How to Rock the Boat Without Sinking Your Ship: Do-er Diversity, Part Three

Before reading How to Rock the Boat Without Sinking Your Ship: Doe-er Diversity, Part Three, be sure to read It Takes All Kinds: Do-er Diversity, Part One to learn the easy way to validate your group’s innate “do-er diversity” with the Kolbe A Index assessment tool to foster growth and map success in your business. 

Also, read Kolbe Assessment to the Rescue: Do-er Diversity, Part Two, to see how a lack of do-er diversity know-how can sink the proverbial ship and the people onboard. 

Now, it’s time to take a closer look at the realities of setting course with do-er diversity and the Kolbe assessment, and learn how to rock the boat without sinking your ship. 

When your aim is sea-change, expect waves, sharks, and choppy water!
— Lisa Bourdon

Is Your Ship Sea-Worthy?

While the Kolbe A Index is an extraordinary and reliable tool to reveal the conative faculty of the mind and validate the instinctive method of operation that enables people to be highly productive within a group, it is not a fail-safe SOS for all sinking ships. 

Here’s a short list of the not so sea-worthy ships it cannot save: 

  • Ships that are drowning in unaddressed personality clashes, quirks, or annoying behaviors. Assembling a do-er diverse team will not change rude or disrespectful behavior in toxic environments.

  • Ships that are land locked due to uncooperative individuals refusing to collaborate or be team players. If people refuse to cooperate or collaborate and work for the common good, your ship is sunk.

  • Ships that are adrift due to responsibility gaps and too many excuses for immaturity. (“I can’t help it that I didn’t make the deadline… I’m not a Follow Thru!”)

  • Ships that are lost at sea due to poor leadership. (“I don’t care how you get it done, just get it done yesterday!”)

But, once you’ve declared your department’s ship is sea-worthy and are ready to set sail with do-er diversity, here are some tips to help you rock the boat and keep on course:  

1. All Change is Sea Change

Know that change – any change – brings resistance. Even when the vision is clear and positive (“This is gonna be great – it’ll make things so much easier for everyone and we’ll get so much more accomplished. Just imagine… ”), expect resistance to the new and different. The human brain is wired for survival, and any change threatens the survivable status quo. The belief that repeating what we did yesterday to survive will ensure our survival today is hard wired in our brains. It is easier to respect this aspect of humanity and move beyond this default setting by becoming well-versed in the conation model yourself. Know your conative style, and live it to attract others. When offering the assessment, look for natural Quick Starts to be your enthusiastic early adopters. Create small experimental groups to give everyone a chance to try it on for size. 

2. Welcome Waves of Resistance

Some people may resist taking the Kolbe A Index assessment because they dislike labels or they aren’t fond of “tests”.  Sometimes this resistance can be eased with a little more education about what the assessment is and how it works. Follow Thru types will especially appreciate more information: how many questions, how much time it will take, what are the possible results of the assessment, and how the company will use those results. Assure your team that it isn’t invasive, there are no right or wrong answers, and it isn’t a character judgement. In fact, employee should actually enjoy their jobs more after do-er diversity is implemented because they will be free to act and work in their natural style. You can emphasize that Quick Starts will love the innovation, Fact Finders will love the research, Follow Thrus will love the methodology, and Implementers will love applying this new, efficient model.

3. Are Those Sharks?! 

Human beings have a tough time seeing and feeling outside our own reality, so we tend think everyone is just like us, or should be just like us. We naturally are drawn to working with and befriending people of our own type: Quick Starts with Quick Starts, Follow Thrus with Follow Thrus, Fact Finders with Fact Finders, and Implementers with Implementers. Like attracts like.

Problems arise when one type treats another type in a manner contrary to their style. For example, Follow Thrus will naturally think that everyone is a Follow Thru (or should be), and they easily get frustrated when people don’t do things in an organized, patterned, systematic way. Or, Quick Starts easily feel frustrated and micromanaged by a Fact Finder’s voracious appetite for research and a Follow Thru’s detailed instructions and systems.

4. Expect Choppy Water 

Applying do-er diversity may come with growing pains because you are asking four unique do-er types to work together to reach a goal. For example, the jack rabbit-like speed of the Quick Start and careful pace of the Fact Finder can make these two types butt heads. Quick Starts can cause anxiety in those who score low in the Quick Start type, especially those who score high in Follow Thru and Fact Finder. The anxiety stems from the Quick Start’s low need for information and systems and a disregard for “the way we’ve always done things.” 

One way to work through growing pains is to spend as much time as needed   communicating individually and with the group. Be honest. If you find you need more help, reach out for expertise from the Kolbe Corporation. Learning to work alongside other do-er types will take some thought, time, and adjustment. 

Implementing do-er diversity may initially rock the boat, but if you set your gaze on the distant shore and praise your do-er diverse team often for their willingness to go with you, before too long you will dock your ship in the promised land of productive teams, engaged employees, and booming business,

Allie Rice