DISC: Learn to Discern their Style

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We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop Mark Twain there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Finish this sentence: I can’t stand talking to him/her because s/he always:

  • Hears a challenge and sees a contest in every situation
  • Is easily distracted and gets off topic
  • Won’t make a decision alone
  • Becomes insulted and defensive over the slightest disagreement

Before I understood how DISC helps me understand where other people are coming from, I would become frustrated, even angry, when I was confronted by someone in their style as they reacted to a statement I made or situation I was involved in.

I think it’s human nature to expect people to treat us in our style. Problems arise when we are in our style and they are in theirs, and their style is not the same as ours. Many times I’ve said:

  • I’ll never do that again!
  • I’ll never talk to them again!
  • That’s the last time I’ll have anything to do with them (or that company)!

Now that I know how to discern other people’s style and how their style influences their response, I have learned the key to communicating with people. As a result, I am a better communicator. When I am really good at it, the person thinks I am the same as them, when in truth, I may be a polar opposite!

You, too, can learn this highly valuable process to become more successful and less stressed in your business, your relationships, and your life. Start today with a DISC like the KITE DISCtest247.com because you need to know your style first. When you and I review your results in the debrief, I’ll help you understand how to put your discerning tools into action.

 

DISC: Better teams > Better results

Picture your business as a school bus, a really important school bus, and you have taken great care to be sure that the people who sit in the seats on your bus are the right people for the seat. Your Vice-President, CFO, maybe even your HR director and Sales & Marketing directors all have a seat at the front of your bus. Seats further back are filled with managers, supervisors, and others in your business. In normal day-to-day operations, you can comfortably drive your bus down the road you’reIs this your bus? following and avoid the bumps, potholes, and deer in the road.

But what happens if you face a detour? You may find out that the bus you are driving looks like the one on the right. Your detour could be:

  • a fantastic project or contract, the likes of which you’ve been working on for quite a while now;
  • an unexpected loss of business, and you need to make internal adjustments FAST.

You are now lost and you need to get back on the right track ASAP. 
Start by identifying your process issues.

  • Where are your problem areas?
  • Where do you need to allocate personnel in order to manage the problems you’ve uncovered?
  • What are you missing?

Your key to revealing your way through the detour: your people! Those very same people sitting on your bus understand your business from their unique perspective and talents. This knowledge is invaluable to you, and it’s what’s really been moving your bus down the road. But how do you harness this and put it to use?

DISC is your key to revealing the talents of  your people. In order to switch your bus to an updated model, my clients use DISC because it shows you the talents ofMove up to a new bus! the people who work for you. You may use a very different configuration of people for specific topics. Having your DISC results readily available in a spreadsheet format like you get with KITE DISCtest24/7 gives you the ability to quickly assemble the people to remodel your bus.

Detour done and back on the road to success. You may choose to continue along the detour, or you may choose to return to your original route. My points are that:

  • your choice needs to be informed,
  • your people hold the key to your being informed, and
  • one of the tools you use to become informed is DISC.

As you’re driving your bus down the road today, why not stop for a minute and visit with me to see how I can help you? I’ve been using DISC with businesses just like yours for many years. Happy trails!

DISC: The Analytic Tool that can do so much for You

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Better teams > better project management

Better teams > better project management

Pick your situation:

  • You are a business owner and you are hiring an employee or employees
  • You have an important project and you need to assemble the best team and you’re not sure how to do that
  • You are an HR professional, and the people you are hiring are not working out, and you need to know why

These are a few we’ve thought of, and we are pretty sure there are more ways you’ll discover where you can and should use DISC to understand someone’s style and how the person will fit with your business.

The use of analytics like the KITE DISCtest24/7 has grown in recent years as the world recovers from economic turmoil. Why? Because the cost to make a mistake is just too high. Misfits cost us money. We need a tool that will help us spot a misfit BEFORE we hire them or add them to a team.

I am working with a client who made a mistake in hiring a few months ago. My client thought the new hire was a good match for the business. He had sales experience in a number of industries. My client had a gut feeling the new hire was a good fit and spent many hours training the new hire in the product and introducing the new hire to existing clients. In other words, setting the new hire up for success.

My client was super surprised when complaints about the new hire started rolling in rather than orders for the products. Another shocker was when the new hire failed to show up at appointments. A little over 90 days from hiring, the new hire was out the door. That amounted to thousands of dollars in payroll, the value of my client’s time, stressed out co-workers, and other expenses.  It was a disappointment for my client!

Needless to say, we are going to use analytics and the KITE DISCtest24/7 to understand the top three applicants as my client takes steps to replace the misfit.

The complexity that is an integral part of humanity can be understood when we use readily available tools. We’ve all had to work with a misfit at some point in our lives. When we avoid the misfit situation, we are all happier and our business runs more smoothly. Isn’t peace of mind worth it to you?

Business Growth: Brand Development

Your brand is your reputation

In the fall of 2011, we bought a Kenmore washer. We didn’t hesitate because we knew from many years of experience that Kenmore is a reliable brand and we would get many years of laundry done with that washer.

Wrong! That Kenmore is now dead 2 years later, almost to the day. We’re replacing it with a GE we purchased from another retailer, and we won’t go near a Kenmore again. For us, the entire Kenmore brand is now off limits.

In the steps of brand development, the decision makers at Kenmore have made a mistake. They’ve trashed the brand they spent decades developing, and they are going to have a very difficult time re-establishing the brand in the future (assuming they get the chance to rebuild it).

Your brand is your reputation. Whether your business is a small one-person shop or a big corporation, your brand can be developed to bring in new business and to up-sell to existing customers.

Think of your company brand and where it ranks it in these descriptions for the group of people you do business with:

  1. Awareness: I heard of that brand
  2. Preference: I like it
  3. Desire: I need it
  4. Urgency: I have to own it
  5. Purchase: I’ll buy
  6. Evangelism: I’m glad I own it and you would be, too

The key to business growth is to nurture a group of people who are at each step in the brand awareness process.

Your goal is to develop a group of people at the Evangelism level because this is where the strongest referrals come from. This may mean that you need to take some steps to shift your focus away from the Purchase level where so many businesses stop. Business growth and brand growth take place at the Evangelism level at the highest profit levels. To take your business and your brand to the next level, contact me today so we can get started.

Business Strategy: Focus using time chunking

Focus using time chunkingFocus: a time allocation issue
I’ve tried the serious and intense time management stuff. I’ve managed my time in 15 minute increments. I’ve kept a list of tasks and projects. I’ve worked on one of those tasks or projects at a time and used my timer to keep myself on my schedule.  My outcomes?

  • Stressed because I could not keep to my schedule
  • Tasks not completed because of interruptions

My focus strategy: I chunk my time
Chunking works for me and it might work for you. When you chunk your time, you step away from your task list and instead first look at how your week and days flow. I only chunk the current week. Here’s how I look at my time chunks:

  • Work week
  • Work day
  • Morning
  • Afternoon

With my calendar handy, I next look at my scheduled meetings, coaching clients, lunch appointments, and networking sessions. I now understand when I’m going to be in the office and when I will have a chunk of time.

The quality of a chunk of time is definitely worth your consideration. If you spend your first hour putting out fires, acknowledge this, allow for it in your chunking by scheduling it in that time slot. Putting out fires is important work!

Once you understand your time chunks for the week, go to your task list to fit your tasks into your time chunks. Be true to your plan if at all possible. I give you permission to reassign your tasks to another time chunk because we all know time chunks can change between Monday and Friday.

My hint: I acknowledge the completion of a task by highlighting it in yellow rather than crossing it off my list. I prefer the color to show my success.

The ROI of focus
While the term Return on Investment (ROI) is often used in financial areas, it applies here to the benefits I get when I chunk my time:

  • Feel more in control and successful at completing tasks
  • Complete more tasks than I do when I don’t chunk my time and respect my time chunking
  • Operate more efficiently and cost-effectively

Would you like to talk about time chunking and how it can work for you? Give me a call today at 910-215-0077. I look forward to our conversation!

DISC Index: 3 Reasons to Use This Now

You...with DISC Index!Picture yourself engaged in a conversation with a client or co-worker. Unlike your previous conversations, this one is going smoothly. All signs of your prior state of conflict are gone. You speak, the person responds, you successfully deliver your message, check for understanding, know you’ve been understood.

You feel an immense sense of relief afterwards. You’ve never felt so in control of a conversation with this person. You’ve been empowered. You are satisfied. You’ve moved to a new level in your communications skills.

Sound like a dream that can never come true? Nope. You’ve used the DISC Index to understand yourself and you’ve gained the ability to understand others and address them in their style. This is a key to success in communications.

You need to speak to people in their style. Just as you want to be addressed in your style, so they want to be addressed in their style. Is this tricking the other person? Heck no. It’s being ultimately respectful of them. And it’s a true win-win situation.

The DISC Index is used for communications. Here are 3 reasons you need to complete the DISC Index now:

  1. Understand what’s causing you problems and how to work through them
  2. Reduce stress because you communicate with meaning
  3. Focus clarity develops because you remove the emotional entanglement that happens with poor communications

A couple of sayings come to mind, and I think this one works here: You can never know too much about yourself. Call or email me right now to get the DISC Index.

 

Business Coaching: Your Emotions and Decisions

Once upon a time, I received an email. When I read it, I thought it said my sky was falling. Then I stopped and asked myself a series of questions to take my emotions out of the issue. It turned out that my sky was not falling, that the person sending me the email was under stress and had expressed their stress (with a situation that did not involve me) in their choice of words in the email they sent me.

If this has ever happend to you, either in an email, a conversation, or a business meeting, I suggest that your first step is to acknowledge your emotional response internally.
Whoa! Why has this statement upset me? What emotion am I feeling AND WHY?
You already know that your internal physical response to stress is not beneficial to your longterm health and happiness. You owe it to yourself, your career, and your long term goals to take these few seconds to monitor and understand why statements upset you. The more you understand about your behavior, the stronger you become.

Customer Loyalty: Handling Complaints

At the root of it all, a complaint is a gift. Why? Because it’s feedback. We don’t often receive feedback, and more often than not, companies rely on the outdated and faulty customer satisfaction survey.

Be sure to read my post on the 3 company values that lead to emotional connections with your customers. You will need to be sure you have these values firmly in place in your business and you discuss how your business is managing these values on a regular basis (like at monthly employee meetings).

If you are tempted to either (a) hide from the customer so you don’t have to deal with their issue or (b) treat the customer like a grump who doesn’t know anything, here are some tidbits based on research that demonstrate how your management of complaints impacts not only your repeat sales, but also your chances for referral business.

  • If a customer has a minor problem and it is handled quickly, 95% will repurchase
    from your business; 82% will purchase again even if it is a major problem that has been resolved.
  • If the problem is not resolved and the problem was a major one, only 14% will
    repurchase.

A complaint is a gift and an opportunity to show the customer how
good your organization really is. It also provides important information on how
you can get better by changing a process or improving a procedure to prevent a
repeat occurrence with this customer or any others!

Keeping track of complaints therefore becomes a very important function within your company’s internal processes. You need to have your complaint management system in place now, before you have a complaint and if you are in the middle of managing a complaint. The steps you follow are these:

  • Thank the customer for bringing this to your attention
  • Offer an apology
  • THEN find out the cause of your customer’s issue

The thank you and the apology create a huge emotional shift in your customer’s
mind. It shows a great deal of empathy and sends a strong message that the most
important consideration is how the customer feels rather than who did what to
create the problem. If your customer feels someone at your company cares about them, they are less likely to blame your company for problems.

Business Growth: Being Extraordinary

Extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people.
– Reepicheep

Reepicheep from NarniaI had the opportunity to watch the third installment in the Narnia series with our 8-year-old granddaughter recently. Reepicheep is the mouse character pictured at the right. At one point in the story, he says to Eustace that extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people.

I firmly believe that Reepicheep is right, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. I see this in the people I meet every day. Your story is phenomenal. You’ve done some remarkable things.

You see, I think that we are all extraordinary people, without exception. If you think you are common, ordinary, and not worthy to be called extraordinary, I hope you will read on and consider my argument as to why you are, truly, extraordinary and why you should use this to guide your business tactics.

Right now, today, are you where you thought you’d be when you graduated from high school? College? Discharged or retired from the military? From my conversations with many of you and my personal experiences, we have all made choices during our lives that have brought us to this point. These choices and the resulting experiences are what makes you extraordinary. There is no duplicate of you. You are the only one who has your unique combination of life experiences and personality. This gives you a unique perspective that you should use to your advantage.

How can you use your perspective to your advantage? By designing business tactics customized to take advantage of your experiences. This might require some introspection on your part, but it will be worth it if the exercise moves you toward the outcome you want.

We all know we have to be different from our competition. What makes you extraordinary is what will serve you as your differentiator from your competition. Sometimes, our differentiator is so different from our competition that we have difficulty believing that we can be successful. If you are in doubt, step back and analyze everything – your feelings (including your doubts), the true reality of the situation, and how your experiences will make you the better option for your target market.

It’s a well-known fact that YOU are the biggest impediment to your success. You’re wasting precious time. You have to get on with being extraordinary.

Business Sustainability: The Advantage of Risk

Juggling catsRisk avoidance. Risk aversion. Risk management. Call it what you like. In today’s world, we trend towards viewing risk as a negative instead of as an advantage, maybe even a condition to be pursued and planned for in order to take us to our next level.

The status quo is comfortable. When we are in status quo, things are flowing smoothly and that’s where the trouble comes in. We become complacent. That’s when growth stops and we move into a protective mode where we do what we can to protect the status quo. Talk about stressful! Have you ever fought to protect yourself from risk only to learn later that you missed out on a huge opportunity? That’s not a good feeling.

Pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone is how we get ahead. Ever move up the ladder at work? Congratulations! You took a risk. Ever purchase a home? Congratulations! Another risk taken.

My point is that we all need an element of risk to propel us forward. Planning for risk helps us advance and grow. We manage risk through the establishment of metrics to monitor how our planned risk taking is going and then adjusting our plan to continue our forward progress towards our ultimate desire. The flow looks something like this:

  • Select the outcome we are most interested in achieving
  • List the risks we perceive to be associated with achieving that outcome
  • Rank or rate these risks on their potential to impact us resulting in a risk priorities listing
  • Plan for addressing each risk to develop the metrics we will use to monitor if or when each risk is impacting us
  • Adjust our progress towards the desired outcome to capitalize on the advantage the risk brings to us
  • Keep moving – don’t quit, and above all, don’t give up