Expanding My Skills by Learning to Bake at Disney World

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - Featured Image

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wondering what learning to bake at Disney World has to do with building happy teams and effective leaders.

Well, as you might have heard, our theme for the year at TH!NK is: Expand.

This year we are trying to expand ourselves and our business in a variety of ways: expand our network, expand our knowledge, expand our offerings … just to name a few.

Our goal is to expand ourselves in at least 12 different ways over the next year.  And you’re going to be able to take this journey with one each month through our blog.

February is my month to share how I focused on expanding my knowledge.  But first, let me share a few things about me that you might not know:

1. I love Disney World

My parents took me to Disney World the first year it opened, and I’ve been back many times since then.  That’s where my love for everything Disney began.  In fact, I even worked at Walt Disney World in their Disney College Program many years ago.

2. I am a terrible baker

Which isn’t necessarily unique to me since a lot of people can’t bake.  But it is strange when you consider #3 …

3. I can’t stop watching cake decorating shows

I love them all!  Kids Baking Championship, Cup Cake Wars, Holiday Baking Championship. I could go on and on.  And my love for these shows has instilled in me a deep desire to decorate a beautiful cake one day, under the guidance of a baking expert.

Earlier I created a dream list of things I wanted to do this year, and close to the top of the list was to decorate a cake with an actual cake decorating expert.  And after a bit of Googling, this is what popped up:

Create an Edible Work of Art - TH!NK Training - Screen Capture
Be still my beating heart!

I couldn’t believe it!  Disney World was providing cake decorating lessons?  Someone out there read my mind!  This was the perfect way for me to learn how to decorate a cake, especially considering how much I love Disney World!

Faster than you can cover a rolling pin with flour, I was on a plane, ready to expand my knowledge of cake decorating, and to fulfill one of my biggest dreams.

Did I do it?  Did I decorate a cake?

Well, before I get into the details, let me share you a few lessons I learned from this experience expanding my skills:

Lesson 1: Attitude is everything and passion trumps talent

As I shared with you, I am a terrible cook and baker. I have no talent or training in this arena.

However, I had a passion to make a cake.

And with right mentor by my side, I was able to create the most beautiful Minnie Mouse cake that you have ever seen.

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - Baking instructor
Our mentors sharing the steps to bake our Disney character cakes!

Lesson 2: Patience is a virtue

Here is something else you might not know about me: I am a rusher.

I rush by nature. I walk fast, talk fast, and like to take action fast.

Cake decorating is not a fast process.

In fact, my mentors shared that making these cakes is a three-day process.

You need to bake the cake, cool the cake, fill the cake, ice the cake, change your gloves, cool the cake, do the first layer of decorations, cool the cake, change your gloves, do the next layer of decorations, cool the cake, change your gloves.

Do you see the pattern?

A beautiful cake takes time and it pays to be calm, steady and patient if you want to create a beautiful cake.

The mentors kept saying you need to change your gloves so you don’t get the black from her ears on the white polka dots.  After all, Minnie never has black smudges on her dogs.

Well, one time, I was a bit tired of changing gloves and decided to just keep going.

Out of nowhere, “poof” a smudge appeared right on one of my crisp white dots!

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 02 My baking gloves
The gloves were made for baking … and developing patience

My caring mentor simply walked over and said, “Just change your gloves and make a new dot”.

I am sure she wanted to say, “I told you to change your gloves!” But, of course, she did not.

Losing her cool would not have helped, nor would it have been very Disney-like. I would have just gotten more nervous and down on myself.

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 03 Baking teacher with the final product
My smiling mentor showing my finished cake

Lesson 3: Anyone can do anything as long as they have a vivid picture of the future and clear instructions

These baking mentors were able to guide each one of my classmates to make a beautiful cake just like the one on display. How did they guide inexperienced cake decorators into making an impressive cake?

First, they showed us a picture of what we were going to make that day. When I saw it, I was thinking that this would be another one of my art projects: it starts with good intentions, but just ends up all wrong.  I had little hope that my end product would be high quality, but I was okay with that since I was really just there to expand myself with a new experience.

Second, they already baked and filled the cake for us. This saved us two days of effort and was required since it was only a 90-minute class. This was important because a leader needs to assess their employees and make decisions about where they can start training.  It gives the person a sense of success and progress.

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 03 Sarah with the finished cake
Hard at work with my cake decorating skill development

Third, the mentors guided us through the process in a step-by-step format. They would demonstrate each step and then provide us the supplies to do the same step on our cake. Before I knew it, my cake went from a bald white dome to a vivid Minnie Mouse cake that brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart.

And to top it off, it was delicious!

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 04 Sarah and the baking instructors
With my cake decorating mentors at Disney World

Lesson 4: Make things special

It would have been perfectly satisfying to decorate my cake, stick it in a box and head on out the door.  But, in typical Disney fashion, my Amorette mentors took the experience one step further.

After we finished they placed all our cakes underneath a display glass with beautiful lights to showcase our creations in a special way.

I was cracking up at the scene.

All of us decorators were peering into the glass case, like it was our new born baby on the other side.  And, of course, I was thinking to myself: “That one is mine, and isn’t she the most beautiful cake in the case“?

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 05 The cake in the display case
My cake on full display in the beautiful case

What’s Next?

So, am I inspired to bake at home?

Yes!  This experience has given me the confidence to try baking at home and see what I can accomplish without my mentors.

But, I’m pretty sure I’ll be starting with a small cup cake.  But who knows?  You may just see some amazing creations from Sarah’s Bakeshop!

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 06 Sarah and the cake
I’m all smiles as I show off my successfully decorated cake!

Want to expand your skills?

You might not want to expand your skills in the kitchen, but if you have a desire to help your team get to the next level, then we’d love to see how we might be able to help you.  We have all sorts of tools in our toolkit to help  you get the most of your team, and build an organization that will help your business expand.

Give us a call, or contact us today!

Learning to Expand My Baking Skills at Disney World - TH!NK Training - 07 Eating the cake
Like I said … it was delicious! 🙂

The secret to turning conflict into cooperation

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - Featured Image

When most people hear the word “conflict” their initial reaction is to label it as something bad.  And, given that most people have negative results with their experiences involving conflict, that makes sense.

But what if I told you that conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  That conflict, used the right way, can actually make you, your team, and your organization unstoppable.  That there is a technique by which you can turn conflict into cooperation.

In this article we’re going to bust a few myths and discover the truth about conflict.  Plus, you’ll see not just how to adjust your perceptions of conflicting behavior, but how to utilize the nature of conflict to create conversations which lead to cooperation and growth in your company.

And it all starts with a fundamental question …

Is conflict good or bad?

This is sort of a trick question because conflict on it’s own isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  That isn’t to say it doesn’t often feel bad, but believe it or not conflict can actually be good and healthy.

After all, what is conflict, really?

At it’s core, conflict is simply a difference of opinions involving strong emotions.

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 01 - Strong Emotions
Are you experiencing some strong emotions at work?

Of course, having a difference of opinions isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, the diverse perspectives of your team members is probably one of the strengths of your organization.  When you have different ideas come together you can better rise to challenges and develop effective strategies.

Having strong emotions isn’t necessarily bad either.  After all, working with people who are passionate about what they do means everyone is bringing their “A game” to the task at hand.  When people feel strongly about doing good work, then the end result is better for everyone.

The best ideas are generated when people are passionate about what they do, are willing to debate and explore the ideas that come up, and want to learn from other’s perspectives in order to find a solution.  Combining passion, ideas and communication is a formula for an unstoppable company.

But what happens when you or members of your team just aren’t interested in hearing the opinions of others?  How can you maintain productivity when you have conflict?

Well, as with many things in life, the solution starts with you.

The key to productive conflict

The most important skill in turning conflict into productivity, is developing self-awareness.

Being aware of both your healthy and unhealthy behaviors — especially when experiencing conflict — allows you to manage those behaviors and reactions.  It is hard to change a situation if you don’t know all of the contributing factors, and with conflict our thoughts and behaviors are the elements that contribute the most to how those situations can, or can not, be resolved.

But awareness is just the beginning.  When you start to identify your healthy and unhealthy behaviors and reactions, you can utilize some of the techniques we’ll cover in a moment to start to curb those destructive thoughts and behaviors.  This in turn, allows you to channel conflict into a conversation that focuses on improvement.

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 02 - The key to conflict
Do you have the key to resolving conflict?

Too many times, people use conflict as a reason to stop talking.  But the reality is, conversations are critical to work through and resolve conflict.  If you can work through the conflicts and come to a true solution, just image what your teams could accomplish.  Not just with goals of the project, with with processes, relationships and results!

So, if awareness of destructive behaviors is the key, what exactly are some of those behaviors we should be on the lookout for?

Examples of destructive behaviors

Here are a few of the most common destructive behaviors when it comes to conflict.  See if you can identify yourself with any of these.

  • Insensitivity
  • Impatience
  • Creating win-lose situations
  • Overpowering others
  • Becoming overly emotional
  • Talking over others
  • Glossing over tension
  • Making personal attacks
  • Withdrawing into yourself
  • Giving in just to please others
  • Avoiding tension
  • Ignoring problems
  • Defensiveness
  • Passive-aggressive tactics
  • Isolating yourself
  • Over-analyzing the situation

If you’re like me, you were probably cringing reading that list.  It is easy to think of times when we’ve demonstrated some or all of those behaviors.

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 03 - Unhappy with reactions
How some of us feel after realizing our instinctive reactions to conflict

Not to worry.  We all do from time to time.

But it is how you are able to turn the destructive behaviors into productive ones that makes all the difference.

Going from destructive to productive

So, what are your options?  If you want to change destructive into productive then that means understanding what some of the alternative actions and mental frameworks you can adopt.

Here are a list of actions you can take that will help you move from a destructive to productive mindset when dealing with conflicts.  Once again, see if you can identify yourself in any of these behaviors.

  • Be straightforward with your opinions
  • Acknowledge tough issues and the challenges ahead
  • Be objective when debating the topic
  • Communicate empathy and understanding
  • Encourage an open dialogue
  • Verbalize your emotions
  • Be flexible in your approach
  • Be on the lookout for other people’s feelings
  • Listen to others
  • Find the root cause of the problem
  • Give people space
  • Focus on the facts

Much less cringe-worthy, right?

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 06 - develop communication
When you change how you react, you change the dynamic of a conflict

And as you’re looking at the list you might be thinking “Well, that’s all fine and good, but when you are emotionally charged in the heat of a situation, how can you suddenly change your behaviors from destructive to productive?  Isn’t that really hard to do?”

The key to this is hacking your automatic thoughts and re-framing them.

What do I mean by that?

Well, “automatic thoughts” are those that are automatically triggered by conflict events.  They are there, beneath the surface, and when conflict occurs they happen without your explicit intentions and turn into a destructive response.

For example, a destructive response might be dismissing other people’s opinions, so the automatic thought that fuels that behavior might be “Nothing anyone says will change my mind” or “There’s really no other way to think about this.”

Each destructive response is triggered by an automatic thought, so what do you do once you’ve identified the thoughts?

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 04 - Reframing your thoughts
It’s time to get a new frame for that old mental picture

Re-framing your thoughts

Well, the second part is to “re-frame them.”

Re-framing is essentially turning the conflict around and viewing it from a different “frame” or viewpoint.  The situation doesn’t actually change, but your perspective on it is modified by looking at it from a different place.

For example, if your automatic thought is “That is the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard”, then your re-framed thought might be “That’s a different approach. I’ve never thought about it that way before.”

Here are a few more examples:

  • Automatic thought: “Arguing about this isn’t going to accomplish anything.”
  • Re-framed thought: “Discussing this issue will help us find a resolution faster.”
  • Automatic  Thought: “I just want to stay in my office and not get involved.”
  • Re-framed thought: “I have some valuable insight to offer this discussion.”
  • Automatic thought: “I work with a bunch of idiots!”
  • Re-framed thought: “I work with people from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences.”

Re-framing your thoughts takes some time and effort, but it is definitely a skill worth developing.  Of course, we are happy to help you develop those skills for you and your team, so feel free to reach out to us to learn more.

Three steps to productive conflict

We’ve covered a lot of information in this post, so let’s break it down to three things to keep in mind when working to turn conflicts into productive solutions.

1. Conflict is good

Remember, conflict isn’t inherently bad.  It is just the sharing of different opinions.  You can turn conflict into a positive force for productive change in your organization.

2. Stay open and healthy

When you find yourself demonstrating unhealthy behaviors in conflict, take a break and re-engage in the conversation when you are ready to listen to the other person.

3. Focus on the solution

The goal of conflicts is not to win.  A conflict is not an argument.  The true goal of a conflict is to find a solution.  Keep that as your primary focus as you engage with others on your team.

Secrets to turning conflict into cooperation - TH!NK Training - 05 - conflict is good
When you can use conflict productively, your team becomes unstoppable!

Need help with conflicts?

As we mentioned before, we help organizations and companies all over Hawaii to adjust their strategies and methodologies to help them manage productive conflicts.  You’re welcome to reach out to us to learn more about our coaching options.

We also recently held a series of Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict showcases on Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai, where we shared a tool to help you manage conflict in order to enhance your team and company.  If you want to be on the waiting list to learn about our future showcases and events, click here.

So, how about you?  Do you have any strategies for making conflict more productive?  Comment below and share some of your ideas. We’d love to learn about your techniques for turning conflict into cooperation.

Photos by Allen Taylor, Morgan BashamTommy Lee Walker, Sharon Garcia, Anna Vander Stel, Jessica Ruscello and Zachary Nelson on Unsplash

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Featured Images

Tell us if this sounds familiar:

You love Everything DiSC®.  You’ve been facilitating Everything DiSC® in your organization for many years and you know the theory and applications inside and out.  Everyone relies on you as the local go-to expert for DiSC.

It seems like you have everything locked in, so why would you want to invest in certification?  What more could you possibly learn?

After 16 years of facilitating Everything DiSC®, we had the same thoughts.  At first, when the opportunity for certification landed in front of us, we were excited.  But then we wondered, “what more could we learn to make the investment worthwhile?

Well, from day one, we were floored with the depth of the content and quality of learning platform!  It’s amazing!

So today we’re going to share five of our biggest takeaways that every DiSC® expert can learn from certification.

#1: You don’t know what you don’t know

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Compass
Sometimes you need a compass to guide you to further knowledge

Over the years, our clients rave about how accurate and relevant the Everything DiSC® tools are.

Key to this success is Wiley Publishing’s commitment to validate their tools with on-going research. New research means new discoveries. What we learned in certification is how new research changes how we facilitate and talk about Everything DiSC®.

There is specific terminology to better describe Everything DiSC® and old terminology to strike out of your script. For example, in the past, we would guide people to respond to the profile questions and think about a specific role they play.

Today, technology is able to capture the whole person, so today, we no longer instruct people to think about a specific role when taking their profile.

Another correction we learned is not to label people or name them by their DiSC® Style. For example, instead of saying,”George is so D” it is more appropriate to say, “George relates strongly to the Dominance behavioral style and prefers a direct communication style.

You will love the new research and how it impacts how you teach the concepts in the classroom.

#2: Understanding Why

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Chess
Learn the technical aspects of DiSC use strategies

As a DiSC® expert, you probably get a lot of questions.

  • “Why is Everything DiSC® different from Myer’s Briggs?”
  • “How come there are four main behavioral styles?”
  • “Why do I relate strongly to a style that is not reflected in my graph?”
  • Why, why, why…

Dr. Mark Scullard, Director of Research at Wiley Publishing, describes certification as a way to get under the hood and take a closer look at the engine that drives Everything DiSC®.

One of my favorite parts about certification is understanding the technical aspects of the model.

For example, did you know that Everything DiSC® is built upon 2 axis and therefore generates 4 main behavioral styles? Other tools that may appear more complex are built on a model with more axis and therefore have more styles.

We also learned the definitive answer to the most asked question, “Does your dot move over time?” The answer is specific and surprising.

Take your guess by posting your answer in the comments below.

We will share this answer with you in the upcoming live certification in Honolulu. (You are signed up for the certification, rightGet in now while you can!)

#3: Networking and Personalized Attention

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Networking
Build connections and relationships to help bring your DiSC skills further

Certification cohorts are designed to be small groups of no more than 12 people. Why?  This so that you have an opportunity to build your DISC network and also so that you receive personalized attention.

You can be in a certification session with a 20-year DiSC® veteran on one side of you and someone brand new to facilitating DiSC® on the other. This means that you will learn both tested methods and fresh ideas in your certification session.

This network of DISC® users will be your go-to group to bounce ideas off of whenever you need a new perspective or even some good advice.

#4 Build Your Resume by Adding Credentials

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Professional
Become the professional you were always meant to be

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

– Tom Peters in Fast Company

It is important to continue to build your personal brand. Certification is an opportunity to build your brand as being an expert in your field.

Certification is evidence that you have put more energy into developing your DISC® knowledge and that you have validated expertise. Learning new information and building skill is an investment in your future.

At the end of this certification, you will own the certification. It will be your personal designation. So, if you are looking for a new job or promotion, you will be able to say that you are an Everything DiSC Workplace®, Certified instructor.

Sure, people can teach DiSC®, but a certified instructor has more value since you invested in yourself and there is evidence that you have taken your expertise to the next level.

#5 New Ideas

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Fundamentals
What ideas can you generate from certification training?

Your company loves DiSC® and your employees are asking for more.  So, what should you do next?

Certification provides you with more DiSC® tools beyond the facilitator’s kit. Certification is rich with experience, new perspectives, and new ideas.

At certification, your facilitators will provide you more ideas, but many of the fresh ideas come from the participants.

For example, we transformed one of our group activities in an Everything DiSC® class with an activity done by a facilitator in Guam. Her version of the activity included a fun creative twist which made the activity clever, exciting, and it got people thinking out of the box and laughing more!

Our class became new and improved with new ideas from our certification experience.

How do you get certified?

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification - TH!NK Training - Blog Image - Brochure
Sign up for Everything DiSC Certification before the spots fill up!

If certification sounds like the right step for you, then you’ll want to be sure to get in on the upcoming DiSC® Certification live session happening soon right here in Hawaii.  We have a brochure with lots of details on the specific curriculum which you can download by clicking here or on the image to the right.

We’ve set up four sessions over the next year, but there are only 12 spots so you’ll want to sign up quickly so you don’t miss out.

You can get all the information and sign up by clicking here.  It will have all the upcoming dates and details for you to get involved, certified, and bring your Everything DiSC® skills to the next level.

See you there!

What’s in Your Training Bag? Our 11 Must-Have Training Bag Tools

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Featured Image

People ask us all the time about our training bag.

“Where did you get it?”

“What do you carry in it?”

“Where can I get one?”

If you are a trainer, you know how important it is to have the right tool at the right moment. It’s the tool that will make the facilitation moment exponentially better and blow the experience out of the water!

Since we get that question all the time we thought we’d share the contents of our training bag with all of you.  This is a peek behind the curtain of how we do what we do and we’re excited to share it with you.

So, without further delay, here are our top must-have training bag tools!

1. Awesome Markers

A trainer is always on the hunt for a good marker.

Many would say “a marker is a marker.” But a trainer will passionately debate that a good quality marker makes a huge difference.

So, what puts a marker in our must-have category?

First, we like a marker that doesn’t smear.  We shouldn’t see copies of words or messages on our arms and hands.  (Lefties can especially relate!)

Second, if a marker has one tip with a dual function, then that is even better.  Our preferred Charter Markers from Grove (www.grovetools-inc.com) can produce either bold or fine lines just by adjusting the angle of the pen.  No longer do you need to switch between two different markers.  Genius, right?

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Charters Markers
Charters Markers are our go-to markers for training

Also, make sure to choose a marker that doesn’t bleed through your paper.  There’s nothing worse than taking your flip chart off the wall and seeing permanent marker stains on the painted wall behind it.  Big Oops!

Here’s a quick video that shares some of the benefits of the Charter Marker and why we love it so much.

If your session involves participants brainstorming, or you need their writing to be visible to others, make sure to have black Sharpies.  Most of the time the fine tip is perfect to have written ideas be legible from afar.

2. RYG (Red-Yellow-Green) Cards

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - RYG Cards
A look at our RYG Cards

RYG cards are sets of 3 laminated cards, each in a different color: red, yellow and green.

We keep about 20 sets of RYG cards in our training bags.  They are great to get a quick “temperature check” from the participants.  Perfect for when you’re polling the room with a vote, to measure understanding or gauging agreements or disagreements.

How to use RYG cards

Here is one of our favorite methods for using RYG cards in our sessions:

  1. At the beginning of class, give out a deck of 3 cards to each person in the room.
  2. Explain the meaning of the color of each card to the group.
    1. Green means “I agree. Let’s do it. I understand. You got my vote.
    2. Yellow means “I have some concerns. I’m on the fence about the decision. I have some questions.
    3. Red means “I disagree. I don’t understand. My vote is no. We shouldn’t do it.
  3. Say, “I’m going to ask you a question and then on the count of 3 flash the color card that reflects your response.” Within 3 seconds, you will have a room full of raised color cards.
  4. Look around the room, and notice how many of each color you have.
  5. Thank everyone for their honest response.  Reinforce that honest responses lead to progress and forward-moving conversations.
    1. For any red or yellow cards, ask those individuals what their concerns or questions are. Treat each response as valuable feedback and insight.

A wide variety of color cards means more dialogue is needed to gain group alignment. When the group comes to another decision-making moment, ask again for feedback with the RYG cards.

You will find that your group will start using the RYG cards all on their own, and even call for their own votes.

3. Gadgets, devices, & connectors

Imagine this:  You arrive at your training room and begin setting up your equipment only to discover that you forgot your adapter to connect your apple laptop to the LCD projector.

Or your HDMI or VGA connector cord is missing!

Or your laptop battery is nearly dead and you don’t have your power adapter!

Any one of these is a trainer nightmare!

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Cables
Don’t be stuck without the right backups for your essential tech!

Don’t let his happen to you as a trainer! Today’s trainer is techi-er than ever, and we rely on our gadgets to get the job done.  Whenever possible, make sure you have two of everything, and always keep one set in your training bag.

Here’s a quick list of the tech gear you will want to have handy as a backup:

  • Power Cords for …
    • Laptop
    • Cell Phone
    • Speaker
    • Tablet
    • LCD Projector
  • Adaptors for …
    • Laptop video output
    • Network connections (in case there is no wifi)
    • LCD Projector
  • Spare backup Equipment  …
    • External speakers
    • Remote Control
    • Network cable
    • Extension cord for hard to reach power outlets
    • LCD projector (in case theirs doesn’t work)
    • Microphones and sound system (if you tote your own)
    • iPad or device for music
  • Batteries for …
    • Remote Control
    • Speakers
    • Lavalier
    • Microphone

4. Efficient Training Bag

An excellent training bag can simplify a trainer’s life! After 17 years of hunting for the perfect combination of training bags we’re happy to share our findings.

There are a few things to consider when seeking out the perfect bag:

Is the bag carry-on friendly for flying on airplanes?  You will want to hand-carry your most important training items to avoid it becoming a part of any lost luggage sagas.

Does your bag have wheels for those bulkier training items?  Ideally, this wheeled tote can easily roll down the aisle of an airplane.

Does the bag have enough pockets to organize your essentials?  Assign your pockets to specific items. g. Electronic connectors should always go in their specific pocket. Markers in a specific pocket. Everything should have a dedicated home so that you can quickly find and grab your training tools when you need them.

How heavy is your bag?  Your training bag will become heavier with each item you add in so you want to start with a bag that is strong but light.

Besides those considerations, we’ve found that the best configuration is actually to have two bags.

  1. One is smaller and serves as a tote/briefcase to be slipped onto a telescoping handle of the larger, wheeled bag.
  2. The wheeled bag holds the heavier and bulkier items, and the smaller bag holds the quick-to-grab items that you need immediate access to.

So, after all that, here are the two bags that we’ve found are perfect for our purposes as trainers.  They go hand-in-hand when needed and can be toted as one rolling unit.

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Baggallini Shoulder Bag
Baggallini’s Gold International Venice Laptop Shoulder Bag ($115-$145)
Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Delsey Underseat Tote
Delsey Quilted Rolling Underseat Tote ($99-$149)

Another tip is to label baggies to store smaller items.

We love the Thirty-one bags zipper pouches for this and even have them embroidered!

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Embroidered Baggies
Our custom-embroidered baggies!

5. Things that Stick

For quick ideas and brainstorming we couldn’t do our job without these helpful, sticky essentials.  Here are the two we use everytime, without fail:

Post-Its

A trainer can not live with out post-its! We joke that we should buy stock in 3M because we use so many of their products.

We carry 2 sizes of post-its:

3″ x 3″ Square

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - 3x3 Post It Notes
3” x 3” square Post-it Notes are absolutely essential

The 3” x 3” square is essential for brainstorming and you will want to have a lot of 3x3s if you tend to brainstorm the way we do it…..one idea per post-it.

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - 5x7 Post It Notes
5 x 8 Post-it Notes come in handy for brainstorming

The second size is the 5″ x 8″ post-its: These come in handy to create headers to identify groupings and categories when organizing all the great ideas from brainstorming.

Which color post-its are better? It depends on you but we like the energy that the bright fluorescent post-its bring to a session! The brighter the better!

Sticky dots

Sticky dots in multiple colors are super handy. You can get really creative here. Use dots for voting. You can even assign importance of a vote by the color of the dots.

For example, a red dot may signal your first choice, yellow dot your second, and blue your third choice.

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Color Dots by Avery
Sticky Dots are worth their weight in gold

6. Tape

Tape is one utility items that is one of those things you might not think to bring, but you’re always glad you did.  We carry 3 types of tape, each for a different purpose:

Scotch Tape

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Scotch Tape
The go-to tape for all occasions!

This is a must to anchor down post-its if they don’t stick as well.  Plus, who doesn’t love Scotch tape?  It’s the office version of duct tape. 🙂

Blue Painter’s Tape

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Blue Painters Tape
Blue Painter’s Tape is vital to make sure you keep the walls happy and healthy

Sometimes you will need to post up a training visual or non-sticky flipchart paper up on the wall. The blue painter’s tape will ensure that you do it without taking off any paint off the wall

White artist’s tape

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Artists Tape
White artist’s tape is the white-out for presenters

Ever make a spelling error on a flip-chart or you need to change some text on your visual? White artist tape is like white-out for facilitators. Cover your error with artist tape and simply write over your error. Your audience will think you are so clever.

7. Noisemaker

Noisemakers are a great way to bring a training group back into session without having to yell above the chatter of the crowd.

We’ve seen triangles ringing, cow bells clanging , and chimes echoing. Personally, we are fans of the sweet sounds of a good chime, especially the Zenergy Chime Trio. What better way to bring a class back into focus than with uplifting musical notes?

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Wood Chimes
Bring the room back with some soothing chimes

8. Water bottle

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

We can not stress how important this is!

Facilitators are constantly moving around in the room, and sometimes you may be so focused on the conversations and dynamics in the room that you forget to drink water. You must drink throughout your sessions, especially if the day is hot and humid.

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Camelback Water Bottle
Keep yourself hydrated so you are at the top of your game!

Facilitators can easily become dehydrated, especially if your training involves flight travel. The high altitudes add to dehydration.

The symptoms of dehydration are that you feel thirsty even after drinking water or upon waking up in the morning, nagging headache that won’t quit, nausea, stomach pains, and tiredness. If you are feeling these symptoms, the chances are that you are already dehydrated.

So, drink twice the amount of water than you usually do on days that you are training so that you don’t enter the dreaded dehydration zone.

9. Snacks

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Snacks
Don’t let low blood sugar derail your efforts!

Keeping snacks handy go right in line with staying hydrated.

As a trainer, you need to be at your best and feel good in order to bring spunk into your facilitation and create an upbeat engaging learning environment. If you have a sensitive stomach, then you will definitely want to bring your own snacks to hold you through the day.

Some of our favorites are granola bars and nuts.

10. Flip-chart paper

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Post It Wall Pad 2
The all-purpose Post-it pad makes sure we record everyone’s ideas

We always have a pad of post-it flip-chart paper in the room. It’s a great tool for group work, charting ideas, and to provide a visual.

We recommend having it be a post-it flip-chart so that there is no need for tape!

Note: Not all flip-charts with sticky backs are made the same. Our favorite that never fails us is the Post-It brand.

11. Favorite DiSC Tools

And if you are a DiSC facilitator, you will never want to be without your DiSC gear.

What’s in your training bag?

But we’re curious: what is in your training or facilitation bag? What are the tools you never enter a training room without?  Let us know what you find to be the ultimate essentials for your training bag by posting a comment below.


3 Lessons From Mindful Meditation

So often in business, we are looking for ways to do more and achieve more.  As a business owner, it is all too easy for me to get caught up in the urgency of life and business.  Recently, I did exactly the opposite.  I spent my evening, with five powerful Social Wahines, doing less and it turned out to be the most productive night.

On July 12th, I went to my first class to learn the basics of how to meditate.  It was a balmy evening at Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, Hawaii.  I arrived at the park around 5:30p and the beach was all a buzz with families playing in the water, people fishing, and all forms of fitness in high gear around us.   I was not scheduled to do any of those activities.  I was on my way to learn how to meditate.   Lia Catanzaro, an amazing yoga and meditation instructor, led our group of Social Wahines through the meditation practice.  Lia found the perfect spot for us amidst the beach goers, yogis and fitness groups.  We were positioned beneath a large shade tree, facing the ocean, perfectly poised to see a Hawaii sunset similar to the one you may find on a post card.

I signed up for this workshop seeking strategies to relax and calm my action oriented mind.  As with anything in life, I went for one thing and gained three stunning pieces of wisdom.

Lesson #1: Meditation Only Takes a Few Minutes

I learned that meditating just 2-3 minutes a day can improve your creativity, intellect and overall health.  I used to think that meditation took hours.  I was wrong!  Lia taught us that it takes just a few minutes of meditation a day to be more creative, smarter, and healthier.  Meditation does not need to be complicated.  It can be as simple as focusing on your breath and reaming calm while driving in traffic, spending a few minutes journaling each day or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breathe in a measured fashion.  I was a big fan of breathing with a simple mantra.  I sat for 5 minutes breathing in through my nose and saying (in my mind) “in with love.”  Then, breathing out through my mouth saying, “out with fear.”  This meditation is powerful because fear and love cannot exist in the same space.  I had never thought of that before, and as I pondered the idea, I realized that fear frequently hijacks my emotions and I kick into action, which is usually not handled delicately,

Lesson #2:  Enjoy the Moment

I was able to truly sit and enjoy the place that I am at and not just let the day fly by me.  When was the last time you just enjoyed where you were and chose to live in the moment?  For me, it had been a long time.  I am usually hectically picking up kids, finishing work and trying to figure out what to eat for dinner from 5:30p – 7:00p.  This workshop reminded me to stop, slow down and enjoy this life given to me.

Lesson #3:  Enjoy My Friends and Have Unique Experiences

I am reminded how much I like spending time with my friends while having unique experiences.  These women were amazing. We were all in the same boat.  Nervous that we could not slow down to meditate well (apparently all over achievers since we were afraid of being successful meditators), not sure if it was something we could enjoy, but knew we needed meditation in our life.  Each one of us walked away with a different epiphany and felt closer as a result of the shared experience. By the end, we found our favorite form of meditation and enjoyed ourselves.  One woman committed to starting her day at 6:00an and begin with journaling, another was heading out to purchase essential oils to diffuse in her house every night before bed.  Me, I committed to going into yoga class 10 minutes early to meditate before yoga.

If you have not meditated before, I encourage you to find a guide to take you through the process.   To my friends in Hawaii, reach out to Lia Catanzaro directly @ lia@liacat.com Lia makes meditating an accessible experience that is not overwhelming.  With my limited experience, I can say with confidence that practicing meditation will help me improve my emotional stability and intellectual clarity, both essential to be my best at home and work.  I used to see slowing down as wasted time and being unproductive.   Now, I see it as an investment in myself that will allow me to give more and do more for others.

A Generation Y’s Perspective on Everything DiSC® Certification – Part 4

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

Week 4 of 4: Pre-Work and Live Session 4

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with an education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

Here is the end of the month long road for Everything DiSC® Certification! So many feelings and new information to share with the world, but before we go out and conquer the world we must get past live session 4. At the end of live session 3, we were made aware of our project presentation where we need to prepare for an engagement by working through a few steps and share with our classmates our outcome. Don’t let the 60-90 minutes’ timeline scare you, it shouldn’t feel long if you really enjoy your subject!

Pre-Work for Week 4

Now, the pre-work for live session 4 discusses how to keep DiSC alive in the organization and creating a culture of DiSC. We were also introduced to an amazing tool, myeverythingdisc.com, which is an online site where participants who have taken Everything DiSC Workplace® Profiles, can load up their profiles into their account and request comparison reports with just about anyone! I love this tool and it is very user friendly and effective for really working on adapting or working with different styles. An effective tool that benefits everyone!

Live Session

Working on this project, I created a fictional group that could benefit from a training of Everything DiSC Workplace®. The main goal of this project was to combine the information I learned in the previous three weeks and apply it to a group. I had to use a needs assessment to ensure that I focused on the needs of the group and create an action plan designed to meet the learning needs of my audience.  This exercise helped me focus on the needs of this fictitious group. I was enthusiastic and comfortable with sharing my action plan.  I received a lot of invaluable feedback as well.

When our final live session was completed, it was time to take the 40 question test.  Did I pass?   Yes, with flying colors.  I enjoyed being tested because it built my confidence that I had a strong working knowledge of DISC.

Future Facilitator Lesson

As a facilitator, I learned the following:

  • It is vital to really understand your audience and how to mold that training session so that it completely benefits that group.
  • You are not just teaching facts, but guiding them on a journey to building better relationships.
  • Always give your best and value workplace relationships so that you can see everyone effectively growing together.

My learning journey has come to a full circle, and my deep understanding of Everything DiSC® will take me on a positive path for effective relationships

Gen Y Lesson

As a Gen Y, I learned that learning never really ends. While traditional schooling may end, there is always learning to be had at work.  The real work begins after the class to apply what I learned in my personal and professional arenas.

I am so honored and so blessed to have had this opportunity! Special thank you to Sarah & Cindy for encouraging me to take on certification and being very supportive throughout this whole process. Thank you to everyone at Wiley for offering such an amazing tool to learn and thank you to Jeannie Bril for crafting and perfectly executing our 4-week program!

When I look back at week one, I remember how eager and excited I was to actually start this certification program, and what I got out of it was nothing short of my expectations. This is a great program to go through and the knowledge is endless. I send my best wishes to all DiSC participants and the eager fellows who in the future, take part in workplace certification.

-From your favorite Office Genius (almost mastermind), Treana \m/

INTERESTING IN BECOMING CERTIFIED?

Click on the Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification Brochure to download more information on Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification!

Below are available dates for upcoming classes. Email info@think-training to sign up!

  • July 10 – August 7, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)
  • September 11 – October 9, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 8:00 – 9:30am CT)
  • October 12 – November 9, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)

Build a Life, Don’t Just Live One

When I was eight years old, my father died of cancer. From that day, my world changed, and at a young age, I realized that the world wasn’t always so kind and predictable. When I glimpse back into my childhood, I am amazed how my mother, who was initially a stay-at-home mom, managed to start a home-based tutoring business and raise my two younger sisters and me alone. And somehow, she was able to send us to Hawaii’s best private schools. Today, as a parent, I honestly don’t know how she was able to provide for us and never leave us wanting more. She was a tiger who decided to build a life and not just live one.

Here, I share some of the lessons inspired by my mom that have defined my life and career path:

 

1. Believe that everything happens for a reason

Right or wrong, there are lessons in every situation we encounter. Four years before my father died, my mother was in a coma from a risky open heart surgery. She went into cardiac arrest six times and only by a miracle she recovered. She wondered why she survived when all medical evidence showed that she should have died. Little did she know that she would be the one to raise three young girls when my father died. Everything happens for a reason.

I believe that every person that we meet and every situation that we are in has a purpose. It is our duty and opportunity to discover what that purpose is. I remember going to college feeling lost and pressured to define my life by selecting a major. I had no clear path then.  Today, my career is a result of tightly connected opportunities that I believe all happened for a reason. Every milestone in my life led to the next discovery. I would choose to be a business major in the travel industry, and upon graduation, I secured a coveted management trainee position at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. That hotel would be a pivotal marker in my life where I would meet two key people: My husband Ted and my business partner Sarah.

Today, you will meet someone at work, at a networking event, or at the grocery store. There may be a reason for the interaction.  Not all connections will be life-changing, but to find the ones that are, you need to pay attention, be fully present with people, and look for the magic in the meeting.

 

2. Know your limits

When life throws us a curve ball or offers opportunities, there is a part of us that says…”Go for it. Take a risk.” At the same time, we need to be smart about our risks and know our limits. There is an exercise called “Worst-Case Scenario” that helps me to know my limits. Think of a risk that you want to take. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen if I took this chance?” Once you respond, take that response and ask the same question…”What is the worst thing that could happen if you did that.” Keep asking that what-if question until there is nothing more that could happen. You have hit rock bottom with the most unimaginable worst-case scenario. At that point, ask yourself, “If I knew that this would happen, would I take that risk?” The answer would be clearly NO! Then ask yourself, “At what point would I stop?” You might reply, “I would stop at the risk of losing my house or losing my family. “ Then ask yourself, “Who would you ask for help at that point?” This exercise has two benefits.  First, it helps you identify your limits of taking a risk and establish when you would stop and who you would resource for help.  Second, it frees you of the what-if scenarios and provides you some peace to make a decision.

 

3. Pay attention to what you are passionate about

“Do what you love, love what you do.” Work can be more fulfilling when you wrap it around something you are passionate about and believe in. Pay attention to what you are good at and what brings you joy. My mother found that her passion was helping people find their strengths and to help them get over the obstacles that held them back. Her first student in her tutoring business would return to her at different phases of his childhood, at six years old and at 13 years old. She would help him overcome emotional obstacles to help him cope and reach milestones at school. Today, he is a successful psychologist who refers to her as “Mom.”

Where ever you are at in your life or career, pay attention to what you are passionate about and what sparks a light in you. Try new things to discover what makes your work or life more fulfilling. Test the waters and then decide whether or not to take action. You will define success in new ways when you are doing what you love.

 

4. Know your values and stay true to them

One of the most important things to do for yourself is to know your values and navigate your life around those values. Stay true to your core values with your decisions especially the tough ones.

My mother knew that while raising young children, she wanted to be able to be home for us when we returned from school. She chose to setup a home-based business that would allow her to always be home with us. While she probably could have earned more money in a traditional 8-5 job, she kept focused on her values, and somehow her business always provided just enough for us to survive.

In the same spirit, I launched my business in 2000, wanting to do what I loved while preparing for the future. I wasn’t married yet, but I knew that one day if I had a family, I wanted to do work that I was passionate about while balancing the needs of family and having the power to do so as an entrepreneur.  TH!NK has provided me a life that supports what is important to me.

 

5. Be kind & generous

Lead with kindness and give people the benefit of the doubt. The world will return to you what you give to it. Give trust openly until you have a reason not to, and then manage it. Be generous and help others without conditions. In doing so, you will do your best work and gain the trust of others. Your work will reflect not only what you do, but who you are. People want to do business with honest, kind, and generous people.

 

6. Embrace imperfection

Ask for help. Admit when you are wrong. One of the best ways to build trust and strengthen relationships is to be vulnerable. Vulnerability requires people to avoid playing the perfect super-hero. It means that we need to say I’m sorry, I messed up, and I need your help. I know in my childhood, we would not have survived without the generosity of an army of aunties, uncles, and friends. They were selfless with their help, and my mother was smart to know that she couldn’t do life alone and not to be afraid to ask for help.

 

7. Work hard

No matter what career or life choices you make, success comes with working hard. Treat every day as if it is your first day on the job when you are putting forth your best. People recognize hard work and effort even when it is not perfect. At TH!NK, each milestone we reached in our business has been a result of working hard on something that preceded that milestone. Success is by no accident; it is endless hours of unglamorous work behind the scenes.

 

Nothing in life is perfect and what is most important is how we respond to what life serves up to us. As Ghandi says, “be the change you want to see.” So, remember that you are in control. Build your life and not just live one.

A Gen Y’s Perspective on Everything DiSC® Certification – Part 3

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

Week 3 of 4: Pre-Work & Live Session 3

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” – Peter Drucker

Here we are, the halfway point! This week’s focus of the Everything DiSC® Certification was on developing the ability to assess the needs of a client or group and prepare customized activities to meet those needs. This is known as conducting a needs assessment which is what our pre-work included this week.

My Week 3 Experience

Luckily for week 3, the pre-work was a lot less in comparison to week 2. There was a new platform in which they used for one pre-work assignment. This platform was very interactive and user-friendly. Once you clicked on the assignment, it takes you to a separate window where it is very colorful and inviting. This is something you can’t just click through; you have to read the content to continue. It was a nice break from the usual skim through and click. *But of course, I didn’t do that 🙂 The lesson from it was very helpful to what we had to prepare for during our next live session.

Pre-Work for Week 3

While reading the assignments, everything was based on a needs assessment. I thought to myself, “what is a needs assessment?” This is what we needed to prepare for our live session. A needs assessment is used to understand the existing circumstances, desired outcomes, determine if there is a training need, and to prepare an appropriate program for the group. To conduct a needs assessment, you first need to gather information and consult stakeholders, then identify the need and clarify the focus. From there, facilitators can design the program. The importance of the needs assessment is to really understand the group and how to effectively work with them to reach their desired outcome. Speaking from my DiSC style, this seems like common knowledge to conduct this process before training, but when you think about it in other styles’ perspectives, it could be beneficial for many different reasons.

Live Session

In live session 3, we would have an opportunity to practice adapting to other styles. Going into live session 3, I felt pretty confident because I was able to complete all of the pre-work and go through my profile and choose which style I wanted to practice adapting to. I am a CS and chose to adapt with an I style, the style that is completely opposite of me. I found the tips on page 13 of my profile very help and strategies that I could use often. Luckily enough, someone in my small group during the live session was an I style and we gave each other insight on how we view each other’s efforts to create a more effective relationship. The collaboration during this class is very insightful and effective to keep DiSC® alive and well in the workplace.

Also in our live session, we shared different activities on how we can play around with DiSC®. There were many creative ideas that we bounced off of each other to create a dynamic activity. Our group decided to create the DiSC® circumplex and have participants write on post-it notes the characteristics of each style and place it where they think it goes. This allowed for conversation and a deeper understanding of the DiSC® circumplex. The other groups also had great and very fun activities to share.

Future Facilitator Lesson

In perspective of becoming a facilitator, my biggest take away from week 3 is the importance of the needs assessment. Understanding your group or audience can really impact the way DiSC® is being perceived. If anyone were to just go through the routine and say you’re done, there is nothing very beneficial from that. If a facilitator took the time to understand the audience and group and identified the focus, participants will have a greater take away from that training session. A little food for thought for all facilitators out there.

Gen Y Lesson

In perspective of a Gen Y, my biggest takeaway is that if you can’t relate it back to the group, the information becomes irrelevant. I have learned that if something isn’t relevant to a person, they will “check-out” of that conversation and just listen but not understand.  If you want to get a point across to a group, it is really important to have relevance with their issues and your topic of choice. Making the connection will go a long way for knowledge and effective use of the DiSC® tools.

It is amazing how much information we learned in just these 3 weeks. During this part of the training, self-reflection feels like a vital key when approaching the end. It is critical to take the time to think about how far you have come. Whether you are a DiSC® veteran or a first-time eager beaver, the amount of information you learn and keep under your belt is information that can be used in all aspects of life. Such well-rounded human beings we are becoming huh? 🙂

INTERESTING IN BECOMING CERTIFIED?

Click on the Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification Brochure to download more information on Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification!

Below are available dates for upcoming classes. Email info@think-training to sign up!

  • April 17 – May 15, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 9:00 – 10:30am CT)
  • June 1 – June 29, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 10:00 – 11:30am CT)
  • July 10 – August 7, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)
  • September 11 – October 9, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 8:00 – 9:30am CT)
  • October 12 – November 9, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)

A Gen Y’s Perspective on Everything DiSC® Certification – Part 2

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

Week 2 of 4: Pre Work & Live Session 2

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” – Malcom X

My Week 2 Experience

Week 2 came by faster than a hiccup. Luckily enough, I started my pre-work right after our first live session. Things started to get a little busy outside of my Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification training so finding the hour and a half to get all my pre-work completed for the upcoming live session became one of my first challenges of the journey.

Challenge #1:  Time Management

I faced two challenges this week.

My first challenge was completing all of my pre-work, which consisted of reading and online quizzing.  Since this certification is designed to help me be a better facilitator of Everything DiSC Workplace, I needed to take the time to understand and apply the concepts I was learning. I am the type of person that will re-do tasks until they are perfect.  Eventually, I finished all my pre-work for the live session the night before (not recommended) and this is very unlike me. Challenge #1, defeated.

Challenge #2:  The Case Study

At the end of our first live session, we were assigned a case study to read, take notes, and share our conclusions in our second live session. The case study helped the facilitator unmask and answer the tough questions we might bring up during a training session. I had two other group members who were assigned different case studies, which gave us the opportunity to learn and bounce ideas off each other.

I was a little skeptical about this process and scared that maybe my ideas would be wrong, but I discovered that every opinion and idea matters! When it came to my time to share, I felt  confident with my comments and thought I made valid points. My group members agreed with me and shared their thoughts on my case study. This educational environment felt safe and I am no longer scared about sharing my opinions. This experience built my confidence to share exactly what I know because with all of the knowledge and background information I am learning from this class, I know exactly how to assess a situation such as the one in my case study. Challenge #2, defeated.

Future Facilitator Lesson

As a future facilitator, my biggest take away from week 2 was the research behind the Everything DiSC Workplace® profile and how you get your dot placement. This helped me to anchor my understanding of how the tool works and built my confidence to answer the deeper DiSC® questions that can only come from knowing what drives the model.

Gen Y Lesson #1

As a Gen Y, my take away from week 2 is related to my quote above. If you don’t come prepared, you will not get the learning experience you should have gotten. If I had not completed my pre-work for week 2, I would not have fully learned all of the valuable information I did learn. Being prepared for anything in life whether it be in school, work, or your personal life, you’ll always be a step ahead. Being prepared really helps to further your learning experience and I think it is something Gen Y’s forget about. We come in thinking that we mostly have the information we need, but we really aren’t all that prepared. I think it is a great lesson that not only Gen Y’s can learn, but everyone else as well.

Gen Y Lesson #2

I believe all journeys have their challenges and everyone must conquer them to reach their goal. In my Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification training, I am learning new information that I never thought I would  know, but I am also learning a lot of personal life lessons that will eventually come in handy in my future. So embrace today’s challenges and conquer them so it will make you better for your future self!

Interested in becoming certified?

Click on the Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification Brochure to download more information.

Below are available dates for upcoming classes. Email info@think-training to sign up!

  • April 17 – May 15, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 9:00 – 10:30am CT)
  • June 1 – June 29, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 10:00 – 11:30am CT)
  • July 10 – August 7, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)
  • September 11 – October 9, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 8:00 – 9:30am CT)
  • October 12 – November 9, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)

A Gen Y’s Perspective on Everything DiSC® Certification – Part 1

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

Week 1 of 4: Pre Work & Live Session 1

“One of the great responsibilities we have as a society is to educate ourselves, along with the next generation, about which substances are worth ingesting, and for what purpose, and which are not.” –Sam Harris

When I was first approached by the owners of my company to go through certification training I agreed in a heart beat. Mainly because I wanted to learn a new skill and grow myself in the workplace, but also to get a deeper understand of Everything DiSC®. Young adults around my age have no idea about DiSC® and when I am asked about it, I get a weird look and I assume they are thinking “So, you teach people how to get along?”. I just want to scream at them and say YES but it is cooler than that!

Certification started with an email inviting me to our virtual classroom. There is a bliss in the simplicity of this site. It is very easy to navigate through and organized.  I am a CS style and this means I thrive on checklists.  This online certification platform lists the activities I am required to do and checks them off automatically when I complete the challenge. How great is that? Yes, I was amazed as well.

Now, my love for this experience only grows more.  This is a flipped classroom experience.  A flipped classroom encouraged me to learn the lesson a week before the class.   I was required to complete the activities before our live session because in the live session, we discuss the items we learned from the pre-work activities.   This new flipped classroom approach of teaching created more space for my own thoughts, interpretations, and possible comments I would make during the live session. I felt confident and prepared going into our first live session.

In my first live video session with my cohort, we were asked to place our name on a map of the world to show our geographical location. The participants were from all around the world, and I was amazed by how Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification brought us all together.   The live session was very interactive and felt like an actual in-person classroom. The facilitator popped in and out through the different groups, and shared ideas with the rest of the participants through our whiteboard presentation online! Everyone in this live session was highly engaged and participation never ended.

From the perspective of becoming a facilitator, my biggest take away from week 1 is that knowledge is endless. The other participants provided insights on a variety of topics and used examples to explain different concepts.   It helped me gain wisdom on how to become a well-rounded facilitator. Knowledge is what gets me very excited to continue learning and growing through this experience.

From the perspective of a Gen Y, my biggest take away is the Everything DiSC® Profile. The information, the science, and the technology all put into this profile makes understanding people so simple and gave me strategies on how to get along with others. Gen Y’s seek resources for development and this is the tool to learn!   The cornerstone principles of Everything DiSC® highlight the meaning behind this tool. It creates awareness to be equally valuable, how other factors influence each person, and how to understand yourself and others to build those effective relationships.

To answer the question, “So, you help people get along at work?”  I say with enthusiasm “Yes!”. DiSC® teaches you how to get along with people, but it also teaches you how to understand yourself so that you can better understand others to create comfortable and effective relationships. Gen Y’s seek a level of love that involves constant feedback and gratitude and if you effectively use DiSC® and give that level of love based on their style preference, a Gen Y’s experience in the workplace will be fueled by their level of love that is received. Understanding their style and how to reciprocate their needs will make a Gen Y feel like they are valued in the workplace.

 

Interested in becoming certified?

Click Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification Brochure to download more information about Everything DiSC® Workplace Certification.

Below are available dates for upcoming classes. Email info@think-training to sign up!

  • April 17 – May 15, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 9:00 – 10:30am CT)
  • June 1 – June 29, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 10:00 – 11:30am CT)
  • July 10 – August 7, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)
  • September 11 – October 9, 2017 (Live session each Monday from 8:00 – 9:30am CT)
  • October 12 – November 9, 2017 (Live session each Thursday from 1:00 – 2:30pm CT)