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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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

Case Study: Elite Mechanical

Think Training - Elite Mechanical - Case Study Featured Image

Elite Mechanical: Celebrating a Commitment to Customer Service

We have been blessed to work with thoughtful, smart companies that want to build better businesses through exceptional customer service.  Elite Mechanical is one of those companies.  Elite Mechanical reached out to us in 2017 with a passion to grow their business through improved customer service.

The Issue:

Elite Mechanical had a reputation for being knowledgeable, skilled and responsive.  But, the Elite Mechanical leadership team wanted to be even better.  Elite believed they could take their business to the next level through delivering one of a kind, personal, and consistent service.

The Customer Service Solution:

Elite Mechanical worked to create a service culture.  This culture was developed through a 4-step process:

  1. Assess the service environment.
  2. Develop key service standards.
  3. Train staff on how to adapt their communication approach to each customers’ need.
  4. Measure, celebrate, and fix things based on the findings.

Let’s look at each one in more detail …

 

Think Training - Elite Mechanical - Group Picture
The team at Elite Mechanical is committed to customer service excellence

1. Assess the Current Customer Service Environment

Many people want to start with training, but before you do that it is best to dig deep and analyze your a current approach to service.

Elite mechanical assessed their current level of service and looked for ways they could add more personal touches to their service. What would make them special and unique?  How were they currently doing? What did their customers think and want?  How were they capturing this data?

They concluded that they needed better tracking tools and systems to track service levels. At the same time, they realized that their customers wanted a more personalized approach to service.

2. Develop and Live by Your Service Standards

Eventually, Elite realized that they were missing concrete service standards that everyone could live by.  They learned that service standards would help employees to deliver more consistent service.  And, better service would improve their company brand.

So, they went to it.

They met regularly in a series of meetings until they tackled the standards challenge.  Technicians, administrative staff, and the leadership team worked hard to develop the standards that they believed would make Elite Mechanical elite.

They came up with Eight Technician Service Standards to implement in their organization:

  1. Call customer when you are on your way to their location, with approximate arrival time.
  2. Upon arrival, check in with customer or point of contact and offer a friendly greeting.
  3. Confirm the work or service requested.
  4. Complete the work requested in a timely and quality manner.
  5. Inform customer when work is completed and if any follow up is required.
  6. Thank the customer for their business before leaving the location and offer friendly closure.
  7. Transmit service paperwork, via tablet, to Service department by close of the business day or next morning.
  8. Check in with Service department office, by text or call, before leaving the location.

Using these as a benchmark they were able to increase the standards of excellence in their services.

TH!NK Training - Elite Mechanical - Group Meeting
Elite Mechanical put in the work to identify ways to improve their customer service

3. Adapt Your Customer Service Approach To Each Customer, While Maintaining Your Standards

In training, technicians and office staff learned how to communicate even more effectively using Everything DiSC Sales.  

This class helped the technicians grasp their natural style of delivering service. Technicians learned about the emotional needs that drive people’s expectations in service.

For example, the customer who is driven by accuracy will want service delivered differently than the customer who is driven by getting quick results.  The technicians used the DiSC model to “people-read” their customers’ needs within a flash of a minute.

Then, they practiced strategies to adapt their service to the customer’s DiSC style.  With a little practice, people-reading and adapting with DiSC became easier and proved effective!

4. Track, Measure and Adjust Your Service Delivery

Once Elite successfully implemented their standards, what was next?

The Elite technicians and office staff started a self-check process.  They wanted to do a better job at integrating the standards into their daily practice.

Immediately, Elite made a conscientious effort to engage their clients through a customer service survey.  They regularly checked-in with their customers to receive feedback in order to improve their service.  They realized that it’s a simple solution, but it just takes time.

But then, Elite continued their quest for outstanding customer service, but this time focusing on their internal customers, their employees.  The Elite leadership team launched a second survey — an employee opinion survey to measure internal satisfaction from all departments.

Elite was becoming data rich!

With new feedback channels, Elite Mechanical reports that they are now using a scorecard to measure their key initiatives over time.  Consistently, they can identify areas of success and improvement.

Way to go with the measurements!

TH!NK Training - Elite Mechanical - Having Fun
Improving customer service doesn’t have to be dull. Elite Mechanical enjoyed the process of raising their standards.

The Results:

We checked in with Tom Nishi, Secretary/Treasurer at Elite Mechanical, to see how they were doing.  Proudly, he reports on 3 wins Elite has already experienced in just 6 short months.

Win #1:  Elite Mechanical created Eight Technician Service Standards. The standards mirror our promise to our customers.  They clearly define what it is we do and how we shape the customer experience. The standards created consistency and focus for our technician service team.  Ultimately, it set the foundation for every single customer interaction.

Win #2:  The training inspired us to take a look at how we presented ourselves to customers.  We’ve taken the initial steps to reinvent our brand.  Elite Mechanical launched a new company logo, updated the company website, and produced a new marketing brochure. At the end of the day, these elements complement the overall approach to our customer experience.

Win #3:  We also implemented new support tools, processes, and standard practices to become more proactive with our customers. Now, there’s a trace file system to contact customers ahead of their scheduled service dates and to monitor vendor delivery of orders.  For the first time,  a continuity binder documents standard operating procedures.  Lastly, weekly staff “huddles” have become an important part of communication to the field team.

Client Final Thoughts:

“At the end of the day, this customer service initiative has reinvigorated our people to reinvent the HVAC industry. Now, we are on our way to take the customer experience to a whole new level never before seen in Hawaii. Today, this approach solidifies relationships with existing customers, helps build new customer relationships, generates new business, and strengthens the culture of Elite Mechanical.”

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TH!NK Training and Elite Mechanical’s leadership enjoying the fruits of customer service excellence.

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - Featured Images

When a client goes through a training class featuring Everything DiSC®, there is one question we get more than any other.

Can you guess what it is?

No, it isn’t, “Why are you guys so amazing at teaching Everything DiSC®?” (but that was a good guess).

Believe it or not, the most common question we get is: “How do we make it stick?”

And if you think about it, that makes total sense.

When you start to undertand Everything DiSC®, you naturally want to utilize what you just learned and make good use of the experience.  There is nothing worse than having an amazing session and then going back to “business as usual” with communication in the office.

If you’ve gone through the Everything DiSC® training, then you already know that it creates a more open environment.  This is one of the things people love most about the experience; colleagues become more understanding of one another, embrace each other’s strengths, and laugh about what used to frustrate them.  It’s easy to see why you want to keep those good vibes going.

So when we get questions like, “How do we make sure people don’t go back to their old ways of communicating?” we get it. It is a cause for concern, because you want to maintain the momentum.

But how?

Well, today is your lucky day!  By the end of this article you’re going to learn the top 3 ways (in order of importance) to keep the Everthing DiSC® good juju flowing in your workplace.

And it all starts with finding a champion in your organization …

1. Certify someone in your organization with Everything DiSC®

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - Learning DiSC
Get certified in how to use Everything DiSC®

While we love teaching Everything DiSC® to people like you from all types of organizations, we didn’t become experts overnight.

I wish I could promise that a four-hour class would magically create perfect communication, free your team from complaints, and make everyone completely value each other’s differences.  As you’ve probably noticed, people and organizations do not transform their behaviors after just one workshop.

And while they do begin the process of changing and adapting, by using the language of DISC and practicing a few techniques, the reality is, people transform over time.

As they hit new levels of mastery, they need new tools and techniques to take their communication skills to the next level. Can an outside training or consulting company help you roll out this type of training?  Sure.  But it is no replacement for having an in-house champion for Everything DiSC®.

We are the champions … of Everything DiSC®

A champion is someone who works with an Everything DiSC® consultant to build knowledge and make the application of Everything DiSC® more relevant.

There really is no substitute for having a person on staff that understands how to build the concepts into your culture.  They are able to be hands-on to trouble shoot and coach your team with quick mini training sessions.  Plus, it is a big money savings when you can respond to day-to-day challenges with solutions that positively impact teamwork and customer service.

So, how do you develop your own Everything DiSC® champion?

It’s a simple process and the smartest place to start is by helping your HR department, training department, and operations managers go through the Everything DiSC Workplace® Certification.

There are two ways to do it:

  1. Online certification with a virtual cohort.  This consists of four two-hour modules, over the course of four weeks.
  2. In-person training sessions in Hawaii over two consecutive eight-hour days.  (And did we mention it’s in Hawaii?)

We’re going to get into more details on exactly what you can expect with certification in a future article.  But in the meantime, be sure to check out our four-part series by Treanna on her experience going through the certification process as a member of Generation Y.  It is a great look behind the curtain at how certification works.

And what happens once you’re certified?  First, you’ll experience a significant boost in confidence and competence when delivering Everything DiSC® training.

But even more important is how effective having a certified champion is to maintain the benefits of Everything DiSC® in your organization’s culture. If you want to keep the concepts going strong, then this is step number one.

But what is step number two in helping make Everything DiSC® stick?  I’m so glad you asked … 🙂

2. Actively use MyEverythingDiSC.com

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - Use myeverythingdisc.com
Utilize the online resources with Everything DiSC® at MyEverythingDiSC.com

One of the challenges for those who go through Everything DiSC® is not knowing how to take their knowledge to the next level.

What if you aren’t able to get certified, but still want to make sure you can continue your mastery of the Everything DiSC® principles?

Well, that is where MyEverythingDiSC.com comes in. When you complete an Everything DiSC® Profile, you receive access to this unique online learning tool that helps you continue your personal mastery of Everything DiSC®.

Not only does it help you learn more about understanding behavior styles, but it also helps you use it to solve everyday challenges you may have when working with people. You can get tips on getting buy-in from others, learning about other people’s working style, the history of Everything DiSC® and even more about the research itself!

And best of all, it’s completely FREE!

Setting up your MyEverythingDiSC.com account

If you’ve taken an Everything DiSC® Profile, but are not sure how to set-up an account, then just follow these instructions to get it going:

  1. Click on the link you received in the email when you received your Everything DiSC® Profile.3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 01
  2. This link opens the website where you took your Everything DiSC® assessment. Click the “Go to My EverythingDiSC.com” button.3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 02
  3. This opens the MyEverythingDiSC.com website. Click the “Create an account” link below the Sign In button.3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 03
  4. Enter all required information, and then click the “Create an account” button.
  5. An activation email is sent to the email address you just entered. Open that email and click the “Activate your account on MyEverythingDiSC.com” link.
    3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 04
  6. The MyEverythingDiSC.com site opens, logged in to your account, with a welcome pop-up displayed.3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 06
  7. Your report is now located in MyEverythingDiSC.com, with custom content that is enabled by your Everything DiSC program administrator. Access to site features will depend on what has been allocated for your profile by your administrator.

A quick note: If your completed profile is not loaded in your account after completing the process mentioned above, go to the My Reports page and enter your Report access code (located in your email or on the cover of your report). Then press the Add button. (If you continue to experience difficulty creating an account and importing your profile, please contact your Everything DiSC Program Administrator.)

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it …

Once you’ve set up your account, be sure to check out MED 17, a fun little resource that helps you make the most out of MyEverythingDiSC.com.

We challenge you to download MED 17, and tackle one challenge a day for the next 17 days.

We promise you will be more knowledgeable about Everything DiSC® and have many more strategies for using it as a daily part of your communication.  Keeping yourself up to date with Everything DiSC® is one of the best ways to make sure it sticks with your organization’s culture.

So, now we’ve covered two great ways to keep your momentum going with Everything DiSC®.  Our final method involves making sure that your new employees also get the benefits that Everything DiSC® has to offer.

3. Use Everything DiSC® Comparison Reports when on-boarding new employees

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - Onboarding New Hires
Use Everything DiSC® to help on-board new employees

When new employees are on-boarded into an organization, it often involves a long period of downloading and uploading a wide variety of company rules and information.  And, unfortunately, this process is often glossed over, or even overlooked all together.

But this period of new beginnings is also the perfect time to show a new employee how much you value how they feel in their new work environment.  Lucky for you the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report does just that!

It helps a manager emphasize how important people and relationships are to the company. This makes the new employee immediately feel appreciated. The report kicks off the conversation about expectations when communicating and relating to each other.

A quick scenario

Imagine it is your first week on the job at your organization and your manager invites you to a one-on-one meeting.

He/She takes a look at you and says, “We are so excited that you have joined our team. I want you to know that across the company we take pride in knowing each other’s strengths.  We truly value proactive conversations about working comfortably and effectively with each other.”

After a slight pause while you absorb what that means, they continue.

We are people and we understand that things won’t be perfect around here.  But, if we start with being open and straightforward, we have a better chance of making this a positive and productive relationship for all of us.

As a new employee this sort of exchange not only makes you feel valued, but it helps you feel understood.

With the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report, the conversation to learn about each other’s communication styles, work philosophies and conflict management, becomes more relevant.

Steps to apply it in your on-boarding process

Here are a few specific steps you can take to apply the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report in you on-boarding process:

  1. Within the first week of a person being hired, ask your EPIC Administrator to invite the new hire to take an Everything DiSC Workplace® Profile.
  2. Prior to the new hire’s first day of work, their manager should already schedule a meeting time to debrief this report and have a conversation about the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report.
  3. Prepare for a the conversation with these key questions:
    • Based on your DISC results, what are the tops 3 items that I should know about you?
    • As we look at each behavior continua:
      • What roadblocks might we face?
      • How will we benefit from working together?
      • Are there any tips listed that you would appreciate me to do?

With this on-boarding process in place, your new hires are able to excel at their jobs and integrate into their teams.  Plus you will have established an understanding of how to bring out the best in their performance.

Keeping Everything DiSC® alive in your organization means new employees build a foundational understanding of how it can contribute to their work experience. It is a great way to make sure that DiSC sticks with your team.

What are the next steps?

If you are reading this article, you most likely already love Everything DiSC®.  But you probably want to make sure you take full advantage of your training.

Here’s a quick rundown of the steps we just covered to help you keep the momentum with Everything DiSC®:

  1. Have a certified Everything DiSC® trainer in your organization to maintain and implement Everything DiSC® with your teams.
  2. Take advantage of the FREE MyEverythingDiSC.com online tool to keep up with the latest in Everything DiSC®.
  3. Help new hires succeed by utilizing Everything DiSC® as a part of their on-boarding process.

While these aren’t the only ways to make Everything DiSC® stick, these are the most effective and easiest strategies to implement and apply.

The steady, incremental results will be noticeable, and if you stick with it and keep reinforcing DiSC in your organization, they can even be exponential!

We’d love to hear how implementing these strategies work for you.  What results are you getting?  What are you struggling with?  How can we help?

Leave a comment below with your experiences, or contact us to see how we can help you bring Everything DiSC® to the forefront of your organization’s culture and communication.


Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema, Nik MacMillan, The Climate Reality Project, Glenn Carstens-Peters, and rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Generation Z: Shaping Our Next Workforce

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Move over Generation Y, here comes Generation Z.

Some say that Gen Z is 21 years old, born after 1996. Others will argue that the oldest Gen Z is born in 2005.  Either way, Gen Z is our future workforce.  If you are a parent of the younger Gen Z, you can play a critical role in developing the behaviors of future employees.

According to Caelainn Barr, in her article, “Who are Generation Z? The latest data on today’s teens,” Generation Z is “connected yet isolated, savvy but anxious, indulged yet stressed.”    We are often asked in our generations class, From Boomers to Generation Z: Managing the Needs of a Diverse Workforce, “What can I do as a parent to influence the type of employee my child will be?”

Three strategies to prepare Generation Z for tomorrow’s workforce

The #1 factor in shaping a generation is how children are raised.  Therefore, parents have a significant impact on the type of employees children will grow up to be.

Here are three strategies people can intentionally reinforce today so that Generation Z will be prepared to contribute to tomorrow’s workforce.

Generation Z Strategy #1: Build Grit

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Encourage perseverance and persistence with younger Gen Z

Generation Z has always had the technology available to them.  Gen Z learned to navigate a tablet or phone before they could even walk.  Toys quickly responded with blinking lights and sound.

Today, videos and online gaming raise adrenaline levels and keep minds engaged for hours.  As a result,  Gen Z senses are stimulated so much that they crave constant excitement.

Recently, a group of 12-year boys talked about quitting their boy scout troop. The meetings were boring.  Subsequently, they did not see how charades, kickball, and cooking would be helpful. When asked what they would rather be doing, they replied, “playing video games.”  Suddently, it dawned on me; if something was not exciting, it had little value.

Work Tip:

Work is not always interesting.  It can be tedious and requires perseverance to perform.  In a quest to understand why some people work harder and longer than others, Angela Lee Duckworth, of the University of Pennsylvania, discovered that “Grit” is the number one predictor of success.

In her TedTalk Grit:  The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela notes grit and self-control are the two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being.  It was the common thread of successful students, billionaires, entrepreneurs, CEOS, celebrities, leaders, etc.

How can grit be cultivated in our youngsters today so that we will see it show up when they enter the workforce as adults?  How do we challenge our youth to think beyond their initial reaction of discomfort or boredom?

In the boy scouts’ scenario, one boy said, “Charades is boring. How are charades useful for scouts?” The parent leader challenged the kids by asking “What are the benefits of playing charades?” After talking for a few minutes, the scout realized that playing charades was a way for the scouts to make friends and have fun together.   Furthermore, the parent leader went on to explain that as scouts, they would need strong relationships and teamwork to survive in the wilderness and get things done.

Generation Z Strategy #2: More Face-to-Face Interactions

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Develop Gen Z with more in-person interactions

Emily Cherry, head of participation at the NSPCC, reports that “what we’re seeing is a generation of children who are expressing much more clearly that they are just generally so unhappy with themselves and the situations around them.” Much of this is due to the online world and being connected to social media 24/7.

The challenge of social media

For example, when kids see their friends at parties that they haven’t been invited to or compare themselves to others from online photos in social media, it leads to low self-esteem and low self-worth.

Interestingly, it may seem like social media increases connections between people, but the opposite can easily be argued when social media leads to increased feelings of isolation.

Isn’t that ironic that Gen Z can be highly connected to the world but have fewer close relationships?  I may have 2000 Facebook friends, but how many of those people do I really know or trust?

Virtual connections do not replace the in-person experience of connecting. They don’t give people a chance to fully interact with the same interpersonal benefits.  Bonds build when people laugh, debate, talk, or even are just quiet together. Face-to-face interactions develop necessary skills that help people thrive in work teams with their peers, their customers, and in all parts of the organization.

Work Tip: 

Increase face-to-face interactions with people, no matter how old they are.  With children, pull out the family board games. With family, carve out an internet-free zone. Have dinner at the table with no devices and get ready for the fun conversations that emerge!

With your teens, watch a favorite YouTube video of the day and then build conversation around the video (after they put the phone away).  The key is to balance technology with experiences that are real; filled with real emotions, real conversations, and real people.

Generation Z Strategy #3: Get a Job at 16

Generation Z Shaping Our Workforce - TH!NK Training - Get a Job
Part-time jobs teach valuable skills that can’t be mastered in the classroom

We know that Generation Y got a late start working compared to the generations that preceded them. Gen Y spent much of their time in school earning degrees and honing skills conceptually.  They consider their time in school as valuable work experience.  Many Generation Zers will follow the same path as Generation Y but start work even later.

Work Tip:

Getting an earlier start in the workforce has its upsides.

Gen Z earn quicker respect from the older generations at work.  Baby Boomers and Gen X do not count time in school as work experience.  Part-time jobs or volunteer work can help Gen Z better understand the dynamics of a workplace.   Anything outside the home without mom or dad will build confidence, independence, self-initiative, and people-skills.

Start as early as possible in jobs that are fun and age appropriate. For example, fast-food counter help, junior referees, movie theater ushers, tutors, farm work, yard work, animal shelter volunteers, provide a great place to start.  When someone starts working at a young age, employers give more patience to develop basic work skills such as timeliness, attendance, teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Companies are less likely to tolerate poor work habits from a 23-year old out of college who “should know better.”

Generation Z has arrived

Organizations have learned valuable lessons trying to understand and adapt to Gen Y.  With hindsight as a teacher, we can learn from the past.  We can start to develop the work ethics and work habits we want to see in our future Gen Z workforce.

You don’t have to be a parent of a Gen Z to have an impact. Everyone can be intentional to influence the behaviors we want to see.  What can I do today to impact our workforce for tomorrow?  Leave a comment below and let us know your ideas on how to cultivate the grit, interactions and work experience of Generation Z.

Three strategies to avoid hiring the wrong people

75% of employers say they have hired the wrong person and the average cost of one bad hire was near $17,000

~ 2016 Career Builder Survey

Are you a part of the 75% of businesses who hired the wrong person?  A 2016 survey from Career Builder reports that the employers who hired the wrong person could detect their costly mistake within 1 to 3 weeks of employment.  Within three weeks, some telling signs that they selected the wrong person for the job are:

  • Less productivity
  • Compromised quality of work
  • Negative impact on employee morale

We often ask employers why their hires don’t work out.  The most common response is a frustrated conclusion that their candidates must have lied in the interview.

Instead of investing valuable time re-designing your entire selection process, try tracking the cost of turnover.

Does it feel like people are leaving quickly?  Analyze your turnover with specific numbers, rather than relying on your gut feeling.  The RISCPA (Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants) has an excellent template for calculating your cost of turnover on their website here.

Hiring people with the right job fit can help relieve the burden of the hidden costs of turnover.  Many companies struggle with selecting the right person for the job and integrating the person into their organization’s culture. It is frustrating and disappointing when an ideal candidate turns out to be a wrong fit.

How can you avoid the pitfall of hiring the wrong person?  The solution is a better interview, selection, and onboarding process.  

Today we’re going to analyze the symptoms that employers experience and indicate early signs of hiring the wrong person, offer diagnostic questions to help identify the problem, and finally, we will recommend strategies to prevent the mistake from happening again.

Symptom #1:

The employee doesn’t produce the quality of work or demonstrate the skills they claimed to have during the interview. 

Avoid hiring the wrong person - TH!NK Training - Quality of Work
Does your hire have the right quality of work?

Diagnostic Question: 

How do we objectively measure the candidate’s ability to do the requirements of the job and not just rely on the applicant’s word?

Recommendation:

Use an assessment tool that identifies and measures the thinking skills required for a job.  It should be able to objectively compare a candidate’s abilities to those requirements. 

One such tool, PXT Select™, allows employers to utilize Job Performance Models to identify how well a candidate fits a job.

These Job Performance Models are selected either from a list of established models, or by designing one customized for your position.  The custom Job Performance Model is created by answering a series of questions around numeric skills, numeric reasoning, verbal skills, verbal reasoning, behaviors and interests.

The Job Performance Model is then integrated into an online questionnaire for the candidate to fill out.  Afterwards the employer receives the PXT Select™ Comprehensive Report; a data-driven analysis of how well the applicant’s abilities match the requirements of the job.

Click here to see an example of the PXT Select™ Comprehensive Report.

Using an assessment tool adds objective data to a process that is often subjective and has a gut feeling component to it.  Of course, an assessment should not be the only piece used in your selection process.  But it is an ideal tool to add to your selection process after you’ve received the resume and before conducting the initial interview.

Symptom #2: 

The employee doesn’t work well with other employees. 

Avoid hiring the wrong person - TH!NK Training - Negative Attitude
Does your new hire get along well with their team?

Diagnostic Questions:

How will the candidate fit into the culture of a team?  Will the employee be comfortable and productive within the team?  How does the candidate align with the values of the organization? How will the candidate work with or respond to different behavioral styles that could be on the team?

Solution #2: 

Analyze how a candidate’s behaviors fit with the rest of the team before they are hired.  

“Working well” is typically a function of how well the people on the team accept each other’s behaviors.  The goal is to have diverse behavioral styles on the team.  This ensures your team has multiple perspectives to help the organization. 

For example, you may have five people on your team who tend to behave in a more open trusting manner, but the new hire may have a skeptical approach to trusting new people, products, and services. The new hire’s natural practice of skepticism could be an asset to the team, helping them diagnose problems early. 

Often when different approaches are not valued it can bring turmoil to the team.  How a team welcomes and integrates the new hire impacts their work and social behaviors. 

PXT Select™ provides a way to analyze how well a candidate’s behavior style will fit within an existing team.  The results are presented in the PXT Select™ Team Report, which can be used when onboarding a new hire.  It also helps the existing team to prepare for the new team member.

You can download an example of the PXT Select™ Team Report here.

When deciding to hire a candidate with different behaviors from the team, be prepared to answer the following questions: 

  • How will you ensure the new hire’s approach is valued instead of judged by the team?
  • What will you do to manage team culture and encourage various behaviors on your team?

Symptom #3: 

The employee has a negative attitude, and customers complain about the new employee. 

Avoid hiring the wrong person - TH!NK Training - Working well with others
Does your new hire have the right attitude?

Diagnostic Question: 

What training has the employee received about service expectations and standards?  How could a negative attitude in service situations be identified earlier in the selection process?  How has this employee handled difficult customer situations in the past?

Recommendation: 

When a customer complains about an employee it is often a result of how the employee’s behaviors make them feel.  It also stems from a lack of reliability by the employee. 

Is this a case where you selected well but did not train properly? 

It is best not to jump to the conclusion that it was a bad hire.  Retrain your employees on the values of your company and how they should treat your customers.  Define your service standards so that employees know the expected behaviors behind “how” to take care of people and not just what to do for them.  To ensure quality work focus on training them on the processes in their job. 

There are three keys to hiring the right candidate:

  1. Ask solid interview questions
  2. Know the behaviors you are looking for in a top performer
  3. Be clear on the interests a person needs to enjoy their work

So, what is a useful question?  Marie Kumabe, President of Kumabe HR (www.kumabehr.com), says behavior-based interview questions provide actual examples of a person’s competency and help you predict future behavior.

For example, instead of asking “Can you handle angry customers?“, You should ask, “Tell me about a situation where you had to deal with an angry customer.  How did you take care of it? What was the outcome? 

If you are not confident with identifying behavior-based interview questions, not to worry.  The PXT Select™ Comprehensive Selection Report not only analyzes job fit, but provides specific, behavior-based questions customized to the candidate and their relationship to the position’s Job Performance Model.  (Click here to download a copy of the report.)

In Summary

Follow these steps when you start preparing to hire for your next position:

  1. Calculate your cost of turnover.
  2. Get a clear picture of what it takes to be successful in a position.   Don’t just know the job tasks associated with the position.  Focus on identifying the cognitive thinking skills, behaviors, and interests of a top performer.
  3. Include an assessment tool in the process.  It should objectively measure a candidates’s skills, behaviors, and interests to determine their fit with the requirements of a position.  An assessment will add objective data-driven information to a typically subjective process.
  4. Evaluate potential in addition to the skillset with behavior-based interview questions.

Next Steps

Want to learn more about PXT Select?  Contact us today to learn more about how PXT Select™ can help you find and hire the best candidates for your business.  You can also learn more about PXT Select on our “Solutions for Teams” page where we break down what it is, what it offers and how it can work for your business.


PXT Select™ is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

Photos by Tim Gouw, Giovanni Randisi, Jason Blackeye and Meghan Duthu (Unsplash)

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.

How do I use the Everything DiSC® Needs Badges to reinforce DiSC®?

Think Training - Everything DiSC Needs Badges - Featured Images
Everything DiSC Needs Badges - TH!NK Training
Some fun Everything DiSC® Needs Badges

It’s hard to resist those fun-loving Everything DiSC® Needs Badges!

If you are unfamiliar with the needs badges, they are magnetic badges that communicate a psychological need in a fun way. For example, “My need is….” stability, enthusiasm, results, collaboration, accuracy. There is even one that declares a need for coffee and another for happy hour!

Here’s a few tips to use the needs badges to reinforce DiSC® & have fun!

1) Team Meeting Icebreaker

Sprinkle the Everything DiSC® Needs Badges in the center of the conference table. Have each person choose a badge that represents a need that they currently have in the meeting. In a round robin fashion, have each person share what their need is and why.

What people share will range from light to serious. Tune into what they share and ask questions if you are curious to learn more. Have fun!

2) Use as a Decoder Ring

Do you remember mood rings that would communicate your mood depending on the color that your ring turned? If I remember correctly, colors like bright green and blue were good and if my ring cast a dark gloomy color, it was a signal for others to stay away!

Needs badges can be used in a similar way to help people understand your need for the moment. My recommendation would be to stash a set of Everything DiSC® Needs Badges in your desk. Throughout the day, change your badge as your needs change.

You may start out the day with the “My need is…Coffee” badge. If you are heading to a meeting to plan a project, perhaps you may wear the badge “collaboration.” And if you can’t find a badge that completely describes your need, then grab the blank badge and write it in!

3) Reinforce a Culture of Diversity

Provide anyone who completes Everything DiSC® with their choice of a needs badge that helps communicate one of their style’s priorities. When people wear their badges, they will find that it is a conversation-starter to talk about what’s important to them using DiSC® language.

People will become curious and ask about the DiSC® style(s) that they relate to and inquire about the styles and behaviors that they don’t relate to. Hopefully, people will be able to laugh about their differences and embrace diversity.

4) Gifts

When DiSC® is embedded in your organization’s culture, the needs badges becomes a valuable gift and reward! Everybody wants one! Recognize accomplishments and progress with a box of Everything DiSC® needs badges.

5) Social Mixer Conversation Starters

In addition to name tags, have everyone at your event choose a needs badge at check-in.

Because the badges are magnetic, everyone can wear them and they won’t fall off. People don’t need to know DiSC® to have fun with the needs badges and they do not have to talk DiSC® to use the badges. People just need to get curious and ask each other why they chose that particular badge.

Remember, there are even blank name badges that you can create your own need. You will be surprised by the conversations that the badges will spark!

If you are interested in learning more about the Everything DiSC® Needs Badges or order a set, contact us at info@think-training.com or 808-224-6694.

A starter set is only $22.00 + shipping and it includes the following needs:

  • Accuracy
  • Action
  • Challenge
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Collaboration
  • Enthusiasm
  • Happy Hour
  • Results
  • Stability
  • Support
  • To be a Star.

A box of blank needs badges is only $20.00 + shipping for 10 badges.  Click here to pick yours up today.

And if you would like to know more about Everything DiSC® or any of our other solutions for building effective teams and leaders, please contact us today and we will work with you to come up with a custom plan to help your organization and business rise to the next level.

Giving Feedback Is Tough, or Is it?

Think Training - Giving Feedback - Featured Images

Which is harder? Giving feedback or receiving feedback?

Giving feedback can be tough or feel tricky if you are delivering constructive feedback. You may not want to hurt someone’s feelings, or you fear that your feedback will hurt your relationships, or you may question your right to give the feedback.

Either way, if you feel the feedback will help the person be more effective in their role or re-align their behaviors with their good intentions, then sharing the feedback is important.

The Giving Feedback Model

Today, we will share a model for Giving Feedback to make the process just a little easier.

Let’s start with your own mindset. What do you view feedback as? Is it something positive and helpful or negative and a punishment?

If you feel that it is the latter, then you need to prepare yourself with believing that feedback is a gift; that what you have to share will be very valuable to the receiver. The trick is really in how you deliver the feedback. How is the feedback packaged? HOW you communicate the feedback is its packaging and the content of the message is the true gift inside.

Regardless of the person’s personality or behavioral style, ground the conversation with a neutral tone by

1) Stating the situation or an observation that inspires the feedback.

For example, “I would like to talk to you about the comment you made during this morning’s team meeting about my behavior at the Christmas party.

Notice that this statement contains basic facts about the situation. The statement is free of emotion, judgment, and interpretations, and this is important in order to not activate defensive behavior from the person you are giving feedback to.

2) Next, share the impact of the situation.

For example, “I felt embarrassed in front of the team and it makes we wonder if you were intentionally trying to embarrass me.

This statement contains emotions and feelings which is important for the sender to express. It helps the person connect to the impact of their behavior and gives an opportunity for the receiver to view how their behavior was interpreted. It gives the receiver an opportunity to correct any misperceptions about the intentions of their words or actions.

3) Finally, when giving feedback, make a request that clarifies how you want the situation to be handled next time.

For example, “What I would like to request is that next time you have a concern about something I said or did, I would appreciate if we could talk privately in a one-to-one conversation instead of in front of others. I really value your thoughts and feedback and it is easier for me to talk about it without extra ears listening in.

 

Giving Feedback Model Infographic - Think Training

 

We often use this giving feedback model when sharpening communication skills, building trust within teams or in one-on-one relationships.

To learn more about how the Giving Feedback model can help your organization be more cohesive, contact us today and we’ll share these and other methods to help your team be happier and more effective.

 

When You Listen to Win, Everybody Wins

Think Training - Tutorial - When You Listen to Win Everybody Wins - Featured Image

According to an infographic from Getting In Front Communications, subscribers of Harvard Business Review rated the ability to communicate “the most important fact in making an executive promotable.” They ranked it more important than ambition, education, and hard work. (Source: Piombino, Kristin.” Listening Facts You Never Knew.” Ragan’s PR Daily. Web. 29 Dec. 2013).

Learn to Listen

With today’s busy workplace, listening is a skill helping people be more comfortable and productive at work. Knowing your employees’ needs starts with listening. Learning what your clients want starts with listening. Building trust starts with listening. Breaking down barriers between departments begins with listening. Discovering new innovative ideas to grow your revenue or reduce your expenses begins by listening. So, apparently, no one can afford NOT to listen. It is essential to long-term success.

Listening is not merely the ability to stop talking. Active listening requires you to attach meaning to what you hear and take thoughtful, appropriate actions on that information. The Personal Listening Profile by Wiley Publishing breaks down listening into five different approaches. Each approach has a very particular role and set of behaviors that bring the listening approach to life.

Think Training - Listening Infographic

Approach #1: Appreciative Listening

When to use it: It is important to use this style when you are building relationships. It is the first level of listening we do when we are getting to know someone and networking. You might call this your small talk listening. Some people disregard this as a time waster when it is the gateway to building trust and relationships. People share vital information with you in these conversations that will help you connect at the moment and recall the next time you see them.

3 Behaviors to ignite your appreciative listening:

  1. Relax and enjoy the moment.
  2. Match the level of enthusiasm the person is demonstrating when they tell you a story.
  3. Focus on them, ask them questions and be curious about their story.

Approach #2: Empathic Listening

When to use it: Empathic listening is the approach to use when someone needs a supportive ear. It is the part of yourself that you use to understand the emotions behind a message. This listening approach is very efficient when listening to a person’s complaint, investigations, coaching and motivating your team.

3 Behaviors to ignite your Empathic listening:

  1. Ask open-ended questions like “how did that make you feel?”, “can you tell me more about?”.
  2. Let the sender of the message know you care by nodding and providing good eye contact.
  3. Remain relatively silent and let the sender of the message to do most of the talking.

Approach #3: Comprehensive Listening

When to use it: Comprehensive listening approach is perfect to use when you need to make sense of what you have heard such as in situations when you need to understand the big picture or intention behind the message.

3 Behaviors to ignite your Comprehensive listening:

  1. Take notes using by mind mapping so that you can show relationships to the content.
  2. Summarize frequently, “so, what I hear you saying is…”
  3. Try to explain the message in your words to the sender of the message.

Approach #4: Discerning Listening

When to use it: The Discerning listening approach is best to use when you want to get complete and accurate information. This style is all about capturing the details and making sure that you do not make mistakes. It is an ideal listening style when you need to learn a new procedure or technical skill.

3 Behaviors to ignite your Discerning listening:

  1. Take notes in a linear and step by step format.
  2. Eliminate distractions.
  3. Repeat back exactly what you heard them say. Do this frequently to make sure what you heard accurately reflects what your sender of the message intended you to hear.

Approach #5: Evaluative Listening

When to use it: The Evaluative listening approach is used when making a final decision at the end of a conversation. It is our most vocal listening approaches, and it is important to use. If someone sends you a message and they want help making a decision, this is the listening approach for you.

3 Behaviors to ignite your Evaluative listening approach:

  1. Ask questions.
  2. Be skeptical so that you are clear about the question and the details you are deciding on.
  3. Summarize the details you heard, the question that needs the answer, provide an answer and why you came to that conclusion.

We all have the ability to use all five listening approaches. Maximizing your communication moments requires that you match up the situation with the appropriate listening style.

Are you curious about which is your strongest and most natural listening approach? Equally important, are you curious about which listening style you could use more of to capture more effective communication moments? Call us at 808-224-6694 or email at info@think-training.com to inquire about taking Wiley Publishing’s online Personal Listening Profile.

Click here to get your FREE Personal Listening Sample Profile from TH!NK. (PDF)