Posts tagged learning

Riddering Attends ASTD Workshop on Breakthrough Learning

NorthStar 360’s Susan Riddering recently completed another training certification, the Learning Transfer Conference: the Six Disciplines of Learning Transfer. The accreditation was hosted by The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in Chicago last month. Riddering explains the course bridges the gap between learning and doing by measuring the business impact. Leaders are now responsible for delivering improved results, not just learning events. A healthy learning program does just this – results reach to every department and function. Riddering explains her two most memorable “wow” moments during the training:

The first wow moment was a statistic; 56 percent of managers think employee production would be the same or better without training and development.  What?!? She was shocked to say the least! How is there such an education gap when training and development have a direct impact on issues like productivity, efficiency and retention? This was definitely a shocker and a learning experience. It is an opportunity for us in training to better connect with managers at the onset of training.

The second wow moment was a big pat on the back. Throughout this two-day training, she really put NorthStar360’s training practices to the test – and nailed it! At times Riddering admits she had impressed herself. The NorthStar360 approach and techniques are right on target, providing our clients with results-driven education. We all need a pat on the back every once in a while, this one was ours!

Best Business Books for Vacation

Hopefully your summer plans include a family vacation. Whether it’s a road trip to your favorite adventure park or laying poolside in a tropical haven, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a good business book. This list includes books about leading people, making decisions and all the other “stuff” that goes into a successful business. Most importantly, each will make you think – and that’s the best measure of a great book. So kick back with an ice cold beverage and dive in. And, don’t forget the sunscreen!

By Dan and Chip Heath

The subtitle sums it up perfectly: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. This amazing book is conversational, easy to read and includes actionable stories and tips on affecting change. Change is inevitable in business and learning how to manage it can ultimately mean success or failure. Switch will help you make change even when it’s difficult. If you’re tired of feeling like you have little power to guide your own life or business, this book is a great one! If there’s anything you can’t seem to solve (hard-to-please clients, a plateau in your business growth, etc) this book will teach you how to make the changes around you that will help you get out of whatever hole you’re stuck in.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
By Daniel Kahneman

Thirty pages into Thinking, Fast and Slow and you’ll start to question a lot of the decisions you’ve made. Kahneman looks at fast, intuitive, emotional decisions vs. slower, theoretically logical decisions and shows how the two combine (and compete) to help us make judgments—many of them wrong. Learn about risk, predictions, overconfidence and how to make better decisions.

Managing Right for the First Time
By David Baker

Many entrepreneurs create a company based on a technology, or a service or a value proposition… and many have absolutely no leadership or management background. Managing Right for the First Time lays out a simple, logical and intuitive blueprint that helps new leaders avoid the mistakes the rest of wish we hadn’t made. It’s of course no substitute for training and one-on-one coaching, but you’re on vacation, remember?

Rules for Revolutionaries
By Guy Kawasaki

When it comes to problem solving; it’s always easy to “do whatever we did last time”  but Rules for Revolutionaries teaches you how to approach innovation and problem solving from a fresh new perspective every time. Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you’re wondering why your design business isn’t growing, perhaps you’re doing something wrong, failing to innovate or missing a vital piece of the puzzle.

The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development Into Business Results
Calhoun Wick, Roy Pollock, Andrew McK. Jefferson, Richard Flanagan, Kevin Wilde

Of course, my personal favorite just coming from ASTD’s training in Chicago. This is a must-read for anyone serious about corporate learning and delivering results. It’s filled with case studies, tools and job aids. Excellent education is not enough, we must deliver results.

Kid Entrepreneurs
By Matthew and Adam Torren

And for the kiddos … sure the latest vampire tribology is sure to capture their attention, but this latest book breaks down what entrepreneurship is to kids in a clear and simple way. It’s perfect reading to get your kids to understand why some people go to the office to have a thing called a `career’ and others decide to make money on their own terms. With examples like the humble lemonade stand to make it more practical and applicable to kinds, it’s actually a brilliant breakdown of the fundamentals of a business that we sometimes overcomplicate as adults. Ok, maybe this one can wait until after vacation?

Assertive vs. Aggressive Salespeople

There is a huge difference between an Assertive salesperson and an Aggressive salesperson.  While both encounters can be memorable, only one can be effective.

Have you ever experienced an aggressive salesperson?  If you have, then you understand that this tactic is not the approach that is effective.  While it is a memorable encounter, it is only memorable because you remember the negative impression that was left.  All an aggressive salesperson will do is aggravate the customer and deplete their customer base.

Assertive sales encounters are another story. Assertive is far from aggressive. Assertive salespeople do not tell the customer what to do, but rather they help lead them to an educated decision by providing them all the necessary facts. They are confident in themselves and what they are selling.  They do not let pride stand in their way, if they have made a mistake they will admit their mistake and learn from it in order to move on.  Assertive salespeople are always looking to the future and preparing themselves for change.  This approach is memorable because the salesperson leaves his customer with a good impression about what he is selling.

Below are the clear differences between assertive and aggressive selling.

Assertive vs. Aggressive behavior traits:
Results focused vs. lack of focus
Enthusiastic vs. shows indifference; not excited
Honest vs. unable to trust
Courageous vs. afraid of rejection
Understanding vs. lack of empathy or compassion
Committed to growth vs. uncommitted to change or growth
Respectful vs. shows lack of respect

It takes practice to help put someone at ease. Ultimately to make the sale you need to make people feel comfortable.  Don’t over complicate the sales process.  Having an assertive sales tactic will only make you a better producer.

Employment Assessments Identify Strategies for Accomplishing Business Goals

Employment assessments are a useful tool in business, it helps quickly measure and identify specific traits that can be used to accomplish business goals. For example, employment assessments can help companies during the hiring process, identifying the candidate who is the best fit for the job. Organizations can also use assessments to measure employee engagement, sales aptitude and management skills. Assessments are a great first step in accomplishing business goals because the data they generate are used to develop a strategy to accomplish those goals. The strategy is a custom-fit to the organization. When used in combination with a training and development program, organizations may see an increase in productivity, sales, accomplishment of goals and even a decrease in turnover.

Try it out. NorthStar360 offers a complimentary personality profile on their website. After completing this three-minute questionnaire, respondents will receive their results via their company email account. This assessment measures 17 personality traits and provides respondents with a snapshot and score in a variety of areas like time management, creativity and sensitivity. Click here and try it for yourself. It takes less than 3 minutes.

NorthStar360 offers a multitude of assessments, each is customized to fit the business’ specific business goals. Over 23 years of research and development have gone into this employment assessment system to ensure that organizations have fast, accurate, cost effective and EEOC compliant results.

Be an Empowered Leader

Current day organizations look for leaders who can empower teams, not control them. So, what factors differentiate these two categories of leaders? Recent studies have identified five qualities expected of an empowering leader:

* Vision. The empowering leader has a vision and the ability to develop and a share it for the entire team. They are driven by a strong motivation and passion for the shared vision.

* Rapport. The empowering leader is able to establish high levels of rapport and trust among the team members, under this leadership the team achieves organizational goals and objectives.

*Enthusiasm. The empowering leader avoids controlling and coercing team members and is able to induce a high degree of enthusiasm and zeal from the team members toward the committed goals.

* Positive. The empowering leader believes in all team members and demonstrates a positive, nurturing quality in all interactions which result in a work atmosphere that is conducive to synergy and achievement.

* Take Charge. The empowering leader is able to take charge of the needs and aspirations of the team members and ultimately, shapes the organizational climate and growth.

Excerpt taken from 360Solutions, LLC. Read the entire whitepaper here.

Compass Series Explores Leadership

The next workshop in this series will investigate the Five High Performance Leadership Roles. In this workshop, participants will develop an understanding of three core elements of team effectiveness, the five roles of leadership and the need to balance the five roles.  Additionally, learners will become aware of tactics for “leading from the balcony” and identify a set of diagnostic questions to utilize within their leadership style. Attendees will apply these leadership principles directly to their workplace experience.

This half-day workshop takes place from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Providence Bank in Schererville and is designed to develop productive employees, an essential characteristic for those who are supervisors and managers. Space is limited. Contact Susan Riddering at (219) 864-1576 or e-mail at for complete details and pricing.

This workshop is part of the Compass Series workshop program, composed of 11 topics designed to increase personal effectiveness. These training materials have been used by several Fortune 500 companies including: AT&T, BP, Ford Motor Company and Hewlett Packard. Each workshop consists of a mixture of facilitated lectures and discussions and high-energy, interactive exercises to help participants internalize the principles and apply the lessons to workplace experience.

Three workshops remain for the 2011-2012 series, including:

The Five High Performance Leadership Roles, Feb. 9

The Role of Trust, March 8

The Integrity Model, April 12

Businesses can participate in all three programs or select a specific workshop. Contact Susan to reserve your space.

February NorthStar360 Newsletter

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

John F. Kennedy

Leadership is a rich and meaningful word. It stirs of a sense of idealism, hope and courage. It is often the solution to many challenges our organizations face. This month is all about leadership and learning. The topic is quite timely with our next Compass Series Workshop focusing on Leadership Roles. This month’s newsletter also provides tips for being an empowered leader and how learning through assessments can help organizations identify specific strategies for accomplishing business goals.