In any Meeting of the Minds workshop, it’s amazing to see participants experience aha moments as they realize why their colleagues approach work in a certain way. Through our activities and reflections, attendees get an opportunity to see the Attributes come to life and witness the power of cognitive diversity in action.
One of the things I love about Emergenetics® is that Associates can use the tool in any collaborative learning experience to magnify insights and discoveries. By intentionally sorting people according to their Emergenetics Profiles, you can strengthen your training, mentorship or coaching initiatives. It just takes a little bit of planning to identify what you are trying to achieve and what combinations would be best based on your objectives.
In Associate Certification, we briefly discuss why you might pair individuals using the Emergenetics Thinking and Behavioral Spectrums according to like-dyads, mid-dyads, unlike-dyads or WEteams for various activities. I also recognize that we pack a lot of information into our Certification, so if you’d like a refresher on how to use Emergenetics groupings to improve your learning initiatives, this blog is for you!
With this category, you will use your spectrum to partner individuals who share Thinking and/or Behavioral preferences. This combination functions best if your goal is for attendees to have an easy discussion and share similar ideas. For example, you may use like-dyads for a warm-up exercise where you want participants to get comfortable contributing to the conversation.
It can also be useful to call attention to common tendencies or groupthink. For instance, if you’re hosting a conflict management training, you can help attendees understand nuances in the ways their colleagues approach conflict resolution using like Behaviors. By asking the participants to share how they prefer to navigate disagreement, you can illuminate the tendencies and needs of each Behavioral Attribute.
Two points of consideration for like-Profiles
First, if you notice that teams are coming to unexpected conclusions or are struggling to connect, take a look at all seven Attributes. It may be that, while participants are grouped according to Thinking preferences, their Behaviors are very different (or vice versa). If you observe friction, offer ideas to help them stay focused on their shared preferences and make time to debrief the experience.
Second, while you may focus on certain Attributes in your instruction, they do not live in isolation in real-life. When you hear other Thinking or Behavioral preferences influence your participants’ responses, be sure to highlight those nuances for the group.
When you pair or group people according to mid-dyads you will ensure that they share at least one Thinking preference and have another that is not in common. The combination can be effective if you intend for staff to gain some perspective from someone who thinks differently while still providing common ground.
Because participants will have some unique points of view, it may take a little time to get conversation flowing, and the shared Attribute gives coworkers a commonality to fall back on. Using mid-dyads in teams can be a successful strategy for early-stage coaching conversations or when you want staff to start to explore an alternative approach, such as discussing best practices for teamwork or change management.
This combination brings together individuals who have opposite Thinking or Behavioral preferences. It may get scratchy when colleagues don’t share a single preference, so it’s important that trust is already established, so people feel more comfortable expressing opposing perspectives.
Working with unlike-dyads is a powerful way to underscore potential intent-impact gaps and the importance of self-awareness. For example, the pairing can call attention to the fact that one person’s natural communication style will likely challenge their counterpart. Also, while it’s helpful to debrief any activity, be sure to build in time to discuss these conversations, so you as the facilitator can deconstruct the experience in a meaningful way.
As you may recall, WEteams are made up of individuals who collectively have a preference for each of the Thinking Attributes and a mix of Behavioral preferences. They tend to work best when you want to show the power of cognitive diversity in action as well as highlight the creativity, synergy and energy that comes from a range of viewpoints.
WEteams are particularly useful if you are asking participants to solve a problem or take part in a time-based challenge as diversity of thought often decreases the time it takes to arrive at a solution. While we all love a good WEteam, keep in mind that it can be beneficial to include activities to support building trust to strengthen team dynamics first.
The Emergenetics Attributes offer Associates a lot of flexibility and opportunity to build on any of the trainings you offer with additional learnings and insights. As you consider your next development program, I invite you to identify the outcomes you expect to see from your activities. Then, let the tips above guide your next steps to enhance understanding and create meaningful moments of connection across your organization.
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