To know your team, start by knowing yourself
A few years ago I had the opportunity to participate in the Vermont School Leadership Project (VSLP) through the Snelling Center for Government, where I was pushed to truly examine who I was as an educator and what preferences I have in terms of decision-making.
When we overlay the Teaming lens on this activity we begin to understand how we interact and react with our teaching teams, leadership teams, whole faculty, and even in our home lives.
I would encourage you and your team(s) to go through this process and see what you learn about yourself and each other. It may explain a lot!
What’s your personality type?
The tool that we used was the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which you can take online. Once you receive your preferences it is important to spend a little time understanding them. The different personality type options look something like this:
- Extraverted or Introverted
- Sensing or iNtuition
- Thinking or Feeling
- Judging or Perceiving
So there are 16 possible combinations that can result.
My results are here but you can also look up your own. What’s even more fun is you can find your personality type as seen through some pop culture lenses:
- Which Downton Abbey personality are you?
- Which Star Wars character are you?
- Which Big Bang character are you?
Have your colleagues take the test and put all the names on the chart above. Take a few minutes to understand the the results. Where are you similar? Where do you differ? Knowing the preferences of your teammates may help bring your team to a higher functioning level. It definitely did for me.
The Johari Window
Once I spent some time with this, I wanted to know how to grow and push myself to become better. The facilitators at VSLP directed us to look at the concept of the Johari Window, a technique for self-analysis with the goal of understanding better how you relate to other people.
By spending time with my MBTI I began to shrink my blindspot, and by sharing with my colleagues I started to grow the area know as “open self” — the self that’s known to you and known to others, including students.
What type of self-analysis tools does your team use?
Image source: WoC in Tech Chat. Licensed under CC 2.0 and modified.