Team Leadership

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I am certain you have experienced this conundrum before: You’ve led participants through a training program, and all the indications are that they seem to understand the material. Many of them even ace the retention quizzes you’ve designed, so you know the learning has taken root yet their behavior on the job hasn’t changed.

Capture the Heart & Mind in Your Organization's Training ProgramsIf you’ve found yourself in this scenario when implementing training programs, it’s because you haven’t truly captured the hearts and minds of your participants. Participants not only need to learn new skills during training, they need to understand “what’s in it for them.” Yes…WIIFT! That’s what leads to true behavior change. Below are the two elements every one of your training programs must embrace in order to capture hearts and minds.

Build Personal Conviction

In order to capture the hearts and minds of your participants so that they actually apply the skills and behaviors they’ve learned post-training, you must build conviction during your training programs. In everything we do as humans, we hold on tightly to our beliefs, and those beliefs become part of our identities. If you have participants who believe strongly in doing something a certain way, then having them engage in training programs that attempt to teach new behaviors may seem like a personal attack on their beliefs and convictions—and even themselves. Yes, training can be an emotional minefield!

The solution is simple: In order to change hearts and minds, you must build conviction. Okay, maybe not simple, but very, very doable. You can intentionally design your training programs to capture a person’s conviction from the start. Experiential learning—that’s it! You must create experiences that viscerally engage participants, making them feel personally affected by the need for and value of learning new skills and changing behaviors. When participants physically and emotionally engage in experiential training, they are in effect mirroring their current reality. Through an experience, you can demonstrate how new behaviors improve the current reality, allowing your participants to become far more open to changing their behaviors on the job. The result is that new skills are taught and that there is a conviction that those new skills have the power to change a person’s current realities for the better. It is widely accepted that the more senses you use in learning, the more of an impact there will be on you as a learner—learning by doing is the perfect example of this.

Model Behaviors Through Leadership

What happens if you design your training programs to teach new behaviors and build personal conviction, but the day after your training, participants see one of the leaders of the company engaging in behaviors that go directly against what your training just taught? Your participants wouldn’t feel the urgency to change their behaviors anymore, as they may be thinking, If he can do it, then so can I.

For better or for worse, employees look to their leaders to figure out what behaviors are acceptable in the workplace. That’s why it’s so important to not only get budget buy-in from company leaders but their ongoing support and engagement too. Your company leaders must understand that they are responsible for training outcomes, even if they have a team implementing them, and that not supporting training initiatives by refusing to change their own behaviors undermines the efficacy of training altogether. “Do as I say, not as I do” just doesn’t work when it comes to capturing the hearts and minds of your people.

Keep in mind that when we say a company’s leadership must model the behaviors it wants to see in employees, we mean all levels of leadership: executives, middle management, and front-line supervisors. Often, however, you lose the hearts and minds of lower-level leadership as you rope them into modeling and motivating new behaviors learned by their supervisors during training programs. They may not understand the importance of the training and remain uncommitted to it, or they might not have the same communication skills needed to motivate their employees that higher levels of leadership possess. Investing in leadership training for all levels of leadership will ensure your other training programs are more effective. Leadership training teaches new skills and instills conviction, arming all levels of leaders with the tools they need to support their colleagues in new training initiatives.

What other strategies have you used to capture the hearts and minds of participants—and leadership—for your training programs?


As Executive Vice President Global Performance, Paul has extensive experience in consultation, design, and delivery of programs over his 20 year career with Eagle’s Flight. Through his genuine personable approach, Paul is not only a trusted advisor but also a valued partner to his clients; he works seamlessly to ensure that Eagle’s Flight solutions are aligned to their needs and desired outcomes. As a result, Paul is the account executive for Eagle’s Flight largest account. Many of his clients are multi-year accounts from multinational, Fortune 500 companies.

Reblogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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At Eagle’s Flight, we love infusing experiential learning into every aspect of our business. Experiential learning is an incredibly powerful training tool; typical retention rates for training that use experiential learning are as high as 80 to 90 percent, compared to a typical retention rate of, often, just five percent.

Experiential Learning vs. Simulation What's the DifferenceExperiential learning is a total game changer. But sometimes we hear people confuse experiential learning with another common training tool, simulation. While these two approaches to training do contain some similarities, experiential learning differentiates itself in a number of ways.

The Learning Spectrum

To understand experiential learning-and how it differs from simulation-the first point is that experiential learning exists on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum sit activities, those classic experiences (like the “trust fall” or a ropes course) that you often find at typical training events. You participate and hope to learn something from the experience.

On the other end of the spectrum sit simulations, which mimic a real-world scenario exactly. Think pilots in a multi-million-dollar flight simulator who learn how to fly planes in an incredibly realistic setup.

Experiential learning sits in the middle of this spectrum. It has the high-energy, engaging feel of activities, but it also has the teeth and value of a simulation.

The 8 Components of Experiential Learning

So, what really sets experiential learning apart from both activities and simulations? While experiential learning contains components of both, every experiential learning activity must have the following eight things to distinguish itself from other training tools.

  • An immersive experience. The training quickly loses any sense of being a “training exercise” and rapidly becomes totally immersive. Participants become excited and actively involved in the experience, bringing their real skills to bear on a real situation.
  • An engaging theme. Theming experiential learning heightens the excitement and helps reinforce a training’s overall message. Themes aren’t often used in activities or simulations.
  • Fun. Experiential learning must be enjoyable, amusing, and even a little bit silly to help participants let down their guards and engage; this is where components of activities can be incorporated.
  • A compelling metaphor. Your theme must use a compelling, relatable metaphor that your participants can understand and connect with. Creating an activity around a theme that’s too obscure will make it less immersive; people can’t “lose” themselves in an experience that they can’t really see themselves in!
  • Objective results. Experiential learning, like simulations, focus on producing objective results. You should have benchmarks for what participants should learn and what the outcome should be.
  • A cause-and-effect link. Participants should learn how certain behaviors within the experience produce certain results. If they’re not happy with the result, they need to be able to make the link between what behaviors need to change to create a different result.
  • Conviction. Experiential learning builds conviction to change, so each participant takes personal responsibility for their behaviors and the accompanying results.
  • Results-based debrief. Participants listen to a debrief to learn what they need to do differently and what the experiential learning activity was a metaphor for in their own work lives.

How Experiential Learning Instills Lasting Behavior Change

In a simulation, the experience that participants engage in directly mirrors a real-world scenario. That’s not the case in experiential learning, by design. We’ve found that when we “mask” learning by using themes that act as a metaphor for real-world experiences, learning sticks much better.

Why? Well, if a training activity simply simulates a real-world work scenario, participants will bring their preconceived notions of how they’re supposed to act to the scenario. And if you’re trying to change participants behavior, that’s not an optimal approach. They’ll feel too constrained by the simulation to try new behaviors. But by centering your training activity on a metaphor that parallels real-world work scenarios, participants can let their guards down to fully engage with the experience.

For example, if you want your team to learn better meeting management skills to drive action, which training do you think they’ll find more compelling?

  • A meeting simulation that feels familiar, such as role playing a salesperson and potential customer.
  • An experiential learning activity that casts participants as Scotland Yard investigators who must work together to solve a murder mystery quickly (before the culprit strikes again!)

With the second scenario, you’re creating a safe, immersive, and incredibly fun environment in which your participants won’t be afraid to take risks—and learn from them—which is crucial to bringing about lasting behavior change.

Have you infused any of the components of experiential learning into your own training? What were your results?


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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Most training managers agree that effective measurement is a major contributor to achieving improvement goals. However, is it possible that too much measurement can have a negative impact?. The answer is yes. Like chocolate or fine wine, you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to training measurement.


The first step to solving any problem is identifying it. If you see any of these signs, it’s time to consider re-evaluating your measurement strategy:

  • Training measurement gets in the way of doing the actual work
  • Employees complain that it takes too much time to track all the data points
  • Complaints that there are too many tracking systems in place
  • You can’t find the time to prioritize and analyze the data.

Employee Training MeasurementWhile it’s true that good measurement data is essential for tracking progress, if you’re drowning in it you won’t be able to make any meaningful changes.

You might also like: Training & Development Secrets for Changing Behavior & Driving Organizational Growth

How do you solve this problem?

  • Cull your data points – Take a hard look at what you are currently measuring and how much of it you actually use. Chances are you could stop tracking certain data and never notice that it’s missing.
  • Streamline your measurement system – If employees have to spend an onerous amount of time entering data into a range of spreadsheets, your measurement strategy could be getting in the way of the job. Consider a digital measurement system that automates data collection and allows you to use a single platform across all departments.
  • Select the right measurement tools – Ensuring that you use the right tools for the job is a key factor in streamlining a measurement strategy. Switching to a digital system is a good first step, but within that you must select the appropriate combination of tools such as feedback surveys, knowledge quizzes, multi-rater assessments, and more.
  • Make sure you are using the most appropriate metrics – Every organization has unique goals, and your training measurement approach should be consistent with your internal objectives.


One problem that goes hand in hand with too much measurement is focusing on the wrong metrics. For example, metrics such as job satisfaction levels and training completions are important and valuable, but they don’t really give you the type of information that allows you to make meaningful improvements in the business. However, metrics that illuminate how the training is impacting individual jobs and the workplace as a whole will allow you to make more informed business decisions and more effectively measure training results.

For example, say you have identified a problem that many people are cancelling a software subscription because the program does not meet the purchaser’s expectations. You have determined that this is a result of the support team not sufficiently educating customers and have decided that it is worth investing in a training initiative to reduce these types of cancellations. In this case, a targeted measurement strategy might include:

How do you solve this problem?

  • Clearly define your training goals – Identify the problems you want to solve or areas for improvement and be as specific as possible.
    Example: Reduce subscription cancellations due to dissatisfaction by 25%.
  • Determine the relevant key performance indicators – Define what exactly you need to measure to monitor progress.
    Example: Track the number of customers who call to cancel versus those who subsequently decide to keep their subscription.
  • Measure consistently and often – Ongoing measurement allows you make course corrections along the way and identify which areas need improvement.
    Example: Gather subscription cancellation data for each member of the support team on a weekly basis and analyze it once each month.

This approach allows you to see which representatives are using the information delivered at the employee training, and which ones have not changed their approach to cancellation calls. Ongoing measurement enables you to take action such as refresher trainings, rewarding individuals who excel, and identifying other areas that need work.

There is no simple answer to how much training measurement is appropriate for every organization, but if you determine which data matters the most, streamline your measurement process, and use the data to produce meaningful results, you are on the right track.


Michael’s singular focus is rooted in staying connected to learners the moment they step out of the classroom and back into their busy jobs. As SVP of Learning Performance, Michael brings business savvy depth to ensuring learning is reinforced, applied and is optimally aligned to delivering on strategic objectives. His proven track record in creating measurement frameworks and reinforcement solutions that add value to the learner, leaders and executive sponsors is highly valued across the spectrum of our client engagements.

Reblogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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If you’re looking to transform your training so that participants are fully engaged, motivated to apply new skills on the job, and able to remember and perform those skills long after training has ended–then experiential learning is your answer. As you explore your options for experiential training, though, keep in mind that true experiential learning must meet a rather specific set of criteria to be successful. We’ve developed four priorities that experiential learning must address each and every time for optimal results:

What Is Experiential Learning?

The 4 Priorities That Experiential Learning Must AddressBefore we dive into the four priorities, here’s an idea of what experiential learning in action looks like: An experiential learning session is an immersive, hands-on training experience that reflects the real-world work scenarios that participants often find themselves in. Crucially, however, these experiences don’t directly mirror real-world scenarios. Instead, they mask the similarities between the learning activity and a participant’s day-to-day reality by using a fun and engaging theme—like a journey through the jungle or an expedition through the Wild West. Having participants engage in an activity that parallels the real world without directly mirroring it creates a safe, supportive environment that encourages participants to take thought-out risks and try new strategies to solve problems.

Read an Exclusive Chapter From the Book Experiential Learning: Changing Behavior to Improve Performance

Experiential Learning’s Four Core Priorities

To make these priorities easy to understand and remember, we’ve branded them thusly: Heart, Head, Hands, and Harvest. Here’s what each priority means and why it’s crucial for success through experiential learning.

1. Heart: Building conviction to engage all participants

It’s hard to care about something that you don’t feel personally invested in. That’s the problem with many traditional training programs, particularly those of the “lecture” or role-play variety. When trainees aren’t fully participating, they’re not necessarily invested in the learning outcomes. In experiential learning activities, however, every trainee participates—and the outcome of the learning activity hinges on the participant’s behavior. There’s a direct correlation between what a participant does and the result of the activity, which builds real conviction and personal responsibility to want to explore new behaviors.

2. Head: Transmitting knowledge so that participants understand

At its heart, any kind of training program is essentially about transmitting knowledge. What sets experiential learning apart in this priority is much higher success rates when it comes to retaining that knowledge. Too many training programs—like those that rely on PowerPoint presentations, for example—attempt to transmit knowledge passively. With this approach, learning goes in one ear and out the other, so participants may never fully understand the material. Experiential learning is different because it allows participants to both learn and practice new skills all in one go. This way, participants “learn by doing,” which study after study has revealed leads to greater, longer-lasting learning outcomes.

3. Hands: Understanding what actions to take to put new knowledge to use and see real behavior change

In other words, the information learned during training must shift from theoretical to practical—and this is where a lot of traditional training programs fall short. Participants may learn about new skills during a training, but they’re often left to figure out how to apply those new skills to their actual jobs by themselves.

With experiential learning, a debrief session connects the dots between learning and action. After participants have completed their themed experiential learning activity, a training facilitator guides a debrief session, where they discuss and reveal how to “win” at the activity. For example, the facilitator engages the participants in a discussion about what behaviors, skills, and strategies the participants would have displayed to have achieved a better result in the activity. But here’s the truly crucial part: The facilitator then links the participant answers to business relevance. They show that the principles necessary to win in the activity are directly applicable to “winning” at work. Participants walk away from the experience knowing exactly how to change their behaviors at work in order to bring about new results, and they have some practice already under their belts, thanks to the immersive nature of experiential learning.

4. Harvest: Producing results

Every experiential learning activity should have clear, measurable, objective expectations about how the new behaviors should be applied back in the workplace and what results those new behaviors are expected to produce. When you invest in an experiential learning training program, it’s important to know what the learning outcome should be and what success looks like. For lasting results, experiential learning activities should be paired with retention programs that reinforce learning for participants with fun games, testing that measures the impact and retention of learning, and development programs that build in support from leadership and managers.

When taken together, experiential learning’s four priorities bridge the gap between knowledge and action. Participants not only learn new skills, but they reinforce those skills with real-time practice, link the skills to real work outcomes, and commit to changing their behavior by taking personal responsibility for results.

Does your current training method address the four core priorities above? If not, what’s missing—and how do you think that’s impacting your training?

About the Author

JohnSince 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.

Reblogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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Hacking the Innovation Process How to Encourage Teams to Think BigThe innovation process can be used in any business area to improve a product, service, or method, and like any other type of process, innovation can be structured and taught. Putting the brightest minds in a room together is a good first step, but without clear guidance about how to generate big ideas, their time together might not be as productive as it could be. Rather than waiting for a single light-bulb moment to occur, lay the groundwork that puts multiple great ideas on the table.

When trying to get the most from the innovation process, there are steps you can take to boost creativity and spark new ideas. On the other hand, negativity and fear can stifle the innovation process. Let’s look at both sides of the innovation coin and what you can do to invoke inspiration and shut out cynicism.


Enhance the Innovation Process

The innovation process can be improved by using methods like brainstorming, ideation, and reinforcement. A good team leader will also have skills that keep the group focused, move the conversation forward, and optimize the effectiveness of the team.


Everybody is familiar with brainstorming, but not everybody uses techniques to make it more effective. A typical brainstorming session starts with a single question and captures the responses. This process can certainly generate new ideas, but you can push innovation by using these types of prompts:

  • Let’s build on that idea
  • How can we reshape that concept?
  • What can we do to get other stakeholders to agree?
  • Let’s generate more great ideas like that one
  • How can we make that idea work?

They might seem like simple questions and comments, but sometimes all it takes is a gentle push in the right direction to get the team to open up and explore the idea further.

Read an Exclusive Chapter From the Book Experiential Learning: Changing Behavior to Improve Performance


Great ideas don’t always have to come out of thin air. Sometimes making improvements to existing products or processes can be just as effective as starting from scratch. Use some of the following words to spark a conversation about how to innovate with the resources you already have:

  • Combine
  • Substitute
  • Simplify
  • Stretch
  • Reduce
  • Exaggerate
  • Imitate

This process can also lead to other great ideas. When the wheels start to turn about how you can modify one thing, it’s not unusual for people to start thinking that way about other areas of improvement.

Watch out for Innovation Killers

Nothing kills the innovation process faster than fear. If participants are worried that their ideas will be considered stupid or impossible, they will be less likely to share their thoughts. Creating an environment of acceptance and support is critical to a successful culture of innovation. Of course, not every new concept will work, but unless the team feels free to think boldly, you could miss out on the next big idea.

Language that Causes Ideas to Languish

The early stages of the innovation process must be unfettered if you truly want your team members to think big. If they are constantly thinking about the practicality of implementation or the associated costs, the most innovative ideas will dwindle to safe suggestions. Avoid this type of language if you want to get the most from the innovation process:

  • We shouldn’t rock the boat too much
  • Just to play devil’s advocate…
  • It’s a good theory, but it’s not very practical
  • It’s too expensive
  • That never worked before

Whether or not they are true, these types of statements will stop innovation in its tracks. Sure, the original idea might be impossible, but by approaching it with a can-do attitude throughout the entire innovation process, the end result could be groundbreaking.

If you want to encourage teams to think big, give them the tools they need to succeed. Offer training to improve the innovation process and nip negativity in the bud to let new ideas flourish.


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.

Reblogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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Corporate training events come with a certain set of expectations from employees. Whether those expectations are positive or negative is up to the organizer. Employee events like staff retreats, conferences, monthly or quarterly meetings, and even office social gatherings can be opportunities for corporate training, even if participants don’t realize that they are learning at the time. how-to-embed-corporate-training-into-employee-events Subtly integrating learning into employee events can help prevent preconceived notions about corporate training from getting in the way of education. This is especially true for organizations that don’t have a great track record with training. Employees who feel that corporate training is a waste of time or boring will be pleasantly surprised with a well-executed and unexpected learning event.

You can come up with different creative ways to integrate corporate training into employee events. These are just a few examples:

Make It Immersive

The more engaging a training event is, the more likely an individual is to retain information. Immersive training events capture attention and enable participants to learn and practice new skills in a safe environment.  When you tie those lessons back to the real corporate world, you have a room full of people who learned a new skill without even realizing they were participating in a corporate training event.


Download A Guide To Creating Interactive & Engaging Company Events


Here are some simple things you can do to create an immersive training event:

  • Don’t leave out any details so your participants feel like they are really in the experience
  • Make it energizing; the more exciting and energized the room, the more buy-in you’ll get from your participants
  • Incorporate an experience where participants are mixing and mingling with people they don’t normally work with. This will allow participants to try new things while learning new skills and understand how things are across your organization

Make It Subtle

Nothing says “corporate training” like a personality test or a slide deck chock-full of bullet points. Many individuals automatically shut down when the projector turns on. On the other hand, when participants walk into a room and suddenly feel like they have been transported to an alternate reality, they can’t help but have their curiosity piqued. Before they know it, they are learning how to forge effective partnershipswhile completing a mission. After a few hours of wheeling and dealing, their ability to identify and capitalize on strategic partnerships has skyrocketed. Do the participants feel like they were at a corporate training event? No. They were too busy boosting profits by connecting with the right partners.

Mix It Up

Add a little variety to the day to keep participants engaged and on their toes. When employees don’t know what’s going to happen next, they can’t become complacent. You can keep minds and bodies more attentive by:

  • Using multiple formats like video, lecture, games, and contests
  • Scheduling part of the event outdoors when possible
  • Using different areas of the space you are in
  • Changing the layout of the room or doing some activities while standing or moving around

Merge with Management

It’s a lot easier for employees to feel that corporate training is valuable if leadership is doing it with them. When leaders are present at employee events and participating in the learning activities, it demonstrates a commitment to organizational development and helps individuals connect better with managers. Employee events are an excellent opportunity to build company culture by creating a common language and enabling individuals at every level in the organization to have a shared experience.

Make It Fun

Many employee events have a single activity that participants find fun and engaging. However, these are often surrounded by more typical activities like presentations, brainstorms, and breakout groups. This inconsistency causes participants to tune out in between the fun sessions, and the result is a loss of momentum throughout the day. If your corporate training event is immersive from start to finish, participants don’t have the opportunity to disengage. Maintaining a consistent theme for the entire event, even during meals and breaks, will keep minds on the task at hand. When done well, an immersive corporate training event will keep participants puzzling over problems and solutions after the event.

When planning your event, don’t forget to theme:

  • Food
  • Prizes and gifts
  • Decorations
  • Music
  • Conference materials
  • Newsletters or announcements leading up to and after the event

If the term “corporate training” triggers yawns and skepticism in your workplace, it’s time to consider a different method. The goal of a corporate training event is to produce long-term skill sets that participants are excited to use in the real world. By integrating immersive educational experiences into employee events, you have the opportunity to impart new knowledge and create an enjoyable experience at the same time. After one successful event, next time you say “corporate training,” you’ll be greeted with a completely different attitude.

What other methods have you used for embedding corporate training events into employee events?


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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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.

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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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