Can We All Get Along?

During the 1992 Los Angeles riots Rodney King famously asked, “Can we all get along?” In my experience, this is a question that business owners should address proactively with managers, key employees, and even family. Why? …

The larger a company grows, the greater the tendency of various individuals to “pull their oars in different directions.” This leads to team and personal conflict, confusion in goals, lack of prioritization and other energy drainers.  So how do you minimize the chances of these negative drainers occurring?

A great way to do this is to use one or more of the excellent tools available today to identify and clarify the communication, behavior and motivation styles of the Team. Although we have used and like many – DISC, Kolbe, StrengthsFinder 2.0 to name a few – our preference is the “DNA InterPlay Profile”.  Created by Dr. John Brunstetter, a second generation organization development guru, we have found nothing as accurate, quick and easy to use with our clients as InterPlay. Here is how it works…

Participants answer a brief series of online questions (13 minutes or less), and a report is generated explaining each participant’s detailed “DNA profile.”  The profile explains how participants view their environment, what motivates them, how they are likely to respond to certain conditions … what makes them ‘tick’ … the 80% of a person that is “below the waterline” … the portion that cannot be seen. The individual profiles are then mapped as part of a “Team Match” to see how the group can function together to create a more cohesive and productive organization.

There are five behavioral types that a person may exhibit. Because each behavior brings something useful and unique to an organization, an ideal team would include a variety of the following…

  • Analyzer — is data driven and their main focus is to “plan ahead.”
  • Taskmaster — is results driven and their main focus is to “just do it.”
  • Energizer — is change driven and their main focus is to “dream the impossible dream.”
  • Participator — is relationship driven and their main focus is to “reach out and touch someone.”
  • Adapter — is situation driven, always flexible and their main response is “it depends.”

Each participant receives a personalized InterPlay report. The report is broken down into three components:

  • Behavioral DNA — graphs your prominent and secondary behavioral types. For example, you might be a combination of Analyzer and Taskmaster, with the Analyzer being the predominant behavior. It identifies your ideal environment and how you are likely to react in both comfortable and stressful situations. Behavioral DNA is what others see when they interact with you, and it makes up 20% of your “uniqueness”.
  • Decision-Making DNA — describes the impact and intensity of your decision-making in both calm and stressful conditions. It measures the following… whether you focus on objective data or use intuition, whether you use summary data or collect lots of hard facts, how you interact with others, how you influence others, and how you direct your energy. These are partially visible behaviors and also make up 20% of your uniqueness
  • Motivation DNA — describes the underlying motives that drive your behavioral impact.  It measures individual motivation factors (assertiveness, self-sufficiency, and direction & structure), relational motivation factors (feedback to others, feedback from others, and personal disclosure), and team/organizational motivation factors (career orientation, change & innovation, professional recognition, and group involvement).  These are mostly hidden motives and make up 60% of your uniqueness.

In addition to the personal InterPlay report, the following reports are also available:

  • Team DNA — takes all team members into account and focuses on team chemistry, both strengths and blind spots.  The report includes specific dos and don’ts to improve team chemistry.
  • Company DNA — focuses on your corporate culture, both its strengths and its weakness.  You also receive specific dos and don’ts to maximize your corporate culture.
  • Relationship DNA — identifies your relationship match. This report would be most suitable for finding Mr. or Mrs. Right (assuming you have not already found them).

I have run InterPlay profiles for many of my clients and, of course, for my own team. Participants are always amazed at how accurately the reports, both individual and team, reflect what motivates us and how we react to our environment and to each other. I use my clients’ DNA profiles to best communicate with them in their own behavioral ‘comfort zone’. I have used my own team report to assign staff responsibilities, to motivate effectively, and to make hiring decisions that fill gaps in my team’s ‘behavioral’ balance.

Dr. Brunstetter and Team InterPlay Inc. have been perfecting the design and functionality of their unique profiling toolkit since 1985. Team InterPlay has provided its unique services to a wide range of businesses, including local companies such as Qualcomm and WD40 and Fortune 500 companies such as ITT, Toyota and Chevron. For years, they have successfully demonstrated that by understanding each team member’s unique strengths, you can strengthen your organization as a whole.

If you are interested in learning more about InterPlay or would like to have a complimentary InterPlay DNA report generated for your business or family, please contact me.  In the past, doing an assessment such as this might have been a “nice to do.” Today, however, I believe it is a “have to do” for any company that is serious about long term growth and viability.

“Can we all just get along?” … who would have thought that a simple InterPlay Team Match could make that happen …  

Imagine That!

Written June 2014

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