Communication Skills Training

Six Ways To Make A Good Decision

How do you make your best decisions? Which one of these six best fits you?

Analysis

You prefer to make decisions based on relevant, accurate facts. You prefer to gather the information, get input, weigh the pros and cons, and determine the most logical choice. When options aren’t clear or you don’t have adequate data, decision-making can become difficult. Decisions that increase productivity and efficiency are the most attractive and satisfying

Discernment

You prefer to make decisions based on key principles. You prefer to consult your mission, vision, or values first, then gather relevant information to guide your decision. You use your conscience to know what’s right and wrong. Decisions that support and advance your values are the most satisfying.

Compassion

You make decisions based on what you feel will have the greatest positive impact on relationships, often using intuition. You consider the human side of the equation first. You prefer consensus when possible. Decisions that help you affirm personal value and nurture relationships will be the most attractive and satisfying.

Gut Instinct

You make decisions spontaneously, based on gut instinct. You know right away whether you approve or disapprove, whether you like it or not. Decisions that involve creative engagement and new ways of working will be most attractive and satisfying.

Imagination

You make decisions using reflection and imagination. You need time to arrive at your best decisions because you need to ponder the possibilities. Being able to have time and space to step back and consider options and possibilities is important for you.

Initiative

You make decisions quickly and confidently, even when you don’t have all the information. Getting to action is your priority, even if adjustments need to be made later. High-stakes decisions that increase excitement will be most attractive and satisfying for you.

What about your employees? Your peers? Your children? How do they make decisions? There’s no one best way to make decisions, and a lot of it is influenced by personality. Great leaders know how they make their best decisions, and help others use their natural gifts to make good decisions as well. Use this post to interview the people you lead and help them cultivate their own decision-making style.

Next week: Six Ways To Make BAD Decisions. Every personality type makes bad decisions in distress. Find out your risks!

Copyright Next Element Consulting LLC, 2021

Want to learn about how your personality impacts a dozen aspects of leadership? Try out the PCM Leadership Profile.

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Appreciate You vs. Appreciate It

My middle daughter, Emily, works in customer service at Home Depot. It’s been a great source of work experience for her during the disruptions of COVID, she’s made some new friends, and has allowed some side income while going to school virtually.

Emily helps a lot of people every day, both over the phone, and in person. Sometimes she even helps people take stuff out to their vehicles. Although not everyone shows gratitude, she receives plenty of appreciation for her efforts.

The other day Emily called me to ask a PCM Question. As a Process Communication Model trainer and the author of a new book about PCM, she hoped I’d have some insight. Her question;

“I get a lot of compliments each day, and there are some that mean more than others. Some people say, ‘Appreciate it,’ and others say, ‘Appreciate you.’ I’ve noticed that I definitely prefer ‘Appreciate you.’ It means so much more to me than ‘Appreciate it.’ How do you explain that?

The explanation has everything to do with personality differences in how people are motivated. We all have the same six personality types in us, but in a preferred, set order. Emily’s two strongest ones are Rebel and Harmonizer. The Rebel type is motivated by playful contact that is safe, fun and accepting. The Harmonizer type is motivated by recognition of person, caring about who you are, no strings attached. “Appreciate you,” nails them both!

Appreciate YOU people,

  • Are generally caring, kind, and playful.
  • Want to know you like and accept them for who they are.
  • Do things for you as an expression of their compassion and human connection.

Appreciate IT people,

  • Are generally organized, committed, and observant.
  • Want to know you recognize the things they do.
  • Do things for you as an expression of their responsibility and dedication.

Next time you want to show appreciation to someone, watch for the cues and offer what means the most to them. They’ll definitely appreciate YOU for IT.


Want to learn about your personality and how it impacts your leadership? Our new PCM Leadership Profile has all the answers and a ton of actionable insights.

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10 Commandments For a Personality Inclusive Workplace

I wondered if anyone would show up for my presentation on Personality Diversity and Discrimination in the Workplace at the 2013 Society for Human Resource Professionals national diversity and inclusion conference. To my surprise, the room was packed with D&I officers from all sorts of big companies. Afterwards, the feedback I got was overwhelming; “I had no idea how powerful and critical personality diversity is. I have never thought of personality as a dimension of inclusion, maybe even more powerful than gender or ethnicity.”

Personality diversity is a fact. Personality Inclusion is a choice.

Are you choosing to include all personality types in your workplace, or are you just giving it lip-service by administering a personality assessment? Here are ten commandments for taking the next step to include all personality types.

  1. You shall respect someone’s time and appreciate their productive work.
  2. You shall respect someone’s convictions and appreciate their principled work.
  3. You shall value people for who they are as human beings, no strings attached.
  4. You shall let people have fun at work.
  5. You shall give people time and space to recharge.
  6. You shall help people get a lot of excitement in short bursts.
  7. You shall apply to others ONLY the commandments that best fit them. (Platinum Rule)
  8. You shall NOT assume your favorite commandment fits others. (Projection Rule)
  9. You shall conduct engagement surveys that truly listen to the needs of all personality types (Gallup Q12 discriminates against three types).
  10. You shall hold leaders accountable for the first nine commandments.

Want to learn more about how to include all types? Start with my new book, Seeing People Through.

Our Process Communication Model Leadership Profile and training programs give leaders the self-awareness, insight, and guidance to include all personality types at work.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, 2020
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Empathy Blockers

Empathy is in high demand right now. Leaders who cultivate their empathy skills have more cohesive teams and engaged employees. Whether you fancy yourself an empathy expert, or need to develop your empathy skills, here are some fantastic tips on what NOT to do from the International Listening Association.

What Empathy is NOT

Quizzing   

“Did you do what I told you to do?”

“Did you take the medicine when you were supposed to?

Judging or Guilting

“Why did you do that?”

“That doesn’t seem worth worrying about.”

Well, that was a dumb thing to do.

“I can’t believe you did that!”

“I told you this is what would happen.”

Advising or Fixing

“You shouldn’t have said that.”

“You should have taken the medicine like you were supposed to.

“Maybe you should . . .”

Placating 

“Oh, well, tomorrow is a new day.”

“That’s not so bad.”

Denying or Discounting 

“I can’t believe you’re upset about that.”

“That’s nothing!”

“Shouldn’t you just be glad that you have a job?”

One-upping or Kidnapping the Empathy

“If you think that’s bad . . .”

“You should hear what happened to me!”

Educating

“There’s a good book you should read about that.”

“I’ve got some resources that will help.”

Analyzing

“This seems to happen to you a lot.”

“That probably means you….”

Consoling

“That’s too bad.  I’m sure tomorrow things will go better.”

“It could be worse. Imagine if…”


Compassion (I added this one)

It’s true, empathy is not the same as compassion. Here’s the scoop.

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Two Reasons People Overreact, And How To De-Escalate

Have you ever been accused of overreacting? Have you ever accused someone else of overreacting? You might think differently when you pay attention to emotional triggers and threats to energy supply.

Most often what we label as overreacting is, in fact, a normal reaction to something of which we aren’t aware or don’t understand. On the surface it may seem like someone is making a mountain out of a molehill, but what if there’s more going on than you know? (more…)

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Improve Your Life, In 30 Minutes, By Changing One Thing

I spent my entire formal education (and a ton of money) learning how to think and talk in complicated ways. I was convinced that it made me look smart and trustworthy and important.

When I graduated and began practicing clinical psychology I quickly learned that nobody really cares how smart you are if you can’t translate it into something they can use. I also learned that very few people care how much you know until the know how much you care. (more…)

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How Compassion Cures Viruses

Viruses are invisible, but the impact isn’t. A friend of mine who had Coronavirus said that after the initial headaches and body aches subsided, the most distressing symptoms were loss of taste and tingling in various parts of her body. I’m grateful that she has recovered and is doing fine now. Some aren’t so lucky.

Then there are the relationship and cultural symptoms. Fear, denial, blaming, grief, discord within communities and agencies trying to determine the best next steps. Each of us is struggling with our own strategy for dealing with this invisible virus, and how to have conversations with other about those decisions.

My daughter is getting married in less than two weeks. I’m sure you can imagine the conversations we’ve been having!

How do we reconcile the raw human side of this with our personal and collective responsibility to each other in community? How do we honor the fear while helping empower? How do we maintain our boundaries when someone else has a different standard? How do we keep channels of communication open with people who have vastly different views about what’s going on?

I’m grateful for Compassionate Accountability and the tools we’ve developed at Next Element for just these types of situations. Jamie Remsberg wrote a terrific personal account of using our Compassion formula to engage our clients around tricky boundaries. I encourage you to take a look.

We will have a vaccine before long. And while that might cure the Coronavirus, it won’t cure drama. It won’t change the challenge of having productive, healthy conflict. It won’t change the fact that leaders must facilitate safe spaces where employees can come together and solve the biggest problems for the future.


We built The Compassion Mindset and Leading Out of Drama just for this. Give us a call to upgrade your compassion skills and cure the drama virus today!

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Safe Doesn’t Mean Easy

I originally posted this article in 2017. Today, more than ever, we need to engage in difficult dialogue in safe ways. So I am revising and reposting my article for today’s challenges.

Is it reasonable to want a safe environment in which to live and work? Of course! Emotional, psychological, and physical safety are necessary if we want people to trust us, give their best and be transparent with us.

Don’t confuse safety with comfort, though. Safety isn’t always easy, especially during conflict.

It’s possible for me to be angry without threatening you.

I can disagree with you without undermining your dignity.

I can ask more of you without undermining your capability.

People can enforce boundaries without compromising safety.

When I disclose my pain you don’t have to take it on.

You can’t export your feelings to me. Neither can I export mine to you.

My feelings and behaviors and values are 100% my responsibility.

(more…)

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The Difference Between Passion, Caring, and Loving

Is it okay to be motivated differently towards the same goal?

Is it okay to do the right thing for different reasons?

Passion means you are motivated by your values.

“I am passionate about foster parenting because I believe every child deserves a stable household and a positive role-model.”

Caring means you are motivated by compassion for people.

“I care about foster parenting because children need the love and support of family.”

Loving means you are motivated by the novelty and enjoyment of it all.

“I love foster parenting because it’s so cool to have a new person around the house!”

Have you ever judged someone because they didn’t “care enough” like you, or weren’t “passionate enough” like you? How did that turn out?

Beware not to confuse passion, caring, and loving. They all can inspire the behavior we want, but for different reasons.

Motivation depends on the person, not the goal.

What if you could inspire different personalities towards same goals based on their natural motivators?

That’s what Seeing People Through is all about. Get yours today.

Copyright Next Element Consulting, LLC 2020
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What Are You Doing With The Energy of Conflict?

Conflict is a gap between what you want and what you are experiencing.

That gap contains a lot of energy. How you use that energy is your choice. Here are four options.

You could AVOID the gap, hoping it will go away. But the energy is still there. Without intention, that energy will infect your life through rumination, sleepless nights, mental drain, and even physical symptoms. This is wasteful energy management. (more…)

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