Making America Great Again is in our Power

Instead of reading Facebook posts and your favorite media outlet's headlines, I hope you will take a minute to think about what each of us can do to make America truly great again. 

I have these questions in my soul and I imagine you do too. I turned to Parker Palmer's wisdom in Healing the Heart of Democracy (2014) and here are some of his suggestions.

  • Our political talk is often about people who aren't in the room. We can choose to talk with people who may have different positions with honest, curious engagement. Where do we have common ground on the issues we most care about? This is what We The People looks like.

  • Dividing us, as the bipartisan Senate Intel Committee has found was the intent of those who want to destroy democracy, is a way to disempower all of us. How many times after reading what you see on a screen do you think consensus is impossible or even undesirable? For now, think about all the ways you do hold tension with others and solve problems in other aspects of your life and begin to believe that it is possible for us to do this on a larger scale.

  • If you think politics are controlled by Big Money and you are powerless as a single voice, consider what Bill Moyers said:" The antidote, the only antidote, to the power of organized money is the power of organized people." Sixteen states have now called for a Constitutional Amendment to nullify the impact of Citizens United and at least 15 more have calls in the pipeline. This is because people from the left, center and right on the political spectrum have learned how to hold their differences, find common ground, and make common cause on an issue that effects all of us.

  • Do you believe change is possible? Do you have faith in our shared humanity? Parker Palmer has a way to reduce conflict in communities - he invites people on both sides of a contentious issue to spend a day together. Before 2 pm they are not allowed to reveal their position on that issue. But before 2 pm they are encouraged to tell each other stories that led to their position. He says that time and time again the conflict dissipates and the conversation moves forward after 2.

This one is on us. Not those in Washington, not on your elected officials. not on the people outside the room.

Warmly,
Karen

How Having a Talent Management Strategy Helps Employer/Employee Breakups

Employer/Employee Breakups are the Worst

“I’m so sorry, but it’s just not working out.”

Those breakup words are nothing anyone wants to hear in their dating lives. But, in a professional setting, they can be equally—and in some cases more—concerning and frustrating. Each time an organization drops this phrase in a discussion with one of its employees or has one of their team members break things off with them, it leads to a loss in productivity, time, and, most of all, money. That hurts. No matter how you spin it, employer/employee breakups are the worst.

No one wants to receive this news. And, no one wants to deliver it either. But the fact is, without an effective talent management strategy, organizations will likely continue to deliver this news to employees who fail to meet expectations. Or, worse yet, they’ll have to hear it themselves from talented but disengaged employees who decide to leave after feeling unnurtured and unsupported in their roles.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. With a talent management strategy in place, office breakups (and their repercussions) don’t have to happen nearly as often as they might otherwise.

Developing and implementing a robust talent management strategy—that’s the key to avoiding them.
So, What Do We Mean by “Talent Management Strategy?”

Simply put, businesses with a talent management strategy make strategically planning and envisioning talent needs a top priority rather than shunting those needs off as a secondary (and reactionary) thought. Talent management means preventing turnover and addressing lack of engagement. It means acting to achieve consistency in executional excellence. It requires managing speed and flexibility rather than letting the pace of work pull the rug out from underneath you. For organizations looking to drive results, putting in the effort to hire and engage the right people makes all the difference.
Here’s Where to Start—Answer the “What” Piece of the Puzzle

It’s no secret—companies that embrace strategies to hire and retain talent find themselves better suited to drive results and deliver on expectations. Creating those strategies begin by taking the first step—designing the right organizational structure.

Start by asking questions like:

  1. What are the goals the organization is trying to achieve?

  2. What roles need to be created or filled based on those goals?

  3. What traits does the perfect employee need in order to fulfill the role?

  4. What tools does the organization have for identifying top performers?

  5. What cognitive and behavioral traits do we need to find in candidates here?


When mapping out how to build and design an optimal workforce that can get the job done, organizational leaders need to consider these questions first.

While HR departments, like Recruiting, Organizational Development, and Training support these aspects of hiring and developing an organization’s workforce, the “people strategy” component of the equation requires leaders to map out.


Diving into the “Who” Component of the Equation

Once leaders design their organization’s structure and map out what roles are needed, they need to figure out the “who” piece by asking questions like:

  1. Who is the right person for the job based on the specific job requirements?

  2. Who can do this job while finding it interesting and engaging?

  3. Who will enjoy growing and challenging themselves in this position?

  4. Who might have the skills or potential to succeed even if they don’t have the obvious experience in their background?

  5. Who could move within this organization and provide a good fit in future roles that arise?

  6. Who are the right team players for highly visible projects?

  7. Who is ready for their next career move, promotion, or stretch assignment on a new team?

  8. Who needs training or additional resources to do their job well?

  9. Who needs supplementary support in order to stay engaged?

Getting the “who” component down from day one sets a company up for short-term success. Long-term success, however, requires long-term thinking and planning.

Even after organizations hire the right individual for a role they know is a good fit, the work doesn’t end. In fact, it only begins. Nurturing and developing an employee—even a seasoned veteran—plays a critical role in empowering them to perform their job successfully throughout their entire time within your organization.
Over time, talent needs change. And, your company needs a way figure out how to move their talent to meet these shifting needs. New teams, new special projects, opportunities for promotions, or lateral moves all require the ongoing attention of your organization. Optimizing your talent management strategy to account for change and considering how candidates or existing employees match to new opportunities helps your organization adapt to shifts in circumstances, business strategies, and talent needs.

Here’s the Bottom-line

Without a proactive talent management strategy, tools to measure and decide which candidate best fits a role, and methods for keeping employees engaged, business leaders and companies tend to make talent decisions on an as-needed basis. Doing so is natural, but it can create gaps within a workplace and increase room for error, not to mention cost an organization time and money. Lack of planning upfront increases stress, extra workloads, and internal conflict as existing employees buckle under the weight of an enlarged workload assumed from vacant positions.

How PXT Select™ Offers a Proven Talent Management Solution

Serious challenges, like talent acquisition and retention, require equally serious solutions. That’s why we developed PXT Select™. With over 20+ years of research behind it, PXT Select starts from the very beginning by helping you identify the “who” and “what” aspects of the puzzle.

After helping to create a model of the perfect candidate, the PXT Select assessment utilizes psychometric data to help organizations understand how individual candidates or existing employees think and work. From there, a company can place individuals into positions they’re more likely to engage with, succeed in, and stick around for.

To us, that’s a much better alternative than repeating those uncomfortable workplace breakups over and over. They’re possible to avoid. It just takes a little planning and the right information to get there.

I am a PXT Select Authorized Partner and can help you put this in place so you win the competition for talent.

What is patriotism and what is nationalism?

Timothy Snyder in his 2017 book On Tyranny, offers twenty lessons from the 20th century that can help us think now about this country's future. The last lesson he gives us is "Be a Patriot" then defines what that means. 

  • A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best.

  • Nationalism is relative, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others.

  • A nationalist will say "tyranny can't happen here".

  • A patriot will ask us to be our best selves, wanting the nation to live up to its ideals.

  • A patriot has universal values by which s/he judges the nation and its people.

  • A patriot says that tyranny could happen here, but that we will stop it.

Let's be patriots.

Conflict’s Drag on the Workplace

What’s the first word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of “workplace conflict”? We’re guessing that super fun or awesome or beneficial aren’t exactly at the top of the list. In a recent study, Wiley asked 12,000 Everything DiSC® participants (from executives to individual contributors) this same question, and their responses were pretty much what you’d expect:

It’s no surprise that the general sentiment around workplace conflict is almost exclusively negative. These responses are most likely driven by the many toxic behaviors that provoke conflict and wreak havoc on our collective workplace cultures. We’ve all seen these tendencies rear their ugly heads. Here are just a few of the most common destructive conflict behaviors. Odds are, you’ve experienced (and practiced) more than one of them:

Drama: Displaying an over-the-top reaction to a situation.
Gossiping: Engaging in idle talk about someone else’s private affairs.
Passive-aggression: Expressing negative feelings in a subtle or indirect way.
Withdrawing: Drawing back or removing oneself from a situation.

**Stay tuned for more on these toxic behaviors later in this series!**

While there are many other conflict behaviors (detailed in the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Profile), we just wanted to skim the surface and highlight a few that we’re willing to bet you’ve come into contact with over the course of your career. The fact is, destructive conflict drags down workplace efficiency. In our same study, 70% of managers, supervisors, directors, and executives said that interpersonal conflict negatively impacts efficiency in their departments. On top of that, when asked how much time they spend dealing with conflict, this group claimed an average of 3.2 hours each week. Over the course of a standard 48 work-week year, that’s nearly a MONTH of time spent dealing with conflict rather than performance-driving initiatives! This is where lacking the social and emotional skills to effectively navigate conflict can cause other areas in an organization to seriously suffer. We’re all human, and we all experience conflict, but it seems almost incredulous that destructive conflict is occurring on such a widespread, consistent scale.

At the same time, this makes sense. We’ve all fallen prey to the stewing effects of workplace conflict. Think about the emotional impact you’ve endured when someone has called your work (or worse, your character) into question. It can make you feel incredibly anxious, angry, or defeated. It can also make you feel helpless, bitter, or vindictive. You might go from loving your job to covertly browsing LinkedIn for new opportunities in the span of a week, all because you don’t see eye-to-eye with one of your colleagues. 

Destructive conflict has more to do with employee turnover than you might think. Out of the 12,000 people we surveyed, 40% said they have left their jobs in the past due to unhealthy personal conflict on the job. We’re talking about major life changes here, all because of workplace conflict. But we’re also talking about one of the most critical components to a strong organization: employee retention. We’re in one of the tightest job markets in over 50 years (January 2019’s unemployment rate was at 4%), and quite frankly, organizations can’t afford to lose their people—especially to something like conflict. “The business ramifications are enormous,” writes Theresa Agovino in her SHRM article, To Have and to Hold.Each employee departure costs about one-third of that worker's annual earnings, including expenses such as recruiter fees, temporary replacement workers and lost productivity, according to the Work Institute.”

Organizations may find it tempting to focus on metrics like revenue, profit, or growth. But when these organizations take a step back and place emphasis on the things that can’t necessarily be measured—like arming their workforce with the social and emotional skills to effectively navigate conflict—the impact on culture (and, by extension, the bottom line) can be profound. In her Inc.com article, “A Conflict-Free Organization Isn't Great. It's Near Death” Margaret Heffernan, author and part-time lecturer at the University of Bath School of Management, writes: "We train people to be expert in managing technology, numbers, finance, and the law. But this most fundamental characteristic of human interaction—conflict—is something we are somehow just supposed to figure out as we go along. But we don't. And not knowing how to handle it, we prefer to ignore it and hope it goes away. The bad news is that it won't go away; unresolved conflict festers and grows. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way."

We agree with Heffernan. It really doesn’t have to be that way. While conflict can be incredibly uncomfortable, it is an inevitable part of human life, and our workplaces. It’s also not all bad. Conflict, when productively engaged in, can inspire some of our greatest breakthroughs and innovations.

This modern-yet-human approach to conflict, coupled with the staggering results of our survey, have inspired us to dedicate the next few blog posts to answering this single question: How do we give organizations the tools they need to inspire their people to more effectively address and engage in conflict?

Before we dig in to this blog series, we have to acknowledge one universal truth: conflict looks and feels different for each and every one of us. Therefore, a one-size-fits-all, step-by-step conflict resolution approach will often fall short. In our next post (later this month), we’ll take a closer look at conflict through the lens of personality—centered around DiSC®, of course—and start to unravel how each person’s unique behavioral tendencies can shape and influence their responses to conflict. With 69% of our survey respondents saying their job satisfaction would improve if their coworkers handled interpersonal conflict more effectively, we think this information could prove to be invaluable. We’ll start by demonstrating how to shift your culture’s mindset around conflict from evade to engage. Excited? We are, too!

Virtual Showcase: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019, 2PM Central Time

Few people are natural leaders. Most of us learn the lessons of leadership through trial and error. Join us to discover how you can Develop a Leadership Mindset throughout your organization. We will spend time on the six foundational skillsets that are time-proven to create effective leaders, and help you avoid a leadership gap commonly found in today’s organization. Additionally, we’ll look at the PXT Select Leadership Report and how it can help you create a consistent and scalable process that is tailored to meet the individual needs of leaders at all levels in your organization.

Attendees will receive a complimentary PXT Select assessment that offers the Leadership Report and additional reports that provide key insights for you, and your leadership potential!

Email me at kgeiger630@gmail if you want to attend and I will register you!

Warmly,
Karen

Apply Operations Principles to Talent Management

Peter Capelli offers us some valuable supply chain guidance as a way to think about talent management (HBR).

Principle 1: Make and Buy to Manage Risk. A deep bench of talent is expensive, so
we should undershoot our estimates of what will be needed and plan to hire from outside to make up for any shortfall. Some positions may be easier to fill from outside than others, so we should be thoughtful about where we put precious resources in development: Talent management is an investment, not an entitlement.

Principle 2: Adapt to the Uncertainty in Talent Demand. Uncertainty in demand is a given, and smart companies find ways to adapt to it. One approach is to break up development programs into shorter units: Rather than put management trainees through a three-year functional program, for instance, bring employees from all the functions together in an 18-month course that teaches general management skills, and then send them back to their functions to specialize. Another option is to create an organization-wide talent pool that can be allocated among business units as the need arises.

Principle 3: Improve the Return on Investment in Developing Employees. One way to improve the payoff is to get employees to share in the costs of development. That might mean asking them to take on additional stretch assignments on a volunteer basis. Another approach is to maintain relationships with former employees in the hope that they may return someday, bringing back your investment in their skills.

Principle 4: Preserve the Investment by Balancing Employee-Employer Interests. Arguably, the main reason good employees leave an organization is that they find better opportunities elsewhere. This makes talent development a perishable commodity. The key to preserving your investment in development efforts as long as possible is to balance the interests of employees and employer by having them share in advancement decisions.

We are licensed and accredited to offer Wiley’s PXT Select tool to help you do all of this. Call us today to plan a pilot!

How to Keep your Top Talent

A 2010 HBR article by Jean Martin and Conrad Schmidt lists 6 mistakes organizations make in focusing on their top talent which has the most impact on results:

  1. Assuming that high potentials are highly engaged. The Corporate Executive Board's research revealed that 1 in 4 intends to leave their organization within a year, 1 in 3 admits to not putting all their effort into their job, 1 in 5 believes their personal aspirations are quite different from what the organization has planned for them, and 4 out of 10 have little confidence in their coworkers and even less confidence in the senior team.

  2. Equating current high performance with future potential. The "high potential" designation is often used as a reward for an associate's contribution in a current role, but most people on the leadership track will be asked to deliver future results in much bigger jobs. Knowing their aspirations is critical.

  3. Delegating down the management of top talent. High potential employees are a long-term corporate asset and should be managed accordingly, not hidden in functional areas managed by line managers.

  4. Shielding rising stars from early derailment. The very best programs place emerging leaders in "live fire" roles where new capabilities can and must be acquired.

  5. Expecting star employees to share the plan. Under normal circumstances, higher potentials put in 20% more effort than other employees in the same role. Sweetening the bonus pool or differentiating compensation for them makes their rewards in line with their contributions.

  6. Failing to link your starts to your corporate strategy. Confidence in their managers and in their firms' strategic capabilities is one of the strongest factors in top employees' engagement. Develop ways to share your future strategies on a privileged basis with your high potential leers and emphasize their role in making that future real.

Tools to engage your stars

Everything DiSC® solutions provide rich, versatile learning programs that offer personal insight for learners at every level of an organization, using a consistent language of DiSC®. Using a research-validated learning model, each solution provides in-depth information including tips, strategies, and action plans to help learners become more effective in the workplace. All Everything DiSC solutions include unlimited access to complimentary follow-up reports and MyEverythingDiSC®, the interactive learning portal exclusive to Everything DiSC.

Tools to discuss future potential

Use the PXT Select assessment for selection, onboarding, development and future potential assessment.

*Get a clear picture of candidate’s thinking style, behaviors, and interests, giving you a meaningful edge in making the right hiring decision.

*Start the selection process on the right foot. Explore an expanding library of job functions to which you can compare candidates.

*Interview with confidence by asking tailored questions and keeping an open ear for “what to listen for” based on a candidate’s assessment results.

*Identify ways to enhance performance and maximize an individual’s contribution to an organization.

*Match people with positions in which they’ll perform well and enjoy what they do.

*Reduce critical turnover and boost employee engagement. 

Tools to engage high potentials with their teams

The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team is an assessment-based learning experience that helps individuals and organizations reveal what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team in the most approachable, competent, and effective way possible.Powered by Everything DiSC®, the profiles help participants understand their own DiSC® styles. Bringing together everyone’s personalities and preferences to form a cohesive, productive team takes work, but the payoff can be huge—for individuals, the team, and the organization.

Add Everything DiSC Certification to your credentials!

Sign up now to add Everything DiSC profile certification to your portfolio!

If August 8-9, 2019 in Charlotte works for you, remember to sign up by June 30 to be part of this group. You will have online prework to do, then a 2-day classroom session (all materials provided), then you will take a certification exam online within 48 hours. As always, call me (704.372.9842) with questions. 

Register Now

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

Last fall, Chuck Wall, a Bakersfield College professor assigned his students to commit one random act of senseless kindness. He was listening to a radio report of yet another act of senseless violence and decided to change the wording a little. This assignment was taken seriously and has turned into a movement, applicable to all of our institutions. These are an effective add-on to formal "cultural improvement" efforts and here are some examples - feel free to add some and do them!

Neighborhoods: Neighborhood meetings, free little libraries, and art projects, helping an ill neighbor with yard maintenance
Government: Community policing, addressing homelessness, human rights, access to libraries, and community gardens. 
Schools: Offer opportunities to students, teachers and families to perform acts of kindness to fellow students, teachers, and family.
Workplace: Buy coffee for someone at work, treat a colleague to lunch, use humor with a colleague who’s having a rough morning, make a promise not to speak negatively about a colleague. Resist the urge to gossip, write a thank-you note to a coworker, let selected colleagues know how much you appreciate them, clean up a common area at your workplace, re-engage with a coworker, get to know someone at work you have not talked to in a while, introduce yourself to a new person at your organization, eat lunch with someone new and take this opportunity to learn about what they are like outside of the workplace.

Here are the benefits if we do one act of kindness every day:

  • Building community among colleagues

  • Helping colleagues work together

  • Eliminating negativity in the workplace

  • Improving attitudes and overall communication

  • Improving morale

  • Assisting associates in taking pride in their work

  • Encouraging other positive habits

  • Improving the quality and output of work

The Five Behaviors™: Personal Development Profile is here!

The newest addition to our Five Behaviors brand is here! Created to harness the power of The Five Behaviors across the entire organization, The Five Behaviors™: Personal Development teaches individuals to become better teammates using Patrick Lencioni’s model to completely redefine collaboration.
 
Get ready to grow your business with this revolutionary solution from The Five Behaviors. Personal Development equips your clients with the skills they need to thrive, despite the disruptive, agile demands on today’s workforce.
 
Same Model, New Look, Fresh Approach
Designed for the individual learner, participants do not need to be part of the same team. Rather, they can implement the Five Behaviors from one team to the next, enabling a culture of teamwork. Learners at all levels of an organization will benefit from this program, to adopt its powerful principles, shape behaviors, and create a common language to rewrite what it means to work together.

Click “Products” on this site, then “Team Development” at the left to learn more and purchase yours.

Why the Pre-Hire Process is Really About Planning

Think about the last time you ventured out to find a new job. Did you come across postings that seemed as though they were written a decade ago?

You know what we’re talking about, right? It’s not that the job descriptions are entirely out of date, though sometimes they are. It’s more that what was once an emerging skillset is now an accepted norm in the workplace. Yes, we do know how to use the Internet! Does that mean we get the job?!

Perhaps the company that posted the job descriptions from 10 years ago hasn’t given much recent thought into what they are now and who they want in the new role. And they really haven’t considered how the needs of the position have changed with time. For a prospective candidate, that would be a turn off. And if you’re the one doing the hiring it might just limit your pool of candidates.

To find the right person, you need to know what you’re looking for. To understand what you’re looking for, you need to know what the company needs, and have clear alignment on the core characteristics most important for someone to be successful in the role.

Put more simply, employers need a pre-hire plan. Robert Half, the founder of the first and largest accounting and finance staffing firm, once said, “The time spent on hiring is time well spent.” And that time starts well before the candidate comes in to interview.

Studies show that the lack of organizational alignment on expectations for success in a given job is just one reason that one-third of new hires quit their job after about six months. The exact same ratio of employees knew after the first week if they would stay at their new company for the long-term. These employees could see quickly that they weren’t the right fit. Why couldn’t the employer avoid that before they made the hire?

Think about how different your job is now compared to the one you did a few years ago. Even if it’s the same title, you’re probably learned or applied new skills. Even more, you’ve changed in how you learned to adjust to the changes.

Now think about the traits and behaviors in yourself that enabled you to make the changes, to get along with that new manager (accommodation!), to engage with your team (sociability!). Perhaps in some situations your innate behaviors needed to shift. And you handled it well.

Did your company use science and data to predict these innate traits and behaviors before they hired you? Or, did they use gut instinct and got lucky? Without the right tools making objective hiring and selection decisions can be risky, and expensive.

Mmanti Umoh, a renowned leadership and management consultant, said the optimal talent selection process comes down to planning and having stakeholder alignment early in the process.

By planning ahead with pre-employment due diligence, you can: 

  • Reduce hiring mistakes

  • Accelerate the hiring process

  • Improve hiring precision

  • Minimize the costs of a bad hire

  • Save costs on recruiting

At PXT Select, we help hiring managers and recruiters align on the expectations of job requirements, by finding out what the behavioral and cognitive traits, and interests, are needed for someone to succeed in that role and at that organization. With this, they can develop a job description that clearly states what they are looking for from a prospective hire.

Candidate data sets from the assessment are compared against a Performance Model of the preferred traits for a given job. If the model suggests that an individual whose results fall in the higher range of the scale for a given trait tend to be most successful in the position, then organizations want to hire the people with those similar traits who fall on the higher end.

If the Performance Model calls for scores on the lower end of the scale for a given trait, a lower result is what an organization wants to see. No matter where the range falls, the more similar the candidate is to the performance model, the better the chance they will be successful on that role. PXT Select allows you to create custom models, replicate top performers, or use a performance model library so you can tailor your model to your needs at the time.

Whether you’re hiring from the outside, or selecting existing employees for new roles, a performance model helps you identify top candidates. When used with the rest of the PXT Select suite of reports, performance models can be used to help organizations build career paths for their employees, think about succession planning and build bench strength in their organization.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree,” Abraham Lincoln opined on the concept of planning and preparation. “And I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

How prepared is your organization? Do you have a plan in place? Is it adaptable? If you don’t know, maybe it’s time to invest in finding out. Start planning now.

Call me at 704.372.9842 or email kag@mindspring.com.
 


Bridging Generational Differences in the Workplace

Did you know that for the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace? Five! In a time where diversity and inclusion are (thankfully!) a top priority for organizations, generational diversity can be easy to overlook. Yet, each generation brings diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and behavioral norms to work that, when effectively connected, can improve organizational culture and performance.
 
The notion of so many generations now working together hadn’t really occurred to us until we watched Chip Conley’s TED Talk, “What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work – and vice versa”. Conley, Airbnb exec—and, coincidentally, Wiley-published author—found himself as the company elder when he brought his hospitality industry expertise to the (at the time) up-and-coming tech startup.
 
“The more I've seen and learned about our respective generations, the more I realize that we often don't trust each other enough to actually share our respective wisdom,” Conley explains. “I believe, looking at the modern workplace, that the trade agreement of our time is opening up these intergenerational pipelines of wisdom so that we can all learn from each other.”
 
We’ve talked before about how Everything DiSC® can help bridge the gap between different working styles…but can DiSC help us connect people across the five generations in today’s modern workplace? We believe it can!
 
People often ask us:

  1. Do people’s DiSC styles change as they get older?

  2. Are there differences among generations on DiSC style?

The short answer is differences in DiSC style based on generations is very, very slight. In statistical terms, age accounts for less than 1% of variance in DiSC styles. This means if you look at all the differences we see across DiSC styles, less than 1% of those differences are related to age. 
 
In other words, DiSC transcends differences in age and serves as a roadmap to connect people across generations. Through this roadmap, organizations can foster work environments that enable all five generations to teach and learn from each other. 
 
Take, for example, a team of two Millennials, a Gen-Xer and a Baby Boomer. They may feel quite different from each other and struggle to connect, blaming this struggle on differences in age and experience. In learning their DiSC styles, they start to see each other from a new perspective. Instead of two Millennials, a Gen-Xer and a Baby Boomer, they might discover they are an S-style, a CD-style, and two D-styles!  Because DiSC delivers actionable ways to connect across workstyles, this team can experiment with new, more effective, ways to work together.
 
Conley states, “I don't care if you're in the B-to-B world, the B-to-C world, the C-to-C world or the A-to-Z world, business is fundamentally H-to-H: human to human.” We couldn’t agree more. Implementing Everything DiSC in an organization connects people on a human level. It helps people understand more about themselves, of course. But maybe more importantly, it also helps people understand others and how they can appreciate their similarities and value their differences.
 
We, like you, believe in the power of connecting diversity in the workplace and generational diversity is no exception. We’ll close with another quote from Conley:
 
“We have five generations in the workplace today, and we can operate like separate isolationist countries, or we can actually start to find a way to bridge these generational borders. And it's time for us to actually look at how to change up the physics of wisdom so it actually flows in both directions, from old to young and from young to old.”
 
To learn more about how Everything DiSC can engage every individual in building more effective relationships at work, call me at 704.372.9842 or email me at kag@mindspring.com
 

The PXT Select Leadership Report

PXT Select is a Wiley product that generates 13 reports with just one assessment. These reports can be used over the life of an associate from selection to onboarding to coaching and development to career planning. 

The newest report is now available after having successfully finished extensive beta testing. 

How you can use this

Selection: This report provides one candidate's results presented in graph form and linked to narrative about their possible approach to six leadership skills commonly required of organizational leaders. The report includes the candidate's potential leadership strengths and challenge, as well as customized questions that can be used to interview the candidate or analyze their leadership potential. 

Coaching and Development: This report is designed to shed light on an associates's leadership potential and provide insight into how they might confront the complexities of a leadership role. It helps hiring managers understand how a candidate leads by providing insight into how an individual's cognitive and behavioral traits and interests can affect their potential as a leader. 

Try one yourself!

You can take the assessment to see what results it tells you so you can verify the quality for yourself. Call me (704.372.9842), email me (kag@mindspring.com) or order online at www.karengeiger.com today to place your order!

Do you want on-site DiSC Certification at your workplace?

I am now licensed to certify your teammates at your workplace, so if you have a new team member I can come to you. The price is the same as if you went to Minneapolis or if you chose online. 

There will be online pre-work (3-4 hours), then I will conduct a 2-day certification workshop, then after some post-session review (90 minutes) online, participants will take a certification exam and receive their certificate after passing at 80%. 

As always, call or email me with questions or to set up a session. 
 

How to listen to the news now

Practice responding to the news using the lesson of this story

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.


The lesson: The farmer is practicing non-judgment. He understands the true nature of life, that you can't judge any event as an "end" in a way. Our life doesn't play out like a work of fiction. There aren't definite breaks that separate one moment versus another, and there isn't a perfectly formulated end which everything builds to.

There's always tomorrow. And whether the day was good or bad, there are a million effects which can arise from one event. Good and bad are interconnected. They are, in fact, two sides of the same coin. If things seem perfect, they aren't. If it seems like it's Armageddon in your corner of the world, it's not. Things can change in an instant, at all times. And they will at some point or another.



A Route to Peace of Mind

Once Buddha was travelling with a few of his followers. While they were passing a lake, Buddha told one of his disciples, "I am thirsty. Do get me some water from the lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. At that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy and turbid. The disciple thought, "How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?"

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink."

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake.

The disciple went back, and found that the water was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same.

After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back.

This time, the disciple found the mud had settled down, and the water was clean and clear. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said," See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be, and the mud settled down on its own -- and you have clear water.

Your mind is like that too! When it is disturbed, just let it be.

Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don't have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.

Read this if you consider yourself a White person

Janeen Bryant just wrote an Op-Ed in the Charlotte Observer called "The Real Nemesis to Progress on Race: Fragile Whites". Cut and paste this link so you can read it: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article216875135.html

If you're a white person who wants to overcome racism, consider doing this for starters: 

Notice what happens around you that seems to be affected by race, like White couples locking their car doors in the presence of youths of color, noticing how a policeman treats you when you are pulled over, or how we name the race of people of color when we talk about them. Discuss this with your partner, coworkers, or book club, using these questions:
1. What explanations do you have for these incidents?
2. In what ways may they be signs of racial fears, apprehensions, and stereotypes?
3. Have your ever experienced similar reactions in other race-related situations? If so think about them carefully and if possible discuss them with others. What do they mean to you?

And, if you are a White woman who wants to do some deeper exploration of what Whiteness means to you, join our inaugural group of women in Charlotte who will meet once a month for 2 hours beginning in a few weeks to do this work. To learn more, go to www.karengeiger.com, click on "Products" at the top, then click "race awareness" on the left.

We don't have to be fragile when race comes up!

Make the most of challenging situations

August 6, 2018

In many aspects of our lives, we will face differing opinions, approaches and points of view and we can determine whether this conflict is productive or not. 

We offer a 22-page profile (and facilitation kit) that provides you and your colleagues with personalized, effective strategies to overcome these inevitable challenges and helps you:

  • appreciate how your style of handling conflict affects your peers

  • learn to "catch" yourself when going down a destructive conflict path
  • discover how to reframe a conflict situation and choose more productive behaviors
  • build a common language in your organization or work group around appropriate conflict behavior. 

The profiles are $89 each (with quantity discounts) and the Facilitation Kit is $1230, for a half-day scripted workshop with all slides and handouts. On this site, click on "Products" at the top, then "Conflict Workshops" on the left. You can get more information or purchase right there. 

Imagine a Third Wave Women's Movement

Chip Smith, in The Cost of Privilege, describes a current trend to refigure and enhance U.S. women's advocacy efforts to make them more diverse and inclusive. He points out the work White women must do:

  • Be proactive in developing personal relationships with People of Color as one way to establish a personal connection to oppression.
  • Examine our lives to get deeper insights into how race privilege affects our thinking and actions.
  • Don't just dismiss our family members or White folks as being "racists" or "backward", but understand how they arrived at their understanding of the world. 
  • Move beyond a White identity and know that it is a long-term process. 

This is exactly what we'll be doing in the Reframing My White Identity series beginning in September. We have a great group forming, and please register by the end of July so that I can order materials for you. You can register or ask questions either via email (kag@mindspring.com) or on this website - Click  on Products, then Race Awareness and pay by credit card. 

How can we contribute to the success of modern democracy?

Timothy Snyder, in his small but powerful book On Tyranny (2017), points out that history can familiarize and it can warn. In our past, both fascism and communism were responses to globalization - to the real and perceived inequalities it created, and the apparent helplessness of the democracies in addressing them. He offers twenty lessons from the twentieth century that are relevant today and here are just a few:

  1. Take responsibility for the face of the world. The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so. 
  2. Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. Remember Rosa Parks. The moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow. 
  3. Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey the thing you think everyone is saying. Make an effort to separate yourself from the internet. Read books. 
  4. Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. THe biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights. 
  5. Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate propaganda campaigns (some of which come from abroad). Take responsiblty for what you communicate iwth others.