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Heath Schmalzried | Emergenetics International Emergenetics Account Manager

This summer an exciting project began. I used Emergenetics to influence collaboration and communication on a youth soccer team I coach. This project began with a workshop hosted by one of our amazing STEP facilitators, Kellie Carroll. Kellie came in and taught the players about the brilliance of each attribute and helped everyone in the room—players, parents, and me—understand  how preferring to think and behave in different ways can be incredibly beneficial to the team as a whole.

Upon seeing our team’s profiles I quickly began to understand how each individual prefers to approach problem solving, collaboration, and exploring new ideas. The players who tended to drift toward the first-third in their behaviors understood that it was encouraged to embrace that and they learned that someone else would help them bring additional energy when they might need some time and space to process. The player that enjoyed connecting with all of her teammates through her Red found out that we needed her perspective on our roster; the player that preferred to come up with new ideas on how we choose to do something was encouraged to bring those ideas out. Preferences were embraced and brilliances were celebrated.

Another impactful portion of the experience when I, as the coach, allowed myself to be more vulnerable and shared my Profile with the team. Some of the players realized areas that our Profiles aligned and were encouraged that they could connect with me in these spaces. Others found that our Profiles were significantly different and were empowered when they were told that our team would greatly value their brain as they would be able to bring a different perspective and were encouraged to do so. At this point, one of the parents who was observing our workshop spoke up and stated that she celebrated the fact that an adult was willing to encourage differing perspectives and input on the team.

The most impactful moment during our workshop was when players began to realize that they were a valuable part of the group because they brought portions of the Profile to our team that were desperately needed. Girls that felt they did not have anything to contribute toward the team prior to our workshop now felt important and crucial to our teams growth and success, a player who was having an off day and did not have as much to contribute on the field now could bring other areas of brilliance that would benefit our team. We had started the process of developing a true WE Team both on and off the field.