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To Effectively Coach/Mentor, Begin with Validated Individual Insights

As a DNA Behavior Accredited Consultant, I coach and mentor business leaders and individuals daily.

Every person I have coached has begun the engagement by saying in various ways that they want to find and fulfil their life’s purpose. Very often they are at a crossroads and need someone to signpost them in the right direction.

Universal signpost: Personal behavioral insight

Whether she’s a leader frustrated by her inability to drive greater success, or he’s an individual who has lost his way, every issue boils down to one clear truth – the lack of personal behavioral insight.

In the case of the leader:

  • How they lead;
  • How they communicate; and
  • How they manage people.

In the case of the individual:

  • How can I feel more appreciated?
  • Why can’t leadership see my unused talents?
  • How can I find my life’s purpose in work?

Whether as a leader or as an employee, each desire to do a good job that is life-giving and has meaning. But when their endeavours are not appreciated or ignored, people lose their compass. And often lose interest and initiative too.

Digging below the surface I find there is often dissatisfaction. An itch they can’t scratch. A longing that can’t be met. Unless this can be revealed, individuals can’t change direction and realize their life’s purpose. And, without this same revelation, leaders can’t create the space for team members to achieve it.

Fully engaged, focused on success

There are many reputable reports and studies showing there is a definite correlation between engaged employees and creative output, and how these drive business growth and innovation. So, when a client comes to me for coaching, the question of leadership always comes into the conversation.

Leaders have a huge responsibility in terms of creating settings within which people can work to their optimum. But when leaders do not know their people at a deep level, its unrealistic to expect them to establish spaces that enable individuals and teams to become engaged employees.

Gallup, Inc., defines engaged employees as those who are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. But the majority of employees are indifferent, sleepwalking through their workday without regard for their performance or their organizations performance. As a result, vital economic influencers such as growth and innovation are at risk.

My personal frustration: The many times an individual says, I just want someone to appreciate me and tell me if I’m doing a good job. Such exchanges between managers and employees don’t in themselves produce engagement, but its a good beginning.

Reconnecting the disconnects

When leaders know how to emotionally invest in their people, then real engagement begins. Whenever I work with leaders, I always ask them if they know how closely the success of the business aligns with the success their people are hoping for in their own lives.

Be mindful of the external stressors the people in your organization are dealing with. For instance, they may be dealing with and worrying about things like buying a home, schooling their children, saving for a holiday, paying off their college fees, investing to create wealth, the health of a loved one and more.

Successful leaders know their employees. They understand the power of engagement. They are comfortable having insightful conversations with them. Moreover, this then leads to healthier conversations when an individual’s work level falls off.

That kind of conversation isn’t about criticism and likely begins with, What’s happening in your world that’s causing this slump in your work? How can I help you get back on track? This is where true engagement comes into play and teams are built on trust and commitment to the business.

This is how leaders build and motivate their people. In the genuine exchanges.

Going below the surface

As consultants we need to advise our clients about the importance of getting below the surface of themselves and the people they lead. Some leaders may need to be taught how to engage in this way.

They may feel vulnerable doing it- but here’s the thing, if they want success in their business, getting the people stuff right is the only way to go. They may need to learn that that people stuff is not as soft and undefinable as they think. There are metrics, processes and tools that can help each of us know, engage and grow ourselves and the organizations we lead.

The first step for me in my coaching and mentoring approach as a consultant is for each client to complete their DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process. I can’t possibly advise, mentor and coach when I have no idea what people have hidden behind their personality mask. I wouldn’t even try.

Armed with this in-depth insight, I can then very quickly help them accelerate their performance, enabling them to achieve success on all levels regardless of where they sit in the organization.

Experience the kind of insights Im talking about by taking the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery yourself, at no cost or obligation.

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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How To Build Trust In A Team: A Business DNA Product Upgrade

When we design feature improvements for Business DNA, we look at the hot topics that are raised in our training and coaching events. Last year, a hot topic was, “How to build trust in a team”. I am excited to announce that today, we released an update to the Trust scoring model for Natural Behavior that will answer that very question.

Trust Scoring Upgrade:

This upgrade was a culmination of 5 years of psychometric research and independent validation by our team of PhD’s and data scientists. The bar is now raised for DNA Behavior as having one of the only independently validated psychometric measurements of Trust in the behavioral profiling industry. In addition, this measurement provides our Business DNA Coaches, Consultants and Users with the following in-depth insights (in addition to the other 54 additional behavioral attributes we measure):

  • Trust and Skepticism
  • Delegation and Controlling
  • Openness and Suspicion
  • Approachable and Questioning
  • Relaxed and Exacting

If you want to know how to build trust in a team, you must first understand how your team builds trust. While asking questions and drilling in on details can build trust for some team members, that same activity may feel like a lack of trust to others. Trust building is not a one-time activity, but trust erosion can be. In order to build trust, you must consistently behave in ways that are seen to build trust with your team. Knowing how each member of your team responds naturally around trust can help you hit the right note with your team members and help you understand why something you do successfully with one person is failing with another.

How to measure trust in a team using Business DNA:

The Business DNA Natural Behavior assessment is an online questionnaire process that takes 10-minutes to complete. You and each one of your coworkers can spend just 10-minutes to complete their own assessment and compare your results. Each individual’s Trust score will be available in each individual’s 1-page factor Report, Workplace Operations Report and the Coaching Report.

How to build trust in a team:

Ready to build trust in your team? Our experience tells us that the first step to build trust in a team is to help each person understand each other’s unique style. The self-guided Team Report profiles an experiential walkthrough of the behavioral patterns for each of your team members and is intended to build trust by opening the lines of communication for each person’s unique style.

Are you Naturally Trusting or Skeptical?

Are you naturally more trusting or skeptical? Find out in just 10-minutes with our free trial. Experience Business DNA with this free trial and see how business leaders, coaches, and consultants discover the talents, communication styles, and personality profiles of employees and customers.

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HIRING – What You See May Not Be What You Get

Hiring is not an exact science, but there are ways to mitigate getting it wrong.

Twenty-seven percent of employers in the U.S. who reported a bad hire said that a single bad hire costs more than $50,000. (According to a CareerBuilder survey of 6,000 hiring managers and HR pros worldwide, 2013.) The internet is rife with tales of how expensive a bad hire can be.

But the bigger issue, and the one that has the potential to cause long-term damage to any organization, is the impact a bad hire has on productivity and morale. Matching candidates talents to the specific role, the team culture and conducting behavioral interviews to get below the surface, is more likely to get you to the right candidate for the role.

Sixty percent of hiring managers report that bad hires dont get along with co-workers, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

Keep in mind that candidates will have a mixture of natural, learned and cognitive behaviors. These insights are measurable and, using a validated tool, can be revealed at the outset of the hiring process. Still, it isnt enough to fill a vacancy. The fit to the team, the organization, the culture and the up-line management, are significantly more important than the skill set a candidate brings to the table.

The lesson for CEOs: Dont hire yourself. Just because the interview went well and you connected does not translate to a fit for a role. Hire to the job. Hire to bring the talents you dont have to the organization.

And for you Recruiters? If you want to hire well, make sure you have a benchmark of the typical behavioral characteristics needed for high performance in specific roles. Not only do you need benchmarks for the role, you also need them for the team, department and decision makers. Without this information, the hire will be based on resumes, references and gut instinct.

Your reputation is riding on it. Candidates will be watching for vacancies at organizations who are known for their integrity, culture and treatment of their people. They will be more interested in the role than the salary. They will want your company name on their portfolio of work. They will want to boast they work for you.

Assessment Centers should take recruiting seriously too. Spend time with candidates. Its not enough to hire those that look good on paper and fit all the benchmarks; they also need the right character traits. If you are recruiting to a highly-pressurized role, you need to know their potential to manage others under pressure. Is there risk associated with the decision making in the role? How will the candidate respond under pressure? Are they going to become a rogue trader (for example)? Time spent in an assessment center provides insight into the extent a job applicant meets these qualities.

What to do?

  • Use a validated talent discovery system to get under the surface and discover the natural strengths and struggles.
  • Compare the outcomes to understand the candidates team fit and how they will interact with the leader and team members.
  • Have a list of powerful questions for conducting a behavioral interview based on the candidates natural strengths and struggles.

The most effective investment that a business can make into the hiring process, is to devote time and energy into benchmarking the talents and behaviors required for different roles. This makes for a smoother and more effective hiring process as you match candidates to roles.

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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Fix or Finesse: Your Culture Needs Attention

Every organization has a culture – as a leader you need to know whether the culture is healthy or not. Toxic culture must be addressed but so should healthy culture to see if it needs tweaking.

Changing the culture in an organization can be a nightmare for a leader. If a change in leadership is because of a poor performing business, it can become incredibly frustrating for a new CEO to have to sideline results to focus on changing the culture.

change

But here’s a thought; what is your culture? Would it stand up to scrutiny? Are your values open to scrutiny both in your personal and business life?

Investopedia defines Corporate Culture as “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”

Success comes from understanding the behaviors and motivations of the people. Only then can cultural change have a hope of succeeding. Using a highly-validated discovery such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, leaders can identify, in advance, the people’s ability to cope with cultural change and how it should be introduced and communicated. Only then can CEOs know that whatever they introduce will work.

Culture change requires strong, focused, versatile and decisive leadership. A person’s performance needs to be addressed in relation to their behaviors and personality, not necessarily to their ability. Knowing an individual’s personality traits in advance, and how, or if, they fit the proposed organizational culture and values, can make all the difference in terms of the success or failure of the proposed changes.

There are several keys for CEOs that will support their cultural change efforts.

  1. If no one is talking and boasting about the culture of the organization, it’s a sure sign there isn’t one, or if there is, it’s toxic.
  2. It starts at the top – often said, but rarely practiced. A leader who knows their own personality, their EQ, their communication style, their bias (yes, we all have them) and their own personal values, are more likely to be able to introduce cultural change than a leader who does not have this insight.
  3. Measure the current culture – maybe not everything needs to change.
  4. The use of a validated personality discovery process can quickly identify those able to manage cultural change and who are behaviorally smart enough to capture culture and vision quickly and run with it.
  5. Data that delivers accurate information about people can identify quickly those who can be used as ambassadors to manage the introduction of cultural change. (And it won’t always be the obvious employees)
  6. Hiring – audit your hiring processes – introduce a validated personality profiling system. Set a hiring benchmark. Don’t settle for second best. Re-training existing employees could be a more effective option.
  7. When introducing a cultural change training program, keep auditing it to ensure it’s relevant and working.
  8. CEOs – it’s important not underestimate the power of your regular communication with the business. Use your communication to acknowledge the people who have disproportionate influence in the organization and are working with you to introduce the cultural change.
  9. If there are hot spots and resistance to the cultural change, name and shame them.
  10. CEOs – remember to create a vision of what the future for the organization looks like after the cultural change.

In conclusion – here’s the prize: as the culture develops and individuals take responsibility for what happens in their work areas, problems are solved where they happen and by those affected. This frees up leadership to focus on the business and its opportunities.

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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Meeting Before The Meeting

Picture this – you’re heading to a potentially great business opportunity, one that could significantly shift your organization to the next level.

You are well prepared, have all your ducks in a row and as you arrive at the meeting place, realize, you have no idea how best to communicate with the CEO you are about to meet.

You see – so far the pitch has been via emails, attached marketing material, answered questions back and forth all leading to today. BUT no thought of how to communicate in a Behaviorally Smart way.

All the preparation in the world won’t get the deal if you have no idea how best to communicate when you are in the room.

We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it. Made assumptions based on LinkedIn profiles; about me sections of websites; or Googled to find pen pictures, but the reality is – you don’t know me, and I don’t know you.

In her article The 5 Personality Traits That Make for a Better Life Science of Us Melissa Dahl makes this observation: people are complicated, perhaps more complicated than these (Big Five) five aspects of personality can adequately represent..

Yes, people are indeed complicated, but why couldn’t part of preparation for an event such as this include knowing in advance how individuals communicate; what their business approach style is, all of which would create a starting point to inform the meeting and with such powerful information build greater connection and trust.

The answer is simple DNA Natural Behavior Discovery puts you in the driving seat of your relationships, whether business or personal. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and can form the basis of every, and any connection. All it takes is emailing a link and asking the prospect, client, staff member to complete it. They complete a questionnaire, and a report is produced. But it doesn’t stop there – you can then compare your personality profile with the person you are about to engage with and produce a meeting report that will not only provide insight into how to communicate, but how best to present your offering.

This Behaviorally Smart approach is used in endless numbers of scenarios – to name just a few:

  • Financial advisor and client
  • Making a pitch to a VC
  • Hiring
  • Performance review
  • Building teams
  • Managing boardroom challenges
  • Selecting a mentor
  • Family succession planning and so much more.

With reliability factor of 91% and having been completed by millions of people – taking the DNA Behavior journey will not only set you up for success but set you apart from others regarding the professional way in which you approach business meetings.

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

Leadership

11 Leadership Styles That Shape A Winning Organization

Building and shaping the culture of an organization begins with the behavior of the leaders. When leaders are behaviorally smart, and understand their leadership and communication style, they are more likely to set the kind of example they want everyone to follow.

There is no one leadership style fits all. The key, through self-awareness, is to find the balance that works with the teams you lead.

The Fast-Paced Leader

A leader who is fast paced, logical, challenging and tends to be critical may well deliver results, but can damage the talent they are responsible for leading. This style of leadership births a culture of stress, staff turnover and unwillingness to want to work under their leadership.

The Analytical Leader

The analytical, systematic, rigid, work by the rules, style of leadership may be a gatekeeper in terms of the processes of the organization, but can shut down innovation, spontaneity and the kind of creative approach to decision making required when things go wrong. This inflexible and rigid style of leadership does not inspire a culture of shared goals, thoughts and ideas.

The Skeptical Leader

In today’s rapidly changing market, businesses need innovation to survive. A skeptical leader who is not open to ideas, continually questions, is guarded and fails to build trust with their teams, will not create the kind of innovative culture that breeds success. Finding a successful balance between trust and a healthy skepticism that protects the business is tough.

The Competitive Leader

Similarly, leaders whose focus is solely on results, who is very competitive and wants always to be the one who sets the agenda, can push teams too hard to achieve goals. If these leaders see targets slipping away they can become manipulative and assume a driven style of leading that causes teams to crash and burn. This approach leads to a toxic culture – very difficult to recover from.

The Peoples Leader

Leaders who are highly people focused and expressive, can inspire passion and purpose, but if this style of leadership is not based on a foundation of a clearly articulated vision and mission, the culture they create is one of chaos and confusion – but fun. Leaders such as this need strong boundaries and need to learn to focus on one goal at a time.

The Risk-Taking Leader

Some leaders are comfortable with taking risks. They know their limitations and are comfortable with managing failure. However, when risk taking leads to over confidence, leaders will cut corners placing the business in jeopardy. Further, team members assume the culture of risk extends to them. This can lead to outlier behavior as they take inappropriate risk that undermines the organization.

The Creative Leader

The highly creative leader embraces new ideas, can be quite abstract in their thinking and open to imaginative approaches to decision making. However, such creative ideas need to have value, they can’t be random as this leads to a culture of anything goes. Creativity in leadership works when it’s part of a culture that is sensitive to teams, colleagues and the overall needs of the business.

The Cooperative Leader

Not many organizations survive on a cooperative style of decision making. When a leader is seen to be compliant others very quickly take advantage of them. They may well be able to communicate the vision and encourage input from teams, but without their own understanding of how to be behaviourally smart, this style of leaderships leads to the loudest voice getting their way. Further, it can lead to a culture of frustration as the leader seeks everyone’s opinion before making a call.

The Reserved Leader

Generally, the reserved, reflective leader tends to be a loner. They do not have an open-door policy and can be withdrawn. This style of leadership breeds a culture of suspicion and can lead to more outgoing team members driving the culture and making decisions that are inappropriate. However, when the leader understands the importance of building relationships, this style of leader is likely to be much more accurate in their instructions. They prefer to get things right first time and will reflect and focus on this.

The Patient Leader

When a leader is overly understanding and tolerant there will always be others who will take advantage of this. A culture of leniency will prevail and mistakes will be repeated leading to frustration and discontent from team members. Generally, this leader tries to create a culture of stability, believing that everyone will function more effectively within the environment. This approach only works when everyone has knowledge of each other’s preferred environment for working, otherwise the culture will be too relaxed.

The Spontaneous Leader

Spontaneity challenges many people who prefer leadership to be structured and predictable. A spontaneous leader creates a culture of impulsiveness and lack of planning and forethought. Spontaneity panics some people and can lead to disruption and stress in the workplace.

A Leader who can create a successful organization culture will not only understand their own natural behavior and how to manage it, they will invest time gaining insight into the behaviors of their teams. When they achieve this balance, the culture they create looks like this:

  • There is a shared vision – communicated in a way that everyone feels valued in role for delivering it
  • There are high levels of personal confidence
  • Everyone has a can-do attitude
  • Teams collectively look for solutions
  • The leaders listen to other ideas and suggestions
  • The individuals feel motivated
  • Attrition is low
  • There are clear goals and everyone knows where they fit in delivering them
  • Success is shared
  • Trust goes both ways
  • There are quantifiable measurable outcomes that demonstrate the culture of the organization

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