Deloitte Greenhouse: Singapore
Aligning across personality types
A global reinsurance team explores improved business communication tactics
The client’s challenge
As teams continually expand and welcome new leadership, the need to foster strong communication and collaboration is increasingly important. Our client – a CFO in his first quarter of being in-seat – wanted to gain insight into the business-relevant personality traits prevalent in his team. The objectives? To explore the composition of the group as a whole, improve the effectiveness of interpersonal interaction and learn to adapt one’s communication styles.
The Deloitte Greenhouse team designed and delivered a Business Chemistry Lab for 35 client participants. Leveraging Deloitte’s proprietary Business Chemistry personality system, which draws on neuro-anthropology and computational techniques to determine four personality types, the half-day Lab brought a data-driven approach to observing personality differences in a business environment. Prior to the session, participants took the personality assessment test to identify their primary personality types. This allowed the Lab to open with a breakout group exercise that asked the divergent personality types to simulate their responses to everyday scenarios; each personality group not only better understood its communication preferences but also how markedly they differed from the other types. They were then introduced to the personality traits and archetypes of each of the four types, to understand the overall design of the Business Chemistry framework.
Next, participants were taught to observe behavioural and linguistic cues which could help them ‘hunch’ or estimate others’ personality types. They then practiced these methods by assessing the profiles of public personas and the organization’s leaders. The Deloitte team then explained the varying communication styles inherent to the four personality types and coached participants on how to adapt their personal styles to tailor the language and demeanour of other types. In the concluding exercise, teams were asked to utilize the communication techniques they had learnt to create an effective pitch of an unknown object to an assigned personality type. By delivering these mock pitches to colleagues, participants were able to witness firsthand the power of adapting their verbal and nonverbal cues to achieve targeted, engaging business communication.
Impact on client’s business
The consciously designed Business Chemistry approach and structured yet interactive facilitation combined to help the CFO and his team think differently about the nuances of business communication. The group as a whole were also able to explore the divergent communication styles that had previously stymied collaboration. By openly confronting the strengths and communication pitfalls of personality types in a positive manner, colleagues could discuss ways to better their working relationship and the team dynamics that they aspired towards.