Team optimization is more than ever a popular business topic. Especially in times that hierarchical organizations are more and more becoming replaced by so called ‘holacratic’ or ‘somewhere in between’ business structures in which the power from the management hierarchy is reduced or removed and distributed across clear roles which can be executed autonomously.

One of the proven key elements for creating productive teams is to join people with complementary behavioral styles: while one is attracted for defining goals/objectives, others prefer to creatively interact, go into more details or create a comfortable operational environment where employees/clients can feel happy.

Such teams have all necessary elements for success…but, there is one big challenge!: people with complementary behavior skills are often not amused, can be even strongly frustrated, by some of the conflicting behavioral styles which come with the much appreciated complementary skills of their colleagues. Introverts versus extroverts, task versus people orientation, slow working versus fast, and people with other complementary behavioral styles. When style(s) have an outspoken intensity, they can collide if they are not aware that their behavioral styles can besides being complementary also be quite disturbing for others. If not anticipated in time, such “dream” teams are at risk of losing their potential. I call this “team burn-out”: the potential is present but the spirit is gone…

After an intuitive people management career of +25 years, I discovered some years ago, a simple and most effective assessment tool which helped me and more than 150 people in our Bayard network better understand and improve our personal collaboration skills: DISC. This system gives a very understandable and complete overview on ‘why we do what we do’. It also provides easy tips and tricks to develop/align behavior styles to improve teamwork. It also contributes to personal development, reduces stress and as such also proactively contributes in avoiding (team) burn-outs.

Francis Van den Driessche