Subject: Centre Quarterly

Centre Quarterly 
a newsletter update on
strengthening effectiveness across
the borders of culture
in a borderless world
August 2018
Sometimes You Just Have to Live & Learn
While many things in professional development work are often built around traditional approaches, I find that I actually live & learn a lot. Live & learn is less about traditional approaches and more about real-time experiential learning from both good and bad situations. 

Coaches and consultants are topic experts, so it is possible that clients have rarely heard those specialists speak about situations where they did not handle things well.

However for this newsletter, I would like to share a personal live & learn story where I did not handle things in the best way.
My Live & Learn Story
Centre Insight is the name of an integrative approach I use in certain client situations for a specific purpose. It is integrative in that it fuses needs assessment with other services for the client so they can take a laser-like look at a specific issue for deeper insight. 

While many participants from the client's organization may be involved through completing personal needs assessments, my personal Centre Insight effort is specifically done directly with those who are the owners of the project within the client's organization. 

For one client, the Centre Insight approach was used to evaluate leadership readiness for a developing issue within their organization. Therefore needs assessments were completed by the organization's entire leadership team. Then after assessment work was completed, a quantitative and qualitative report of findings was provided to the client's project owners. 

After several working sessions between me and the project owners covering the report of findings, they said to me "I want you to present these critical findings to the entire leadership team.

My next step was the cause of things not going well with that client's leadership team. 

Up to now, all of my conversations had been with the project owners. From those conversations, I carried an assumption about the level of awareness held by the leadership team on the Centre Insight project. I found out quickly that I was so wrong about that!

More specifically, my actions were based on knowing that I would be speaking with a senior leadership team that had already taken the needs assessment themselves. But in addition, I also assumed they had been internally briefed along the way by the project owners which would have raised their general level of awareness about the project.

What I actually faced was a meeting with a leadership team who were "lab rats". They knew they took the needs assessment but had no deep idea what the project was really about or for what purpose the findings would be used. The "lab rats" were not up to speed on this organizational project.

In addition to giving a presentation to leaders on my part that was not appropriate for their context, I found that the existing low level of awareness held by that leadership team translated into a lack of their buy-in into the findings from the needs assessment exercise. Therefore, the time spent covering the project's critical findings report was just ineffective and unproductive.

Well, I violated my own rule regarding assumptions. You see, assumption is a word that points to the action of  making a judgment before really understanding the specific context. Assumptions carry extra risk, which is why I am usually very cautious about them. Because I went along with my assumption without verifying, I paid the price for that in an embarrassing way. 

My presentation was based on an assumption (judging before understanding) that the leadership team was up to speed on the project. That action created a dilemma with a client that now needs to be  reconciled.    
Centre for Leadership Effectiveness LLC
Dedicated to strengthening performance of individuals, teams, and organizations through building deeper competencies to reconcile dilemmas faced in our culturally complex world for the following contexts:
cross-cultural operations of public, private  & non-profit organizations
advanced level university  contexts
domestic & international Christian multicultural ministries
Frank Zauflik MA, MBA
Executive Director
Frank has an unique combinattion of for-profit, not-for-profit & faith-based professional experiences, advanced academics & certifications, with 
extensive trans-national living.
Building up your return on investment through integrating research based Cultural Intelligence (CQ) &  Everything DiSC Personality assessments + training + coaching + consulting to leverage your soft skills into hard results.
Lessons Learned

Although there are other people who were involved in the story shared, I am the one who is responsible for the outcome of my story. It is my primary job in my facilitation role with clients to make sure things like this don't happen. So, I lived & learned in a harsh way. 

And my story also serves to point to another theme.

While my live & learn experience was a primary lesson on judging before understanding (assumptions), there's a second lesson to take from this experience.

Recent research conducted by the Association of Talent Development found that the top challenge with the use of needs assessments is stakeholders believing they already know their own needs.  

So the second lesson is not to jump to solutions too quickly but rather to give others the time and process they need to build personal buy-in to the feedback from their own needs assessments.

Lessons learned!

Transforming Uncomfortable Encounters 
into Stronger Relationships 
Conflict is inevitable. We find it in our personal relationships. We also find conflict in the workplace. Everything DiSC Productive Conflict can help you to harness the power of workplace conflict.

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A free sample of the Everything DiSC Productive Conflict Profile is available upon request.

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