Many of my colleagues have written blogs commenting on the brilliance and flexibility of the TetraMap model and the impact this has within a professional environment. I agree with all of these views and having had the pleasure of going through the accreditation course a few months ago, I am continually impressed with how easy it is to apply the principles and values to every professional situation I have faced since.
My view of TetraMap values and principles were enhanced further still when I was recently asked to act as a best man at my fathers wedding. This naturally involved writing and delivering a speech, neither of which filled me with immediate enthusiasm.
I initially conducted on line research for ideas and tips on what to say and spent time watching You Tube videos of others delivering their speeches in a search for inspiration for my own task. As good as these postings are, they were of course being delivered for very different situations to the one I was facing. I should point out that my speech was for my Fathers 3rd wedding, he is 79 years of age and two thirds of the guests were unknown to me.
Naturally I wanted to be able to provide some entertainment but also coupled with some affection for a nigh on octogenarian groom in what I sincerely hope is to be his last wedding. I have no desire to achieve a personal hat trick of best man outings for my father and having performed this duty for him once before I also wanted to ensure my contribution was markedly different from last time.
So I considered my TetraMap learning and how we all contain differing levels of 4 core behavioural preferences all of which can be accessed by us in a synergistic way. I had a bunch of stories that I felt were humorous and inoffensive and structured my speech deliberately to appeal to everyone as I now realised that I did in fact know them all – most had just not met me yet.
I opened the speech with a clear statement about how I was going to summarise my father’s life in three words (Earth) and explained my plan of how I would get to this summary (Air). I commented that since we were all now one big family and had gathered to support the Bride and Groom on their special day (Water) I would be seeking volunteers during my speech to play a few games which were relevant to my father (Fire). It was fascinating to watch everyone being hooked by what I was about to do.
Ultimately I had a lot of fun writing and delivering the speech using TetraMap principles. My own preferences of Earth & Water were comfortably satisfied with the amount of positive feedback I received from a wide range of guests and I would have no hesitation in using this approach again and recommending it to anyone.
The most flattering piece of feedback I received was “that was brilliant, is that what you do for a living?” I replied that I did not, although in hindsight maybe I should have responded in the affirmative?