by Mikhail Molokanov

Leading or managing, making decisions or selling does mean making changes – objective or subjective. Training and development of employees involve measuring what changes they are making now, and what changes they should make in the future. How can we measure all these changes? Are there universal coordinates for detecting any changes? Yes, it is time & space or speed & distance.

Any change will increase (V) or decrease (v) the velocity of something and make the distance (physical or psychological) greater (D) or shorter (d) to something. Thus, any change can be described as occurring in one of the four territories (Fig. 1).

The VelDis approach

For better memorization, I call this simple description the “VelDis approach” (Vel=Velocity, Dis=Distance). The VelDis approach helps us interconnect about 200 useful models used in training and personnel development, making T&D programs more systemic.

The following are some examples:

DiSC from a VelDis view

DiSC personal communication styles naturally follow the VelDis approach. Fast and moderate paced mean acceleration and deceleration, respectively. And accepting means making a psychological distance shorter, while questioning – making it greater (Figure 2).

Fig. 2. DISC communication styles according to the VelDis approach 

Dealing with conflict from VelDis view

As the second popular model, let’s take Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann’s styles of dealing with conflict (Figure 3).

Fig. 3. Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann styles of dealing with conflict according to the VelDis approach 

Insisting on one’s position corresponds to acceleration – you push the conversation partner to the desired result. Making concessions is more about letting the partner go at their own pace. Acceptance of others’ positions corresponds to a decrease in the psychological distance from a person. And ignoring others’ positions corresponds to an increase in psychological distance from a person. 

Under the VelDis approach (Fig. 1-3) we can conclude that being in a conflict situation, a D-person would use competition more often than other styles. I-people tend to collaborate since they are interested not just to win, but in being a “nice winner”.  S-people tend to accommodate which is being interested in long-term relationships. And C-people tend to go for avoidance, escaping from any conflict. 

Bringing all together – Use cases for the VelDis approach

Let’s have a look at how participants could benefit from the VelDis thinking framework by having a look at another leadership training classic: The Eisenhower Decision Principle.

Following the Eisenhower Decision Principle, we have urgent tasks that accelerate our activities, and important tasks that we take to heart (reducing the psychological distance with them) (Figure 4).

Fig. 4. The Eisenhower Decision Principle according to the VelDis approach 

Then, by the VelDis approach participants of time management training can more easily understand that a С-person (in comparison with other DiSC-persons), often being a perfectionist, will pay more attention to not urgent, unimportant tasks. S-people tend to go for important, not urgent tasks – preparing the ground for long-term results. An I-person often breaks all deadlines, therefore more often than others they deal with urgent and important tasks. For a D-person, urgency is the “red flag”, therefore they are more than other styles responding to urgent unimportant tasks (even throwing them away quickly). 

Moreover, using the VelDis approach, a participant can establish a link between conflict resolution and time management. They easily see (Fig. 3, 4) that competitiveness is most suitable for a situation where the task (problem) that you would like to solve in a conflict is unimportant and urgent. You can try to push, and if you fail, then go away. Collaboration is the best choice for important and urgent problems. The best way to deal with important not urgent problems is accommodation – you have time to investigate the situation more deeply and establish deep relationships to get maximum results when time becomes a problem for you. And if a problem is not urgent and unimportant – just fly away and avoid this conflict. 

VelDis benefits for your training programs

Of course, all correspondences above are probabilistic. And as we all know, we can’t – and shouldn’t put people in boxes. At the same time, structure and overview add big learning benefits for some people. And that is one core benefit of the VelDis approach. At the same time, it gives you as HR as well as the participants of training the opportunity to interconnect tools and approaches. You can easily associate communication skills training based on DiSC with conflict resolution (or negotiation) training. Even if people question the framework – and most probably, some will, it can help them to better understand the content of both training contents which in turn can support, applying them in their work situations.

Interested in getting started right now and approaching your current set of tools from a VelDis point of view? Get in touch for a first exchange call.
Interested in taking this further or exploring the VelDis approach for sales processes? Much more interconnections (about 200) can be found in Mikhail’s book (in Russian) “Leadership in Russian. A Toolkit” (2012). Feel free to reach out via e-mail for a digital version of the book.

If you like tools and models that help you make your leadership development programs more tangible and structured, you might also like Araceli Higuera’s article about stakeholder management for leadership development success.

Mikhail Molokanov

Mikhail came back to practice as a freelance executive coach, facilitator, trainer and consultant after holding the role of CHRO in a Russian private company Forbes-200 NMGK Group (fat-and-oil industry). Based in Moscow he has trained, led and organized T&D programs for owners, business leaders, executives, managers, entrepreneurs and salespeople since 1992.

Mikhail believes his adaptability to clients’ needs allows him to train and coach people of all levels, nationalities, and cultures.

Mikhail Molokanov, STRADIS