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Relationship Intelligence and the Future of Teams

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We are excited to be presenting at the 2019 CIPD Festival of Work on 12-13 June.

For over 40 years, we’ve helped organisations achieve results by leveraging their greatest asset — the strengths of their people using relationship intelligence.

During the event we will demonstrate how we develop relationship intelligence to improve the Five C’s of Engaged and Productive Teams. We will show how the Five C’s can be harnessed to improve team productivity, employee engagement, decision making, leadership and, ultimately, business outcomes.

  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Collaboration
  • Coaching
  • Connected culture

In our interactive session, we will demonstrate how our award-winning assessments along with our cloud -based technology gives you a new perspective on the way people work, relate, communicate and lead.

We will explain how talent management professionals working hard to move their organisations forward answer questions like these:

  • What’s the best way to scale employee engagement to improve productivity?
  • How can we embed and sustain authentic behaviour change?
  • How do we equip our managers to have powerful coaching conversations?
  • How do we leverage technology to enhance and embed the learning experience?

We will help you discover the HOW of working better together by showing you how we are each driven by a system of motives and values which are central to our sense of self, our Motivational Value System (MVS). Our MVS helps us:

  • Make choices and give purpose to our behaviour
  • Focus our attention and directs our actions
  • Make judgments about ourselves, others and situations
  • Choose what we are emotionally attached and committed to
  • Choose what we engage with.

We explore MVS and the rest of our unique blend of models and methodologies in more depth here.

We will demonstrate that to achieve sustainable improvements in employee engagement we need to understand how people connect their choices of actions to their core motives and values. We will show how we can use technology to deploy relationship intelligence within real time coaching opportunities.

Finally, we will demonstrate how the insights we deliver, supported by our ground-breaking technology, will deliver the ultimate goal of all leaders and managers:

Results through Relationships

In our upcoming series of posts, we will explore in more detail howrelationship intelligencecan be developed and deployed to improve the five C’s of effective teams.

Our Models and Methodologies

In our series of blog posts supporting our involvement in the 2019 CIPD Festival of Work conference and exhibition we make several references to our unique models and methodologies. Those of you seeking more detail of what we do will find what you are looking for here.

Motivational Value System (MVS)

Every individual is motivated by their core values, what we call their MVS.  Everyone is unique and it’s the source of our feeling of self-worth and what we value.  Our research shows there are three motives that combine to make everyone’s unique personality. These are:

  • Concerned with performance, assertive and directing (what we call a red MVS)
  • Concerned with people, altruistic and nurturing (a blue MVS)
  • Concerned with process, analytical and autonomising (a green MVS)

We all have all three motivators but in different proportions and it’s this that drives our behaviour.  We simply behave in a way that most closely addresses the things that motivate us.

Let’s take an example.  You’re a sales leader with a red MVS, you’re driven by performance, so wanting to smash your sales target is as natural as breathing.  It seems so right to you that you assume everyone feels the same way and so coaching boils down to little more than “We’re aiming for 125% of quota this quarter”. And whilst some of your sales team, the ones like you, with red MVSs, lap it up, others seem less enthused.

Those with blue or green MVSs simply are not motivated by that approach.  Those with a blue MVS want to know what’s in it for those around them, they want to hear “It would be great for the whole team and our customers if we could…”, whilst those with a green MVS will respond best to “Let’s plan how to…”.

To be an effective team each member must understand their own MVS and recognise the MVS of each of the other team members. If each individual can adapt their behaviour to appeal to the MVS of others you get an entire team who are harmonious and motivated; and the biggest chance of achieving stellar outcomes.

Our MVS is developed and matures in early childhood and remains with us throughout our lives. We liken it to a fixed anchor that our behaviour is tethered to.

Strengths Deployment Index (SDI)

The second element of our assessment is an individual’s SDI. We all have the same repertoire of 28 behaviours, what we call strengths, that we can deploy in any given situation. Strengths are freely chosen behaviours that are intended to produce results. Strengths affirm the self-worth of people in relationships.

However, we do not deploy all 28 strengths with equal regularity or skill. We have degrees of preference. Some, our top strengths, are the ones we turn to most frequently. If someone was to describe an individual’s personality, they would probably use terms relating to that person’s top strengths. At the other end of the spectrum we have our bottom strengths, those we are least comfortable using and hence least likely to deploy.

Fortunately we all are capable of deploying all 28 strengths, we simply have preferences. If the situation dictates it, and we are aware of our SDI, we can consciously choose to deploy less-favoured strengths, what we call borrowing.

Strengths are context dependant and we can choose when and where to deploy them. We liken strengths to a buoy, floating on the surface and moved by the tide and wind (the context), whilst remaining attached to our immovable anchor, our MVS.

Overdone Strengths

You use your strengths to give the best impression of yourself as possible, and, if a meeting is particularly high stakes, you’ll deploy your top strengths harder and more frequently. Whilst this can be effective in some situations, in others it has a negative effect.

There is a point at which a strength can be deployed excessively, used too often, too intensely, for too long, or in the wrong context. In that scenario your strength becomes seen as a weakness, what we call overdone strengths. So, for example, the strength of self-confidence, if over used, comes across as arrogance.

It applies to all our behaviours.  When overdone, quick-to-act becomes rash, persevering becomes stubborn, risk-taking becomes reckless.  Every one of the 28 strengths in our SDI, the 28 strengths we all possess to greater or lesser degrees, can be overdone and become weaknesses.

Conflict Sequence

Our MVS determines how we approach everyday situations.  However, when we are in a difficult situation and feel our sense of self-worth is being threatened, our default behaviour may shift to a different MVS. Everyone is different but for any given individual, that shift will happen in the same, predictable way; what we call your Conflict Sequence.  As well as changing our behaviour, the extent to which we shift also varies from individual to individual. Some individuals will only deviate slightly from their core MVS whilst others will vary widely. That’s why some people seem unflustered and unchanged by conflict whilst others behave in a hugely different way to normal.  

When our feelings of self-worth and value are challenged we feel threatened and fall into our conflict sequence.  It has three stages and they are the same for everyone:

  • Stage one, we remain focussed on our self, the problem, and the other party
  • Stage two, we are focused on our self and the problem
  • Stage three, we are entirely focussed on our self

As we move from one stage to the next we move away from our core MVS, the one we are anchored to when things are going well. So, for example, someone whose core MVS is red will shift to blue or green at stage two and to the remaining MVS at stage three.

It’s clear that, as conflict intensifies, we become increasingly self-absorbed and even less inclined to listen to the other side’s arguments.  Ultimately, depending on your Conflict Sequence, you end up with a need to fight for your life (Red MVS), a need to give up completely (Blue) or a need to retreat and withdraw entirely (Green).

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When relationships work, there isn’t a problem that can’t be solved.

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