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Posts tagged ‘DISC’

Getting it Right the First Time

In theory, hiring should be simple, and many managers perform the same routine: they write a job description, put an ad in the newspaper or online, wait for the résumés to arrive, and then hire the person they like the best. It all sounds so simple. However, there’s a lot more to the process than just “picking the best.” How will you know if a candidate is likely to get on with the rest of the team, or with your organization’s culture? What if a candidate doesn’t accurately describe their skills, and so, in reality, is incapable of doing the job? And how can you make sure that the best people apply for a position? These are all valid questions that seem to have a very elusive answer.  The truth is, a few hiring mistakes can be avoided with a little preparation and a tool called, Extended DISC. This tool has an assessment that will allow a Leader and his Team to indicate what are the major attributes of the job in question. Then you have applicants fill out a few pre-interview questions along with their resume,  that will help narrow down the field. Once you have your top 5 candidates, you have them take the Extended DISC to help determine the right fit for your organization.

It is ever increasingly important in today’s society that hiring mistakes be minimized. These mistakes waste time, money, and they can really hold a team back. This is why learning how to hire effectively is such a smart move for Leaders. There are a number of  reasons why it’s worth the extra time and effort to hire effectively. For example:

  • The right people in the right roles will be more productive – They’ll also be less likely to leave the organization. High staff turnover is a serious problem for any Organization.
  • A poor hiring decision may cause stress and conflict within your team – If your new recruit has personality issues or isn’t a “team player,” this may lower productivity for everyone. Be proactive and take time to do the Extended DISC process to save yourself this headache.
  • You’ll save time and resources – Frankly put, a Leader today cannot afford to lose any more money from the bottom line then absolutely necessary.
Take time to do it right the first time. Sure, mistakes can happen to even the most cautious of hiring Leaders. However, many mistakes can be avoided if go the extra mile to get it right the first time!
Until next time, hire right the first time!!
Rod
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Examine the Connection

Recently I was reading a Leadership communication forum and agreed so much with what was said I wanted to expand on it in my blog today. The subject of the forum concerned the difference between communication and connecting. The question was asked, “Do you communicate or do you connect?” In the realm of Leadership this is a crucial question! If all you are doing is communicating and not connecting with the Team, you may as well save your breath!

The key to Leadership is relationship and you can’t have a relationship without connecting with your Team. So much of a person’s communication is lost by how they deliver the message they are trying to get across. Too often we put little thought into how we say something while putting a great deal of thought into what we are saying. I would venture a guess that the rapid development of technology has some to do with this issue. We are living in a world of ‘super connectedness’. We “connect” via mobile phone, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Skype. However, I find it that we have many ways and means of communicating, but we are often never truly connecting.

Connecting is more than just communicating. Communicating is getting a message across. Connecting is how you get the message across. Connecting means that you care for and take an interest in the person you are communicating with right now. It has been said that if we would do more connecting, we would have less correcting to do! The more we connect to people, the better our chances of influencing them and making a positive difference in their and our outcomes.

Technology has made it easy to no longer have face to face communication. It is commonplace to see and hear misunderstandings because of a lack of connecting with a person in a face to face, or at least on the phone, complete conversation. When a Leader has a message to communicate he/she must take into to consideration that communication styles of the people they are trying to reach. The best way for this to happen is through an Extended DISC process for all involved. (PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR MORE INFO ON THIS WORKPLACE REVOLUTIONIZING TOOL!!) If you don’t take into consideration those who will hear the message and how they receive that message, half to two-thirds of your impact is lost!

Next time you have a message to communicate, think first about how you are going to connect to the people that need to hear your message. If you start there, your success rate with your communication will sky-rocket!! Remember: People may hear the words you say, but what they will remember much better is the attitude you displayed while saying those words.

Until next time, care enough to connect, don’t just communicate!

Rod

Say What? Part 2

So what does active listening entail? How do you do it?
Listed below are a few tips to help us all be better listeners and for those talking to know that we are doing more than a surface job of hearing what they say. Remember, hearing is what most everybody is able to do in a conversation, listening is what the sincere Leader does!
Pay attention.

Give the speaker your undivided attention, respect, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly.

  • Look at the speaker directly. Make eye contact if possible.
  • Put aside distracting thoughts. Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal!
  • Avoid being distracted by environmental factors. Concentrate of what is being said.
  • “Listen” to the speaker’s body language. Observe the non-verbal’s but don’t let it take you away from the conversation.
  • Refrain from side conversations when listening in a group setting. Focus, focus, focus!

Show that you are listening.

Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention.

  • Nod occasionally.
  • Smile and use other facial expressions.
  • Note your posture and make sure it is open and inviting. Don’t cross your arms or roll your eyes.
  • Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh.

Provide feedback.

Our life experiences and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said and put aside prejudices. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions for clarification.

  • Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is.” and “Sounds like you are saying.” are great ways to echo back.
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?”
  • Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically, just don’t cut off the speaker to do so.

Tip: If you find yourself responding emotionally to what someone said, say so, and ask for more information: “I may not be understanding you correctly, and I find myself taking what you said personally. What I thought you just said is ***; is that what you meant?”.

 Defer judgment.

Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.

  • Allow the speaker to finish no matter how you may feel about what is being said.
  • Don’t interrupt with counter arguments. This makes the entire conversation useless and puts those around you on edge and an understanding becomes farther away if not impossible.

Respond Appropriately.

Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. You add nothing by verbally attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down.

  • Be candid, open, and honest in your response but remain respectful. Remember that diversity is valuable in all areas of life.
  • Assert your opinions respectfully. Keep in mind that everyone has opinions and your’s is no more important that their’s.
  • Treat the other person as you would want to be treated in the same situation.
These are just a few ways to enhance your active listening skills, not to mention your personal and professional relationships.
Until next time, Listen, Listen and then Listen again!!!
Rod

Say What? Part 1

Nothing irritates me more than someone not listening to what is said or the information given. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your job effectiveness, and on the quality of your relationships with others.

Given all this listening we are supposed to be doing in a day, you would think we’d be good at it! However, most of us are not. Depending on the study being quoted, we remember between 25% and 50% of what we hear. That means that when you talk to your boss, colleagues, customers or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation. This is dismal! Turn it around and it reveals that when you are receiving directions or being presented with information, you aren’t hearing the whole message either. You hope the important parts are captured in your 25-50%, but what if they’re not?

Clearly, listening is a skill that we can all benefit from improving. By becoming a better listener, you will improve your productivity, as well as your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What’s more, you’ll avoid conflict and misunderstandings. All of these are necessary for workplace success!

Good communication skills require a high level of self-awareness. By understanding your personal style of communicating, you will go a long way towards creating good and lasting impressions with others. The Extended DISC Profile is key to this. Contact Ascend Business Strategies for information on this economical way to turn your workplace around!!

The way to become a better listener is to practice “active listening”. This is where you make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that another person is saying but, more importantly, try to understand the complete message being sent. In order to do this you must pay attention to the other person very carefully.

You cannot allow yourself to become distracted by whatever else may be going on around you, or by forming counter arguments that you’ll make when the other person stops speaking. Nor can you allow yourself to get bored, and lose focus on what the other person is saying. All of these contribute to a lack of listening and understanding.

To enhance your listening skills, you need to let the other person know that you are listening to what he or she is saying. To understand the importance of this, ask yourself if you’ve ever been engaged in a conversation when you wondered if the other person was listening to what you were saying. You wonder if your message is getting across, or if it’s even worthwhile continuing to speak. It feels like talking to a brick wall and it’s something you want to avoid.

Acknowledgement can be something as simple as a nod of the head or a simple “uh huh.” You aren’t necessarily agreeing with the person, you are simply indicating that you are listening. Using body language and other signs to acknowledge you are listening also reminds you to pay attention and not let your mind wander.

You should also try to respond to the speaker in a way that will both encourage him or her to continue speaking, so that you can get the information if you need. While nodding and “uh huhing” says you’re interested, an occasional question or comment to recap what has been said communicates that you understand the message as well.

As important as active listening is, read tomorrow’s blog to find out how to become an awesome active listener!

Until then, Listen Up!

Rod

Common Leadership Mistakes, part 2

6. Misunderstanding Motivation

Do you know what truly motivates your team? Here’s a hint: chances are, it’s not just money!

Many leaders make the mistake of assuming that their team is only working for monetary reward. However, it’s unlikely that this will be the only thing that motivates them.

For example, people seeking a greater work/life balance might be motivated by telecommuting days or flexible working. Others will be motivated by factors such as achievement, extra responsibility, praise, or a sense of camaraderie. A great tool to help figure this out is an Extended DISC Profile! Contact us today to learn more!!

7. Hurrying Recruitment

When your team has a large workload, it’s important to have a full team. But filling a vacant role too quickly can be a disastrous mistake.

Hurrying recruitment can lead to recruiting the wrong people for your team: people who are uncooperative, ineffective or unproductive. They might also require additional training, and slow down others on your team. With the wrong person, you’ll have wasted valuable time and resources if things don’t work out and they leave. What’s worse, other team members will be stressed and frustrated by having to “carry” the under-performer.

You can avoid this mistake by learning how to recruit effectively, and by being particularly picky about the people you bring into your team.

8. Not “Walking the Walk”

If you make personal telephone calls during work time, or speak negatively about your CEO, can you expect people on your team not to do this too? Probably not!

As a leader, you need to be a role model for your team. This means that if they need to stay late, you should also stay late to help them. Or, if your organization has a rule that no one eats at their desk, then set the example and head to the break room every day for lunch. The same goes for your attitude – if you’re negative some of the time, you can’t expect your people not to be negative.

So remember, your team is watching you all the time. If you want to shape their behavior, start with your own. They’ll follow suit.

9. Not Delegating

Some managers don’t delegate, because they feel that no-one apart from themselves can do key jobs properly. This can cause huge problems as work bottlenecks around them, and as they become stressed and burned out.

Delegation does take a lot of effort up-front, and it can be hard to trust your team to do the work correctly. But unless you delegate tasks, you’re never going to have time to focus on the “broader-view” that most leaders and managers are responsible for. What’s more, you’ll fail to develop your people so that they can take the pressure off you.

10. Misunderstanding Your Role

Once you become a leader or manager, your responsibilities are very different from those you had before.

However, it’s easy to forget that your job has changed, and that you now have to use a different set of skills to be effective. This leads to you not doing what you’ve been hired to do – leading and managing.

Key Points

We all make mistakes, and there are some mistakes that leaders and managers make in particular. These include, not giving good feedback, being too “hands-off,” not delegating effectively, and misunderstanding your role.

It’s true that making a mistake can be a learning opportunity. But, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become productive and successful, and highly respected by your team!

Until next time, Lead on!!!

Rod

Welcome to Ascend Business Strategies!

We are new at this Blog process, but we catch on quick! LOL In the coming days there will be various articles about Personal Development and HR hints and tips for success. Ascend is based in Jefferson City, MO and our President is Matt Cowell. You can find more out about Ascend by visiting our website, (which will be redone shortly, so be patient if you follow this link and it is under construction.) www.ascendbusinessstrategies.com.

Here is a little bit about who Ascend is:

Matt Cowell, President of Ascend Business Strategies has been in the Leadership and Professional Training field for over 15 years designing and developing training programs to allow people to accomplish their goals. Matt serves as an adjunct professor at William Woods University in the Business Department. He has been teaching graduate and undergraduate classes for the past 7 years. Having developed and delivered many programs in areas of risk management, leadership, process improvement and performance management, Matt decided to help other companies reach their goals.

In addition to his training background, Matt has held various leadership positions in public and private organizations. Matt is also certified to teach and utilize the Extended DISC Assessment Tool. DISC is a key assessment tool helping organizations communicate effectively and deliver results.

Amy Reinkemeyer, Business Analyst with Ascend Business Strategies; has been in the Human Resource Management field for over 5 years. Amy has served in a variety of human resource rolls. She currently serves as the liaison for human resource policies, benefits, compensation, training and procedure questions. In this role she is a resource for all clients and helps to answer inquiries that are specific to many employment situations.

Amy also serves as the contact for applicants that are recruited through Ascend Business Strategies for a variety of clients. As the point of contact, Amy screens applicants based on the criteria provided by the recruiting company. This roll is an important time-saver for busy clients who need their candidates narrowed to ensure that they spend their time interviewing quality candidates.
Amy began her human resource career at Central Missouri State University where she served as a human resource clerk. There she was available to all university staff and fielded questions relating to their policies and benefits. She also assisted in developing staff orientation packets and affirmative action reports.

Rodney Long, Consultant with Ascend Business Strategies; specializes in helping people become the best they can be through personal growth classes, individual Mentoring, Leadership Coaching and Motivational Speaking. Rod draws on over 20 years of successful Business Leadership experience, which includes 10 years as an Ordained Minister. He has helped many Businesses and Churches become more productive, develop winning cultures and grow to new heights through his Coaching.

During his years of Leadership Development he has been privileged to work in varied fields and help establish great Leaders in many areas across the U.S. and Canada.  His skills in producing classes that are motivating, relational and centered on solid Business principals have been vital to his success and the success of those around him.  Rod is Certified in Extended DISC, (DISC is a key assessment tool helping organizations communicate effectively and deliver results.), and Franklin Covey.

Keep an eye out for our next post!!

Rod Long