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March 4, 2022

Development, Team Management Profile (TMP), Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2) Profile, Window on Work Values (WoWV) Profile, Psychological safety

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We live in a world with myriad different people, things, and places – the so-called ‘real world’. Yet we don’t operate directly 'on' the real world; rather, we create our own individual model shaped by our perceptions and experiences. Through this personal kaleidoscope, we filter our perceptions and form our own individualised view of the world.

We've all experienced the potential for things to go wrong when people with different perceptions collide. In some cases, a discussion or conversation may be ill-fated before the first word has even been spoken. In a work context, we can bring some of these differences to light by looking at the models underpinning the TMS suite of products and tools. Specifically, the Workplace Behaviour Pyramid gives us great insight into the layers of ‘deep-level’ diversity within groups and teams:

  • The Team Management Wheel shows how people in opposite parts of the Wheel approach their work differently;
  • The Risk Orientation model explains how an individual balances their energies between focusing on the ‘opportunities’ versus the ‘obstacles’; and
  • The Window on Work Values model helps us see how our hierarchy of values may impact what motivates us at work.

Information theory explains how feedback loops can be self-amplifying (positive feedback loop) or self-limiting (negative feedback loop). At TMS, we talk about the importance of developing and using the skill of ‘pacing’, a technique for temporarily adapting your model of the world so that it matches the other person’s. This ‘matching’ shows the other person that they are understood, which allows rapport to develop in a positive feedback loop.

The TMS suite of reports comprising the Workplace Behaviour Pyramid shares important insights about effective communication in a coaching scenario. Let’s look at the Team Management Profile as an example. Each TMP has a section on Linking, which provides summary tips describing how the respondent likes others to interact with them. Coachees may like to use this to highlight any tips that resonate with them, to support the ‘pacing’ process and fast-track the establishment of rapport with their coach. As an example, consider a coachee with a Concluder-Producer role preference – it may benefit their coach to know their preference for: 

  • Practical rather than theoretical solutions
  • Time … to think things through
  • Opportunities to finish their point without interruption
  • Converging towards actions and results
  • Being punctual to meetings
  • Sticking to agendas
  • Support, to see the ‘big picture’
  • Summarised conversations delivered succinctly and with facts, rather than opinions
  • One or two options in the face of a decision

This helps the coach plan the best way of interacting with their coachee. If the coach is a strong Creator-Innovator (on the opposite segment of the wheel) with a preference for opening up and exploring issues (or, a reluctance to close things down and focus on the details), then this information can help the coach plan a session that is more structured and action-focused. The coach’s profile will also contain advice that may be useful for the coachee to review, to help them get the best from their coach.  It can be good practice to introduce the TMP in an initial coaching session, to discuss how work preferences vary from person to person. By leading with shared profile results, a coach can set up the conditions for open and honest interaction.

The other Workplace Behaviour Pyramid tools provide similar information. In the example below, the Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2TM) Profile gives useful insight about a coachee with a high QO2TM score, helping the coach to identify a need to: 

  • Be initially supportive and listen
  • Try to sound positive about the coachee’s ideas even if they disagree
  • Focus on the good part of the coachee’s proposal before explaining any challenges
  • Encourage the coachee to describe the changes required to implement their ideas, then point out any obstacles that might arise
  • Be prepared for the coachee’s ideas to be unrealistic and to look for the ‘kernel’ of a good idea

Work values can also impact the relationship between coach and coachee, with the Windows on Work Values Profile being the appropriate tool to explore this dyanmic. For example, coachees with strong values around Individualism, Authority and Compliance may be more difficult to deal with, particularly if the coach is driven by Empowerment and Equality.

In a coaching scenario, the role of the TMS suite of tools is to provide a language that allows for new observations to develop. This is a vital element any coach should bring to a coaching relationship and delivered well, this new language should become a permanent part of the coachee’s structure of interpretation. As language allows people to be self-correcting and self-generating, this is what makes it possible for a coachee to achieve sustainable and long-term high performance!

March 4, 2022

Development, Team Management Profile (TMP), Opportunities-Obstacles Quotient (QO2) Profile, Window on Work Values (WoWV) Profile, Psychological safety

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