Performance comes from actions to change, not personality tests!

I’ve been fortunate to have had many clients who see the benefit of including contractors and consultants in team building exercises. The status of someone as part of a team has little, if anything, to do with payroll arrangements!

One of the more common group activities is the personality or behaviour assessment. Typically, after an extensive list of questions that we each answer online we are brought together to discuss the new insights into our psyches; sometimes it feels into our very souls!

With the aid of a trained facilitator into the “assessment tool-du jour” we delve into what these characterisations and numerical values could mean for our preferred ways of working, and how this information could make us all a better team.

Overall, this seems a worthwhile exercise and often new inspiration as to effective team dynamics is the outcome!

Then comes the next day.

We all return to the office. We all continue to do exactly what we have always done. Nothing that we learned at the offsite team building and being fed by the company day has been carried back with us.

Confused, somewhat deflated quiet conversations can sometimes be heard in the dark corners and corridors…..

What use is there in these offsite exercises other than the predictable email backlog?

Without action there is no benefit at all. In fact quite often the opposite. Running a session that demonstrates how things could be better if you change things is an implied commitment that you are willing to. If you then don’t work to support change; you don’t take the actions that the new insights drive you toward, then it is reasonable to assume that you simply don’t care about making things better. It is reasonable to assume that these assessment offsite days simply tick a box somewhere on some management 101 checklist.

There is real value in learning how teams can better interact. There is real value in learning how people can be more effective in their roles and their workplaces.

Without action to make use of these learnings, however, at best you’ve not added any value in doing the assessments. More likely, though, you’ve actually taken away the current level of enthusiasm and effectiveness by showing everyone that this stuff doesn’t matter to you.

And if learning to be a more effective team doesn’t matter to you, then how can you possibly expect that it will matter to your team?

The value is in the actions that you take, not in the taking of a test.

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Nathan Jones