I just returned from a three-day seminar at TTI Success Insights in Arizona. The company is focused on developing assessments for professional and personal development. These are the tools that are invaluable to me as a coach. Basically, it helps me help clients to solve their problems.
Let me state clearly that I’m not a counselor. I’m a business coach. But what I learned in this session was just how much I didn’t know, and that’s not a bad thing. I think everyone needs to accept that there is no time that there isn’t something more to learn, and there’s no time where you can say, “Well, I’ve come to the point where I cannot grow any further.”
So here are some key takeaways that I got from this experience that can also apply to anyone looking to improve their success as professionals — and more importantly, as people.
1. When we understand personalities, it helps us be more successful with people
Often people try to be all things to all people, and that’s not going to be a recipe for success for anyone. There have been times where I feel deeply that despite my best efforts, I will not be able to help a client. In exploring assessments, it’s clearer to me that our tendencies, strengths and weaknesses may be why. In particular, I looked more closely at the DiSC Assessment for personality, which basically identifies these four types:
• D - Dominance; people in this category place an emphasis on achieving results, getting to the bottom line and convey confidence; they’re generally pretty blunt and get right to the point
• I - Influence; these people are most interested in influencing and persuading others, and openness in relationships; they are enthusiastic and love to collaborate
• S - Steadiness; calm, cool and collected, those who are S’s can’t be rushed and are highly dependable
• C - Conscientiousness; the emphasis for C’s is quality and accuracy, and generally fears being wrong
Of course this is a quick overview, and a further study of each type is very revealing because it will help you understand just why you get along with some people, and clash with others. It can give you important insights to what motivates them, how you can communicate with them best, and help you avoid clashing and confrontation.
2. When we understand personalities, it helps us become more self-aware.
More importantly, it helps you recognize yourself when you take the assessment. Based on your responses, the results are an objective analysis of your personality. This is you often as the world perceives you as well, because let’s face it — we aren’t always objective about what we think of ourselves. How others perceive you when they work with you, live with you, or even just meet you, colors the picture they paint of you. And that’s something you can control, especially if you want to be able to work successfully with ALL types.
For example if you score as a high D, someone who you see as having high S tendencies might be a tough match. Myself, I am a high D — and truth be told, I find S’s tough to work with because they are much more laid back and (in my mind) hard to lead them to be self-motivated.
3. Assessments help me ask more questions — and better questions — to coach my clients more successfully.
I mentioned the Disc assessment earlier, which is good for many professionals. For those who are in or aspire to be in what’s called the “C-suite” (CEO, CFO, CIO, etc.), going much deeper is important. If you follow my blogs or have read “Are You For Real?!” you know that I talk about the taking a good look in the mirror. This is uncomfortable for most people, but is vital to move forward in personal development. Most people don’t want to dig deep to discover what faults or issues they have that is sabotaging their success. Those higher-level executives likely got there because they did just that, and we got to take an assessment that takes such self-examination to a new level.
In this conference, we used an assessment called the Tri-Metrix EQ, which looked at three things: Behaviors, Motivators (also called driving forces) and Emotional Intelligence. These helped us understand the DiSC behaviors, but also looked at why people do what they do, and what their decision making abilities are. As a coach, that’s HUGE! If I can learn more about a client’s behaviors, decisions and motivations, it can unlock so many more doors, and lead to greater success.
4. I can’t always work with everyone, but I can find a way to help everyone.
Let me explain. I mentioned that I really “click” with people who are high D/high I. High S and C types are far more difficult for me, but other coaches I know can and do very well with this group. For those people, I can be a resource for referring them to such coaches. That was perhaps the most life changing part of the conference for me.
I plan on continuing to “unpack” what I’ve gained from this experience, and incorporate it into how I communicate in person as well as on my blog and even social media. In the meantime, I hope this is a lesson for everyone to realize that you are never done learning, growing and building on your success. I’m excited to help you along on the journey.