latest news and notes from dovetail


Do you Emergenetics?

Emergenetics is rooted in the concept that who you are today is the emergence of your behavior, genetic makeup and life experiences. Emergenetics provides a clear way to understand this intersection of nature and nurture through the Emergenetics Profile, built on four Thinking Attributes and three Behavioral Attributes that every person exhibits. The Emergenetics Profile is designed from a psychometric foundation to give each of us an in-depth knowledge of our unique makeup, and provides an understanding of the person that we are. What sets Emergenetics apart is that it is a tool that can be combined with other tools to enhance your understanding of who you are as a person.

 Now you are a bit more in the know. I had the pleasure of being introduced to Emergenetics in July 2007. In fact, it’s how I got my job in Denver and relocated here from sunny San Diego. I applied for a job with The McLaughlin Company, was emailed a link, clicked on it and answered 20 questions the best way I knew how. From that, came my individualized profile, and I couldn’t believe how accurately it painted a picture of me. Peter McLaughlin, the Founder and CEO, followed up with a debrief of my profile and a “You’re hired. When can you start?”

I am a tri-modal brain, meaning I have a preference* in 3 of the 4 thinking attributes (finally my fast pace and the value of my theoretical thinking has been explained), and I am categorized as “third-third” in each of the behaviors (hence my talkative, determined and affable style). *Emergenetics is about preferences not competency or ability.

This past November we said goodbye for now to Peter, and in his memory I was grateful to have the chance to officially obtain my Emergenetics certification earlier this month. Through a three-day training, I not only learned the theory behind the Emergenetics model but also applied the theory through mathematical equations, exercises and bursts of learning opportunities.

I have no doubt that I will constantly use Emergenetics as a team building tool, a way to personally communicate and to share the model with each and every person I come across.

For more info click here or email.


a new kind of english

In the fall of 2013, I had the incredible experience of taking a semester abroad in Sydney, Australia. Aside from enjoying breathtaking views and learning about vegemite, I also gained a professional development opportunity in an unexpected place. One morning, I was speaking with a classmate who said, “Let’s grab brekkie before uni this avro.” Not wanting to look foolish to my new, cultured friend, I instinctively smiled and agreed.

It wasn’t until we were seated at a cafe enjoying the local fare, when I finally understood the meaning of what my classmate had said: Let’s grab breakfast before school this afternoon. The local slang and his unique accent had really thrown me for a loop.

This and a few other frustrating and often humbling experiences revealed that, in fact, cultural difference is just one example of what can complicate communication. Colloquialism and circumstance can cause a great deal of misunderstanding, even between the most tight-knit circles.

Therefore, the ability to communicate effectively in all areas of life becomes even more valuable. As I embark on my journey into the world of professional public relations, I appreciate the power of genuine interactions.

But how to apply this every day? I now have profound appreciation for those who took the time to help me understand. As a consequence, I pay it forward to those around me by asking questions and encouraging follow-up with any opinions or concerns.

Professionals may find it useful to navigate potentially confusing situations with clients or colleagues by asking questions, as well as clarifying concepts and deadlines. Sometimes, however, even the best follow-up in the world cannot overcome confusion. When in doubt, a good old-fashioned face-to-face meeting may ultimately be the only answer. At the very least, if you’re ever in Australia, it could save you from the devastating impact of ordering French fries without “tomato sauce.” 


dovetail solutions brings you guest blogger Shepard Nevel

This is the time of year that many New Year’s resolutions begin to drop off. I’ve certainly dropped a couple myself. The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Bachman refers to it as the “February dip.”

The good news is that there are practical lessons to help sustain resolutions, which apply as readily to the workplace as they do at home. 

Bachman advises that a positive new habit should be “realistic enough to be reachable but challenging enough to be worthwhile.”   

Similarly, Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project, provides several tips for sustaining resolutions that include not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, and thinking both “big and small!”   

At LiveWell Colorado, we’re privileged to think big and small to combat the epidemic of obesity and make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. Examples include improving access to healthier and more affordable food for all Coloradans, expanding pedestrian- and biking-friendly opportunities, increasing our kids’ level of physical activity from a mediocre 24th nationally to best in nation, and advancing worksite wellness. With 22 locally led coalitions throughout the state and active partnerships with 98 school districts and 34 cities and towns, LiveWell Colorado aims “big” by improving wellness for more than one million Coloradans through these efforts and a focus on environmental and policy changes. But we think “small” by recognizing that wellness also depends on the commitment of every individual, family and business, often with one achievable but meaningful step at a time. 

Charles Duhig, in Power of Habit, shares the now legendary story of Paul O’Neill when he was selected as the new CEO of the giant but struggling Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). At his first meet and greet with investors and stock analysts, O’Neill stunned and worried the seasoned audience; failing to even mention the word “profits” or suggesting any of the typical strategies for achieving a turnaround, he focused his remarks exclusively on worker safety. Many investors in the room rushed to inform their largest clients to sell their stock. Yet, within one year, Alcoa’s profits would hit a new high and within three years, the company’s net income increased by 500 percent. So how did O’Neill do it? Writes Duhig, “by attacking one habit and then watching the changes ripple through the organization.” 

Attacking one habit. What can work with individual behavior, and more broadly with a large organization, can catalyze even bigger change. “Movements don’t emerge because everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction at once,” writes Duhig. “They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship, grow through the habits of communities and are sustained by new habits that change participants’ sense of self.”


welcome to the team, Lea Gralewski! 

I am more than excited to be a part of the dovetail team this year! From my first interactions with the firm, I have appreciated its organization, clarity and timeliness, which have been consistently demonstrated. I have felt more than welcomed by the team through genuine conversation, insightful advice and investment in me as a PR professional and individual. Not many firms would want to attend a college group’s a capella concert just to support one of its member’s passions and hobbies.

Even more, the firm values my work and time and encourages me to participate and have a voice. It is not only helping me to develop new skills but is also improving upon my strengths. The hands-on experience I am getting in the PR profession is invaluable. Sitting in on status calls, participating in office meetings, creating content and communicating with clients and media are only a few of the great opportunities I have had in my short time with the firm. I can’t wait to see how else I will grow from this internship, and I feel very blessed to be a part of a company with both integrity and success.


Emily Haupt, dovetail's newest intern!

Hello, my name is Emily Haupt, the new Fall 2014 dovetail solutions intern. Currently finishing my last semester at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I am studying Journalism and Fine Arts. My journalism degree is focused mainly on advertising, while I study painting and photography in my studio arts major. I enjoy being creative, and these two majors allow me to explore that creativity as well as my knowledge about the industries. As my December graduation date gets closer, I am feeling both more excited and more nervous every day to join the “real world.” Even though the idea of graduating is overwhelming, my new position as a dovetail solutions intern makes me more eager to graduate because it is opening my eyes to the possibilities of postgrad life.

My first couple of weeks at dovetail solutions has already been an awarding and educating experience. Within the first few days I felt a part of the team, as I was included in conference calls with clients, brainstorming meetings and coffee runs. The warm environment at the dovetail solutions office creates an inviting atmosphere that encourages innovative brainstorming with employees who are both welcoming and friendly.

On my first day I had several meetings with coworkers who explained the working relationship with numerous clients and the various tasks I will be performing for each of them. The type of jobs I will be performing regularly this semester include social media for several clients, creating templates for writings, such as press releases or media lists, drafting client bios, client/industry research, etc. One of my favorite assignments in was a brainstorming meeting for a client’s ad. I found it very exciting to experience how the company comes up with its ideas and creates an advertisement. My appointed responsibilities are great opportunities to prepare me for a future career, and I believe the staff at dovetail solutions is dedicated to teaching me important professional skills as a part of my educational internship.

Goals I have outlined for myself this semester include learning more about our clients and how I can contribute to the work we provide for them. I am also excited to become more involved with the research, brainstorming and agency meetings while gaining knowledge about the public relations industry and how dovetail remains a modern and inventive firm.

Even though the idea of leaving college is still intimidating, my internship at dovetail solutions is reassuring me to feel more prepared for graduation while giving me skills that will land me an awarding career.