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

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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

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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

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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.


Case Study: Microsoft

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See how the Microsoft, the world’s largest producer of software, stays innovative and ahead of the competition. Using The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ as the foundation of their Organizational Capital Program, Microsoft can develop their teamwork, the ultimate competitive advantage.

Watch this video produced by Wiley Publishing to learn more.

Interested in knowing more about how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ can help you and your organization?  Contact us today to learn more.

The Everything DiSC® Model (Video)

Think Training - Everything DiSC Model - Featured Images

What if people had their needs written all over them? Would it make it easier to work together?

The answer is yes. The Everything DiSC® Model provides the means to understand people’s needs and create a more cohesive working environment.  The following video shows details on how this model can help your organization thrive and grow.

Would you like to learn how you can bring the Everything DiSC® Model to your organization or business?  Contact TH!NK today and we’ll help you understand the various methods in our toolkit to make you a more effective leader and bring your team closer together.

Everything DiSC® is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  All rights reserved.

Case Study: The Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii

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Bram Begonia from the Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii, in an interview with Chad Lovell (TH!NK’s Ambassador of Buzz), shares how Everything DiSC® training from TH!NK helped their organization develop a more cohesive team.

The Issue:

As a Management team, we identified a huge opportunity to work better in our one on one interactions with each other and as an entire management team. There are about 30 Managers on our Management Team. As an example, in the business meeting, we realized it always went long. Sometimes we’d go off on a tangent or stray from the agenda. We noticed some people would ask a lot of questions wanting more detail and others loved to answer questions. The meeting kept going in circles. It felt unproductive and inefficient. We were spending way too much time going back and forth. What was happening?

Coincidentally, the Human Resource Team sought Everything DiSC® to enhance internal team building and dynamics, and to help resolve communication issues on their small team of four. After the Human Resources group started seeing the benefits of the training and started using the tools they learned, they highly encouraged the Director and Management team to undergo the training. We understood the way we worked together needed to change. So the Management team took a chance on Everything DiSC®.

The Solution:

All 30 Managers including the Directors took the Everything DiSC® Workplace training, which was completely eye-opening. First, you learn things about yourself that you already know but are further confirmed. Then you learn things about your personality that maybe you don’t want to know or hope are not true about yourself but you realize is probably accurate. Finally, you start learning about your co-workers and how they view things and why they react and do some of the things they do and say some of the things they say. Uncovering and sharing respective DiSC styles shed so much light on why those meetings would take so long. The “C” folks in the room always asked more questions because that is what they do. The “C” folks love the details and want to uncover every possible ramification of a possible decision. The “I” person perceived they were being helpful by answering the questions and the “I” loves talking. The “I” person also is focused on how the team feels and may not want to make a decision and tries to make sure everyone is heard. With three “C” personalities and one “I” personality at play, we finally understood why the meetings went on for as long as they did. It all came down to how people work together based on their DiSC® style.

We followed up the Everything DiSC® Workplace training with the Everything DiSC® Comparison Report. This further allowed us to better understand – and relate – to differing communications styles. This hit home for me personally because the tool helped me connect stronger with my newest staff member. By acknowledging her style, we’ve been able to communicate more clearly with each other to achieve our department’s goals. It has also provided coaching opportunities to assist and guide in her professional development. It’s a win-win scenario. We also start with a clear foundation of understanding what potential pitfalls we may have when we make decisions and communicate with each other in looking at our comparison report.

The Results:

Everything DiSC® has made employees feel more confident about how they communicate with each other. Before you come into my office, you can see my DiSC® profile next to my door before you enter. You will know what I respond to and what my style is even before entering my office to discuss issues or to solve problems. I, in turn, can bring up a profile of a person I will meet within the next few days so I can prepare to have better success in finding a solution when I know what the potential communication roadblocks there might be. This has fostered positive team building and allowed groups to create stronger connections with one another to accomplish the work that has to be done.

We are much more efficient in the way we do things, giving us far better use of time, to truly focus on those activities that deliver value to our customers at the Kroc Center Hawaii. When employees work well together and are happy, our customers are happy.

Teams inherently appreciate the perspective each individual bring to work and they’ve learned how to leverage the talents of each team member to achieve our business objectives.

Our Center Facilitator has taken the DiSC® training knowledge help her to understand she needs to spend more time to bond with team members, which has increased team morale, loyalty, and productivity. The staff is willing to pitch in when duty calls whether it’s during the workday or in the middle of the night – because the manager has taken the time to get to know the team members and fully understand what makes them tick.

As an organization, we are better equipped to engage and seek input from one another to quickly arrive at solutions. We’ve been successful in minimizing frustration within teams while encouraging a collective approach to problem-solving and team building. Everything DiSC® has transformed our workplace for the better and there are more benefits yet to come once more team members take the profile and start using the tools.

Case Study: Oceanic Time Warner Cable

Think Training - Oceanic Time Warner Cable - Case Study Featured Image

The Issue:

Oceanic Time Warner Cable provides a diverse selection of entertainment and information services to nearly three-quarter of the households, schools and businesses across the state of Hawaii. Oceanic is a kamaaina, or Hawaii-grown, company that currently employs nearly 1,400 highly trained individuals statewide. An ongoing learning and development program is essential to meet the demands of the ever-changing dynamics of the industry’s technology, and this presented a tremendous opportunity to leverage Everything DiSC®.

Oceanic recognized a gap in staffing in 2004 and Everything DiSC® was rolled out to the senior leadership team. With a number of leaders on track for retirement, Oceanic was in need of clear succession planning, so leaders could transfer their skills and operations knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

As Oceanic offered the training, it became evident its sales and front-line customer service representatives could also benefit from the program. One of the core objectives for Oceanic was getting employees to communicate better, to enhance relations between co-workers and supervisors, and ultimately, enable the front line to deliver a world-class service experience to customers. Having a consistent training program could help achieve that objective and also impact its bottom line.

The Solution:

Oceanic Time Warner Cable has utilized a variety of Everything DiSC® solutions for its employees.

  • DISC for the Workplace® – This was used in resolving issues between co-workers, improving communications within departments and providing customer service best practices with front-line employees, including Oceanic installers.
  • DISC for Leaders® – This helped providing managers and supervisors with tools to conduct lively and productive discussion with employees. With successful results, it has become part of Oceanic’s curriculum for its Leadership Program at all levels.
  • DISC 363® – This has also been utilized as part of the Leadership Program, helping to serve as a great baseline from which leaders are able to make quality changes.
  • DISC for Sales® – Oceanic has customized this program to teach salespersons on how to better read and understand their customers and how to deflect any anger and minimize conflict with the company.

The Results:

The impact of the training programs have made significant impact on Oceanic Time Warner Cable, creating a workforce that is highly satisfied and loyal to the organization, and delivering top customer service that earns one of the highest satisfaction scores across the nation for parent company Charter Communications.

For front-line staff, they are better equipped to anticipate customer needs and questions, and better manage and resolve issues. For salespersons, they are better equipped to handle customer inquiries and empowered to implement the right and appropriate sales approach. For managers and supervisors, they are better equipped to manage their employees as well as their peers, opening the door to partnership, mentorship and collaboration.

The customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) have increased over 200 basis points in two years. The net promoter scores (NPS) have also seen a rise over 500 basis points in the same period. Hawaii’s Oceanic ranks as one of the highest customer scores in the Company across the nation.

In a 2016 Culture Survey, an overwhelming majority of employees responded and placed “training opportunities” and “the Company’s investment in development of talent” in the top five elements they are most proud of. Indicative of employee pride, Oceanic has one of the lowest attrition rates. Employees are also highly engaged outside of work, putting in thousands of volunteer hours in the past few years across many local community organizations.

Oceanic’s training and development programs have evolved into a high demand and sought-after learning opportunities, motivating employees to challenge themselves, transfer knowledge to others, and create a strong culture of continuous improvement.