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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School

Getfeedback, a major user of the Orpheus work based personality questionnaire who provide an online and consultancy service for the use of this instrument, approached us with a request to jointly develop a team building version.

The Orpheus TPQ profile is derived from the theory that human character develops through a series of choices that we make throughout our lives. These choices lay down habitual styles of responding that become increasingly ingrained as we mature. It is these habitual ways of responding that translate into personal strengths and weaknesses. The Orpheus TPQ combines individual scores to reflect the impact of personal strengths and weaknesses when individuals form a team for the purposes of work, play or competition. These habitual styles translate into the operating practices that give each team its own characteristic identity and modus operandi. Changing just one member of the team can change the preferred style of operating and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the whole team. By understanding these strengths and weaknesses a team can unlock its true potential, build on its collective strengths and manage its collective weaknesses.

The Orpheus TPQ profile provides feedback on seven dimensions that combine to give a team its relative strengths and weaknesses.

  • Proficiency – care in detailed tasks, versus a trial and error approach
  • Work Orientation - belief in hard work, versus a belief in work-life balance
  • Patience – calm and patience, versus competitive aggression
  • Fair-mindedness – a rational approach, versus an emotional approach
  • Loyalty - a desire to follow, versus a desire to lead
  • Disclosure – being truly open, versus 'playing one’s cards close to one’s chest’
  • Initiative - enjoyment of rapid change, versus the valuing of tradition

The Orpheus TPQ profile focuses on the whole team, not the individuals, and provides advice, tips and information on how to maximise the potential of the team. Within Orpheus TPQ it is recognised that different team settings may require different strengths, and vary in their capacity to accommodate certain weaknesses. For example, a Change Team operating in a highly entrepreneurial environment would benefit from a tendency to take risks and learn from its mistakes, whereas such a tendency within a high risk, safety dependent environment could be a serious liability. A strength in one setting may be neutral, or a weakness, in another. Thus, team profiles are most relevant when related to particular settings. Teams that match themselves to particular environments and types of work are more likely to be successful and more likely to enjoy themselves. The Orpheus TPQ profile can suggest the optimal environment for a particular team, and also indicate how a team is likely to function within a particular environment.

Orpheus TPQ is available from

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