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Do Your Board Members Play Well With Others?

A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a corporation or organization. Source: Wikipedia According to surveys commissioned by the UK Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), the most common topics of Boardroom disputes are:

  • 40.3% Financial, structural or procedural workings of the organization
  • 38.4% Personal behavior and attitudes of directors
  • 37.2% Strategy development, including mergers and acquisitions

The impact of Boardroom disputes on the business:

  • 49.3% Wasting management time
  • 44.9% Distracting from core business
  • 43.8% Reducing trust among board members

Frequency and difficulty of complicating factors:

  • 52.5% Issues over competing factors on the board
  • 49.6% Issues regarding the emotions of those involved in the dispute
  • 49.2% Conflict of personal or family interests versus interest of the company

Skills training those Board members most frequently want:

  • 74.8% Ability to deal with different personalities
  • 73.0% Ability to give and receive constructive feedback
  • 70.1% Ability to have difficult conversations
  • 69.5% Communication skills

From my personal experience – let me add a few more thoughts:

  • Do you know the individual talents of the Board members
  • Have you ever talked about the skill set they could bring to decision making

Are they a board member just because they have a marketable name – and they make your organization more appealing? If any of these thoughts sound an alarm – then reader – you are not acting Behaviorally Smart. A dysfunctional Board holds up decision making, causes headaches for the organization, and slows progress. It’s time to get in and sort them out. Remember, most Boards have subcommittees, so first find the root of the dysfunction. Consider this, board members are already successful in their own right, so they bring with them a significant array of useful talents. But they also bring ego, bias, and unchecked behaviors. So if board members are not in sync with one another and their focus is not on the role they have been asked to fulfill – agendas will be confused, decision-making will be more difficult, and the organization will suffer. Any decision-making body must be structured; not only regarding the way they conduct business but also from the standpoint that all members understand and respect each other’s opinion. This structure is not achievable if the board lacks understanding of the personalities, communication styles, attitude towards finances and biases in play. The decision-making process will be stunted or fall apart altogether. Dysfunctional Boardroom blog 1 The most effective way to assemble a cohesive board of directors is to have everyone complete a behavioral assessment such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process. This platform provides deep behavioral insights to predict business risks and bridge gaps in communication. It is a Behaviorally Smart approach to ensuring that the business of the Board is managed competently and wisely so that the organization can function well and deliver outstanding results. By discovering board member personality insights it is possible to predict the group dynamic, their challenges and of course any go to behavior under pressure that might cause operational risk and poor decision making. You will see below the surface of the individual, and this will significantly impact how they work together. Boards of directors are expected to perform, as in a fiduciary relationship, as an extended arm of shareholders in overseeing and controlling management activities in a manner that promotes shareholder interest. But when board members do not work well together, this type of environment stifles productivity and prevents board members from sharing constructive opinions. A meeting may become a venue for personal attacks rather than for focusing on coming to business decisions or providing constructive discussion. Five Keys to Boardroom Success

  1. Know the board members

a. Identify their talents and determine where they fit in overseeing the organization b. Discover their personality and communication style; this will radically impact the way in which the board is chaired, how discussions take place and more importantly, identify any potential behaviors that, under pressure, could gravely impact the business of the board.

2. Appoint a board member whose personality is that of a facilitator and is given the boardroom authority to manage the discussions

3. Appoint a highly creative, out of the box, thinker who may well be able to suggest solutions worthy of discussion that resolve a matter.

4. Conduct a specific talent discovery process and openly reveal the talent and experience in the room.

a. This shows the extent of the board room think tank b. This delivers respect as board members defer to the colleague with the greatest experience in a particular area c.This takes trust from management to a whole new level when they see the board members respect each other for the skills they bring to the table.

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5. Using the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, produce a boardroom team report that identifies the following:

a. Behavioral gaps needed to have a balanced viewpoint in the room

b. Strengths and limitations of the board members and how to use/manage them

i. What are the issues most likely to raise tensions?

ii. What are the bias and cultural challenges the group will face?

iii. What personality gaps persist?between key players such as the Chair and the CEO?

In conclusion: Jeffery A Sonnenfeld writing about good governance for the Harvard Business Review makes the following observation: For a board to truly fulfill its mission, it must monitor performance, advise the CEO, and provide connections with a broader world. ?It must become a robust team whose members know how to ferret out the truth, challenge one another, and even have a good fight now and then. https://hbr.org/what-makes-great-boards-great Only when you understand the personalities in the room can you determine whether the discussion is robust or chaotic. To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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When Talking Trump Is Not Productive

Whether you are talking to your financial advisor, doctor, therapist, friend, partner or in line at the supermarket, somewhere the conversation will turn to President Trump.

Coping with significant change is difficult for most people. Then add a sense of disappointment in outcomes, and people feel unsettled.

When organizations make changes, the conversation around the coffee machine focuses on “What’s going on?”, “Are our jobs safe?”, And so on. We’ve all experienced this in some form or other. It’s somewhat different when there is a change of country leadership, the questions tend to be broader, “What’s going to happen to my investments?”, “Are we being led by a safe pair of hands?”, and so much more.

For most people change is never comfortable. It is, even more, trying to cope with if the change feels traumatic. Understanding our response to change is the first step to managing it. Everyone responds differently. Regardless of whether the change is in relationships, work environment or the Whitehouse, fear of the unknown can trap and even isolate us. We’re usually scared of change because were afraid of the unknown.

Soumya Karlamangla writing for the LA Times records that therapists are having a hard time talking to their patients when presented with concerns about Trump. At the most recent board meeting of the L.A. County Psychological Assn., therapists also discussed how to talk about Trump, especially with patients whose political beliefs might differ from their own. It turned into an hour long discussion that Hillary Goldsher, a therapist on the board, described as emotional, challenging, and difficult.

Thomas Coyle writing for the Financial Advisor IQ says in his article titled Talking to Clients about Trump, “for many financial advisors, U.S. President Donald Trump is a necessary topic of conversation with clients. It’s not that all FAs are especially eager to share their opinions of the White Houses latest tenant. Rather, advisors tell us, Trump is difficult to avoid in the context of long-term financial planning. They say the scope of his proposals, from renegotiating trade deals – to pushing for renewed infrastructure and reducing taxes – stands to impact portfolios whether these initiatives succeed, fail, or fizzle out.”

The US Presidential election is now over, Donald Trump won. Some will be excited about the outcome, others will be apprehensive. Whether we like it or not, it is what it is, and the question now is how to roll with the conversations taking place around us?

We all handle change in different ways. If we knew in advance how we are likely to react, we would navigate them much more effectively.

Those that embrace change will be excited, perhaps because they saw something of themselves in Donald Trump. They want to speak up and be provocative. Trump champions that for them. They want to throw society up in the air in the hopes that when it lands it will look different, be more caring, be fairer, be open to taking risks to achieve a better life for everyone. Trump champions that for them. Others will be having conversations about opportunities, taking risks, and becoming a great country again; their conversations will be about being a part of something different and unpredictable.

And how exciting to have someone who’s controversial? Speaks their mind? And Tweets!

But many people will be alarmed, disappointed, and maybe even fearful of a personality that seems larger than life. Some will be significantly concerned to seek therapy to talk about their fears; they may rush to their financial advisors to offload stock. They will find Trump’s outspokenness unsettling; they will be alarmed at the proposed speed of change.

Donald Trump is not the first to be controversial and certainly won’t be the last. President Theodore Roosevelt (in office 1901-1909) said that his office gave him a “bully pulpit” a powerful platform that lets him draw attention to key issues.

People who seek therapy and panic about their investments?are facing personal challenges for sure. This post-election distress is not to be laughed at. But for a while, these like-minded disappointed voters will group together and feed each other’s distress. But eventually, as is the way with human nature, they will begin to see the good stuff that impacts their lives, and the pendulum will begin to swing to a more balanced position.

Here are some pointers to managing a conversation about President Trump either with clients or anyone else who raises the conversation.

  • President Trump can cause a change in behaviors.
  • He has the ability to persuade and convince others.
  • He will stimulate conversation based on his vision.
  • He will set ambitious goals based on the vision and carry others along on the journey.
  • He will look for the quickest route to deliver success, and this might bring resistance from those whose decision making is more contemplative.
  • He will be prepared to take risks to achieve goals quickly and will understand, sometimes this will mean losses.

Yes, he can be emotional and impulsive and make decisions too quickly to get into an opportunity. Yes, he may act too early not recognizing a temporary downturn or slowdown is part of the growth journey; but President Trump needs to get to the bottom line quickly. Too much reliance on detail and the small print will frustrate him. However, learning how to pay attention to detail will be valuable to ensuring his enthusiasm is reigned in and that his spontaneity does not lead him into making poor choices.

He has the ability to draw people together, and can quickly harness appropriate skills and talents to implement plans and ideas. President Trump is able to channel diverse skill sets into delivering successful outcomes. As a multi-tasker, he needs to be presented with a range of opportunities to hold his attention. He needs information flow to be in a summary format with the bottom line clearly demonstrated.

We are all different, that’s what makes the world so fascinating. Personality is such an interesting topic. The way we communicate with each other, the way we deal with challenges (such as post-election trauma); our ability to take a risk; how we communicate with each other; how we manage our behaviors, all make for better conversations.

The DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process offers deep, accurate, highly validated insight into why we react the way we do in given environments. It delivers understanding on how to manage behavior gaps. As the world’s only all-in-one cloud-based behavioral analytics platform it reveals how to know, engage and grow every individual using all dimensions of a person’s personality traits.

I love what Jon Ten Haagen of Ten Haagen Financial Group in Huntington, N.Y., says in this quote, “my biggest Trump-related message to clients is turn off CNN and the talking heads because there is no interpreting what they are blabbing about. The man has not been in office for 100 days yet, he has a total of 1,459 days to accomplish what he wants to – or not.” Given the Trump administrations newness and the fact he’s a catalyst for controversy and pushback, Ten Haagen says, “clients should look at the economy and interest rates and consider what companies are doing and saying.”

Above all, Ten Haagen, who manages more than $30 million and is mostly paid with a trail, tells clients to look at the big picture and be diversified, advice he says holds true no matter who’s in the White House.

People tend to figure out what to do to feel secure again, financially, physically or psychologically. Understanding why we react or respond in the way we do is important and worth finding out more about.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Trump Family Vs. National Politics

In Part 1 of this series, we established that as a couple the President and the First Lady have undoubtedly understood how to modify their natural behavior and communication style to lead the family, work together and carry the heavy responsibility of the Presidency for the next 4 or more years.

But what of the wider family, some of whom will be actively involved in working with the President and First Lady and continuing to run the Trump Empire? What of their aspirations? How has becoming a member of the First Family of the United States altered their approach to family, life, and business?

In Part 2 we will consider the family dynamics in relation to their building a sound working relationship together. This family is unique in that it needs to have a very stable EQ. Much of what they do is not only covered by legislation, in other words, it’s Dad who is the president, not them! They are separated in terms of state and their family business. How they relate and interact with one another, remembering that every family has its own unique dynamics, will be dependent on each knowing how to manage their emotional intelligence.

This First Family will be no different to many others; they will share bonds, have a history and like most families will have tensions, disconnects, but always follow the same old adage blood is thicker than water. Like any group of people the core dynamics, that is, values, biases, culture, education, experiences, will all be part of the family dynamic.

First Family blog 2.1

Using their two strongest behavioral factors the following provides short insights into the individuals that form the Trump Family:

President Donald Trump (Influencer) He is spontaneous and moves/thinks at a fast pace. The President has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. He will typically be able to see the larger vision and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. He will wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

First Lady Melania Trump (Facilitator) She is reserved and patient, much needed natural behaviors to be able to oversee the dynamics of this family and bring calmness to it. She will combine the ability to guide the family with feelings yet with the determination to reach goals and accomplish tasks. Melania’s blend of behavioral strengths makes her well suited for situations where setting the agenda and recognizing the needs of other people are required. Further, consistency, reliability, and persistence are important. She will flourish in an environment where there is plenty of stability, group decision-making is needed, and where she is recognized for the contribution, she will undoubtedly make.

Ivanka Trump (Reflective Thinker), is structured and plans well, she is analytical, thorough, and philosophical in her search for meaning, truth, and purpose in all she does. Ivanka is particularly adept at drawing incisive conclusions from data and research. Her accuracy and precision are valuable in any group setting, and she will bring objectivity to decision-making processes. Typically, she will prefer to follow guidelines in completing tasks and will expect co-operation to be given.

Donald Trump Jr (Influencer), like his father, he is spontaneous however, he takes measured risks. He has a unique blend of confidence, initiative, and people skills. Furthermore, his father will first see the larger vision, and then use his superior communication skills to influence others towards accomplishing it. Donald Jr. will instead wholeheartedly invest time and effort into developing others and their personal performance towards goals, particularly strategies that he sees significant potential in.

Eric Trump (Adapter), is somewhat unique in that she, like all adapters, has the unusual ability to be able to adapt to the needs of their environment, and displaying whatever behaviors are necessary for success. Eric is very versatile and will generally partner and team well with others. He can generally perform well many tasks relating to achieving his goals and managing his performance and operate most effectively when he has very clearly defined expectations and boundaries.

Tiffany Ariana Trump (Engager) She will enjoy meeting new people, new situations, and new environments and will be a promoter. Tiffany will use her people skills to build relationships and interact with an ever-widening circle of contacts. She enjoys using their verbal skills and will be very outgoing. Tiffany will approach situations enthusiastically, especially when she is passionate about the outcomes, and enjoy new opportunities, and starting (rather than finishing) new projects and goals.

A Summary of the Family’s Behavioral Strengths and Struggles. Knowing these will have definitely helped the family to be successful in business, and to manage the huge transition to being the First Family.

First Family blog 2.2

As Family unit regardless of whether they are building the business or representing the Nation, their approach to finances is stable. They don’t squander money or make unwise business decisions that could bring the empire down. This approach is likely to be the approach the President takes as he oversees the US$.

First Family blog 2.3

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

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Getting To The Core…of Your Core

Many people invest heavily in self-help courses, books, and conferences but in what, exactly, are they investing? How many of us have a deep understanding of how we tick based on our natural talents, passions, mission, values and purpose?

It occurs to me that a good starting point before heavily investing in self-help stuff – is to know the core of who you are. Where are the behavioral strengths that need focus, and the struggles which need managing? What is your life vision and how well prepared and gifted are you to deliver it?

From a very early age, I knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do. I watched people around me behaving badly towards each other in the workplace and in some cases ridiculing others for the dreams and visions they had for their lives. Determined to correct this dysfunctional behavior set in and my passion for building others up and pointing them in the right direction became my life’s work as a mentor and a people culture trainer.

For years I invested in the self-help market to train myself on how to understand others and be their mentor. How to understand the reasons people communicate inappropriately with each other and to find ways in which, through self-help, I could be the answer to some of the challenges I was seeing around me in the workplace.

My personal tipping point (source: Malcolm Gladwell) came on the day I completed the DNA Behavior Natural Behavior Discovery process. I realized that I was investing in all the wrong areas of my inherent personality. I needed to activate the skills and talents (strengths) I had, and build on those without over doing mending the struggle areas, but without the insight, I gained from completing the DNA Natural Behavior Discovery, I wouldn’t have been able to refocus on my career and achieve the success I now have.

So – what did I discover?

 

Your dream investment

 

I discovered I have the following strengths for mentoring and training others:

1. Very creative – not in the arts as most would understand – but in wordsmithing and in providing out of the box thinking to help others solve a problem.
2. Capable of giving frank feedback when people are off track and need clarity in being guided to the right path
3. Quite reserved in nature which helps me listen to others as a priority before giving my feedback. This slowness to express emotions or opinion means I am more suited to one-on-one meetings and training small groups rather than continually facilitating and presenting to large groups.
4. Somewhat of a generalist so that I keep the feedback at a high level rather than bogging people down with the specifics before they are ready.
5. Enjoy working as part of a team rather than being left on my own island. Having others to collaborate with regularly is much better for me than working independently.

These insights put me on a sound footing to understand where I needed support, training, coaching and mentoring to deliver the vision I had for my own life.

Very quickly I realized the foolishness of investing in self-help that is unfocused and serves no useful purpose in using behavioral strengths, building confidence, or keeping anyone on track to deliver their life vision.

Having completed the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, I was able to target specific areas of self-development; but more than that it also revealed to me the most effective approach to mentoring and training others.

So the moral of this story – invest in revealing your personality; then identify the gaps that need managing. Not only will this save significant $$$ regarding self-help and education, but it will also ensure the $ you spend produces a good or even great return on investment throughout your life.

You will see results in your life, deliver on your vision, and above all, stay with your Plan A – not even tempted to have a Plan B or even C.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNABehavior.com.

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Behavioral Insights Decode Trump Family Values

Not since 1961 has there been such a glamorous, tight-knit celebrity First Family in the Whitehouse as the Trump family. Headed up by President Donald Trump this family is well used to public scrutiny and having the spotlight turned on their every waking move.

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It would foolish to believe that this noisy, fun loving, dynasty wouldn’t have robust dinner table discussions – even more so now that the head of the house is the President of the United States. But what about the apparently reticent Flotus, that is, Melania Trump? What could be her behavioral and communication style? Well – dumb she is not – she speaks five languages which could certainly be useful at state dinners. Her background is ordinary – raised in Yugoslavia not as part of high society in a Trump-like tower, but in a concrete apartment block tower. Married to the most influential leader in the free world, Melania Trump would need to be a special kind of woman to manage or influence her President husband and this blended family. Trumps Personality (Influencer DNA Behavioral Style) is well balanced by that of his wife’s personality (Facilitator DNA Behavioral Style). Melania Trump will be the glue to this high-powered, influential family. The Trump family, through understanding their Natural Behavior and Personality, has obtained insights into how to navigate human differences and communication styles to build a cohesive family existence. They get each other. They understand where and when to modify their behavior in certain situations based on experiences, education, and values. Work-Life balance is important to this family. President Trump uses a family residence rather than Camp David to relax. He refers to Mar-a-Lago as his Southern White House. A further example of work-life balance is their decision for the First Lady to remain in New York until the end of their young son Barons school year. They clearly believe in the age old adage a family that plays together, stays together. Summary of the Family Strengths and Struggles:

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The Trumps are no different to other blended families. They will have heated and robust discussions. This is typical family dynamics and isn’t just because they are the Trumps/First family. Not everyone in families is around the Thanksgiving table. There will always be black sheep or disenfranchised member – it’s called family. It is not unreasonable to assume there are personality challenges. There will always be blind spots in families. How we see each other depends very much on how we see ourselves. As parents, even in powerful, yet blended families such as the Trumps, we have different perspectives of our children because that is all that we can see or not see. The goal is to get more clarity. Understanding how each member communicates and how they wish to be communicated with can be a significant first step to delivering not just harmony, but where a family also works together, significant business success. With reliability factor of 91% and having been completed by millions of people – taking the DNA Behavior journey helps families to manage the information gap. Many families fail because they don’t understand how to live harmoniously when there are different personalities and communication styles to be navigated.

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To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.