In my last blog, I wrote about the liberating power of self-awareness and the usefulness of self-analysis profiles such as Myers-Briggs, DISC, and my personal favorite: IOPT.
IOPT measures how a person perceives and processes information. It is also very helpful when it comes to working with teams.
- It will help team members understand each other’s perspectives.
Some people always seem to push the envelope on change. They have a million ideas, and they are dying to try all of them! But, that kind of “reckless” creativity drives other people crazy because they are more selective in the way they evaluate ideas. To them, an idea may seem “cool”; but if it’s flat out impractical, then why waste time chasing rainbows? Until team members can appreciate the value of another person’s perspective without feeling that it somehow invalidates their own viewpoint, that team will never be hitting on all cylinders.
- It will help team members understand each other’s motivations.
Some people on a team are all about action. They seem to operate by an unwritten philosophy that says, “Do something — even if it’s wrong!” In contrast to them are the people who seem inclined to want to deliberate forever over everything! Sometimes they hold the team hostage through the “paralysis of analysis.” When these apparently opposing motivations clash, it can become a power struggle for control.
- It will help team members communicate better with each other.
Teams that are made up of people with a variety of IOPT profiles often discover that they not only have a hard time understanding where others are coming from, but they also find it difficult to communicate with each other. One person wants details, details, details. The other one wants “the big picture”. Both feel frustrated. However, understanding a person’s IOPT profile quickly tells you whether he/she wants “details” or “highlights.” Mix that understanding with the maturity to realize that the burden of communication is upon the sender, not the receiver, and the table is set for real communication to take place.
A team becomes a team when everyone is pulling in the same direction and nobody cares who gets credit for success. I am convinced that most team members want to pull in the same direction. They don’t care about getting credit for success, but they do need to be validated for their efforts.
And that’s why understanding your team member’s IOPT profile really makes a difference. Stephen Covey said that effective people “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It works, and IOPT will help you do it.
Director of Leadership Development, Strategic Government Resources