An Introduction to Teal Work Styles

Many of us like to take personality and behavior assessments to pinpoint who we are with the hopes of gaining clarity on what is the ideal job or career for us. There is no assessment out there that will tell you exactly that; however, assessments can be helpful in helping us become more self aware and uncover blind spots so that we can make decisions about work that plays to our strengths. We all tend to have blind spots and areas of ourselves that we are not fully aware of that can get in the way of us living and functioning to our best abilities. 

Here is a list of the some of the popular self assessment tools out there that people have used in relation to their career:

  • MBTI
  • DISC
  • Enneagram
  • Big 5
  • Hogan
  • Strengthsfinder
  • Strong Interest Inventory

All of these are frameworks or systems to better understand yourself and others. They are not meant to put you in a box but they are intended to provide you a way to understand yourself and increase your self awareness.. The more self aware we are of our tendencies, the better equipped we are to leverage them or get help when we need it. 

It’s important to work towards being more self aware

This image of an iceberg is a common analogy used in psychology to describe our conscious and unconscious awareness. A lot lies beneath the surface in this image similar to the idea that there are several things beneath our conscious awareness that drive our behavior. This unawareness can lead to dissatisfaction in life, career, and relationships. The goal is to become more self aware and move things to our conscious awareness so that we can live a life and have a career that is more fulfilling. 

Self awareness involves being able to identify your emotions, accurately assess both your strengths and weaknesses, and know what goals to set and how to achieve them. We become self aware through a variety of methods including: journaling, meditation, mindfulness habits, personality and psychometric assessments, and getting feedback from others.

Building self-awareness is key when taking control of your career. Without self-awareness, it is harder to make smart decisions and effectively interact with other people we meet along the way.

Teal offers a self assessment called Work Styles

Teal's Work Styles assessment is a career growth tool that increases your self-awareness by helping you to learn about your natural work style and behavioral traits.

Teal’s Work Styles is modeled off of DISC theory proposed by Dr. William Moulton Marston at Harvard University and the 4 Temperaments theory developed in ancient times by the Greek physician Hippocrates. Work Styles was inspired by these theories but focuses primarily on helping professionals understand themselves better in the context of work.

There are four primary styles and most people are all four styles; however, we tend to lead with one or two styles. Teal’s Work Styles helps us understand what types of situations may energize or drain us and what kind of tasks may come easy or take effort. Learning Teal’s Work Styles framework helps you understand yourself and others and be more effective in work relationships and tasks.

There are two dimensions to understand about Teal’s Work Styles framework since it is based on a two factor model.

First Factor: Starters vs. Finishers:

The first factor divides the four styles into two groups: starters (1’s and 2’s) vs. finishers (3’s and 4’s).

Starters (1’s and 2’s) tend to think through ideas out loud and work at a fast pace while also being inclined to focus on the big picture and coming up with new ideas. 

Finishers (3’s and 4’s) tend to take time to think things through before acting and focus on the finer details while being able to implement and bring things to completion.

Second Factor: Results-oriented vs. People-oriented

The second factor divides the four styles into the two groups: results-oriented (1’s and 4’s) vs. people-oriented (2’s and 3’s) 

Results-oriented (1’s and 4’s) individuals tend to focus on tasks and results first and may prefer to work on tasks independently.

People-oriented (2’s and 3’s) individuals tend to focus on the needs of others first and may prefer to work on tasks collaboratively.

It’s important to remember that we are all four styles but some behaviors are more natural to us while others take more effort. 

Your work style will be a sequence of four numbers since you are a combination of all four styles. You want to pay attention to the first two numbers of your sequence to understand your primary work styles but also you want to pay attention to how the two factors play out in your sequence. Here is an example of the sequence:

The sequence above tells me that this person’s primary style is a 2 followed by 1. I can see that they might tend to be a starter and have a balance of being both people-oriented and results-oriented. Teal’s Work Styles report will provide a detailed analysis of what this sequence means and how it can be applied to understanding yourself better.

Here is an example of what Teal’s Work Styles report looks like:

Knowing your work style can be helpful in many ways. It can help you know how to communicate better with others, be aware of what type of work and interactions energize or drain you, and help you know how you may approach a job search. 

It’s important to remember that this is just a tool for self awareness and not a “definitive” label on who you are as a professional. There may be parts of the report that you strongly agree with and other parts that might not line up with you. Like every other self awareness tool out there, use the parts of this that are helpful to you so that you can be more effective in how you work and interact with others. Increasing your self awareness will help you move towards having a more fulfilling life and career.

To learn your work style and how you can apply it to your career, take the assessment

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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