As head of Insight at Luxury Hospitality, Julia Rogers is an expert in team building, helping individuals and groups to up their game by playing to their strengths. Underpinning her approach - and all crew training at LH - is Talent Dynamics, a personality test which identifies our individual strengths, challenges and team fit.
Julia explains how this works in practice, and how greater awareness of self and others is crucial to the success of high performing teams.
Tell us a little about your career to date?
I have been involved in teaching and training since my teens when I took my equine training qualifications and started training horses and riders. I then moved into the IT world in search of more income, teaching and training people to use word processor machines in a classroom environment. This led to an interest in human psychology, personal development, emotional intelligence and energy management - why people behave the way they behave.
Following a period running an online personal development business, I became an energy and performance coach, facilitating both individual coaching and workshops. I met Peter Vogel through a friend and something told me that I had to work with him, so I ‘email chased’ him for a year!
After hearing about Talent Dynamics and Peter’s involvement, I asked if I could take the TD personality test myself and the result of that was what led me to join LH - I came out as a 'Supporter' with strong Blaze energy which is what Peter needed on his team at the time. I've now been with LH for just over three years and I head up Insight.
What’s the philosophy behind Insight and what courses do you offer?
Insight means ‘to have a greater understanding’ of something. In the context of LH this means a greater understanding of yourself and how you can use that to be a better communicator, be more emotionally intelligent, more in control of your thoughts and be a more empathetic leader. We also use Insight as a baseline in our 360 approach to gain a greater understanding of what our clients need so we can provide the best possible training programs.
At Insight we offer an online training course which consists of a two-hour session each week, for four weeks. This covers Talent Dynamics, communication, emotional intelligence, understanding brain chemicals, psychological safety and how to use all of this learning to be a better leader and manager - of both self and teams.
Once we are out of lockdown, we will be back out in person running our Insight one and two day programs as well as our two day Positive Workforce Culture program.
How did Talent Dynamics become fundamental to LH's approach?
LH’s philosophy is to help people be the best version of themselves. Taking the Talent Dynamics test is the first step, whether as an individual or as part of a team. It reveals your inherent energies, where you are naturally strong and where you are typically challenged.
When you become aware of this as an individual, you can focus on your strengths and, even though you may still have to do things you don’t find easy, you can be kinder to yourself, knowing that it’s just a challenge because it’s not where your natural strengths are aligned. Being kind to yourself is very important for wellbeing and mental health.
When a whole team takes the TD test, it highlights whose strengths are where, why people communicate and behave the way they do, why some are challenged in some ways and others are not. With this knowledge and understanding, acceptance and tolerance increase among team members and trust starts to build. When an individual's challenges are supported by another's strengths, you start to see a team in flow, focusing on what they each do best.
As a profiling tool, TD is the best fit for LH because it has a proven track record of success and it resonates with our ethos of helping people become the best they can be; to make a difference and create a meaningful and successful, happy life.
TD is also a very powerful recruiting tool. Many of our clients use it to layer onto the recruiting process. The candidate completes the test and then has an hour with one of our Insight specialists who then completes a further report, bringing in the human element. It is highly effective in showing who the person really is and whether or not they will fit into the role, company/boat and team.
How long has Talent Dynamics existed and what’s the history behind it?
Roger Hamilton developed the Wealth Dynamics profiling system in 2003 and this system is still being used successfully by entrepreneurs around the world. Talent Dynamics was then founded in 2009 and focuses more on teams and organisations – specifically how to create the right teams, recruit the right people and place them in the right positions and projects to achieve both personal and organisational growth, all whilst building the all-important trust.
The history of Talent Dynamics is based on the foundations of historical documents such as the ‘I Ching: The Book of Changes’ which was written 5,000 year ago by a Chinese philosopher and more recent studies into analytical psychology by the likes of Carl Jung. Jung was fascinated by the teachings of the I Ching and in the workings of the human mind, as well as the relative impact of nature versus nurture.
When a team is not functioning at its best, what are the most common issues?
Lack of trust and misunderstandings between different personality types can play a big part in team dysfunction. For example, when the more introverted and extroverted personalities don't understand the complexities of each other’s characters. Another common issue is when teams don't know how to communicate with each other - we all have an ‘energy language’ and if we adapt our style to suit that of the person we're communicating with, the results improve dramatically.
Can you share some examples where you’ve used Talent Dynamics to improve team performance?
Last year Erik and I facilitated a shore-based training in our Academy in Holland for 20 female crew members. There was roughly an equal number of the four different energy types and they all participated in various activities. Halfway through the morning a few light bulbs came on as to why a few girls thought they were not liked by a few others in the team.
They came to understand that it was simply due to the way they were and the way they communicated, and it had nothing to do with being liked. This new understanding caused a complete shift of energy, resulting in greater team bonds and improved performance.
Working in such busy confinement on a yacht, it's easy to form an opinion based on behaviour but, when we realise we are all unique and we just need to understand each other better, then we are able to communicate far more effectively.
Do you offer follow up sessions to keep clients on track?
Yes, as part of our 360 approach, we offer coaching or mentoring to keep clients on track with what they have learned. We also offer group ‘connection’ calls between programs and clients are always encouraged to get in touch with us if needed post training. We take care of our clients!
Across the superyacht industry there’s growing awareness of the importance of crew wellbeing and mental health – how do you address these at Insight?
This is a very important part of LH and to assist in the creation of a positive workplace culture we offer a specific two day Wellbeing Program. This incorporates Talent Dynamics, emotional intelligence, managing stress, understanding and dealing with harassment and gatekeeper training, which helps crew to spot the early signs when a colleague is not coping. Sadly this might include self-harm or even suicide - as an industry we have to get the ‘S’ word out there.
What is your own profile and how do you think this helps you as a trainer?
I am Blaze energy and have a supporter profile. My energy blend is 28% Dynamo, 48% Blaze, 24% Tempo and 0% Steel! This means that I am a people person, I love to help and support people and feel my vocation is in teaching and training. I'm also an extrovert and I'm fairly creative - I built my house, not physically of course! Timing and fairness for all are also important to me, but having 0% Steel means that I dislike spreadsheets, rules and regulations. My main challenge is anything to do with technology, so I ask for help from someone in the team with high Steel energy and the challenge goes away!
I feel very blessed to be doing what I do, helping others to know that they are amazing and unique. I love helping people to understand that it's ok not to be always ok, the importance of being kind to yourself, of knowing your strengths and not being afraid to ask for help with the things you find challenging.
Who has inspired you most in your career so far?
Well I have to say Peter otherwise I wouldn’t have chased him for a year, but the whole team at LH inspire me every day. I also have a mentor who challenges me to push myself and his ability to ask incredibly targeted questions inspires me to be more like him!
What’s your motto?
Kindness always, listen fully and love passionately.
Click to see Julia's interview with Rhea Rouw on Yachting International Radio:
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