Building strong teams is one of the keys to successful projects and organizations. From a coaching perspective, I choose my approach using the Tuckman's stages of group development: the “Form, Storm, Norm, Perform” model which stands for:
Team-building activities have different goals at different stages. Ideally, I use them in the “Form” stage, when enthusiasm is still high. My goal has been to prepare the foundation for a productive “Storm” stage when things can get a little tense. This is also a perfect time to use the PeopleKeys 4D DISC, T.E.A.M.S, Values, and BAI report to strengthen connections within the team. You may use the following exercises in conjunction with this detailed personality report.
For this exercise, focus on the Behavioral Attitudes Index results since these are usually not as obvious as the DISC styles. Sometimes, you will notice people with interesting Behavioral Attitudes that may not be an obvious continuation of their personality style and this is what makes this exercise so interesting. You can also use any of the 4D report sections (TEAMS style, Values style, PowerDISC style) depending on your focus.
Have each person pick one of their top 3 strongest BAI styles and answer one of these questions:
For a more interactive twist on this, have each person write down his or her answers on a post-it note. Put them all in a hat and have each person pick a note and try to guess who wrote which answer.
As we know, each DISC style has a potential limitation which can take away from our effectiveness. Using some “reframing” techniques in conjunction with DISC styles helps lay the foundation for future tension-filled conversations. These also help move us forward when our own inner critic might dwell on our weaknesses:
With answers to these questions, write down a new way to think about your style. For example, for a “D” style, test out your new thinking by completing the following sentence: “Being demanding allows me to …” Sharing this in a group setting is a little vulnerable, but strengthens empathy among team members.
Finally, if you are short on time or just want a quick ice breaker, use one of the following:
This last activity puts the participants in the least vulnerable position while still making positive connections on a personal level. Choose from these three exercises based on the culture and your desired outcome. As I opened with, ideally I like to use this in the “Form” stage, but even in the tough “Storm” stage, it can strengthen team cohesion in conjunction with the 4D reports – and it turns the report into your main training tool. The depth it adds to the team experience builds strength across the organization over time, making it easier for teams to form and perform quickly.
Learn more about DISC Certification and how it can enhance your training and coaching practice here.