Kaylee B recently attended the People Skills training, and she was blown away! She learned so much about herself and why people behave the way they do. There were so many moments when she was like “aha, that’s why!” She was kind of bummed that it was only a two-day training because it was easily her favorite.

When I talked with Janet Irving, the VP of L&D at Effectiveness Institute, and she suggested I check out People Skills, I was a bit skeptical. As an educator, I thought it was just going to be another 4-quadrant model with a few fresh ideas. But boy, was I wrong! From the very beginning, I could tell that People Skills was different. The processes and substance were on a whole different level.

One of the key areas that stood out for me was the focus on intent vs. impact. It really helped participants recognize how their behavior can have a negative impact even when their intentions are good. The iceberg metaphor was also super helpful in illustrating our total personality and how we can change our behavior a little at a time to create win-win outcomes.

Another thing that really set People Skills apart was the 360 evaluations. Participants invited 5-8 other individuals to share the style they experience with them. Some of the ratings were fairly similar to their own, so they knew they were being honest. But in a few instances, participants saw themselves as Persuaders, while nearly all the evaluators saw them as Controllers. By the end of the day, these participants had some major “aha” moments of their own and understood why they were perceived that way.

Becky W. summed up the experience perfectly when she said, “Wow, we sure laughed a lot!” The laughter was related to an awareness of distinctions and blind spots, and it contributed to the development of self-awareness and self-regulation, which are key aspects of emotional intelligence. By understanding behavior styles, we can judge others less, understand them better, recognize our gifts and challenges, and even laugh at the humorous things about ourselves. And the best part? We can improve our relationships. Kaylee would definitely agree!

Dr. Suzi Kalsow, Chief Potential Officer of Suzi Kalsow Leadership Development and Training, was most recently the Vice-President of Learning and Development at Bank Midwest.

Read more about Suzi here.