Stimulating Team Interaction with Mindsonar

Stimulating Team Interaction with Mindsonar

Working in a multidisciplinary team can be fun and rewarding. In the harsh day to day reality of dynamic business settings however it is often the opposite and team members tend to ‘shut down’ when faced with difficult meetings. Teamleaders  want to boost the team skills to innovate but do not know how to built a bridge closing the communication gap. One of our customers, a local sales and support organization for a global player asked us to help build that bridge. I decided to combine the Mindsonar® test with other business NLP techniques.

What is the big picture?

Team members from various disciplines had to work together to set up a new business line. These disciplines included technical support, marketing, sales, management and fulfillment. The objective of the team meeting was to translate existing best practice into innovation for a newly set up business line. On the surface everything seemed to challenge the current business model: instead of delivering the product directly to large customers, the full service needed to be delivered via business partners to consumers. It faced the team with a new focus:  how to accelerate revenue and market presence?

The approach

Each team member filled in a Mindsonar® test for a specific context: the biweekly team meeting. The outcome of the test was used for:

  • Individual feedback to team members – how to improve personal performance;
  • Design of the interventions during the team meeting;
  • Finding stimulating interactions.

Interventions

Each team member received the standard Mindsonar® report with personal drives. During the team meeting I intervened by providing each team member with feedback on their behavior during the team exercises. I focussed on improving team interaction and creativity.

Using Mindsonar®

Analysis of the Mindsonar® results led to the following conclusions:

  • 9 out of the 13 meta programs showed a high deviation from the average
  • Team members showed a variety of Graves drives.
  • Meta criteria (what is important to me) came from different angles (people, task, cooperation)

Based on this I designed the following interventions:

  • A presentation to create awareness of the positive effect of diversity
  • Experience the positive effects of diversity in a one-to-one setting
  • Gather meeting information using questions that are tailored to diversity
  • Group brainstorm with feedback on successful interactions.

Finding the right interaction

Positive human interaction boosts the emergence of innovative business concepts, plans and actions. Depending on the context similar or diverse kind of people boost creativity. Because the problem cause was unknown, I used a three-step approach with different interactions:

  1. Information gathering
  2. Problem solving
  3. Finding creative solutions

For the information gathering phase I analyzed two meta programs: Global/Specific and Procedure/Options. By plotting team members in a XY-graph I set up two teams of maximum diversity and one team of maximum similarity (see graph). These teams answered a set questions that were formulated using as many as different meta programs as possible. The advantage of this approach is gathering a great range of information.

image003

In the problem-solving phase the complete team interacted. Practical guidelines for team cohesion, such as balancing internal and external reference, were already given in the presentation. These guidelines came from an analysis of two types of meta programs and the Graves drives. During and after this interaction I provided feedback on specific meta programs that stimulated group cohesion (matching, specific, concept and use)

In the creative phase team members used the Disney Strategy as a general process. Now the teams were set up from the principle of similarity on two sets of meta programs : towards/away from and matching/mismatching.

MMiTA

For the dreamer (I,E and G): towards/matching. For the critic (F, D and A): away from/mismatching and for the realist (C, H and B) people who easily switch between towards/away and between match/mismatch.

Benefits

By using Mindsonar® to boost team interaction various effect arise:

  • A rich set of information is gathered
  • Information is analyzed from different perspectives and filters
  • Creativity is stimulated

Background information

The Disney strategy are described in Skills for the future (Dilts with bonnissone).

Specific meta programs for team learning are derived from Energie door Wisselwerking (Published by Ruysdael, Author Rien van Leeuwen).

Mindsonar® is a product of the Institute of Eclectic psychology in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Team photo: Zak Suhar (stocksnap.io)

About the Author

rien van leeuwen

My passion is to inspire and facilitate learning, change and growth of individuals, teams, organizations and professional communities. As a certified Business NLP trainer, team coach and executive coach I focus on action learning, authentic leadership and sustainable innovation. I am a guest speaker and author of two dutch books” authentic inspiration” (2002) and ‘practical project management with NLP, energized social interaction’ (2013). The former focuses on personal development, while the latter emphasizes on practical tools for sustainable teaming, learning, leadership and change in project environments. These book are based on collective learning experiences in Ruysdael assignments in the sectors energy, financial services, central government, engineering and logistics. More information: www.rienvanleeuwen.com

2 Comments

  1. Great case, many of my customers doesn’t even realize how important is to set the scenario for a creative session with their teams, looking for diversity and exploration in the information gathering stage and then analyzing and designing a creative solution. I like the way you approach the specific metaprograms for team learning in every stage. I will look for them on your website. All the best!

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