Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TAGteacher Tale - A Tool for the Corporate Trainer

TAGteach: A Tool for the Corporate Trainer

Corporate Trainer? A case review by TAGteach certified Glenn Hughes, director of Global Learning Architecture at KLA-Tencor.

Last week, I was able to use the TAGteach principles in my work context for the first time.


On December 21st, I contracted author Ed Muzio (Four Secrets to Liking Your Work and Make Work Great) to certify my team (8 people) in 'Advanced DISC'. DISC is a behavioral assessment tool, much like Meyers-Briggs. http://www.groupharmonics.com/

On day one, Ed noted that we were going to be a challenging group. We all possessed between 3 and 10 years of DISC training/facilitation experience. Our language patterns were well established. We were used to using phrases like "She's a D", "He's an I", and "I’m a D".

In advanced DISC, it is very important to steer away from labels and move to observations of behavioral patterns. Ed wanted us to use phrases like "you show high D behavior", "she shows low I behavior", or "he shows high S behavior".

Despite his pleading, begging, modeling the correct behavior, and 'calling out' our misuse of the language, we didn’t change our behavior.

On the morning of day two, Ed and I were chatting about different learning events we've been doing, and I shared my TAGteach experience. Ed asked, "Could we use it on our problem?"

My response was, "Hmmm... I hadn't thought about using it to change language or culture, but it's an observable behavior, so, yes. I think we can."

On day two, we implemented TAGteach, with great results.


  1. Since everyone in the room was a facilitator, I opened the morning by teaching them the history and process of TAGteach.
  2. We identified the target behavior. We would tag anyone who used the phrase, "Hi/Low 'X' behavior" - such as "Jodi is showing hi D behavior". If either "high or low" or 'behavior' were missing, we would not tag.
  3. We did not have Taggers, so we had to improvise. We agreed that a finger snap or hand clap would be the Tag.
  4. We identified the TAG point. The tag point is: "Hi/Low 'X' behavior"
  5. Ed then spent fifteen minutes modeling correct and incorrect behavior, so we could practice tagging.
  6. We agreed that we understood. Ed spent the rest of the morning (2.5 hours) teaching us advanced DISC. Anytime Ed, or any of us used the language correctly, they were tagged with a clap or snap.
  7. In the afternoon, each facilitator lead a teach-back for our certification. During these 3 hours, the audience was reinforcing the targeted phrase with claps/snaps.


In one day, we re-patterned the language (behavior) of 8 facilitators.

In my debrief with Ed the next day, he commented that our 'success rate' of using the correct phrase on day one was 0%. By the end of day two (facilitator teach-backs), he estimated that we were over 70% success rate. He felt that we would NOT have improved more than 10% without applying TAGteach.

Additionally, we saw a number of classic effects:
  • increased energy: everyone had fun with it, as opposed to being annoyed by corrections
  • self-correction: by mid-morning, people would sense that they were not 'tagged' and correct their language
  • self-learning: one facilitator missed the morning history, process, AND TAGpoint identification. In the afternoon, after her teachback, I asked if she knew why we were clapping/snapping all day. She responded, "Of course. You're reinforcing the use of the correct phrase"

Obviously, we're thrilled with this outcome and can see many more applications. Theresa, I'll definitely want to have you run an onsite certification session for my colleagues in the spring.

1 comment:

  1. There surely are a lot of activities that you could do once you get to learn more about DiSC profiles.