This Could Be Your Most Important Assessment



IARF PCP Cover White BG

No doubt you use a variety of assessment tools and are in the midst of using one or several right now. You use them because assessments allow for an objective and structured review of your organization’s processes, the purpose of which is to do better by identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses. This information leads to the development of an action plan for going forward into the future.

What could be more important than taking a look at your organization’s current performance level with respect to person-centered thinking and planning?

The IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment does just that.

<<<To the left click to download the PCOA scale for developing person-centered plans, compliments of High Tide Press.

Whatever the method an organization chooses to complete the PCOA, it will quite likely identify areas needing improvement. It is important to come to agreement with respect to the finding for each of the ten elements in the sections appropriate to the settings being evaluated. When in doubt, go with the lower rating. The goal is improvement, not self-satisfaction. Tabulating the responses across the dimensions of “Rarely,” “Not Often,” “Occasionally,” “Often,” or “Almost Always” will allow for measurement and future comparison.

After establishing a baseline, the real work can begin. The most common approach follows a typical project completion format, such as creating an organization-wide committee with a well-respected person as the chair. Committee members should come to agreement with respect to the landscape scan of the assessment results, and the subsequent priorities and concerns to be addressed. In addition, they must establish timelines and monitor progress.

Some organizations use the PCOA to create a baseline of performance across the organization for each of the separate programs. Subsequent internal benchmarking reviews can then occur quarterly or semi-monthly.

See the IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment for additional information and order yours today at

There Is Hope for the 75% Employee


Words Logo
Words Logo

How do you help your good employees become better—especially those who work with vulnerable people? Right now, most of us would welcome more employees who could get three quarters of the way up the mountain. We’ll call them the 75% employees.

Who are the 75% employees? They’re a solid B performer—with room to grow. The 60% line for showing up? Met. Another 10% for good marks in preservice, and on the job training? Done. They even clear the higher but more important bar: they’re caring, friendly and responsible with the people they support ,and they work well with coworkers. 75% is not bad (especially now). But you know they’ve got more, and you want to help them grow.

One of the best ways to help someone along the path of “better” is to take on the role of coach. A coach sees a person’s strengths and talents, knowing those are the source of growth. They also see beyond–where those strengths and talents can take a person. The coach’s work is in filling and shortening the gap between where the person is now and where they can (and want to) go. A good coach knows what skills to focus on to get from 75% to 80% to 90% and beyond. They know the level of challenge that leads to flow. They know that the buoyant feeling of a challenge met adds to motivation to take on the next.

That’s why we include a Coaching Module in Words That Lift Us UP: Understanding Person-Centered Language. The video in this module presents a simple model for coaching an employee who is a valued team member but who needs help with understanding the importance of language with people who have disabilities. The discussion following the video—from the Words That Lift Us UP Facilitator’s Guide—helps your team leaders understand the value of being a coach and helps them take the next step in their leadership growth.

Order yours today at!

If You Do These Five Things You Will Never Have to Be Embarrassed by Your Person-Centered Plans

My Plan To Flourish

The essence of person-centered thinking and planning is to help and support people so that they learn from the experiences of yesterday, enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow, view life positively, and act on the opportunities and possibilities that come their way.

We offer five recommendations to keep you from being embarrassed by your person-centered plans, whether talking with a parent or being questioned by a surveyor.

1. How many of the people your organization supports value their person-centered plan enough to keep it with them? How many use their plans as guides as they make choices and move toward goals that are personally important? Using this measure as an organizational goal adds momentum: if increasing numbers of the people you support value, keep, and frequently use their plans, your person-centered plans will tend toward better quality as will your planning process.

2. Person-centered planning is about relationships. To what extent do you teach your plan facilitators about the skills that produce plans that people value? These are the skills of listening, understanding, being there for someone through the process of planning and implementing that plan. Person-centered facilitators, coaches, and guides are true champions for the process and the person. They are very important in the life of the person receiving support.

3. Don’t confuse a person-centered plan with a person-centered record. A truly person-centered plan is a genuine guide to a person’s flourishing in the coming year, not a cut-and-pasted compliance document. This frees your plan facilitators to focus entirely on the person, to guarantee that each person has help in creating and implementing a plan unique to them—a path to their best possible life.

4. Use the 10 Principles of Person-Centered Planning to guide the process. You can download a copy of the Principles here.

5. Our fifth recommendation may be new to you, but it is a key concept, adding the science of human flourishing to person-centered planning. Read more…

NAQ is Headed to New Orleans!








Thane Dykstra, PhD & Art Dykstra, Authors of A New Plan, will be presenting a preconference session at this year’s conference. Don’t miss it!

GOSSIP - Author Interview Tim Williams

Hear from author Timothy Williams. His decades of experience in leadership and conflict resolution will be on display in this online author event focusing on gossip management in work environments. Tim will offer ways to replace negative interactions with positive communication habits. Best of all, the strategies he proposes have been tested in real-world workplace conditions; and they work!

One Way to Retain Your Employees

Inquiry to Insight - Dialogue Deck

Are you struggling to retain employees? Are you looking for ways to better engage and reward them? Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to keep the employees you have feeling good and supported.

One creative, cost-effective way to help retain and reward employees is to institute a “Summer Hours” work schedule for those staff members who are not bound to shifts or a similar schedule.

Employees don’t work any less hours in a pay period from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Rather, they work extra time in a given period to be able to be away from work on a designated day to spend time with friends or family, complete errands that must be done during business hours or enjoy leisure time.

This can be especially beneficial for recruiting and retaining new employees, who enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends out of town. Who doesn’t love a few extra three-day weekends?

Part of our How Do We Want to Be Together series, this tool is a straightforward, out-of-the-box idea that you can have in place before Memorial Day. Summer Hours gives employees something to look forward to and an incentive to work toward as well.

Download your copy of Summer Hours at, and check out all of our How Do We Want to Be Together tools while you’re there.

Keep Abuse and Neglect Top of Mind

Human Rights Committee

Most cases of abuse and neglect are not caused because we have hired bad people. In many situations, it happens because of a lack of foresight or anticipating problematic situations. What we call neglect is often inattention. If that’s the case, how do we help our staff stay alert to the situations that require acute vigilance and close attention? 

We took on this question at High Tide Press and created From Inquiry to Insight, an interesting, involving and awareness-building Dialogue Deck. This deck of 52 cards features stimulating dialogue starters designed to expand your staff’s awareness of the many issues around abuse and neglect. A Discussion Guide keyed to the cards accompanies the deck and can be used with groups of any size—from a daily team meeting to an organization-wide training. The Dialogue Deck is an easy, entertaining way to interact, learn and keep these important concerns top of mind. 

From Inquiry to Insight, by authors Art Dykstra and Amy Tabor, includes 52 dialogue cards and a 110-page Facilitator’s Guide with a bookshelf box for easy storage and transport. Find it in the High Tide Press store at

Got a good idea? Publish it!

IARF PCP Cover White BG

Do you have an idea or ideas that you would like to bring to life as a book or through an instructional medium? Why not contact us at High Tide Press and give your thoughts an opportunity to be heard?

We are great motivators and enjoy working with first-time authors.

High Tide Press produces hard- and soft-bound books, digital and audio books, as well as instructional materials. Our areas of interest are:

  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities: both management and clinical titles
  • Person-centered thinking and planning
  • Behavioral health
  • Organizational culture
  • Positive psychology
  • Leadership and management.

Contact us today at


Don’t forget!

IARF PCP Cover White BG

Thanks for reading to the end of our spring newsletter. Don’t click away until you’ve downloaded our complementary IARF PCOA scale on Person-Centered Plans to bolster your efforts!

Get More High Tide News

3 + 4 =