Yes, we have a conflict, let’s argue
At Ib Andresen Industri, the work with psychometric tools contributes to increased mutual understanding and higher job satisfaction among the employees.
By Tobias Petersen
In the meeting rooms at Ib Andresen Industri in Langeskov there is a pyramid-shaped figure that employees can grab and hold in their hand, if they want to challenge a proposal. The pyramid-shaped figure is based on the psychometric tool The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team and is a symbol which emphasizes that disagreement is welcome and based on a desire to find the best possible solution. It is also a visual manifestation of the company’s work with psychometric tools, which among other things has created an awareness of being able to have conflicts and arguing amongst each other. When done in a trustful environment, conflicts have a positive effect.
“I would like to disagree and have an argument about thisI would just like to conflict that”
If people are to argue or disagree about a certain topic, they grab the pyramid-shaped figure and say, “I would like to disagree and have an argument about this”. “It is a sign, that it is not so dangerous to start a discussion about current discrepancies” says Bente Rieck Pedersen, HR Manager at Ib Andresen Industri.
“Constructive arguments have become part of our culture, and this is something we have worked on purposefully. It has also become a part of our language. It is perfectly normal for us to say that “we should just disagree and have an argument about this”. Then everyone knows, what it’s all about. You know that the disagreement is not personal, and solely directed towards the matter, we are focusing on” adds Finn Buch, the company’s Recruitment & Education Manager.
Some would rather just work with numbers
The constructive approach to conflicts is the result of Ib Andresen Industry’s work with psychometric tools from DISCnordic. DISCnordic offers a variety of tools and Ib Andresen Industry uses the following when working with new and existing employees:
- Everything DiSC, which focuses on behavior and relationships
- The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team used for team building
- AdaptGRT a cognitive tool that can be used for recruitment and development
“We use the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team for team development. We have used AdaptGRT in recruitment interviews to measure the candidates’ cognitive abilities”
“We use Everything DiSC to ensure that people in teams understand how people differ and react differently to situations. For example, some are very busy creating results, while others are more concerned with thinking tasks through before they react. Some people prefer to talk a lot, while others focus on being quiet and getting the details right, and perhaps they also prefer numbers over words. The awareness of these differences is important, when putting a team together and looking at the combination of team members. The information adds to the knowledge of what makes some people work really well together, and how we should design a well-functioning team” explains Klaus Høffer Larsen, Head of Strategy at Ib Andresen Industri.
“For teambuilding and development, we use the Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. We have used AdaptGRT in recruitment interviews to measure the candidates’ cognitive abilities, adds Finn Buch, emphasizing that the tools should be viewed as input to gain further information about a person, and should only be considered as a part of an evaluation and not as a concluding factor. “I don’t see one of the tools as more important than the others. I see them as being connected, and used purposefully in the specific situation, which means that not all tools will work well in any situation” says Finn Buch.
Well, that’s because I’m an “I” profile
At Ib Andresen Industri, the employees have received the work with psychometric tools with both skepticism and curiosity.
“Some have been a little subdued and others have immediately welcomed the tools with joy and curiosity, looking forward to being able to talk to each other about how we are alike and different as people as well as colleagues” says Finn Buch.
“But it also depends on how you use the tools. We use them to explain that no matter what behavioral style we have, and how that behavior is expressed when we communicate, we are all equal. We all just have a different starting point or point of view. Our experience is, that when we work with the employees, and unfold the different tools, people become very curious and want to know more about, what the tools can give them. It’s fantastic, I think. When we use the tools right, the employees receive them well and they can see the value in discussing our different profiles” he elaborates.
The collaboration between Ib Andresen Industry’s and DISCnordic started in 2017, and since then a more unified language has become the norm in Ib Andresen. It is the professional expressions from the tools, like for instance the pyramid in the meeting rooms, which has already become a natural part of the daily life in the company.
“The DiSC profiles are too a great extent very alive among the employees. For example, you can hear someone say, “Well, I’m an I-profile, so that’s why I respond the way I do.” We find that this kind of language is widely used among the employees and it creates a greater awareness and understanding of themselves and others. In this way, it creates value for us” says Bente Rieck Pedersen.
Understanding creates well-being
For Ib Andresen Industri, the psychometric tools are an integrated part of the company’s management policies, and the intention is to use the models to create the best structure for the company’s future work.
“We can see that the models work well, and people get a good starting point regarding difficult talks and how to handle difficult situations. We have a lot of communicative contact with each other, and we work together on many occasions resulting in sharing a lot of behavior with one another. The tools have provided us with a good framework for our dialogue, which I think many have missed earlier” says Finn Buch. Bente Rieck Pedersen agrees.
“The fact that we use Everything DiSC, and that we give our employees an opportunity to self-reflection, is also really useful because it is not just yourself you gain insights to. You also get an understanding of your colleagues, who might have an opposite behavior from you.
These are people we deal with every day, and every morning we go to into the office with the same personal backpack that allows us to talk past each other. Therefore, it is valuable that we have tools which can help the dialogue and understanding to thrive” she says. Finn Buch also has no doubt that the use of the tools, can be seen on the bottom line.
“Today, in a well-functioning operating organization, we talk a lot about operations. But the question is how we carry out the operations, while we at the same time have a high level of well-being. That’s what these models are used for, and that’s what we think is of great value to us”, he concludes.