State Farm agent Karen Kennedy is dedicated to helping customers handle the unexpected events life throws their way, and her dedication to her business is no different. She has decades of experience managing and motivating people, but last year she took her skills to the next level when she partnered with Shelley Smith of Premier Rapport. Through use of the Predictive Index® (PI), a tool used to assess an individual’s behaviors and motivational needs to handle on-the-job situations, as well as a goal-setting team meeting, Shelley worked with Karen and her staff to create a plan to keep them on track. The plan outlined ways the team could increase collaboration and respect for the individual communication styles within the agency.
“I specifically asked for the goal-setting piece,” Karen said. “Setting goals is easy, but the steps to take to achieve them aren’t always so clear. Having an unbiased professional from outside the agency come in to ferret out potential obstacles was a tremendous help.”
Shelley joined Karen and her staff of three to discuss ways to increase team effectiveness and production through use of the information found in the PI. Instead of a long meeting or a boring training video, Shelley guided the group through hands-on puzzles and interactive exercises to explore each person’s unique way of communicating and interacting.
“The PI was a fun, analytical approach to understanding natural, hardwired behaviors that drive our motivational needs,” Karen said. “My staff was shocked by how accurate the results were. They saw themselves and their actions in what Shelley was describing.”
At the end of the day Karen was armed with a plan for the year ahead for how to approach interaction, collaboration, and delegation among her team members. The goals the team discussed with Shelley during their meeting were broken down into actions they could focus on throughout the year. The information and tactics put down on paper act as a roadmap for the agency’s future and Karen refers back to the document often to make sure her business is on track.
Karen is pleased with the way the PI enlightened her team about their communication styles. She has also become a better communicator thanks to Shelley’s feedback and guidance. The biggest winners, though, are the agency’s customers.
“What my team learned from the PI helps them communicate more effectively with one another to better help customers,” Karen said. “When we understand ourselves and our communication styles, we are able to tap into emotional intelligence to be more mindful of other people’s cues and the words they use.”
Karen is looking forward to continuing her work with Shelley. “I will definitely be back for another round,” she said. “Shelley is direct, but she is also a compassionate professional. She gets human dynamics and communication and she adjusts her message based on her audience’s needs.”