Communication strategy based on personality styles

As a consultant I worked for many companies, I visited many customers. After the first icebreakers I often started to hear “In this team, we have a communication problem”. Even if you leave aside potential source of difficulties as teams which are working remotely or cultural differences, human nature is prone to create communication gaps.

The disc model

Even with a lot of good will it is not an easy task to close the gap separating birds of different feather. Human brain is made to push people to gather with people of the same kind. Our mirror cells are inviting us to mimick behaviour and to be confortable with people similar to us. But you can not lead a ship with only captains or sailors. You need diversity to manage a successful endeavour and companies need people of different talent. How to prevent these difference in personalities to impair your communication.

The first step is to recognise the differences and to adapt to the style of communication of the person you are interacting with. Amongst many frameworks, the simplest I found to help people understand the model of communciation is the DISC model. The leadership wheel and the 4 quadrant model are two similar useful variations. The concept is similar: people belong to one of the 4 groups. Each group has its own motivators and its own ways of communicating.

I am using these models since 15 years with great benefits. I recently discover a serious card game allowing to introduce the model in a short amount of time and in a fun way. On Friday 1st March, I organise a workshop in Brussels at Alliance Merode to introduce the model and the serious game to new people.

Practice Team Collaboration by playing a board game – Fri 7th Dec 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

Play the board game Kitchen Rush to practice you team collaboration skills

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Friday 7th December  6pm-10pm including a Vegan Korean dinner (10€)

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register. Book a dinner for 10€. RSVP Wed 5th Dec 2018.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Game sessions 6.30pm-22pm
Dinner During game sessions – 10€ RSVP 5th Dec2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Kitchen Rush:

Kitchen run is a fast paced collaboration game in which the players are helping each other in developping a successfull restaurant.

Dinner menu:

Vegan Korean rice and veggies “Bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free game sessions.

The meal is taking place during the game sessions but is not mandatory to enjoy the game.

Negocards workshop 8th Nov 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

negocards

Acquire negotiation skills by playing an #OpenSeriousGame

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Thursday 8th November  6pm-10pm

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register.

Negocards workshop card game

The fundamentals of the negocards:
• Nobody is a born negotiator
• Negotiation is a skill that can be learned
• The negocards serious game allows learning by playing with negotiation best practices.
• Based on cards, best practice reference cards and role-playing session, attendees are learning by practising

The game material is available free of copyright to foster dissemination of knowledge. We recommend people willing to attend the workshop not to read the three last pages presenting the scenarii of the roleplay.

Detailed agenda:

Welcome 6pm
Workshop 6.30pm-20.30pm
Dinner 20.30pm-22.00pm – 10€ RSVP 5th Nov 2018.
Networking 22.00-23.00pm

Post-event dinner: 

egan Korean rice and veggies “bibimbap” if you want to enrol, please send me a message at info@peopleblendit.com RSVP Monday 5th November.
The price for the dinner is 10€; payment is required to validate registration. Free beers and free workshop. The meal is taking place after the event and is not mandatory to enjoy the game.

Negocards workshop 10th Oct 2018 in Brussels, Belgium

negocards

Acquire negotiation skills by playing an #OpenSeriousGame

Map to access l’Alliance Merode cafe – 
https://goo.gl/maps/XrkX4TdWe8T2

When: Wednesday 10th October 6 pm: Welcoming dinner
7.30 -10 pm: Workshop

Where: Brussels, Alliance mérode cafe, rue de la gare 44, 1040 Brussels

Registration: Free, contact peopleblendit@outlook.com  to register.

Negocards workshop card game

The fundamentals of the negocards:
• Nobody is a born negotiator
• Negotiation is a skill that can be learned
• The negocards serious game allows learning by playing with negotiation best practices.
• Based on cards, best practice reference cards and role-playing session, attendees are learning by practising

The game material is available free of copyright to foster dissemination of knowledge. We recommend people willing to attend the workshop not to read the three last pages presenting the scenarii of the roleplay.

The 5 “Why ?” of PMP applied to Agile practice 

Why this article?

I recently wrote a post on online resources to practice for a PMP certification examination. When my wife read this article, she commented that she didn’t understand why I promote PMP everything in my daily practices and services that I sell to my customers is turning around Agile. 

Why introducing PMP in the context of Agile practice?

My company, PeopleBlendIT, promotes the idea that pure Agile organizations don’t exist. Even in the leanest organization, you will find a management board, one of the services like the finance or customer service which is organized in a traditional way.

When dealing with these parts of an organization working in a traditional way, it is useful to know how to structure the project assets. PMBOK remains the best source of inspiration of best practices when it comes to managing a project in the traditional way. And even without dealing with external a non-Agile team, you need to inject Project management best practices in your Agile project.

But why do you need these best practices applied in in an Agile project?

Because when it comes to lead an Agile implementation you still need configuration management to version documents; you still need to manage expectation of stakeholders; you still need to manage the end of life of a product. For these management topics, PMBOK best practices is a reference.

But why talking about PMP certification?

Reading PMP certification examination preparation is a good way to challenge yourself and review your knowledge. Going back to the basics is the occasion to find back the less common best practices that you don’t apply often enough. For instance, you most certainly often go to meetings or even organize meetings. But when was the last time you reviewed the best practices on how to organize a meeting, to be a good host for a meeting.

Doing so is a reminder for me that I need to practice my Agile mash-up skills in which I transform Agile into something more elaborated merging best practices from different project management methodologies.

But why do you need something better than Agile?

You think that Agile is the definitive model, that there is nothing after it? Think about SCRUM of SCRUM, tribes, Spotify, think about SAFe, scaling Agile for large organizations. All these approaches came to solve the limitation of Agile. Release trains in SAFe and story mapping are spin-offs of PMP road-map management. Weighted Shortest Job First, WSJF, is somehow an evolution of metrics like Earned Value optimization technics used in PMP.

If you listen to Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture 

Model, you might become as convinced that I am that we need to look at the past to continue to re-invent our future project management methods. For me, looking at the past is digging into my PMP best practices. Looking at the future is finding ways to infuse participative decision making into the organizations I am working with.

 

Online resources to prepare PMP certification

Why ?

I received a comment from my wife when she read this article. Why do you speak about the traditional project management practices since your reason to live is Agile?  I realized that before explaining how to rehearse on PMP topics, I had to explain why PMP practice is essential to elaborate a good Agile practice.

This disclaimer delivered, I can explain you why it is necessary to find online resources to practice for a PMP certification or simply to rehearse your PMP knowledge.

Image result for PMP

Why free online resource ? When you are intensively preparing for examination and certification, it is important not to get you head stuck in a single source of information. You need to relax your brain by looking at the same topic from different angles: reading books, watching videos, taking hand written notes. This is own the memory works best.

It is assumed that if you engage yourself in a PMP certification, you have attended a training and you received a set of books and examination preparation material. Therefore the current web page is looking for the additional stuff: free online resources.

A short list

In the end of this blog post you will find many online resources. Here is a short list, because if you can’t use them all and have to spare your time, you have to go straight to the most useful one.

My preferred ones are those offering a long list of examination question accessible without having to register and those providing explanations for the answers.

https://www.simplilearn.com/pmp-exam-prep-free-practice-test

It provides an interacive test with a countdown of the time, in the end it provides the answers.

PreparePM

https://www.preparepm.com/mock1.html

It provide the answers immediately, you don’t have to pass the entire set of question to get the the answers. It provides only 75 free question, that’s not sufficient to get a decent test preparation

Capm time 150 question final key slide share

It is not the most interactive but it contains the answers and a decent set of questions. The positive point is that being on Slide share, you can print the PDF to work away from the screen and changing your rehearsal practice from the other online resources.

List of the website offering free support

 

https://www.simplilearn.com/pmp-exam-prep-free-practice-test

 

Project Management Professional(PMP®) Certification

https://www.pmexamcoach.com/offers/ddcn7fVC/checkout

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pmp-exam-free-oliver-lehmann/id981704212

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/capm-exam-free/id1011761235?ls=1&mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.digit.pmpexamfree

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.digit.capmexamfree

https://www.microsoft.com/de-lu/p/pmp-exam-free/9nblggh0g09j?rtc=1

http://206-free-pmp-exam-questions.blogspot.com/p/questions-1-20.html

http://www.oliverlehmann.com/contents/free-downloads/175_PMP_Sample_Questions.pdf

http://www.tutorialspoint.com/pmp-exams/pmp_mock_exams.htm

https://www.skillset.com/certifications/pmp

https://proxalt.com/USA/index.php?option=com_freeresource&view=freeresource&Itemid=40

 

https://projectmanagementacademy.net/free-pmp-questions

https://mosaicprojects.com.au/Free_CAPM_Questions.php

 

 

Lessons learned with the sail boat

Lessons learned are team workshops during which a team thrive to identify how to improve the way to work as a team.  In AGILE retrospective meeting team members gather their feedback in 3 categories:

  • Start doing
  • Stop doing
  • Continue doing

Navigating through the AGILE games literature and inspiration for coaching workshop I recently rediscovered the speed boat.

Picture your project as a speed boat going very fast, what anchors are slowing you down ? The format is described in Game storming, a book and online website for brainstorming workshop.

The speed boat lessons learned proposes each participant to categorize their experience with the project in few categories:

  1. The wind, blows in the sail of the boat. It represents all the factors which have been helping the project to move forward
  2. The boat represent the team, the work environment, the team work and /or  the products delivered.
  3. The anchor, as in the original speed boat, represent the forces which are driving the team backward.
  4. The rocks are the dangers ahead. The risk s for the boat to wreck and for the project to fail.
  5. The island represents the goal of the team, where everybody is heading toward.
  6. I added the sun to picture the fun part in the team journey. The sun represents the things which are not essential or not part of the products delivered by the team but that the team loves doing or would love starting doing. It is the sanuk way of working in Thailand.

I created a template that I gave to each participant. I gave 5 minutes to the team members to collect there ideas on their template. I recommend the usage of yellow sticky notes to reduce the time consumed in the collection of the team feedback.

To empower the team to decide what are the positive elements to promote and the most important issues to address, you can propose the team to use dot voting. Each team member is given 5 dots to use to vote next to feedback given by the teams. The issues (anchors, rocks) receiving the more dots are the most urgent ones to address. The positive points (sun and island) which are receiving the more dots are the one to promote in the team organisation.

I also had the occasion once to see the sail boat used in a recruitment. The candidate was proposed to picture his drivers,  assets, blockers, fears, goals and ideals as the wind, board, anchor, rock, island and sun. It think it remove the anxiety of the situation were you are requesting to judge yourself.

In the same way it allowed my team members to share more openly about the team using the boat allegory than the typical  3 categories of AGILE lessons learned.

Heading image Image from  http://www.ironlionperformance.com/blog/2017/4/17/the-monday-mindset-grit