Role Behavior in Highly-Effective Teams


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Does the behavior that makes individuals successful in their jobs provide the same degree of success in a team? The answer is frequently and sometimes surprisingly, no. On the other hand, successful people often adapt their behavior to different situations.

It makes sense that a person who performs well in their job exhibits behaviors in that job that would make them successful. Because they're successful, their behavioral style effectively gets reinforced over time. If it becomes their natural behavioral style, they may carry over certain behaviors into their team work which can be a source of conflict for other team members.

Let's look at an example of this. In this example, Mark has responsibility for the production line in a division of a major corporation. Through coaching, a role behavior instrument, a DISC profile, and a comparison tool, Mark was able to see there was a pretty good fit between the ideal role behavior regardless of the person in the role and his behavior in this role.

On the job, Mark's very high Dominance dimension of behavior is useful to his role as manager of the production line. Mark has a bit of a gap in his Influence dimension, but this is less important when it occurs in the lower three segments of the instruments.

At the division's management team meetings, Mark was exhibiting a similar behavioral style that he uses on the production line, a style that was reducing his effectiveness in the meetings. Once again, the role behavior instrument was used to define the ideal role behavior for a team member based on the team's purpose and goals.

In the comparison, Mark could see his very high Dominance dimension of behavior was not as useful to his role as a member of the management team. When Mark agreed with the analysis, he could begin developing new behaviors in the Influence and Conscientiousness dimensions and redirect some of his behaviors in the Dominance dimension for his work on the management team.

The comparison described specific behaviors that apply to each dimension and where a gap exists. Mark could then prioritize the behaviors he wanted to work on and develop an action plan. Mark didn't have to change who he is, he just had to learn to stretch a bit to be more effective on the team. Mark now contributes in a manner that fits better with what's required of the team.

Russ Pratt is a consultant, coach and trainer that promotes effective communication and building highly-effective teams. A DISC profile can be used to help team members understand their own behavior, learn how and when to adapt their behavior, improve communication, promote appreciation of differences, enhance individual and team performance, and reduce conflict. Visit to learn more about using DISC in your organization and building highly-effective teams .


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