UMi in Conversation with Duo Global Consulting

April 29th, 2020 | By Sarah Callender, Commercial Director at Duo

During these unprecedented times we find ourselves in, it has never been more important to understand the behaviour of your company, yourself and your team. We sat down with Sarah Callender, Commercial Director at Duo Global Consulting, to find out how businesses can support remote workers and maximise productivity by understanding and managing different behaviour within business.

You talk about behaviour being the golden thread that runs through your work at Duo Consulting. Why is this approach more helpful than personality tests?

At Duo we believe that the behaviour of business owners, businesses and their employees is their biggest differentiator. It’s how you do things, not just what you do, that enables a business to outperform their competition, or in our words, out-behave them. Personality profiling is useful and is something we still sometimes use with clients but the difference between behaviour and personality is that personality traits tend to remain static so it isn’t able to be influenced or changed. Your behaviour can flex and so is much more flexible and useful to understand, especially from a management perspective. Understanding your own dominant behaviours and how they differ to others, means you can develop ways to communicate, influence, and manage relationships better.

Why is it helpful to be able to understand an organisation’s, a team’s or an individual’s dominant behaviours? 

As you can imagine, we often get asked this question and we usually paint a picture back to a client: “imagine if you could understand, and have insight into, the behaviours behind your biggest challenges, and what to do about them”. Behaviours are linked to so many things in a business from its culture and linking people’s behaviour to company values; through to recruitment and ensuring the right people are brought into a business; right through leadership and management and how to influence and drive change and develop effective relationships both internally and externally. Finally, the insight from a self development standpoint is second to none in allowing people to gain real understanding into their strengths to elevate and perform at the maximum level and drive up their own individual impact.

Are there any tools available that could help managers to identify, anticipate and manage their team’s dominant behaviours?

We have a signature Behavioural Map which measures dominant behavioural patterns. This can be used in one of two ways – across your whole business to uncover the dominant behavioural patterns that exist, providing insight into key behavioural patterns across a businesses culture and insight into why certain things may be more difficult than others to implement. This could be things like how a team is motivated, how to effectively drive change and best to communicate across the business and how to drive higher levels of performance & productivity. Secondly, it can be used on an individual level when you are either recruiting – to help you predict how someone will perform, and their fit prior to hire, or individually with people already in your business to understand what they need on a personal level to work at their best.

Is it helpful to group or buddy up team members to help them while they’re working remotely – for example, by their need for interaction, motivation needs etc?

It is helpful for anybody to have insight into what impacts their own motivation levels and then be able to identify people who may have similar challenges so they can take action to help navigate the challenges together. It is also useful for people to spot how they can help others who might be struggling with things that they themselves may not be. Some dominant behavioural patterns for example may mean that their motivation levels have dipped because their main motivation for coming to work is to be with and around people. They may be motivated by feeling like they belong in a team and that they are making an impact on others, this is the kind of thing where buddying up with each other can help create connections where they are most needed. Behavioural management with team members is where managers really need to flex how they communicate, and adjust to different people, so they can spot the dominant behaviours and influence accordingly. Although buddying up people is useful for support, there needs to be a management layer in there to really work one to one with team members to drive engagement, motivation and productivity.

Are you seeing any good examples of companies using this time positively – to bond more as teams, or to upskill their teams, for example?

Absolutely, we have clients who have adopted daily team video meetings; weekly quiz nights across the whole company; Friday family time for people who have children; professional development opportunities to use this time to train future leaders in the business, there are so many great examples of using this time positively. We have also been asked to deliver various different team webinars on resilience and wellbeing, dealing with unexpected change and how to work productively whilst working remotely for clients to really help drive up engagement levels and show support. We have seen some great examples of amazing generosity, where teams have come together and really supported one another through small acts of kindness that have had a huge impact.

What tips do you have for business owners/managers to look after themselves?

Similar to the advice you are given on a plane around your oxygen mask – help yourself before helping others, it’s the same principle for business owners, managers and leaders right now. We know it’s difficult for them to currently take time out to ‘self care’ but there is a balance to be had – business owners/managers need to absolutely step up and lead, but they also need to be mindful of taking time out and recharging so they don’t hit burnout. People will remember how they are treated during this unprecedented time and that includes peers, clients, stakeholders and employees. It’s really important for leaders to be making conscious decisions and respond with consideration and not just react emotionally. Some people may be demonstrating behaviours that are out of character at times, so we need to allow for this, and be gentle on each other. We are currently delivering a lot of executive coaching helping senior leaders navigate this to act as a sounding board and help them develop and maintain healthy habits and a positive mindset.