your top motivational gifts. Natural Talents The next portion of the triple P is natural talents. These are talents that have been a part of you for as long as you can remember. For example, some people are talented in a form of the arts like drawing, dancing, singing. Others might have outstanding academic aptitude in math or science, etc. Others may have outstanding athletic ability in a sport. Statements like “you are a natural” or “this comes easy for me” will help to illuminate these as you think about them. Take a few minutes to continue your triple P by documenting any of your natural talents. Learned Skills Next, is the area of learned skills. During life, there are many opportunities to gain knowledge and occasionally these will develop into valuable learned skills. Examples of these are computer skills, language skills, team skills, and even agile skills. Skills can be learned formally or informally and validated by degrees, certifications, or accreditations. Learned skills might listed on a resume or CV. List your learned skills on your triple P. Developmental Environment Each person was born and raised in a particular part of the world with it’s own culture, language, food, clothing, and overall lifestyle. These make up a developmental environment. Although it might not be where you are living today, the background will potentially influence your interactions with others. Look back into your past and write down some of the things that describe your developmental environment. Personal Passion In our busy world, there are many activities that consume time. Most of these are “need to" type scenarios, however somewhere in the 3D arrangement of life is a personal passion waiting patiently to be done. This could be called a hobby or form of relaxation. However it will usually be related to the question: What would you do if could do anything in the world? Examples could be spending time with pets, athletics, social endeavors, kids, community, etc., etc., etc. Now that you are dreaming of doing it, draw a picture or write a story about your personal passion on your triple P. Share Your Uniqueness Celebrate how unique you are and start sharing your triple P. Don’t wait for someone to say, “I didn’t know you could do that?” Start with your co-workers and begin to recognize the benefits of knowing your team better. With each passing day, there are interactions that could be improved if the participants knew more background information. It’s amazing how the smallest piece of information can spark a large conversation leading to enhanced communication and collaboration. Turbocharge Agile recognizes that people are unique individuals, instead of replaceable resources, and the highest value is achieved through interactions. Creating and sharing a Personal Purpose Profile (PPP) containing motivational gifts, natural talents, learned skills, developmental environment, and personal passion should be a part of your agile transformation activities. It’s time to have a team meeting and turbocharge your interactions. Find out how VersionOne can support your turbocharged teams.