In this episode of the Leadership Vision Podcast, we take the idea of dominant domains to help us better understand the composition of team culture and how teams get work done.
The Dominant Domain
Previously, we talked about the idea of the dominant domain on teams. Meaning, when you look at a team’s Strengths composition which domain of Strength is the most dominant domain of the four? And then we asked, what does this dominant domain tell us about the culture of the team? We know that culture has a very powerful shaping influence on how people show up, what they believe, how they do their work, and if you understand the very nature or the ethos of the culture, then you can really begin to understand why there’s an in-group or out-group, why some people feel included or left out, as well as the team vernacular. The domain of dominance can tell us a lot about team culture.
The conceptual framework of understanding domains, or these four categories of the composition of Strengths, helps us understand what we might be bumping into or some of the values of a specific team or a team culture or family culture. A team is usually comprised of dominant executing Strengths. We have to ask ourselves, what does this look like? What does it feel like when this team gets together and gets work done?
How Does a Team Get Work Done?
Before asking questions about how your team gets work done, remember to lead from a place of curiosity. The first questions to ask are basic questions that start to get into letting them use words to describe the dominant domain of the team.
- What do you do?
- When was the last time you accomplished something you’re proud of?
- How many hours do you work?
What this Information Tells Us
When you understand the dominant domain of a team or group, it says a lot about their culture and also allows us to ask some other questions within that culture. There will always be dominant influencers in a group that are the ones who are actually aligning the work or measuring the work or dictating what work needs to be done. We’re looking for that group of individuals who could be seen as the in-group. This means we are also looking for the people who make up the secondary groups, the out-group.
- Who are the in-group people that are driving the dominant domain on your team regardless of title?
- Who are the secondary groups?
Within any culture, there are always the shapers of that culture and the responders to the shapers of the culture, who are they on your team?
What this Information Doesn’t Tell Us
What the dominant domain does not tell us is where the strong connections lie, whether that’s between groups or individuals. We also don’t know the executing consciousness of the group.
- What consciousness do they have that this is how they show up?
- What happens to those who simply do not fall in this dominant domain, at all?
- what happens to the voices that just don’t fall in that vernacular?
The Impact of a Leader
One of the ways that we can begin to detect the dominant domain of a culture is to talk to the leader. Oftentimes it’s the leader that has the most shaping influence on what the dominant domain is, meaning the leader will say, this is what I value, so fall in line. If a dominant domain of a group is generative and life-giving, and its people want to work harder because they feel the value of it, then it’s possible they can get even more work done.
If you’re the leader of a team, ask yourself:
- What work are you actually accomplishing?
- Are you doing it in ways that feel healthy and promote the work-life alignment that you’re looking for?
These are some of the questions and the ideas that we’re trying to spin around with leaders as well as team members.
Domain Bias, Boundaries, and Blind Spots
Every dominant domain has three things that we all need to be aware of: domain bias, domain boundaries, and domain blind spots. For every dominant domain or every domain for that matter, there’s a domain bias, a way that they think things should happen or the way outcomes should look. This is a bias that is set within that domain. A dominant domain also has the tendency to set boundaries on what’s okay and what’s not okay in a dominant domain of executing. And then there are also just some blatant or obvious blind spots.
If you’re working with a team, these are our three simple words to always consider: bias boundaries and blind spots.
How Does Your Team Get Work Done?
Once you begin to understand how your team gets work done, you can start to understand how their relationships are growing and the potential challenges that your team might face. How does your team get work done? If you have questions about anything you heard in this episode or other episodes, or just want to reach out and bounce some ideas off of us, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!