Is there a culture gap in your organization? Tell you what, forget the organization for a moment, how about just in your immediate team? We know large differences in individual behaviors can lead to conflict, but hopefully you have some “bridge-building” individuals that plug the gap between the extremes in your team.
I recently spoke with a CEO who managed a small executive team. The team had two distinct “sub-groups:”
1. One was highly technical & specialized
2.The other totally people-focused and “fuzzy” (that’s my word, not an actual Shadowmatch measurement).
Not surprisingly, the conflict based upon the difference in behaviors between these two sub-groups was quite apparent. You can imagine the adjectives each might have used to describe the other. The potential for overall team failure and dropout in situations like this is very high. Surprised?!?!
We evaluated the individuals for an opening in the team. As we looked at potential candidates with the CEO, we were also using the behavioral assessments to look for potential opportunities to “bridge the gap.”
Let’s look at an example of how this works:
Here are two people whose habit of “Responsiveness” has been accurately measured by Shadowmatch. A score of 64 is a “strong” or defining habit for an individual (i.e. they cannot help but want to behave in a rapid and immediate way, and they expect others to be the same).
Match this to a score of 25, which is a “necessary” behavior (i.e. they can behave immediately, but they select to only when the situation really requires). Our habits are the “lens” in which we see the world, and how the world sees us. Quite simply, these two people see themselves as “worlds apart” and won’t work at the same speed, or see each other as functioning “normally” (in their perception).
However, if we “bridge the gap” with a third individual, like this:
Now the team as a whole has an intermediary who perceives the two original members as different, but not dramatically so. In conversations and projects, this person will subconsciously (although probably literally) help interpret the extremes and provide the context for each why they behave this way.
The result? Less conflict and better overall team performance.
It’s very easy (with the right tools!) to analyze a team and see just where the members fall in terms of their sub groups. It’s also often important in achieving goals that the team has the critical habits and behaviors that make the “specialists” and “relationship makers”. Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier to manage these teams, but careful recruiting and alignment of individuals and roles can mean the difference between focusing on performance and goals vs. conflict and squabbling.