Work Styles Profile*

*This material was composed based on a workshop conducted by Carolyn Gellerman, The Boeing Company.

Note: This activity is quite complex and requires a facilitator with excellent people skills. Depending on group size, the activity can take anywhere from an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and forty-five minutes - the larger the group, the more time this will take. The point of the Work Styles Profile is to understand and come to value the diversity of work styles in the group. Thus, it is best to have a large number of people engaged in the activity; if you have too few people, you may not have some of the work styles represented. Since the fun part is to see the interactions of the different work styles, it may be worthwhile to recruit others to engage in the activity with your "team" (secretary, colleagues, significant others).

Purpose: Team building
Understand personal work styles
Value diversity
Time required: 5 minutes to introduce the activity
5 - 10 minutes to complete the Descriptive Inventory
5 - 10 minutes to complete the Scoring Graph
15 - 20 minutes to develop the Work Style Caricatures
15 - 20 minutes for teams to develop Group Work Style Profiles
30 - 45 minutes to debrief
Materials: Copies of Descriptive Inventory for each person
Copies of Scoring Graph for each person
4 - 8 pieces of poster paper for Group Profile presentations
Extra poster paper for note taking
Pencils or pens
Marking pens
Masking tape
Camera for taking pictures of Group presentations (optional)

Getting ready:
Do the complete activity yourself first (this will take you about 20 minutes) so that you know what your own Work Style Profile is and can refer to yourself during the activity. Tape a couple of sheets of poster paper to the wall for note taking.

Procedure:
Explain that the activity involves gaining a deeper understanding of one’s own personal work style and how that work style fits into teamwork.

Enter the activity with lots of humor; people may be nervous about revealing themselves and how they think or act. Reassure them by explaining that this is to be a light-hearted look at their personal work styles and is not meant to be a heavy psychological, scientific analysis of personality and that work style is sometimes situational.

Distribute a pen or pencil and a copy of the Descriptive Inventory to each person.

Direct them to check one word or phrase in each box that best describes them. This is a "forced choice" activity; you can only choose one word in each box. Tell them that they shouldn’t think too much about which word or phrase they should check – they should go with their first reaction.

As soon as individuals complete the Descriptive Inventory give them the Scoring Graph and ask them to follow the directions to complete the graphs.

When everyone has completed both a Descriptive Inventory and a Scoring Graph, tell them that together you are going to develop "caricatures" for the different work styles and that these, of course, are exaggerations. This section, which characterizes the behaviors of the various work styles, needs to be facilitated with humor and kept very light. You don’t want folks to get defensive about their work style but to celebrate it and note the wonderful contributions each particular work style has for a team. As the facilitator, refer to your own style often in a humorous way and be willing to reveal yourself.

Ask the group to give four or five descriptive words for someone whose longest bar was column 1 (look back on the Descriptive Inventory). Write the number 1 on a poster paper with the title: Work Style Caricatures and note those words under the number 1.

Do the same for columns two through four. (The poster papers will look something like this).

Posters 1 & 2

Tell the group that folks with the tallest shading in column one can be labeled "Doers" and write Doer next to the number 1 on the poster paper.

Doers:

Tell the group that for Doers, the maximum need is for Results and write the word Results under the first column of words. Ask the group since Doers can be very task driven, how might they be perceived (pushy, dominating)? Emphasize that this isn’t how they really are – they just want to get the work done. They can be the Drivers of a group – write this next to Results. Your poster paper will look something like this.

Posters 3 & 4

Tell the group that folks with the tallest shading in column two can be labeled "Expressives" and write Expressive next to number two on the poster paper.

Expressives:

Tell the group that for Expressives, the maximum need is for Excitement and write the word Excitement under the second column of words. Ask the group since Expressives can be very animated and dramatic, how might they be perceived (undisciplined, egotistical)? Emphasize that this isn’t how they really are – they are just enthusiastic about the work. They can be the Intuitors of a group – write this next to Excitement.

Continue with column three and column four. For the sake of brevity, these are summarized below.
Amiable – column three

Amiables:

Maximum need – Acceptance
May be perceived as conforming, unsure.
They just really want to work cooperatively.
The Feelers of a group

Analytics – column four
Analytics:

    Maximum need – Accuracy
    May be perceived as picky, critical.
    They just really want the correct data to do the work.
    The Thinkers of a group.

After developing the caricatures, your poster paper should look something like this.

Posters 5 & 6

Ask people with similar long bars to gather in groups. Thus, all analytics form a group, expressives form a group, etc.

Give them poster paper and marking pens and, referring to their group’s work style, ask them to take the next 15 - 20 minutes to develop their Group Work Style Profile. They are to discuss and record:

How We Help A Team
How We Might Hinder A Team
How We Might Be Misperceived
Song/slogan/poem/saying That Captures The Essence Of Our Work Style

When the groups have completed their Group Work Style Profile, have them present their profiles to each other. You might want to take photographs while they present.

Make sure people understand that the point of the Work Style Profile activity is to:


Please note: The inventory and scoring charts shown below are each on a separate page in "Changing What We Do", but may be split across two pages if printed from this web representation.

Descriptive Inventory*
Work Style Profile

Check the word or phrase in each set that is most like you.

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Competitive

Joyful

Considerate

Harmonious

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Tries new ideas

Optimistic

Wants to please

Respectful

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Will power

Open-minded

Cheerful

Obliging

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Daring

Expressive

Satisfied

Diplomatic

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Powerful

Good mixer

Easy on others

Organized

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Restless

Popular

Neighborly

Abides by rules

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Unconquerable

Playful

Obedient

Fussy

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Self-reliant

Fun-loving

Patient

Soft-spoken

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Bold

Charming

Loyal

Easily led

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Outspoken

Companionable

Restrained

Accurate

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Brave

Inspiring

Submissive

Timid

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Nervy

Jovial

Even-tempered

Precise

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Stubborn

Attractive

Sweet

Avoids

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Decisive

Talkative

Controlled

Conventional

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Positive

Trusting

Contented

Peaceful

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Takes risks

Warm

Willing to help

Not extreme

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Argumentative

Light-hearted

Nonchalant

Adaptable

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Original

Persuasive

Gentle

Humble

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Determined

Convincing

Good-natured

Cautious

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Persistent

Lively

Generous

Well-disciplined

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Forceful

Admirable

Kind

Non-resisting

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Assertive

Confident

Sympathetic

Tolerant

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Aggressive

Life-of-party

Easily fooled

Uncertain

1.__

2.__

3.__

4.__

Eager

High-spirited

Willing

Agreeable

* Source: Carolyn Gellerman, The Boeing Company


Scoring Graph*

Work Style Profile

Directions: Scoring Graph

* Source: Carolyn Gellerman, The Boeing Company


From Changing What We Do by Karen Hollweg and Carole Kubota with Phyllis Ferrell, copyright 1998 by NAAEE

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