Tom Richards, Bid Co-ordinator at Sharpsmart UK gives his perspective on the event and the impact it has had.
In July 2018 I attended a Mindset of Tendering training session which was advertised to enable attendees to approach tenders with a winning mindset. This was done by analysing my approach to tenders, utilising a Mindsonar assessment tool, which assessed and mapped my results, against that of a successful tendering professional.
This highlighted to me not only where my shortfalls were in my confidence, but also where improvements could be made in my approach, the way that I perceive the importance of different stages and stakeholder commitment/engagement within the tendering process.
I have since, gone away and analysed the findings for myself, which has further benefited me significantly and allowed me to strengthen my skill set with instant impact. I have certainly seen positive results, not only in the work that I have completed but also in my approach to the process and the people around me.
I found Ian who ran the session to be very interactive and knowledgeable.
We broke up my Mindsonar test results in detail and then they were explained to me thoroughly. Following this, I was provided with coaching for my shortfalls and given a detailed explanation of why this would benefit me as an individual.
I would highly recommend this course to any tendering professional who would like to understand and invest in themselves to encourage successful working and to ultimately win contracts.
After all that is, why we do what we do.
Thank you, Ian, for your comprehensive support and guidance.
What is the Mindset of tendering about?
The mindset of tendering is a 1-day programme based on the practicalities of searching, preparing and writing a bid and understanding the mindset of a successful bid writer Steve O’Hare. Steve, over the last 8 years has won contracts of all sizes through tender activity, with over £360m of new business secured.
As part of the practicalities of bid writing, you will undertake a cutting-edge web-based tool called Mindsonar® that measures how you think in a specific situation, that situation will be writing tender bids. By understanding your unique thinking style, strengths and blind spots, together with the practicalities of tendering you will leave the programme with the same skills and mindset as Steve.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is a national body that acts as a movement on behalf of small businesses.
I was invited along to one of their meetings to talk about Mindsonar and thinking styles and to see how that can influence individuals in business for success.
I entitled the talk ‘Thinking Makes It So’ and there was an eclectic mix of guests from the world of volunteering and IT – to GDPR consultants and LoyalFree (the @Loyalfreeapp was in the room).
Crucially, they were a fantastic group to work with. They really took thinking styles and MindSonar on board and fully engaged with the activities we did.
I like to think that they got a lot out of it as well. A 20-minute presentation ended up being over an hour long as I was asked to keep going when the 20 minutes were up.
Strengths and blind spots
I had started the presentation with a general discussion examining how people think and how they approach their strengths and blind spots.
Studies show that many small businesses fail within the first five years. It’s not that they are mainly doing anything wrong, it’s just that they don’t do things right.
It is so important to know what you are not good at and making the decision to get other people to do those parts of your business for you.
Working in pairs, I got them to ask each other about their thinking styles in relation to their business. I asked what was important to them. This question elicited their beliefs and values. Using precise questions (meta programme language questions) together, we decoded their style.
It led to a few knowing nods and giggles.
“Ahhh, so that’s why I am like that!”
Were they someone who worked towards goals or did they try to avoid problems and find solutions?
Were they someone who sourced their information from within or from others? Were they internally referenced or externally referenced?
Were they driven by possibilities or did they follow procedures?
We looked at the pros and cons of those thinking styles, and the group found that process really insightful and hopefully useful for the future.
In summary, we said that most of us know what we are not good at, but rarely give ourselves much credit.
In a given context
We asked why would we use personality profiles that label us – as opposed to one that establishes how we think in a given context, like Mindsonar. We should use a thinking style tool when we need to know how our customers and us think and, therefore, behave.
We all know the pressure points or hot buttons for winding people up with things they are not good at – especially our partners – but it can be mighty to remind people of the things they excel at. It can be a powerful motivational tool in business and at home mainly if we use the right motivational language!
We closed the session by looking at the Mindsonar psychometric profiles of two people at their best, and the group used the crib sheets I had prepared to analyse them. Everyone applied what he or she had learned and did extremely well.
Thanks to the FSB and everyone who was there for what turned out to be a delightful session.
It was nice to get some feedback from people on my Twitter feed too @MindsonarUK …
I was one representative of MindSonar UK as we ventured to the ANLP (Association of Neuro-linguistic Programming) Conference at Heathrow in London to exchange thoughts and discuss the industry.
There were certainly plenty of industry experts there, with around 500 NLP coaches, HR directors, HR leads and learning and development facilitators.
Presenting at the conference were the leading lights within my professional group.
The likes of Roberts Dilts, Art Geyser, Shelle Rose Charvet and Anneke Durlinger, all fantastic people from with our industry that have contributed so much in business through their skills.
These industry experts all came to have a look at the Mindsonar stand to see what we were doing and discuss the tool with us.
Robert has commented on Mindsonar before and thinks it is a fantastic tool and is advancing the way in which we are taking psychological profiles forward.
He told Mindsonar’s global website: “MindSonar is an easy-to-use tool that helps coaches and consultants gain insight into critical elements of people’s thinking styles. It has important implications for coaching, recruitment, marketing and team development.
He added: “I recommend it to NLP professionals as a supporting technology for their NLP work both with individuals and in organisations.” (Robert B. Dilts, Santa Cruz, USA)
We also had a lot of interest in MindSonar talking to people from South Africa and India, Slovakia and even the USA.
While we already have MindSonar representatives in America, it is still one of those tools that is just getting to be known and, the people we spoke to were fascinated how they could use it to potentially support their private school for children with difficulties.
It was a wonderful experience to expose MindSonar to the NLP community, the HR community and the learning and development community, all part of our wish to spread the word about what we are doing.
A discussion I had with a managing director (Stuart Kellock) of Label Apeel, a boutique label printing company, began the process which saw them switching from using Thomas International psychometric tool to using MindSonar as their standard psychological profiling tool last month.
The reason the company Label Apeel decided to move from Thomas international was that they have now seen the benefits of how granular, flexible and accurate this tool is in looking at people’s thinking styles and values base.
Stuart and I started talking about the issues that his company was facing because he had recently lost an employee in a post.
Using the MindSonar profile and meta-programme language, I asked him some questions about what was important to him about that role and, between us, we built up a profile of exactly what he needed from a person in that position. We broke down the required values base, how they think and thus, how they behave.
Thinking style profile
We moved away from a personality profile into a thinking styles profile. From there, we progressed and started looking at a number of different positions within his organisation and built profiles based on the current experts who were in those roles.
We have now reviewed and profiled the operations director, sales managers and account managers. This has allowed the company to recruit to specific roles as well as training roles, so the company has a clear line of succession moving forward.
It has been a very interesting process and, as usual, it really is very satisfying when MindSonar can help a company improve and lay strong foundations as a result of the tool’s testing capabilities.
So where to next?
The Label Apeel now has a desire to profile all key positions so they can build templates of thinking style for those roles for future use.
In refining the recruitment process, we reviewed and developed a workflow to enable timely advertising, recruitment and profiling in this fast-paced, competitive market.
The bonus of using MindSonar Psychological measurement compared to other psychometrics assessments in recruitment is that it can give the employer and line managers a communication template. This enables the line manager to understand and communicate with the employee using the employees activating language and thus build deep rapport.
A word from the client-Stuart Kellock MD
Label Apeel is the UK’s leading quality label printer. To achieve these standards we have to employ the very best people. Having engaged with different types of personality modelling before we were looking for something that would allow us to match the skills of the role to the thinking styles of applicants.
Working with Ian and the MindSonar product has been a pleasure- but don’t expect an easy ride. This tool is all about you doing the hard miles up front rather than after you have employed the wrong person. Ian probed us and pushed us to truly define the role and the skills required for the post. We did a lot of examining and thinking before we understood the requirements of the role. To my mind, this was such a worthwhile exercise to create a template of the style we wanted, so when we went into the selection process, we were focused and thoughtful which is probably a 100 miles from where we have been in the past.
The tool is clear, understandable and extremely useful. It allowed us to make very fine decisions between different candidates or in one case identify that actually none of the candidates were suitable. The real power behind the tool though is Ian himself, a tough taskmaster who brooks no waffle or prevarication. Ian has guided us through the implementation and the using of MindSonar, and I believe saved us 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of pounds in wasted time and energy, employing unsuitable people for the wrong roles.
Do you coach, recruit, facilitate, lead or manage people? Would you like to be able to get to the heart of people’s thinking and support your clients better?
Then why not become an official Mindsonar practitioner? The most potent psychological profiling tool is now available in the UK.
Our certified training course gives you the chance to solve problems and grow your business while supporting your clients too.
A six-day training course is being held in Leicestershire in the UK between September and December, beginning on September 24.
Booking on to the course also gives you 20 Mindsonar licenses as part of the costs of the course. These have helped some attendees recover their full course fees back after as little as six months.
MindSonar profiling will give you a precise understanding of how people think, putting you ahead of your competitors. Your clients will love the insight the tool brings to your chosen profession.
Analysis of a team or individual
You will learn in-depth interpretation and analysis of an individual or team profile and how to apply it in different situations to support your clients.
By completing the Mindsonar training, you will be joining a global network of practitioners who are passionate to work together in order to spread the benefits that the tool brings to all sorts of businesses.
The training is hosted by www.workforcesolutions.group and delivered by world experts in meta-programme language and language & behaviour profiling: Jaap Hollander, Jennet Burghard and Ian Clarke.
The dates of the 2018 training course are as follows: September 24th and 25th, October 31th and November 1st, December 6th and 7th.
The course is priced at £1650 with an early bird rate of £1320, if booked by 31 July, 2018. VAT is charged at 20%.
I am a self-confessed sceptic of any skills and tools I use as I like to see the results and the impact.
It’s not that I don’t trust what I do, but being a sceptic keeps me looking at what I do and how I do it from new perspectives.
One of the best tools I use is a psychological tool called MindSonar. You see, I am a language and behaviour profiling consultant, NLP trainer and executive coach and last year, this fantastic online psychological tool arrived on UK shores.
Every time I use this tool I always ask myself: ‘Is this online tool more flexible and reliable than other tools that businesses use?’
On 29th June, the answer to the question became a resounding ‘yes’!
Why? Well, it was the first ever International MindSonar E Summit featuring ten people from around the world, myself included, giving a five-minute presentation each how MindSonar practitioners use this psychological profiling tool in their own particular area of work and expertise.
The presenters at the E Summit were from diverse backgrounds; human resources, psychology, business & executive coaches, teaching, training, counselling and recruitment.
Reliable and flexible
Having listened to everyone else’s views, as well as my own, I am being totally open and honest with you when I say that Mindsonar is both reliable and flexible and certainly has a place in the world’s personal and organisational development.
Its reliability is tested regularly using the nationally-recognised Cronbach’s Alpha and its flexibility becomes apparent when you listen to the E Summit on webinar and listen to the ten different approaches to using the tool.
So what is special about this tool compared to psychometric tools, please note that I do not call MindSonar a psychometric tool as it does not label your personality as being like x or y.
This tool is context-specific. It measures your value base, how you learn and how you think and thus behave in that given context.
Developed in 1990 by Dr Jaap Hollander, a Dutch psychologist who now runs the Institute of Eclectic Psychology, the tool has practitioners across three continents.
Its beauty is that it does not confine you to being a set personality. What is unique about it is the flexibility and diversity of its application. I am yet to come across a situation where the application of MindSonar is not helpful.
The varied speakers and subjects were fascinating to listen to. They were:
Jennet Burghard, Netherlands: MindSonar and Start-Ups.
Scott Morris, USA: Finding Hero – Capitalising on Individual Strengths in Team Building.
Monica Castañeda, Perú: Empowerment through self-knowledge and MindSonar.
Michelle Akel, Ecuador: MindSonar in Market Research and Consumer Behavior.
Tomasz Zawadzki, Poland: The evolution of Influence.
Bianca Negron, Puerto Rico: The Value of Personal & Employer Branding Powered by MindSonar.
Ian Clarke, United Kingdom: Recruitment in a Boutique Label Printing Company.
Carlos Arguello, Ecuador: MindSonar in HR: Hiring & Recruitment.
Debbie Yarhi, Guatemala: Successful Leadership with MindSonar and Lego Serious Play.
Bianca Mackintosh, Netherlands: A New Workshop Powered by MindSonar.
Building blocks to innovation
I like to think the goal of the E Summit was most definitely met and that was:
To create awareness about the different uses of MindSonar and to promote collaboration between different MindSonar professionals around the globe.
This collaboration was fantastic to see and will be the building blocks to new and innovative, yet specific ways to support the development of those of us who use the tool.
A consistent message came through from everyone and that was to say that it is an accurate and cost-effective targeted solution.
Since we launched Mindsonar in the UK, I have had many people say to me: ‘What exactly does it measure?’
It’s a good question. There are so many psychological profiling tools out there for consumers that all work in different ways.
The beauty of Mindsonar – and one of the main reason why I am a passionate advocate of it as a learning tool – is because it measures two things i) your thinking style and ii) what is important to you.
Let’s start with the second of those things – what is important to you? That may be simplified as your criteria. You may see that as your value base as a person. Or what you see in others and maybe what you appreciate about an environment. What you believe in.
We codify that within a value base called Graves Drives which derives from spiral dynamics and there are seven Graves Drives that it measures.
Then it measures 12 different styles of how you think. Are you pro-active? Are you reflective? Do you like to create possibilities? And so on. It also identifies how you take information in and how you learn. Or you visual, auditory or kinaesthetic?
Mindsonar measures a lot but it is very granular and precise. As you know, your thinking style changes on a regular basis, whether you are with the kids, your partner, going to work or cutting the lawn, in a project meeting or closing a deal.
Mindsonar can work in different environments and can solve different problems. Its appeal is broad in so many walks of life and yet so specific .
It has the ability to be multi-functional. It has the ability to not have a set way of judging and saying a leader is like X, a coach is like Y, and a teacher is like Z.
Strengths and blind spots
What it will say is ‘this certain style of thinking will be more useful in this context’. It identifies strengths and blind spots (and I intentionally don’t use the word weaknesses because Mindsonar assumes you can change your thinking style).
It doesn’t say you are a colour, or a set of words. It assumes you think differently within a different context.
In my previous career as a nurse, I would spend time listening to patients (external pattern) and think of the different possibilities for care (options pattern). But should that person suddenly have a cardiac arrest, I would move straight into a procedural mode and jump in and start to resuscitate (proactive, process and activity pattern)
That shows we all have different thinking styles in different contexts and that is why Mindsonar has such a broad appeal as a modern-day thinking tool.
I speak from personal experience when I say that the world of the self-employed business person is a lonely field to be in.
You spend a lot of time with yourself, with very few teams around you.
I have spoken to a lot of people in the same boat too and they all seem to face similar problems – especially those working from home.
“How do I make the most of my working day and get things done?”
Well, it’s a learning process. Few people begin life as a self-employed person and nail the workflow process straight away. It takes time.
It takes time to avoid procrastination.
Identify strengths and weaknesses
We have all felt that feeling where you know you have to do something but you get waylaid doing something else instead.
The Mindsonar tool can play a big part in allowing you to avoid procrastination where you can.
It can also enable the self-employed to identify areas where their strengths are and where there might be weaknesses.
What is that area for you? Where do you know you excel and where are there areas you feel you can improve upon?
Help improve yourself
Taking the Mindsonar test in the context of: ‘me at my self-employed best’ can identify what you do really well and other areas where you could improve upon or, crucially, where you may bring in additional resources to improve yourself.
For example, me as a business person running Workforce Solutions, I know that I am not strong in the area of following processes and writing out plans. So I realised that I have to go out and get that from other people.
That took me quite a while to realise after a spell of procrastination over what I should be doing. I used to lament myself for not doing it properly instead of recognising that my strengths are in creating new training materials and being pro-active.
Mindsonar can help the self-employed in the same way. It can identify where a person is making mistakes and will help identify how to do things in a more systematic manner.
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