A Power Combo To Enhance Team Communication


Have you ever mistaken a coworker’s intention about something or misread a situation? As more of us turn to remote working, it becomes even more paramount to not let assumptions or control issues drive our responses and behaviors. If you’re looking for a powerful and interactive way to circumvent these issues, you may be interested in hosting a Power Combo Online Learning session. This learning session is centered on helping you gain rich insight about yourself and your colleagues around key aspects of personality, behavior, and preferences. This knowledge is then translated into a practical action plan that the team can put into practice to improve team dynamics and enhance communication.

Power Combo Learning Part 1 – Individual Online Assessments

The Power Combo is based on two, 40-minute online assessments: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior for Business.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) assessment is designed to help us understand our innate preferences based on the theory that random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the way we prefer to use our perception (Sensing or Intuition) and judgment (Thinking or Feeling), and how it’s played out in either the extraverted world of action or the introverted world of reflection. The MBTI is a personality inventory based on the work of Carl G. Jung and measures individual preferences on four dichotomies:

  • Extroversion or Introversion: Whether you relate more to the external or internal world.

  • Sensing or Intuition: How you prefer to take in information.

  • Thinking or Feeling: How you prefer to make evaluations and decisions.

  • Judging or Perceiving: How you live; are you organized and seek closure or prefer to live more spontaneous and open.

The Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior (FIRO®-B) for Business instrument examines interpersonal relationships. William Shultz, Ph.D. developed the FIRO-B instrument on the theory that beyond our survival needs – food, shelter, and warmth – we each have distinctive interpersonal needs that strongly motivate us. These needs he labeled: Inclusion/Involvement, Control/Influence, and Affection/Connection. This interpretation can help you and your teams understand:

  • How each of you come across to others – and why this way may not be the way you see yourself.

  • How and what conflicts develop between well-meaning people.

  • How to understand your own needs as you interact with others.

  • How to manage your own needs in most interpersonal interactions.

Power Combo Learning Part 2 – Affirming & Sharing

After the team finishes their individual assessments, you’ll participate in an interactive dialogue via an online platform (WebEx, Zoom, Skype, etc.) to learn about each assessment in more depth and have the chance to self-report. During the session, everyone will receive their actual reports through email with a guided discussion around self-reporting and affirming their best-fit Type. In this trusted environment, team members share their Types and insights. The facilitator takes this data and transforms it into visuals that showcases the team output in a simple and easy way to understand (Team Type Table and FIRO levels). Participants are also given a homework assignment to work on for individual and team action planning.

Power Combo Learning Part 3 – Action Planning

In part three, the team is presented the Team Type visuals and sees where everyone self-reported. They then agree on a common goal such as using this information to “improve communication and enhance team dynamics.” Once the goal is agreed upon, action planning begins to support what everyone learned about themselves and each other. In a facilitated manner, each team member shares one thing they will do differently and one thing they recommend the team should do differently based on the learnings from the previous session. This information is documented on screen, voted on, and prioritized. Once all of the information is collected, team action planning begins focusing on small and simple changes that everyone can adhere to out of respect and understanding of others.

For example, I’ve heard from many people that their calendars are beginning to be filled with meeting after meeting. As a solution, a new team tenet could be centered around what information is sent via email and what information warrants a meeting, with the remedy of sending status updates via email rather than a call. Another small change could be that everyone always includes a purpose or agenda with the call invite to allow people to prepare, recognizing that our mindset differs for an informational update versus a brainstorming meeting. You may also agree to specific durations and times for meetings, all out of respect for others’ preferences.

As a final step, this action plan is compiled and distributed to put into practice with scheduled milestone check-ins.

Activate Your Best

By learning together, you build trust and foster stronger relationships. Don’t let environmental aspects and unpredictable changes send you and your team off course. Through continuous dialogue and appreciation for others’ preferences and needs, you will realize that you can adjust without losing yourself in the process. As you become more comfortable in being open and honest with others, you can adapt to the ever-changing work environment and stay focused on succeeding together.

Interested in gaining more clarity, enhancing your focus, and improving your communications to achieve better results? Sign up to receive our Activate Your Best monthly newsletter that includes actionable insights you can put into practice asap. Learn more here.

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