How One Learning & Development Pro Now Unlocks Her Audience’s Attention
Paula Clay is a Senior Leadership Trainer at Delta Dental Insurance in Marietta, Georgia, and has a tremendous love for the work she does.
been in learning and development in some form or fashion for 27 years —
next to my children and my grandchildren, learning and development is
the passion of my life,” says Paula.
Just as it affected everyone, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Paula, who now largely facilitates her training programs virtually.
really been an opportunity for me to learn and meet a lot of people
within the Delta Dental family, and be able to help them with whatever
growth steps they need to move forward, stand still, go someplace else —
whatever they need.”
The pandemic also presented Paula with an opportunity for her to train on a new learning and communication system, which has changed the way she now develops her virtual programs.
“When I was introduced to Catherine Mattiske’s [The Genius Quotient] program, as someone who’s been a training professional for as long as I have, I already thought I knew everything about communication and learning. But when I got involved, it was like my insight was just rocked. I said to myself, ‘You know what? I don’t know it all — let’s use this to brighten myself up, move forward, and help people.’ And she’s been doing just that, with her co-workers and trainees at Delta Dental being the beneficiaries.
Unlocking an Audience’s Attention
Mattiske is a globally-recognized training expert and the founder of
TPC — The Performance Company. Long ago, Catherine fell in love with how
people learn and sought to create a system by which presenters could
unlock their audience’s attention. Today, Catherine’s “Unlock Inner
Genius” book and e-suite are the culmination of 30 years of training
experience, and they exist as a powerful tool for trainers, presenters,
and team leaders to tap into their audience’s learning and
“Unlock Inner Genius,” Catherine introduces us to the Genius Quotient:
12 Archetypes that every member of an audience snugly fits into.
Catherine then provides tips on identifying and tapping into each
Archetype to maximize that person’s learning and listening. For example,
“The Narrator” Archetype prefers to learn auditorily and seeks to
connect to the big picture in order to process and synthesize
information. Therefore, a trainer would engage this profile auditorily
with the reasons they are learning, using powerful words that Catherine
provides in order to tap into their attention. But what if a trainer is
delivering to a large group, or doesn’t know the Archetype(s) of their
audience? In this case, Catherine teaches how to balance one’s
communication so that every Archetype is covered, no one feels left out,
and everyone is left impacted and inspired.
In “Unlock Inner Genius,” Catherine introduces the Genius Quotient: 12 Archetypes that neatly map out 12 types of learning preferences. Catherine then provides tips on identifying and tapping into each Archetype to maximize that person’s learning. For example, “The Futurist” Archetype prefers to learn by visuals, roadmaps, plans, and diagrams. The Futurist needs to connect to the big picture to process and synthesize information. When working with The Futurist, presenters should allow them time to create and dream up new ways of doing things, ideate, and conceptualize how the information could work in their lives. Instead of long dull lectures, the presenter would be better served by asking ‘what if’ and ‘what could be’ questions. Once they have hooked “The Futurist,” it’s time to focus on facts, figures, and data. Using this flow is a winner for “The Futurist,” who might not be particularly interested in the detail straight-up, but having connected first to the big picture, they’ll be ready for all of the precision, facts, and data.
“Once I started looking at how to supercharge your team communication and understanding, what my Archetype and my Power Up is (I’m a Futurist with a Linguistic Power Up), and how you can really personalize your communication for any Archetype whether you know what the person or people are or not, that made a difference for me,” says Paula.
Power Words to Inspire Listening
Paula has especially found value in using Catherine’s power words for each of the four sets of Archetypes. “A lot of times I don’t know everyone that shows up in my class, but just using words like ‘amazing’ and ‘powerful’ and ‘empathetic,’ sometimes you can see people refocus on what you’re saying rather than trying to multitask. They’re really paying attention because the words you’re using are powerful for them, and that’s everything for me.”
“I’ve been partnering with my talent acquisition team on a course, and in the beginning, I’ve made sure to use words like ‘powerful’ and ‘connecting’ and ‘belonging’ — during the training, you just immediately see people listen and think to themselves, ‘Wait a minute, what did she say?’ “When you see that light bulb go on that early at the beginning of a class, it’s really satisfying.”