Professional Development and Reducing Unhealthy Conflict 
by Melissa Brunner

Why are both of these important? The children we serve and the professionals we work with benefit when we can recognize the contributions and blind spots of personality patterns. We can also experience the validation in self-acceptance of who we are at our core while fostering professional growth and development. Self-leadership is fundamental to effective leadership and teamwork; therefore, we need helpful lenses to have a clearer picture of our interactions, motivations, and thinking patterns.

Recently, I came across an apt definition for the term conflict : Conflict is the gap between what we want and what we are experiencing at any given moment. Through healthy conflict, we can create some wonderful programs, processes, and initiatives. However, when we have unhealthy conflict within ourselves, among our CAC staff, multidisciplinary teams, Boards, and Chapters, it drains us of energy that could be used more efficiently for positive change and innovation. So how do we reduce unhealthy conflict that often results in damaging behaviors and feelings? How do we understand ourselves and others better, so we can focus positive energy on supporting one another and the important work at hand? One way is by learning about three valuable lenses: Interaction Styles, Essential Motivators, and Cognitive Dynamics. 

Interaction Styles™ Training: HOW we do what we do

Each Interaction Style™ is an energy pattern that drives us to communicate and relate in certain ways. Each of us has a natural, innate form of communicating. Through this training lens, individuals and teams can determine how they usually prefer to interact and communicate with others. They will also learn how to communicate more effectively by using, understanding, and appreciating other Interaction Styles™. The four different energy patterns for interaction are:

Chart-the-Course™: It’s worth the effort to think ahead to reach the goal.

Behind-the-Scenes™: It’s worth the time to integrate and reconcile many inputs.

In-Charge™: It’s worth the risk to go ahead and act or decide.

Get-Things-Going™: It’s worth the energy to involve everyone and get them to want to.

Essential Motivators™ Training: WHY we do what we do

Each Essential Motivator™ relates to core psychological needs and values that are so essential to our existence that we will go to great lengths to get them met. Each motivator pattern is characterized by four core needs that must be met for us to feel self-confident, whole, and healthy. These needs also drive our behavior and talents. Through this training lens, individuals and teams will gain a deep understanding of different perspectives, talents, agendas, and sources of conflict and stress. The four motivator patterns are:

Improviser™: The core needs are to have the freedom to act without hindrance to make an impact.

Stabilizer™: The core needs are for group membership and responsibility .

Theorist™: The core needs are for mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence .

Catalyst™: The core needs are for meaning and unique identity that come from having a sense of purpose and working toward some greater good. 

Cognitive Dynamics™ Training: WHAT processes we use to think about things

Cognitive Dynamics™ refers to the dynamic interaction of different mental processes. It refers to the 16 different personality patterns derived from the wisdom of Carl Jung’s work on the eight cognitive processes that he described in Psychological Types . Through this training lens, we can see that we are dynamic and constantly developing. We can appreciate and step outside our natural personality pattern, bridge communication gaps with others, and follow our natural instincts for development. The training will take individuals into the richness of personality patterns and will teach them how these processes play out in both positive and challenging ways. The eight cognitive processes we use are: 

Experiencing (Extraverted Sensing): Experiencing what is.

Reviewing (Introverted Sensing): Recalling what was.

Interpreting (Extraverted Intuition): Inferring what it means.

Foreseeing (Introverted Intuition): Foreseeing what will be.

Segmenting (Extraverted Thinking): Organizing the experience.

Analyzing (Introverted Thinking): Analyzing the experience .

Connecting (Extroverted Feeling): Considering others in the experience.

Valuing (Introverted Feeling): Evaluating the experience.                  
Used by permission of The InterStrength Institute.
Training Opportunities Now Available

SRCAC Regional Training Specialist Melissa Brunner now offers a training to CAC staff and state Chapters for each of these lenses as a full-day training. After the CAC staff has completed the training, it can then be offered to multidisciplinary teams.

Melissa also offers this training to individuals who are interested for professional development purposes. Trainings for individuals are offered online via the live Zoom platform in a three-hour session. Individual slots are limited.

Trainings for staff and individuals are free other than the cost of the workbook that accompanies each training lens.

To learn more about these trainings, contact Melissa at .  
Quotes from the field...

[The Interaction Styles training] was very effective! It gave us a better view of how to approach each other. After reading the style category I fell into, it really made my heart sing and now I know there are apparently so many other people like me! Plus, it helped me understand more of people’s personalities and why they may say certain things or act a certain way that I really didn’t understand. I have seen a big difference in how everyone interacts since we received Interaction Styles training. It was very insightful to learn what makes each of us “tick.” I learned a lot about myself! I’m looking forward to the next training.

--SW Mississippi CAC Staff Member

Melissa Brunner is a Regional Training Specialist with SRCAC. She is a certified trainer in Interaction Styles, Essential Motivators, and Cognitive Dynamics through the InterStrength Institute. She is also an MBTI-Certified Practitioner through the Myers & Briggs Foundation. See full bio here .
Upcoming Training Opportunity in Huntsville!

Registration Is Now Open for Introduction to Team Facilitator!

July 10-11, 2019

$49.00 per person

About This Training...

Due to the increase in demand for training around the role of team facilitator, SRCAC has added a new training for 2019: Introduction to Team Facilitator . Over the course of this two-day training, led by SRCAC Senior Program Manager and Team Facilitator 2.0 trainer Greg Flett, participants will do the following:

  • Re-visit the MDT model and explore the role of Team Facilitator as an integral component of a healthy team
  • Learn practical approaches to team facilitation and techniques for cultivating a positive team climate
  • Discuss strategies for enhancing team collaboration, improved communication, and sustaining an effective MDT
  • Examine opportunities for team development through cross training, relationship building, and re-thinking case review

This training is designed for current MDT facilitators and their Executive Directors who want to understand more about this role, although other MDT members and state Chapter staff are welcome to attend as well. Ideally, registrants will have an understanding of the CAC/MDT model and will have been in their respective positions at least three months.

For more information and to register, click here .

Connect With Us
Spotlight is a newsletter prepared by Southern Regional CAC that focuses on current topics, ideas, trainings, and conferences which are designed to further the knowledge and practice of CAC professionals within the region. We hope you find the information helpful! Let us know if you have specific topics you’d like to see in future newsletters.
This publication is funded through grant #2016-CI-FX-K002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components, operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this publication (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
Southern Regional CAC | #justtryingtohelpsomekids | Vol. 2 No. 4: Apr 2019