The Three Dimensions of the COI and Your Team


The best way to enhance collaboration and improve outcomes among team members is to help them learn about their cultural preferences that influence how they interact with others, process information and view themselves in the workplace. By taking their Cultural Orientations Indicator (COI) assessments, team members can begin to understand their personal cultural preferences, allowing them to bridge cultural gaps with their colleagues that may be impeding successful collaboration.

The COI is organized into three dimensions – Thinking Style, Interaction Style and Sense of Self. When individuals review their report, they can target a specific area that may be impacting their work, or all three, as the situation demands.

Take this example of how one dimension can be used immediately upon embarking on a new project: As new teams form, the individual members may position themselves for a shorter path to productivity by first taking the COI for deeper insights into their own Sense of Self, the dimension of the COI with the closest link to values, as it reveals their work-style preferences for how they experience being in and relating to the world.

As a second example, a team leader may choose to share their Thinking Style results with their team members so that the latter can understand how the team leader processes information, which will be of use in formulating strategies, assessing work and in feedback situations, among others.

As a final example, in their first engagement a team may choose to delve into their Interaction Style results to develop a deeper understanding of how individual preferences inform behaviors that may show up on the team, and how those preferences may impact their work.

Having a good grasp of one’s own preferences across the three dimensions helps people work more efficiently and effectively as part of a team, which serves the employees themselves as well as the organization as a whole.

Ila Gandhi