leadership coaching

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Change is inevitable. From organizational initiatives and M&A activity to market conditions and leadership transitions, it’s not about if change will happen but when it will happen. Therefore, the key to change management success is to be proactive and train your leaders early. After all, it may not be the change that employees fear the most but rather how the change will be handled.

The key to change management success is to be proactive and train your leaders early.
Change of any magnitude triggers an emotional response. The corporate world may tend to shy away from or even suppress the emotions involved with change; however, it is a huge component to success. While managing the processes that need to be introduced or changed is important, you must have leaders in place with the emotional intelligence and people skills to manage and support the employees who will be the hands that make the change a reality.

While emotional intelligence may be partly instinct, your leaders will be better equipped if you train and develop their skills in the following three areas.

1. Communication

Transparency is key during times of change. Consider how behaviors, thoughts or actions can be interpreted or misinterpreted by employees. Not only should you be training your leaders on how to articulate a change announcement with logic and clarity, but they should also be aware of how they are non-verbally communicating with employees before the change happens. Appearing secretive can lead to negative emotions, such as fear or resentment, making change more difficult to embrace when it comes time to do so.

Once they have made the change announcement, leaders must apply their interpersonal and communication skills to influence, persuade, answer questions and discuss concerns. Equip them with the capabilities to foster a culture within their teams that encourages clarifying questions and open discussion. When employees feel supported and confident in a culture that promotes this genuine form of dialogue, they are more likely to embrace the change.

Equip leaders with the capabilities to foster a culture that encourages clarifying questions and open discussion.


2. Coaching

One of the most important managerial competencies that separates good leaders from great ones is coaching. The ability – or inability – of a leader to coach is exponentially amplified during times of change. Therefore, engaging with and coaching one’s employees through the transition is one of the greatest factors in the success of a change initiative.

The ability – or inability – of a leader to coach is exponentially amplified during times of change.

When done effectively, good coaching establishes a rapport that builds trust, confidence in the change and alignment for the future. To be a great coach, leaders must be trained to actively listen and ask exploratory questions to help team members articulate their hopes and concerns. Coaching encourages team members to find their own answers and formulate a plan for how they will personally succeed through the transition. Following up on a regular basis is critical to building trust and demonstrating the level of support employees receive during transitions.

3. Accountability

Leaders must be held accountable for their own actions during change to ensure its success. Employees are more likely to feel empowered and embrace the change when they see their leaders actively participating in and supporting the change initiative themselves. Leaders must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. The optics of leaders driving the new reality not only make the weight of change much less burdensome for everyone involved, but they actually serve to inspire collaboration and teamwork in order to implement the change. When everyone is held accountable for his or her own attitudes and responsibilities, and delivers accordingly, change succeeds.

During times of change, leaders must be proactively trained to have a mindset of constant consideration of how their actions, behaviors and words may influence the way employees internalize their accountabilities. Leaders who promote collaboration, input and teamwork during these periods of transition demonstrate that when everyone is engaged in working toward a common goal, it positively benefits the organization both in the present and in the future.

As John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Most organizations would agree with this statement. However, the understanding that often evades most leadership training on this topic is that change impacts each person uniquely. How it will manifest in each employee is different, and leaders cannot apply their skills in a one-size-fits-all manner. Leaders who are constantly honing their emotional intelligence and change management skills will fare far better when change does happen. They are the leaders who will be able to communicate, coach and hold people accountable, and they will achieve the desired outcome.

How change manifests in each employee is different, and leaders cannot apply their skills in a one-size-fits-all manner.

About the Author

John_Profile_WebJohn Wright is president of leadership development and learning events for Eagle’s Flight. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner.

 

 

 

 

Source:- https://www.trainingindustry.com/articles/leadership/train-your-leaders-for-change-asap/?utm_campaign=PR%20-%20Social%20&utm_content=64721167&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

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It’s no secret that organizations who wish to be successful over the long term strategically pay attention to their leadership pipeline. Yet shockingly, 56% of companies report that they are not ready to meet their future leadership requirements. When considering the necessary elements to include in an organization’s leadership pipeline strategy, alignment with and demonstration of organizational values is rapidly migrating to the forefront for many Human Resource executives.The question remains, how can a focus on values and culture be woven into the leadership pipeline process? Here are three simple strategies:

Know the Culture and Values You Want
Culture is the aggregate sum of the behaviors exhibited within an organization. Unfortunately, an organization can have a culture that they did not plan for and do not want. For example, an organization may be driving for increased revenue growth and hence be incentivizing employees around upselling or offering add-ons. This may inadvertently rob them of the customer-service culture they identify in their values or mission statement, because employees and managers are more focused on what they are incentivized with or measured against.

                              
The solution is to bring clarity to leaders surrounding the priority of values and initiatives. Not only is it necessary for employees and leaders to deliver on the revenue growth commitments, it is also critical that they deliver on the agreed-upon service standards. Knowing that this is the standard, right from the top, will help build a pipeline of leaders who are Maximize Zone Leaders, who can both deliver on their  commercial commitments and model culture and values
Explicitly Incorporate Your Values into Leadership Development Training
When cultivating and grooming future leaders, it is critical to design leadership development training that reflects the culture and values that will set the organization up for future, long-term success. It is ideal that current leaders, who already have the vision of the culture and values, have a significant influence in the development of the training.Rich Butler, Senior Director of Global Training and Development for Papa John’s, who has been spearheading Papa John’s Leadership and Culture initiative over the past two years, states, “It has been very important to our CEO and founder (John Schnatter) that Papa John’s fuel our growth with leaders who will role-model the culture and values that are near and dear to his heart.”

Thus, Butler and Papa John’s have been explicitly training the organization’s leaders, around the values, leadership behaviors, and culture they expect their leaders to model, coach, and require.

This has had “incredibly positive results” on both attracting great future leaders into the organization, and building a great pipeline for the future, reflects Butler. “We have always had a passion to promote from within,” says Butler, “however, being explicit about the values and leadership culture we expect and training our leaders, is putting us in a position to fill our leadership pipeline faster and more effectively.”

Measure Leaders Frequently and Link Advancement to Quality Scores
Organizations have relied on instruments like 360-degree assessments for years to measure the values and leadership behaviors that they want their leaders and future leaders to espouse.

While a powerful tool, 360-degree assessments can be cumbersome to execute, and often cannot provide the frequency necessary to assess if leaders are accurately modeling the expected values and leadership behaviors required, as they also strive to deliver their commercial commitments. Thus, organizations often find themselves promoting leaders who are only delivering on commercial commitments. Over time they regret these promotions, as the leaders are not modeling the values and leadership behaviors. Further, they are not coaching or requiring the behaviors of their direct reports, because they simply lack the credibility to hold anyone accountable for that which they do not do themselves.

What is a viable solution to frequently measuring values and leadership behaviors?

One solution is the Pulse Check. A Pulse Check operates similarly to a 360-degree assessment; however, it is much shorter (6 to 12 questions) and can be executed monthly or bimonthly. This increased frequency helps to promote higher levels of awareness and accelerates behavior change. Moreover, when the results are discussed with regularity and leaders can see the connection between advancement and the quality of their scores, it builds a deep conviction in them of the importance of living by these values and beliefs. It also viscerally demonstrates the importance of coaching and requiring these values and behaviors into the next generation of leaders.

When every leader in the leadership pipeline understands the organizational values and embraces their accountability to model, coach, and require these values as they deliver their commercial commitments, and as they experience the connection between living these values and their professional advancement, the result is a leadership pipeline full of future leaders who know and live the organizational values and culture.

This alignment contributes to fewer leadership gaps, smoother leadership transitions, and the ability to stay on the charted course of building strong leaders who deliver on commercial commitments and model the culture and values.It’s no secret that organizations who wish to be successful over the long term strategically pay attention to their leadership pipeline. Yet shockingly, 56% of companies report that they are not ready to meet their future leadership requirements. When considering the necessary elements to include in an organization’s leadership pipeline strategy, alignment with and demonstration of organizational values is rapidly migrating to the forefront for many Human Resource executives. The question remains, how can a focus on values and culture be woven into the leadership pipeline process? Here are three simple strategies: Know the Culture and Values You Want Culture is the aggregate sum of the behaviors exhibited within an organization. Unfortunately, an organization can have a culture that they did not plan for and do not want. For example, an organization may be driving for increased revenue growth and hence be incentivizing employees around upselling or offering add-ons. This may inadvertently rob them of the customer-service culture they identify in their values or mission statement, because employees and managers are more focused on what they are incentivized with or measured against.    The solution is to bring clarity to leaders surrounding the priority of values and initiatives. Not only is it necessary for employees and leaders to deliver on the revenue growth commitments, it is also critical that they deliver on the agreed-upon service standards. Knowing that this is the standard, right from the top, will help build a pipeline of leaders who are Maximize Zone Leaders, who can both deliver on their  commercial commitments and model culture and values.  Explicitly Incorporate Your Values into Leadership Development Training When cultivating and grooming future leaders, it is critical to design leadership development training that reflects the culture and values that will set the organization up for future, long-term success. It is ideal that current leaders, who already have the vision of the culture and values, have a significant influence in the development of the training. Rich Butler, Senior Director of Global Training and Development for Papa John’s, who has been spearheading Papa John’s Leadership and Culture initiative over the past two years, states, “It has been very important to our CEO and founder (John Schnatter) that Papa John’s fuel our growth with leaders who will role-model the culture and values that are near and dear to his heart.” Thus, Butler and Papa John’s have been explicitly training the organization’s leaders, around the values, leadership behaviors, and culture they expect their leaders to model, coach, and require. This has had “incredibly positive results” on both attracting great future leaders into the organization, and building a great pipeline for the future, reflects Butler. “We have always had a passion to promote from within,” says Butler, “however, being explicit about the values and leadership culture we expect and training our leaders, is putting us in a position to fill our leadership pipeline faster and more effectively.”   Measure Leaders Frequently and Link Advancement to Quality Scores Organizations have relied on instruments like 360-degree assessments for years to measure the values and leadership behaviors that they want their leaders and future leaders to espouse. While a powerful tool, 360-degree assessments can be cumbersome to execute, and often cannot provide the frequency necessary to assess if leaders are accurately modeling the expected values and leadership behaviors required, as they also strive to deliver their commercial commitments. Thus, organizations often find themselves promoting leaders who are only delivering on commercial commitments. Over time they regret these promotions, as the leaders are not modeling the values and leadership behaviors. Further, they are not coaching or requiring the behaviors of their direct reports, because they simply lack the credibility to hold anyone accountable for that which they do not do themselves. What is a viable solution to frequently measuring values and leadership behaviors? One solution is the Pulse Check. A Pulse Check operates similarly to a 360-degree assessment; however, it is much shorter (6 to 12 questions) and can be executed monthly or bimonthly. This increased frequency helps to promote higher levels of awareness and accelerates behavior change. Moreover, when the results are discussed with regularity and leaders can see the connection between advancement and the quality of their scores, it builds a deep conviction in them of the importance of living by these values and beliefs. It also viscerally demonstrates the importance of coaching and requiring these values and behaviors into the next generation of leaders. When every leader in the leadership pipeline understands the organizational values and embraces their accountability to model, coach, and require these values as they deliver their commercial commitments, and as they experience the connection between living these values and their professional advancement, the result is a leadership pipeline full of future leaders who know and live the organizational values and culture. This alignment contributes to fewer leadership gaps, smoother leadership transitions, and the ability to stay on the charted course of building strong leaders who deliver on commercial commitments and model the culture and values.

Author Bio
John Wright is President of Leadership Development and Learning Events, Eagle’s Flight. John has extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership Development 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.
Source- http://bit.ly/2uspkmQ

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corporate event planning

From SXSW to TED Talks, there are a few national and international events that stand out among all event planners. Not only are these noteworthy events massively popular, but they are wildly successful. From engaging participants from diverse backgrounds to inspiring attendees to take a specific action, these special events capture interest and make an impact on attendees, for days, months, and even years after.

Experiential learning is a training method that engages participants through immersive, themed training events. By transporting participants to another world, themed scenarios such as a jungle expedition or a treasure hunt make learning more intuitive, memorable, and enjoyable. Creating an exciting environment masks work scenarios and real-world situations and creates a hands-on experience that encourages participants to take risks.

Studies show that when participants learn by doing, they retain 75 percent of the new information and skills learned. In this regard, it’s important to pay attention to the details and transform a dull meeting room into a verdant jungle or tropical island, complete with sensory, auditory, and visual props. If it is appropriately themed, then the participants are likelier to accept the challenge, activity, or mandate posed by the experience as “intriguing” and to engage fully.

Hands-on learning encourages participants to work through problems together by actively engaging, rather than the passive listening that’s required by traditional, presentation-based training.

Here are two inspiring themes for your next corporate event that easily incorporate experiential learning.

PRODUCE A BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE

Calling all movie buffs! Give your audience the chance to serve as producers during the Golden Age of Hollywood at your next corporate event. By emphasizing creative expression and group collaboration, this theme encourages team members to think outside of the box to create a final product.

Designate individuals to serve as producers and agents who are tasked with the overarching goal of making as much money as possible. Team members must work together to assemble the necessary resources to create the most effective, engaging movie idea possible within a specific category. They must negotiate contracts to secure the talent, the screenplay, the score, the location, and the special effects.

Finally, teams work to create movie posters designed to illustrate the talent they have acquired and to market their movie to the public. By tasking team members with the goal of creating a final product, this theme encourages team members to pull together resources and interact with nearly everyone in the room.

YOUR MISSION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED

Who doesn’t love a thrilling mission? Channel your inner James Bond and create a spy-themed corporate event. Because many people get their news from social media, you can bet that these platforms are an easy way to connect with your team members. Start dropping clues about your meeting before it happens. Whether you choose to designate a Twitter feed to send out cryptic messages or Facebook to send out visual clues, building excitement before the event can build engagement.

On the day of your event, in addition to serving martini-glass appetizers and delivering registration packets stamped “CONFIDENTIAL,” be sure to continue the social media efforts. Research shows that 70 percent of top companies and brands consider it “extremely important” or “very important” to extend and amplify event programs using social media. In the context of a spy theme, you can send your team members on a mission that involves cracking a cyber crime and requires attendees to tweet information on Twitter to crack the code.

”Missions” can help team members diagnose, learn, self-correct, and respond with improved outcomes. After the event, be sure to debrief participants—while still retaining the spy theme—to reveal the connections between the training exercises and their professional realities. By equipping teams with the tools to engage in proactive problem-solving, you can illustrate how these newly acquired skills are relevant to the real world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian_ProfileIan 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.

 

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

 

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Leadership

If a key executive member—including you—left your organization tomorrow, would your company crumble? The long-term success of a business depends on the sustainability of leadership. If your company is currently successful, it can be assumed that your leadership program is effective. However, many companies do not invest in the resources to prepare future leaders for future roles.

Developing a strong leadership pipeline can help your organization not only achieve immediate success, but also ensure that success over a longer period of time. To help grow your leadership strategy, consider these five techniques.

1. Mentoring and Coaching Initiatives

Coaching and mentoring are crucial components of an effective leadership pipeline. That’s why it’s important for your strategy to engage existing senior leaders so that they devote time to nurturing potential leaders across your team. Establish a mentoring program and make it a responsibility for leaders to coach employees through both formal and informal mentoring sessions.

An effective coaching program emphasizes the connection between the coach and the student. Your leadership team must first take the time to connect, to understand, and to build trust and respect with their team members. Once this is established, it’s far easier to share industry insight and expertise, instruct on important organizational operations, and share role-specific hard skills.

2. Leadership Development Programs

Implementing a leadership development program allows you to cultivate leaders from within your organization so that you have a stable of prepared, talented individuals who can step up when need be. While many organizations have programs that either cater toward senior-level employees or require team members to apply for consideration, think about offering leadership training to your entire organization. When you keep the program open, you create a pool of candidates to fill open positions.

For front-line professionals with no direct reports, leadership training can help develop individual potential and overall leadership strength for the future. These programs drive focus, improve efficiency, and maximize individual contributions to the organization. For mid-level leaders, or those who display focus and confidence in their assessment and coaching techniques, leadership programs help develop their own capabilities in order to tap into the potential of those they lead.

3. Real-World, Real-Time Experiences

On-the-job training programs should be supportive and challenging. To truly groom leaders, offer them more and more responsibilities over time and challenge them with new situations and assignments. Much of what individuals learn happens in real time, so encourage them to work through situational problems to experience real-life workplace situations. Ultimately, it’s your executive team’s responsibility to offer team members the necessary training and resources to be successful.

4. Regular Feedback

According to a Gallup study that measured how Millennials want to work, regular meetings and consistent feedback improve engagement and performance. The survey found that 44 percent of Millennials are more likely to be engaged when their manager does meet with them on a regular basis. Despite these benefits, only 21 percent of Millennial workers meet with their managers on a weekly basis. Your team members want feedback; it’s up to you to provide it.

Relevant, on-the-job training can mirror real-life situations. Without feedback, however, employees are left to assume that their behavior is acceptable. It’s clear that feedback is an essential motivator in developing leaders. Be aware that this applies to both negative and positive feedback. On one hand, a leadership team that does not correct poor employee performance can’t expect change. Conversely, without positive feedback, employees are not provided with the opportunity to flourish and grow.

5. Cross-Departmental Learning

Silos and turf wars impact even the strongest organizations. That’s why it’s up to your current management team to create opportunities in your leadership pipeline for different departments to work together. After all, executive leaders must actively engage with all employees. When departments collaborate and communicate with each other, they gain a greater understanding of the role of other team members and how they function, as well as a more comprehensive overview of how the entire organization functions.

Below are some ideas for cross-departmental learning:

  • Team building events
  • Peer mentorship
  • Cross-departmental project teams
  • Job shadowing assignments

Not only can cross-departmental exposure help future leaders understand your company as a whole, but it can inspire ideas for their own roles. This type of learning can improve productivity and ensure that individuals have the right amount of diverse work experience to step into leadership roles.

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.

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Crafting the Perfect Playlist for Your Next Company Event or Conference

You never know how much a playlist matters until you attend an oddly silent conference. Something just feels off, as if the room was zapped of energy. Luckily, crafting the perfect playlist for your company event is an easy and low-cost way to amp up the energy in the room—and the right playlist can set the tone and support the core message of your whole event! Here are four things to keep in mind as you put your conference playlist together.

1. Include high-energy hits.

You know those songs that come on the radio that cause you to immediately turn up the dial? Those are songs you need to include in your conference playlist! Pepper your playlist with high-energy contemporary hits that have a broad appeal. These infectious hits are an easy way to keep your participants enthused during breaks and between sessions. Keep in mind, of course, that you don’t want to play anything too risque or suggestive—remember to purchase the clean version of each song!

Some high-energy hits that’ll pump up participants are:

  • “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
  • “Happy,” Pharrell Williams
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” Justin Timberlake
  • “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
  • “Roar,” Katy Perry

2. Sprinkle in some oldies but goodies.

It’s a good idea to include some hits with timeless appeal, especially if your conference will be attended by a mix of ages. There’s nothing worse than attending a conference and not recognizing any of the music! Just like with your contemporary hits, however, you’ll want to make sure the classics you choose are upbeat and on message.

A few energetic hits that have stood the test of time are:

  • “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey
  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Diana Ross
  • “ABC,” The Jackson Five
  • “Build Me Up Buttercup,” The Foundations
  • “Walking on Sunshine,” Katrina and the Waves

3. Tie songs into your theme.

Theming your company event or conference is a great way to boost enthusiasm and tie all your sessions and activities together with a common thread. Theming your conference, however, only works to build enthusiasm if you fully commit to bringing the theme to life for your participants. That means paying attention to the details—decor, dining, and beyond.

One way to add to the themed ambiance (without dipping much into your conference budget)? Find music that fits your theme. It may take a little more research and creativity, but the right music can help you set the right tone for your theme. For example, are you turning your conference space into an outpost in the Wild West? Then add Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy,” the Steve Miller Band’s “Space Cowboy,” and Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West” to your playlist pronto. Yes, these songs are a bit silly—but that’s exactly what will help your participants loosen up and immerse themselves!

4. Use a “welcome to the stage” jam for speakers.

Cue up the music to alert your participants that it’s time to pay attention to the stage again. Use one of two strategies to welcome speakers to the stage.

  • You can pick one song and use it for each speaker throughout your conference. This is a smart approach because as soon as participants hear the song start to play, they know what’s going to happen next and can find their seats accordingly. If you go this route, make sure you pick a song that supports the message or theme of your event, because it will be the song your participants hear most often.
  • Or let your speakers pick their own “welcome to the stage” songs—similar to how each player on a baseball team walks up to home plate to a song of their liking. This approach may take more logistical planning to pull off, but it adds a big dose of personality to your event and can make speakers feel more involved.

What other songs always make their way onto your conference playlists to ensure your event is engaging?

EF authorABOUT THE AUTHOR

As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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Which Groups of Employees Will Benefit Most from Experiential Learning

Very few organizations are made up of a homogenous group of employees. More often than not, a company’s diverse workforce is composed of everybody from Millennials to Baby Boomers—this includes the experienced and those just learning the ropes. You need training that will resonate with all employees, no matter their differences. Can experiential learning rise to the occasion?

In our experience, yes; experiential learning works well for all types of employees, regardless of age, tenure, or background. That’s because the “learn by doing” approach is effective—and exciting—for all participants. Instead of passively consuming training lessons, participants “live” the lesson during a hands-on, discovery-based activity that mirrors the challenges that participants face on the job. Experiential learning puts the trainee in the middle of the training, making it even more visceral and immediate—and therefore easier for trainees to learn and digest.

In fact, experience-based learning has retention rates of up to 90 percent. Compare that to the retention rates of more traditional types of learning (like lectures, for example), which are as low as five percent.

Experiential learning also works well for all types of employees because learners get immediate feedback while they learn. As they work through an experience, they discover what behaviors lead to breakthroughs and what behaviors lead to dead ends, and so they’re able to change their behaviors during the exercise to achieve certain results. Seasoned facilitators are also on hand to guide learners through the exercise and provide feedback on winning strategies during the session’s debrief.

This is important because cognitive researchers have actually identified actionable feedback as one of four crucial aspects that make learning effective. Feedback that simply grades learners—like earning a “pass” or “fail” on a training quiz, for example—isn’t really helpful. To be effective, feedback must allow learners to revise their thinking and their understanding of material—which is exactly what experiential learning provides.

Framing Experiential Learning to Meet a Group’s Perceived Needs

Experiential learning is a good match for all kinds of employees. Different groups of employees may think they need a certain kind of training to match their backgrounds and skill levels. You can frame experiential learning in ways that address their concerns.

For example, here’s how you can frame experiential learning for four specific employee groups.

1. YOUNGER EMPLOYEES

Experiential learning is a perfect match for the Millennial generation, with its engaging approach to learning. Plus, the focus on learning through personal experience appeals to younger employees, who strongly value opportunities for personal growth.

2. MID-CAREER EMPLOYEES

Employees who’ve been with your company for a few years are looking for ways to gain new skills so that they can move their careers forward. These employees are looking to take more ownership of their projects and work responsibilities. Experiential learning builds personal conviction and stresses the importance of taking ownership of outcomes, which means it will appeal to mid-career employees ready to take on more responsibility.

3. VETERAN EMPLOYESS

Veteran employees have been through countless trainings and have probably seen their fair share of standard training lectures and PowerPoint presentations. You can reinvigorate and re-engage these employees with experiential learning, a new approach to training that features fun, immersive learning activities.

4. EXECUTIVES

Your company’s leadership wants to hear what its highly skilled peers have to say during training, bouncing ideas off one another during fascinating discussions. The collaborative nature of experiential learning will appeal to the C-suite—and these skilled employees will appreciate the chance to dig into a real challenge during training!

When you’ve used traditional training approaches in the past, how have different groups of employees responded to the material? Did some groups succeed? Did some struggle more than others?

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.

 

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight

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how-to-embed-corporate-training-into-employee-eventsOrganizing a corporate event requires a cohesive vision, careful planning, and attention to detail. Crafting a tight agenda, finding appropriate trainers, planning the format of the training and handling logistics are all important tasks that an event planner must manage. To do this successfully, they need to understand the expectations about the event day. Be prepared to answer the following four questions as you plan your next event.

1. What is the objective of the corporate event?

When working with an event planner, either external or internal, it is critical for them to understand the goals of the gathering. The following are examples of these goals.

  • Sharing important company updates
  • Getting information from participants
  • Providing training for individuals or teams
  • Fostering the company culture
  • Making decisions
  • Building connections between team members
  • Having fun and engaging employees

Whatever the reasons for your event, the planner must understand them so that they can make decisions that support your business goals.

2. Who is attending the event?

In order to be most effective, corporate events should be catered to the audience. An event planner will create an experience for a meeting of executives that is different from an experience that they would create for industry-specific safety training. Here is some information that they will need.

  • How many attendees to expect
  • The types of roles that participants have
  • The range of participants’ experience levels
  • Whether or not non-employees will be attending

Having this information at their fingertips will allow a planner to decide what types of training sessions, presentations, food, entertainment, and other activities to organize.

3. What is the schedule for the event?

A corporate event planner needs much more than an agenda for the day of the gathering. They need to know things like the following information.

  • When speakers are arriving
  • When presenters will have time to set up and practice
  • Where and when meals are happening
  • Who is responsible for every task
  • Any time constraints from the venue

The larger an event is, the more detail a planner needs so that they can prepare in advance as much as possible.

4. How does the event support business objectives?

There is a big difference between planning a company picnic and organizing an annual off-site meeting. While both might be considered corporate events and certainly require logistics and planning, only one is intended to impact performance in the workplace. In order to successfully choose the right type of training programs, your planner will need to know the following.

With this knowledge in hand, they can organize immersive, fun, and engaging experiential learning events that will be both memorable and effective.

An event planning template can ensure that all the key players are on the same page about what needs to happen and when. Event planning is a team effort; when done well, participants will have a seamless, memorable experience that adds value to their work.

EF authorABOUT THE AUTHOR

As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight

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4 Ways to Improve and Protect Your Credibility as a Training ManagerAs a training manager, you have to walk a fine line between, on one hand, meeting budget expectations and learning benchmarks set by company leadership and, on the other hand, delivering training that employees are actually excited to engage in. It can be a lot to balance, and you want to make a good impression on both sides of that line! Luckily, strengthening your credibility as a training manager goes hand in hand with strengthening your training offerings and how you present them to management and participants. Here are four ways to protect and improve your credibility while designing an exceptional training program in the process.

1. Focus on changing behavior for lasting results.

When you’re trying to get training buy-in from executives, you can improve your credibility by focusing on the end result: changed behavior. Training sessions are often framed as opportunities to learn new skills in a safe, supportive environment. Savvy training managers, however, understand that strategic training is not just about learning new skills—it’s about creating lasting behavior change. When it comes time to get budget buy-in from your company’s leaders for new training initiatives, frame your training not just as an opportunity for professional development but as a strategy for increasing employee productivity and effectiveness. Teaching participants how to improve behaviors, and supporting their behavior transformations after the training with retention programs, translates to on-the-job results. Higher productivity and effectiveness lead to higher ROI—an outcome that your leaders respect and expect.

2. Implement training that’s a proven success.

So, how do you change behavior through training? This is where experiential learning comes in. Through hands-on, discovery-based exercises, trainees “learn by doing” so that they’re able to learn new skills and practice them in one fell swoop. This approach to learning works: Studies have shown that with experience-based learning, people have a 70 percent recall of what they learned (compare that to just a five percent recall for passive learning methods). Plus, experiential learning not only is easier for trainees to remember, but it creates personal conviction—a necessary ingredient for true behavior change—by involving the trainees in the training itself.

3. Be clear that your training is more than “just a game.”

If your company hasn’t engaged in experience-based learning before, you may get some pushback—both from leadership and the trainees themselves. Sometimes, trainers may hear from trainees that they “don’t like games” or don’t see how a game relates to work. This viewpoint is understandable, because so many experience-based activities just feel like busywork with no deeper purpose.

Experiential learning, however, is different—because the skills and knowledge needed to change behavior are built into the experience itself. That usually becomes evident once the experience gets underway and trainees sink their teeth into the challenge. If you get pushback from someone who thinks a training “game” is just a time-waster, simply ask the participant to try the experience for a few minutes to really see if this is the kind of “game” that they dislike. They’ll soon become so engrossed in the real challenge at hand that they’ll forget their doubts.

4. Connect learning to real-world outcomes.

Improve your credibility as a training manager by ensuring that you’re focusing not just on the fun, immersive part of the training experience but also on what comes after: the debrief. In experiential learning, the debrief is when facilitators make the important connections between what participants just experienced in the learning activity and how that relates to their actual jobs. During the debrief, facilitators reveal that the same strategies that participants use to succeed during the training exercise can be used to succeed at work. For many participants, the debrief represents the “aha!” part of the training, where the value of the training clicks for them. While designing and implementing the fun themed part of an experiential learning session may be what gets many trainers excited, credible training managers know that the real magic for participants happens in the debrief. Keep your focus on creating a debrief that crystallizes learning for participants so that they can immediately apply that learning on the job. Your participants—and your executive team—will thank you.

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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The Power of a Common Language in Customer RelationshipsExperiential learning is a valuable tool for improving a team’s approach to customer relationships. Rather than just explaining the importance of putting the customers’ needs first, experiential learning allows participants to get a deeper understanding of the positive impact that customer centricity can have, by taking them through an immersive experience that clearly demonstrates cause and effect. An important component of this experience is that participants share a common language.

HOW TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL COMMON LANGUAGE.

Creating a common language around customer centricity does not mean using cliché phrases like “the customer is always first.” It means allowing the team to develop its own common language from a shared experience that evokes a visceral feeling and causes the team members to shift their behavior.

Let’s use Rattlesnake Canyon, an Eagle’s Flight program, as an example. In this experience, teams compete to make as much money as possible by selling goods to a railroad company. Settlers buy individual products like livestock, lanterns, and tools and sell them to merchants who assemble them into kits. The merchants then sell the kits to the railroad, the end customer.

During the course of the experience, participants quickly learn that they can make a lot of money by buying and reselling pigs, so a pig-purchasing frenzy quickly emerges. However, after the railroad buys a certain number of pigs, it doesn’t need any more, and it stops purchasing them. This leaves settlers and merchants with an abundance of pigs that they can’t sell, ultimately limiting their resources and hindering their ability to provide their railroad customer with the other supplies. When the teams figure this out, a common language emerges: “Stop buying pigs!”

What happens during this experience? The teams become so focused on making money by buying and selling pigs that they lose sight of their customers’ needs. This quickly becomes apparent during the debrief, and because the participants have a shared experience using a determined common language, it immediately loops them back to the lessons of the experience.

HOW A COMMON LANGUAGE BENEFITS THE CUSTOMER.

Unlike lecture-based training, an experiential learning event like this has the power to resonate with a team for a significant period of time. Sharing a common language makes it possible to make quick course corrections along the way. For example, when one team member recognizes that they might not be putting the needs of the customer first, and they announce, “Stop buying pigs!”, they can shift their focus back to the intended goal.

Everybody on the team knows what the phrase means because they also learned the same lesson on a visceral level. They experienced a failure once in the game, and they don’t want to repeat it in real life with actual customers. Having this common language also allows the team to convey the concept of customer centricity succinctly without having to use more time-consuming communication approaches.

Rattlesnake Canyon is just one example of how the power of a common language can impact customer relationships. Every experiential learning event brings teams together in a way that other types of training cannot. By sharing in the successes and failures of the game and, most important, linking the lessons learned to the workplace, participants leave with a common language they can draw from in the future. They also gain a renewed commitment to improving performance on the job and building customer centric relationships.

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.

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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4 Distinct Components of Experiential LearningLectures. Online videos. PowerPoint presentations. Role-playing games. Simulations. There are so many training methods out there that it’s hard to choose which one is the best fit for your organization. Another type of training that organizations can use is experiential learning, an engaging experience-based training method that consistently leads to higher learning retention rates and permanently changed behavior in participants. What really makes experiential training different from other kinds of skills training? Here are four distinct components that every experiential learning activity must have.

1. Activities require hands-on participation.

Lectures and PowerPoint presentations have long been popular training methods, because they allow trainers to fit a lot of information into a short amount of time. Experiential training, however, takes a radically different approach. One of the hallmarks of these events is their participatory nature. During an activity, every trainee takes part in a hands-on situation, where they will interact with other trainees to solve a challenge.

The participatory nature of experiential training helps build conviction in participants. With immersive exercises, learning becomes more visceral, immediate, and personal. Trainees experience first-hand how their behaviors during the exercise lead to certain outcomes—a lesson they can apply in the workplace. With training techniques like lectures, the conviction-building component is often missing.

Furthermore, requiring trainees to participate in experiential activities combines learning with practice. Instead of learning about a new skill during training and then having to wait to practice that new skill on the job, trainees get to learn about, practice, and refine the new skill during the participatory exercise. They leave the training session much more confident about using their new skills on the job and succeeding at doing so.

2. Trainees participate as themselves.

Of course, experiential learning isn’t the only type of training that calls for active participation. For example, role-playing scenarios—in which trainees are given certain predetermined roles, like a customer and a salesperson—are popular participatory training techniques. This further differentiates experiential training, as it requires and allows participants to be themselves during the event.

Again, this helps build conviction in participants. During a role-playing scenario, it’s all too easy for participants to dismiss the outcome, because it wasn’t really the participants who brought the outcome about—it was the “characters” they were playing.

When they participate as themselves, however, they can no longer excuse outcomes. Experiential training definitively demonstrates cause and effect for participants, as it shows them exactly how their behavior causes certain outcomes.

3. Activities are designed as a themed metaphor.

Perhaps the most distinctive component of experiential training is its immersive, story-like nature. Instead of simply having participants simulate a common workplace scenario, experiential training activities mask the similarities to workplace problems with a themed story. The story acts as a metaphor for the challenges that participants face on the job.

For example, instead of asking members of a dysfunctional team to mimic what happens in a team meeting, members are instead tasked with working together to find hidden treasure deep in the Amazon jungle.

Experiential learning’s themed metaphors provide two big benefits.

  1. Working through a themed activity is so much more fun than working through work-like situations. The themed nature of experiential training keeps participants excited and engaged throughout the entire experience.
  2. Masking common workplace scenarios with themed challenges creates a safe space for participants, which encourages them to take risks and try out-of-the-box problem-solving techniques. If the training situation directly mirrored their on-the-job reality, participants may be too concerned with possible failure to take risks. Designing the exercise as a fun, themed situation removes the pressure that participants may feel—leading to big breakthroughs that they would have been too cautious to achieve on the job or during a job-like training scenario.

4. Trainees end with a results-oriented debrief.

No experiential activity is complete without the debrief. The debrief allows a facilitator to make the connections between what participants worked on during the themed exercise and how the exercise relates to participants’ on-the-job experience. Facilitators “unmask” the metaphor, so to speak. Understanding and retention really hinge on a clear, in-depth debrief, which is why the debrief is so essential to experiential training. During the debrief, the facilitator reveals how the strategies that participants used to win the game are the same strategies they can use to succeed at work. When participants return to work to try out their new skills, they’ll remember the visceral experience of the themed exercise and the connection to winning at work.

Have you integrated any of these experiential learning components into your past training? What were the results?

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.

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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