We offer our clients training by the publishers of Everything DiSC®. We thought you’d like to get to know them too so we sat down with two of the trainers, Robin and Jeannie, to learn a bit more about certification from their perspective.
Both Jeannie and Robin work at the Minneapolis offices of Wiley and have several years of training experience. Jeannie does both online and in-person training. Her DiSC style is an “i” with an extra priority of challenge. Robin not only conducts online and in-person training but is also an instructional designer. Robin has a Di style.
We began asking about how the current Everything DiSC Workplace-focused certification came about. Since April of last year (2016) over 450 people have completed Workplace certification online. In addition, more than 1000 people have completed the general Everything DiSC classroom certification since 2010.
The certification classes
Jeannie spoke about the traditional classroom course that didn’t focus on Workplace specifically. “That class focused really on product training. So we did a deepish dive into Workplace with facilitated activities and then we did a very high level overview of Sales, Management, a little bit deeper into Work of Leaders and 363 for Leaders. We never qualified that certification as a train the trainer. It was really kind of a product training.”
Change came about because people wanted something different, Jeannie explains. “We kept hearing feedback: ‘I really love train the trainer. I would love to increase my facilitation skills on this product.’ We chose to focus on Workplace. If you really think about it, Workplace is the core—the cornerstone.”
Robin continues, “What the online Workplace program did was to take a big focus on the how. How am I going to facilitate this program? How will I bring this program into my workplace? That objective was so successful that it made a lot of sense to make that how we’re doing the facilitation going forward. We’re working on how do I facilitate this program to my particular audience as opposed to this is what the product is.”
Every Everything DiSC product, including training, goes through at least one round—and sometimes several—of beta testing. Robin told us how they threw out their initial design for Everything DiSC Workplace certification and re-wrote it. “We did it to really focus on that how and building confidence and competence in facilitating Workplace. So with the ultimate goal that when people finished that class that they could take what they’ve done in that class and facilitate a program.” We’re hearing back from participants that they really appreciate this focus.
We wondered if attendees still receive their individual profiles for each product; e.g. Sales, Work of Leaders, etc. Robin and Jeannie explained that for the Workplace certification class, attendees receive their profile report for Workplace only. However they also have access to an optional online activity that educates on the other Everything DiSC solutions (Work of Leaders, Management, Sales, 363 for Leaders.) They can view the introductory videos that come in the facilitation kits for each product, view sample profiles and sample supplement reports. So they really aren’t missing out on being introduced to all Everything DiSC solutions.
Participants with experience using another DISC product
We know that there’s a lot of confusion in the HR and training communities about the various products that are based on the DISC model. So what about people who have experience with one of those other products who nevertheless come to be certified in Everything DiSC Workplace?
Of course people who have used other assessments are welcome. Even Robin holds a certification in the MBTI®.
Robin explains how she feels when someone comes with experience using other products. “It’s incredibly rewarding for us. We feel really good about all of that. Quite honestly our product is superior. Everything DiSC is just a really great program and really solid. Especially with tools that we offer that help keep DiSC alive, too. So it’s not just DiSC Workplace, it’s MyEverythingDiSC, it’s the Comparison Reports, the research, the Everything DiSC Group Facilitation and Group Culture Reports and the Supplement for Facilitators.” Jeannie agreed, stressing the level of research put into Workplace.
What if you don’t pass your certification test?
We get calls from people who have concerns about taking an exam. Both the online and classroom certifications are obtained after taking an online exam. Test-taking can be a stressful experience for many, so let us reassure everyone that you can retake the exam once. People do fail, but Robin let us know that it doesn’t happen often.
Robin explained a bit more: “You have to read the questions. What we’re testing is your comprehension and do you know where to find the answers to the questions. So we don’t really expect people will have all those answers on the top of their head. But do they understand the resources enough to go find it? It’s only 40 questions, however do not plan to take less than an hour to take this exam.”
We’ve observed how well the training team works with each other so had to ask about what makes them successful, and –of course—about their DiSC styles.
We learned that all the trainers have different styles. Jeanine said, “We all share priorities, for sure, but none of us have the same dot placement. It really rounds our team out.”
Of course, having some diversity on a team isn’t enough. Robin shared: “I think we’re really passionate about what we do. And so that helps that we all have that same kind of level of passion. And we recognize the good in what we do as well. We’ve got a part in changing organizations and having people work better together. That’s a big deal. That’s a reason to get up.”
Jeannie added, “We have a common goal; we have fun. Because we’ve been doing this together for so long we’ve established trust. We have this unsaid communication. So I can look at Robin or Andy (another trainer) and I know exactly what they’re thinking and what they are about to say. If they are going to do a switch in the curriculum, I understand why they did that. They don’t need to come to me and say this is what I think. I just have trust that they know what they’re doing.“
Geeking out over DiSC
Jeannie became animated while discussing her favorite report, the Supplement for Facilitators. “I don’t even look at the participant’s profile, I look at the supplement. That describes all of it on one page. For a facilitator that’s what I’d use for a coaching tool — in preparation for coaching. Honestly, it’s my favorite report. I just like it because it shows how your dot got there and that whole algorithm and how the assessment is so precise and intricate that it picks up on these different questions. It’s looking at these pieces and how you endorsed it and the frequency on the scale, and as a nerd I just love it.”
Robin, however, has taken the geek to a new level. “I was in Cozumel in March and there were 16 of us there. We went to a restaurant and we were talking about what we did for work and I got everybody up and we built a room (an exercise where each participant identifies whether they are fast-paced and outspoken or cautious and reflective.) It was amazing; it was so much fun. There were cocktails involved.”
Participants have been known to geek out as well. Robin shared this heartwarming story.
Last week we had a couple who were both here for training. They were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. They were awesome. He has an S style and she has a D style. Andy was clued in that it was their anniversary, so we put the agenda up and then when we flipped it and pulled the agenda off, it said “happy anniversary” to this couple. The husband stood up then and went over to his wife and she’s just shaking. He says, “So here’s what happened when I plan a training experience and then come to realize that I did it over our anniversary.’ Then he said “Are you familiar with Blake Shelton’s song ‘Honey Bee’?” So he played a little bit of it on his phone and said “I’ve gone ahead and retooled this song.” And so he reads the lyrics of “You’re My Honey D”: you’ll be my fast and reckless; I’ll be your calm and smooth. It was so wonderful. Everybody was tearing up.
It seems that it’s not just romantic couples who get something from Wiley’s training. Robin and Jeannie reported that evaluations show over 94% of participants would definitely or probably recommend the Everything DiSC Workplace Certification to others.
More of our interview is at Taking Everything DiSC® certification online.