Insights from EMP Master Trainer Vicki Main
By EMP Staff
Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) Master Trainer Vicki Main wears many hats including international speaker, author, podcast host and executive coach among others. As the Founder and Director of VLM Training and Coaching Specialists, Vicki is an expert in the entrepreneurial mindset and has used the EMP with thousands of clients. Her Get Unstuck Fast! Viscosity Podcast features guests from all walks of life who share practical tips and real-life experiences about how they got out of negative situations or circumstances to live their best lives on their terms. Most recently, she has co-authored the book, The Momentum Mindset: How to Overcome Your Inertia and Achieve an Incredible Life! Join us for this enlightening conversation as Vicki dives into why the EMP is such a vital component in her work.
EMP: Vicki, you are one of our most prolific EMP Practitioners having certified many people in the EMP and using the instrument in a variety of different settings. Why are you such a fan?
Main: I’m a fan for many reasons, but it started when I took the EMP myself. I loved the insights into the 14 scales and how they can be used to enhance a person’s productivity and success. In my first company, I worked primarily with corporate clients and small businesses. I realized the EMP is a great tool for opening conversations in coaching about how to potentially raise the dial or analyze pain points. It has now become a cornerstone of my business. I noticed in delivering feedback to people who have completed the EMP that they often shared things in the beginning of the debrief session about what they wanted to focus on or improve on, or maybe it was something that they were struggling with. As we go through the report, it becomes apparent how these things are connected to their scores or their role as a leader.
EMP: Can you give an example?
Main: I had someone recently who shared that she struggled with having so much on her plate and was often not able to accomplish everything she had on her “to do” list. It turned out that although she scored high on Interpersonal Sensitivity and Execution, she was a little lower on Self-Confidence. Of course, there could be myriad reasons for lower self-confidence, but as we talked it through, she realized that she didn’t always have the confidence to say “no” to certain tasks and was, therefore, taking on way too much for her particular role, creating a lot of stress for herself and feeling as though she wasn’t producing much. This realization led to a very meaningful discussion about her particular context and how she could best leverage her strengths. I, myself, am an example in that as my role changed to being in business for myself, my need for structure increased, and I had to put processes and strict deadlines in place so that I was working smarter and not harder.
I also love how the EMP, especially with the Group Reports, can give you a snapshot across an organization about entrepreneurial mindset and how, after coaching or some other kind of program or intervention, you can re-measure and be able to see significant improvement. This was particularly true when in my previous company the EMP was used as part of the PIVOT program (a Small Business Development Corporation program) in response to COVID recovery in Australia. The program was delivered over a six-month period where approximately 500 participants took the EMP at the beginning as well as at the end and could see tangible results after participating in blended learning that included training, development and coaching. It was great to see that many of the participants made significant improvements, stayed in business and thrived after completing the program.
EMP: How do you use the EMP Development Guide in your training and coaching?
Main: I think the Development Guide is a wonderful resource, not only for people who are looking to improve on a skill, but also for those people who might be overplaying a particular strength. I personally benefited from reading the Development Guide when I first took the EMP but also after reading it again in detail after I had worked with more coaching clients. I saw different things that had relevance for me. It is a great tool for helping people to get started on creating an action plan.
EMP: You recently got certified in another assessment instrument developed by Eckerd College called the Conflict Dynamics Profile® (CDP). How have you incorporated this tool into your practice?
Main: I’ve always been interested in conflict resolution, but the CDP really opened my eyes as to how conflict can be a good thing. The emphasis on constructive and destructive behaviors and how they influence the outcome of a conflict was very valuable. I also think the Hot Buttons section (triggers or situations that a person finds particularly annoying) can bring huge insights to individuals and teams, and even in personal relationships, too. It has actually helped me to look at ways I could deal with conflict differently. When using it in programs, I typically start off with the EMP and then bring in the CDP to help individuals and teams better understand themselves. Ultimately, it depends on the clients’ needs; however, the feedback so far has been great using the CDP. Similarly with the EMP, the CDP is user-friendly and easy to follow. Both instruments provide a wealth of feedback and can be used in tandem with each other.
EMP: Vicki, your new book which you co-authored with Jonathan Bean, The Momentum Mindset: How to Overcome Your Inertia and Achieve an Incredible Life!, starts with the premise that everyone deserves an incredible life. I love that concept!
Main: I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior and personal development. Over the last 20 years in my coaching and teaching career, I’ve noticed patterns where people often get stuck in self-imposed mental prisons which can block their chance of success. I wanted to write a roadmap, so to speak, to share the knowledge that I’ve gained and also give practical tips on how people could live their best life. Each of the chapters take people on a journey to learn about their greatest gift and superpowers and how to harness them to live up to your greatest potential. It’s a lot about taking action and creating positive change in your life.
EMP: One of the chapters explores the Japanese concept of “ikigai.” What is that, and how does it relate to the EMP?
Main: Ikigai is the Japanese concept that refers to your reason for being. It provides insights into a person’s purpose and their future direction which will bring deep fulfillment. It’s the pleasure that comes from achieving or doing something you’re passionate about. I think the concept is related to the EMP in the sense that getting feedback on the EMP spurs self-reflection about who you are, how you’re wired, what you’re good at, what you could be good at, etc., and all those things bring about self-awareness of what is important to you and where you want to go moving forward. Taking into consideration your values, your context, your goals–all of these things are important to debriefing and understanding a feedback report. The EMP really helps you know yourself at a deeper level because it can give you a benchmark of where you currently are versus where you might want to go in the future. This can also be a great resource if someone has a lower Future Focus score and can provide valuable insights for them.
EMP: I know that you have conducted Momentum Mindset programs which incorporate many of the concepts in your book as well as the EMP. How does the EMP play a role in those sessions?
Main: I build EMP into all of the Momentum Mindset workshops either delivered online or in person. It is particularly helpful especially during business planning sessions or when an organization is going through change. I like to talk with team leaders ahead of time to get their perspective about pain points or specific goals they want to achieve, and I will bring in questions for participants to discuss related to those outputs such as “How might we work together and leverage our skills as a team?” When given specific prompts, the discussions can be very productive.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset Profile® (EMP) [emindsetprofile.com] is an excellent way to get an in-depth view of the entrepreneurial mindset and see how your personality traits and skill sets compare to those of corporate managers and entrepreneurs. Available online, the EMP provides scores on 14 different scales including Risk Acceptance, Passion, Need to Achieve, Future Focus, Idea Generation and Persistence among others. The EMP Feedback Report comes with a debrief video and a comprehensive Development Guide for continuous improvement.
Want to learn more about EMP Certification and how you can use it in your organization? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Certification page of the EMP website to see how you can start using the EMP with your clients and students.