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Best practices to leverage Valence's tools

We'll lay out which tool is best given the differing contexts of a team. This will help you pick the most impactful tool for your team.

Updated over a week ago

Recall that Valence has the Align, Perspective, Reflect360, Connect and Habit tools. For teams the best starting point is usually Perspective, followed by Align. We find that Habit is most powerful when it comes as a follow on to those exercises.

Team health and performance is an ongoing challenge that requires ongoing attention. Our tools offer an easy process you can add to you operational rhythms and invest time to address the challenge of building an effective team.

Best Practices to leverage the Perspective tool

We recommend starting with the Perspective.

Perspective is a workstyle personality assessment. This tool offers a lightweight conversation for a team to improve communication and understanding. It also gives managers access to the Coach 1:1 guide, useful to understand how to lead their team members based on their working styles. The tool has several layers to it. Here's some guidance on each layer -

  1. The Team Perspective allows you to see the different tendencies of your full team in order to identify balanced areas and blindspots. It is is usually leveraged by teams once a year to understand working styles and optimize for better communication.

  2. The Pair Perspective allows two individuals to compare their working styles to identify friction points. It is best used continuously to better understand each other.

  3. The Coach 1:1 guide helps leaders to understand how your personality plays a role in the challenges you face with your direct reports. It can be used continuously throughout the year.

  4. The personal report is used by any individual to improve self-awareness and to learn how to articulate their preferences.

Specific instances where Perspective is the best first step for a team

  • Your team is relatively new

  • Your team is struggling to work together well, and there is a lack of trust

  • You're unable to have a team conversation about results, and need colleagues to review and act on results asynchronously.

Best practices for leveraging the Align tool

The Align tool is a team health diagnostic, designed to help a team identify its top strengths and opportunities at a regular cadence. It's best to run an Align diagnostic every quarter, to keep a pulse on your team health.

The Align is designed to follow an easy process to make regular investments in team effectiveness. Launching an Align takes 60 seconds, completing the diagnostic takes 5 minutes for each team member, and having a team conversation takes about 60-90 minutes. Done every quarter, investing between 1-2 hours to optimize your team's effectiveness is a worthy investment of your team's time.

Specific instances where Align is the best first step for a team

  • The team has never invested in understanding its effectiveness (even if this is a high performing team)

  • The team needs to focus on it's effectiveness and identify top areas of opportunities

  • There is tension on the team which needs to be addressed

  • There have been issues with team performance, but diagnosing the source is troublesome

Benefits of Using the Align tool

  1. A regular cadence for your team to check in with each other, easily made a part of operational rhythms

  2. A great conversation for a team to identify what their top priorities are for the upcoming months

  3. Improved psychological safety, communication and trust on the team

  4. Self serve discussion tool to save you time and dig into the top areas that need focus

Best practices for leveraging the Habit tool

The Habit tool is an accountability and progress tracker for the actions a team decides to take.

Usually, a Team Habit is created between two quarterly Align check ins to ensure you keep track of your progress on goals the team has decided upon. It can also be set up following a Team Perspective conversation

We HIGHLY recommend setting up a Habit after a team conversation - Losing the momentum from a team conversation and being blind to the change being made is not ideal. Habit is the best solution to avoid this.

  • Do not forget to set up a new Habit every quarter after your Align conversation

  • Ensure you edit your Habit if the team decides to take a different action

Best practices for leveraging the Connect tool

The Connect tool is an easy and engaging activity designed to help a team form stronger interpersonal bonds.

  • It can easily function as an icebreaking activity before an Align or Perspective conversation

  • Can be adapted as an icebreaking activity at offsites

Every team should keep investing in their health and performance over time

While we highlighted the best place to start above, it is critical that teams codify and follow up on their improvement ideas.

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