by Ian Clarke | Jul 12, 2018 | Blog, Case Studies
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.
Watch more: Become a certified Mindsonar practitioner – training dates released
Read more: Just what does Mindsonar measure?
by Ian Clarke | Apr 3, 2018 | Blog, Case Studies
Before running an executive coaching business, I followed a career in health, starting nursing in 1986. I have been privileged to work with a variety of professionals and as my career progressed from clinical to strategic management, people would come to me for advice about their career and next steps.
Most of the advice I gave was based on my experience of what worked for me: CV structure, responding to interview questions, preparation, clarifying meaning and how to interview prospective employers.
As a coach, I became more adept at asking those precise unlocking questions that would support a client in looking for their next role. However, having recently started to use a new online psychological tool called MindSonar to support career coaching, I look back at how much more I could have supported people in their decisions, getting to the heart of what they wanted.
What is the benefit of using MindSonar in the context of career coaching?
This month I have completed two career coaching sessions powered by MindSonar. It is based on meta programmes, which means that the tool explicitly identifies a person’s thinking style and their values, that is what is important to them. It is also context specific and assumes thinking styles change depending on the context.
So how do you career coach using MindSonar?
I ask the client to think about when they are at their best in work, or in a flow state at work. The context the client and I usually set is, “at my best in work.” This elicits the client’s best thinking style when at work and their blind spots, along with what is important to them.
Why is this important in career coaching?
Firstly, by identifying what is important we can establish what a client values in other people and the environment. This provides an objective and accurate picture of their prospective employer and narrows the search. It allows the client to prepare to ask questions pre-interview and at interview to identify if the company is suited to them. After all, why would you work with a company who does not share your values?
Secondly, we establish a client’s strengths and blind spots but more importantly, we can show how a combination of thinking styles works for them. How does this help? The client gains clarity about their thinking style and can review the job description to establish if they can meet the objectives. They can refine their CV based on the analysis in a short, punchy brand statement, “This is who I am and what I can do.”
The client can also identify how they may come across to an employer. For example, a highly proactive thinker and options client will tend to talk very fast and move from topic to topic. They may need to practice slowing down their speech and keeping to one or two points. Together as coach and client we can identify and challenge the blind spots in their thinking. Knowing thyself and being honest with an employer allows for an open and stable footing, as opposed to getting through the door and ending up on capability report!
How did my sessions go?
The coaching sessions I ran highlighted some great insights and changes for both clients, most notably it opened their eyes to new horizons. One client stated at the beginning of the session that his outcome was to walk away with new ideas of what to do and who to work for, also stating that his ideal role was in policy writing. His thinking style and value base when analysed did not appear to be a match for a policy writing role. What he enjoyed about his current role was shaping policy, working with a team, leading people and creating possibilities. He is now focused on what he wants to do and what type of employer he wants to work with.
Does MindSonar do everything?
No, MindSonar powers the coaching, it’s not a personality profile you post and leave people to read. MindSonar gives a specific advantage to both you and the client to challenge assumptions and achieve the best outcome.Your skills as a coach are still essential.
You will appreciate I have covered only a few aspects my coaching session, but as coaches, you will know how much work you take a client through. With MindSonar in my coaches toolkit, the coaching and any change work are more precise, getting to the heart of the matter. As a coach, you are able to quickly support a client who is, after all, paying for your expertise.
MindSonar certification starts June 11th to find out more click here.
by Ian Clarke | Oct 1, 2017 | Case Studies
I don’t subscribe to life, executive or business coaching; it’s just coaching using different skills to enable a person to solve an issue or problem.
This is a short version of how coaching can help a professional in life. A former colleague, Steve manages a paediatric intensive care. I noticed one day a horrific car accident that Steve had been in and he posted a picture his car on Facebook.
Steve’s car was a right off, and he was lucky to walk away from the accident. I messaged him to say he may suffer a bit of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and if he wanted I could help him. That same day he said the accident was not a problem but he did suffer flashbacks to a rugby game where a teammate had died. Here is his brief account….
“For several years I had been suffering from low-level PTSD following an incident where I had to resuscitate a good friend who suffered a cardiac arrest, and subsequently died, on the rugby pitch beside me: Every few weeks I would experience intrusive thoughts and replay the events of that day in my head.
I asked Ian if he could help me and we spent a couple of hours at his office talking through my memories of the incident. Ian was clearly skilled and experienced; I felt entirely comfortable talking about the problems I had been experiencing, which I hadn’t felt able to share with anybody else in my life.
The single most helpful thing Ian did was ask me to think about the event from my friend’s perspective and ask what he would say to me now if he could. This was something I had never thought about, and I realised that my friend would have thanked me for trying to help him, and would be very upset that I was still being affected by the incident.
The impact was immediate and quite remarkable, from that moment on whenever I am reminded of my late friend I think about him in a positive light, and with a smile. I will always be grateful to Ian for his help, and how he put me back on track in just a single session.”
Dr. Steve Playfor
What happened? I took Steve through several steps, building deep rapport, establishing his values and motivation for change. Carefully we went through a process to replace the overwhelming guilt with positive thoughts, unlocking the barrier from irrational to rational thoughts.
Many Thanks to Steve for writing his events of that morning.
by Ian Clarke | Sep 20, 2017 | Case Studies
I recently delivered several programmes that covered values and customer care skills to a private hospital.
The audience was an eclectic mix with participants from Europe, Asia, North and South America-I suppose from all corners of the earth, all working in one organisation. Here is some of the feedback I received from the workshops:
· Ian was highly engaging.
· Ian was very engaging and helped us view different issues from different perspectives.
· Enthusiastic facilitator (Ian) worked well to help people go outside their comfort zone.
· Found the session informal, was very comfortable to speak out loud considering I’m bad at public speaking. This was due to the facilitator being so welcoming. Thank you!
· Ian always provides a good quality course; he is very interactive and engaging.
· Ian was a fantastic facilitator.
Great feedback and I love that I have been able to make a difference. However, I am always seeking to improve, so I thought about the workshops and “what did I do?” On reflection these are the steps I took.
1. The environment and I were prepared. The room was ready so as soon as the participants walked in, they could find a place to settle and I could engage them without having to hand out material or fiddling with a computer.
2. I engaged each participant, asking them who they are and where they are from and what job they do. I always aim to be curious and want to know one fact about their role that I can verify with them or later use in the workshop.
3. Embed expectations, I started the session and set the tone by explaining it would be fun, engaging and that theirs and others opinions count.
4. I set clear outcomes and meaning, in particular how they could impact on the business and the contribution they and others have in making this happen.
5. I challenged them to challenge themselves, others and me. I explained that they were all experts in the subject as they had all experienced the topic personally.
6. I made it personal, used their names as much as possible – particularly involving people and their departments in stories and scenarios – people like to be remembered.
How long does that take?
Steps 1 & 2 – five to fifteen minutes before the session starts;
Steps 3,4 & 5 – five minutes at the start of the session; and
Step 6 – repeated throughout the session so people feel that they are active parts.
Oh, I nearly forgot: I smiled and my mind is dressed to enjoy, have fun and get as many people to engage; I presuppose they all wanted to know something different.
That sounds easy to do, doesn’t it? Feel free to choose a couple of these and try them out or follow the steps and let me know how you get on.
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