HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON PERSONALITY TYPOLOGIES

Understanding how others function is a first step in working with them. Organizations consist of people who differ from one another on almost every dimension possible. Diversity certainly is a challenge that is here to stay.

We always can count on Jung, Myers and Briggs, and Keirsey and Bates. But still we need to keep in mind that we are all changing and all that test gives us a frame. People behavior and nature is like unritten book. Jung’s work formed the basis of the later work of Myers and Briggs; the work of Myers and Briggs, in turn, formed the basis of Keirsey and Bates’ work. The four dimensions of personality that provide the structure for these three theories. These dimensions are extraverts/introverts, sensors/intuitors, thinkers/feelers, and judgers/perceivers. 

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Jung’s Theory of Type

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist whose theory of psychological types  helps people to recognize and to understand basic personality differences. In essence, this theory describes people’s ranges of orientations to perceiving (sensing versus intuitive), interpreting (thinking versus feeling), and responding (extraversion versus introversion). By becoming aware of these basic differences, people can better understand others’ motivations and behaviors and can expand tolerance and respect for those whose styles are different.

Jung recognized that people make clear choices from infancy on as to how they use their minds. Although each person has some of each kind of orientation, he or she generally favors one type over the other. Furthermore, types seem to be distributed randomly with regard to sex, class, level of education, and so on.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

In the early 1940s, Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katherine Briggs, began to explore ways to use Jung’s theories to explain personality differences. With World War II as a backdrop for their work, the women saw peace in the world as the ultimate goal of understanding personality types. Their paper-and-pencil instrument for determining personality type became known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is based on a psychometric questionnaire whose results seem to determine accurately a person’s viewpoint and style of behavior in all aspects of work and personal interaction. Use of the MBTI is extremely widespread; to date, several million Americans have taken it. The instrument also has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, and French, helping many people around the world to understand and accept themselves and others.

Using Jung’s theories as a starting point, Myers and Briggs designated three sets of letter pairs: E/I (extraversion/introversion), S/N (sensing/intuitive), and T/F (thinking/feeling). To these they added a fourth letter-pair set, J/P (judging/perceiving). The MBTI classifies each person in one of sixteen personality types, based on that person’s preferences for one aspect from each of the four sets of letter pairs.

The Keirsey and Bates Sorter

David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates (1984), in their book Please Understand Me, use the same four dimensions that are found in the MBTI to outline four “temperaments.” They define temperament to be “that which places a signature or thumb print on each of one’s actions, making it recognizably one’s own”. Temperament is based first on the S/N dimension; differences on this dimension are “the source of the most miscommunication, misunderstanding, vilification, defamation, and denigration” . People with an S (sensing) preference gather information in concrete ways, based on facts in the here-and-now; temperament theory then subdivides them based on how they act on this information
(judging or perceiving). People with an N (intuitive) preference gather information in abstract ways, based on intuition and possibilities; the temperament sorter then subdivides them based on how they make decisions about this information (thinking or feeling). Thus, according to the Keirsey and Bates Sorter, a person is characterized as SJ, SP, NT, or NF.

THE LETTER PAIRS

The dimensions used by Jung, by Myers and Briggs, and by Keirsey and Bates represent tendencies rather than absolute choices. In most situations, a person prefers one approach over another. A person who understands his or her own approach then can use this information to improve communication with others.

Extraverts and Introverts (E and I)

Jung identified two basic “attitude types,” which describe the direction of a person’s interest: extravert and introvert. In the context of personality typology, an extravert is a person whose energy source is the external world of people and things, whereas an introvert is a person whose energy source is the internal world of ideas.

An extravert generally appears friendly and easy to know; he or she tends to think aloud and to express emotions openly. An extravert often acts first and reflects later. In contrast, an introvert is most productive in private and tends to reflect first and act later. An introvert generally internalizes emotions and appears to be less self-revealing and to need a great deal of privacy. Contrary to popular notions, however, a healthy
extravert may need time alone and a healthy introvert may have highly developed communication skills.

Sensors and Intuitors (S and N)

The S/N preference concerns the mental function of how a person takes in data from
the outside world. The letter “S” is used for sensing, and the letter “N” is used to represent intuition.

A person is a sensor if he or she takes in information in parts, noticing fine details by means of the five senses. A sensor is a very practical individual who wants, trusts, and remembers facts. He or she is highly attuned to details and is usually very orderly and organized. For this person, learning is a linear process in which data are collected sequentially and facts are believed only when experience bears them out. A sensor values order and truth; often he or she is a hard worker who values perspiration more than inspiration. A sensor enjoys the present moment, takes directions easily, and may be most comfortable with tasks that are highly detailed and require repetition.

In contrast, a person is an intuitor if he or she perceives a situation in its entirety rather than piecemeal. An intuitor has a global perspective and is often described as living by a sixth sense. He or she is imaginative and is always anticipating future events. An intuitor looks primarily for relationships and patterns in the information taken in. He or she is an innovator who believes in and excels in hunches, visions, and dreams. An intuitor is adept at long-range planning and can recognize all of the complexities in a given situation.

Taken to the extreme, the sensing function causes a person to miss the forest for the trees, and the intuitive function causes a person to miss the trees for the forest.

Thinkers and Feelers (T and F)

Once data have been collected, decisions often must be made, a process that is determined by one’s T/F preference. The letter “T” represents thinking, and the letter “F” represents feeling. Although this preference is based on how logic is used, thinking should not be equated with intelligence or intellectualism, nor should feelings be equated with emotion.

A thinker processes data in a formalized, linear fashion and can be described as logical. He or she uses an impersonal basis to make decisions in an exacting, structured, analytical manner. The thinker’s actions are apt to be deliberate and based on cause and effect. A thinker is ruled by the intellect and will fight for principles; such a person is drawn to jobs that do not depend heavily on interpersonal dynamics.

In contrast, a feeler makes decisions based on a process that more closely reflects personal values or concerns for others. He or she looks at extenuating circumstances rather than rigid laws. A feeler often is artistic and sensitive to the opinions and values of others; consequently, he or she is best suited to a job that requires strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Judgers and Perceivers (J and P)

Jung’s discussion of temperament actually dealt only with the S/N, T/F, and E/I preferences, emphasizing that each person has preferred styles of perceiving and judging that are best done in either the outer or inner world. Myers and Briggs built from Jung’s theory and created a fourth pair of opposites for the MBTI, concerning the style in which a person lives life (J/P). The J/P preference represents the weight that each of the mental functions (S/N and T/F) is given. In general terms, this preference refers to lifestyle.

A judger prefers situations that are orderly and well planned; and the judging function is dominant in the decision-making dimension, regardless of whether the person is a thinker or a feeler. Such a person prefers a decided, settled path and tends to be neat and orderly. A judger must know priorities and works best when his or her attention is dedicated to one assignment. He or she likes to be prepared for any situation, runs life by making and adhering to lists, thrives on deadlines, and always sees a task through to the end. However, because of a strong desire for stability, a judger may find change troubling.

A perceiver, on the other hand, lives life in an open, fluid, and spontaneous fashion. The perceiving function is dominant in his or her actions, regardless of whether the person is a sensor or an intuitor. A perceiver sees life’s possibilities and is always ready for the unexpected. He or she remains open to sudden changes and is comfortable with letting things happen by chance; this person adapts well to changing environments and usually enjoys being given a variety of tasks.

COMBINING ATTITUDE AND FUNCTION

Jungian Functional Types

Jung categorized people according to the psychological functions of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition; each of these functions then could be found in either extraverted or introverted individuals. In this way, Jung recognized eight functional types: extraverted sensing, extraverted intuitive, extraverted thinking, extraverted feeling, introverted sensing, introverted intuitive, introverted thinking, and introverted feeling.

The Myers-Briggs Types

The sixteen four-letter type indicators that classify types in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) consist of one letter representing a trait from each pair. Thus, the possible sixteen combinations are ISTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ENTJ, ISTP, ESTP, INTP, ENTP, ISFJ, ESFJ, INFJ, ENFJ, ISFP, ESFP, INFP, and ENFP. Each of these types has certain characteristics and preferences that distinguish it from other types.

ISTJ (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging). The ISTJ type is dependable and decisive. Attention to detail, combined with dependability, draws a person of this type to careers in which he or she can work alone and can focus on results, objective thinking, and procedures.

ESTJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging). People of this type perceive through their senses rather than through their intuition and can be described as practical and oriented toward facts. Because of their focus on visible, measurable results, this type is ideally suited to organizing and directing the production of products.

INTJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). The INTJ type is naturally good at brainstorming and excels at turning theory into practice. People of this type often choose careers that allow them to create and apply technology, and they often rise rapidly in an organization because of their abilities to focus on both the overall picture and the details of a situation.

ENTJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). The ENTJ type uses intuition rather than sensing to explore possibilities and relationships between and among things. People of this type have a strong desire to lead and tend to rise quickly to upper-management levels.

ISTP (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving). An ISTP type excels in technical and scientific fields because he or she uses sensing and thinking to analyze and organize data. Not wasting time is a key value for a person of this type, who tends to become bored by tasks that are too routine or too open ended.

ESTP (Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving). The ESTP type makes decisions based on logic more than on feelings. Such a person prefers to learn as he or she goes along, as opposed to becoming familiar with an entire process in advance. An
ESTP type has excellent entrepreneurial abilities but quickly tires of routine administrative details.

INTP (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving). The INTP person uses
intuition to explore possibilities, preferring new ideas and theories to facts. This person’s love of problem solving means that he or she is well suited to research and other scholarly endeavors.

ENTP (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving). The ENTP type is attracted to work that allows the exercise of ingenuity. Such a person learns best by discussing and challenging and has little tolerance for tedious details.

ISFJ (Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging). An ISFJ type combines an ability to use facts and data with sensitivity to others. Although uncomfortable in ambiguous situations, a person of this type is a hard worker and prefers work in which he or she can be of service to others, both within the organization and outside it.

ESFJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging). The ESFJ type is probably the most sociable of all types and thus is highly effective in dealing with others. He or she often leans toward a career that serves others, such as teaching or the ministry.

INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). The INFJ type has a natural gift for facilitating groups. Although interpersonal interactions are important to a person of this type, he or she can be comfortable with any work that allows opportunities to grow and to learn.

ENFJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). An ENFJ person is a born leader who places highest priority on people. This preference, combined with his or her strong verbal-communication skills, makes the ENFJ type ideally suited for motivating others.

ISFP (Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Perceiving). People whose type is ISFP excel at tasks that require long periods of concentration and have senses that are keenly tuned. They prefer to express themselves in concrete, nonverbal ways and are especially inclined toward the fine arts.

ESFP (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Perceiving). An ESFP type uses sensing and feeling to live in the here-and-now and is most challenged by activities that are new and require some special effort. He or she prefers work that provides instant gratification, an opportunity to work with others, and avenues for learning and growing.

INFP (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving). People of this type are best described as idealists; they value integrity, hard work, and concern for others. Although they are adaptable to most work situations, they are best suited for careers that involve service to others.

ENFP (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving). The ENFP type is most interested in finding new solutions to problems and is attracted to work that involves people. Such a person tends to be impatient with rules and procedures and serves better as a mentor for employees than as a boss.

Keirsey and Bates Temperaments

The Keirsey and Bates Sorter classifies people by temperament rather than by type. Based on Jungian definitions, the sorter lists the four temperaments as sensing perceiver (SP), sensing judger (SJ), intuitive thinker (NT), or intuitive feeler (NF). Sensing perceivers and sensing judgers each make up between 35 and 40 percent of the population, while intuitive thinkers and intuitive feelers each constitute between 10 and 15 percent.

Sensing Perceiver (SP). An SP, or sensing perceiver, constantly seeks adventure and freedom and is open to whatever is new and changing. This person lives for the moment and makes an excellent negotiator. In a work setting, he or she may deal well with vendors and may be useful in keeping the staff abreast of new products and new releases. Such a person often is known as a troubleshooter who likes to resolve crises and to rally the support of others in solving a problem. Hot-line programs are often well served by people with SP temperaments.

Sensing Judger (SJ). A sensing judger (SJ) believes in rules, regulations, and rituals. He or she works best in a formalized, structured situation and often is well qualified to institute the structure that is needed in the workplace. A sensing judger would make a good librarian, inventory controller, scheduler, or administrator. He or she thrives on setting standards, whether in reference to resource selection or the day-to-day operating procedures of a department.

Intuitive Thinker (NT). A person who wants to understand, control, explain, and predict events is an intuitive thinker (NT). He or she is an intellectual purist and a self-motivated learner. An intuitive thinker can best serve an organization as a visionary and planner. He or she is a determined learner and will pursue something until it is mastered. An intuitive thinker makes an excellent system designer because of his or her
conceptual ability and may be well suited to customer support because of a need to strive for resolution. Newsletter production may also be a good outlet for an intuitive thinker’s skills.

Intuitive Feeler (NF). An intuitive feeler (NF) is enthusiastic and often has strong communication and interaction skills. Such a person often excels at public relations and can be effective as a liaison to other companies or departments. An intuitive feeler also often makes a good teacher, especially on the elementary level, because of his or her patience and understanding. Such a person is excellent at setting the atmosphere necessary for quality learning and training.

Being typed, therefore, should not limit people but rather uncover their possibilities. Living or working with a person of the opposite type can generate friction, but understanding may help opposites to accept and to take advantage of each other’s differences.

And keep in mind : It’s easy to judge. It’s more difficult to understand. Through judging, we separate. Throught understanding we grow.

Have a great day,

Kirilka

 

What Does It Mean to Be People Smart?

Ask the person on the street what it means to be people smart, and you are bound to hear many who have this picture: “Oh, that’s a person who is really a smooth operator . . . a person who knows how to get others to join his side.” A different picture you might hear is someone who is “personable . . . friendly . . . fun to be with.”

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While few people would complain about having those attributes, they represent a very limited view of what it means to be gifted with people. Being people smart is a multi-faceted competence. It is not limited to our skills or our social graces but includes a wide range of abilities.

People smarts is about that aspect of emotional intelligence that is best called “interpersonal intelligence.”When you consider how important interpersonal effectiveness is, it also makes sense to build the PQ or “people quotient” of your workforce.

What makes up someone’s PQ (people quotient)? Consider these questions:

Are your employees good at. . .

•   Understanding people?

•   Expressing their thoughts and feelings clearly?

•   Speaking up when their needs are not being met?

•   Asking for feedback from others and giving them quality feedback in return?

•   Influencing how others think and act?

•   Bringing conflicts to the surface and resolving them?

•   Collaborating with others as opposed to doing things by themselves?

How these questions are answered determines someone’s PQ. People with high PQ excel in the following eight areas. How do your people stack up?

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1. Understanding People

People with high PQs listen actively, empathize with another’s feelings, and acknowledge his or her viewpoint. That not only helps them to be appreciated but also works to draw out information they need to figure out what makes the other person tick. They ask questions to clarify what someone is saying when communication is unclear. They also realize that understanding others goes beyond the words they speak. They know how to interpret the unspoken. Finally, they are expert at reading other people’s style and motives.

2. Expressing Themselves Clearly

People with high PQs know how to get their message across so it’s understood. When people go on and on to make a point, they simply have no effect on other people. High PQers get to the point when brevity is required, yet give just enough detail so that other people are not confused. They can also sense when the other person has not understood them and can quickly rephrase what they are saying.

3. Asserting Their Needs

High PQers know that they have to be their own person. They have to have limits and establish those limits. If they try to be all things to all people, they’ll wind up disappointing others. They also are straightforward with their wishes. Hinting at what they need from others only leads to disappointment and frustration. Once that happens, they often become angry with others and lose the calm and confidence they need to be at their best. People with high PQs are able to remain calm and confident, even when others try to provoke them and push their emotional buttons.

4. Seeking and Giving Feedback

High PQ individuals are open about their reactions to others. They are able to give feedback easily and do it in such a way that the other people don’t become defensive. They also know that it is smart to get in the habit of asking for feedback themselves. If feedback is withheld, it’s as though the person has blinders on. Without feedback, they’re left wondering what the other person is thinking about them.

5. Influencing Others

A high PQ is evidence of someone’s ability to motivate others to action. High PQers are also people others come to for advice. They are able to connect with others, unearth their needs, reduce their resistance to new ideas, and persuade effectively.

6. Resolving Conflict

High PQers are exceptional conflict resolvers. They get the subject right out on the table. They figure out what’s bothering the other person. They are especially adept at negotiating differences and working out creative resolutions to problems.

7. Being a Team Player

High PQers are team players. They work more to advance the group’s goals rather than their own. They also know how to complement the styles of others, coordinate the efforts of team members without bossing them around, and build consensus.

8. Shifting Gears When Relationships Are Stuck

Finally, high PQers are flexible and resilient. While they have an inner core and a predominant style of dealing with people, they also understand that there are different strokes for different folks. They realize that one of the ways to get a stuck relationship to change is to change the way they behave in it. They know how to get out of old patterns and unfreeze situations that have previously been frozen shut.

KEEP IN MIND:All your employees need to be people smart. No matter what someone’s function is, everyone in today’s workforce is in the people business! It used to be said that some people were in the business of working with people and some of us were in the business of working with facts, figures, and machinery. But the people business is no longer the domain of the few. It now includes everyone.

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K.

 

Don”t you think that?

imagesA basic human tendency in our culture is to enumerate our experiences. Because people attempt to abstract those elements that they recognize as repeatable, they often end by describing their experiences in terms of “how much” or “how many.” This tendency to attach numbers to observations of everyday life, however, has some inherent dangers.

The tendency to oversimplify is one danger. Another is to imagine that experience can be accumulated, as if one experience is equal to another. Yet another danger occurs when we enumerate the characteristics and experiences of others. In other words, in describing other people numerically, we summarize their experiences, characteristics, and behaviors in terms of linear scales. A fourth danger is that we forget to look at human beings and look instead at quantities.

Numbers, best thought of as symbols or as abstract concepts, are a very useful device. When we assign a numerical value to some event, behavior, observation, or pattern of tick marks on an answer sheet, we are symbolically representing a human process. Counting may be done mechanically or electronically, but the schema is an extension of the thought process of some person or persons. Numbers can be talked about; manipulated statistically and arithmetically; and seen in an abstract, conceptual way. The primary value of numbers, then, is to extrapolate from and summarize
human experience.

In practice, however, there is a tendency to assign more value to our numbering than to the quality of human interaction needed to solve social problems. The logic of numbers is not the syntax of human experience, even though ample evidence exists that we treat people as though they were numbers. People who feel that they are being subjected to such inhumanity are almost uniformly offended by it. When a person feels that he or she has been treated with less dignity than that accorded to punched cards, that person usually feels helplessness and bitterness.

People are not numbers, but their experiences can, nevertheless, to a degree, be collected, accumulated, and used as a basis for prediction. The important humanistic consideration is that in using numbers we not violate the integrity of the people whose human experience we are abstracting.

Greetings,

K.

Training the Generation X and Millennial generations

aaeaaqaaaaaaaalwaaaajgu3mzdjntfklwrkotqtndqxzc1inzk0ltbhy2iyywrhzdq3maThere is a growing generational culture gap appearing in today’s workforce, and it is becoming increasingly apparent in the world of education and training. 45 percent of today’s workforce is under the age of 40. And as these young “millennial workers” show up for corporate training programs, who do they find teaching the programs? Trainers from their parents’ generation?

            Now, there are younger trainers out there. But still, the chances are quite high that the majority of corporate training decision makers and senior trainers are from the Baby Boomer generation. And they certainly influence the design and, to a great extent, the delivery style of a major portion of corporate training.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaamiaaaajdzioddhzjy3lwu5mzytndrlnc05nzkylwi4ntawngyxnwrkmqDo Generational Differences Matter?

Your first response to this situation may be something like, “So what?” Is it really such a big deal that there is this generation gap between trainers and trainees? In fact, isn’t that the way it has always been? Those doing the teaching are older, and supposedly wiser, than those receiving the training? The answer of course is “yes, but.” Yes, in general, there has often been an age difference between those teaching and those being taught, especially when we are young. But, as adults, we often find ourselves in learning situations where the age differences lessenss doesn’t make any sense?

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As the number of younger learners increases in the workplace classroom, designing and delivering training will have to be changed, updated, and, occasionally, overhauled entirely in order to be effective with the younger generations.

            And I’m not talking about changing generational reference points and outdated examples, although these are important. I’m talking about addressing generational differences in learning styles and overall approaches to learning—perhaps even generational differences in cognitive development. Although I am Millennial generation (born 1982)   our learning came through lectures and texts with an occasional opportunity to do something.  We looked to gurus and subject-matter experts to tell us the answers—or at least to provide insights.
Teaching methods have changed dramatically over the past  years also. If the last time you were in a public school classroom was well before 1980, or even 1990, check things out. The look, style, and approaches to learning have changed. Many young people from the emerging generations grew up with learning approaches that used teamwork and collaboration. They took part in engaged learning projects. They learned to use critical thinking skills. They thrived in classrooms with learning pods and subject corners and individualized options… the Millennial Generation, born between 1981 and 2000, grew up learning to learn …Their learning encounters were reinforced with sound and color and humor.      .

So what’s next?

14322523_10154650908715832_4391318693932779514_nSome trainers and designers of training settled into a very organized, linear approach to training and training design—structured, step-by-step, lecture-dominated, text-oriented, criterion-referenced, and often more focused on the trainer than on the learner. What if all your group is under 30 years ? Are you going to use the same approach? Me personally, I am changing the styles always. And really the core of my design is with who i am going to work 🙂
Here are few tips and taps

         Take the “set up” of a training program, for example. If you’ve been doing training as I have for the past ten years, the first 30 minutes of your program may be carefully devoted to establishing a good training climate—welcoming participants, making introductory remarks, presenting an overview of the class and its purpose and goals, covering housekeeping issues, and, of course, introducing yourself and then having the participants meet one another (preferably in a short, clever activity). All of this is done at an energetic, but evenly paced tempo—accompanied by the appropriate distribution of three-ring binders and a sprinkling of overhead transparencies or colorful slides.

            This approach to setting a good learning climate was established years ago, probably to deal with reluctant participants, many of whom were not happy about attending training. The idea behind the approach may have been to allay participant fears, establish the credentials of the presenter, reassure participants of the value of the course content, and put class members at ease with one another. These are important to do, and the way in which we do them may be very reassuring to older participants; but to many younger participants, it is frustratingly slow and seems quite unnecessary.

            I do not want to suggest that any one way of conducting a program is better than any other, nor am I suggesting that participants will only respond to one type and not another. I am suggesting, however, that trainers of a certain age may want to consider using different types of design and delivery techniques now and then, particularly in programs that contain a large number of younger learners.

Five Key Millennial Generation  Needs

After reading and researching what has been written about the different generations, after conducting a number of focus groups and brainstorming sessions with younger learners, and after numerous fact-finding junkets into Millennial culture, I would like to propose five key Millennial needs that can be easily addressed in the design and delivery of almost any training program to make it more appealing to younger learners. Think of these five needs, or five factors, as antidotes to five unfortunate habits of well-meaning Boomer trainers:

Boomer Habits                                        Millennial Needs

Use telling, text-oriented methods                 Involve to solve

Take a linear approach                                    Offer options

Use a leisurely, even pace                               Pick up the pace

Apply a trainer-focused style                          Link to the learner

Employ a prudent amount of fun                   Turn up the fun factor

proper-preparation-prevents-poor-performanceSo How TO Do It?

Start your training with a bang. Decrease the amount of telling and increase the amount of doing. Make the learning environment pleasant and attractive. Use rewards and incentives. Use fast, action-based games and competitive activities. But most importantly, have lots of interaction and involvement.

            Design and use games that address the five factors presented in this article. Make your games fast-paced. Offer options and choices throughout games and activities. Involve your players in finding solutions and solving problems. Try to use great graphics and include sound and movement. Whenever possible, make use of technology. Include lots of rewards and punishments. And don’t be afraid to make use of fantasy and imagination.

Where to Begin?

Take a quick look at the various classes you are teaching. Which ones have the largest enrollments of younger learners? Choose one or two and begin making a few alterations. Or choose a program that needs a real shot in the arm and design a new “<Millennial-friendly” game or activity to use at the very beginning of the program.

            Find a couple of Millennial colleagues and discuss some of the ideas and suggestions in this article. See what they think. Audit each other’s programs and exchange feedback and ideas. Make some changes. Try out some new approaches. See what happens.

            As one younger learner I know suggested, “Don’t make learning so serious. Make it fun. Make it comfortable. Have lots of food and drinks. And if I have to sit there for a long time, how about a sofa?”

Have a great Monday.

Greetings,

Kirilka

The Influence

To work is to sell, regardless of whether you are “in sales” and whether you hold a position of authority over others. When you interact with people, generally you are either presenting an idea or listening to the ideas of others—either selling or being sold on something. To sell successfully, you must convince others that it is worth their time to listen to a proposal and to take action in accordance with it.

The Influence Continuum

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Often when you want people to comply with your wishes, you will either not have or not want to use position power to accomplish your goal; instead, you will want to influence them. This article offers an approach to influencing that can be used by anyone in an organizational or team setting. With some adaptation, the approach can also be used in one-on-one situations.
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Balk
When you want to influence others to listen to an idea and to take action that is different from their accustomed behavior, you must anticipate resistance. During the first stage, called “balk” because of this characteristic audience reaction, prepare to present your idea in ways that lower resistance. Most people do not feel a need to give up a current practice and adopt another unless they believe that the new practice will be significantly better in some way. Reactions may range from hesitation or agreement on a surface level only (“It sounds okay, but let me think it over”) to questions about potential benefits (“What’s in it for me?”) or direct challenges (“The way I’m doing things now works just fine; I don’t need to change”). Influencing others successfully during the “balk” stage, when people know little or nothing about your proposal and probably do not care to know more, calls for preparing an introduction to your idea that will create interest.
Lay the Groundwork.  Before you unveil your proposal, set a tone of anticipation. Let people know that they can look forward to the change as a positive experience. Prepare for Resistance.
Develop strategies for handling resistance to the change. Anticipate people’s questions and qualms; devise appropriate responses and rehearse them before you meet with people to present the change.
Gather.  Collect facts, figures, and benchmarking data from comparable situations to include in your initial presentation of the idea. These precedents will go a long way toward persuading others of the validity of your idea.
Plan a Powerful Presentation.  Work on making your presentation powerful or dramatic. You might try an experiential approach. Let’s say you previously trained three colleagues from another department in a new problem-solving technique that you now want your team to adopt. You could invite these colleagues to a team meeting, explaining to them in advance that you want them to use the technique for solving a particular problem. At the meeting you would ask the team members to suggest a real workplace problem that needs to be solved. You would form three subgroups, each to be led by one of the colleagues. Then you would give each colleague a specific amount of time to come up with a solution and walk through it with the subgroup members. After the subgroups finished the task, you would reassemble the entire group to review the new technique, discuss ways in which it may be superior to techniques currently being used, and answer any questions. Also, you would encourage your three colleagues to share their experiences with the technique, its benefits, any difficulties they encountered, how they overcame those difficulties, and their personal reactions to the technique.

Talk

The “talk” stage refers to the actual presentation of your idea, during which you not only explain it but also engage your audience in a discussion of it. To make your presentation as effective as possible, consider the following questions and incorporate resulting insights:

  •  What draws my attention?
  • What factors are compelling enough for me to try something despite my belief that I don’t need it?
  • What persuades me? How am I persuaded?

Seasoned influencers often begin their presentations by acknowledging the negative emotions that people experience when confronted with change.  Lead people to the realization that trying something new can yield gains, regardless of whether those gains are apparent at the outset. Following are recommendations of ways to influence successfully during the “talk” stage, when you are ready to present your idea to people who are willing to listen to it and discuss it.

Use Visual Aids.  Use visual aids to supplement your message, but make sure that they do not constitute more than half of your presentation. Visual aids can be highly effective, but they cannot replace a passionate proposal and an effective rationale for implementing that proposal. Remember that visual aids are only one of the three essential “V’s” of an influential presentation: voice, verbiage, and visuals.

Paint a Vivid Picture.  Use metaphors and vivid verbal pictures to engage the members of your audience and to help them envision your idea. When your purpose is to inspire and motivate rather than simply to edify, you need to appeal not only to people’s minds but also to their emotions and imaginations.

Acknowledge Disadvantages and Risks.  Present and explain any potential disadvantages and risks associated with your idea. People know that every new venture has a “downside.” By readily acknowledging the particulars of that downside, you will be seen as honest, and you will probably preclude some audience attacks on your idea. Discussing disadvantages and risks also allows you to appeal to the courage and adventurous spirit of others in trying your idea.

Encourage Discussion.  Make sure that you establish a dialogue with your audience. By inviting and welcoming feedback, you will arouse people’s interest and enhance the likelihood of buy-in.

Ensure Viability and Value.  First ensure that the idea you are proposing is both doable and worth doing. Then assure your audience that it is viable and beneficial. Don’t worry about aiming slightly higher than existing comfort levels; that is the basis of continual improvement.

Caulk

The third stage, “caulk,” extends throughout the process of implementing your idea. At the beginning of implementation you scrutinize your idea, looking for and “caulking” or repairing cracks or weak spots that might jeopardize the outcome. For example, if you find that you lack essential organizational support, you can cultivate a relationship with a top manager who is willing and able to champion your idea. Then, once implementation has begun, you and others involved in the process continue to assess progress. The “caulking” responsibilities that must be fulfilled consist of solving any problems that arise, obtaining any additional resources that are needed, and strengthening commitment when it begins to wane. Recommendations for successfully influencing others during the “caulk” stage, when you and they are working to reinforce implementation, are as follows:

Agree on Measurements of Success.  Because we human beings have such a capacity for misunderstanding one another, it’s important that you establish clear and measurable gauges of success. Quantitative measures, although they need not be used exclusively, will tell you when and where caulking is needed.

Focus on Accomplishments.  When setbacks occur, remind people of their accomplishments to date. Sometimes during implementation the future seems too far away, the goal less distinct than it once was, the need for your idea less pressing. If you are to be effective as an influencer, expect such developments and be prepared to caulk any fissures by restoring people’s flagging spirits.

Avoid Defensiveness.  Don’t let defensiveness impair your ability to identify and solve problems. You won’t be able to caulk if you don’t know where the leaks are, and you won’t know where the leaks are if you refuse to listen to feedback. If you doubt the importance of paying attention to feedback, consider the following news story:

Identify the Real Causes of Problems.  Use what is called the “five-why technique” to determine causes. This method consists of asking why a problem exists and continuing to ask why as each answer is received until you are certain that you have uncovered the real causes, rather than superficial reasons. You scrape through the various layers on the surface until you can clearly identify the cracks; then you can caulk appropriately.

Walk

Eventually you will cease to be the impetus behind your idea; after implementation the idea continues on the strength of its own momentum. By the time you reach this fourth stage, known as “walk,” you have conceived the idea, nurtured it through a period of gestation, helped to give it birth, facilitated its continued growth, and seen it reach maturity. Your idea has become standard operating procedure; now you can walk away and turn your attention to another project. Recommendations for influencing others during the “walk” stage, the process of releasing yourself from the day-to-day execution of your idea, are as follows:

Recognize People’s Efforts.  Think of appropriate ways to recognize those who helped you to implement your idea. For example, you might write a formal letter of commendation to everyone who participated in the process and then send a copy to each person’s supervisor.

Celebrate Successful Implementation.  It is important to hold some kind of celebration or ceremony to signify the end of the project. Not only does the hard work of those involved deserve public and lavish praise, but such a ritual also helps the participants to achieve closure and move on. People often remember the closing celebrations or ceremonies with as much intensity as they remember the many months preceding the project’s conclusion.

Encourage Networking.  Encourage networking among those who have been part of the project. Frequently, all people need is a nudge in the right direction. Keep in touch with them, and ensure that they keep in touch with one another. Some teams find the initial success so heady an experience that they decide to undertake a second project. Other teams disband after the initial success, but their members network to keep alive their memories of the past, to learn about opportunities for other projects, and to encourage their hopes for the future.

Connect Implementers with Influencers.  Make plans to inform your implementers when new opportunities arise, in connection with either your own new projects or the developing projects of others. Such referrals are appreciated by those being referred, as well as by those who need implementers.

 Stalk

Despite the usual negative connotation of the word “stalk,” it is used here in a positive sense to designate the fifth and final stage of influencing. It consists of dropping in on those who have implemented your idea and who continue to support it and maintain the implementation.

            Recommendations for influencing others during the “stalk” stage, during which you strive to catch others in the act of doing the right things in the right way, are as follows:

Seek Periodic Progress Reports. 
Publish What Has Been Learned. 
Encourage Continual Improvement.

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It’s long been observed that if you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. This adage serves as the philosophy behind the five-stage model presented in this article. Whether you use this model in influencing others or in teaching others to influence, your emphasis at each stage needs to be on careful planning to accomplish a goal.

Hope my writing is helping you 🙂

Share how you influence others?

Greetings,

Kirilka

know how

15195989_1140922826006123_8790694217671068748_oAre you  soft skills trainer? Or HRD? Or is it the first time when you have to evaluate?  This post deals with the following issues Why, What, How, and Who?:

Training Evaluation

The issue of training evaluation raises several questions:

Why is evaluation being done?

What is being evaluated?

Who should set the learning standards?

Who will be conducting the evaluation, i.e., who will judge the results of the training (participants, facilitators, both of these, outside individuals or groups)?

How is the evaluation to be done, i.e., how will results be monitored/evaluated? By what measures? By what criteria?

The answers to the first two questions will help to answer the overall question: “Should evaluation be done?” Evaluation is not always necessary, and unnecessary evaluation may not be a good idea because it is time consuming and expensive and because it generates expectations that something will be done with the data obtained. So the answer to the “should” question almost always is either “Yes, if . . .” or “Not
unless . . . .” Yes, if it is driven by a purpose: to determine something or to justify something. No, if the results will not be used, if the trainers or the client do not care what the results are, or if the subject matter or results may be too sensitive.

img_2555 The purpose of  is to obtain information. Before initiating or agreeing to an evaluation effort, it is wise to ask: What kind of information do you need? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer? What questions will give you that information?

The impetus to begin training and development in an organization often comes from management’s belief that training is an important benefit to employees, that it is a worthwhile investment and that it will help employees to fulfill their potential. However, management also hopes that it will increase personal and job satisfaction, increase motivation and productivity, and decrease turnover. In today’s organizations, the emphasis often is on “the bottom line,” return on investment. Managers and others who contract for training programs need to understand that it is impossible to measure the effects of training in such terms. One would have to measure all the other factors in the organization, over a stipulated period of time, in order to determine what part training played. Obviously, this would be almost impossible if not merely more time consuming and expensive than would be realistic. However, many managers still ask for training to be measured in terms of “increased productivity” or “effect on morale” or similar results. The HRD staff must educate such people in the realities of measurement and research. Behavior does not change in the moment at the time of training. A host of personal and organizational factors affect how well the training “takes” and whether changed attitudes or behaviors are permitted, supported, and reinforced in the workplace. Too often, the people who expect an evaluation are as confused about what is to be measured as they are about why the evaluation is being done.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaai6aaaajgvhyzq0mmmzltzlymutndrmys1imjnjlty0mtexztk5odlmywProbably the best reason for evaluating training is to help the facilitators to examine the design and to improve it, if necessary. Probably the worst reason is to prove that the training was worth the time and effort that it took. If those who are sponsoring the training (this problem occurs primarily in organizational contexts) do not understand the intangible effects of human resource development, the trainers would be wise to educate them or to seek work elsewhere.

What can be measured realistically is whether the participants were satisfied with the training; whether they felt valued because of having been offered the training; whether they thought it was interesting, helpful, or useful; and whether they think that they will use the skills, change their attitudes or behaviors, or have achieved some type of self-development as a result of the training. Some discrete skills also can be measured in a short period of time.

The most important thing in deciding to do evaluation is to be clear about why you are doing it, what or whom you are doing it for, and what or whom you are evaluating. Evaluation done for the purpose of justification is different from evaluation done for the purpose of documentation, and that is quite different from evaluation done to determine something.

The evaluation forms or survey materials should be geared toward obtaining the responses or the quantity and quality of information that you need. For example, justification might include the need to show that the trainees were satisfied with the training. The evaluation form then would not ask “Were you satisfied with the training?”; rather, it would contain questions such as “Which activity (or part of the training) was the most satisfying?” The report then could say that the data shows that ____ percent of the trainees found ____ portion of the training to be the most satisfying. For documentation, you may need to show that so many people attended, that there was follow-up, that the training was timely or what was requested, etc., or you may need to keep a head count in order to show that so many people were trained per year or that so many managers were included in the HRD efforts. In order to determine something, you need to frame the inquiry so as to elicit useful information (e.g., What other job skills would be useful in this training program? How do you plan to use this training?). The techniques used to obtain information for evaluation purposes are basically the same as those used to obtain information for the needs assessment.

Some examples:

End of Training Questionnaire

Instructions: The organizers of this program want your frank evaluation of its value and how it was conducted. You need not write your name on this questionnaire; no attempt will be made to identify the responses of any individual. It is hoped that your replies will be useful in improving future programs. For each multiple-choice item, write a check mark in the box next to the response that is most appropriate for you. When comments are called for, please print.

  1. I regard this program as:

        o Very valuable for my work.

        o Definitely useful for my work.

        o Somewhat useful for my work.

        o Of little or no use for my work.

Comments:                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                       

  1. The instruction in this program was:

        o Very interesting and highly effective.

        o Fairly interesting and reasonably effective.

        o Marginally satisfactory.

        o Boring—should be improved.

Comments:                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                       

  1. The best feature of this program was
  2. The feature of this program that I found least satisfactory was
  3. The investment made by my organization in my training in this program:

        o In the long run will pay big dividends.

        o Should be considered worthwhile.

        o Is neither good nor bad.

        o Should be considered a waste of money.

  1. To someone in my situation, I would recommend this program:

        o Enthusiastically.

        o As very good.

        o With reservations.

        o As something to avoid.

Suggested Format for Questionnaire
To Be Administered Some Months After Training

Instructions: Sometime ago you participated in (give title and place of program). The organizers of this program are interested in your present evaluation of the program and the degree to which it has been helpful to you in your work. Please print all comments.

  1. Read the four responses listed below and check the box next to the response that best indicates how useful the program turned out to be in terms of helping you in your work:

     o Indispensable.

     o Valuable but not indispensable.

     o Somewhat useful.

     o Of no value.

  1. The most useful aspect was                    
  2. The part that was least useful or least satisfactory was

                                                                                                                                                   

  1. During the training did you establish a goal to achieve at work? Check the appropriate box.

     o Yes

     o No

  1. If you answered yes, what was the goal, how did you attempt to achieve it, and what were the results?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  1. If you achieved your goal satisfactorily, try to estimate the dollar value of your success to the organization over a period of one year.__________
  2. What suggestions do you have for improving this training?

                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                   

  1. List topics or areas that should have been included or emphasized more strongly so that the program would have had greater value for you.

                                                                                                                                                           

  1. What topics might be dropped or given less emphasis?

                                                                                                                                                           

If the training facilitators are not to be involved in the evaluation phase, they should be permitted to assess the evaluator methods and to know who the evaluators will be. This is necessary for two reasons. The first is that one cannot design effectively until one knows what will be evaluated. When the goals of the training and the outcomes to be measured are specified clearly and are related to each other, the training staff has a clear notion of what to design for.

The second reason to ask questions about evaluation before beginning are related to professional ethics if not self-preservation. If it is not clear that the evaluation has a realistic purpose, that the proper issues or people are being assessed, that the methodology suits the purpose, and that the evaluators are qualified to conduct the inquiry, then the facilitators may well question whether they want to accept a training assignment that will be evaluated inappropriately

Best regards,

And have a joyfull December

Kiki

Kirilka Angelova
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