It’s going to be summer time. School’s out forever.

LearningAnd honestly, that’s pretty awesome.  Once we let go of the constructs that frame positive change, we see that it is possible – and happening – everywhere.  Learning is happening everywhere, all the time.

Learning is great – it makes you strong and self-sufficient.  It makes you able to travel through social spaces, figure out what’s right and wrong, and help those in need around you.  To make learning possible and accessible to others is one of the most valuable things you can do for them.

As a trainer, you are always looking for the most efficient ways to deliver that value.  You need:

  • A renewable resource – something that functions as a part of your organization – something that’s always there to support and enrich your organization’s culture.
  • A tool (not a prescription) – something that provides all the content you need, while giving you the freedom to tailor that content to your organization’s brand, values, and goals – something that lets you be the trainer.
  • A catalyst – something that reminds your participants that improvement is always possible – something that develops a critical society within your organization to incite a desire for positive change.

The Reproducible Training Library is all that, and more.  A comprehensive library of customizable soft-skills training resources, the RTL is your source for research-based content that will improve performance in your organization.

The RTL isn’t about seduction or prescription – it’s about proven models for positive change.  Participants will apply effective behaviors to their current work, and experience the benefits of behavioral research as they grow and excel.

The RTL is a collection of 75 programs, addressing all aspects of work like and how best to approach the challenges of organization membership.  Each program is complete and training-ready from the moment you make your one-time, license-free purchase.

Reproducible Training Library

What makes the RTL truly unique is its plasticity.  All programs in the library are delivered to you as native files in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint format.  You’ll be able to apply your organization’s brand to the materials, add your own examples and talking-points, and provide a take-away that’s exactly what you want your participants to hold onto.

Whether you’re training an audience of one or one hundred, the Reproducible Training Library is the most efficient way to make learning happen – because you don’t need school to learn – all you really need is a library.

And if that don’t suit ya, that’s a drag.

Team Emotional and Social Intelligence

There are many measurable skills that contribute to individual high performance.  Furthermore, there are essential soft skills that make possible the delivery of that performance to an organization.

A majority of these soft skills pertain to interpersonal relationships, and so are only visible in team settings.  Working as part of a team is much more difficult than working on one’s own – it means having to rely on others, committing to a common set of objectives, and modifying one’s own behaviors to accommodate those of others and move everyone toward shared goals.

Team EMotional and Social Intelligence

There are, however, simple choices that can improve overall team function, and allow individuals to contribute their individual best – unhindered by team discord.  These choices amount to team emotional and social intelligence, which, in turn, enables sustainable productivity.  Intelligence, here, s used in a non-traditional way – meaning something closer to awareness than ability.  For everyone is able to choose “emotionally intelligent” behaviors, but we to be cognizant of their value and how to put them to use.

To develop this awareness, self-assessment couldn’t be more valuable in providing insight into current behaviors and tendencies as juxtaposed with statistically sound, effective behaviors.  The Team Emotional and Social Intelligence (TESI) soft-skills training program is the perfect way to develop a practical picture of an entire team’s effectiveness.

Team Emotional and Social IntelligenceRevealing a 360 degree evaluation of a team’s “Collaboration Skills,” the TESI shows common strengths and weaknesses in seven areas of teamwork.  Stressing the idea that each member of a team needs a personal association with their team (a reason they have to continue working toward team goals), this program shows participants that it is possible for every team to possess excellent collaboration skills, achieve high performance, and feel emotionally and socially well while acting as part of their team.

An experiential learning program, the TESI will not only allow participants to learn from their self-assessments, but to participate in activities and action planning that will apply directly to their own experience – learning that can take effect immediately, and that will resonate with teams as they work together.

Try TESI today!

Disagree Without Being Disagreeable

Although you may not think of yourself as a negotiator (like, with a capital N), negotiating is something we all do all the time.  It’s communication aimed at mutual need satisfaction.

Negotiation is CommunicationBut even though we do it all the time, there’s a lot to negotiating – and by building the right interpersonal skills and modeling our behavior on a sound methodology, we can all reach positive outcomes.  The key is knowing which skills are in need of building, and how to put them into practice.

Self-assessment is the first step toward improved performance.  In order to progress, we first have to take stock of available resources and make note of deficiencies.  By looking closely at our natural tendencies and current behaviors, we can make a plan to move toward more appropriate behaviors that will facilitate more effective negotiations.

The Negotiating Style Profile will frame this picture for you, and set out a model of effective negotiation skills to measure against and work toward.  The basis for the Negotiating Style Profile assessment is that, in negotiations, the involved parties should have high concern for two things:  the outcome of the discussion, and their relationship with the others involved.

Negotiating Style ProfileBy measuring these levels of concern as expressed by behavioral choices, the Negotiating Style Profile reveals your relative tendencies toward five negotiating styles.  A collaborating style is put forth as the most effective approach to produce positive outcomes for all parties involved, and to maintain healthy relationships between them.

Simply understanding negotiation as a collaborative form of communication can be a major shift for a lot of people.  And this shift can affect more than just negotiations.  The set of skills needed to negotiate collaboratively can be extended to all aspects of worklife – improving performance and employee well-being.

Get started today with the Negotiating Style Profile today!

Bridging the Leadership Divide

The last thing leadership relationships should do is stand in the way of productivity.

At HRDQ, we often make the assertion that leadership is pretty straightforward – it’s a specific set of skills that can be learned by anyone. (And we’re right.)  But that doesn’t mean that every leader behaves the same way, or is regarded in the same way.

Bridging the Leadership DivideAnd when differing behaviors are perceived by others, they may come across as “incorrect” or non-beneficial.  They may be dismissed altogether.  Often, these differing behaviors are displayed by leaders of different generations – forming a rift in leadership teams.

With this in mind, it’s important to find ways of capitalizing on legacy strengths from incumbent leaders and new potential from emerging leaders without compromising one for the sake of the other.

It is possible to have the best of both worlds – it just takes effort from both sides.

Bridging the Leadership Divide is a self-assessment and soft-skills training program that addresses generational differences in leadership style to improve leadership practices within an organization.  It offers two models for addressing leadership skills in a multi-generational workplace.

Bridging the Leadership DivideOne model is about change (and transformation).  Improvement doesn’t happen without change, and this model shows leaders how to make positive changes in themselves, between individuals, and as members of an organization.  Transformation needs to occur within and between individuals to create new leaders – individuals need to “become” leaders and they need to establish leadership relationships with others.  This three-part model helps leaders choose a stance (a set of behaviors to practice) and reach across the divide (acknowledge and accept the leadership of others).

The second model illustrates six patterns of problem behavior between incumbent and emerging leaders and offers an approach to managing each.  With these problem patterns highlighted, leaders of any generation are able to recognize them in action, and replace them with productive behaviors – improving relationships between leaders and making strides in the overall quality of leadership in their organization.

Using one or both of the models presented by Bridging the Leadership Divide to create awareness of leadership behavior through experiential learning will place your leaders on level, common ground, and start them off on the best foot for leading – no matter how long they’ve been doing it.  You’ll improve performance, relationships, and culture in your organization while helping each individual participant better their work-life.

Get started with Bridging the Leadership Divide today!

Putting it All on the Table

With Thanksgiving behind us and 2012 coming to an end, it’s time to look back on a year of hard work and size up your own harvest – the results of your training.

There are so many benefits to soft-skills training that you probably see the results around you every day:  efficient communication, happier employees, stronger teams, abundant leadership, and clear values (Better learning.  Better Performance.  Better Life – we totally know).

And it’s no secret that measurable results lead to continued support and appropriate funding; but how can the results of training be measured?

A solid understanding of the ROI Methodology will allow any trainer present to illustrate the effect their work has on a company’s bottom line.

Dr. Patti Phillips is a world-renowned expert on ROI, and she’s here to help.  Author of The Bottomline on ROI, Patti facilitates workshops all over the world and consults with USA and international organizations – public, private, non-profit, and educational – on implementing the ROI Methodology.  On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, she’ll be presenting a free webinar introducing you to the concept of ROI and how it can be implemented in your organization.

Start your new year off right by communicating the quality of your crop, and securing seeds for the coming seasons:

Win Forever with Great Coaching!

“I love trophies, but forget ‘em. They’re for old men, for guys living in memory.  I’m talking about: Are we competing today, every minute, in everything we do in practice? Are we letting loose and daring to be great here and now? And can we sustain that? And repeat it? Trophies are great, but we’re trying to win forever.”

~Pete Carroll

Managers are not always aware of the value and benefits of regular coaching meetings.  Because these meetings are associated with performance issues, they can be seen as difficult or confrontational interactions.

But, when acknowledged immediately, and worked through with managers’ guidance, performance issues (and coaching meetings) can be opportunities for not just better performance, but a healthier work-life and an unobstructed career path.

But what makes for an effective coaching meeting?  There are all kinds of performance issues; all kinds of employees, teams, and managers.  How can an effective meeting be planned when there are so many variables to consider?

HRDQ’s Coaching Skills Inventory presents a model for effective coaching meetings that’s based on years of behavioral science research, and has been actively improving management and team performance for 20 years.

Setting out a simple, effective, 7-step model for coaching meetings, the Coaching Skills Inventory measures the abilities of managers in 6 key skills areas necessary for effective coaching.  When it comes to soft skills, self-assessment is a very powerful tool.  Not only does the Coaching Skills Inventory let you know where you stand, it lets you know where to go next.  By breaking coaching skills down into 6 sets, this assessment provides specific avenues for improvement – pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of each coach, and letting them plan a direct course to better performance.

Once you’ve got your coaching on track, you’ll be well on your way towards better performance and a healthier environment throughout your organization.  Remind your team of the importance of coaching meetings with the Coaching Skills Inventory – get started today:

It’s Time to Flex!

You don’t have to work out for hours every day to get in shape, but you do need to do it consistently, if you want to progress. The same goes for successful communication. By understanding your personality style, and the styles of those around you – and allowing that understanding to frame your interactions – you can effectively communicate with virtually no strain or confusion.  By recognizing the tendencies and preferences of others, you’ll be able to flex your own style to accommodate their needs as well as your own.  Change your tactics in order to appeal to your counterparts’ personality style. Message flexing will ensure that you’re on the same wavelength, before your discussion, planning, or negotiation even begins.

Find the Right Approach

There are four styles outlined in the HRDQ Style Model: Direct, Spirited, Considerate, and Systematic.  Each style has a set of preferred behaviors, and knowing what to look for when approaching each style can go a long way in ensuring effective communication.

  • Direct: Get to the point immediately; be prepared for a dispute, and reiterate the logic or reasons behind your ideas.
  • Spirited: Be ready to discuss alternate options
  • Considerate: Build rapport with small talk, and break negative news or communicate dissention by ensuring your counterpart that it isn’t a personal attack.
  • Systematic: Don’t get emotional! Be ready to answer many questions and provide factual details about your ideas.

You Mean I Have to Deal with These People Every Day?

We all have a range of personalities to interact with each day.  Kate Ward’s latest book, Personality Style at Work, is based on the HRDQ Style Model.  With it, she helps us understand the values of this range, and how we fit into it as individuals.  Ward shows us how to navigate through our daily interactions to become more effective communicators.

What Do They Want, Anyway?

We all have expectations when we approach other people – a set of norms that we feel suit the situation best.  These expectations, however, don’t always match.  We can avoid the difficulties of unbalanced needs by anticipating and adjusting to the needs and expectations of others. Here’s what each personality style is looking for:

  • Direct: These people are often brief and to the point. They make direct eye contact, and may come across as brash. Match their intensity to get their intention.
  • Spirited: These people want your attention and recognition, so if you frame your conversation with that in mind, they’ll be more open to your ideas.
  • Considerate: The Considerate personality type wants to be your friend, so pace the conversation, and use your mannerisms, language, and tone the way you would with a friend.
  • Systematic: Give them information! Don’t spend much time on small talk, because it is only going to make a Systematic personality type grow impatient. They may tend to focus on criticism, and you can counteract this by being ready with answers before your interaction.

Although there is no style better than any other, your own style has certain strengths.  By leveraging these strengths, and your new-found ability to approach other styles, you can turn every opportunity into an advantage.

So get flexing, and start moving through each interaction smoothly and with better results! Click Here for more about the power of Personality Styles.

Leading with Style

A Guest Post by Personality Style at Work author Kate Ward.

With the Fourth of July behind us, and an election just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about our American presidents. Four in particular, whom most people would agree were effective leaders: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Each led from a distinct strength, and I believe that was the key to their effectiveness.

Envision the future: This was Thomas Jefferson’s strength. Jefferson was a visionary who could picture a very different United States with the addition of the Louisiana Purchase. People with this strength lead by seeking promising opportunities, taking risks, and demanding action.

Engage others: This was FDR’s strength. He was able to unite the country in challenging times. Leaders with this strength have a talent to inspire and motivate others. They connect to others and are able to generate excitement and rally the troops to achieve a common goal.

Encourage others: This was Abraham Lincoln’s strength. Leaders with this strength are excellent listeners, great team builders, and are particularly good at developing their staff. Lincoln was known for adding the best and the brightest to his staff and pulling together a team uniquely suited for dealing with the crisis of the Civil War.

Execute results: This was George Washington’s strength. Washington was known for his organizational skills, and his determination and persistence to achieve what he set out to do. Leaders with this strength are detail-oriented and use informed, objective decision-making to bring about the highest standards of performance.

By examining our own tendencies and talents, we can learn how we interact best with others. Each leadership strength correlates to one of the four styles in the HRDQ Personality Style Model.

Envision the future = Direct personality style.

Engage others = Spirited personality style.

Encourage others = Considerate personality style.

Execute results = Systematic personality style.

While leadership is an invaluable skill (in any style), Personality Style can tell us much more about ourselves and others.  Personality Style at Work is a guide to help you use the Personality Style Model in your work and personal life to develop and maintain positive relationships with the people around you.  Take a look at the descriptions below.  Do they sound like you or someone you know?

Personality Style at Work is a perfect introduction to the concept of Personality Style. It will help you quickly and accurately identify your personality style, decode the behavior of others, and flex your style to build rapport with the people around you.

Direct style: People with a Direct style set their eyes on what they want to accomplish, and then go after it. They are not inclined to make small talk and may interrupt others. They have a high degree of confidence and make quick decisions.

Spirited style: People with a Spirited style are multi-taskers. They get easily bored and therefore enjoy handling a variety of tasks and projects. They love to talk and brainstorm and are generally less interested in following through and handling all the details.

Considerate style: People with a Considerate style are all about collaborating and maintaining harmony. They are good listeners and usually prefer to hear others’ opinions before sharing their own. They offer encouragement and support to others and really want to connect at a personal level.

Systematic style: People with a Systematic style are meticulous and committed to maintaining high quality standards. They use a data-driven, analytical approach to decision making and therefore may get bogged down in the decision-making process.

By identifying your Personality Style, you can use it to develop your natural strengths, work on your potential trouble spots, and improve your performance across the board.

The Personality Style at Work Assessment will help you identify your style, learn to figure out the styles of others, and use that information to form positive relationships and interactions.  Get started now!

RTL @ ASTD

Meet HRDQ at the ASTD 2012 International Conference and Exposition!

HRDQ will be showcasing our Reproducible Training Library (RTL) – the best customizable, reproducible and affordable training programs on the planet. Covering a comprehensive range of topics, and growing all the time, the RTL provides solutions for all areas of professional and personal development.

Be sure to stop by Booth 124 for a free customizable training program!

One of over 70 training programs in the RTL, you’ll be receiving both the classroom and e-learning formats of one of our best-selling titles – a $599 value!

With the RTL, it’s easy to build your own unique and robust training system, fully tailored to your company’s brand and needs. And you’ll already have your first piece!

The RTL is your training, your way. See it in action May 6th through May 9th at ASTD 2012 in Denver, CO. We can’t wait to see you there! Look for the booth with the giant robot!

Expo passes are free!  Click here and enter code 2560.

ASTD 2012 International Conference and Exposition
May 6 – 9, 2012
Colorado Convention Center
Denver, Colorado
Halls A, B, E, and F
Booth #124

For more information visit www.ReproducibleTrainingLibrary.com or call 800.633.4533

Food for Thought: Emotional Intelligence

Managing your emotions doesn’t always mean keeping them in check. By understanding our emotions – what causes them, how we show them, and what affect they have on ourselves and others – we can make better decisions about how we interact with those around us.

HRDQ has recently made available a great online tool for measuring and improving your Emotional Intelligence. The Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment (EISA) measures your “EQ” on four scales: Perceiving, Managing, Decision Making, and Influencing. Our staff all took the assessment recently, and we’ve all found it to be a great platform for reflection and self-improvement, as well as a reminder of how important emotional intelligence is in, and out of, the workplace.

Here are some articles we’ve been reading about emotional intelligence.

How will you improve your EQ?