The identification of patterns in behaviour can have a tremendous impact on bringing about change in individuals, teams and organizations. Xenergie, a partner of Interact Global, has created a systemic coaching methodology that combines two seemingly stand-alone tools in a manner that helps the practioner to facilitate deep discussions with their clients – these tools are Belbin Profile and Cultural Gridlock. Belbin Profiles identifies individual and team patterns of behaviour, and Cultural Gridlock gives meaning to the patterns of behaviour by describing the culture of the organization.
My experience with Belbin Profile and Cultural Gridlock
by Theresa Sigillito Hollema
I confess that I had never been a big fan of Belbin Team Roles profiles, until now. Certainly I appreciated the philosophy of diversity, I gained insight into myself when I read the observer report of my own profile, and I experienced the impact when one or more of the roles were missing on my teams. However, I never considered Belbin profiles as an assessment which could go deep and provide a means of uncovering hidden issues and comprehending interpersonal dynamics. And now I do.
My change of heart
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with Belbin occurred during my work with Xenergie Consulting, a pioneer in the identification and description of Cultural Gridlock. Cultural Gridlock is the pattern which a team or organization experiences over and over and over again; the pattern which keeps them stuck. Usually people have a sense that they are in an energy-draining pattern, but are too busy with the repeating cycle to be able to identify and address the gridlock. Once the gridlock is identified, and visualized for easier comprehension, then it can be addressed and over time the cultural gridlock transforms into generative conversations for transformation and innovation.
One of the strengths of the Xenergie Systemic Team Coaching methodology is the use of Cultural Gridlocks to engage the team and explain the interrelationships. By drawing the Cultural Gridlocks – the repeating patterns which block change and innovation – a team has the insights to then address the issues, generally with a systemic approach that takes time but has long-term impact.
Cultural Gridlocks graphs are incredibly powerful as a means of analysis, communication, and alignment, but they are not always easy to draw. The skill to identify and illustrate Cultural Gridlocks is developed over time and includes inquiry, deep listening, and broad observation by the team coach. I have also seen the eye-opening impact of drawing a Cultural Gridlock by starting with the Belbin team report.
The team began the exercise by studying the Belbin Team Report and identifying the generic strengths and weaknesses of a team with that report. For instance, a team with an over abundance of Resource Investigators might be very social, but a team with low representation of implementers may struggle to get things done. Then the team considered events which seemed to repeat themselves in their team. By considering the descriptors from the Belbin report and applying them when appropriate to the reality of the team, they were able to reflect on their behaviour, and guided by the probing questions from the coach, eventually identify and draw the cultural gridlock that had been repeating in their interrelationships. The insight from the process and the result was eye-opening, and a source for change and innovation. Simple yet complex. Beyond only understanding what the Belbin report said, the team made the link to what the report means.
As a Team Leader, HR Professional, or Team Coach, learn more how a systemic approach towards change and transformation can support your teams and organizations as they create the future. Contact Interact.