Congratulations are in order for our President and CEO, Kendall Lott, who is now a certified StrengthsFinder coach. StrengthsFinder is a personal development approach to help individuals determine their personal set of talents so they can optimize their performance in every aspect of their lives. The certification process from the Gallup organization (yes, the people who conduct the polls) consists of a one-week intensive course, a 90-minute exam, and practice coaching sessions, which must receive high recommendations from at least six coaching clients.
When asked, “Why StrengthsFinder?” Kendall was quick to answer. ”What I like about StrengthsFinder is that, unlike many psychometric instruments that indicate ‘you are a certain way,’ or other coaching methods that ask ‘what’s not working?’ this focuses on what you do well. We don’t want to just avoid failure, we want to be excellent, and we want to achieve excellence in ways that each of us finds comfortable and personally exciting.” With his keen interest in organizational change and individual empowerment (professional development), Kendall hopes to use the precepts of StrengthsFinder to boost his own team. He also plans to offer management coaching for groups that want to improve their organizations.
By the way – according to StrengthsFinder, Kendall’s signature strengths are: Input, Strategic, Futuristic, Ideation, and Intellection.
Nicole Baillis & Patti McMullen
Nicole Baillis, PREP Director, and Patti McMullen, Analyst and PACE alumna, spent two days in snowy Minneapolis earlier this month earning training certifications in DiSC behavioral assessment. Nicole and Patti share a common interest in professional development and human capital, and becoming DiSC®-certified is an important component to developing individuals and improving the workplace.
DiSC® is a valuable, personal assessment tool designed to improve productivity and help professionals engage more effectively with one another. A majority of MPS staff have completed the DiSC® assessment, which evaluates the emphasis individuals place on accomplishing results (Dominance), persuading others (Influence), cooperation (Steadiness), and accuracy (Contentiousness).
With understanding gained through DiSC® assessments, our organization and staff are able to improve interpersonal communication, develop dynamic teams, reduce conflict, and increase overall effectiveness. Through DiSC®, people gain insight and knowledge about their own communication and work style preferences, and how to engage with others, recognizing their personal strengthens and challenge areas.
To receive DiSC® certification, Nicole and Patti completed pre-session assessments, attended classroom trainings, and passed a practical exam. We congratulate them on this accomplishment, and look forward to seeing their new and improved DiSC® staff trainings in the future!
In a city like Washington DC, where many recent graduates are academically overqualified but professionally
underprepared, the barriers to employment can be extremely challenging. Young professionals are eager to learn but are often caught in the paradoxical loop of not having enough work experience for an entry-level position.
In a recent article for the Project Management Institute, Novid Parsi discusses alternative ways recent graduates and young professionals can stand out when they enter the job market. Among them is one particular skill that they can develop outside of an actual job or internship: project management. Experience with project management is very appealing to prospective employers, and it can be gained in a variety of ways. College students or young professionals can manage projects through societies they belong to, or volunteer organizations. A student who has ever organized a volunteer effort on behalf of his fraternity, or a recent graduate who plans events for her local alumni chapter—they have project management experience.
For those who want to go the extra mile and truly demonstrate passion and experience with project management, a single certification can go a long way. Most young professionals won’t qualify for a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification this early in their careers, but there are other options that can turn acceptable experience into outstanding.
At M Powered Strategies, the Professional Apprenticeship for Consulting Excellence (PACE) Program, combines many of these elements into a rigorous 25-week program. PACErs work full-time on client delivery, but take on many more responsibilities while they are here. They are assigned corporate projects, or frequently design and execute new corporate initiatives within the company. They attend weekly trainings, conduct an independent business case, and receive an ANSI-accredited certification.
Whether PACErs continue at MPS as full-time staff, or follow a different path after their 25 weeks, they have been trained from many directions on how to be effective project managers. These skills will serve them well as young professionals, but more than that, these skills will set them up for success as they move towards management positions and continue to grow in their careers.
After successfully completing two projects for the Federal Government in direct alignment to the services included under GSA MOBIS SIN 874-4, M Powered Strategies (MPS) formally applied for and was awarded this key addition to our MOBIS contract. MPS is now poised to offer its extensive Professional Development Services, which include Executive & Leadership Coaching, Team Building & Development, Apprenticeship Programs, Portfolio of Skills Development Training Courses, and Curriculum & Instructional Systems Design, to our Federal clients.
MPS staff and PACE apprentices participate in MBTI training
M Powered Strategies is known for weaving assessment and training into a comprehensive professional development approach that has compounding impact on the organizational effectiveness of our team and the clients we serve. This July, Erin Bankey, Professional Development Services Manager at M Powered Strategies, delivered the company’s first Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) training to MPS staff and PACE apprentices. This personality inventory uses CG Jung’s theories to break down behaviors into 16 personality types based on how individuals interact with the world, interpret information, and make decisions. Each of the participants learned about the nuances of their individual personality type and how it affects their careers and interactions with others.
Associate Analyst Ashley Hill appreciated how Erin made the training entertaining as well as educational. “MBTI was a great complement to trainings we’ve already had, and will be useful inside and outside the workplace.”
To date, MPS has delivered six sessions of DiSC workplace behavior assessment to 54 participants and three sessions of the Strength Development Inventory (SDI) relationship awareness assessment to 24 participants, which included internal M Powered Strategies staff, Applied Management Professionals, and PACE apprentices, as well as government clients at the Department of Health and Human Services. PACE apprentice Kathleen Schermerhorn, who like Hill has participated in all three trainings, elaborated on their value. “MBTI, SDI, and DiSC are valuable because they articulate what we may already know but have never consciously thought about.”
Bankey is a certified trainer in all three behavioral assessments. “I love being able to lead the MBTI, DiSC, and SDI trainings to see the participants have their epiphany moments about themselves and teammates.”
If you would like to have M Powered Strategies deliver a personality training at your office or if you would like to participate as an individual, please contact Erin Bankey for more information.