[Advice] Packaging Your Workshop

By | Advice, Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Neuroscience, New Posts, Opinions, Persuasion, Presentations, Selling for Peace Builders, Seminars, Speaking, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Workshop

Think for a moment about product packaging:

Everything that we buy, from dish soap to artesian water, comes in some type of package. Being the rational consumers that we are, we often tell ourselves that the shape of the container, the way that the container is delivered to us, or even the design and colors on the outside of the package doesn’t influence our decision to purchase.

The more honest, irrational consumer, however, will admit that all those factors influenced their purchasing decision, but they won’t admit it in a way that can be quantified, researched and measured in a way that will produce repeatable results.

Instead, they’ll just say “I liked the bottle.” Or even “The wine tastes different in this glass versus that glass.”

In the fields of marketing, advertising, and sales, the psychology of influence has been used for years to design packaging that has sold millions of units of products over decades. Proctor and Gamble doesn’t just exist because of fancy investments.

The peace builder who wants to sell a workshop, seminar, or coaching, should examine closely the impact of influence in three areas, if they want to have a successful sales career selling solutions to conflicts to a conflict comfortable, and peace process skeptical, public:

When selling an intangible product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) it’s important to remember that rationality ceases to be a driver of the decision making process to buy: Potential clients may claim that rationality drove their decision to pursue peacemaking as a process, but typically what drove their decison making was the rise of their emotions around their conflict, that encouraged them toward your workshop, seminar, or coaching offer.

The same emotional content that drives conflict escalation (and encourages de-escalation) drives product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) purchases: This fact makes it hard for the peace builder to sell, which is why their marketing efforts must be robust, always on, and always human.

No one remembers what you told them, but potential clients will remember how you made them feel: This statement sometimes reads as facile, but the fact of the matter is, potential clients are searching for a feeling—of trust, professionalism, confidence, security, competency, etc.—before they even see your marketing materials or hear your sales pitch online. This is why the rise of video (and live streaming) for the peace builder is such a critical tool for driving and converting sales. All of the emotional content comes through in a personal appeal via video.

Packaging a product (peace, health, stress relief) or service (legal help, social work, therapy) is more a matter of determining the “emotional tone” a peace builder would like to strike with the market, and then championing that tone to close sales.

And all without being unethical.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] The Life Long Learning Myth…Busted

By | Advice, Blog, Consulting, Culture, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, New Posts, Opinions, Organizational Development, Seminars, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Truth, Workplace, Workplace Development, Workshop

Implementation, coaching, mentoring, and supporting through experiences matters more to adult learning in a corporate setting, than sitting in a room for four hours listening to a facilitator.

The drop-off in retention after such an experience is 50% after participants leave the room, and without immediate changes, immediate implementation of the learning outcomes, coaching along the path of uncomfortability, and supervisory mentoring through the tough times, the retention drop-off is 75%.

So why do many organizations still offer corporate training opportunities in all kinds of topical areas, within a formalized “sit down, and absorb” learning structure, syllabi, certificates, and experienced trainers and facilitators who drone on and on for—at most—half a day?

There are three reasons:

Most organizations—whether corporations, training organizations, or higher education institutions—are unwilling (and many times unable) to do the hard work of challenging, breaking, and remaking the foundation of learning established through the last 150 years of K-12 schooling. Schooling which was designed in conjunction with corporate leaders and influencers, and codified with the support of intellectuals and educators, to produce compliant workers, who would sit (or stand) all day and do widget based, industrial work, while leaving the thinking and innovating to others up the chain. The kind of work that was hollowed out by those same individuals starting 40 years ago and now no longer matters much in America.

Many supervisors, managers, bosses, CEO’s, COO’s, and others in the hierarchical structure of many organizations, have come from a background of schooling that they either internally rejected because it was too rigid, or found comforting and conformed too. Such engrained mindsets around the value of learning (and education) do not advance and innovate organizations. Instead, they continue to produce leaders who believe that training (and life-long learning) is either a “nice to have” (rejection mindset) or a “necessary evil” (acceptance mindset). Either way, the mentality shaped through that rejection or acceptance, is reflected in buying, internally developing, or advocating for models of learning for employees based in an Industrial Revolution K-12 schooling model.

Trainers, facilitators, consultants, and others in the wide and deep field of corporate training (myself included) aren’t doing enough of the hard work, often enough, of breaking our own mindsets of how information, experiences, and content is delivered to audiences (online, F2F, etc.). We also aren’t engaging with the hard work of breaking institutional, corporate mindsets from the outside by creating offerings and client deliverables that will transcend the dying model of K-12 education. This means having the courage to stick to our principles around peer-to-peer learning, advocating to organizations that we serve for mentoring and coaching for our learners, encouraging accountability, and at the furthest end, treating adult learners like adults in the training room, rather than continuing to train them (i.e. treat them) in the K-12 learning mold they’re familiar with.

The feedback I always get when I write (or talk) in these three areas typically focuses around the inability of organizations to change, the unwillingness of employees to actually be motivated to do the hard work of working on things that are hard (i.e. engaging with emotional labor) and the inability of trainers, consultants, and others to feed their families based on selling what the market is not progressive enough to demand.

These are all legitimate concerns, but the facts of the 21st century are clear for anyone with two eyes to see:

The workplace, jobs, labor, and other tasks that people need to be organized into groups to accomplish, must still be done, or else there will be chaos in the world. Hard work—manufacturing work, “blue collar” work, etc.—will still be done in the world, but increasingly due to automation and algorithms, that work will be either outsourced or done by machines. And when it’s not, the people who will do it, will charge an even higher premium for it, to support their continued learning to become better artisans.

An acknowledgement that work matters, that tasks should be meaningful, rather than meaningless, and that employees should be treated like adults rather than like children in the workplace, is growing rather than going away. Calls from researchers, thought leaders, influencers, advocates, and others for more pay transparency, flexible family leave policies, and “flat” hierarchical structures, are only the tip of the iceberg.

The rewards to organizations in terms of prestige (Top 10 Best Places to Work), revenues (The World’s First $2 Billion Company), and public goodwill (Anyone See What Apple Made Today) in America, are drivers for success (or determinants of failure in a transparent media market) more now than ever. And these drivers become outsized to organizations that are willing to take risks, to supervisors that are willing to challenge the status quo, and to vendors who are willing to sell with courage.

Unrest will continue among employees who believe that they are not getting paid what they are worth, are increasingly mobile, and are calling the bluff of the industrialist mindset that has dominated every sector of life for over a century now. This unrest will grow in continued calls for a basic income, the cries against income inequality, and the accusations of a new “Gilded Age” of wealth and prosperity for some.

Wihout meaningful changes the conflicts that will arise if life-long, continuing, robust education is not increasingly, innovatively, and creatively integrated into the work lives of employees in all organizations in all sectors (from small businesses to the Fortune 1,000 companies), will be massive and unmanageable.

And bosses, managers, supervisors, shareholders, CEO’s, CFO’s, communities, civic leaders, politicians, business owners, corporate training organizations, and others will have to explain in plain terms to their constituencies, employees, followers, and others, the reasons (and their mindsets) for why they rejected or ignored the golden opportunity to implement, coach, mentor, and support in order to transform corporate learning into something meaningful and valuable, in the early 21st century.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Opinion] Training Day

By | Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Old Posts, Presentations, Seminars, Speaking, Training, Workplace, Workplace Development

There is a problem with the way that training is used to develop employees in the workplace.

CRaaS In the Workplace

The problem is not that the employees fail to attend the trainings and workforce development offerings on a regular basis.

The problem is not that employees fail to implement the things that they learn and use those lessons to innovate the organization forward even more.

The problem is more complicated than that:

The most critical employees in organizations (managers, supervisors, division leaders and others) are almost never in the room to add their perspective on the issues in the organization which led to the need for training in the first place.

The employees in the organization attending the training tend not to believe they have the courage, the authority or the power to affect innovations around the dominant issues they were called to train on resolving in the first place.

There’s no easy way out of this two-pronged, organizational trap.

And too often, the people who order, organize and even develop the training for employees also serve as gatekeepers buffering the employees in the training room from the people above them.

The difficult way out of this is twofold:

The managers, supervisors, division leaders and other higher-ups need to be seen in the room, endorsing the training and perspective of the development opportunity, the employees are being told to attend.

The statement “I’m too busy to attend” or “That training time doesn’t fit into my schedule” or “I already know all of this, so why do I need to be there” should be banished from managerial vocabulary and scrubbed from supervisory thinking.

Employees need to be provided with opportunities to innovate, such as the type offered to engineers at Google and other high tech companies, on clock time, rather than relegating the power to change to the venues of canned training or fancy bromides on the walls.

Would courageously implementing these to solutions cause organizations to have to do the hard work of shifting mindsets (both of shareholders and owners) toward a truly new conception of what productivity looks like?

Yes.

Which is why the standard is here to stay, at least for a little while longer.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: https:// www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[ICYMI] On Being CRaaS in the Workplace

By | Blog, Emotional Intelligence, Old Posts, Organizational Development, Peacemaker, Presentations, Problem Solving, Reconciliation, Resolution, Seminars, Speaking, Training, Workshop

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the newest thing in the modern workplace.

But, in spite of cloud storage and web based computing, people remain sticky and unreasonable.

Conflict resolution skills are still considered soft skills, even in a workplace that requires deeply intellectually technical skills.

HSCT offers workshops, training and coaching sessions that can be purchased one-time (workshops), paid for via subscription (the HSCT Communication Blog) or offered as needed (coaching sessions).

We offer conflict resolution skills training in a variety of areas for our clients, including:

  • Active Listening
  • De-escalation Tactics
  • Anger/Frustration Control
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Effective Negotiation
  • …and many more.

Now, none of these skills will ever be offered via the cloud, automated, or robotized via nanotechnology.

HSCT is always face-to-face (F2F), always in person and always on.

Conflict resolution-as-a-Service.

Be CRaaS in the workplace with HSCT.

Originally published on June 23, 2014.

Download the FREE E-Book, The Savvy Peace Builder by heading to http://www.hsconsultingandtraining.com/e-book-the-savvy-peace-builder/ today!

HIT Piece 3.31.2015

By | Blog, Entrepreneurship, HIT Pieces, Networking, Old Posts, Organizational Development, Platform Building, Presentations, Seminars, Speaking, Technology, Training, Truth, Workplace, Workplace Development

What do you do when you’ve been asking the right questions in the wrong way?

And you’ve been doing it for two years.

I’ve been thinking about this project, Human Services Consulting and Training that I’m building. I have been thinking deeply about marketing, branding, connecting, publishing and—ultimately—scaling.

Continuing to do what got me here, isn’t going to get me any further than I already am. And when the right questions have been asked in the wrong way, two years is long enough for that kind of self-involved navel gazing.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve laid the foundations for the beginning of something else. Something great. Something enterprise-level, C-suite level and above. But to get there, it’s time to pivot.

  • Away from end-users and toward buyers
  • Away from social engagement and toward deeper relationships
  • Away from frivolity and toward more focus

And, if you’ve been paying attention, day-in and day-out, for the last couple of years, you will note that my approach has become sharper and narrower, even as my options have increased to do work that really matters in the space that I am building.

Conflict resolution doesn’t scale, but engagement, relationships and products do.

It’s time to start asking the right questions in the right way….

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] The Project Work Trap

By | Blog, Consulting, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Marketing for Peace Builders, Networking, Old Posts, Peacemaker, Platform Building, Presentations, Seminars, Speaking, Strategies, Strategy, Training

The savvy peace building consultant looks at project work as another version of the golden handcuffs scenario, they started their project to avoid in the first place.

LISTEN_CAREFULLY

Work for time is the consultant’s version of not scaling. And, in order to effectively scale such transitive and necessary products as peace, honesty, good faith and courage, project work has to be the minimally viable product.

Developing books, developing processes, developing software applications, developing “train the trainer” processes and more are ways around, through and over the project work trap.

And the savvy peace builder knows this…

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

7 Points of Articulation

By | Blog, Entrepreneurship, Marketing for Peace Builders, Networking, Old Posts, Persuasion, Platform Building, Presentations, Seminars, Speaking, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Technology

As journalism continues to crumble, thought leaders and cultural critics still write about blogging with a rhetorical sneer.

Typing_Fingers

But, we don’t know of any other way for an aspiring writer (or journalist) to gain an audience before getting the job title.

In essence, the process for developing a resume has changed from writing down accomplishments on an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper and then showing up at a scheduled time to engage in a false dance and (hopefully) get hired to perform a job, to a process whereby if the aspiring writer isn’t blogging, tweeting, creating images and videos, and podcasting before the call comes from the major leagues–well then they don’t get picked at all.

And, since every blogger is not going to wind up with the name recognition of Andrew Sullivan or a writer for TechCrunch, there are seven different areas that a blogger may want to consider as they develop their blogging career:

  • Reciprocation: The rule of reciprocation says that we try to repay what another person has done for us. In the realm of blogging, this rule applies through comments on, social sharing of, and curation of, content from yourself and other sources.
  • Commitment: The rule of commitment says that, once people have agreed to do something, they feel compelled to follow-through on the agreement. In the realm of blogging, this commitment is demonstrated by showing up and writing every day.
  • Consistency: The rule of consistency follows from the rule of commitment and states that people have a tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly consistent with whatever stand they have initially taken. The successful blogger (not Andrew Sullivan level, but being able to buy an extra cheeseburger occasionally) should be ridiculously consistent.
  • Social Proof: The rule of social proof states that people view behavior as correct when they are surrounded by others doing the same thing. In the realm of blogging, this means channeling blog content through social distributive channels, aimed at gaining positive reinforcement from an audience.
  • Liking: The rule of liking really focuses on the fact that we do things for people that we like and that we build a connection and relationship with over time. Building connection with fans through backlinking, responding to comments, curating other people’s content and other ways of connecting follow from that rule.
  • Authority: The rule of authority states that we tend to defer to others in authority based on physical attributes, titles, or even clothes and other trappings of “power.” When you’re blogging consistently, with liking and social proof, it gives the blogger authority. Don’t have authority yet? Well don’t give up. Outlast the other bloggers.
  • Scarcity: The rule of scarcity says that we want more of what we can’t have—or that is in limited supply. In the digital world, where it seems as though every blogger is giving away content for free, scarcity comes to a blogger when they use their influence and authority to build a niche audience for their content, their point of view and their process through their writing. Scarcity also comes through building an effective distribution network for blogged content, including social media channels, email distribution lists, subscriptions and on and on. Combined with consistency and commitment, scarcity becomes the gold under the dross.

There’s a lot of talk about how blogging is disappearing, along with journalism. But, as the Internet of Things really ramps up, we don’t know how content is going to be managed on these devices, without bloggers having a voice at the root of the Internet of Things…websites….

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

Conflict Engagement Systems Design: Will You Choose?

By | Blog, Conflict, Conflict Communication, Conflict Engagement, Conflict Resolution, Consulting, Dysfunction, Leadership, Old Posts, Platform Building, Presentations, Seminars, Social Communication, Speaking, Strategies, Strategy, Training, Website, Workplace, Workplace Development, Workshop

Organizations, just like individuals, have a particular conflict style and support a particular conflict response culture.

Happy_Employees

Since culture eats strategy for breakfast (thanks Peter Drucker), conflict is an inherent part of the cultural process of continual misalignment at many organizations.

Don’t believe me? Well, organizational misalignment between cultures and products can cause problems for people in organizations who are trying to innovate. It also causes problems for customers who experience a confusing product and poor customer service.

With all of that, one of the easiest ways to break a culture and let it grow is to reach inside the culture to the people who are part of the culture, to develop something new. But, this approach is fraught with difficulty and mixed motives, which are why most change management—and conflict development processes—tend to fail.

One easy way to overcome resistance to change and organizational misalignment is to develop a visual model, because people in organizations are more attuned with what they can visually interpret.

However, getting a person who can facilitate, storyboard, capture the visuals, and circulate the story among the gatekeepers and decision makers who often aren’t in the room, requires bringing in an outside presence; which, can be fraught with difficulty, because if the person—or organization—that you choose doesn’t work out, well, then all that investment gets no return.

Of course, you can always accept the alternative in your organization, where continual misalignments create disputes and the conflict process never gets straightened out or successfully engaged with.

[Thanks to the folks at HBR.org for moving my thinking on this.]

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Presenting to the People Who Matter

By | Blog, Old Posts, Presentations, Resolution, Seminars, Social Communication, Social Media, Speaking, Storytelling, Strategies, Training

There are people who matter and people who don’t.

(c) 2014 Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)

The tough thing is telling the difference between the two.

The line between the successful consultant or coach and the “also ran” is the one who strikes a balance between knowing who are the smartest people in the room…and who are just hanging out waiting to applaud.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/

[Advice] Presenting to the Audience You’ve Been Dealt

By | Blog, Consulting, Old Posts, Persuasion, Platform Building, Presentations, Seminars, Speaking, Storytelling, Strategies, Strategy, Training

Consultants and coaches never really choose the audience in front of which they will present.

CRaaS for Your Organization

It is impossible to go inside the mind of each and every individual in the room and determine their motivations, needs, desires and wants.

For the professional consultant or coach—at a certain point—you’re always kind of just winging it.

In fact, the smaller the room, the more intimate the setting, the more winging it looks like a lack of preparation, concentration and expertise.

Which, of course, has the effect of reducing trust and increasing the likelihood that the audience will turn on you.

Don’t worry about the audience that was chosen for you. Worry more about developing the tools to present effectively no matter who—or how many—show up to see you present.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: hsconsultingandtraining@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HSConsultingandTraining
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sorrells79
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jesansorrells/