The Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI) is a reliable and validated instrument for self-awareness, motives and values, and dealing with conflict. I use SDI intensively in personal coaching, team effectiveness workshops and organization development programs. Read about the instrument, and how it is applied in these 3 fields.
Our strengths, our overdone strengths and how we prioritize these when things go well, and when they don’t.
How we behave in line with our motives and values. Why we do what we do, and how this is perceived by others.
When under stress our values are compromised, we enter conflict, and we all respond in unique ways.
Learn more about developing your diverse team using the SDI. Download here an example report of individual strengths. An example report of responses to conflict can be found here. More information about the SDI tool can be found at the Personal Strengths website.
Contact me to explore how to enhance the effectiveness of your teams.
The short SDI inventories not only reveal how we behave, but also why we behave the way we do. Individuals gain insight in their personal strengths, and how they prioritize these strengths at the moment all goes well.
It also reveals how we work differently under stress and conflict. When things do not go well, we prioritize our – overdone – strengths in a different way.
The prioritization of our individual strengths is represented in a simple figure that will look different for all individuals working with SDI. I often find myself using this instrument in personal coaching, as well as when working with teams. In these workshops, meaningful conversations come up about how we use our strengths, and how we work when we are not effective.
When this insight is established, the team can have productive conversations about taking full advantage of all the strengths in the team. And to take action, such that the team will operate at a significant higher level in the future. My role is to facilitate this powerful process.
SDI goes deeper than most other tools I worked with. It does not only focus on behaviors, but explores the motives that drive our behaviors. This understanding makes teams exceptional: people know what drives them, and how the impact of their motives benefits the team.
We call this our Motivtional Value System: an assembly of all the values we hold, that makes us behave in a way that meets our personal motives. A bit simpler formulated: why we do what we do. It is amazing to see what happens in teams when team members suddenly have meaningful conversations about their motives, and how that drives their behavior in effective and ineffective situations.
The Motivational Value System is depicted as a black dot on the SDI Triangle, which is composed of seven clusters with unique characteristics. This is where we operate in line with our strengths. This is where we feel comfortable and where we prefer to be when doing work.
When things get stressful at work and conflict enters, our motives and reactions change. People usually go through 3 stages of conflict, and SDI will give insight into these 3 stages and the order in which we go through these. It will tell you how your motives change in times of conflict: this is represented by the arrow in below figure. The size of the arrow represents how easy it is for your environment to see that you are going through conflict.
Conflicts are triggered by behaviors and events that disrupt our motives and values. This is where the overdone strengths come in: somebody who is confident can overdo this, and is perceived by others as arrogant, triggering conflict when the other person’s strength is modesty.
Getting teams to talk about this is extremely powerful. Not only because stress and conflict are unavoidable and we want people to deal with it smartly. More importantly, we want people to understand why they get into conflict, which motives are compromised in conflict, and what the team can do to learn from conflict, and overcome conflict rapidly.