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Upcoming Webinar: Be Better – At Negotiating

Aug 4, 2014 in CPP Connect | 2 comments

Often when people think of negotiation, they think of high-stakes negotiation: lawyers in dark, wood-paneled rooms hammering out contracts; companies with millions of dollars on the line going through mergers and acquisitions; or prospective executive hires haggling for a higher salary before the hiring agreement is signed. While these are, indeed, cases of negotiation, they represent some of the most pressured and often most intimidating examples. Negotiation occurs often in both our personal and professional lives, and not always on such a grand scale. Whether you’re negotiating a job agreement, a consulting service contract for professional training, or the training and development budget for your employees, learning the skills and behaviors required to improve your negotiation prowess and be aware of any conflict that may arise will benefit you and everyone you may be representing. The word conflict can have some negative connotations, reminding people of arguments or negative emotions and even physical harm. However, conflict is not always negative, and in many instances can be a positive situation for innovation and progress. By definition, conflict occurs anytime the concerns of two parties are different and there’s interdependence between those two parties. Yet negotiation can be intimidating because it is a skill you must develop by gaining knowledge and with practice. But unless you’re completely avoiding conflict at all times (which is not recommended), learning how to improve your negotiation skills will benefit not only you in your professional and personal lives, but is beneficial to anyone who may be negotiating on the part of employees, team members, companies, and others. Join Pamela Valencia, CPP Solutions Consultant, as she outlines objective steps for making the most of your negotiation opportunities, reviews research on negotiation as it relates to gender differences, and delves into how the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI) can help you become more self-aware of your behavioral biases in your conflict-handling behavior and how you can use all five TKI conflict-handling modes to optimize your negotiation tactics. In this webinar, you’ll learn: • Pre-negotiation tips on increasing your chances of a successful negotiation • Four steps to becoming a better negotiator • How to overcome potential gender-related negotiation obstacles • Five things you should never say during a negotiation • Valuable insights on negotiation behavior offered by the TKI Register for the Be Better—At Negotiating webinar here!...

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What is the Talent Management Life Cycle?

Aug 3, 2014 in CPP Connect | 1 comment

As part of the “Cycles of Success: Employee Engagement, Career Development & Talent Management” series (learn more about it at, we conducted several interviews with Nicole Trapasso, Division Director of HR and Organizational Development at CPP, Inc. Over the next few months you’ll see blog posts from these interviews and more on topics related to talent management and the phases of the talent management life cycle. If you’d like to read more about career development from the personal or employee side, you can find the first blog post in the series here:   What is the talent management life cycle? There are various models of the talent management life cycle. Some are unique to specific company cultures or industries, while others are more general. They all start from the initial touch points a company has with potential employees and show how, once hired, those employees move through the company. Most models encompass all the phases or steps in employees’ career progression. Among the chief concerns of HR people today are (1) matching candidates to jobs based on their ability to handle the job-specific challenges they are likely to face and (2) finding out what candidates are seeking—such as ongoing investment in their professional development that will enable them to not only grow but also give back, and opportunities to experience a lot of different things in their career. When looking at areas for organizational improvement, it can be helpful to map these concerns onto the talent management life cycle model to get a clear picture of where programs can be implemented for employees. One simple example can be found above from C2 Research. One of the most interesting challenges facing HR today is the increasing rate of change of technology, and how that’s affecting all parts of the talent management life cycle. The career path model of 30 years ago is very different from what people expect today from their employment life cycle. From the employee perspective, the infographic at the bottom of the blog is a great example of the modern employment life cycle created by Boxer Property. For employees, the new model may mean having a variety of careers that all have a common thread running through them. For employers, it means looking at how they can meet and develop those people wherever they are in their own employee life cycle. At CPP, we have a long-standing tradition of...

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My Personal Outlook on MBTI® Type & Relationships: Thinking/Feeling

Jul 31, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Meet Priscilla Gardea as she goes along her own journey of self-discovery and assessment! As an avid MBTI user (and lover), she will be exploring how our line-up of CPP tools can help her reach her professional and career goals, while sharing insights with you on the “whats” and “hows”. This is one of several installments written by her. In my last post, I mentioned that I tend to have a hard time recognizing Sensing and Intuition preferences in others. Also sometimes more challenging to decipher are people’s preference for either Thinking or Feeling. I’ve learned to listen for keywords that folks might use that might indicate where they fall on the spectrum. Even though I have a preference for F, I have gained a strong appreciation for the T side, thanks to my Program Evaluation grad class. Although it’s not how I think about things, I know the importance of using numbers, data, hard facts, and critical thinking. Especially in the realm of education, where budgets are tight, it’s crucial to be able to put quantitative data behind decisions. As much as I value the Thinking side, I follow my heart. I’m a very corporal thinker—as in, I use what I’m feeling, what my body is telling me, to guide my choices. I get a lot of feel-good satisfaction from my job and the work I do. I personally connect to the stories, challenges, and successes of the students I work with. Sometimes it makes for emotionally exhausting work, but ultimately its rewards are priceless. I can think of two examples where I can see this play out in my relationships. The first example is Chris, another member of the CESDA E-Board. He’s my go-to numbers guy. His heart is in the work we do, but he also wants to see the data. This is fantastic because the feel-good work gets done and we have the data to keep the work going. The second is a conversation I had with a woman who was interested in joining the organization. She mentioned she was a Feeling type. By knowing this, I was still able to give her some of the hard facts and data about CESDA, but I focused on the work we do, how it impacts students’ lives, and the camaraderie between members. By the end of the conversation, she was excited to join. In my next post...

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My Personal Outlook on MBTI® Type & Relationships: Sensing/Intuition

Jul 18, 2014 in CPP Connect | 1 comment

Meet Priscilla Gardea as she goes along her own journey of self-discovery and assessment! As an avid MBTI user (and lover), she will be exploring how our line-up of CPP tools can help her reach her professional and career goals, while sharing insights with you on the “whats” and “hows”. This is one of several installments written by her.  In my last post, I talked a little about Extraversion and Intuition preferences. The Sensing and Intuitive preferences are sometimes harder for me to recognize in people. Two relationships where I definitely see these tendencies play out are with my grandma and my mom. My grandma is a Sensing type. She communicates information through the senses and the details. For a while there I found myself getting frustrated with the amount of detail she would share with me in relaying a simple story. I would think to myself, I don’t need to know this—why is this important? Unfortunately, I would find myself getting bored and sometimes losing focus, instead thinking about other things. But, with an MBTI lens, I’ve come to appreciate her communication style. I remind myself that it’s important for her to share these details. I can still extract the main themes of what she’s saying and process it my own way, but how she shares these details is how she processes her own information. And I’m grateful that I still have my grandma around to be able to share any and all this information with me. From the stories of her childhood to the current goings-on in her life, I can now more patiently listen to and appreciate the details. Additionally, I think about this when I catch her up on my life. Instead of just giving her the highlights, I try to remember details she might find interesting and appreciate too. My mom, on the other hand, is an Intuitive type like me. After thinking about our relationship in MBTI terms, it completely shows in our compatible communication styles. I love how easy it is for me to talk to my mom about some quick thing, get to the point of it, and move on. When we’re telling each other stories, we’ve developed a little phrase that we use often. In addition to frequently relying on “etc.” and “blah blah blah,” we glaze over the details, touching only on the ones pertinent to the story, and...

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Why the Myers-Briggs Assessment is Meaningful to Millions

Jul 17, 2014 in CPP Connect | 10 comments

By Jeff Hayes, President and CEO, CPP, Inc.   The Myers-Briggs® assessment, like any widely used tool, is the subject of intense — often heated — debate. The most recent criticism on the instrument comes from Joseph Stromberg at, who called the MBTI® tool “completely meaningless.” For me, this was a particularly interesting line of attack, as I find that the reason for its popularity is precisely the opposite — people use it because they find it meaningful in their lives. To be specific, the MBTI instrument helps people develop self-awareness and other-awareness which are among the most valuable characteristics that one can possess in any organizational setting. Self-awareness may be the most meaningful benefit of the MBTI For individuals and organizations alike, the importance of self-awareness cannot be understated. As CPP’s Director of Research Rich Thompson, PhD, noted in Harvard Business Review, “…technology and globalization have transformed what it takes to succeed in business.” He goes on to point out that, amidst a global talent war, companies are going to increasingly need to look within their own ranks and develop the talent they already have to work with, a strategy which he says hinges on “understanding people.” He then describes how the quickest route to developing a thorough understanding of the people you work with is to get them to understand themselves, and points to studies which demonstrate the value of self-aware leadership. Why does CPP publish the Myers-Briggs assessment? For me, the answer is simple. It supports our stated mission of helping people be better through a deeper understanding of themselves and others to lead more productive and fulfilling lives. This is what we hear from our customers on a daily basis: the MBTI tool provides a framework and common language for developing an understanding of the different ways people prefer to communicate, think, socialize, and carry out other aspects of their lives.  This self-awareness and “other-awareness” helps organizations run better, and it helps people live better by offering insights that improve communication, conflict handling, decision-making, and other aspects of work and life. It’s not a common research tool — that could be a good thing Contrary to the statements of certain critics, such as Stromberg, the MBTI instrument is in fact  reliable and valid and continually updated through ongoing research, and CPP freely publishes information regarding its research-based foundation at This, however, leads to...

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My Personal Outlook on MBTI® Type & Relationships: Extraversion/Introversion

Jul 17, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Meet Priscilla Gardea as she goes along her own journey of self-discovery and assessment! As an avid MBTI user (and lover), she will be exploring how our line-up of CPP tools can help her reach her professional and career goals, while sharing insights with you on the “whats” and “hows”. This is one of several installments written by her. The more I learn about MBTI® type, the more I use it on a daily basis. It has become one of the default lenses through which I see my life and interactions. I think about it a lot in terms of my relationship to others too. One of the things about people I now find easier to pick up on is their preference for either Extraversion or Introversion. Before I better understood these opposing preferences, it was fairly easy for me (as an Extravert) to jump to conclusions about Introverts, such as they don’t like me or they don’t seem to have much to say or add to the conversation. But now I’ve learned to give Introverts their space, and I better understand where they get their energy from—that it’s not about me. I have a handful of really close friends that are fairly strong Introverts, and I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together. I also know that they need a significant amount of time alone, for themselves. I also have quite a few Extraverted friends. These are the ones that I can call on, even after they’ve had a long day. They’ll be okay with sharing time since they get energy from being around others. I’ve also seen this part of the MBTI assessment play out in my dating life. A guy I was talking to, a strong Introvert, preferred to text. He liked to think about what he was going to say. I, on the other hand, wanted to either talk on the phone or meet up—I wanted the face-to-face communication. It was something that I picked up on right away so I was able to both bend my communication style to accommodate him better and express my needs for more instant communication. The difference also plays out in work settings. For example, one of my colleagues is a strong Introvert; she prefers email communication. Although my preference is to either call her or chat with her, I’ve learned that we work more efficiently together if I...

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Your All-In-One Approach To Satisfying Clients

Jun 26, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Do you often feel pressure to deliver consistent, high-quality MBTI® interpretations? With all of CPP’s vast offerings, it might be confusing and even difficult to select the right report that will accomplish this goal. If you do not know where to start, the new MBTI® Personal Impact Report has you covered. This report offers comprehensive interpretation guidance covering the full spectrum of applications—plus optional exercises for verifying best-fit type. This interpretation guidance, coupled with descriptions of personal style and specific development action items, instills confidence in practitioners’ ability to consistently deliver high-quality interpretations time and time again. Learn more at...

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First Exploration Steps in the Career Development Journey

Jun 24, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

By Catherine Rains, M.S. In my previous post I introduced Priscilla Gardea, who is currently trying to figure out where to go in her career in order to continue to develop both personally and professionally. She has already taken both the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) and Strong Interest Inventory® assessments, and I have gone over her results with her. During our initial session, in which I interpreted Priscilla’s Strong Profile, we reviewed potential patterns emerging from her highest Basic Interest Scales (BISs) and Occupational Scales (OSs). On the BISs, her highest scores were on the following scales (also known as career fields or functional tasks): Culinary Arts, Counseling & Helping, and Human Resources & Training, followed by Performing Arts and Office Management. (Here’s a link to a sample Strong report .)  Since BISs reflect both vocational and avocational interests, the first step was to sort out which of these fell into each category. Beginning with Culinary Arts, I first asked her to tell me about that score and where she thought it might have come from. Since on a regular basis, how could they incorporate more of it into their life? As stated, Priscilla is very enthusiastic when talking about food/cooking, but when I asked her a third question—Is this a vocational or a personal interest?—she was very clear that this was a hobby and that she had no interest in pursuing Culinary Arts professionally. Then I started the process over again on her other top BISs, using the same line of inquiry. She revealed that Counseling & Helping reflects what she currently does for a living, and she still loves this component of her work. Human Resources & Training was also intriguing to her, but since she had never had a job in this field, she did not yet have the confidence to pursue this area.  Performing Arts certainly plays a part in her current job, and again is something she really enjoys. Next we reviewed her highest-scoring Occupational Scales, which show how she responded to the items in comparison with people of her gender who actually work in each occupation. The job titles that initially piqued her interest include Career Counselor, University Administrator, Human Resources Specialist, and Community Service Director. Rather than focus solely on the very highest-scoring occupations, however, I asked Priscilla to look at all occupations on which she scored above 40. Since she answered in a...

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The Beginning of a Career Development Journey

Jun 24, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

By Catherine Rains, M.S. As promised in my introductory blog post, I’ll be discussing how to use the MBTI® and Strong tools to support your employees (as well as yourself), through the process of enhancing, expanding, and/or changing careers. To help make this series feel more real, I’ve asked a friend and colleague of mine, Priscilla Gardea, to share with us what she discovers along the way as she follows this process. Let’s start by introducing Priscilla. Almost 30 years old, Priscilla has been happily employed as a college admissions counselor for the past five years. Although she absolutely loves what she does for a living and the positive impact she makes working with students, she said it’s very unusual to be in this type of job for longer than five years, and she is beginning the process of planning her next career move. Although she would like to advance within her current university, there are no positions in her area of expertise; so to move up within the admissions field would most likely mean a move to another university and a new city.  Priscilla is considering all her options, including the possibility of getting her PhD, which would make her eligible for a wider range of college careers. However, this could result in her having to leave her current residence, which she would prefer not to do, as she is part of an established community. So here is where we begin our journey guiding Priscilla through the career development process. The first step in working with Priscilla was to administer both the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) and Strong Interest Inventory® assessments so that we had a comprehensive picture of both her personality and interests in terms of how they relate to potential career choices. She verified clear preferences for ENFP, and her Strong results revealed interests in the Artistic, Social, and Enterprising Themes (in that order).  ENFPs and ASEs have a lot of overlap in terms of the types of careers they are interested in, which helped her begin to focus on the types of fields that most intrigued her. In the next post we’ll look at what career fields Priscilla identified, as indicated by the Strong Basic Interest Scales (BISs), and my advice for her about what to explore based on her results. Links to content on all MBTI types and careers, as well as Strong assessment results and...

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Introduction to Employee Engagement, Career Development, and Talent Management

Jun 18, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

By Catherine Rains, M.S. A common misconception people have is that career development stops when they finish school and set out on their career path. But as you and I both know, this just isn’t true. In order to get ahead and continue to thrive, we must constantly find ways to grow and further develop ourselves. Some of us are fortunate enough to work in our dream job, while others feel “stuck” in their job but need to pay the bills to support themselves or their family. Still others are ready to make a move but just aren’t sure how to take that first step. You may be lucky enough to have the support of your manager and/or HR department that sees the value in talent management. Companies know that helping their employees grow increases the likelihood that they will become more loyal and motivated to stay at the company while performing at their best and, in turn, save the company thousands of dollars in hiring costs. However, many companies, especially start-ups, simply don’t have the funds to allocate for employee development. It may not be a matter of caring about keeping employees but simply a budgetary constraint. If you love what you do but don’t feel like your company is providing you with the resources to grow, it may be time to take matters into your own hands. Over the next few months, I will be delving into how you can support your employees through the process of enhancing, expanding, and/or changing careers, which will carry over to improve your talent management initiatives. This will also include how to support yourself when your company doesn’t offer the resources you need to further develop your skills and expertise in your role (or to move beyond it). My expertise lies in showing you how to use your results from the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) and Strong Interest Inventory® assessments to do just that. We’ll also run a series of posts from Nicole Trapasso, director of HR & OD, about what trends she sees in the talent life cycle and how technology and assessments are playing a part in the evolution of the HR industry. Join us for this journey and don’t forget to meet Priscilla Gardea, Senior Admissions Counselor at Adams State University. You’ll see her name appear throughout my blog posts as we use her own MBTI and Strong results to...

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