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Showing posts from 2015

Baby Break

As of November 1st 2015 I will be taking a three month maternity leave. Our second boy is due to arrive on November 27th – we couldn’t be more thrilled. I will return to work February 2016 to announce my new Training Workshops for 2016. I will not be scheduling any more sessions this year. Thank you for your understanding and I look forward to seeing you soon. Al my best – Janine de Muinck / InterACT WA


What’s your favorite curse word? See, I really used to like ‘Shit’. A fairly innocent word, in the wide range of curse words available, that you can easily change to ‘Shoot’ should there be little ears listening. So when I bumped my knee at the corner of my desk,  forgot my credit card after ordering a coffee or received another speeding ticket: There was my favorite word. "SHIT!" But I write ‘was’, because recently a new curse word has entered my vocabulary.  And it’s a lot worse than ‘Shit’. It’s the F word... Now when I bump my knee at the corner of my desk, forget my credit card after ordering coffee or when I get another speeding ticket: There I go. The F word just effortlessly leaves my mouth. Want to know where I'm going with this? Well, you should know that ever since I’ve moved to Perth I’ve been surrounded by people who are dedicated F Sayers. And now, a few months later I unconsciously copied that behavior. So what c

Feedback struggles

Recently we moved to a lovely new home in Perth. I had not met our new neighbors yet, however I did meet their huge pickup truck.  The one always parked right across the sidewalk... I decided to ignore it and suck it up each time I had to plan an alternative route around it, through the grass with my non off road pram and back onto the side walk. After 2 weeks I was over it. I knew what I had to do.  It was time to give some feedback! Piece of cake right?  I mean, I'm a Communication Trainer and Professional Role Play Ac tor. It's one of my main tasks to provide feedback, so just telling our neighbors to move their truck of the sidewalk couldn't be that hard...  Ironically enough, I kept delaying it.  Everybody that ever provided feedback to someone knows how hard it can be. Some  people feel easily attacked, leaving an open and constructive conversation almost impossible. Others, just nod friendly as you share your thoughts, and you just know nothing is

Stuck in Drama

Last week my family got sick.  Really sick. Our one year old had just started his first week at daycare and he managed to bring home a nasty tummy bug which made us all fight over the toilet, sink and the shower.  It was disastrous and not to mention horrible.  It became very clear how we all deal with stressful situations differently. During our own little family meltdown we got stuck in the 'Drama Triangle' The Karpman Drama Triangle states that there are three roles we tend to take when 'Drama' occurs. The first role is the one of the Victim. A role my loving partner took instantly.  And the victim's stance is "Poor me". The victim feels helpless, hopeless, powerless and seems unable to make decisions or solve problems. (I quote: " Why did you only throw up once and I threw up four times? " and " What should I eat or drink? I just don't know ")  Myself, I took the role of the Rescuer. The rescuer's line i

3 x 3 x 3 Special Offer

As one of my valued contacts, I would like to take this opportunity to share a special offer with you before I go on Maternity leave. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this very limited time: 3 x 3 x 3  DEAL! For just 3 months InterACT WA will offer their 3 most popular communication workshops in an interesting package for only a 3 figure price.  These In-house Training Sessions give you an opportunity to train up to 36 people in this special deal. Choose from one of these three training workshop packages currently on offer: -  Powerful Feedback – Skills for giving powerful effective feedback - Sensitive Communication – Authentic Personal Communication to engage. - Dealing with Objections – Overcoming resistance when presenting ideas Each individual workshop package includes: *  A session to ensure training is integrated with your organizational goals & values * O nline inventory – to help participants gain more from their workshop exp

Training is (often) useless

In a meeting with a potential client about delivering an incompany communication workshop I got asked the following question: "Isn't training just useless?"  He explains: "We've done communication workshops before and nothing really changed. After a few weeks everybody just does what they always did"  I get this question a lot. And I always answer honestly: "Yes. Most training workshops by itself are often useless" Fortunately I also have an explanation and solution to this. Because there are three simple aspects that can make a training workshop useless or a waste of money. If you tackle these aspects early in the process, the workshop will actually be a great return on the organisations investment and provide the changes sort by the organisation. The first aspect lies with the participants. The second aspect lies with management. And the final aspect lies with the training workshop itself. The Participants Most training w

Power of Metaphors

Once I had a job interview where my interviewer didn't ask about my skills or competencies but simply asked what kind of animal I would be and why. I bit caught of guard I had to think about it for a while. However, I quickly found myself describing myself as a cat. One that loves to be in the safety of her home, but needs to go out regularly to explore new adventures. One who likes to get and give attention. A cat that likes to hunt and meet other cats. Or dogs. Or any animal. One that can put her claws out if things are going to slow. One that can easily adapt to any situation. And usually likes to go her own way. A cat that believes only she is responsible for mice she does or does not catch. You get the picture. Before I knew it I was telling so much open and honest information about myself. All because of the simple power of a metaphor. The best description of a metaphor is something like 'imagery by comparison. " And what makes it so powerful is that

It's just the way I am...

Be honest. How many times have you tried to change someone? Personally, I've put a lot of energy in trying to change friends, colleagues, managers, family members and yes... boyfriends. And it wont surprise you... It didn't work. In my work as a trainer I'm sometimes confronted with participants in workshops who are there simply because their manager thinks they need to change. And just like my friends, colleagues, managers, family members and boyfriends: They wont change simply because someone else wants them to. People only change if they want to themselves. However, change can be pretty scary. So one of the most heard arguments I get is: " But this is just the way I am... " Not exactly true according to Tony Robbins, American NLP guru. He says you CAN change behavior in four steps: Step 1. Identify the behavior you want to change. Step 2 . Define the negative feelings that cause this behavior. What will it cost you if you continue to main

Forget personality tests!

Nearly two third of major companies in Australia use psychometrics in the hiring process as an indicator of candidate competency. But perhaps not for long. Using professional role play actors in job simulations as part of the hiring process is becoming an increasingly popular option for more and more companies.  Instead of personality tests they use role play actors to simulate an actual ‘day in the life...’ And the results are impressive.  First testing results show that this working method leads to an increase in retention because it demonstrates more effectively if you have the right candidate.  In the assessments actors create a wide range of simulations that can include communicating with a client, dealing with an unforeseen problem or managing a complaint. This allows organizations to actually OBSERVE and EXPERIENCE the applicants competencies instead of just reading about them in a personality testing rapport.  And the knife cuts both ways:  It allows cand

6 Reasons to hire a Dutchy!

This month I live and work in Australia for exactly 3 years. And with more than 200 nationalities living side by side here in multicultural Perth, it's not uncommon for people to ask each other where they're from. As soon as I tell people I'm from the Netherlands they quickly respond with the stereotypes: "Ah! The country of drugs, prostitution, cheese and clogs..." Not the most appealing sides of Dutch culture. Luckily the Dutch have more to offer. So here are 6 typical things about Dutch culture that will make you want to hire a Dutchy. 1. Open minded The Dutch are not easily phased by different opinions and they have the tendency to accept people the way they are. Therefor they easily build relationships and quickly connect to different cultures. 2. Confronting The Dutch speak their minds... Some might think we're rude and blunt, while others think we're just honest. However you feel about it, you will always get straight forward f

Free Introduction: 'Acting in Training & Development'

About  ‘Acting in Training & Development’ You want to learn how to work as a professional role play actor. Or maybe you already are, but until now you solely trusted on your improvisation skills and your enthusiasm. Acting in Training & Development is a special skill and there’s a lot to learn when it comes to working as a professional Role Play Actor. How do you help people develop their communication skills with your acting talent?  What are different ways to give participants feedback?  How do you create a real life scenario where people can safely practice new behaviors? What creative working methods can you use to create a high learning impact? Come and visit our free introduction and find out all about our exclusive 2 day workshop that will give you all the knowledge and techniques you need to become a professional role play actor. For who? This introduction is for professionals who want to know how they can increase their value as an acto

5 Reasons to work with a Role Play Actor

As part of a training session, there are many options available to help your students to implement their newly acquired knowledge in practice.  One of those options is to work with a Role Play actor. This gives students “in-the-moment” experience of the impact of existing and/or effective behaviour. And it allows students to experiment with new behaviour in a safe setting. The Role Play actor is used as living practice material. You might ask why should you work with a Role Play actor rather than asking our fellow students to act out a situation. The answer is simple: A Role Play actor is trained to analyse and support behaviour during the process of acquiring new behaviour. An actor is able to quickly step into the shoes of a certain type of person and to act out this type in a believable manner. Five reasons why asking a Role Play actor to act out a role is to be preferred over a fellow-student. 1. A Role Play actor acts realistically An actor is able to act

What if...

We all do it. Women even more than men. And on average we spend 6 years of our lives doing it. What I'm talking about? I'm talking about worrying. So when was the last time your mind wandered off to the bills? Your relationship? Terrorism? Debt? Unemployment? Health? Crime? And so on and so on... Every time I catch myself worrying about something I try to think back about this scientific study I once read. And I'd like to share some of the facts from that study with you. Because did you know that: - 40% of the things you worry about, never happen? - 30% of the things you worry about, you can't change? - 12% of all the things you worry about, are unnecessary worries about your health? - 10% of your worries are about small, unimportant things? - Only 8% of your worries are about real, important issues? So that means: 92% OF ALL YOUR WORRIES ARE A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME !!! Just let that sink in... Happy Monday everyone!

Once upon a time...

So do you work for a dynamic organization with professional staff that develops quality customized solutions for its customers?   That is a coincidence ...  So do I.  And almost everybody else for that matter.    It is a tale that is often told which has usually little to no impact.  Because people don't not like facts. They want to hear stories.  By telling a real story you will make a much bigger impact.    For example:  In the Netherlands I worked for Randstad, an international Recruitment & HR Services provider. Every single employee knew the following story:  Randstad was founded in the sixties by Dutch student Frits Goldschmeding who was studying economics. Frits had written a thesis about the phenomenon of temporary work and was passionate about the benefits of additional but temporary staff during peak periods. His first ever advertising flyers were created in the dorm room in his student house. And when he was in his twenties, he brought his first temporar

Breaking bad news

During a training workshop on Redundancy Interviews one of the participants asked me the following question: "How can I break bad news to someone without feeling so awful?" It's a beautiful question because it touches the essence of the problem. Because giving someone bad news is not supposed to feel good... It just needs to hurt a little, otherwise there is something wrong. We all know that empathy is an essential leadership quality. But no one likes to feel bad either. And since we are all little creatures of habit, we instinctively try to avoid pain as much as we can. So when we have to break bad news to someone we start to postpone it. Or we avoid it by talking about other things first. We try to bring the news very carefully. Or we start by saying that we feel so bad about it ourselves... Or worse: it looks like this: So what is the best way to do it? Well, first of all you start by accepting the fact that breaking bad news to someone is ha

Talent Management

Have a look at this picture: Did you smile a little because they're so cute?  But have you ever really looked closely at a penguin?  Because it is kind of a weird animal.  He has wings, but he cant fly.  He has feet but can only make really small steps.  And on land the penguin is not very agile and is pretty slow.  But when you see that same penguin in the water, you see where he's made for. Everything makes sense. He swims super fast and is amazingly agile. You would almost think a penguin smiles a little when he's in the water... It's a beautiful metaphor for a hot topic at the moment: Talent Management.   And with the word Talent we quickly think about extraordinary talents like musicians, scientists or athletes might have. But talent is present in everybody and a lot closer than you think. The trick is to focus on it. And that can be pretty hard in a society that is more focused on things that should improve.  Thinking back off my sch