The boss must initiate building a BASE for each team member and then share with the entire team. The BASE provides the map of strengths and blind spots for each person, which maps how to get work done within the team by the members. Together, the team creates a whole brain. This requires building a shared understanding of the uniqueness of each individual on the team, including the boss. In addition, each individual is focused on certain priorities, but the others on the team likely don't know what those are. No one knows exactly what you do on your job, just like you don't really know how everyone else spends their time. The BASE create reinforces trust as each team member gets clearer about their role and the role of others.
To work with leadership teams, requires a compliant and rigorous tool like the TTI Success Insights Trimetrix EQ assessment. Each team member completes the three part diagnostic: DISC (behavioral strengths), Driving Forces (how you prioritize your energy) and EQ (emotional awareness, regulation and empathy). These three are the legs of the BASE stool: without any one of these the stool (and the team member) will tip over.
DISC is least surprising if you've worked with your team for any amount of time. At some level, you already know how they behave but you may not know whether that's a natural behavior or an adapted behavior. When people are adapting too much, it's likely they are not matched to the best job for them. This revelation revealed to the boss and team can be illuminating and leads to an obvious solution for more engagement. To engage as a team, the team must get people back to their working in their strengths.
Driving Forces clarifies how you prioritize your energy and your time. This is less easy to 'see' in someone else. In fact, this capacity if not understand, and drive conflict and even destroy a team. Have you ever worked with someone on a project who didn't work the way you did? Someone who seemed to follow a work process that made no sense to you? I recently experienced this while helping someone move. The process he used was completely opposite of the way I would have done it. At a basic level, he wanted to move very slowly and carefully, and my goal was to get it over with. We had very different motivations. It's normal to automatically judge someone else's choices on what to work on based on how you would do it. Uninformed, you may judge the other person as wrong or a jerk. This unspoken conflict quickly breaks down engagement and teamwork. Learning more about the logic and mindset of someone else's choices increases engagement and collaboration.
The third imperative is Emotional Intelligence- often called EQ. Research has piled up and more leaders are seeing the importance of growing their emotional muscle. In our chaotic work environments, it's critical but not that common to react appropriately to difficult people and situations. Think of a time when you noticed someone who seemed angry, not at the office much or ineffective. Likely this person is dealing with negative emotions, pushing them into a FLIGHT, FIGHT or FREEZE response. Lucky for all of us, we can grow our emotional muscle and we must if we want our career growth to continue. Discussing with others on the team the lessons learned for growing specific capacities of EQ is also important for sustaining engagement.
- A Team Model can clarify the blind spots of a team. If there isn't a lot of diversity in behavioral styles and prioritization, the team may feel comfortable with each other but miss the perspectives of others outside the team, for example, customers.
- A Team Model can clarify shared and individual behavioral and prioritization strengths. With this view, it's clear to each individual how to leverage others on the team to share work.
- When the team has a big problem, the Team Model is a perfect place to reestablish the base. Using the Team Model to reset prevents blame and provide a language and process for problem solving.