Tips and techniques for Coaches, Consultants and Management Trainers
Leadership development is about creating the conditions where people stop, reflect and explore how they can be better today than yesterday.
Grow More Leaders
Leadership development is big business. With more change, transformation and volatility, the world will need more leaders at every level. In this article, we explore how to deliver high impact and powerful leadership workshops which deliver results.
Why do we need leadership workshops?
Every business is being challenged to innovate, change and adapt. In reality this means, every employee has to innovate, change and adapt.
Leadership workshops are designed to create a safe place for participants to reflect, to assess their current strengths and gaps. And to identify ways they can reinvent themselves – in line with the changing demands of their customers. Behaviour change and mindset change are rarely easy. But they become much easier when employees and managers can make more informed choices and decisions, based on the insights they gain from leadership workshops.
How do you deliver powerful leadership workshops?
- Get participants talking about their reality
Context matters. We are more likely to resist change when it’s imposed on us. But when we are the ones to lead change and do so on our own terms, it can be exciting and exhilarating.
Be sure to ask your participants to come along to your workshops with some facts, data, stories and experiences. If you’re dealing with how to motivate and inspire – ask participants to come along with recent Engagement scores, Listening Surveys or 360 degree feedback. The more visible, real and pressing the challenge, the more participants will face into it. The key principle is to ‘keep things real’.
- Set-up peer-to-peer coaching conversations
Every individual is unique. If you really want individuals to shine, to excel, to innovate…..you can’t impose a solution. You have to encourage participants to develop their own game-plan. After all, we are more committed to implementing things, when we’ve shaped them.
With peer-to-peer coaching here are some practical tips:
- Pose participants some questions to reflect on and write down their thoughts. Eg: what’s your Engagement score highlighting you do well……what do you need to improve…..what skills will this require from you…….how ready, willing and able are you to make these changes………what specific coaching would you value?
- Ask colleagues to pair-up and agree who will take on the role of Coach first.
- Explain, the role of Coach is to ask great questions – but not to offer any advice or solutions. Think of coaching in this context, as being a brilliant interviewer. Keep asking why, what, how, when types of questions.
- As the Coach you need to know nothing about the other person’s situation…their experience, how many people in their team, their background….etc.
- Agree 20-30 minutes for round 1 of the coaching, before colleagues swap roles.
- The structure of the coaching is based on the notes they have just made, based on your questions.
- Finally, ask colleagues to agree confidentiality: what they discuss remains within the pair.
- Set up table discussions
Once colleagues have come back from their peer-to-peer coaching sessions, go deeper into the topic you’re exploring. You can do this in several ways. One suggestions is:
- Ask participants to take it in turns to share their biggest insight or take-away from the coaching conversation.
- To ask the other colleagues on the table to share what they liked about the idea shared
- To then move to the next participant.
- Once the sharing is done, the table pools their collective wisdom. What patterns and themes emerge? What ideas do we all seem to be agreeing on? How do we go about implementing these ideas? What factors may get in the way?
- As the Facilitator, you can have the structure and questions on flip-chart, so each table is crystal clear on the process they’re following and the time they have.
If you can teach your clients to learn faster than their competition – you will have given them an edge. Learning starts with challenging the way you have done things and challenging your limitations.
Grow More Leaders
- Create safe-place-to-learn practice sessions
If we follow the example of improving Engagement scores and participants agree the key skills they need to develop are listening, coaching and providing better feedback to their teams. The question is, how do you turn this intention into practical action?
You could of course provide participants with articles and video content on listening, coaching and feedback. But is this intself going to create real behavioural change?
Taking it to the next level is for participants to plan a coaching or feedback session with a team member. To then ask them to practice this conversation – as though they were doing it for real. And to record the conversation on their smartphone – so they can review it – what worked and what they could have improved. In addition an Observer also offers ‘evidence-based’ feedback……of the powerful questions asked, their tone, body language, etc.
This process significantly increases the probability of participants feeling able to have positive conversations with team members.
- Action plans and learning teams
In this session, you’re inviting participants to create a visual plan on flip-chart. Once they leave the workshop what will they do, when, with whom……
To strengthen this and to bring it to life even further, create smaller learning teams. Where each individual shares their plan and receives peer-to-peer coaching.
This learning group then commit to meeting once a week or once a month and review the progress. To share tips and hints of what worked and what they will experiment with in the days and weeks ahead. You can see these learning teams as ‘accountability partners’, adopting high support/high challenge coaching with each other.
To discuss any of this further, drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.