Consultants Access
LOGIN

Talent Dynamics RSS Feed Blog Category: Star

Nicci’s Call: Are You Challenging Enough?

By Nicola Bonfanti – Talent Dynamics for Sales

Last week I attended the global online conference “The Sales Acceleration Summit”. The first  keynote speaker was Matt Dixon, co-author of “The Challenger Sale” and almost every talk I attended after that made reference to the most effective type of salesperson – the Challenger.

So what is the Challenger sales person, why is it important if you are involved in selling at all and how can knowing your Talent Dynamics profile help you become more challenging?

Why does it matter?

According to the CEB research*, and this is what has been sending shock waves through sales departments globally since its publication in 2012, the typical relationship builder salesperson, i.e. Making sure the customer is happy, being of service, keeping relations sweet, (what most of the sales training of the last 10-15 years has been based on) was the LEAST effective sales person type, particularly in an economic downturn, and not only with complex sales but in almost every sales situation.

Instead the MOST effective type of sales person in every situation proved to be the Challenger type who understood the customer’s business, pushes the customer to think outside the box, doesn’t ask them what keeps them up at night but teaches them what should be keeping them up at night and is not afraid to build constructive tension with the client, to make them think.

What is a Challenger sales person?

A Challenger salesperson excels and outperforms other sales types in 3 key areas:

  1. Teaches for differentiation – is an expert in their field and brings a new perspective to the client and educates them in other ways of doing business.
  2. Tailors for resonance – understands what drives value with different customers and adapts their message accordingly  (which your understanding of your client’s Talent Dynamics profiles will help you do).
  3. Takes control – not afraid to take control of the conversation or discuss pricing and cost concerns with the customers on their own terms.

How can you be more challenging?

Before you try and take on these 3 areas it’s important to remember what your strengths as a sales person already are and how you can build on that to become more challenging. Which is your strongest energy in your profile?

Dynamo profiles
(Creator, Mechanic, Star) – you will be naturally good at teaching for differentiation, will have great ideas for improvements and changes. Your challenge will be to listen more to the client and understand their specific values and to tailor your proposal to their needs rather than your ideas.

Utilising your knowledge of Talent Dynamics profiles and applying that to your clients will help with listening.

Blaze profiles
(Supporter, Star, Deal Maker) – you will naturally be good at tailoring for resonance, adapting your ideas to the client’s specific expectations.  You may be fearful of taking control of the conversation and discuss finances, not wanting to “spoil” the relationship.

Having courage to talk finances for the good of the client and your ongoing relationship will help you overcome this.

Tempo profiles
(Trader, Deal Maker, Accumulator) – you will naturally be inclined to make sure the customer is well served, is happy and there are no tensions there.

In order to win and keep the client you need to explore with them new ways that your products and services can resolve not only their current issues but issues in the future.

Steel profiles
(Lord, Accumulator, Mechanic) – you will be comfortable about taking control of the sales meeting but may not have enough knowledge or ask enough questions to tailor the proposal in an original and stimulating way.

Use the data and research you have to demonstrate to your client how they could be using your products and services in different ways.

More information about how you can become a more challenging salesperson at www.TrustedSalesDynamics.com

Nicci Bonfanti will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.

*CEB research in “The Challenger Sale “ (2012) by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson


Leave a comment

Corey’s Story: Talent Dynamics for Young People

By Teejay Dowe – Talent Dynamics for Young People

This is the story of Corey who’s mum and dad were worried about him because he was struggling at college, spent too much time alone in his room and was generally uncommunicative. Well, that’s what they thought anyway.

Corey’s Story

Corey’s mum had had a Talent Dynamics profile test done 12 months before and loved the difference that it made to her when she discovered she was a Mechanic profile. Because her son was doing engineering, seemed to like to be by himself and didn’t really engage that much in conversation she assumed that he must also have a lot of steel energy and be either a Lord or Mechanic and in order to try and get through to him both mum and dad communicated with lots of details, facts, figures, measures and so on.

And wondered why they just got a grunt back! A few weeks ago, when things were really coming to a head at home and at college Corey had the opportunity to be profiled too. And boy were they in for a surprise that was! He is not a Lord or Mechanic, he’s totally a Star!

The Talent Dynamics for Young People Profile Test

Mum and dad were really shocked at the time but then, it all started to make sense!

“Out of curiosity they began to change their communication style with him started to show him information, talk to him bigger picture and not go in to lots of detail about everything”

Low and behold he’s starting engaging in the conversation again to their delight. Mum realized that the exams that he had really excelled in had been oral exams where he had to present the topic and speak about the subject and he loved the attention and found it really easy. It made her think back to when he was little and would read him stories and it was the short stories he loves not the long ones with lots of facts in them. She thought back to his prom and how he was the one who had chosen not only a really loud suit to wear but insisted on the awesome top hat that went with it.

Beginning to Change

With this new found knowledge of who Corey really is life is beginning to change. Not only are they talking to him in different ways but they are encouraging him to explore job roles that are more in line with his star profile. If he is going to do engineering as a career perhaps his role will be in promoting new ideas, new systems, shining the light on the engineering world and it’s accomplishments. They are encouraging him to start a video blog reviewing and promoting new games, and advancements in technology.

“He has a great way with words, loves to be on camera and is awesome at sharing what’s good about a product and how to make it even better.”

Plus he has the technical knowledge to add credibility to his passion and therefore be really influential.

Really Starting to Shine

She told me that they had limited him in their expectations because of their assumption about who he was. Its funny, now that they have given him the gift of the profile, they said they couldn’t believe that they didn’t see it before and that they totally see the Star – they can’t believe they missed it. Well, maybe that’s because in trying to get him to live as someone else the Star lost his shine and now he’s getting it back again and life is easier, more exciting and definitely more in flow for him.

I wonder how many other young people are there like Corey who are struggling because we have judged them for who we think they are or expect them to  be instead of who they really are and should be allowed to be?

Teejay Dowe will be leading one of the Break- Out sessions at the Trust Conference on September 11th.


Leave a comment

DT’s Tower: A Brand by Name

You might have been aware that Russell Brand stirred some controversy last month by not only showing up Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight but calling for a revolution.  I’ve never really ‘liked’ Russell Brand but I had to admit it was nice to hear someone speak up and say what a lot of people sometimes think.

I can promise you now that this isn’t going to be about politics… This is about a train of thought that finally FINALLY! allowed me to get my head around what it means to be a Star and the value they bring to the team.

Shrinking Violets and Shining Stars

As I might have mentioned, I’m a Lord.  I’m well and truly on the introverted side.  This doesn’t mean that I’m shy and retiring (far from it) but it does mean that the more time I spend in front of people the more it costs me in terms of energy.  To be quite frank, it knackers me out!

So I have always been perplexed by Stars, those people who draw energy from the attention of others.

Put them on the stage they glow, put them on the screen and they shine!

Stars = Marmite

I guess  you are looking at the screen and going ‘WHAT?’  Hear me out while I wax lyrical about that most divisive of sandwich spreads.  People LOVE or HATE Marmite.  There is no middle ground (I am personally a lover).

😀

And this is where Stars truly shine and bring value to the team.

They are unafraid of stepping up and standing out, saying what others might fear or doubt to say.

In fact the more extreme the viewpoint they take on, the more the Marmite effect takes off.

Brand Awareness

Russell Brand started out as a stand up comic, moved into acting then shifted to presenting.  All of which you might say is typical Star fare.  However, in 2006 he started a column for the Guardian (admittedly focused on football) but after the London Riots in 2011 he penned a guest column criticising the government for their failure to tackle the root causes.

His appearance on Newsnight continued this shift in identity and it was while watching this interview and the subsequent reaction in the press, amongst other celebrities and the public that caused a metaphorical light bulb over my head.

The Lightbulb

“No press, no publicity… I’m a LORD!”

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Brand.  Regardless of whether you have even heard of him I doubt that you have missed the debate.

THIS is the power of the Star, the value they can bring.

Brand has shifted his identity (either on purpose or by instinct) from a stand up comic to a political commentator.

By doing that he has use his image to drawn attention to himself AND by association the issues he is talking about.  He has created political Marmite, whether you like or loathe you can’t help but talk about him.

Which of course plays into the Star’s strength, building a bigger platform and creating more value for their identity and the issues they are talking about now and will do in the future.  For us introverts, just thinking about doing something like this tires us out.

And that is why we need them.

 


Leave a comment

A Star Without A Stage

“Roll out the red carpet, bring on the crowd, set up the lights and lead the way to my stage.”

My name is Janine Clark and I’ve just spent a week learning that I’m a Star! To understand the relevance of that you need to go back to why I decided to learn about Talent Dynamics.

About Me

I’ve been working in the field of organisational development for over 20 years. I love people and I’ve committed my professional and personal life to learning how to support people to achieve their full potential and deliver fantastic results.

I was still loving what I do, making people the best that they can be but somehow a flame had gone out in my spirit.

As much as I looked I couldn’t find a light to lead me home, to reignite my inner flame and passion.

Discovery

So what did I discover? In a nutshell I learnt that I’m a Star, with massive Dynamo and Blaze energy who had been trying to live and work like a Deal Maker. At some level I had come to believe that is what was needed to be successful in my role. The more I tried to be what I’m not, the less everything worked.

I stopped laughing and adding my bit of flair, drama and fun into each interaction. The more I gave up my stage, the more I gave up me and quietly died inside.

Talent Dynamics has supported me to know what I need, where I can shine again and how I can bring my magic to all the people I’m committed to both personally and professional.

The inner me has transformed from Pierrot the sad clown to Organisational Development’s answer to Patsy from Ab Fab, a bit outrageous but compelling. I now have a massive sense of being able to get back into my Flow, doing it my way, which is when I know it works.

Watch out world.

Thank you Talent Dynamics.

Does anybody know if they throw in a make-up artist and lighting crew for free?


Leave a comment

Jans Corner: Which Profiles makes for the best Leader?

We often get asked which of the Talent Dynamics profiles are the best leaders. On the surface the answer might seem very easy. Of course, the Supporters. Given their people focus, blaze energy, and extroverted action dynamics, Supporters are best at leading teams and organisations as they bring others together and motivate them to be their best naturally building collaboration, trust and loyalty critical for sustained high performance.

High profile Supporters, such as GE’s Jack Walsh, eBay’s Meg Whitman or Microsoft’s Steve Balmer, have shown how much they can accomplish if they put their talent at work.

This natural talent, however, doesn’t give Supporters a monopoly on leadership. Everyone can be a leader. Businesses are complex ecosystems and different talents come handy at different times and in different situations. All profiles can bring a valuable perspective and energy that can be used to build performance and increase flow depending on the teams focus, task at hand, nature and stage of business or season of the economic cycle.

Let me give you a few ideas about how to make the best use of the leadership potential of the other seven profiles (apart from the Supporter) in the team or businesses context.

Creators might not be the best people-people or data-driven analysts, but they lead best by setting the vision and a high standard to reach for. Being task focused to start things they lead others to reach their goals. They are best at the helm of new projects and initiatives, thinking out of the box and out of the ordinary. They are the best initiators and pioneers.

Stars are fast and often don’t wait for their team to catch up or bother with the details, but they will give energy and credibility to new ideas, projects, programs or strategies through the power of their personality. They can improvise while leading upfront to build and maintain excitement, momentum and buy in when it matters. They are the best promoters.

Deal Makers are true people’s people, but they are more private than a Star or Supporter, and prefer to work one-to-one. They bring people and opportunities together and lead best when they are able to be in constant conversation whilst listening closely to what is happening around them. They are the best connectors and negotiators of win-win solutions.

Traders thrive when they can build and grow a connection with their team or customers. They might be paralysed when facing a blank sheet to fill, or strategy to create, but will quickly make sense of what is going on around them. They lead best when immersed in daily action, when timing is of essence and when they have ongoing input from their environments and people to inform their decision-making. They are the best operations leaders and excel as hands-on troubleshooters.

Accumulators are excellent project managers given their analytical skills and sense of timing. They are reliable and will find the way to deliver what is needed on time. However, they have little interest in and are ill equipped to handle office politics. Accumulators lead best when a well defined task or project needs to be accomplished and when the detail and risk management are critical for success. They are the best planners, and project and risk managers.

Lords are great at finding inefficiencies because they patiently track data, analyse the detail and strive to stay in control. For this reason, Lords are best at leading through the numbers instead of through conversation and collaboration. Lords almost always value process and policy over people, and are great at providing leadership when resources and finances are tight and success requires efficiency and precision. They are the best data-driven analytics and efficiency leaders.

Mechanics constantly look for improvements and as a result they are continually challenging the status quo on the way things are done. This can be very stimulating for some, and very frustrating for others. The best way to for them to lead people is to make it easy for others to collaborate and perform indirectly, not through motivation but by perfecting the underlying processes, procedures and systems. They are the best systematisers, improvers and finishers.

If you currently experience frustration or ineffectiveness of leadership in your team or business, it might be that you are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. As businesses and demands evolve so will the need for the appropriate leadership. Chances are that you will not need to re-organise the whole team or organisation. For a start, just notice whose talent can help most with the task or challenge at hand and provide them a space to contribute it at the right occasion. Build from small opportunities, for instance, just allowing the right person to lead a meeting or spearheading a project – and then expand from there. The reward will be a more resilient and better performing team as well as increased engagement and flow of everyone in it.


2 Comments

Unas Spotlight: Why Innovative People Fail

I was intrigued when I recently read this Forbes article titled ‘Why Innovative People Fail’ to see that the author and commentators were so close to a workable solution, yet so far at the same time.

While the idea of getting another person involved to complement the innovator’s strengths is mooted, the concept of how a team could add value is not fully explored.

Perhaps this is partly because the ‘idea monkeys’ (and as a Star profile I’m one of them!) do enjoy significance & freedom and they could feel that a team would tie them down. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

It is interesting how I have learned that every time you wish to switch up a level, you often need to do the opposite of what you were doing before. Counterintuitive I know…

Where the right team dynamics can really add value is not just in supporting the execution of an idea but in actually helping to select the best ideas to carry forward in the first place.

The innovator, often a Creator profile, can be amazing at generating new ideas and strategies. However, their sense of timing is frequently off, usually with them being ahead of the crowd and more importantly the market.

In addition to having great timing, dealmakers and traders are also closer to the customer and so can assess the Creator’s ideas from that viewpoint. Stars can ensure that the idea is marketable and Supporters that the best team is in place to execute it.

Of course what is also essential is to have an Accumulator/Lord and/or Mechanic to ensure that the best use of data is made and the right systems and processes are in place for repeated success.

Unfortunately, what happens in many teams is that the Creator can be sensitive to criticism of their idea or strategy, which stops feedback in its tracks and consequently prevents their plans being more robust. This increases risk and the likelihood of failure.

If the team is unaware of the value that they all add to the innovation process, then there is the danger that they will be constantly moved from working on one idea to the next before anything has the chance to be completed.

An idea could be brilliant, however it may simply cost too much to execute and/or to promote, especially if this means entering new markets. It could even be taking the company totally off track in terms of where it as an organisation adds the most value to the marketplace.

The three Dynamo energy profiles, Mechanic, Creator and Star, will all innovate constantly. The trick to innovation success though, is to have the right structures and parameters in place to ensure that their innovation reaps rewards.

Understanding how value and leverage lead to accelerated trust and flow provides parameters that often result in six-and-seven-figure returns.

Having the right team dynamics gives you a structure that supports identifying and executing the best opportunities for your organisation over and over again.

So before you automatically dismiss or jump on the next great idea, consider with your team is it really the best idea for your team, for your organisation and your market at this time?


1 Comment

TD 2.0 Launching very soon…

I wanted to give you some prior notice of an exciting update! Over the past few months, Roger and the team here at TDHQ have been working on the development of the Talent Dynamics Profile reports.

We’re calling it TD 2.0!

The updated report, as well as all of what you have come to expect, now also contains:

Explanation on Value and Leverage

The leadership style of your profile

How you communicate with others and the best way to get into Flow

The best environments for your profile to flourish

The emotional needs of each of the Frequencies

There is now information on all 8 profiles as well, so you can see at a glance an overview of the others in your team…

and much much more!

It’s grown from 10 to 18 pages and is packed with even more content about your profile!

We are letting you know now, as early in September, we will contact you to let you know that we are almost ready to go live with TD 2.0 and before we do that, as you have already taken a profile test with us previously, we want you to be able to download the new version of your own report, absolutely free.

The opportunity to download the new report for free will be available for a limited period only, so please don’t miss it.

In addition, we will also be gifting you a free copy of the new book that Roger and I have created about Talent Dynamics.

Look out for the updates coming from us in the next few weeks as you will have exclusive access to the new reports and the TD book before anyone else sees them!

 


Leave a comment

Una’s spotlight: Are You Operating in the Emotional Economy?

I was fascinated by this article from Jim Clifton of Gallup, ‘Good to Great? Or Lousy to Good?’

What Clifton is really talking about here is adding value to your customers. He’s calling this moving from ‘price to advice’, a nice snappy catchphrase to encompass the idea of choosing to build relationships over being a commodity. I think the article has some great examples of this, particularly with the author’s own organisation and why it’s choosing to stay with its current telephone supplier. Basically they have become a true partner.

We all have heard the wonderful examples of customer service that are worth talking about. I wonder though if they seem to you like those stories of families where the children are well behaved and they all get along, sounds amazing yet unrealistic?

The fact is that it doesn’t have to be that way. We talk a lot about value too, however we don’t just mean at the front line, as employees need to receive that great value from within the organisation itself.

The company needs to be clear about the value it delivers to its customers and focus on growing that value and leveraging it effectively. ‘Price to advice’ is one approach yet it’s not the only way to add value. It’s simple, there’s two ways to add value: innovation and timing and there’s two ways to leverage that value: through people and systems.

Employees must be connected to the Spirit energy of the company. No I’m not going woo woo on you, I’m talking about the organisation’s purpose, what it exists to do. Employees have got to be connected to who they truly are, how they each add value and how they can best leverage that value within and between teams, departments and divisions in ways that truly make a difference to the customer.

Clarity and alignment at all levels are absolutely vital. From what’s really important to achieve as an organisation in the next few months, to what to focus on in the next few days. When employees know if they are a Star profile that excels when shining their light on a product, project or team or an Accumulator that shines by making things happen on time, it helps everybody to have clear expectations and ramp up their performance.

All this helps for:

  • Employees to figure out the best career paths for success
  • Managers to understand the best roles and accountabilities for team members for employee engagement peak performance
  • Senior executives to know who’s best to lead on critical projects and how to support them
  • Teams to work together on organisational priorities instead of competing for resources
  • Every single person in a company to understand what their role is in adding value to the customer

This is what encourages customer to have a positive emotional relationship with your organisation, to be truly engaged. When this happens then you’re operating in the ‘emotional economy’ – think of the almost fanatically loyal customers that Apple and Southwest Airlines attract and keep. We’d all like more of those!

Increasing value and leverage throughout your organisation allows you to be sustain success and to scale that success and still keep your customers engaged.

How true is this for your organisation? What could you do to increase your value and leverage so you too operate in the emotional economy?


Leave a comment

Una’s Spotlight: You never listen! Why ignoring your team could land you in trouble…

Have you ever felt that your boss didn’t listen to you, or has your team ever accused you of not listening to them?

Research now demonstrates that this indeed can be the case and that there are several significant factors as to why leaders may not listen:

  • Increased power
  • Overconfidence
  • Repeating what worked in the past

The research showed that the more power a manager had the less likely they were to take advice from others. Probably part of what got them promoted in the first place is the fact that they were decisive and got things done, right? The whole team wasn’t promoted after all, they were.

Overconfidence led to poor results

However this experience could lead to them becoming overconfident about their decision-making. The researchers found that even when making decisions in area where they had little or no expertise, some leaders would go ahead anyway because they overestimated the value of their general decision-making experience.

The study showed this often generated poor and inaccurate results compared to the leaders and managers who consulted others.

What is the impact of all this? Firstly, not listening to and taking advice from your team is likely to land you in trouble because you probably won’t achieve the same level of outcomes.

Secondly, how engaged is your team likely to be implementing decisions that they had no input in? Not very! Trust me that will impact on how your decisions and strategies are implemented.

Learn to Be Vulnerable

From a Talent Dynamics perspective, different profiles can really add value especially when it comes to more complex decisions and strategies.

A big problem in leaders looking to make decisions on their own is that they’re not benefitting from other’s different perspectives, let alone specific expertise that they may lack.

A key lesson for all is that many of the best leaders like to surround themselves with people who will challenge them and sometimes even change their mind. They don’t see this as a weakness. They know that power doesn’t really come from being a know-all. It comes from getting the best results. As we say at Talent Dynamics:

It’s not about being right, it’s about getting it right!“

For instance:

  • An Accumulator can add great insight to a Creator about what could go wrong on a project.
  • A Star can help a Mechanic to engage others regarding their new and improved systems.
  • A Trader can help a Star to launch that new product at the right time and right price.
  • A Lord can help improve cashflow to provide the resources for further growth. (In fact, one of our Performance Consultants capitalised on their Lord team member to recover AUS $100k of outstanding debt in one only one month!)

People have been talking ‘team‘ for generations. How many are really living it though? And if you are, then you won’t mind asking your team how you could utilise their advice even more…

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Una’s spotlight: Swinging times!

I was at a networking event last week that had a musical session instead of a speaker and it really got me thinking…

Swing singer Richard Daniels was absolutely superb (you can listen to samples here www.richsingswing.co.uk) and I had a smile on my face all day! I realised that I had got out of the habit of listening to music. I used to go dancing a lot so that and listening to tunes in the car used to top me up. However these days I haven’t been dancing in quite a while and since I switched to my ipod it was often just too much hassle to connect up in the car.

As a Star Profile, in improving my own performance recently I’ve been getting more focused and measuring more. I’ve been getting in touch with Tempo and Steel energy, not getting out of flow but enough to ensure that my Star energy isn’t whittered away. However what I hadn’t really considered as much is my Spirit energy.

Spirit energy is the space that you step into when considering your purpose as it’s all about the Why? It’s the place great leaders go when working with their teams so they are more open to other’s needs and communication preferences. The Spirit energy is where you find your inner motivation.

As I sat grinning, swaying and tapping along to the music in that networking meeting (yes it probably was a sight!) I realised that music is a great way for me to connect to Spirit energy. I take time each week to meditate a few times – even if it’s down the gym in the Jacuzzi! However with high Dynamo and Blaze energy in my profile make-up something livelier, with great possibilities for variety would also be good.

So with newly synchronised tunes on my iPhone 4s now I have no excuse. (Wow, I just asked Siri to play me something by Robbie Williams music and I’m now listening to Nan’s Song!)

So what do you need to do to connect with you, with your Spirit energy more? Have you got time scheduled every week to do the things that make your heart sing and if not, why not? What are one or two little things that you could do that will fit in with your lifestyle? What will help you to get more in flow?

If you’re worried that doing these things will affect your productivity then please don’t. The chances are that these activities will actually improve your motivation, increase your energy levels and your overall performance. Have fun!


Leave a comment

Page 2 of 3123
© 2000-2016 Talent Dynamics. All Rights Reserved  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions  |  Web Design
Talent Dynamics Pathway Limited is a company registered in England and Wales whose registered address is 34 Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston with company number 7366851.
The Company is VAT registered under number 100 420 985