DIFFERENT IS JUST DIFFERENT

For everyone everywhere
I love people…with all their idiosyncrasies and craziness, I love them. Some are harder to like, though….so I need help to find a common place to reach them and to connect with them so that we can play together, work together, enjoy each other.
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For more than 25 years, I have been teaching the DISC behavioral model… a model that identifies differences in preferred, default behaviors of people, many of which are undistinguished  by them. It’s a core competency in all of my training programs because it helps people to know themselves better and to understand their strengths, weaknesses, motivations and annoyances. The programs also teach how to identify the DISC styles of others and (here’s the gold!) how to adapt to them so that they can have the experience that they want.
The last part is the toughest part and where the greatest reward is. Everyone of us has people that we struggle with.  You might be very free wheeling and people who like order and structure drive you crazy…or the opposite! What DISC teaches you is to identify and understand those default differences and to work WITH them instead of pushing AGAINST them. Other people will never be the way you want them to be, and resisting that reality is the cause of suffering and resentment….both of which are optional. By identifying their DISC style, and knowing what they want and don’t want, you can adapt your own behavior when you are with them so that you are more similar and have more opportunity for connection….a connection that THEY will enjoy.
As a sales professional, It is critical that you connect with a variety of people…not just the people who are naturally similar to you or the people you ‘like’. To do that requires something outside yourself as a filter through which you can see the other person. Left to our own nature, we will distance ourselves from people we don’t naturally like and justify why ‘they’ are not worth our time and attention, like: “They are rude” or “They’re too wimpy and can’t make a decision” or “They’re too picky and don’t look me in the eye” or “They’re flighty and distracted and I can’t get them to focus on what we’re talking about”.  All of which are judgements of behavior that the other person is demonstrating…but NOT the behavior itself. If we just identify the behavior – straight answer, wants to involve others in the decision, asking specific questions about the process or product, engaged in the excitement of the process – and the DiSC style associated with it, we can anticipate their behavior so that when it occurs we won’t react to it, but rather move with it.  It’s called behavioral flexibility and as sales/service professionals it’s helpful to expand the ability to be different with different people, because they don’t all want what you/we want. They want what THEY want.
I bring this training to leaders, recruiters, sales managers, sales and design professionals, customer service associates as they all need to be effective working with many different types of people and having a method and strategy for doing that. Let me know if your team would benefit from greater skill and interactions with your customers and clients.
For those of you in Massachusetts, I have DISC training modules that are available through the Workforce Training Fund Grant Program that allow you to bring this training to your sales and customer service teams for 50% off! If you are a Dominant, you’ll love the deal and the payoff for your team. If you are an Influencer, you’ll be excited by the opportunity and fun of  Save-Money-learning something new that you can use. If you are a Steady, you’ll love that you can understand people better and give them a more comfortable experience. If you are a Compliant, you will appreciate the cost savings amortized over the fiscal year.  Whichever you are and wherever you live, this information can help your managers, sales, and customer service people be more productive and effective. I promise.
Now, go sell something.
xo
Jody
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Musings on Italy

For everyone
I like to believe that I seek to be influenced when I meet people and experience something outside of my daily rituals and activities….rather than be in judgement or reaction to something new or different from me. When I was in Italy last month (was it a month ago already?) I wanted to be immersed in the culture, the people, the language, the beauty and history – and there was so much to envelope me. There were stark and subtle differences in how I (we) live in the US as compared to Italians and I wanted to acknowledge them and bring them home to shift my world a bit. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Family matters to Italians.  Holding hands, arm in arm, cheek to cheek, I was charmed and moved by families loving each other and sharing time together. Teenagers talking with parents as they walked arms linked in the mercato, laughing and playing over cappuccino instead of frozen to their smartphones and ignoring the world. It was strikingly different from America. And older family members were included as part of the group and the conversation.
2. People are happy….from the waiters to the taxi drivers, to the people sitting next to us in restaurants. There wasn’t tense, anxious, angry energy…people sit down and have an espresso or cappuccino rather than walking around with a Starbucks. They rest at lunchtime and eat dinner after 8. The house wine is cheaper than bottled water and delicious. We were on vacation but were observers of people working…riding their bikes to work in lovely linen outfits (the women over 50 – beautiful, full figured but not fat, sexy in a Sophia Loren way) with a peacefulness that was contagious. They were generous and patient with my Italian, and helped at any opportunity to make the moment easier or better.  And no one was glued to their cell phones other than Americans.
3. Dogs. They love spaniels – English cockers, English spaniels.  And dogs whose tails we cut off here have tails there – yorkies, cockers, Australian shepherds – all had tails. Why do we do that?
4. No big box stores – smaller, chains (Tiger – LOVED it!). But I didn’t see a TJMaxx, Walmart, BestBuy in Florence or in Rome (they may have been in the outskirts of the cities) but did see people at the mercato get everything from table linens to underwear, kitchen gadgets to produce, rotisserie chickens to potted plants…the market teeming with families on a Saturday doing their shopping.  No nail salons, either. Getting a manicure and pedicure was an effort – they are done at hair salons only, by Italians.
They were just living their lives as they know them, and I was present to the difference in how I felt to be around them. I brought back a peaceful energy that has not abated and a renewed love of family and close friends that has me be more demonstrative and appreciative of my loved ones. It’s the willingness to be moved and touched by people who have something to offer and another way to operate that I can select what will make my world a calmer, happier, more loving place for me to be and to share with others.
Travel. Be moved. Create a rich life you love with people you love to be with.
Until next time….
xo

Jody
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Here’s to Success !

Congratulations to all of the wonderful designers who made this years Kips Bay Show House another resounding success!
A fabulous painter friend of mine, Troy Henriksen, has a painting at :04 in the video…. It’s a 2008 self portrait.  Check it out. AND his story is wonderful.
A former fisherman from New Bedford, Massachusetts, Henriksen wanted to be a painter and moved to Paris to paint. He has become wildly successful, and all the young professional Parisians ‘get a Troy’ when they cross that line into ‘the have’s’.
Here is another link to his work galeriew.com and some newer works:
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xo
Jody