Why is it so important to know how you are wired?
“Not everyone thinks about how they are wired when they’re starting their business,” said Alan Wallner, “but in a way it’s to better understand your DNA so you can get more clarity and personal insights to set your business and your team and yourself up for greater success. And this is interesting because when you break it down, all these assessments are different ways to learn about different personality types….
“The important thing is knowing how your team and you are wired so that you can align people with their strengths and be set up for success, get the right people working together and to be successful as you possibly can be. You’ll only get results from great ideas if you finish and implement them. The two need to go together.”
“We would use these types of use assessments, and when I thought about this question, I think you stumble through and then you realize, I’m good at this. I’m not good at that. I’m like this, I’m not like that,” said Robb Breding. “…At first, you just happen by chance. You just fall into things. And then as this last iteration, the one that I’m on now, where I’ve got a consulting and coaching company, certainly it’s very intentional. Because I’m talking to people about it every day. I think that with most of us, it evolves over time.”
“My first take at assessments was about 20 years ago. It was when I first discovered them, when I was in a corporate career,” said Heather Nunley. “I was a human resources director in retail and consumer products and goods industry. The very first assessment that I took was the DiSC profile. There was so much validation there, you know how you operate, how you function, what you like, what you lean toward, move away from, and taking an assessment really helps to validate in most cases what you already know about yourself.
“So that was really affirming for me and I found it to be useful in my interactions with other people as well. And I’ve been on an assessment journey quite honestly, over the last 20 years, I find them quite fascinating.”
“It goes all the way back to high school. I remember taking the aptitude tests,” said Dave Priddy. “…And some people with the best intentions, but not knowing yourself, you can sometimes tend to listen to other people based on their limited knowledge of you that can maybe influence you.”
Popular Assessment Examples
“I use assessments in the work that I do with clients. And the one that I use quite a bit in my work and I’ve taken it myself personally, is called the 260Reach assessment,” said Heather. “Many of you have likely heard of 360 assessments. This one is a little different from your typical 360. It answers the question, What do people think about me? And it basically measures reputation. So it helps you understand your own brand from the inside out. And I’ve also used it with teams as well….Two more that I use quite a bit are StrengthsFinder and the Kolby A assessment….StrengthsFinder measures the DNA of your talent overall. So what are your real strengths to help you line up your unique brilliance as it relates to your workload and the specific projects and tasks that you might take on.”
Dave added, “The one I use more often than not is BANK. That’s the blueprint action, nurture, knowledge, and it seems to fit more into the sales side. I’ve used DiSC. They all have a certain amount of value in different ways. DiSC and Myers-Briggs seem to be more focused on the HR side. I think the first value is understanding yourself, because if you’re going to try and do any flexing and meet to someone else, you’ve got to know yourself.”
“We use two things for coaching executives in helping them to achieve or get to accelerate their development, get some transformation quickly,” said Robb. “What I’ve landed on is that there’s really three parts that we need to look at. And the first one is our natural talents or our natural abilities and our behavior, and so we have an assessment for behavior style where we’re using a DiSC assessment, which is the most easily understood. If you want to get underneath behavior, that’s the one. And then the company that we work with TTI Insights has a driving forces or motivators, or a values assessment that we’re using.”
“Everyone is unique and we don’t want to take away that uniqueness of the individual. That’s all a big part of this,” said Alan. “And sometimes those uniquenesses, the attributes can be very complex. So these assessments are a way to help you understand yourself better and maybe to observe and see similar things in other people. And it’s not the label. It’s not the pigeonhole. It’s more or less just helping us be more aware of the unique attributes that everyone has so that we can embrace that and allow people to be who they are and to better communicate and to learn how to work together.”
Knowing How You’re Wired Can Help You Be More Successful
“I don’t want people to think that we’re saying you have to do assessments so that you end up knowing exactly where you are,” said Alan, “because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about understanding yourself better so you can go in and leverage that knowledge and leverage that information to grow.”
“I think the first thing is better understanding myself. And it’s understanding no matter what you do, whether it’s DiSC, whether it’s BANK, whether it’s MBTI, we’re all made up of everything,” said Dave. “It’s not like I’m only a blueprint or I’m only a nurture; there’s all the different aspects of every part of that. So what has helped me is understand, why do I like these things? Why do I maybe not like things and how do I adjust to that? It also helps me identify what’s important to me, to clients. And are they willing to flex? Because you can identify pretty quickly those who are not willing to flex. I might be able to work with them if the things that they want, that I’m looking to have flex aren’t that important to me or to their success, but it also might help me identify it’s okay not to just walk away, but run away at top speed.”
“I’ve had the fortune of being able to decide what I’m doing. I have a consulting practice that I own,” said Robb. “And I don’t have a lot of people telling me what to do; this is really important to me. I do understand myself because whether I like it or not, I’m still going to have to do and accomplish things that maybe I’m not really good at right now. I don’t have an integrator. Right now it’s just Robb. In the past, when I had surrounded myself with a lot of people, you want to fill those gaps. I’m just more effective.
“I know what I’m good at. I know when I need to reach out for help. Another thing is knowing the difference between what a natural talent is and what a skill is.”
“Robb had mentioned an ‘integrator,’” said Alan. “For those of you who don’t know, an integrator is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System and it comes from a book called Traction, and they break positions into two categories. There’s the visionary and the integrator. And Robb had mentioned the integrator, and how I fit in with that is I was playing both roles, unbeknownst to me. I’d always be running my business, hitting a ceiling. And I would end up just being frustrated with it and exhausted and feeling no love. I read “Traction” and then learned about getting the right people in the right seats. I also learned about Kolbe and StrengthsFinders from Fabienne Fredrickson from Boldheart. So that was very beneficial for me.”
“EOS was really enlightening for me,” said Heather, “and learning about the book Traction and what knowledge you really gained from taking that assessment. I would give that one a thumbs up as it relates to how me being wired has helped the success of my business.
“I like to think of the way that I can use assessments, and one is I can utilize it in an initial phase, usually if I do work with solo business owners, but I also work with teams as well. And usually when I’m doing work with the team, it requires an initial discovery phase where I might do an assessment. You utilize an assessment tool to see where do we stand right now. And then it might take me down the line to a development phase with the client where we might take a specific assessment based on the needs of that team. And then closing out an engagement with a client might mean in some cases, doing another assessment, just so we can measure the return on the investment that they’ve made with us. These were your results when we started 12 months ago, and now here we are 12 months later, and this is a view of what the team might look like and where that really played itself out.”
It’s a Bold New World!
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