Katie is a Connector (with a bit of Nurturer), Debbie is a Nurturer, and I’m mostly a Connector with a bit of Nurturer and Pioneer thrown in.
If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, follow the link and take the free assessment yourself https://5voices.com/.
The 5 Voices is a tool developed by GiANT Worldwide (a global leadership consultancy) to help leaders communicate effectively with everyone they lead.
Can you remember the last team or Board meeting you attended? What did you notice? Were some people heard more than others even though everyone was speaking? Did you come to the best possible decisions? Or were the decisions reached simply the preferences of those who spoke the loudest and the longest?
When only one or two people are heard, teams function at less than 60% of their true potential and the vast majority of team members feel misunderstood and undervalued. Team leaders rarely hear the truth from their people, thereby undermining their influence every day without even knowing it.
But, what if every voice around your table was truly heard, valued and appreciated?
Earlier this month we were lucky enough to learn about The 5 Voices from Stuart Cathcart of GiANT. Stuart is a Leadership Consultant specialising in coaching. His background includes recruitment, employee relations and fraud prevention. Stuart’s experience of working with senior leadership teams demonstrates that using the 5 Voices tool builds greater trust between colleagues and enables healthy handling of conflict, resulting in more efficient and productive meetings. Stuart has worked with leaders across all sectors, from fin tech, banking and recruitment to legal, genetics and charity sector. He has supported leaders to successfully navigate dysfunctional working relationships, boardroom struggles, and supplier problems. He coaches to strategically align skill-sets to roles and handle difficult conversations well.
The 5 Voices is a personality tool based on Jungian Type (an alternative to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). It gives us a simple language to understand our own tendencies, gaps and areas of growth. It also allows us to recognise the dominant voice in our colleagues, leaders and team members and understand how to better communicate and get the best from them. In a fascinating and informative session, Stuart informed us that each voice has its own unique strengths and, indeed, every one of us speaks in each of the five voices (in different proportions), though some voices are stronger and more powerful than others.
As mentioned, every one of us speaks in all 5 Voices, but one or two will be dominant:
- The Nurturer is a champion of people who values harmony and fears conflict. They need their competence and the value of their contribution affirmed in order to feel comfortable. 43% of the population are Nurturers.
- The Creative is all about ideas and innovation but can often struggle to communicate their ideas effectively and they have perfectionist tendencies. Creatives need help in clarifying their ideas and in understanding that ideas can evolve and refine over time – they don’t need to be right straight away. Only 9% of the population are Creatives.
- The Guardian is someone who often comes across as negative and critical because they are risk averse and ask the difficult questions. But their commitment and due diligence help avoid pitfalls in business and lead you onto the safest path. 30% of us have this tendency.
- The Connector is motivated by networks, collaboration and effective communication. They need time to share their ideas and passion and require appreciation from others before their ideas are critiqued, otherwise they can take it personally. 11% of the population are Connectors.
- The Pioneer is often to be found at the head of an organisation – they’re the ones with the vision and the tenacity to get over any hurdle in their way. They are results focused and good at problem solving. Sometimes perceived as arrogant and unwilling to listen, they need their competence affirmed before they will listen to another voice. The rarest voice, only 7% of the population are Pioneers.
In the session, Stuart carried out a quick assessment with us so we could identify our dominant voice, which helped us recognise how others should engage with us to perform at our best. Whilst Stuart’s session gave just a taste of the 5 Voices tool, it was easy to see that taken to the next level, it could have a transformative and positive impact on the effective functioning of boards and teams.
If you’d like to learn more, feel free to get in touch with Stuart: