Our organization’s Black Belts recentlyparticipated ina two-day retreat in which we did some team-building and strategy work for the upcoming fiscal year. We did a leadershipprofile that diagnoses each person’s preferred approach. The four main styles are generalized as Driver, Conscientious, Steady, and Interactive. I’m sure that the profile is similar to many others out there!

The interesting thing is that, among our 16 Black Belts, the preferences came out as follows: 4 Drivers,5 Conscientious, 6 Interactive, 1 Steady. We had fun dividing into our main groups (we included our one S with our 5 C’s for this purpose). Each group came up with a theme: The D’s chose”Get ’er Done,” the I’s (a fun-loving group to be sure) came up with “I Candy,” and the combined C/S group selected”A person with a problem and no data is just another person with an opinion.” Our education coordinator is a D, our “data guru” is a C, and our Master Black Belt is an I.

We then re-divided into our site-based teams. We had a few “aha” moments in this part of the exercise. We didn’t use leadership preferences, or any kind of a personality profile, when selecting our Black Belt candidates. Yet, there was a very healthy diversity among our site teams. Almost all had a blend of personality preferences, as well as a pretty even split between male/female, healthcare/process engineer, younger/older (or you may prefer “seasoned), inexperienced/experienced. We also thought about our different site organizational cultures in terms of trying to bring about change.

It’s easy to view personality tests as having the same entertainment value as horoscopes – but in our case, the process led to some solid team building and a helpful introspection on how we approach our Black Belt roles. We found a new appreciation in each other’s strengths and contributions to the team, and were reminded that individually, we’re pieces of the puzzle and we need to work together to get the whole picture!

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