Books by Dave Whitaker

Check out Toolbox Training books and more at or David L. Whitaker's author page at

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Clients & Testimonials

Toolbox Training has developed, delivered, and/or overseen more than 300 workshops on a national, state, and local level to an estimated 4000 people. Most are in the Kansas City area, including the following clients:

Here's what participants have said about Toolbox Training workshops:

"Most trainings we've had just discussed the problems - you gave us solutions." - Liberty School District - Liberty Kid Zone

"This is one of the best inservices I've ever been through and I actually learned from it - to apply the info to the children!! Thank you." -Blue Springs School District - Prime Time

"Fun! Fun! Fun! Energetic presenter. Workbook was nice - good that we could take it with us. Great job!!" - North Kansas City School District - School Age Child Care

"I liked how we could do the talking and threw out ideas and then write them in our work notebooks so we could take our training home." - St. Joseph YMCA (St. Joseph, MO)

"Flexible, very informative. Articulate and not boring. Ideas presented fresh & enthusiastic." - St. Joseph Catholic Diocese

Participants in a Toolbox Training workshop can count
on instructive materials as well as fun toys!

"Wasn't just lecturing…hands-on examples for better understanding & it was fun as well as informational." - Fort Osage School District

"Not always sitting. Seem to keep the time moving instead of sitting all the time." - Rockwood School District - Adventure Club (St. Louis, MO area)

"Participation from everyone. Gave chances to give ideas." - Child Care Association of Johnson County

Liked "the resources and the hands-on organization of the workshops." - Francis Child Development Institute, Penn Valley Community College

"It was interesting - there were activities to keep us involved and to keep us thinking." - Wyandotte Interfaith Sponsoring Council

"Excellent training. All around very well presented and organized." - YMCA of Greater Kansas City

Friday, June 12, 2020

DISC Assessment

What Is DISC?

Adapted from DISC is a research-validated, behavior assessment tool which can be used to enhance the effectiveness of communication between individuals. It identifies four primary behavioral and communication styles: D (dominant), I (inspiring), S (supportive), and C (cautious). There is no ideal style and everyone possesses a blend of all four, although they will display one or two predominant behaviors. The four letters and their interpretation:

Dominant (D):

People with the D style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by overcoming opposition to accomplish results. Their traits and values include:

  • results-oriented
  • goals
  • vision
  • driven
  • determined
  • value action
  • like new opportunities
  • fast-paced
  • thrive on winning and competition
  • motivated by success and victory
  • see the big picture
  • see the bottom line
  • accept challenges
  • get straight to the point
  • like audiences
  • independence and personal freedom
  • competency
  • focus on bottom line
  • self-confident
  • blunt
  • direct, insensitive
  • demanding and forceful
  • strong-willed
  • impatient
  • may lack concern for others
  • skeptical
  • fear vulnerability or being taken advantage of
  • difficulty getting into details and deliberation

When communicating with D-style individuals:

  • give them the bottom line
  • be brief
  • focus your discussion narrowly
  • avoid making generalizations
  • refrain from repeating yourself
  • focus on solutions rather than problems

Inspiring (I)

People with the I style place an emphasis on shaping the environment by influencing or persuading others. Their traits and values include:

  • persuasive
  • influential
  • social
  • value interpersonal relationships and friendships
  • open
  • enthusiastic
  • convincing
  • take action
  • magnetic charm, warmth
  • trusting
  • positivity, optimism
  • collaboration, democratic relationships
  • value recognition
  • value popularity, prestige, and authority
  • focus on factual data and details
  • value coaching and counseling
  • values freedom of expression
  • dislike social absence
  • disorganized
  • impulsive
  • lack follow-through
  • may not want to research all the facts
  • difficultly speaking directly and candidly
  • hard to stay focused for long periods
  • may fear loss of influence
  • dislikes being ignored
  • fear disapproval

When communicating with i-style individuals:

  • share your experiences
  • allow them time to ask questions and talk themselves
  • Focus on the positives
  • avoid overloading them with details
  • don't interrupt them.

Supportive (S):

Their traits and values include:

  • collaboration
  • cooperation
  • supportive
  • helpful
  • sincere
  • dependable
  • stable
  • motivated by a congenial work environment
  • calm, patient
  • predictable, consistent
  • loyal
  • deliberate
  • stable
  • value personal accomplishments
  • value group acceptance
  • want power through formal roles and positions of authority
  • want to maintain status quo and controlled environment
  • fearful of change, resist change
  • fear loss of stability
  • fear offending others
  • doesn’t like to be rushed
  • may be indecisive
  • overly accommodating
  • overly polite and considerate
  • hesitate to state opinions for fear of offending others
  • doesn’t like unclear expectations
  • doesn’t like multi-tasking
  • not comfortable with self-promotion
  • doesn’t like confrontation

When communicating with the S style individuals:

  • be personal and amiable
  • express your interest in them and what you expect from them
  • take time to provide clarification
  • be polite
  • avoid being confrontational, overly aggressive or rude

Cautious (C):

Their traits and values include:

  • independent
  • precise
  • quality-minded
  • accurate, correct
  • conscientious towards work
  • value knowledge and growth
  • diplomatic and judicious
  • value objective reasoning and objective processes
  • want details
  • values competency and expertise
  • stable
  • reliable
  • careful, cautious, discreet
  • systematic
  • can be overly critical
  • can overanalyze
  • may isolate themselves
  • fear criticism
  • fear being wrong
  • delegating
  • compromising
  • joining in social events and celebrations
  • difficult to make quick decisions

When communicating with a C-style individual:

  • focus on facts and details
  • minimize "pep talk" or emotional language
  • be patient, persistent, and diplomatic


5 Ways DISC Can Improve Your Relationship with Children

Adapted from Read the original article here.

If you aren't familiar with DISC, check out the DISC Assessment on this website for more information.

1) Appreciate children for who they are, not for who you want them to be. You have an advantage if you are the same personality type as a child because it makes it easier to build a relationship. When you share a common personality type, it’s easier to understand where that child is coming from, how they think, and how they feel. Conflict is still possible, of course, especially if you and the child both share dominant D personality styles. But, as a whole, understanding comes easier when you share common traits.

When you don’t share a personality style with kids, it takes a little more work to see eye-to-eye. When you have a working knowledge of DISC theory, you understand that if you have an I personality, you might be frustrated with a child who is shy or soft spoken. Or, if you have a C personality, the lack of organizational skills in a child might drive you crazy. Remember that you can’t change the nature of children’s personalities. Work with their styles, rather than against them. Appreciate the fact that differences in personality require different approaches, and be willing to adapt as necessary.

2) Remove emotional roadblocks that make it difficult for you to talk to children. There are bound to be times when certain kids drive you crazy. That’s ok—They probably feel the same way about you. DISC promotes interpersonal empathy that can diffuse anger, resentment, and petty annoyances. When you understand that differences are based on innate personality traits, it’s much more difficult to feel anger towards the other person. Realizing that someone’s behavior comes from an instinctual place can help prevent negative emotional reactions to them. Better still, when you are familiar with the ways that different personality styles best communicate with one another, you’ll be able to make your conversations more productive, open, and effective. To avoid potential difficulties, when talking with children, remember:

  • D likes to be in charge
  • I needs to be liked
  • S needs stability
  • C hates confrontation

Whether those traits apply to you or the child, you can find a way to recognize where your emotional reactions are coming from, and move past them in a positive and loving manner.

3) Be appreciative of children’s strengths. There are going to be things that frustrate you. But don’t let them get in the way of also seeing what’s amazing about kids of different personality types. Every personality type has amazing and admirable traits. Tell children that you see those traits, not just the things that frustrate you.

4) Give the right kind of advice. Here are a few examples of advice that, unless delivered with great patience and explanation, will fall on deaf ears:

  • Telling a child with a D personality to stop being so bossy.
  • Telling a child with an I personality to stop talking so much.
  • Telling a child with an S personality to stop being so stuck in their routine.
  • Telling a child with a C personality to stop worrying.

Make sure that any advice you give children is compatible their personality style. Finding the right way to frame the right kind of advice can be crucial, too. For example, S and C personalities require a more gentle (and less confrontational) approach than D and I personalities can tolerate.

5) Find activities you can enjoy together. Shared activities are a must. A few suggestions include: A D-style child might enjoy playing a competitive game. I-style children would like to spend time doing something fun and social. S-style children might like established routines and plans. Plan an outing to the museum for your C-style child.

Final Thoughts: In the end, the most important thing to remember is that all personality types have value. There isn’t one that’s “better” than the other.