Minnesota attorney Aaron Hall speaks with Matt Norman, President of Dale Carnegie Training® North Central US.
Dale Carnegie Training® North Central US
4938 Lincoln Drive
Edina, MN 55436
Aaron Hall: I’m Aaron Hall, Business Attorney in Minneapolis.
Matt, what types of problems do your clients come to you with?
Matt Norman: Yeah, thanks. So really, two. One is clients may see a need to enhance their standard employee development process or leader development process, and maybe there are already some ingredients in place, so they want us to fill in those gaps. The second type of problem that we would address is when a person or an organization sees that they would improve organizational results if they were to improve relationship dynamic in place.
Aaron Hall: So these are some abstract concepts.
Matt Norman: Yeah.
Aaron Hall: What are the, maybe emotions, that the business owners or managers are feeling? What are some examples of challenges they may be facing?
Matt Norman: Yeah. So it could be—there’s so many different types of relationships dynamics that they can be basing. It could be a relationship dynamic with their customers. So they are trying to, perhaps, have a more consultative, broader relationship with their customers. It could be a relationship dynamic between leaders and staff where leaders need to engage and get more reactivity from their staff. And it could be a relationship dynamic with the or among suppliers or partners within the organization.
Aaron Hall: Do your clients usually identify these before bringing you in? Do they do that on their own or is there something that prompts them identifying these?
Matt Norman: Yeah, we come in at different stages. Sometimes companies or people will already identify the challenge, they have a relationship dynamic they want to improve. In other cases, they’ve identified the business challenge or the organizational challenge, and they’re unclear what’s contributing to that challenge, and so we can help them determine which relationship dynamics need to be enhanced to contribute to that organizational result. Sometimes we just get into a conversation and, through diagnostics or questions, we’re able to just uncover some of the opportunities that exist.
Aaron Hall: Is it typically big problems that cause people to hire you? Or is it the identifying that there’s room for growth, even though they may not be feeling a whole lot of pain in that area?
Matt Norman: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. We’re in the business of helping people perform at higher levels and reach their full potential, and so often, it’s people who are already successful, who are already doing well, they just need to improve modestly. And often, what will come then and help them improve the way they engage in relationships, whether it’s employee engagement, which is the way we engage internally in an organization, in the way we communicate in both relationships, it could be leader engagement, the way that leaders engage their teams, motivate their teams. it could be audience engagement, the way we engage the audience in a presentation, or it could be customer engagement, the way that we improve our relationships with our customers and help them to see us as even a more valuable, trusted adviser. In many cases, these are just adjustments that can be made to enchance the relationship.
Aaron Hall: Are there any easy examples you can give us of how you came in and helped a client?
Matt Norman: Sure. Well, we have one client, a Fortune 100 company here in Twin Cities, who internally wanted to improve relationships across functional teams. Because they are larger organization, these functional teams have become fairly ???. And the organization, as with many organizations today, has become less command and control and more of a matrix organization. People have to manage and get things done without the authority, per se. So we help some of these functional teams to influence more effectively and to position themselves as more of a consultant to other functional teams within the organization. So they cross ???, cross the matrix so to speak. They were able to work more efficiently and more productively.
Aaron Hall: This is fascinating. How is it that you help them achieve those results?
Matt Norman: Yeah. So, we do training and coaching usually one-on-one or in small to mid-size groups. We’ll have people identify specific situations where these relationships can be enhanced, and we’ll offer practical tools, techniques, principles, and then, have them practice, with coaching. We find that the way that adults learn and approve is through pratice. So with our coaching, we’re able to help them build their confidence and skills, and for them to see themselves more broadly in these relationships so they may be able to go and apply these concepts in their real world.
Aaron Hall: Are there any paradigm shifts or new perspectives regarding engagement with people?
Matt Norman: Well, we just recently finalized a research project globally where we identified that employee engagement is still very much a contributor for organizational results. We’ve known that for the last couple of decades. What we’ve been less clear on, specifically how do organizations improve employee engagement to increase productivity and profitability. What we’ve identified, going back to what I mentioned earlier, is that organizations need to improve the way that employees engage each other, and that’s by building their confidence and their ability to communicate. How leaders engage staff, which is through their ability to motivate and communicate. How presenters and anyone in organization engages an audience, which is our ability to inspire others to action. And the way we engage our customers, which is our ability to position ourselves as valuable provider of services, and to be able to sustain that relationship.
So, it’s those four ingredients, we find, as organizations grow and as leaders grow, that are particularly important to driving employee engagement.
Aaron Hall: If business owners, CEOs, or executives are saying to themselves, ‘This resonates with me, this could really help our bottomline,’ how should they contact you?
Matt Norman: I appreciate your asking. We recommend having a conversation to begin with, where we really inquire as to what the bottomline or organizational results are that are trying to be driven, and then from there, we would begin to explore what are the relationship dynamics that need to be enhanced in order to drive some of those organizational results. And then we’ll make a recommendation on how we will provide some coaching, training, to be able to improve. So I’d recommend that it start with a conversation around what those results are that are trying to be achieved. Certainly, we’re always open to being contacted to have that conversation.