Self Portrait: Your Relationship to Your Team

This micro-tool includes a five-question assessment to prompt leaders to assess their own approach to team dynamics. By evaluating your approach, you can take proactive steps to create a thriving team environment.


Ben Pascut

4/24/20233 min read

Ben Pascut
Ben Pascut

Picture this: You find yourself in an artist's studio, holding a brush, ready to paint a vibrant portrait of yourself and your team. The canvas is blank, but the possibilities are endless. Who will take center stage in this masterpiece—will it be you or your team? The colors on your palette hold the power to set the atmosphere. Will you blend harmonious blues and greens, igniting creativity and fostering collaboration? Or will you dabble in somber shades of black and gray, casting a shadow of fear and control?

As you analyze the body language of your team, will they strike confident poses, exuding trust and confidence? Or will they remain as quiet as a mouse, hesitant to challenge ideas and weave the tapestry of innovation? Remember, this is your chance to create something extraordinary.

In a previous post, we delved into the power of Hegel's dialectic—thesis, antithesis, synthesis—and explored how it shapes team dynamics —how our thesis is met by the antithesis and contrasting viewpoints of others, setting the stage for a stronger organization and propelling us towards progress. We discovered that creating a strong team environment built on trust, transparency, and empowerment propels us towards progress.

This post is an invitation for you to engage in an exercise of self-reflection about team dynamics through a simple five-question assessment. It's never too late to pick up our brushes and create a masterpiece of teamwork and collaboration. Let's dive in and answer these five thought-provoking questions:

Question 1: Are you a champion of diversity in ideas?

  • Always: I thrive on the clash of opinions!

  • Often: I welcome a healthy dose of dissent.

  • Sometimes: I appreciate different viewpoints, but not always.

  • Rarely: I'm all about maintaining the status quo.

  • Never: Diversity threatens me!

Question 2: When you share new ideas, does your team enthusiastically endorse them without questioning?

  • Always: They're my biggest fans, no matter what!

  • Often: They're supportive, but not afraid to challenge me.

  • Sometimes: They tend to go along with my ideas.

  • Rarely: They're not big on supporting my initiatives.

  • Never: It's a one-man show, baby!

Question 3: Do you actively seek diverse opinions and encourage dissenting voices to speak up?

  • Always: I'm like a detective, hunting for different perspectives!

  • Often: I value diverse opinions and encourage open discussion.

  • Sometimes: I listen to others, but I don't always push for dissent.

  • Rarely: I prefer a more streamlined approach.

  • Never: It's all about my ideas, no questions asked!

Question 4: Are you willing to step back and let others shine when their expertise surpasses yours?

  • Always: I'm happy to play second fiddle.

  • Often: I recognize expertise and let it take the lead.

  • Sometimes: It depends on the situation.

  • Rarely: I like to be in control, no matter what.

  • Never: It's my way or the highway!

Question 5: When promoting team members to leadership roles, do you give everyone a fair chance to shine?

  • Always: I never play favorites. It's all about merit!

  • Often: I strive for fairness, but sometimes biases sneak in.

  • Sometimes: I admit, I have my preferences.

  • Rarely: It's hard not to show favoritism, let's be real.

  • Never: I'm all about the "yes men."

I hope that through this exercise of self-reflection, you are well on your way to creating a masterpiece of teamwork and collaboration. So, don't hesitate—grab your brush and let your imagination run wild on the canvas of progress! Remember, progress awaits when our self-portraits embrace the power of antithesis and the beauty of dissent.


Look at others!

The inspiration for this micro-tool draws from Diego Velázquez's masterpiece, Las Meninas, where the artist strategically positions himself as the central figure of the painting. By integrating his own art within the composition and depicting the royal figures as the subjects of his creation, Velázquez effectively elevates his own status within the context of the Spanish royal court. He symbolically places himself on an equal level of importance as if he's saying, "Hey, everyone, look at me!" Las Meninas is an art of commanding attention to the painter.

What's my point? Just as a painter's craft should be about skillfully bringing out the beauty of others rather than his own, a leader's role is to bring out the best in those he leads, allowing and amplifying the brilliance of his team members to shine brightly.

Ben Pascut
Ben Pascut