How the Predictive Index Can Help You Build a Strong Remote Team
Remote work is here to stay. Whether you have embraced it, hated it, or had mixed feelings about it, remote work will ultimately be a part of the future of getting things done. Many companies had already been implementing a mixed schedule of remote work to in-person work weeks and inadvertently getting ahead of the curve.
Ignite Consulting uses the Predictive Index internally and with our clients to build a strong and more cohesive team even when team members are miles away from the office. The tool helps us identify and act on the preferred work styles of our team members. It then allows leaders and co-workers to understand how to work effectively and efficiently when you can’t pick up on the subtle body language cues you would be able to under normal in-person work conditions. Having an understanding of your team's work styles is extremely valuable.
So how do we do this? Let’s examine the differences between two key traits known as dominance (the drive for influence on people and events) and extraversion (the drive for social interaction with others), followed by an example of two workers here at Ignite on opposite ends of each of the spectrum.
The dominance trait boils down to two main preferences, the desire to work independently or collaboratively. Some people will find it much easier to work individually often for hours on end and not need any extra guidance or feedback. Others prefer to talk out their line of thinking or look for constant feedback to ensure that they are the right track.
We might see an independent worker more fit for remote work and a collaborator less fit. This can be the case if you treat them equally. Instead, you can shift this thinking by reaching out to the collaborator more often and encouraging/setting up more time to meet with them when remote. They will likely be more open to meeting on the fly with little prior notice. While letting the independent worker grind it out on their own time may adhere to their style. They may need extended notice to prepare and discuss their progress on a project.
The predictive index places extraversion on a spectrum from more sociable to more reserved. It’s no secret that some people enjoy social interaction more than others. Some people crave it and others can do without it. It’s not as simple as stopping by a co-worker’s cubicle for the extraverted when most offices have defaulted to work-from-home plans. This affects both sides in very different ways.
The extraverted team member may feel lost without the constant interactions between co-workers. Not being able to keep up with teammates and falling out of touch may be hard on them. Taking time to facilitate opportunities for in-formal conversations during time distress can boost morale for those who feel out of the loop. A more reserved team member may not need to feel included in online discussions. They may prefer to reach out individually to whom they feel the closest to rather than need to know how everyone is doing. This doesn’t mean they don’t care about their teammates; it could just mean they are more comfortable engaging on their own terms.
Ignite Example: Austin vs. Matthew
I am a collaborator. Collaborators are naturally responsive; they want to help. They seek to build consensus, and they are comfortable delegating tasks. Matthew is an Individualist. Individualists are highly independent; they like to solve problems creatively. They seek to drive results, and they’re comfortable delegating details. We have nearly exact opposite work styles.
So how should we interact with one another while remote if we need to work on the same project?
Austin is more often eager to start conversations and will typically be the initiator. This would mean that Austin would be the one to schedule the meeting, and to Matthew’s preference with substantial notice of such meeting. Matthew will likely be more calculated and may prefer to offer an outline of the topics to go over before the meeting rather than Austin bringing them up as they come to him.
Matthew may be overwhelmed with the amount of conversation/feedback Austin would like and may want to shorten the number of interactions he needs to have. This may mean they have a conversation about the level of communication they would like to have. This way Austin knows it’s not any fault of his own that they can’t have more dialogue stopping him from feeling discouraged, and Matthew has ample time to work independently where he is most productive. Ultimately this means less virtual contact, but when they do meet, they get the most out of their time spent together.
While you might think you know your teammates well enough to make these decisions yourself. Taking the Predictive Index behavioral assessment can allow workers who are not as familiar with each other or new to the organization how to develop the optimal working relationship. Click the link below and share with your team members to discover your different work-styles and how to optimize performance in the new reality of your work.