Is our team ready for The Five Behaviors® Team Development?

Should we schedule The Five Behaviors® Team Development training yet? This is an excellent question and should be considered carefully before investing time, effort, and money into this program.

You might be a group that reports to the same manager, but not really be a team. The group should be fairly small (around 5-12 members), have worked together for a few months, and have a shared goal, with individual responsibilities. Team members succeed or fail as a team. The group should also plan to function as a team following the program.

If you have a group with individuals who work independently, with other teams, or won't be working together in the future, we recommend using The Five Behaviors Personal Development instead. The same concepts are covered, but there's no assessment of the team itself.

If you’re building a new team, we suggest using Everything DiSC Workplace® to provide a good foundation and promote effective communication. In addition, you can use group reports to educate all team members about the overall style they can expect of their group.

After a few weeks or months, you can then introduce The Five Behaviors Team Development program. You might want to ask the team members to read The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni, to introduce the concepts of Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results.

While a newly formed team, or one with a new member, could gain valuable information and insights from the introduction and Trust modules, most simply don't have enough experience as an intact team to take the team assessment. Every team will benefit from bringing real examples from their members' experience together to the discussions the program initiates.

Since this program takes a commitment of time, emotion, and attention, a team temporarily stressed by a big change might do better to wait before embarking on The Five Behaviors journey. However, if a big change is anticipated, going through just the Trust and Conflict training modules of The Five Behaviors will be very supportive.

Again, because of the commitment necessary to complete this program, it’s probably better to schedule it for after the deadline has been reached. Plus, the recently completed project will provide a focus point for group discussions.

This program also requires a commitment from a skilled facilitator. We offer The Five Behaviors Facilitation Kit which will assist with delivery, but it still requires time up-front for the facilitator. Ideally, your facilitator will be able to meet with the team leader and each member before the program begins. Your facilitator will be more successful if he or she is able to build trust and familiarity with members before asking them to be a bit vulnerable during the program. 

The facilitator may come from inside an organization, but personal information may be revealed during discussions where members show vulnerability. Members might feel more psychological safety with an outside facilitator. Having a team member or leader facilitate is not recommended.

The program could take several weeks to complete so your facilitator should be available for an extended period of time. You might want to schedule a team Progress Report and follow-up training and having the same facilitator will make that session more productive.

Everything DiSC®

Learn more about the suite of assessment-based learning experiences that's inspiring cultural change at organizations large and small all over the world.