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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Harmony -- Seeking Areas of Agreement -- Theme Thursday Season 4

On this Theme Thursday Season Four webcast, Jim Collison, Gallup's Director of Talent Sourcing, and Maika Leibbrandt, Senior Workplace Consultant, talk about Harmony. 







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Individuals exceptionally talented in Harmony look for consensus, rather than conflict. They have a radar for areas of agreement. Harmony gets to progress by understanding people’s motivations and emotions and navigates to a place where everyone is in sync.    

Harmony is at its best when it's bringing the team together toward a common goal, shared vision, or collaborative emotion. Harmony provides a sense of calmness that others can feel. It diffuses conflict by offering practicality and progress. People high in Harmony are at their best when they steer partners or teams away from potentially messy conflict or offensiveness. They predict and avoid emotional turbulence. 

If you're exceptionally talented in the Harmony theme do more of forecasting the emotional landscape. Is there going to be a big presentation, a kick-off for a new partnership, or maybe existing work? If you’re sensing mess within that, say something. You don’t have to own the mess or the outcome, but your insight can be valuable. Do more of summarizing the tone for all to understand. An example of this would be, “so I’m hearing this from you, and this from them.” Do more of encouraging people to work together. This might mean knowing who the experts are in each situation and talking them up as people we should follow. 

Ask for environments where you feel like you’re a valuable part of the team. Build personal relationships as part of any project. Ask for safe space to share your insights about conflict. This might be 1:1 time with a team leader, where you are sort of “Progress Adviser”, or maybe it’s out loud at the close of a meeting. You can thrive when you sense the group is on the same page. Find teams and projects that are solid about expectations, and look for opportunities to help them grow even stronger together.  

Worry less about winning the debate. You probably won't enjoy debate for the sake of debate. You won’t enjoy participating, and you won’t get much learning out of listening to debate. When you find yourself in a debate, look very closely for areas of agreement, and list them. Then share them if it’s appropriate. But don’t feel like you have to have a voice in an argument. You just might be too practical to get swept up in that emotion.

Expect people with Harmony high to have values placed on agreement. They don’t just like agreement for fear of the opposite. They aren’t weak or timid, rather at their core, they believe in the importance of togetherness and know we can all benefit from consensus. Expect a desire to feel sure about what he or she is doing. Helping find a defined approach and broadly agreed definition of success will lead to their best work. 

Recognize when someone high in Harmony unlocked others when they were stuck at opposing viewpoints. Talk about the progress that has been possible because of their practical approach to moving forward together. Recognize them by celebrating shared wins. Praise the good team member this person is. Recognizing their willingness to adjust and their tolerance for differing opinions can be the glue that holds everyone together, and the infrastructure that allows individuals to shine.

Stretch them by helping them find their voice and the most helpful way to share it. Stretch them not by just saying “how can you speak up?” but “why and when do we need consensus?” Sometimes the desire to keep the peace can keep these people silent so stretch them by describing the uniqueness of this theme as a strength, and something your team needs. Sharing insights can lead to a win-win for all. 

When partnering with someone with Harmony, help them avoid situations where conflict is inevitable and know that they won’t be at their best there. Be honest and share your thoughts with them. If there is something you truly are bothered or conflicted by or positively passionate about, they’ll be a better partner to you if they know about it. 

If Harmony is one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items: 
  • What routines do you have that help you build consensus?  How could these improve
  • The next time you’re in a group discussion, make it a point to invite 1 more person to speak their mind. The more voices you hear, the better chance you have of finding common ground among the group.
  • Get to know the subject matter experts on your team. Interview 3 people about something they know and care greatly about. This will help you rally behind them, directing your team toward their valuable experience in the future.
If Harmony is not one of your Dominant Themes, invest in it this week through the following challenge items: 
  • Learn more. Ask a friend or colleague to describe their view on a subject they are consistently passionate about. Set boundaries: My goal is to learn about you. I don’t want to debate, I just want to know more. I’ll ask you some questions, and appreciate your answers! 
  • Develop a process that helps you check in with people you need on your side. Your need for progress might overshadow your consensus-building. What can you do that makes sure people are on board? 

How is your Harmony challenge going for this week? Share your thoughts and experiences on the Called to Coach Facebook page.


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