An Intro To The Six Types of Working Genius

by | Oct 7, 2021 | Coaching, Leadership, Working Genius

The Six Types of Working Genius (pt 1) 

The Six Types of Working Genius is the newest productivity tool from Patrick Lencioni and his team at The Table Group.  The purpose for this assessment, which is indicative of The Table Group’s mission, is to help you find greater joy and fulfillment at work. How? By helping you understand what parts of work you thrive at the most.

Hearing about the Working Genius from the At The Table podcast, gave me language and understanding to frame my own work experiences.

The Six Types of Geniuses…

  1. Wonder – enjoys speculating and asking about what’s possible.
  2. Invention – loves a blank canvas to create solutions.
  3. Discernment – is fueled by seeing & giving feedback on the workability of ideas.
  4. Galvanizing – is energized by rallying the troops to get moving in the right direction.
  5. Enablement – enjoys providing the support necessary to see solutions realized.
  6. Tenacity – finds joy bringing projects across the finish line with the desired results.

How does it differ from other assessments?

A. It’s About Joy & Fulfillment

We all do things at work that we’re relatively good at but don’t necessarily enjoy all that much. This is a natural part of every job.

BUT, the question we should ask ourselves is, “Am I spending enough time doing the kind of work that energizes me?” 

For the record, this question isn’t about addressing the industry you’re in (though it definitely can apply).

Rather, the Working Genius helps us understand what stages of work fuel us or not. The goal is for teams to adjust and lean into those parts of work that give us the most joy and fulfillment – our Working Genius.

Six Geniuses are also Six Activities of Work

I invite you to look at the Six Geniuses again and consider each of them as an Activity of Work. When you do, you’ll see the natural progression of how any type of work gets done.

It starts: 1) with a question of potential; 2) inventing a solution to reach for that potential; 3) discerning/tweaking & determining the solution; 4) getting everyone on board; 5) responding to the call and supporting the idea by taking action; 6) ensuring work gets finished with the intended level of satisfaction.

Two of these activities are considered our Working Genius because we are good at them and they energize us.

We have two activities that are Working Competencies but they don’t fuel us like our Genius.

Finally, there are two Working Frustrations. These activities probably don’t come naturally to us nor do they fill us up.

So, what would the benefit be if you spent 5% more time doing work you enjoy and subsequently doing 5% less of the work you don’t enjoy?

B. 80% productivity & 20% personality

Though you’ll gain self-awareness and corresponding language, you’ll be able to connect that awareness specifically to how you work.

I enjoy personality assessments such as Enneagram, DISC, StrengthsFinder & others. They are incredibly useful in deepening the understanding I have for how I think and view life. Plus, they help me to know how to relate to others.

BUT they don’t quite make the connection between who I am and how I fit into the flow of ‘work’.

The Working Genius purposefully has a different fit than other assessments. It connects what we’re good at and enjoy into the cycle of work. Now we can make adjustments to how we function as a team based on our understanding of what fuels each other.

For example…

Let’s say a team member of yours, Sam, has the Genius of Galvanizing. However, Galvanizing is your Working Frustration. You feel like it’s a big part of your job as the leader and so you attempt to “drag your team along”…or at least that’s how it feels.

However, knowing it’s not your Genius can relieve you of the guilt you felt because you thought it was your job.

(BTW: the leader does not need to be the primary Galvanizer but is still responsible that it’s being done)

Knowing that Sam is energized by Galvanizing means you can release her into a strength that was either dormant or wasn’t given the permission and authority to be activated. Now that Sam is in a sweet spot, the team is activated in response to her Genius in a way that will be different to how they responded to you. And it’s not for anything you lacked as a leader except the awareness to recognize and utilize a strength in your team.

PLUS, you can spend more of your energy doing what energizes you and consequently elevate your team by serving them with your Genius. Now both you and Sam have increased your level of satisfaction at work and crucial gaps are filled for the entire team. (FYI – there is no perfect combination of Geniuses for leadership)

So many things resonated with me

From my experience at the certification and listening to their podcasts, it’s been very evident to me that The Table Group is passionate about being “The Organizational Health People”. They want you to win…AND it was clear that they wanted me to win so I could play a part in your success. Thus, why I became certified as a Working Genius facilitator.

So let me ask…

  • do you want to improve team morale?
  • do you want see your team collaborate better?
  • do you want to give your team something to rally around?
  • do you want to to take your team to the next level?

Then take Working Genius for a Test Drive!

I’m convinced that the Working Genius will help you to adjust and improve your team’s productivity and morale at work. If you lead a team, it’s worth seeing firsthand how this model can change the game for your team. 

I can’t convince you BUT that’s what the test drive is for. I’ll give you a custom link to a WG Assessment and follow-up with a 45 min debrief of a team workshop. If it resonates, we’ll set it up for your entire team to experience The Working Genius.