Increase self-awareness and team synergy

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Cognitive Style


Moral Drivers








Disney Creative Process

Use this when: You want the team to innovate to solve a problem

When teams are using ‘brainstorming’ to solve problems they often run into common challenges. Certain people dominate, we get stuck debating one idea, there are too many ideas and no focus – the list goes on. Walt Disney had the same issues, so he created the Dreamer – Realist – Critic process to better tap into the true potential of his teams


Use this when: You are entering a conversation where there are potential conflicts

We can only truly engage with another person if we respect and acknowledge their perspective. This can be hard when our views differ over something that is important to us both. Sawubona is a Zulu word that means ‘I see you’. I see that you have a history, a perspective, values and experiences that are different from mine and are equally valid. Use it to centre yourself before, and during, those tough conversations.

The Undiscussables

Use this when: You want to challenge the team to be honest with each other

The framework encourages the team to explore what they might be avoiding. This is not about witch-hunts and blame, it’s about taking the level of conversation to a place where you can focus on the problems that really matter.

Radical Candor

Use this when: You want to deepen the honesty of dialogue

Honest conversations are not always easy to have. The ability to do so starts with our intentions and the interpersonal dynamics in play. If we can relate to each other from a place of trust and positive motive then we can deepen our connections to have the conversations that matter. Challenge each other to ask whether you are being as honest as you want to be, and be open about what can prevent you from doing so.

Positional and Generative

Use this when: You want the team to break out of a cycle of unproductive conversations

Conversations generally take two forms – making a decision or exploring an idea. The trap we fall into is not being open about which type we are having. If we are all arguing for our own case then we’ve got a position – just make the decision. If we’re exploring then trying to find the right answer straight away will shut the conversation down. Be explicit about which type you are engaging in.

Pillars and Paragons

Use this when: You are about to go through, or are already in, a process of change

Some people will champion the change. Some people will do anything to prevent it. Most people are somewhere in the middle. This model encourages people to take personal ownership of their reaction to, and engagement with, the change. There could be good reason to resist, there could be adaptations to the process that make sense, asking the people where they are on the line encourages those conversations.

‘There’s no right answer’

Use this when: You want to encourage the team to share perspectives

This is a mindset principle to use when the team are working on complex problem – that for what we’re doing there is no right answer, there are only perspectives and a decision. This encourages the team to focus on the exploration of perspectives and respect the decision making process, rather than battle each other for ‘who is right’.

Myers Briggs

Use this when: You want to increase the team’s awareness of their different styles

The real value of the test comes in the conversations that can result as people take ownership of their style, knowing when it helps the team and when to dial it down. Context is the key.

Take the test at

For a more advanced approach, look at the cognitive functions

Humble Enquiry

Use this when: The challenge you face is complex and you want to ensure you solve the real problem

This is a mindset approach. You and the team have to be willing to put aside ego so you have the humility to explore and admit what you don’t know. It requires a high level of self-awareness and buy in from all team members to operate within Humble Enquiry, the benefit of doing so means you focus on the solving the most meaningful problem together.

Beckhard-Harris Change model

Use this when: You are about to embark on a process of change

Resistance is a natural and important reaction to change. This model encourages you to think about the factors involved in overcoming resistance, and challenges you to consider how strong your arguments for change are. Are people dissatisfied with the status quo? Do you have a compelling vision? How easy is it for people to take the first steps? (Tip: trying scoring each area out of 10).

Deep Listening

Use this when: You want to improve listening within the team

This is a simple and effective framework when the team want to improve their ability to listen to each other. Everybody will have seen themselves and others adopt these listening styles, and recognise that they create frustration. It’s almost inevitable that we will fall into them, the skill is in recognising it and recentring yourself.


Use this when: The team want to help each other to become better

Effective collaboration is often seen as the pinnacle of teamwork. But for high performance teams there is a dynamic that lies beyond that. It’s called Co-elevation. This is where the team members adopt a mindset where they go beyond achieving the objectives and instead continually ask of themselves what they could be doing to help each other to become better.


Use this when: You want to increase self-awareness to take team synergies to the next level

Psychometric tests will get you started increasing self-awareness. Archetypes operates at a totally different level. It brings in value systems, personal drivers and life perspectives. They are easy to grasp at face value but take time to master and truly understand. However, if the team choose to dedicate the time to understanding them, and will be honest about who they are, you can create world class combinations when you are working together.

Accidental Diminisher

Use this when: You want to evaluate your leadership style

Multiplier leaders make people better and Diminisher leaders treat make people worse. However, even the best Multiplier leaders can become Accidental Diminishers when they overplay their strengths. Do you know which of your strengths might be damaging your team?