Group Styles Inventory

Research and development by Robert A. Cooke, Ph.D. and J. Clayton Lafferty, Ph.D.

The Group Styles Inventory™ (GSI) is the only research-based tool that provides a valid and reliable measure of how people in groups interact with each other and work as a team to solve problems.

Extensively researched and internationally proven, this assessment provides group members with a ‘safe’ way to talk about their behavior and how it affects the group's performance. Through highlighting styles of interactions that are helping or hindering their teamwork, it empowers them to change the way they approach problems and interact with each other — leading to better cooperation, communication and consensus, more innovative thinking, and higher quality solutions.

Group members reviewing the benefits of the GSI tool for team effectiveness

How it works

The GSI is designed for both temporary and permanent groups that are responsible for solving problems and making decisions. It can be completed by team members after they have solved a problem (to identify the behaviours that facilitated or inhibited their performance) or mid-way through solving a problem (to identify and practice more effective ways of interacting with one another and approaching the problem).

The use of the GSI involves four major steps:

  1. Individual group members respond to 72 statements describing the styles exhibited by the group while solving a problem plus a few questions focusing on team effectiveness, solution acceptance, solution quality, and team synergy. This takes about 15 minutes.
  2. The team members score their own surveys and profile their individual results on the Human Synergistics Circumplex to provide a picture of their own perceptions of the group and its styles. This takes 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. The descriptions of members are combined to generate an aggregated profile displaying the group’s styles and a bar chart summarizing their collective assessments of performance.
  4. Participants meet with their teams and, using their GSI Development, develop effective strategies to use going forward.

The data can also be collected and processed electronically. The GSI Leader's Guide and Workshops provide information on developmental activities to help teams use its insights to Constructively change the way team members think, behave, and interact.

Complementary tools

We recommend that you use the GSI in conjunction with the Life Styles Inventory and Organizational Culture Inventory®. Together, they provide an integrated approach to developing Constructive personal styles, group interactions, and organizational cultural norms. You can also use the GSI for team development in combination with the Survival Simulation series or any of Human Synergistics' business simulations or Challenge Series exercises. Ask us about other exercises, such as Coach and the Observer's Guide, for providing groups with feedback on their interpersonal and rational processes.

The benefits for your organization

The GSI is an excellent tool for helping teams and groups solve problems more effectively. It’s particularly valuable for team development initiatives, such as:

  • measuring and monitoring team performance
  • creating a team environment that encourages innovation and idea-sharing
  • sharpening team members’ analytical skills
  • developing consensus-based decision making
  • achieving synergy and higher quality and acceptance of group decisions

Make the GSI part of your drive for change

While not mandatory, the Group Styles Inventory is best applied by someone who as completed the General Certification Workshop. We offer two options:

  • An experienced Human Synergistics consultant can help you to use the GSI and implement the change you seek. Simply contact us to find a consultant who’s right for the teams and organization you’re working with.
  • You can do-it-yourself. By attending our General Certification Workshop, participants learn how to apply the GSI and properly administer follow-up exercises. To get started, register for the General Certification Workshop. 

If you would like to know more about the Group Styles Inventory™ or any of our wide range of diagnostic tools, please get in touch and we will be happy to assist you.

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