Managers, by definition, must maximize the productivity of others. When we ask audiences, “How many of you are managers?” over 70% of the audience typically raise their hands. Many do not have the word “manager” in their title.
As managers, you know that it is your job to maximize productivity and outcomes from your employees. You need evidence-based best practices in leadership development. Today. And you need to demonstrate the ROI of that leadership workshop within 90 – 180 days. There is a myth that leadership development programs should only be scheduled in the spring and fall, to avoid conflicts with vacations. The reality is that leadership development workshops include both direct and virtual content that reinforces your outcomes. Our programs last 3-12 months. You should invest in a leadership development provider (like Action Learning Associates) because it is cost-effective and efficient. Your core business is something else. Our core business is to accelerate leader development.
Here are three reasons why YOU SHOULD invest in a leadership development workshop today.
Investment in a leadership workshop should directly increase your team’s engagement
Leaders need to practice leadership, just as attorneys practice law and physicians practice medicine. Many studies have shown that when employees are engaged in leadership workshops they are then more likely to be engaged in the workforce. An employee who is more engaged is a) more effective at required tasks, b) more efficient on key performance indicators or objectives and key results (OKRs), and c) more likely to stay employed at your organization. Retention of desired employees is a requirement in today’s competitive Talent Economy. Be smart. You never want to retain average employees- but you DO WANT to retain 100% of your desired employees. And leadership development workshops are the most cost-effective way for you to increase retention of your desired employees. We recommend that 70% of your promotions are internal, to encourage career ladders and talent succession. We strongly recommend that you invest in 100% of your top performers with leadership development programs AT LEAST twice/ year.
Culture can be developed, and must be developed, in response to changing market demands. Ask anyone involved in leadership development coaching, and they will tell you that culture cannot be left to chance. That would be reckless. The academics describe culture as “how organizations function.” As an example, we recently provided a leadership development workshop around ONE objective, “to create a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).” Let me explain…
Culture is best described using three overlapping circles. Label each circle as: 1) underlying assumptions, 2) espoused behavior, and 3) artifacts.
1) underlying assumptions are the shared beliefs of your organization, including history of acquisitions, traits of key leaders who get promoted faster, competencies of leaders with higher reputations, or that unspoken assumption you have about a market or colleague.
2) espoused behaviors describe what we say we do, including common phrases such as “I’ll solve this” or “that’s not my problem.” Notice the difference between what we say we do, and what we actually do.
3) artifacts are tangible symbols of the culture, such as a new National office in Nashville, TN for centralized services and consistent management of others. The cultural values posted in the lobby are artifacts of how you work.
3. Investment in a leadership workshop should improve employee morale
Many studies have shown that large organizations are investing less time, money, energy and training in their employees than they did 10 years ago. Professional development discretionary budgets have plummeted from over $10,000 per person in 2008 to $4,000 per person in 2018. Today, we invest more into maintaining cars and machines than we do in our most critical variable- people. That trend is reckless. If you are investing less in your people than you did 10 years ago then you are LITERALLY in a race to the bottom of your market. Look at the fact that only 35% of today’s F500 companies have been there for more than 50 years. If you want to increase employee morale, then you need to invest in your top employees. Nothing is a more critical investment. Today. Employee morale is NOT a lagging indicator. If you want to develop agile problem solvers, then you need to invest in leadership development workshops. You can make employee morale into a leading indicator. Today.
You should not invest in a leadership workshop IF you do not care about 1) employee engagement, 2) workplace culture, or 3) employee morale. We do NOT want to talk to you. We wish you Godspeed.
We provide outcome-based leadership development workshops that guarantee your results. We deliver programs throughout the United States and Canada. We provide expert leadership coaching and executive coaching services, based in Nashville, TN or globally. We’d like to visit you ASAP.
Do you think that you a born leader? That is a myth.
The reality is that leadership skills can be taught and developed. By definition, leaders influence the behavior of others by describing a better vision of the future. The primary skill of effective leaders is public optimism. Leaders tell great stories and share optimism.
Those leadership skills can be taught in a workshop or program. The most effective leadership workshops include training and coaching, then more training and coaching, to reinforce desired behaviors over time. Repetition works.
Leaders must adapt to change. At a recent leadership workshop one executive stated, “We need to master this content in the next 3 days because we are each the CEOs of our business. We need to create our future business.” That urgency is common.
Many of the tactics that leaders were taught 10-20 years ago are obsolete today. Management by Objectives (MBOs) and Forced Rankings are now considered manipulative, ineffective, and counterproductive. That kind of “leadership” will limit your career.
We know that rigid managers and leaders prevent innovation and problem solving. We also know that agility can be taught and developed. We can teach agile leaders and managers to promote effective outcomes, efficiency, and employee engagement.
Today, many employees demand fulfillment and purpose. They want to feel inspired and know their place in society and their contribution to the world.
We know that leaders need to practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law. All managers and leaders struggle.
A great leadership workshop should provide:
Leadership exercises and experiential activities that encourage open communication and sharing of ideas
Profound breakthroughs in understanding how to influence others.
Lectures, digital workbooks, videos, powerpoint slides, and activities designed to model engagement
Pre-assessments and Post-assessments to discover your strengths and track the ROI of your investment
Group problem-solving tasks that encourage conflict resolution through a better understanding of human behavior and group dynamics
Customized apps with content to download and distribute your consistent messages throughout your organization
A recent client stated, “This was by far the most useful leadership development program I have experienced in over 20 years of forced participation in some kind of training. The content was easy to understand. All of the sessions were customized for our organization. All of the consultants were experts. We were fully engaged in each session. We did our work. And now I have the skills I need to lead my team in a new and useful methodology.”
All of our leadership workshops use our trademarked positive psychology AD-FIT™ process. We typically include our leadership development coaching to assess your strengths and increase your probability of achieving your outcome-based results.
The best leadership workshops should ask you to take an honest assessment of your professional leadership style and define measurable outcomes. We typically use both quantitative and qualitative assessments. We offer both virtual and direct workshops with several exciting results-oriented topics to choose from. See the list of leadership workshop topics here.
We provide services throughout the U.S and Canada. We recently delivered programs in Chicago, IL, Charlotte, NC, Louisville, KY and Washington, DC. If you are near the Nashville, TN area, an executive coach in Nashville can help you.
Communication problems abound. The #1 complaint from leaders and managers is “poor communication.” Today, effective communication is more important than ever and developing active listening skills is a necessity in all aspects of your professional and personal life… You can learn to be a better active listener.
Did you know that there are three levels of active listening? Those three levels are described below.
Active listening a coachable skill that leaders and managers can develop with practice. Active listening is a fundamental interpersonal communication skill that helps leaders and managers be better communicators and problem solvers.
Active listening is not only key to rewarding conversation and true empathetic engagement but also has the potential to increase positive emotions. I often say, “A good conversation is as stimulating as dark coffee, but more memorable.” Why is that? Active listening can increase our subjective well-being and provide greater life satisfaction.
The three levels of active listening are level 1: internal listening, (e.g., the client is looking inside, but the coach may be listening to how that story affects the coach), level 2: Focused listening (e.g., the coach is laser-focused on the client’s agenda) and level 3: Global listening (e.g., the coach is focused on global cues including intuition, emotions, body language or the environment.) Do you notice the differences? Now reflect on that last conversation you had with a client or colleague. Was it at level 1, or level 2 or level 3?
In addition to those three levels of active listening, there are four main types of active listening that require the listener to hear, evaluate and interpret the content of speech. You can practice each of these techniques.
Paraphrase. One way to develop empathy and practice active listening is by paraphrasing. The listener repeats the essence of the message spoken by the communicator using their own words. This demonstrates that the listener is actively concentrating on the message the communicator is trying to convey. Paraphrasing can be the most challenging Active Listening technique to perfect as it requires skill as well as discipline. TIP: Record your paraphrase using your smartphone. Then share it with your colleague and ask, “Is this an accurate paraphrase?” It works.
Reflected emotions. Another tool leadership development coaching utilizes to teach active active listening involves reflecting the feelings of the communicator. This type of active listening establishes an emotional rapport between the communicator and the listener. Be careful when using this technique. Emotions describe another person’s state (e.g., mad, sad, glad, happy, or….) Judgements or opinions are not the same as emotions. Be careful to state emotions only (not judgements) when reflecting emotions to another person. TIP: State something like, “If I understand you correctly you are feeling _____ emotion because of ______ action. Is that accurate?”
Reflected meaning. Another way to establish rapport between a leader and a colleague, or between a speaker and listener, is through reflected meaning. Reflected meaning focuses on the factual message of the speaker instead of the emotional communication. As an example, use data or facts to build your case. Like a lawyer. State the facts, only the facts, and include numbers, dates, details. The result of repeating those factual details is that i the listener nods their head, as if confirming understanding with the speaker. TIP: Some leadership coaches practice reflected meaning using a communication script such as “When ____ (action) occurs, you feel ______ (emotion) and want to do _____ (new behavior or action). Is that accurate?”
Summative reflection. Finally, summative reflection includes a confirmation of the message content. Summative reflection can be the most difficult type of active listening to exercise but the power of summative reflection is that it strengthens interpersonal ties and promotes efficiency in the communication process. Summative reflection combines the elements of paraphrasing, reflected meaning and reflected emotion and requires the listener to incorporate personal views into the communicator’s message. TIP: Take notes when coaching someone, so that you can accurately summarize the essential details and validate the leader’s concerns.
Active listening can be taught, and can be coached. Active listening helps leaders to build relationships, solve problems, resolve conflicts and improve accuracy.
Whether you’re looking for an executive coach in Nashville or worldwide you can find more information on executive coaching and active listening by calling Action Learning Associates at (615) 603-3638.