Nexight Group

Earlier this month, technical writer and editor Sarah Lichtner wrote about how the skills she uses to help Nexight clients also help her to address complex situations in her everyday life. We wanted to know how other Nexight employees apply Nexight tools and techniques outside of the workplace. The responses had some common themes.

Home Projects

Kendra Chappell“We’re putting a shed in the backyard, and I have been working with three different types of contractors to get price quotes and timing estimates. So, I used some simple sequencing and network diagramming (pre-cursors to a project schedule) to understand the timing to engage with each of these contractors. It accounts for the lag time for their arrival on site and the duration of their work.” – Kendra Chappell, Program Manager

Greg_our_team_photo “I am using Nexight work skills learned from workshop facilitation to improve the clarity of instructions I give to contractors—regarding the what, when, and how of projects—such as painting rooms in our house.” – Greg Hildeman, Technical Program Manager

Communicating with Family Members

Kishter_Lindsay“I’ve used our decision-making techniques to “facilitate” a household budget meeting with my husband. We storyboarded our discussion, using sticky notes on our kitchen wall. We listed shared big-picture goals—paying off debt, buying a home, taking a large vacation. Then we put time frames around each goal and brainstormed the activities and milestones it would take to reach those goals on time. We also listed major challenges—such as limiting spending. All of that fed into our monthly budget, and I created a mini-roadmap for our finances. It gives us a way to check our progress and directs our day-to-day spending decisions toward our priorities.” – Lindsay Kishter, Communications Specialist

SONY DSC“I use facilitation skills at the dinner table to create a more inclusive and balanced dynamic. For example, I pose a question to the table, asking each person to answer while reminding the kids to listen respectfully and not interrupt (not a given!). Or, I ask one child to build on another’s idea, for instance if they agree or disagree with what their sibling just said. At the end of dinner, I offer a quick recap of the discussion and instructions before we break: “Well, it sounds like we all had pretty good days! I didn’t know that peregrine falcons could fly more than 200 miles per hour. Please take your dishes to the kitchen, take a 10 minute break, and then get started on homework.” Whether my kids will look back on these structured discussions fondly or with eye-rolling disdain is to be determined!” – Ross Brindle, Chief Executive Officer

Community and Volunteer Activities

Jenn Ganss“Working at Nexight has improved my communications skills, both written and verbal. Whether I’m telling a friend a story or recruiting potential members to community music ensembles, I know how to be impactful in what I say.” – Jennifer Ganss, Research and Communications Analyst

our-team_Eisenhauer-Jack“I often work on committees within volunteer groups that need to plan and make decisions. These committees include very bright people with great ideas, but they lack experience leading groups in unstructured environments. They are also required to prepare plans and justifications for new initiatives but lack persuasive writing skills. The facilitation skills I developed at Nexight Group enable me to efficiently organize and conduct planning sessions that get results fast. My writing skills enable me to develop logical arguments supported by facts that help win approval for new initiatives. People greatly appreciate these contributions and are often amazed by my ability to quickly move groups toward actionable decisions.” – Jack Eisenhauer, President

Nexight employees apply their expertise to diverse areas of their personal lives. The skills that help them create effective and creative products for clients also allow them to be successful outside of the office. As senior technical consultant Jim Carey stated, “Skills in collaborating and developing consensus solutions—a core competency of Nexight—are valuable everywhere.”

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