VITALS® Individual Styles and Team Dynamics Indicator

We offer managers a unique diagnostic tool to improve the effectiveness of teams.

VITALS® is an individual styles and team dynamics indicator that evaluates an individual’s style and its impact on group dynamics. The easy-to-use, online assessment tool helps participants to understand their personal operational styles and how those styles contribute to a team. A group report outlines the implications for the working dynamics of the team and shows the team how to make the most of combination for superior team performance.

Based on research with more than 10,000 employees in companies worldwide, the model for VITALS® considers personality traits that can contribute or detract from successful group performance.


Thank goodness, people are unique! Life would be dull if we were predictable and typed. While theories abound about how personalities take shape, three common conclusions emerge from the extensive research about the subject:

  • Humans emerge from the womb with inherited characteristics coded in their DNA.
  • These characteristics contribute to their personality;
  • As people grow and mature, their experiences and environment also influence them. Thus, nature and nurture shape personality.
  • As a result of this dual influence, different personalities emerge, which cause us to think, feel, act, perceive, interact and communicate in different ways.

Since the combinations of factors are endless, so, too, are the many personalities of people we meet.

For those dedicated to effective team work, the combination of personalities makes for both mystery and magic. The challenge lies in discerning a healthy combination of personality types and the magic comes when it’s finally discovered.

Model Teams flourish or flounder based how individual styles work together. VITALS® evaluates this important issue. It evaluates team behavior based on the combination of its members’ personal management styles.

For this, VITALS® defines personality as the combination of an individual’s key management style plus his or her mismanagement style.

Relying on extensive research related to group dynamics, VITALS®evaluates four core dimensions which explain individual personality and the predictable behaviors tied to it within a team. These are:

[A] Achieving: pushing the organization to effectively achieve results;

[C] Controlling: controlling the organization to efficiently achieve its goals;

[I] Innovating: generating new opportunities for the organization;

[B] Bonding: integrating all the efforts of the members of the organization to achieve its goals.

The unique amounts of each of these dimensions shape an individual’s management style. Each type has its own gifts, strengths and vulnerability. The premise is all types are valuable and necessary for team success.

In opposition, however, a person can exhibit too much of any one of these dimensions. In such a case, the dimension becomes an inhibiting force. For instance:

Achiever becomes Over-doing
Controller becomes Over-controlling
Innovator becomes Over-changing
Bonder becomes Over-compromising

These are dimensions of an individual’s mismanagement style.

Typically, a person’s behavior is a result of his or her management style. When under stress or in unstable situations, however, people can resort to extremes, which causes them to demonstrate their mismanagement style.

While it seems likely a person would resort to a mismanagement style that is directly the extreme of his or her management style. Actually, people often default to mismanagement styles that do not follow from their dominant management style. That contributes to the mystery of team dynamics!

When people use their individual management styles, they generate productive, harmonious teams. If they default to their mismanagement style, they create dysfunction or disharmonious teams.

Understanding the key operating styles and proclivities of each team member suggests how to create consistently productive, harmonious and effective teams.

Descriptions of Management Styles

The behaviors exhibited based on type of management style differ. Brief descriptions of four core styles follow.



  • Orients to what is required to get done in the short term
  • Results oriented
  • Action oriented
  • Hard working
  • Hard driving
  • Driven by mission and goals
  • Energy derives from knowledge and experience
  • A realistic doer
  • Focuses on the "what"


  • Systems oriented
  • Focuses on how it should be done in short term
  • Seeks reasonable stability to reach productivity
  • Maximizes repetition where possible to get work done
  • Carefully schedules and systematizes
  • Likes all pieces put in their place
  • Energy derives from logic
  • A steady controller


  • Has imagination and thinks big
  • Strategic thinker
  • Projects are stepping stones to the future
  • Constantly searches for opportunities and improvements
  • Comfortable in the lead
  • Exudes confidence and charisma
  • Spends little time for day-to day problems
  • Energy derives from creativity and enthusiasm
  • A visionary
  • Focuses on the "why"


  • Works well with many types of people
  • Asks who should do something
  • Takes an independent view and compares with those of others
  • Responds to view of project team members who must take responsibility for their own decisions
  • Ensures team issues are surfaced, discussed and resolved to the team’s mutual satisfaction
  • Sensitive about others
  • Willing to compromise
  • Humble
  • Attentive to culture and values
  • Presses for consensus
  • A flexible facilitator
  • Focuses on the "who"

Descriptions of Management Styles

Behaviors of mismanagement style are distinctive based on type, as the examples which follow depict.



  • Leans toward the content, bypassing the form
  • Wants to do everything and bring it all to an end
  • Does all tasks on their own, even when they could easily delegate it to staff or colleagues
  • Jumps into solutions quickly
  • Starts implementing without thinking
  • Focuses on the “how”
  • Reacts rather than assessing the facts and situation


  • Tends to change approaches and attitudes
  • Not interested in implementation
  • Has many solutions to every problem
  • Does not analyze
  • Disinterested in details
  • Proposes and generates constant changes and complete few
  • Has trouble keeping people committed because few can follow implementation of their decisions
  • Feels misunderstood in their personal genius
  • Often works alone


  • Has nose and ear for all that happens around them
  • Astute about subtle human weaknesses and play or manipulate people often
  • Collects and hides information about people to use for personal advantage later
  • Known to blackmail others
  • Uses others

Naturally, VITALS® does not measure how good or bad a person is. Everyone has a management and mismanagement style. Humans are complex and we all have our own developmental paths to follow.

Rather, this assessment helps individuals and work team become aware and sensitive to how to make the most of their productive style and to contribute effectively to team success.