Picture from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Passau_Confluence_of_the_Ilz,_Danube,_and_Inn_Rivers.jpg Uploaded from http://flickr.com/photo/3

Confluence is the coming together of various parts to make a greater whole.

This fascinating picture illustrates the confluence of the Ilz, Danube, and Inn Rivers. The picture was taken on a cliff above the city of Passau. Each river has its own personality at this point in Passau. Yet they flow seamlessly together to create a larger and stronger Danube River that originated in Germany at the Black Forest and flows on through Southeastern Europe to the Black Sea.

The Ilz is a relatively small mountain stream and has a blueish color while the Inn is a fairly large river flowing in from Salzburg, Austria at the top of the picture. The Inn River has more water flow than the Danube, yet flowing away from the city the three combined rivers are called the Danube.

The concept of confluence is instructive for teams. Like the three distinct colors of the rivers coming together and flowing onward, members with distinct talents can flow together and build strength greater than that of each individual. They can create synergy so in theory, 1 + 1 + 1 equals 5.

The confluence that happens on teams is the bringing together of a variety of experiences, perspectives from right and left-brained individuals, and energy inherent in their personality style.

Life experiences influence thought processes and problem-solving ideas. Individuals who grew up in small towns will have different ideas and strategies than individuals who grew up in large cities. The country where individuals were born and raised also influences ideas and solutions.

Individuals are complex with an innate personality stamped on them at conception…including the propensity to be right of left brained. Right brain individuals have more artistic or out-of-the-box approaches while left-brain individuals aim for structured and logical tactics. If the team members consider the best from both approaches, they will create adjacent confluence.

A study of the DISC personalities helps you understand the qualities each style brings to the team.

D – Dominant personalities energy is a constant forward flow that transfers energy into every team member to keep them moving forward to hit the target.

The I – Influencers energy is boundless and can seem as purposeless as a lazy river meandering downstream. They can bounce from one idea to another until they hit the mark, then they are right on.

The energy of the Steady S personality is stable and calm like the parts of a river that run deep. They see consequences of actions that others may miss.

Conscientious C individuals have nervous energy much like the river rapids. They constantly look for errors and check the validity of details.

Teams whose members who are willing to recognize the value each person brings to the team and are willing to listen to all ideas can build a convergence of innovation and problem-solving concepts for each unique situation, seamlessly integrating ideas from different backgrounds and philosophies to create something new.

Confluence of these entities – life experience, right and left-brain tendencies, and DISC styles – can energize teams and help them willingly share their thoughts. Each team member brings exceptional insights and approaches.

Embracing the confluence of these components of diversity enriches team dynamics, enables better decision making, boosts productivity, and creates a workplace where each members contributions are celebrated. This increases the self-esteem of each person and enhances overall performance.

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