The Tools We Use
Along with our experience, skills and knowledge of working with and developing individuals, teams and organisations, we also have the capabilities and qualifications to utilise the following psychological tools to support our development of individuals and organisations:
1. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI – Step I & II)
Much more than just a product, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) has helped millions of people from around the world gain a deeper understanding of themselves and how they interact with others.
The Myers Briggs Assessment provides the reliable insights you need to improve the performance of your people, teams and organisation. By creating a common language to easily communicate the complexities of an individuals personality, it supplies invaluable inputs for your ongoing team building, leadership and coaching, conflict management, career development and employee retention (www.cpp.com).
Unfortunately most people have little sense of their talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead guided by our teachers, parents and managers we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, whilst our strengths lie dormant and neglected (Buckingham & Clifton, 2001).
Strengthscope™ is a revolutionary assessment tool that provides a comprehensive measurement of individual’s and teams strengths and the extent which these are productively applied at work. It is designed to help individuals and teams to identify their distinctive strengths.
Strengthscope™ is widely used across the private, public and third sectors with many thousands of people having taken part in the self assessment element of the tool.
Research has shown that:
- Employee performance is, on average 36% higher when line managers focus their appraisals on staffs strengths and talents (Corporate Leadership Council, 2005)
- Customer retention is 44% higher in companies where people are allowed to ‘do what they best’ every day (Harter et al, 2002)
- Teams with line managers who take a ‘strengths based’ approach are 86% more effective than teams which don’t (Gallup, 2002)
3. 360º Appraisal – A Strengths based approach
There’s a reason why managers’ focus on strengths and weaknesses is so important.
Most organisations are obsessed with fixing weaknesses. They conduct performance reviews, 360 degree appraisals and the like to evaluate how well employees and managers are measuring up to predefined goals and competencies.Managers are instructed to look at an employee’s assessed gap and coach for greater performance in areas of weakness. But such assessments usually pay only cursory attention to an employee’s strengths. Performance reviews and subsequent remedial programs focus almost exclusively on weaknesses.
Focus on What Works
Too many managers assume that employees need to be good at many things, rather than excellent in the key areas. Recent studies have firmly established that focusing on what works followed by a program to scale it to greater levels, is a more practical and efficient approach to developing people and their performance.
Managers who take a strengths based approach help employees identify strengths and align their talents with their work. These managers don’t ignore employee weaknesses, but fixing them isn’t their primary focus.
Research suggests that managers who focus on strengths enjoy superior team performance as opposed to managers who focus on weaknesses.
4. Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP is a set of tools and techniques to help you deal with unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour (some you won’t even know you have) and introduce new, positive and constructive ways to improve your life.
The letters ‘NLP’ stand for Neuro Linguistic Programming. If you break down the name, it helps explain what it’s all about:
- ‘neuro’ refers to the brain and nervous system
- ‘linguistic’ is the verbal and non-verbal language used to communicate
- ‘programming’ is the unique way you put all this together to create your behaviour
For most people, things happen and they react. NLP offers a better way. It gives you the tools to react differently by choice and be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
(Molden & Hutchinson, Brilliant NLP, 2006)
5. The Thomas Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)
Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. The TKI is a self-scoring exercise that takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Interpretation and feedback materials help you learn about the most appropriate uses for each conflict-handling mode. It also gives suggestions for increasing your “comfort level” with your less used styles.
This instrument is designed to measure a person’s behaviour in conflict situations. “Conflict situations” are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe an individuals behaviour along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns.
These two basic dimensions of behaviour define five different modes for responding to conflict situations:
Each of us is capable of using all five conflict-handling modes. None of us can be characterized as having a single style of dealing with conflict. But certain people use some modes better than others and, therefore, tend to rely on those modes more heavily than others—whether because of temperament or practice.
Your conflict behaviour in the workplace is therefore a result of both your personal predispositions and the requirements of the situation in which you find yourself. The TKI is designed to measure this mix of conflict-handling modes (www.kilmann.com/conflict).