L. Danyetta Najoli is a facilitator and personal coach. She specializes in helping people within organizations communicate more effectively, sustain self-directed teams, understand their influence as leaders, manage conflict, and thrive in a multicultural workplace. Since 2000, Danyetta has worked in the Intellectual Disabilities (ID) field in a variety of roles including volunteering, coordinating, training, instructing, consulting, and direct support. She has worked in both residential and day habilitation.

Danyetta is the former chairperson of the Direct Support Professional Association of Tennessee (DSPAT) and board member of the Ohio Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (OADSP). Danyetta has written articles for field around issues affecting direct support professionals. She was a consultant for the state of Tennessee where she provided technical assistance to direct support professionals around Behavior Support, Quality Assurances (QA) processes, and Diversity issues.

Danyetta earned a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and has specialized training in organizational development and coaching. She earned her Certificate of Advanced Proficiency through PATHS. Danyetta is the Social Media Administrator for the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) and Program Assistant at Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati.

Danyetta was quoted in the book, Tears to Triumph: Women Learn to Live, Love, and Thrive by Dr. Jarralynne Agee. She has traveled to Kenya, The Netherlands, and London, England.

PRESENTATION TOPICS

1. Understanding How Diversity Can Be an Asset to Your Work Environment

Understanding the benefits of a diverse workforce can set an organization apart and make it a place where uniqueness thrives. There are more business practice opportunities, service delivery effectiveness, and the reduction of interpersonal conflict that exist when diversity is embraced. Participants will learn ways to reduce stereotypes that inhibit work relations. They will learn the importance of understanding each other’s differences in a work environment. Participants will learn how to provide constructive feedback, use effective communication, activate listening skills, manage conflict, and develop an action plan for improving interpersonal relations.

2. The Direct Support Professional as Leader

Are good leaders born or made? Participants will answer this question by learning the basics of effective leadership. They will understand their personal leadership style, various leadership schools of thought, and how to help others develop their leadership effectiveness. Participants will learn how to motivate and inspire others to action. They will learn how to become natural solution seekers and problem solvers. Participants will understand the similarities in the role of a direct support professional and a good leader. They will understand what people within their leadership really want and need from them.

3. Using Effective Communication to Get Your Ideas Across

Participants will increase their awareness about the importance of effective communication. They will learn and practice key listening skills, understand other people’s communication style and identify personal areas to improve. Participants will learn how to effectively get their ideas across to others. They will learn the common mistakes made when communicating and how to be a great communicator.

4. Recognizing the Value of Team Dynamics and Team Building

Participants will learn the importance of understanding team dynamics and the characteristics of successful teams. Participants will learn the personality and interpersonal styles that lead to collaboration. They will learn what keeps teams motivated and how to effectively give individual and team recognition. Participants will understand the four stages of team development. Participants will understand what could unravel a solid team and the disadvantages of failing to understand team dynamics. They will understand the effects of adding a new member or losing an old member of a successful team.

5. How to Effectively Manage Conflict in Your Work Environment and Beyond

Not all conflict is bad and not all consensus a good. Participants will learn an effective approach to constructive, win-win conflict resolution. They will learn how to separate the two sides of every conflict—people and issues—and deal with each effectively. Participants will learn how to first seek to understand through empathetic listening and by practicing everyday conflict resolution skills. They will learn how to avoid critical mistakes when resolving conflict. Participants will be able to identify their personal stumbling blocks to agreement. They will learn various conflict management styles that fit the situation. Participants will identify common sources of conflict that lead to disagreements. They will learn what to do when a conflict arises or when they find themselves in the middle of a conflict. Participants will learn how to deliver, accept, and ask for constructive feedback.

6. Understanding the Quality Assurance Process

Participants will learn strategies for effective methods for understanding and participating in internal and external Quality Assurance (QA) processes. They will benefit from personal stories shared regarding QA experiences. Participants will be presented with basic tenets for participating in QA surveys and a mentoring tool to help organizations mentor direct support professionals through the process.

7. Making a Difference in the Lives of People With Intellectual Disabilities

Participants will learn how to practically implement person-centered direct support to people with intellectual disabilities. They will learn the benefit of acting on a common understanding of the contributions good direct support professionals make. They will lead with their heart as they understand people with disabilities and view them as individuals with unique dreams and goals.

8. Understanding the Nature of Virtual Teams

Virtual organizations and teams are revolutionizing the workplace. Participants will learn the definition of a virtual work environment. They will understand their role on a virtual team. Participants will understand the skills and technologies needed to support a virtual work team. They will understand the difference between a non-virtual environment and a virtual environment. Participants will understand the benefits and pitfalls to a virtual environment. They will learn the various ways people can effectively communicate on a virtual team.

9. It’s Time for Time Management

Organizing, prioritizing, and managing time: these things seem to come naturally for some people. For most of us, though, it’s not so easy. The demands of work, family, and so much else make it easy for something to “fall through the cracks.” And then, of course, we feel guilty for missing the event and resolve to do better next time. But good time management skills can be learned. This course is a fast paced, highly interactive program that provides the basics to manage time and priorities, define and describe your personal and organizational values, write S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals and tasks. Participants will learn to apply specific techniques to avoid procrastination, minimize interruptions, manage information, and maximize personal productivity.

10. Working with Families in Challenging Situations

Family members can be a significant part of the lives of people with disabilities. But sometimes strained relationships can impact the quality of overall service provided by direct support professionals, the frontline of the intellectual disabilities field. The session will help participants understand the dynamics of interpersonal relationships and how they play a part in dealing with difficult family members. Participants will learn about important issues that arise from family members. They will learn ways to offer support to especially difficult people and how to manage ongoing conflict. Participants will learn their own communication style and their influence. They will learn keys to effective communication that leads to enhanced professional relationships.