Good Team Player

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Leaders play a critical role in any organization, which is why it is so important for everybody in a leadership position to embody the culture and be a positive role model for others. When this doesn’t happen, the result can be toxic or destructive, creating a long-term impact on the company that can take years to reverse. the-4-signs-of-toxicdestructive-leadership-in-organizations

In fact, a recent article in Psychology Today stated that toxic leadership is on the rise and that “[t]here’s a clear symbiotic relationship between toxic workplaces and the toxic leaders who inhabit them.” While toxic leadership can sometimes be a result of inherent personality traits, organizations can avoid going too far down a destructive path by knowing how to identify the signs and changing course before it’s too late.

Look for these signs to determine if your organization is at risk of toxic leadership:

1. Poor Listening Skills

Leaders who don’t make time to listen to employees will miss out on critical information that can impact the company. Even when individuals have an opportunity to share their thoughts, if those ideas fall on deaf ears, it can be demoralizing and frustrating.

The signs of poor listening skills:

  • Employees have stopped offering ideas for improvement.
  • It is difficult or impossible to schedule a meeting with leaders.
  • Leaders multitask in meetings or change the topic of conversation.

2. Lack of Feedback

Listening is the first key to good communication, but providing feedback is also essential for a healthy relationship with leadership. When leaders provide little or no feedback about performance, employees are left guessing or assuming that their behavior is acceptable. This applies to both negative and positive feedback. A leader who does not correct poor employee performance can’t expect beneficial change, but without positive feedback, employees are not given the full opportunity to flourish and grow.

The signs of lack of feedback:

  • Employees do not have timely annual reviews.
  • Individuals are left to make decisions that leadership should handle.
  • High performers are now just producing average results.
  • Employees repeatedly make the same mistakes.

3. Lack of Accountability

Everybody occasionally makes an error or misses a deadline, but when leaders do this time and again and are not accountable, it will trickle down through the entire organization. The result will be lost efficiency and an organization filled with people who do not feel responsible for the outcomes of their work.

The signs of lack of accountability:

  • Leaders blame their team when something doesn’t go well.
  • Employees express frustration with leaders for not following through.
  • Leaders do not admit when they make mistakes.

Unleash the Power of Teamwork: Learn More in This Guide

4. Bad Behavior Modeling

“Do as I say, not as I do” is not an effective attitude in the workplace. Leaders cannot expect employees to embrace a culture or behave in a certain way if they do not model those behaviors themselves. This type of attitude can be further damaging to a leader because it demonstrates that their words do not carry weight. Why would an employee commit to going the extra mile when the boss doesn’t demonstrate the same  commitment?

Signs of bad behavior modeling:

  • Managers have expectations of their teams but do not deliver the same level of performance.
  • Leaders are not present in the workplace.
  • Leaders do not behave in a way that supports the company culture.

Fortunately, all of these signs of destructive leadership can be corrected once they have been identified. Leadership development programs can be tailored to each individual to address areas of weakness at any point in the leadership pipeline. Whether an individual is a first-time manager or a C-level executive, they can benefit from leadership training to address these types of concerns.

 

Dave_rootAbout the author

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

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When an organization decides that the customer should always be the first consideration when making any type of decision within the company, it’s critical that every employee understands what this means. More importantly, they must fully embrace the concept of customer centricity and feel empowered to take the necessary steps toward making every customer experience an excellent one. Customer centricity training will get everybody on the same page and create the framework for a truly customer centric business. what-does-customer-centricity-training-entail-blog

The intent of customer centricity training is to teach the behaviors that contribute to a culture that always puts the customer first. Your training sessions should include the following content:

Understanding What Customer Centricity Means

If you asked 10 people in your organization today what customer centricity means, you are likely to get 10 different answers. After customer centricity training, every employee will have the same response: putting the customer first in everything you do. Of course, there is more to the story than that simple phrase, but the first step in customer centricity training is defining what it means to be a company that is not just customer-friendly, but customer centric.

Defining the Desired Customer Experience

What does your organization want a customer to think and feel at every step from the first interaction through a sale and beyond? Without direction from leadership and a unified training program, every employee will have a different opinion, and it won’t always achieve the level of excellence you desire.

Download the free Guide to Effective Leadership Training & Development here!

The details are up to you, but defining what you want the customer experience to be like is a necessary part of customer centricity training.

Learning How to Claim Ownership

Many employees think that if they don’t interact with customers, they don’t need customer centricity training. They couldn’t be more wrong. Every single employee in an organization (from the janitor to the CEO) need to always think about how they impact the customer experience with their actions. For example, a warehouse employee influences the customer experience in the way that a product is packaged for shipment. They may never speak with a customer in the course of doing their job, but if they pack a product carelessly and it breaks during shipment, their actions have a negative impact on the customer experience. Every employee should ask themselves on a daily basis what they can do to improve the customer experience.

Learning How to Take Action

Another key component of a typical customer centricity training is teaching individuals how to take action in the organization and providing them with a structure to do so. Take the example of the warehouse worker who packs hundreds of shipments every day. They have an idea to include a card in every shipment with the name of the person who packed it, along with a photo and unique quote. They believe that packers would be inclined to do their jobs more carefully if they felt a sense of ownership, and they also think it would delight customers to have the package more personalized. Before customer centricity training, this employee might not feel empowered to bring this idea to a superior. After training, they would know to ask:

What is preventing me from taking this action, and how can I overcome that hurdle?

The training should also provide a framework for moving ideas through the organization. They would know whom to go to for authorization, additional training, or whatever would help them move beyond the hurdle.

If you’re not sure if your organization could benefit from customer centricity training, start from the beginning and ask 10 people in your organization what customer centricity means. The results will speak for themselves.

 

johnAbout the author

Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

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If you are revamping an existing employee training program and plan to implement experiential training, the process can sometimes feel challenging; especially if you’re new to this type of learning. Here are a few guidelines to follow to make the switch to experiential employee training less overwhelming: making-the-switch-to-experiential-employee-training-where-to-start

1. Define the Behaviors You Want to Change

One of the essential elements of successful training is linking the content delivered to real-life scenarios in the workplace. One way that an outside training provider can do this is by going through a discovery process within in your organization prior to the event. This discovery process will enable the training team to discover the perceived and real needs and to customize the training so new concepts will resonate more effectively with participants and connecting the dots during the debrief will be easier.

 

Here are some of the elements uncovered during the discovery process:

  • Common terms used in the organization
  • How the business is structured
  • Shared values in the company culture

2. Find the Right Experiential Training Provider and Check Their Track Record

Experiential training providers that have a track record of success will have no trouble providing testimonials and references from organizations they have worked with in the past. Consider these other factors about a provider:

  • How long the company has been in business
  • What types of organizations they work with
  • How much repeat business they get
  • How many experiential training programs they offer
  • Whether or not they have won any awards; and what those awards are
  • Do they provide customized solutions for the exact challenges you are addressing
  • Will they become a close partner that is truly considered part of your company or do they act as a 3rd party provider with a limited relationship

Select the Right Facilitator

Facilitators have the power to make or break your an experiential training initiative, and if you don’t choose the right one, your participants won’t engage and you won’t get the best return on your investment. There are countless corporate training providers in the world, but not all of them will help you achieve your training goals.

Some of the qualities to look for in an experiential training facilitator are:

  •    An established track record delivering experiential training across a range of industries
  •    A genuine interest in improving your organization
  •    A commitment to tailoring the training content to your needs
  •    The ability to conduct an intensive debrief that links training and on-the-job real world application

3.  Come Up With a Retention Plan

Behavior change doesn’t start immediately after training. It takes time and ongoing knowledge reinforcement for individuals to successfully apply their new skills and for new behaviors to become ingrained. Many corporate trainers take a one-and-done approach that leaves you wondering what happens next. Look for an experiential training provider that offers post-training support, including:

  • Retention and measurement tools
  • Long-term training strategy development
  • Ongoing coaching
  • Performance evaluation tools
  • A reporting system for tracking progress

4. Feel the Excitement

Experiential training is exciting. If you don’t get at least a little jazzed up when talking to a potential provider, chances are, they aren’t going to deliver the type of training that makes employees want to come back for more. You can also get a sense of this when listening to testimonials or talking to references. If the tone and language don’t convey a certain level of excitement about the training, consider evaluating other options. Just like hiring new employees, you look for candidates who want to be there and excel, not just show up to get the paycheck. The best experiential training providers will stand out by their enthusiasm for their work.

As you evaluate experiential training providers, look for companies that emphasize a discovery process, have expert facilitators who are passionate about learning, and provide ongoing support so you get the most from your corporate training program.

 

IanAbout the author

Ian has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

You want to get the most from your company training programs, both in terms of organizational results and economically. It’s just good business. Failure to choose a program that aligns with employee and company needs often means the organization will not see a return on investment. If you have determined that your organizational training initiative isn’t delivering the desired results, it’s time to figure out why. As you evaluate your existing company training programs, consider these five common reasons why they might not be providing ROI.five-reasons-your-companys-training-programs-arent-providing-roi

1. You’re All Over the Map

In general, executives and human resources personnel should implement the specific types of training that best address organizational needs. When this doesn’t happen, the corporate training program lacks direction and cohesion. You can identify this problem when you hear comments such as “That training was interesting, but I don’t understand how it applies to my job” or, even worse, “Why are we even doing this?” If individuals can’t relate the training to practical solutions, or if they don’t feel that it’s relevant to their jobs, you won’t see results, and your ROI will suffer.

How to fix it: Clearly define your organizational goals and identify the company training programs that will help you achieve them. For example, if you’re striving to develop high-performance teams, look for a training program that focuses specifically on the key elements of teamwork.

2. You Haven’t Connected the Dots

It’s a change in behavior after the training that increases performance, not the training itself. Whether you seek process improvement or increased customer service from your employees, make sure you tie the training to reality and clearly articulate the behavior change you expect to see. Your employees need clearly defined outcomes of the training in order to change their performance effectively and for your training to have an impact on results.

How to fix it: Every training session should include a discussion about how to apply the newly learned skills in real-life work situations. Make it clear that change is expected and ensure that individuals have the resources and knowledge they need to implement the desired behaviors. It’s key to revisit the training afterwards to ensure participants remember what was taught and they continually apply it to their jobs. Some organizations find it helpful to run a quick activity learned during training in meetings to reinforce the training importance and application.

3. Your Train(ing) Is on the Wrong Track

Not every training is the right fit for every individual. If your company training programs don’t match the skill levels or job functions of the people in the room, you could be wasting valuable training dollars. You can diagnose this problem when you hear things like “That training was way over my head” or “I already knew all of that stuff; what a waste of time.”

How to fix it: Perform a skills assessment to identify knowledge gaps in various roles and at different levels within the organization. Then select the programs that are most appropriate for certain groups of individuals. For example, if your organization wants to develop a pipeline of future leaders through a leadership development training initiative, focus on developing front-line employees with leadership potential, mid-level managers, and supervisors. Select courses that are suitable for each job level and build from there.

4. You Don’t Have a Retention Plan in Place

For company training programs to be truly effective, individuals need to remember what they learned.  Some learning decay is normal, but if you aren’t proactive about reinforcing new knowledge, you are contributing to a lower training ROI. Participants will lose 70% of what they learned in the first week after training.  The impact of training fades before the learning can become ingrained in the organization.

How to fix it: Organizations that focus on support, follow-up, and real-world application get the greatest return on training investment. Develop a retention strategy that includes periodic refreshers, quizzes, and discussion groups to keep the new knowledge and skills in the forefront.

5. You Aren’t Measuring Performance

Measuring performance after training is critical for improving ROI. If individuals lag in some areas that training content addressed, you can immediately confront the issue. However, you may have forgotten about this key step when initiating your training. You won’t know where the gaps are unless you measure results.

How to fix it: You can’t fix what you don’t measure. Knowledge retention and behavior change should be measured before your initiative is kicked off and at various points after the training ends. Measurement can be performed through feedback, surveys, testing, or other methods. You can also use internal milestones such as fewer customer service complaints or more repeat sales to identify training ROI.

Finding the best program to train staff members does not have to be difficult. Keep these five tips in mind as you evaluate company training programs and a good ROI will naturally follow.

 

SUEAbout the author

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Introducing new concepts, systems, or processes in a work environment is rarely as simple as sending an email and immediately getting the desired results. Successfully convincing individuals to change their behavior in the workplace requires:

  • Clear communication about expectations
  • An organizational training program that provides the necessary skills
  • Consistent reinforcement and measurement 5-change-management-activities-to-add-to-your-meeting-agenda

This might seem like a tall order, and indeed it does require a comprehensive overall strategy, but there are some simple change management activities you can do on a daily basis.

Meetings are the most logical place for change management activities because you have the attention of the entire group at the same time. You can ensure that people be hear the message and create a greater likelihood of understanding what you say. Consider adding these change management activities to your next meeting agenda:

1. Status Updates

Have an agenda item for status updates about  initiatives occurring in your organization. For example, if your organization is shifting to a customer-centric culture, a sales staff meeting might include an update about the new sales process that is under development. This is also a great opportunity to gather input from the sales team about how to be more customer centric and get the team to start thinking in that mindset.

Status updates should include:

  • What initiatives are currently happening
  • The status of each initiative
  • The next steps for each initiative

The individuals providing the updates will have to stay on top of their assigned tasks, and others will feel more involved in the process, especially if they have the opportunity to provide feedback during status updates.

2. Reinforcement Exercises

If your strategy includes organizational training, one of the most important change management activities you can do is reinforcement exercises. The human brain will only retain so much information (10-30%) after a training session, unless you actively recall the lessons learned. Adding a quick reinforcement exercise such as a quiz, game, or discussion about how to apply the new knowledge in the workplace will keep the information fresh in the minds of participants and encourage them to apply and use their new skills.

3. Introduce the Next Initiative

Make time to discuss the next change that is on the horizon, even if you don’t plan to roll it out for several months. Communicating early about changes to come will allow individuals to mentally prepare in advance. Providing regular updates about the plans in the pipeline will reduce the inevitable anxiety that people feel about change. Giving individuals an opportunity to provide feedback will make them feel more invested in the process and increase the likelihood that they will embrace the new systems. Clear communication about upcoming initiatives also demonstrates that leadership has a strategy in place and a plan for executing it.

4. Recognize Successes

Create an agenda item that prompts you to identify all of the successful milestones or accomplishments since the previous meeting. These could be as simple as an individual who exhibited one of the desirable behaviors identified in a recent training, or as significant as a team who measurably improved their sales numbers. When individuals know that leadership is paying attention and that they will be rewarded for their efforts, they are more likely to adopt the changes you are introducing. and more likely to perform at their peak. Many leaders don’t realize how impactful recognition can be, especially in a public form like a team meeting.

5. Action Items

Every productive meeting should include action items that are assigned to individuals and have clear deadlines. Action items go hand-in-hand with status updates on your agenda. Everybody knows that they will be expected to report back to the group, increasing the likelihood that they will complete their assigned tasks. Action items also provide the benefit of keeping a project moving forward.

It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to change their behavior without some motivation. Including these change management activities in your meetings helps maintain momentum, gives leadership a forum for introducing new changes to come, and increases accountability. What agenda items did you include in your last meeting?

 

sueAbout the author

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Individuals at every level in a business benefit from ongoing training, including leaders. Experiential training is one of the most effective ways to deliver new concepts in a manner that is both memorable and engaging. conference To make experiential learning effective, it must have impact on real-world problems and solutions. To do this, it has to meet the following criteria:

  • Mirror reality - The activity must be a reflection of the real situations that participants encounter in the workplace.
  • Produce predictable learning - You must know in advance what new skills or concepts the participants will learn from the experiential training event.
  • Visceral involvement - When participants are fully immersed and engaged they form the strongest memories and absorb more new knowledge.

Experiential learning can be applied at all levels of the business from basic time management skills to learning how to improve internal processes. Regardless of the concepts you want employees to learn, there are some standard methods you can apply.

The experiential training methods you would use to teach leadership skills are the same methods you would apply for any other type of skill you want employees to learn. Here’s what to look for:

Disguise the Real World but Replicate the Business

We know that experiential training exercises mirror reality, however it is important that the scenario is nothing like the environment that leaders encounter on a daily basis. The actions and processes must replicate the business, but it has to be done in a way that the business reality is disguised.

An example for leadership training might be acting as the sheriff in the Wild West. The experiential training exercise should replicate the challenges one would face as a leader in the workplace — time management, making quick decisions, conflict resolution, etc. — but the setting removes the participants from their daily surroundings and allows them to take action without real consequences.

Use Principle-Based Design

Break down larger goals into principles so that they are easier to absorb and so that participants can experience each component in the training. For example, if the goal of the experiential training is to develop better time management skills, you might break it down into each of the following principles:

  • Identifying barriers to effective time management
  • Planning and organizing time for personal success
  • Understanding that activity does not equal productivity

As the sheriff in the Wild West, a leader must learn how to successfully manage their time while juggling a lot of various responsibilities. By learning the key principles of time management (or any other topic), participants can better apply their new knowledge when they return to the real world.

Learn by Doing in a Safe Environment

The ability to take action without real consequences is an essential component of experiential training for leaders. The cornerstone of experiential training is learning by doing. Throughout the course of the event, participants must take actions, and those actions have consequences. However, because you have created a safe environment where those consequences do not apply to the real world, participants can fail, try again, and learn from their mistakes.

Using the sheriff and time management examples from above, the sheriff might discover that one of the barriers to time management is that they have to personally handle every issue that arises, no matter how large or small. In the experiential learning exercise they have the freedom to solve this problem by appointing a deputy and seeing the consequences of that action without the real-world pressures of transferring responsibility to another person.

Experiential Training Methods for Leaders

The primary difference in experiential training for leaders versus other individuals is the desired outcomes. When it comes to leadership, there are various experiential training goals you can reach depending on where each leader is in their journey.

Leaders in the Pipeline

If you have identified potential leaders, take advantage of the time you have before they step into a supervisory role to teach them leadership concepts like:

  • Building effective relationships
  • Managing time
  • Communicating and listening
  • Fostering collaboration within a team
  • Managing conflict in the workplace
  • Reducing stress

Managers and Supervisors

Individuals who already have direct reports can benefit from the practical leadership skills that will help them apply those concepts in the real world:

  • Creating a culture of accountability
  • Maximizing productivity
  • Building and leading teams
  • Communicating for impact
  • Coaching individuals to achieve results

Seasoned Leaders

High-level leaders may have reached their career goals, but this doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from experiential training to continually hone their leadership skills, including:

  • Maintaining personal and organizational accountability
  • Accelerating performance at every level
  • Involving all stakeholders in decision-making
  • Delegating and empowering
  • Fostering high-performance teamwork
  • Mastering organizational communication
  • Linking strategy and tactics
  • Leading an organizational transition

By applying the proven experiential training methods of mirroring reality, using principle-based design, and creating a safe place to test new ideas, you can improve leadership skills no matter where you are in your career.

 

 

Dave_rootAbout the author

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

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Creating a Leadership Culture at Every Level of an OrganizationA culture of leadership in your organization has many great benefits, especially if it exists in every level of your company. A leadership culture will make all your staff feel like valued stakeholders thus striving to deliver results and exceed expectations. Best of all, they feel valued and empowered. Individuals tend to rise through the leadership ranks, which means your organization retains staff and the on-the-job knowledge they’ve accumulated. This is no small accomplishment. Although few metrics can truly quantify the loss of knowledge when staff members move on, costs do add up in terms of recruitment, lost opportunities, and replacement.
By creating a leadership culture at every level of the organization, you’re also creating a culture of accountability, boosting overall productivity, and raising organizational outcomes. How can you get started? Below we’ve outlined five methods to create the leadership culture.
1. Provide the Right Foundation

Prepare newer and junior-level staff to be leaders in waiting by giving them skills to increase focus, improve efficiency, and maximize their individual impact within a team. They need to be able to be accountable and lead themselves and their own projects before they translate those skills to leading a team. These foundational tools include time management, communication, and listening skills. By acquiring these skills trainees learn to:
Communicate effectively, recognize and work around barriers that break down communication
Practice active listening which helps avoid communication conflicts and misunderstandings
Manage their time effectively which will set them up to have the time to learn and take on more responsibility

2. Build Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is very important; it allows individuals to learn how to build relationships with their personal style and understand how to best interact with others. Behavior profiles are simple to complete and will allow your staff to analyze their style of interaction. Team members will learn their specific attributes, strengths, and opportunities for growth and improvement. Because there is a direct connection between relationship building and leadership, these self-assessment tools can be powerful for everyone assessed. Staff at all levels of the organization learn how to leverage the differences and the talents of other people on their teams and within the organization.
How do you create a thriving culture? Learn more in Phil Geldart’s book. Get a free copy!

3. Offer Targeted Leadership Training

Leadership skills training is often most applicable for frontline employees with leadership potential and mid-level managers. This type of training offers them the skills, techniques, and methods to actually lead a team or department. They’ll learn to put their decisions into action. Through training, participants are able to:

  • Understand their role in the organization
  • Plan, organize, and manage in a productive manner
  • Work more closely with direct reports, colleagues, and senior management
  • Encourage team performance
  • Make and implement decisions

4. Ensure Fluid Teams

Supervisors and managers should understand how their actions impact their immediate team and the environment around them. This is a practical leadership skill. This knowledge allows for:

  • Strong leaders that are the crux of high performing and focused teams
  • Team leaders who are confident in giving and receiving feedback
  • Leaders willing and able to coach their direct reports
  • Leaders that take an active role in their personal and professional development

5. Don’t Leave Out Executives

Encourage executives to attend leadership programs to polish and improve their skills. All great leaders continue to learn and improve. These programs help those within an organization’s top ranks:
Define a common organizational language and ensure its consistent use

  • Create accountability at all levels
  • Encourage self-esteem to unleash human potential
  • Increase the importance of teamwork throughout the organization
  • Creating a leadership culture at all levels of the organization leads to an empowered workforce with limitless potential. Put these tactics in place and see the dividends pay off within your own organization.

About the author

sue

 

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Discover the Secrets to Producing Sustainable Behavior Change Through Training

Training today is largely synonymous with stilted presentations, PowerPoints, and confusing or slow-paced online learning software. This passive type of training is far from effective in changing behavior. In order to drive organizational growth and change participant behavior for the long run, you need a strategic approach, which you’ll find in this resource.

In the guide, Training and Development Secrets for Changing Behavior and Driving Organizational Growth, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement training & development programs that change employee behavior
  • Spark organizational growth through sustained behavior change
  • Build conviction among training participants & leadership

View the guide now to start changing behavior in your organization!

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teamwork in the workplace periodic  temporary suppression of the egoWe’ve all heard it before: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” It’s a bit of a cliché, yes, but we’ve heard this saying often precisely because it’s so true. While team success can be attributed to a number of different factors (we like to think of teamwork in the workplace as being made up of seven cornerstones), no team will succeed if it’s composed of members with a “me first” attitude.

When you’re dealing with high-performing team members, however, it can become difficult to keep egos aligned in a healthy way to the bigger team EGO. To deal with outsized “self-pride” when it comes to teamwork in the workplace, use these tips to achieve periodic and temporary suppression of the ego.

Suppression of the Ego Must Be Periodic and Temporary

What’s wrong with a little ego? Nothing necessarily—but when in a team setting, ego must be aligned to what works best for the team. When it can’t be, it must be suppressed. That’s why suppression of the ego must be periodic; it’s not a “one and done” practice. Team members are going to be constantly presented with and challenged by ideas and decisions that they may not agree with. But once a decision for the team has been made, each team member must put his or her full support behind that decision and work to make an agreed-upon course of action a reality. If a team member pushes back against each and every decision that a team makes, that team member has become a roadblock—not an asset.

At the same time, a little ego is healthy and even necessary for teamwork in the workplace to truly tackle tough problems with innovative solutions. Here’s why: An egoless team member is an idealess team member. Suppressing ego is not so much about completely erasing ego in a team, but knowing when to keep ego in check. If team leaders called for permanent suppression of ego, then team members would likely never speak up during meetings or formulate their own ideas. Confidence in oneself is essential to contributing to smart, inspired work, which is why knowing when to temporarily turn off ego—and when to turn it back on again—is crucial for team success and therefore a skill that must be coached into each team member.    

Relinquishing Ownership of Ideas

The power of teamwork in the workplace lies in the idea that two (or three or 10) heads are better than one—but if someone’s head becomes too big, that threatens the entire team dynamic! Essentially, the principle of teamwork related to ego is about ensuring that individual agendas don’t take over the team’s goals, inhibit other team members contribution or development and create a cycle of diminishing team effectiveness.

If egos have been growing unchecked in your teams, try approaching ideas differently. In a team setting, ideas don’t belong to the individual who comes up with them—they belong to the team. Viewing ideas this way also encourages team members to finesse an idea without fear of stepping on the originator’s toes or to combine multiple ideas for a more promising solution. In fact, this approach to developing ideas without ego falls in line with another of our cornerstones of teamwork in the workplace: shared resources. Obviously, for a team to succeed, all resources must be shared fairly—but that includes “soft” resources like ideas and information. An unchecked ego may lead a member to horde all of the “good” ideas for him- or herself, as he or she may plan to only present his or her ideas in a forum in which he or she will get credit for them.

This approach to shared ownership of ideas helps protect team members as well. In a team, nobody gets all of the glory for a good idea, but nobody gets all of the blame either if an idea doesn’t pan out. Collaboration through teamwork in the workplace provides a safe, supportive space for members to share ideas without fear of being ridiculed and then develop them together. Members don’t need to workshop ideas on their own before presenting them. This is an all-too-common approach born out of an ego-driven desire for ideas to be perfect. When egos are periodically and temporarily suppressed, team creativity flourishes.

 

chris_profile_webAbout the author

Chris holds an MBA from Cornell-Queens Executive MBA Program. From 2006-2014, he was the Executive Director and COO of Muskoka Woods Sports Resort. He is now the Executive Vice President Marketing and Business Development at Eagle’s Flight. His diverse executive background managing portfolios include operations, sales and marketing, finance, fundraising and Human Resources. Eagle’s Flight benefits from Chris’ experience and expertise in leading, facilitating and consulting for client executive teams, specifically in the development of their strategic vision and plan.

what is experiential learning used for in the workplace One of the questions we are often asked is “What is experiential learning?” Many human resources professionals and managers come to us looking for new ways to implement corporate training. Our decades of involvement in this industry have shown us time and again that experiential learning is one of the most effective ways to engage participants and, most importantly, generate measurable results after the training is over. Read on to learn more about experiential learning; what it is, how it can be applied in the workplace, and the benefits compared to other types of training.

What Is Experiential Learning?

One of the simplest ways to describe it is learning by doing. Experiential learning includes these key components:

  • An immersive activity that mimics a real-life workplace challenge
  • Teaching moments that allow participants to improve by applying new skills
  • A targeted debrief that connects the activity to real-world applications

In experiential learning, it is important that the experience is not seen as simply a simulation of their real world. Rather, the activity is deliberately themed to mask any connection to their day-to-day reality. For example, building a bridge between two islands to save a turtle population puts the focus on teamwork and optimizing team productivity. Throughout the exercise, a skilled facilitator introduces new challenges and provides tips for overcoming them. The challenges build progressively, and the team experiences how the new skills are beneficial, because they see the results in action. At the end of the activity, the facilitator bridges the gap between what the group learned about improving processes in the mock company and how they can do the same in their own work.

The objectives of experiential learning are to instill conviction, enable participants to learn new principles, let participants practice their new skills in a safe environment, and then give participants the confidence to apply these skills in the real world.

How Can Experiential Learning Be Used in the Workplace?

Experiential learning can be used anytime you want to teach specific skills or encourage new behaviors that support organizational goals. Some of the most common contexts for the application of experiential learning include:

  • Solving a real world problem or trying a new skill, bridging the gap between theory and practice
  • A safe learning environment outside of the workplace allowing participants to make mistakes and learn from them, without consequence.
  • Learning by doing requires critical thinking and problem solving. The result is better retention of new concepts.

What Are the Benefits of Experiential Learning?

Organizations of all sizes are employing experiential learning because it:

  • Is fun and engaging for participants
  • Can be applied at every level within the organization
  • Instills personal conviction about the value of changing behaviors
  • Demonstrates how to apply new skills in the real world
  • Creates new behaviors that last
  • Provides a shared experience that participants can reference in the future
  • Is a cost-effective training method, because results last longer
  • Generates positive feedback from participants

If you have never tried experiential learning in your organization, now is a good time to start. Younger individuals in the workforce have high expectations for training events, and seasoned professionals are ready for a refreshing change; especially if it helps them do their jobs better.

 

john

About the author

Since 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

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