Viewing entries tagged
training

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Consulting "glam" or "other duties" of a consulting.

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Today’s tasK: Assemble all the materials for our training next week in Missouri. Using a “bomb difusal” game to teach principles, and train skills, of high-functioning teams. One thing I don’t mind about running my own consulting company is the “hands on” work. It’s a nice day of listening to music, mindless tasks, and dreaming about other ways to help! Having worked in the health care system for 35+ years, it’s a nice break from heavy clinical work.

By-the-way, this is the same process that we will be demonstrating in our June 23rd free training.

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Update: Announcing . . . Free training . . . June, 2019.

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Teamwork through Gaming . . . free training in June

On Sunday, June 23rd from 3 to 4 pm central time Bryan Miller, Ph.D. will be providing an on-line training on the HSC process of using gaming to train work teams to be effective. This is a training we have done in 4 to 6 hour segments with nonprofits, ecclesiastical bodies, business owners, and governmental departments.

The training is for professionals in the behavioral health field who are interested in providing training to organizations and who would like to find new and innovative ways to deliver good value and work outside of their typical clinical practice.

May 13th Update: We are now opening the training to professionals beyond our subscribers.

Want to know more?

Watch our You Tube trailer.

Email Bryan

Reserve your seat at Gumroad. A $20 fully refundable fee required —to prevent no shows.

Or check out our website where you can Subscribe and get a free eBook.

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2019 Coaching Class is Set!

Photo by  Fancycrave  on  Unsplash

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Our 2019 Coaching Class is set. Thanks to everyone who applied! . . . We are officially closing the application period.

Those of you who are subscribers to our blog may note that we had originally talked about taking applications through September. No, September isn’t over, yet. But it is time to close the applications and move forward, to put 2019’s “recruiting class in the books” so to speak. Thanks for the interest and if it didn’t work for you in 2019, we would encourage you to continue to follow our blog. We can’t promise we will do another round of coaching in 2020 but we haven’t closed the door to that yet. Stay tuned, as they used to say!

For those new to HSC—and the concept of contracting, coaching and consulting as part of a behavioral health practice —below is a brief history of our journey . . . .

We have been training students and professionals to work with organizations and businesses —through private practice contracting, coaching, and consulting—since 2006. In 2019, we will be using our proprietary developed workflow (developed for the Trello platform) to work with our coaching class. This is the next step in our ability to help behavioral health professionals diversify their services and escape the dependence on insurance and governmental sources of income.. .

Her's a quick history of training behavioral and mental health professionals to work with organizations and businesses.

  • 1998: As part of a class on Qualitative Research, Bryan and a colleague started—as part of a university class— a consulting contact with an international manufacturing company. Supported by a couple of our professors originally, the contract would be repeated in 2000 and in total cover 4 years. We were learning and HSC was off and running!

  • 1999: Bryan starts working in senior management positions in behavioral health.

  • 2002: We repeat the consulting work with the international manufacturing company.

  • 2005: Dr. Miller established Human Systems Consulting and HSC begins contracting with organizations.

  • 2006: Tasked to teach a doctoral-level course on Consulting with Larger Organizations. Continued until 2016.

  • 2008: Conducted local trainings for behavioral health professionals on consulting and coaching.

  • 2011:  At the continued urging of the students and colleagues, published Beyond the Couch: Turning your behavioral health degree into cash without losing your soul. (By the way, our Gumroad store sells this for $7.99 a huge savings over Amazon at $24.95!)

  • 2015: Published Engaging Your Team: A framework for leading difficult people.

  • 2016: Published Private Practice through Contracting: A path away from insurance dependency! (Our most popular title since it’s publication)

  • 2017: Presented our model in a day-long institute at the AAMFT national conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • 2017: Training professionals in a 6 hour workshop as part of the ICET conference in Louisville, Ky.

  • 2018: Re-tooled our Trello-based tool to facilitate and lead professional coaching for 2019 coaching class.

Looking forward to 2019! Last year we were in Georgia and Kentucky, next year we are in discussions to finalize agreements for training in Nebraska and Missouri. With these commitments, we will limit our out-of-state commitments to 1 or 2 others in 2019.

Hope your 2019 is a great year!

Bryan

P.S.— BTW, Facilitating trainings can be an interesting and fun way to enter into contracting—while providing high visibility for your organization, develop a position as a thought-leader or resource, and open up new possibilities for contracting. If interested in facilitating a training in your area using HSC’s expertise, just contact us!

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Ten Reasons "Controllers" Don't Recognize their self-defeating patterns

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Photo by Moja Msanii on Unsplash

 

Ten Reasons "Controllers"* Don't Recognize their self-defeating patterns

You've seen it. The person who tries to control a situation when they ought to just leave it alone. The guy or gal who can't see that their actions are causing more harm than good. Why do they do it? Why can't they recognize their own fear? Is it "poor insight?" A lack of psychological sophistication? Poor people skills? A bad childhood? Perhaps. But here are some more pragmatic ways to look at it . . . 

  1. It has become a habit. Controlling people control. In their minds, they are helping and often they are. So, the success of "making things happen" creates a Pavlovian-conditioned state (perhaps more Skinnerian) where the behavior is likely to reoccur.
  2. Other people respond to it.  Face it. A lot of people don't want to be in control. They don't want the responsibility for the outcomes and they are happy to give up that role to someone willing to step in and take it. 
  3. It masquerades as knowledge and wisdom.  Confidence, assertiveness, bold initiatives often give the impression that the person "must know" what they are talking about. Right or wrong the controller often is, defacto, given some credit for knowledge or wisdom by reason of their action.
  4. Controlling prevents facing internal pain.  Control is a way of avoiding uncertainty, inefficiency, judgement . . . a host of states that may cause the controller to feel ways they do not want to feel. "Taking the reins" for the sake of preventing these bad outcomes is often done "for others" but really is the controllers way to avoid these emotional states themselves.
  5. It looks like confidence and leadership. Since controlling is an active process, others have to secumb or fight to take an opposing point of view. Controllers, over time, tend to win by attrition as others "give up the field" and simply choose not to fight. The controller "gains ground" simply be their natural tendency toward being on the offensive.
  6. Negative consequences are not immediate. The consequences of the controlling behavior is often accommodated, tolerated, or dismissed . . . in the early stages, especially if the desired outcomes are positive. The organization is growing, the business is making money, or the family is thriving. However, over time the impact of the control implodes. People begin to react to the control. As outcomes diminish people begin to question the controllers behavior, motives, and vision.
  7. It is often disguised in humility and openness. Controllers who don't have good people skills are simply bullies. Those who do have these skills often cloak their control in positive ways. "I only want to help." or "You can, of course, do whatever you want to do. But, I think . . ." implying often that their answer is best.  One CEO, dealing with a benevolent controlling consultant told me, "She's so nice you almost don't mind the way she pushes you around."
  8. Criticism is not allowed.  By "criticism" I mean the critical process of examining ideas thoroughly.  Many controllers are good at making logically sound, quick decisions. They may under-value the process of allowing others to evaluate the decision-making process. This leads to unilateral decisions. Not fully getting other's on board and committed and when the outcomes turn negative leading to blaming the controller for their decisions and behavior.
  9. The motivation is to help. Hard as it may be to believe, one of the reasons controllers don't see themselves clearly is because when they look inwards they know that their motivation is good. They want to help. They clear away the confusion. They prevent inefficiency that is frustrating or hindering others. They get things done.
  10. It works. Bottom line. Controllers control because it works. It achieves the short-term needs of the individual, the team, or the organization. The question controllers fail to ask themselves however is, "Yes, it works, but at what cost?" Often it is at the cost of developing the leadership skills of people working for them, developing an achilles heel of a single vision, or in family business, trampling on relationships. Long-term what works maybe be antithetical to what works in the immediate moment.

Leaders, who tend toward control, need to find ways to check their natural instinct. This does not mean downplaying their strengths or abdicating the need for "controls" in their leadership. It means having good "checks and balances" on their natural tendency.  Develop ways to get feedback from other team members, take time to get an outside perspective, create habits to incorporate others into the decision-making process. See yourself as a resource, an encourager, an enabler . . . and less of a director, tactician or decision-maker. Recognize the leadership need others have for inclusion, affection, and their own control as you lead. Long-term the likelihood of success is greater.

Others working with controlling leaders need to firmly assert the need for the leader to develop a more rounded way of leading. This may not be easy for all the reasons cited above.  The controlling leader is not likely to "see" the need for changes. The appeal is often best couched in terms of the needs of the team or the organization. "We know that you have a lot of strengths. We need to you continue to build on those strengths to meet the future demands," is one way to approach this conversation. Don't wait for the crisis, where the deteriorating conditions force this leader to "admit" that something is wrong. Challenge them to grow and demonstrate a willingness to lead in a way that is often uncomfortable for them but of great value to those they are leading.

 

* "Controllers" in this context means, "minimally well-adjusted, mentally healthy" people who value control. Controllers here does describe sociopath control issues who control out of a need to dominate others, create win-lose scenarios, and/or who are mentally unhealthy.

Get more . . . Download an eBook from HSC!

Engaging Your Team: A framework for leading "difficult" people.

Family Legacy: Protecting family in family business.

 

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Louisville . . . famous sons and daughters . . . and learning!

When I was a kid, the only things anyone wanted was a Louisville Slugger.

When I was a kid, the only things anyone wanted was a Louisville Slugger.

Well the Interactive CE Training spring conference is done and so is my short stent in Louisville.  Isn't it interesting how we develop a perception of what place . . . even through we have never been there?  My vision of Louisville, while not at all thought out, was something of "blue grass, horse races, and basketball."

Arriving in the airport, I was greeted with posters like this . . .

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It came as a bit of a shock. "Wait . . . What?  Muhammad Ali was from Louisville?"  Yes, he was. Other "big names as well."  Tom Cruise, Paul Hornung, Jennifer Lawrence. Maggie Lawson, Diane Sawyer, and Johnny Unitas all called Louisville home at one time.  I had no idea.  George Clooney and Johnny Depp spent time nearby.  Louisville is bigger than I imagined more metropolitan than "down home" in the fell. Yet, everyone has that southern friendliness and sense of hospitality.  For example, people providing service in the midwest never say, "You doing okay, Hon?"

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But I wasn't here to conduct an anthropological analysis of the city. I was here to train a cohort of therapists how to add a new toolbox to their skill set . . . the toolbox of contracting and consulting with organizations.  Once again, I heard professionals talk about how the debt of education, low insurance fee schedules and other factors stress today's professionals and make them contemplate if they should "do something else" just to be able to pay their bills.

My goal for the training?  I told that attendees that the best outcome for me would be to get an email in 6 or 12 months telling me that they had a signed contract and that that contract had allowed them to . . . replace an old commuter vehicle, start a college fund for their kid, create or fund a 401K, or perhaps just take a weekend trip with their family.  That's what it's all about helping these professionals benefit from the value that they give to others.

It was especially fun to reconnect with friends from the past . . . former students and colleagues from my days of teaching.  Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the training!  Thanks to Interactive CE Training for brining us to Kentucky! It was a great day and a great event.  Looking forward to continuing to support these great professionals throughout 2018 and beyond.

 

 

Calendar:

Next month we'll be attending the Prairie Family Business Association's annual conference. An exciting event that supports people in family businesses (like HSC) and the providers that help support them. 

Resources:

Free Private Practice through Contracting eBook.

We are now accepting inquiries for our 2019 Contract and Consulting Coaching. For more information, or to apply, email Bryan.

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Leadership Lessons . . . The Guys I Admire . . . and Getting Trained Up!

 
Our Save the Date Announcement

Our Save the Date Announcement

Hello there . . . again!  If you have been a long-time subscriber to my blog, then you know that I often talk about leadership issues. I've shared the story of my "Old Ball-Coach" who was selected as the National Coach of the Year (my most read post this year) and how the effect of losing this leader turned a very talented group of basketball players into a bad team. I've told you about the Greatest Leadership Lesson I Ever Learned. And, those who followed my old blog got to hear how my Dad got the team bus moving--rescuing this very same Coach when the Bus Driver Wouldn't Move the Bus. We're told you about "Broken Leaders" and finding the courage to continue to serve others. We've also shared our leadership resources and blog posts on ideas to help leaders communicate, and dealing with power struggles.

The fact is, I could tell you stories all day long about leadership simply because I have been "in the thick of it" my entire life--first as the oldest son of the man- who-is-running-the-college, then as college student leader (Resident Assistant, Club President), career manager (up to, and including. as Executive Director and President), current business owner . . . and the most critical leadership role . . . father of six children.

Now, we at HSC are partnering with a local church to put on our first Christian Leadership Conference! (Catchy name huh? I thought about calling it something cool--do we still say "cool?"--like "Prospect" reminiscent of the athlete that has great potential and is being recruited to play for the local school. But then I thought, "Who would have know what that conference was about?" Maybe I should have studied branding more. Maybe not.) 

More about the conference in a minute. But I'd like to tell you about how this conference came "to be" and why I am excited to promote it.

How it came about

A friend, and former college classmate, read one of my posts about leadership. This friend, the president of a Colorado bank branch in a family-owned firm, had recently been part of a consulting process that required him to go through training on crucial conversations and emotional intelligence. He said it was rigorous, excruciating at times, and very beneficial. Upon reading one of my blog posts, he concluded that Christian Leaders needed some of the same training . . . and he decided that I should be the one to do it.

So we are doing it September 30th, in Lincoln, Nebraska and those attending will get to hear my friend "Murph" talk about his own personal experience in becoming a person-centered leader. You;ll also get to hear from Jim Tuttle, the Minister of Heartlands Church, who, along with HSC is sponsoring this conference. Jim is a leader with a heart. He is focused on helping Heartlands reach out into the community to help people where they are. He has his own personal experience being served by a church at a conference he himself attended when he became ill and he will be sharing this, and Heartlands commitment, to helping leaders at the conference.

Why I am excited about the conference

But that's not the only reason, why I'm excited about the conference. The main reason I am excited about it is because of the "core" of what we are going to offer . . . .

First, I've asked a friend, David Ensign, whom I admire a great deal to talk about the biblical principles of leadership. Why David? Because I have seen his leadership and scholarship "up close and personal." When I thought about who I would want to listen to talk about leadership, David was the first person that came to mind. David's life has demonstrated great courage through loss (the death of his wonderful wife, Linda, and his own cancer). He continues to be a leader despite those losses.

A. Keith Miller is a man I know very well. He's my brother and my consulting partner. Keith has extensive leadership experience. A twenty-one year career in the Air Force leading teams of more than 100 (including working across branches) he has a person-centered style that was recognized and rewarded for its efficacy. These Lessons Learned Around the World (a training manual he developed for leaders) is strengthened by his masters degree in organizational behavior and the consulting experience working with organizations and leaders.

Then there's me. I'm going to present simply because, well, I'm an expert. Oh, did I just say that out loud? Did I just lose my "humble-midwesterner club card? Well, as uncomfortable as it makes me to say it, I am. Senior leadership positions for more than 20 years. Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies, Associate Professor, a professional counselor for more than two decades. Business owner. Consultant. You might say, I've done nothing to avoid the "expert label"--particularly when it comes to people issues--and you'd be right. So, I'm going to bring these experiences to the conference to talk about emotional intelligence and to engage participants in activities that will help them apply and learn about how to engage this critical element in their leadership actions.

why register?

Because we want this conference to be a powerful and practical learning experience. We are limiting attendance to the first 48 people who sign up. We will have some learning opportunities about leadership and emotional intelligence but one core element will be on getting some practical skills in communication and emotionally intelligent leadership.

Participants also have an optional opportunity to sit down one-on-one with an experienced advisor at the end of the conference to talk about their specific leadership challenges.(To take advantage of this, participants must register and then contact us to reserve a spot.)

Oh yeah, I'm also excited because we are going to have participants  "defuse bombs!"  No, of course not--not real ones. But we are going to utilize bomb defusal processes to teach some important lessons on communication and team work. We've done this with work groups and look forward to doing it again at the conference. Here is our Bomb Defusal Unit badge:

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So, here's the deal. If you are somewhere in "driving distance," you are available on September 30th, and you are one of the first 48 people to register, then you will be included in the conference and I promise you will have a bit of fun and your leadership will benefit from attendingt. 

 

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What's brewing-eh . . . er . . . roasting-for this summer/fall?

Photo Credit: Mark Dayness (Unsplash)

Photo Credit: Mark Dayness (Unsplash)

My daughter, now 18 and readying herself to go off to college, announced to me the other day that she expected me to roast coffee for her to take to college. Fine. It's something I do and I am happy to do that for her. But, I haven't been roasting coffee for a while due to a number of complicating factors that have created access demand on my time. So, It means I need to find all my coffee-roasting equipment, order fresh beans from Sweet Maria's (a great source if you are interested in roasting your own coffee), and schedule times to get it done.

It reminds me of all the other things we have in the works right now at HSC. Here's a list.

June 4th: I will be doing an on-ling training on Private Practice through Contracting. It is "sanctioned" by the Kentucky board for Marriage and Family Therapy and includes CEUs (including 1 hour of Ethics). If you are interested, here's the brochure.

Summer: The Prairie Family Business Association (PFBA) will be highlighting HSC in it's publication. The article will feature HSC's history as a family business, include our observations on the annual conference, and announce . . .

September 7th: The first Nebraska Member and Prospective Member Social for the Prairie Family Business Association in Nebraska. Hosted by Midland's Scientific, a family business in Omaha, PFBA will be presenting to current members and prospective members about the association and the resources it provides for family firms and family business advisors.

September 30th: HSC is hosting a Christian Business Leader Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. This is a a smallish, invitation only event. If interested or for more details, email Bryan at drbryanmiller@gmail.com.

Well, that's it for now. Oh yeah, I better remember to order those coffee beans.

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You can't teach an old dog new tricks . . . meh!

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You can't teach an old dog new tricks . . . meh!

"I think I've figured it out . . . "

"I think I've figured it out . . . "

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks." It's one of those sayings I've heard all my life and one I refuse to accept.  Okay, grudgingly I will admit (only from observation of others of course!) that there may be some advantages to learning when you are a youth . . . but learning is not all about increasing your "fund of knowledge" (besides, who needs to know anything with Google around?) or developing a new skill set (I've learned a lot about wiring but I don't want to, nor will I ever have need of, becoming an electrician).

So, if "old dogs" don't need the knowledge or skills of new learning (except of course when they need to use the smart phone) then why pursue it at all? Well, it is my contention that those of us approaching the second half of our lives should pursue learning simply because . . . it changes you and how you will observe data all around you.

Those who study such things will tell you that knowledge and skill retention is directly related to the length of time and saturation one has with a certain knowledge area or skill.  Thus something you learned and practiced since youth (let's say for five decades) is not likely to be lost easily while a relatively "new" skill or knowledge with limited exposure can lead to quick reversal in the learning and potential utter loss.  Okay, but even this view, I think, still focuses on learning as acquiring a fund of knowledge or skill building.

I believe one of the greatest reasons to continue to challenge yourself with new learning then is that it changes what you will observe.  It may not measure on a test of content or turn into a new expertise but it will change you.

Have you ever had an experience like this? Several years ago my daughter decided she wanted to have a horse. At the time I thought horses in my part of the country were a rarity . . . a relic of the past or the domain of a few breeders, maybe a few rogue left-over "cowboys" and some wealthy owners with show horses.  Then we got horses and began to trailer them to various events.  Suddenly, it seemed, I was seeing horses everywhere! I could not believe how many horses (and trailers) I drove past daily that I had never noticed before.  (The same thing happened when I started keeping bees.)

Thus one of the things I have learned in recent years is to read music (at the advanced old age of 48).  I also continue to take guitar lessons to this day. Why? Because it changes what I observe and it changes me.  Flamingo-style and classical guitar music was something I could appreciate as a skill but did not enjoy as it sounded all the same to my ear.  Now, after working hard to become a trained classical guitar player it is something richer and more enjoyable than I ever dreamed it could be.

So faithful reader, whether you are a young pup or an old dog, go out and learn . . . to change!

Available eBooks:

Private Practice through Contracting: Decreasing dependence on insurance.

Engaging Your Team: A framework for managing difficult people.

Family Legacy: Protecting family in family business.

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