Taking My Own Medicine

By Chris Coultas, Director of Science & Research; Senior Consultant

For most of us, it’s easy to notice the things that other people could be doing differently, but harder to objectively look at ourselves in the mirror. For the past several years, I’ve spearheaded development of the DRiV™ personality assessment tool here at LWF. Recently I “took my own medicine” by leveraging our new DRiV360 development report with my personal DRiV profile. The results made an immediate, positive impact on my work style and results. Here’s what happened:

BEFORE: My Work Style & Environment.

My own DRiV report shows I’m very low in Deliberation and Charisma, and high in Creativity and Autonomy. In other words, I like moving fast, coming up with new ideas all the time, and figuring out solutions alone. Being low in Charisma means it’s uncomfortable and draining for me to go through the process of convincing people, especially if I have to appeal to others’ emotions to help them see things from my perspective.

​Maybe in some situations this combination of drivers would not cause any problems, but in a culture that values collaboration and alignment, this can be tricky. I want to go fast, be creative, and do my own thing, but the culture needs me to collaborate, loop others in, solicit input, and so on. And of course, resources like people, time, and money are not unlimited, so I cannot chase every new idea that pops into my head. At any rate, while my Creativity is a strength, given my role as Director of Science & Research, it can also be a liability if not managed appropriately.

My DRiV360 Analysis.

We recently developed the DRiV360, a multi-rater feedback tool that complements the DRiV assessment. While my DRiV report highlights areas where I will probably overdo or overlook certain things, the DRiV360 helps test those hypotheses.

I wanted a taste of my own medicine, and I wanted to test those hypotheses (I am a scientist, after all). So I took the DRIV360 for myself, which involved soliciting feedback from multiple people in our organization: my leader, peers/colleagues, direct reports, and others. They were all asked whether I should do more of or less of various behaviors tied to my DRiV report. Considering my drivers, I expected that my DRiV360 feedback from others would be: slow down, stop being so creative, and focus on one thing while letting other stuff drop.

My DRiV360 Findings.

Surprisingly, I found that people appreciated my creativity. They did want me to slow down and collaborate more — no surprise there. The most helpful insight was that I could keep being creative (which drives me), as long as I could start leveraging a more effective collaborative process. I needed to communicate more often and more clearly, soliciting others’ input and assistance earlier.

I also should define goals better and take a more linear approach. These findings were in line with my DRiV report, but the DRiV360 gave me a completely different perspective on my own drivers. It offered me greater insight into what specifically I needed to do differently. Even better, I was encouraged to learn that some of my top drivers (e.g., Creativity) were valued and appreciated, with people wanting me to do even more of them.

AFTER: Applying New Knowledge.

The DRiV360 process provided clear, behavioral feedback I could literally apply the next day. I was managing a new project the same week I received the feedback, so I applied the DRiV360 insights to my preparations. In the past, I typically under-emphasized the importance of internal project kickoff meetings. I realized I had been under-preparing and was being too reactive. Because of my DRiV360 feedback, I took a more proactive approach to preparing for this meeting and considering the proper collaborative process.

This effort paid huge dividends. The leadership team was incredibly supportive of the project, we all had clear next steps, and the project was completed on-time and far exceeded expectations.

As a developer of the DRiV and DRiV360, it was gratifying and inspiring to experience the benefits firsthand. I’ll continue “taking my own medicine” and look forward to further insights.

How About You?

Interested in learning about how the DRiV and DRiV360 can positively impact you, your team and your organization? Are you a consultant who would like to add these powerful tools to your toolkit?
Please contact LWF for more information.