I'm the other mother - or Momma Deb. Our family is pretty much like every other family in suburbia. The girls go to school, one mom is on the PTA boards of elementary and middle school. The other mom goes to work, paints, writes, and tries to just have a good time raising kids with her partner. This is my third attempt at blogging...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday Monday...

This Monday and next Monday morning are each being devoted to Team Building for the team I am on at work. This borders very close on the touchy-feely thing that I so dislike at work. While it gets close to that, it is actually a useful use of our time in that we learn more about each other, how to interact with one another in order to attain our team goals.

I am not particularly fond of this – I feel so - exposed. But, this time around I have a bit more vested in the process than in previous times where I have done similar work. I have been asked to be the technical lead of our infrastructure team, and the wallflower in me cringes while my ego swells.

Can you say, “Conflicted?”

So. Perhaps some of you are aware of a Personal Profile System. The front of the workbook says that this system enables you to:

  • identify your behavioral profile,
  • capitalize on your behavioral strengths,
  • increase your appreciation of different profiles, and
  • anticipate and minimize potential conflicts with others.
The participants answer a bunch of multiple choice questions and eventually come up with a DiSC score and graph: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness are graphed to give you a profile. My profile, a 4355 = Perfectionist – high S and C, but not real high. I’m actually quite middle of the road, but I need somewhere to hang my hat, I guess.

Okay, all this mumbo-jumbo does have a use. When working with people on your own team, sometimes it helps to know how the other person processes information. It also helps to know if they are more of a driver, or if they’re a follower. Someone might be an influencer, loves being around people, while others (like me) finds it hard to be around a lot of people and tends to work alone. It’s useful to have this insight into others, if in fact you care enough to get past a stumbling block to get to a common goal.

We also filled out a worksheet which helped us to figure out how we prefer to process information, visually, audibly or kinetically (see, touch, feel). I scored equally high on visual and kinetic input, audible being a little less. However, I was surprised to learn that a co-worker scored near zero on audible input, and very high on visual. She also happens to be quite hyperactive, and has learned to channel her energy quite well. She has a very hard time sitting still, and is constantly moving (I try not to sit next to her in meetings as she can be quite active…).

Now, I have been through two other DiSC sessions in my 7 years here, and I have noticed one constant. There is always at least one person in the group who feels that his or her time is being wasted, and “all this matters on your mood” when you take the test, and “if I took the test next week, my answers will most likely be different,” ad nauseum.

IMHO - what these people fail to understand is that it is a tool, a means for getting past obstacles, forming working groups, group structure, etc. I have often heard this person lament that he cannot understand why "no one listens to me." I wonder if perhaps it really just the opposite – he is not listening to them.

I think that new dimensions, new stretches are what keeps a person alive and active. The same would hold true for the day-to-day work and achieving short and long term goals.

So I put it to you all:
  1. Have you ever had training of this nature?
  2. What did you think about it?
  3. Did it help you?
  4. Did it help your fellow workers?