Frequently Asked Interview Questions ( FAQ ) – Arthur Carmazzi

1) What first drew you to the field of Psychology, and in particular as applied to the workforce?

At one point in my life (1999), I was in massive debt (about -US$320,000) because of a business venture gone wrong. I got a job for a multi-national based in Singapore. By nature, I have always been a positive and responsible person – always putting in 100% of my effort to get the job done. And when I went to work for this company. I thought I could make a difference in the organization (as many people do when they first start work), I was confronted with people blaming each other and not cooperating, I thought I could help. 4 and a half months later, the unimaginable happened, I became a different person! And one I didn’t like to boot. I became cynical and started blaming others too, I stopped cooperating and I became part of the culture that I though I could change.

One day at breakfast, I saw what I had become and knew it wasn’t me. I needed to discover the powers that could change such a positive person into a negative individual who only did the minimum required instead of his usual 100%. Psychology and its applications to groups and workforce, where the directions I sought. And that’s where I looked for answers to rediscover my identity as a responsible, positive and effective member of the workforce

2) You have developed a profiling tool known as the CBCI (Colored Brain Communication Inventory. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Part of the reactions caused in our “environments” are related to expectations of others we work or live with. The CBCI is a foundation tool that identifies the way a person’s brain communicates. When an individual has an awareness of how peoples actions relate to their brain processing – or in DC language “what colour glasses they are wearing”, it gives a foundation to reason instead of reaction. In essence, the CBCI helps people to react less to actions related to a persons genetic disposition of brain communication.

3) You have also developed an HDMA Emotional profiling tool. What exactly is this and how does it differ from the CBCI?

This is a 360º perception profile. It deals with the way a person believes they fill their personal emotional drive, and the reality that is perceived by others. The tool provide an analysis of the gaps between different environments of superiors, peers and subordinates. While the CBCI deals with the genetic aspects of processing, this deals with the environment cultivated emotional drives that affect our motivation. When a person becomes aware of the gaps in perception, realizations are made about personal actions within those environments and how they are affecting (even taking away from) other peoples emotional needs. This leads to the ability to adjust behavior to be more congruent with what a person “Wants to Be” and therefore affect the environment they work or live in.

4) Of the companies that you have worked with, which one provides the best example of transformation and why?

Well, for productivity, I would have to say Nestle, the attitudes of management and their ability to Bring out the Best in their employees was demonstrated in the implementation of a significant company wide initiative while superseding the sales goals. The original belief was that due to the amount of extra effort required for the initiative that sales and performance targets should be reduced. The transformation happened when the management applied DC psychology strategies with their employees, and attitudes toward their place in the organization was shifted.

For organisation “alignment” though, I would say MTV Asia, transformation came after a series of programs that allowed individuals to Live the MTV brand at work which in turn affected personal fulfilment and turnover as well as sales across different departments

5) What advice would you give to someone striving to become a more effective manager?

Don’t Need Suck!
In group dynamics, each individual will have specific emotional drivers and needs that motivate them as explained above. While individuals do have different priorities of these needs, and may fulfil them differently, the needs are the same.In a closed environment such as a department, a small company or a project group, some of these foundational needs are limited in the amount of emotional gratification that can be distributed amongst its members. When one or two members fill their own emotional needs first and take a majority of the fulfilment, they leave others with less or sometimes no gratification in these areas.

Three of the main emotional drives and needs that are sucked are:

1. Feeling recognized, significant, important
2. Feeling secure and in control
3. Feeling of diversity and variety

When our basic emotional needs are taken away, we use our “Reptilian Brain”, and React like lizards, instead of acting intelligently. This happens often in organizations such as:

  • Someone takes more credit than they should
  • Someone makes decisions that affect you and you cannot do anything about it.
  • Someone doesn’t at least acknowledge your efforts or ideas because they think THEY know better.
  • Someone takes all the fun and diverse projects or tasks and leaves you with the mundane jobs.

The people who do this are the Need Suckers in an organization, and greatly affect productivity

6) You are extremely well known in Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, China, Indonesia and India. Do you have any plans to “break” into Europe or the USA?

Yes we do, but we are first developing our Directive Communication Franchisees to take on much of the demand that comes from expansion. These individuals are specially chosen for their passion to make a different and their ability to put aside their own ego. They also undergo training for 3 ½ months before getting their certifications in order to maintain quality. We are looking to get into the Americas in 2010 and Europe in 2012

8) Your website mentions “14 short-cut strategies” that accelerate success and allowed you to get hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business and marketing benefits with very little money. Can you tell us a bit about these 14 strategies?

Wow, that would be a very long answer. First, these strategies came from desperation. I had no money and was in massive debt and knew I would never get out by working for an organization. These were the creative reactions to a hopeless future, a future I didn’t want to live.

9) Professor of Cognition and Education, Howard Gardner, is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments. How far do you agree with this?

I am inclined to agree with Mr Garner simply because the definition of “Intelligence” is no longer defined as an academic notion. Even with the CBCI you will find that genetically we learn differently simply because to the process of interpretation or the way our brain “communicates” In my book Identity Intelligence, I define intelligence as “the ability to supersede “reaction” and act rationally in a given situation.

10) And finally, what is the next important date in your professional calendar?There are 2 equally important dates for May/June, the first, May 10th is our next recruitment for Directive Communication Licensees in Malaysia, and June 3rd is the Graduation dates for our 7 Singapore Franchisees.

There are 2 equally important dates for May/June, the first, May 10th is our next recruitment for Directive Communication Licensees in Malaysia, and June 3rd is the Graduation dates for our 7 Singapore Franchisees.

11) Can you explain how companies can exercise/practice directive communication?

Directive communication is a psychological methodology that allows an individual to influence the actions and reactions of groups. The applications for this depend on what kind of group dynamics you would like to create. For example, if you were applying it to leadership, one could bring out leadership qualities that would inspire the employees to enjoy their work and increase effectiveness. If we applied it to service, it would take the form of cultivating a service culture that was reinforced through personal fulfilment from delighting customers. Some other applications can include productivity, sales, project management, quality assurance, branding and organizational development. DC creates environments that support higher levels of group effectiveness in the discipline its applied to.

12) In your experience, how willing are companies in Asia to practice directive communication?

Results are what matters. Over 41% of individuals who attend directive communication workshops continue to practice it and use the DC tools they take home. While a 2 day workshop can make a huge difference for an individual however, it may not make such an impact for the total organization. For this purpose we have created a results guaranteed program that actually implements DC psychology practices into an organization. This is our 6 step Creative Synergy program

13) Is directive communication a cost-consuming training for organizations?

It is true that DC trainers are more expensive than the average trainer, but then again, HR and training managers can measure the results after a DC training. This is because DC training is NOT knowledge based but action based, so trainees have a different perspective of how to approach their jobs after experience DC. I guess the question is, would you rather spend RM2,000p/d on giving your people some “knowledge” that will most likely not get implemented; or, provide them with a more effective and accurate perception that will improve their performance from 5% to 20%, but costs RM5,000p/d?One must also consider the time employees are spending in training, if they don’t come back with implementable actions to improve their departments of become more effective in their job, then an organization looses the time that employee could have contributed to the bottom line.

Most DC programs are SDF approved for funding which helps to reduce direct cost to the company. And, DC trainers do a pre-training exploratory investigation and follow-up to assist in implementation.

And, as far as I know, there is no other 3 and a half month program that Guarantees ROI results like our Creative synergy program. This program either costs USD1 if we don’t meet result targets, or USD24,000 if we do. So is it cost effective when you know you will get a measurable result that gives you a specific return on investment? You decide.

14) What are some of the outcomes from companies that have practiced directive communication? What kind of impact did the companies see?

One Singapore based manufacturing multi-national that applied DC in 3 departments increased its bottom line substantially by saving over S$17,000 per week in wastage.Another – the Malaysian division of a fortune 100 organization increased motivation and efficiency to implement and spear head a new global initiative requiring 30% more work from its 1800+ employees, while exceeding sales and growth goals for the region. This was a DC leadership development program

An international retail chain from Singapore increased its customer service standards and logistics effectiveness (inclusive of service) to cultivate an increase of over 12% customer loyalty.

15) What is the level of directive communication in Asia as compared to Europe or the US? What needs to improve? What will be the catalyst to spur more companies to take up directive communication?

Directive Communication was developed for Asian multi-cultural environments, so there are more Asian organization (or at least foreign organization BASED in Asia), using DC than in other parts of the world. The exceptions started using it in Asia and then disseminated it to their non-Asian branches

16) Can you explain how companies can exercise/practice directive communication?

Directive communication is a psychological methodology that allows an individual to influence the actions and reactions of groups. The applications for this depend on what kind of group dynamics you would like to create. For example, if you were applying it to leadership, one could bring out leadership qualities that would inspire the employees to enjoy their work and increase effectiveness. If we applied it to service, it would take the form of cultivating a service culture that was reinforced through personal fulfilment from delighting customers. Some other applications can include productivity, sales, project management, quality assurance, branding and organizational development. DC creates environments that support higher levels of group effectiveness in the discipline its applied to.

17) In your experience, how willing are companies in Asia to practice directive communication?

Results are what matters. Over 41% of individuals who attend directive communication workshops continue to practice it and use the DC tools they take home. While a 2 day workshop can make a huge difference for an individual however, it may not make such an impact for the total organization. For this purpose we have created a results guaranteed program that actually implements DC psychology practices into an organization. This is our 6 step Creative Synergy program

18) Is directive communication a cost-consuming training for organizations?

It is true that DC trainers are more expensive than the average trainer, but then again, HR and training managers can measure the results after a DC training. This is because DC training is NOT knowledge based but action based, so trainees have a different perspective of how to approach their jobs after experience DC. I guess the question is, would you rather spend RM2,000p/d on giving your people some “knowledge” that will most likely not get implemented; or, provide them with a more effective and accurate perception that will improve their performance from 5% to 20%, but costs RM5,000p/d?One must also consider the time employees are spending in training, if they don’t come back with implementable actions to improve their departments of become more effective in their job, then an organization looses the time that employee could have contributed to the bottom line.

Most DC programs are SDF approved for funding which helps to reduce direct cost to the company. And, DC trainers do a pre-training exploratory investigation and follow-up to assist in implementation.

And, as far as I know, there is no other 3 and a half month program that Guarantees ROI results like our Creative synergy program. This program either costs USD1 if we don’t meet result targets, or USD24,000 if we do. So is it cost effective when you know you will get a measurable result that gives you a specific return on investment? You decide.

19) What are some of the outcomes from companies that have practiced directive communication? What kind of impact did the companies see?

One Singapore based manufacturing multi-national that applied DC in 3 departments increased its bottom line substantially by saving over S$17,000 per week in wastage.Another – the Malaysian division of a fortune 100 organization increased motivation and efficiency to implement and spear head a new global initiative requiring 30% more work from its 1800+ employees, while exceeding sales and growth goals for the region. This was a DC leadership development program

An international retail chain from Singapore increased its customer service standards and logistics effectiveness (inclusive of service) to cultivate an increase of over 12% customer loyalty.

20) What is the level of directive communication in Asia as compared to Europe or the US? What needs to improve? What will be the catalyst to spur more companies to take up directive communication?

Directive Communication was developed for Asian multi-cultural environments, so there are more Asian organization (or at least foreign organization BASED in Asia), using DC than in other parts of the world. The exceptions started using it in Asia and then disseminated it to their non-Asian branches

Directive Communication Company Questions and Advances in Training Technology

Please give a brief history about your company? (How was it established? When? Where? Who are the founding members?)

Directive Communication International was founded around the success of the Directive Communication methodology. The founder Arthur F Carmazzi, (http://www.carmazzi.net/afc_motivational_keynote_speaker_trainer_asia.html created it in 2002 in Singapore to support the Asian Region together with Christopher Mills.

What are the training services do you offer? Please enumerate and give a brief background on each.

The DC 360 system provides a total customizable soft skill training and organizational development solution (see the attached picture). Within the system are:

  1. Standard workshop platforms (standard 1 or 2 days)
  2. Modular platform (1 core 3 day module with multiple ½ day Application modules – this saves companies about 38% on training)
  3. Online and Blended Learning Platform (E-learning can be combined with any other platform to maximize knowledge dissemination and implementation)
  4. Integrated Leadership (regardless of the discipline, the ability to build the competence in others and implement learned strategies requires leadership, this is integrated into each program to maximize organizational effects)
  5. Boot Camps (we have built a specially designed outdoor/indoor active learning campus to “infuse” learning through a psychologically modeled environment and a series of high intensity activities and retention strategies.

What makes your training unique from the others?

  1. The application of DC training tools specifically designed to enhance learning and reinforce previous class learning with every exercise while making learning entertaining
    1. Additionally, many of the tools are used After the training to continue implementation of the learning
  2. The integration of specifically designed psychometric tools that seamlessly integrate with DC Tools and methodology
  3. Integration of assessment, metrics, and selection for cross referencing of learners within the DC 360 model – this is used in applications of organizational development within the training structure
  4. The DC Psychology foundations of the learning and training system yields over 42% more implementation than standard training
  5. The only proven system to change a corporate culture in less than 3 months

In your opinion, what is the current status of ‘Training & Development’ in the Asian Region? What are the current issues and challenges surrounding it?

The majority of Training departments in the Asian region are seen as cost centers instead of profit centers. Each Training and Development department can actually reduce organization costs across multiple departments, whether it be time, productivity, wastage, or innovation. Most of the time though, training seems implemented to be as and when it appears to be needed, with no specific methodology binding the organization or the trainees together. This often is a waste of resources since implementation of ANY training usually requires cooperation or at least a good understanding from others. With the proper metrics and integrated system, the organization can be streamlined and the time spent in training can be leveraged to improve overall organizational performance at all levels.

The economic slowdown is also affecting training budgets, what people don’t realize is that the slowdown is also less busy so it is the ideal time to develop the organization through its people, and, if  a high quality result can be achieved with a smaller budget with a modular and Blended learning platform, then these organizations will be way ahead when the slowdown is over.

How are you dealing with these challenges?

After listening to our clients over the past years, we have created a system to solve these challenges, that system is <strong>DC360</strong>, <em>5 platforms – 1 Solution</em>. It is by far the Most Complete Integrated People Development System to suit an organization’s Unique Needs and get Measurable Results. It incorporates the above training platforms, tools, psychometrics, multi-media learning library, assessments and recruitment and selection to cultivate superior foundations for people to learn and work in for greater workforce effectiveness.

What are the next big steps for you in the coming years? How do you see your training company in the next 2-3 years?

We have been expanding to the US and Middle East, this will continue as more licensees and training partners apply the Directive communication methodology in their countries. We are also continuously developing our content, trainers and system

Workforce Enhancement, Culture Change

What exactly is Workforce Enhancement?

“Workforce” pertains to the whole group as opposed the individual. It is not team building and it is not personal development as much as it is cultivating a culture that manifests an empowered competence and motivated workforce.

When an individual learns ways to be better at their job, they have been personally enhanced, when an individual learns how to better work with others, their cooperation has been enhanced, but, when an individual develops the ability to work with a common vision through the organisation, when they learn how to cultivate that vision through improved competence and motivation, and when they are able to strategically cultivate an environment that supports each individual bringing out the best in themselves and others; that is workforce enhancement.

A workforce enhancement initiative sets the decision making and behavior foundations that breed cooperation, greater competence and alignment.

How can employers create the Psychology of Cultivating a Thriving Work Culture?

In the Directive Communication Psychology system, there are 5 pillars that must be constructed before this can happen. But before the pillars are created, senior management must be involved, because this is a Psychological initiative which deals with human perception, it cannot be delegated and senior management will need to play an active role.

What are the advantages of such a culture?

See attached Culture document

What are the 5 pillars of creating that culture?

Please see attaché document “Psychology of leadership

How does this culture affect bottom line?

  • More innovation means better more cost effective ways of doing things, new products or services that people WANT. Saves money, and sets up a higher probability to make more.
  • More Cooperation (including cross departmental) means it takes less time to get things done ACURATLY, which in turn means cost saving and faster time to market (very important in today’s economy)
  • More motivated employees means a personal stake in the success of the organization and the related work has the potential to be more fruitful.
  • Greater ability understand and manage their psychology and the psychology of others, means that there is a system to better more consistent results in each area of work.
  • Lower employee turnover and less stress means substantial money savings in re-training and sick leave losses.
  • An enhanced workforce is greater than the sum of its parts, if there are 100 employees in an organisation with a poor corporate culture, they will produce the work of 63. In an average work culture, they will do the work of 100, but in a leadership enriched or brand congruent culture (please see culture attachment), they produce the work of up to 159 employees – what is the savings there?

Can you share a case study of an organisation where incorporating such a culture has reaped outstanding results?

Locally in Singapore, according Foo, Siang Chi, the Logistics and Customer Service Manager for Barang Barang International, the 3rd session had already yielded at over a 10% increase in his departments efficiency.

Other specific benefits to Barang Barang related to management by employees.

  • In the Customer service department, Lead time reduced in solving problems by improving cooperation between depts. Before the initiative it used 20mins to handle an incoming call, now utilized only 10mins, with more info/ support from another dept. (1/2 the time used as compared to prior to initiative)
  • Better planning & execution by applying the understanding of needs & colour brain of each individual, (closure of 2 stores in Apr 07 smoothly by ½ the required time)
  • Willingness to work longer hrs to prepare for next day’s operation
  • Better understanding between peers Leading to more competency (More communication results in less stress which becomes more fruitful & less time spent on repeated issues)
  • Better ability to sell (20% faster in closing a sale), communication & instruction clearer, also resulted in less time wasted, more time spent on sales
  • More customer’s satisfaction (Less complaints by 5% than when initiative began)
  • More passion towards company, People work longer without complaining (as compared before the initiative)
  • Better working relationship resulting in effectiveness at work and passion shown towards company

Applications of Directive Communication

1) Can you explain how companies can exercise/practice directive communication?

Directive communication is a psychological methodology that allows an individual to influence the actions and reactions of groups. The applications for this depend on what kind of group dynamics you would like to create. For example, if you were applying it to leadership, one could bring out leadership qualities that would inspire the employees to enjoy their work and increase effectiveness. If we applied it to service, it would take the form of cultivating a service culture that was reinforced through personal fulfilment from delighting customers. Some other applications can include productivity, sales, project management, quality assurance, branding and organizational development. DC creates environments that support higher levels of group effectiveness in the discipline its applied to.

2) In your experience, how willing are companies in Asia to practice directive communication?

Results are what matters. Over 41% of individuals who attend directive communication workshops continue to practice it and use the DC tools they take home. While a 2 day workshop can make a huge difference for an individual however, it may not make such an impact for the total organization. For this purpose we have created a <strong>results guaranteed</strong> program that actually implements DC psychology practices into an organization. This is our 6 step Creative Synergy program

3) Is directive communication a cost-consuming training for organizations?

It is true that DC trainers are more expensive than the average trainer, but then again, HR and training managers can measure the results after a DC training. This is because DC training is NOT knowledge based but action based, so trainees have a different perspective of how to approach their jobs after experience DC. I guess the question is, would  you rather spend RM2,000p/d on giving your people some “knowledge” that will most likely not get implemented; or, provide them with a more effective and accurate perception that will improve their performance from 5% to 20%, but costs RM5,000p/d?

One must also consider the time employees are spending in training, if they don’t come back with implementable actions to improve their departments of become more effective in their job, then an organization looses the time that employee could have contributed to the bottom line.

Most DC programs are SDF approved for funding which helps to reduce direct cost to the company. And, DC trainers do a pre-training exploratory investigation and follow-up to assist in implementation.

And, as far as I know, there is no other 3 and a half month program that Guarantees ROI results like our Creative synergy program. This program either costs USD1 if we don’t meet result targets, or USD24,000 if we do. So is it cost effective when you know you will get a measurable result that gives you a specific return on investment? You decide.

4) What are some of the outcomes from companies that have practiced directive communication? What kind of impact did the companies see?

One Singapore based manufacturing multi-national that applied DC in 3 departments increased its bottom line substantially by saving over S$17,000 per week in wastage.

Another – the Malaysian division of a fortune 100 organization increased motivation and efficiency to implement and spear head a new global initiative requiring 30% more work from its 1800+ employees, while exceeding sales and growth goals for the region. This was a DC leadership development program

An international retail chain from Singapore increased its customer service standards and logistics effectiveness (inclusive of service) to cultivate an increase of over 12% customer loyalty

5) What is the level of directive communication in Asia as compared to Europe or the US? What needs to improve? What will be the catalyst to spur more companies to take up directive communication?

Directive Communication was developed for Asian multi-cultural environments, so there are more Asian organization (or at least foreign organization BASED in Asia), using DC than in other parts of the world. The exceptions started using it in Asia and then disseminated it to their non-Asian branchesYou have developed a profiling tool known as the CBCI (Coloured Brain Communication Inventory.

Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Part of the reactions caused in our “environments” are related to expectations of others we work or live with. The CBCI is a foundational tool that identifies the way a person’s brain communicates. When an individual has an awareness of how peoples actions relate to their brain processing – or in DC language “what color glasses they are wearing”, it gives a foundation to reason instead of reaction. In essence, the CBCI helps people to react less to actions related to a persons genetic disposition of brain communication.

You have also developed an HDMA Emotional profiling tool. What exactly is this and how does it differ from the CBCI?

This is a 360º perception profile. It deals with the way a person believes they fill their personal emotional drive, and the reality that is perceived by others. The tool provide an analysis of the gaps between different environments of superiors, peers and subordinates. While the CBCI deals with the genetic aspects of processing, this deals with the environment cultivated emotional drives that affect our motivation.

When a person becomes aware of the gaps in perception, realizations are made about personal actions within those environments and how they are affecting (even taking away from) other peoples emotional needs. This leads to the ability to adjust behavior to be more congruent with what a person “Wants to Be” and therefore affect the environment they work or live in.

Of the companies that you have worked with, which one provides the best example of transformation and why?

Well, for productivity, I would have to say Nestle, the attitudes of management and their ability to Bring out the Best in their employees was demonstrated in the implementation of a significant company wide initiative while superseding the sales goals. The original belief was that due to the amount of extra effort required for the initiative that sales and performance targets should be reduced. The transformation happened when the management applied DC psychology strategies with their employees, and attitudes toward their place in the organization was shifted.

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For organisation “alignment” though, I would say MTV Asia, transformation came after a series of programs that allowed individuals to Live the MTV brand at work which in turn affected personal fulfilment and turnover as well as sales across different departments

What advice would you give to someone striving to become a more effective manager?

Don’t Need Suck!

In group dynamics, each individual will have specific emotional drivers and needs that motivate them as explained above. While individuals do have different priorities of these needs, and may fulfill them differently, the needs are the same.

In a closed environment such as a department, a small company or a project group, some of these foundation needs are limited in the amount of emotional gratification that can be distributed among its members. When one or two members fill their own emotional needs first and take a majority of the fulfillment, they leave others with less or sometimes no gratification in these areas.

Three of the main emotional drives and needs that are sucked are:

  1. Feeling recognized, significant, important
  2. Feeling secure and in control
  3. Feeling of diversity and variety

When our basic emotional needs are taken away, we use our “Reptilian Brain”, and React like lizards, instead of acting intelligently. This happens often in organizations such as:

  • Someone takes more credit than they should
  • Someone makes decisions that affect you and you cannot do anything about it.
  • Someone doesn’t at least acknowledge your efforts or ideas because they think THEY know better.
  • Someone takes all the fun and diverse projects or tasks and leaves you with the mundane jobs.

The people who do this are the Need Suckers in an organization, and greatly affect productivity

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