Why Understanding Who You Are is Important for Business

Why Understanding Who You Are is Important for Business

Have you ever been on a team that just didn't work well together?

Some days ran smoothly, but some days did not. Relationships appeared okay on the surface, but everyone sensed that relationships were strained below the surface. Goals were reached, but at a painstakingly slow rate. I have been on a team like that and I can attest that employee turnover was high. The root cause of this was that the team members didn't realize that understanding who you are affects how you work with each other.

There are many tools out there that help teams work better together (see Myers-Briggs or DISC), but the problem is that these tools are overly complicated and not applicable "in the moment". However, the simple concepts presented in the make a difference framework make it quick and easy for any employee to understand their coworkers, which leads to more productive teams, happier employees, and lower employee turnover.

Let me give you an example of how this framework works:


Evan always had a smile on his face. If tension escalated during meetings, he would say something light-hearted to diffuse it. He enjoyed holding large events with lots of people. At times Evan was a bit disorganized, but he managed to pull off the events successfully and people overlooked any snags because they loved him. Per the make a difference framework, Evan is a "Much-Loved Monkey."


Derek was a visionary. He dreamed big and pushed our team toward big goals. We never had to guess where he stood on an issue—he aggressively and decisively stated his opinions. Sometimes Derek offended people with the things he said and the way he said them, but it never seemed to bother him as long as a goal was reached. Per the make a difference framework, Derek is a "Leading Lion."


Bella was the organizer of the team. She could take a huge goal and break it down into a list of tangible details to be handled. She was always prepared with a Plan A, a Plan B, and, just in case, a Plan C. Because Bella followed all of the rules of the workplace, she could become critical of team members who did not. Per the make a difference framework, Bella is a "Competent Camel."


Kayla brought expertise to our team in a specific area. She liked working alone in the back corner cubicle. She rarely spoke up at meetings, but when she did, everyone listened because she had valuable insight to offer. Kayla worked at a steady but slow pace, giving the appearance that she lacked initiative at times. Per the make a difference framework, Kayla is a "Tranquil Turtle."

Using these easy-to-remember word pictures, every team member can quickly recall the personality type of their co-workers. Understanding your personality creates a more productive and fast-paced work environment. 

I have no doubt that our team would have been more content on the job and more successful in reaching goals if we had had theses principles in our tool kit. Rather than being irritated by the personalities of team members, we could have worked to understand and better relate to them.

If your team struggles with underlying tensions, check out the make a difference framework and see how it can apply to your business. It may be the very thing you need to improve employee retention.