While our consultants at EnVision often work independently, we enjoy brainstorming together and sharing knowledge to achieve the best project outcome. For one recent engagement, we were asked by our client to create a series of templated tools for use in building out custom leadership training courses. Since this project required both big-picture thinking and detail-orientation, it seemed the perfect one in which to have two consultants team up.
The two EnVision consultants I selected for this project, Marilyn and Ginny, both have extensive experience in leadership topics. One of them brings a big-picture orientation to the table, and the other is very strong on details. I was excited to see how they’d collaborate.
The two consultants complement each other in many ways. Looking at their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profiles (and knowing my team members!) I noticed that Ginny has an ESTJ (extrovert/sensing/thinking/judging) orientation. She tends to focus her energy on the work immediately in front of her. In beginning a needs assessment, she might ask the client, “what is working now?” Her ability to use all her senses to focus on the crucial elements of a project (and remove any extraneous information) and pay close attention to the “here and now” complemented Marilyn’s tendency to rely on her intuition and in her own words, not leave a topic until it was complete by asking “what if” questions.
With an INFP (introvert/intuition/feeling/perception) orientation, Marilyn thinks of the future and potential scenarios. She might ask the client, “What would it take for you to be more successful?” The consultants’ individual strengths and different MBTI profiles allowed them to address both the big picture (future) scenario and detail orientation that the project required. “Our strengths impacted the quality of the output,” explained Marilyn. “The output was thorough because we took the time to think of possibilities, talk them through, and get them translated to details.”
Despite their differences in personality and approach, Marilyn and Ginny also share many similarities. Both possess extensive classroom experience. They both like to have a plan in place and are agile in their work processes (which also mirrors EnVision’s values!) These parallels allow them to organize the project effectively and pivot as the client’s needs change.
In dividing up their workload, the consultants relied on their combined instructional design abilities as well as their individual strengths. They broke up the project into manageable segments. They then collaborated on the first segment of each template, which allowed them to brainstorm ideas. “It allowed us to uncover more rocks to turn over,” explained Marilyn. While the brainstorming process took time, it ensured that no aspect of the project would be missed, and our client valued that thoroughness.
Marilyn and Ginny split up the remainder of the project and each worked on their portion. They then reviewed each other’s work, met, and offered feedback. The client loved this approach and appreciated that the consultants built off each other’s strengths to create an excellent outcome.
When asked, neither consultant could name any challenges in working together, and they both enjoyed the partnership. “There was no judgment,” Marilyn marveled. “No challenges emerged because we had respect for each other.”
The rapport the pair developed may lead to more teaming projects for them. “It’s really important to work with people who look at a project differently, because they can only strengthen the project’s outcome,” Ginny summarized.