The secret to turning conflict into cooperation

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

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

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

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

And it all starts with a fundamental question …

Is conflict good or bad?

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

After all, what is conflict, really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The key to productive conflict

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples of destructive behaviors

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going from destructive to productive

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

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

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

Much less cringe-worthy, right?

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

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

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

What do I mean by that?

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

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

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

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

Re-framing your thoughts

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

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

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

Here are a few more examples:

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

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

Three steps to productive conflict

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

1. Conflict is good

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

2. Stay open and healthy

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

3. Focus on the solution

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

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

Need help with conflicts?

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

5 Reasons Why DiSC Experts Still Need Certification

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

Tell us if this sounds familiar:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#2: Understanding Why

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#3: Networking and Personalized Attention

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

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

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

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

#4 Build Your Resume by Adding Credentials

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

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

– Tom Peters in Fast Company

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

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

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

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

#5 New Ideas

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you get certified?

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

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

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

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

See you there!

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

Training Bag Tools - TH!NK Training - Featured Image

People ask us all the time about our training bag.

“Where did you get it?”

“What do you carry in it?”

“Where can I get one?”

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

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

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

1. Awesome Markers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. RYG (Red-Yellow-Green) Cards

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

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

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

How to use RYG cards

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

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

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

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

3. Gadgets, devices, & connectors

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

Or your HDMI or VGA connector cord is missing!

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

Any one of these is a trainer nightmare!

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

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

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

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

4. Efficient Training Bag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another tip is to label baggies to store smaller items.

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

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

5. Things that Stick

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

Post-Its

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

We carry 2 sizes of post-its:

3″ x 3″ Square

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

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

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

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

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

Sticky dots

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

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

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

6. Tape

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

Scotch Tape

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

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

Blue Painter’s Tape

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

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

White artist’s tape

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

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

7. Noisemaker

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

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

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

8. Water bottle

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

We can not stress how important this is!

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

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

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

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

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

9. Snacks

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

Keeping snacks handy go right in line with staying hydrated.

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

Some of our favorites are granola bars and nuts.

10. Flip-chart paper

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

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

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

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

11. Favorite DiSC Tools

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

What’s in your training bag?

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


3 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.)

3 Effective Ways to Make Everything DiSC® Stick - TH!NK Training - MED 07

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

Up Your Game With Everything DiSC®

Upping Your Game with Everything DiSC® - TH!NK Training - Featured Image

So, you’ve completed an Everything DiSC® Workplace profile. You may have even joined a class to get you up to speed on the styles of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness. As a leader, you understand how behaviors in the workplace impact productivity, innovation, and comfort.

So, now what?

As a manager, are you masterful in the key areas of communication, managing performance, leading people, coaching, resolving conflict, and building strong teams? How do you apply Everything DiSC to “up your game” in these 6 key areas of leadership?

Well, there is a lot that you can do to apply Everything DISC® to be more effective.  A good place to start is getting to know what companion DiSC tools are available to lean on.

Did you know that there is an entire family of Everything DiSC® profiles, each designed for a particular purpose? Using the right DiSC® assessment at the right time can help you and your team increase creativity, collaboration, and camaraderie.

Start navigating the top Everything DiSC® tools with these questions DiSC practitioners ask the most.

Question #1: What is the difference between Everything DiSC® Work of Leaders® and the Everything DiSC® Management Profile?

The Everything DiSC® Management Profile helps leaders strengthen their leadership effectiveness in one-to-one relationships.

The feedback report helps people understand how their DISC style influences their approach to essential functions of management: directing & delegating, motivating others, developing others, and communicating up to their manager.

When to use it: This is an excellent tool to be used in management classes, leadership classes, and coaching.

The Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® profile focuses on a leader’s ability to communicate effectively in one-to-many environments. Furthermore, Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® gives people feedback on how their DISC style influences the way they create a vision, align people to a vision, and execute a vision.

Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® - TH!NK Training
Everything DiSC Work of Leaders® gives people feedback on how their DISC style influences the way they create a vision, align people to a vision, and execute a vision

We used this assessment with a group of executives before their strategic planning session.

During the session,  the Everything DiSC® Work of Leaders Group Report revealed to the executives their strengths and weaknesses in creating, aligning and executing a vision. As a group, they scored high in the areas of Creating a Vision: Boldness and Exploration. They also scored high in the area of Execution: Momentum.

But their results also reflected their typical practice when, in the past, they would create a vision for a project.  They usually rolled it out quickly and employees resisted the new ideas and plans.

By seeing their data on paper, the executive team quickly realized ways to boost their effectiveness.  They needed to test their assumptions with their direct reports. Senior leaders needed to get more feedback about how to implement the plan. They needed to create more structure for implementation. More dialogue would create more buy-in. Therefore, vision implementation would be more successful.

When to use it: Use both assessments in management classes, leadership classes, strategic planning, and coaching.

Question #2: As a leader, which assessment should I use to analyze my leadership skills?

Everything DiSC 363® for Leaders is a multi-rater assessment. It is designed to give feedback on leadership performance.

Why 363?

The last 3 in 363 is symbolic of one of our favorite features of this assessment. The Everything DiSC 363® report provides the leader a list of their 3 top strengths and 3 priority challenge areas.

Everything DiSC 363® for Leaders provides leaders with 26 pages of feedback from 4 groups of raters: manager, peers, direct reports, and others.

What are others?

The “others” rater category can be used for other people in the organization, vendors, and customers. The rater feedback is summarized and compared to the leader’s self-rating. The report shows feedback by rater group.  Specific rater feedback helps the leader assess how he/she is doing with each rater group.

Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders
Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders, Breakdown of Raters

A common problems leaders face

Often leaders end up asking a common question after a 360-degree survey:  “What do I do with this information?

Great news! With 363, the leader receives valuable information about their top 3 strengths and their top 3 areas of development. Each area of development includes strategies that can help the leader improve in their challenge areas.

When to use it: We love to use this tool as a pre and post assessment in management courses, leadership courses, and executive coaching.

Question #3: How do I help two people see that much of their conflict is coming from not appreciating each other’s DiSC® styles?

The Everything DiSC® Comparison Report is one of the best tools to help people start building a more comfortable and productive working relationship. The Everything DiSC® Comparison Report allows any two Everything DiSC® participants to see their similarities and differences in a series of different continua.

What is a continua?

A continua is a model that shows a gradual transition from one behavior to another without any abrupt changes. Here is a snapshot that shows a continua for the behaviors of daring vs. careful:

Everything DiSC® Comparison Report: Behavior Continua
Everything DiSC® Comparison Report: Behavior Continua

 

Use the comparison report to generate the most meaningful conversations by talking about their biggest differences based on their style. It is especially relevant since the report guides participants to talk about their similarities and differences.

Overall, the purpose of this report is to improve communication and efficiency, while reducing tension and misunderstandings.

Question #4: Is there a way that I can see all of my team member’s styles at a glance?

Yes, many of our managers want to be able to see their team’s DiSC® styles at a glance. Two reports,  Everything DiSC® Group Culture Report and Everything DiSC® Facilitator Report, can help.

Everything DiSC® profiles at a glance - TH!NK Training
These reports can help you see their team’s DiSC® styles at a glance

 

As you can see, the main difference between the two reports is that the group culture report does not identify the participants by name in the report.

Question #5: How do you use the Everything DiSC® Facilitator Report or Group Culture Report?

Maximize the use of these two reports after the class and in future department meetings.   These reports are a healthy and constructive way for teams to talk about their strengths and challenges.  You can guide your team to a more meaningful conversation with the report’s questions-focused team culture.

Here is a quick reference guide to help you maximize your leadership effectiveness with Everything DiSC tools:

 

Applying Everything DiSC to 6 Key Areas of Leadership
Applying Everything DiSC to 6 Key Areas of Leadership

5 Tips to Squash Procrastination from an Actual Procrastinator

Procrastination is a subject of extremes.  Many people will tell us that their work is suffering because of their procrastination.   Others say that putting work off to the last minute is a strategy for building adrenalin to do their best work.

I used to be a part of the second group, Team Crunch. I would tell you that I do my best work under extreme deadlines.  That is when my creative juices flow and great ideas pop up.  I still think that is partly true; I do get most energized during crunch time, but it is not when I do my highest quality work, and it is not fair to my team.

I have learned over the years that I need to deliver my work at a measured pace that allows time for me to double check my work and let others question my work. These are not innate skills for me; I have had to learn strategies for pacing my work.  Here are a five of my favorite strategies help me squash procrastination.

Tip #1:  Triage and Organize

Triage your tasks into the following three categories.

1. Do it now: Tackle your urgent tasks that need immediate attention right away. These tasks immediately go into your to-do list within a short period.  For example, complete this task within one hour.

2. Defer to a scheduled time/date: For tasks that require more time, schedule them on your calendar or they will be deferred forever (a.k.a. procrastination pit). One of our favorite work schedulers is Asana. Asana is a web based tool that allows our entire team to schedule work for one another, set due dates, and check off things when they are completed.  We can even have a conversation about the project in real time.

3. Someday/Maybe: Make a list of tasks that are not urgent or a high priority.  Set a date to review these items every 30 days and see if they make it to your schedule list.

Tip #2:  Break It Down and Measure Progress

How do you eat an elephant?  One bit at a time.  That is the same way you tackle a big project.  Break a big project down into monthly tasks, weekly tasks, and daily tasks. The progress will be motivating, and before you know it, you will have that big project completed.  Seeing progress is a major motivator to people.  In a Harvard Business Review article titled, The Power of Small Wins, authors Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer write “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important are making progress on meaningful work.”  The two key items here are progress and meaningful work.   You must find a personal connection to the importance of any project you are working on.   And, find ways to see incremental progress as you tackle each step in the journey.

Tip #3:  Stop Playing Kick the Can

When I was young, my friends and I used to walk down the street, and we would kick a can all the way home.  Why were we kicking the can?  We did not want to pick it up and throw it away, so, we would just keep kicking the can as if it would magically throw itself away.  And as you may guess, the can was always there when we got home, and we eventually had to pick it up to throw it away.   Most of the time I am quite motivated to accomplish things, but sometimes I need a boost.  So, I practice self-talk and say a mantra out loud to get myself going. My mantra is, “Now is always better than later, today is always better than tomorrow.”  If that does not work, I remind myself that if I don’t tackle this task now, it will only become a bigger, more urgent problem tomorrow.  And, I tell myself to stop kicking the can down the road.

Tip #4:  Cramming Does Not Create Quality Work

I know many of you say you do your best work at the last minute. Speaking from personal experience, that is not true.  You may be more energized because you have the pressure of time.  You may even be creative.  But, you cannot do your best work since you will eventually run out of time.  You will not have a chance to ask for other’s input or test your assumptions. Not to mention, you will eventually drive all the people who like to work in a measured, planned approach in your office crazy.

Tip #5:  Know How Your Behavioral Style Drives Your Interests

Take a DISC Survey to find out more about your natural tendencies. Certain tasks are aligned with your natural behavior style and will most likely be the items that you prioritize and are excited to tackle first. On the opposite spectrum, the tasks that fall outside of your natural behavior style could be the work that you procrastinate because it takes more energy from you.  We recommend taking an Everything DiSC® Workplace Profile to help you gain more insight on some of your natural tendencies.  The Everything DiSC® Workplace Profile will help provide you insight on stressors and motivators at work, which can be connected to why you procrastinate some things and others you cannot wait to get started.  If you want to get started with taking an Everything DiSC® profile, you can buy one from our TH!NK store.

This article has required me to use all of my procrastination strategies.  We have struggled with blogging consistently for our business.  In fact, it was my desire to do tip #3, kick the can,  on this article that made me write an article on procrastination.  I must admit that I am stoked to tell you that the goal was to publish this by August 16th and I am putting the final touches to it on August 13.  Whoot whooo!!!    I hope these tips help you, too!

If you have any questions about these tips, drop me an email at info@think-training.com.

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

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

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

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

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

Pre-Work for Week 4

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

Live Session

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

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

Future Facilitator Lesson

As a facilitator, I learned the following:

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

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

Gen Y Lesson

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

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

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

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

INTERESTING IN BECOMING CERTIFIED?

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

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

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

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

Think Training - Everything DiSC Certification - Featured Images

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

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

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

My Week 3 Experience

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

Pre-Work for Week 3

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

Live Session

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

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

Future Facilitator Lesson

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

Gen Y Lesson

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

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

INTERESTING IN BECOMING CERTIFIED?

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

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

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

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

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Week 2 of 4: Pre Work & Live Session 2

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

My Week 2 Experience

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

Challenge #1:  Time Management

I faced two challenges this week.

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

Challenge #2:  The Case Study

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

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

Future Facilitator Lesson

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

Gen Y Lesson #1

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

Gen Y Lesson #2

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

Interested in becoming certified?

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

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

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