This is an introduction of the couchTalk show – How to coach our tribal leaders?
transcript written by Wayne Brown
Welcome to this first episode of couchTALK – an introduction of how to coach our global elevator-escalator tribal leaders.
As with our Coaches blogs and videos (Mentors Rant), these couchTALK episodes are devoted to sharing experiences, insights and learnings with our global elevator-escalator leaders and preparing them to lead successfully. The sharing and learnings will come from 4 groups;
Legends, those with 30 years or more working experience in our industry
Innovators, those disruptors that are looking to shape our industries future
Cheque Writers, those from outside of our tribe but whom influence everything we do
and myself as your coach and host through-out this journey,
Seth Godin and TRIBES – during this episode we reference to Seth and his book called TRIBES. Please find below links to his site and TED Talk on the subject. It’s a fascinating concept and one which we believe depicts our global elevator-escalator group perfectly. Note that when we mention our global tribe, we are not referring to one individual company but the industry as a whole.
Hello and welcome back. We’re so excited that you have made it this far and reached Part 3 of this trilogy called Transform participants experience to a lasting memory.
The reason why we say you are in the top 10% of leaders related to facilitation is that most people struggle to commit to this level of learning and don’t reach this post-event stage. Let’s look back at what you have achieved so far.
In Part 1, our focus was on 5 key prep-steps under the heading of “Preparation leaders need, to achieve success,” during which time we introduced the Pre-event checklist for facilitators.
For Part 2, titled “Leaders need to learn how to facilitate,” – we explored 6 topics, from ringing the opening bell to pounding the closing bell. They spanned the duration of the workshop and were supported by the Facilitators’ Game Plan.
At the end of Part 2, we gave you a Call to Action – for you to apply what you had learned in Parts 1 & 2, before re-joining us today for Part 3 and unlocking the secrets to empowerment which you experience when you knowingly create behavioral change in the workplace.
The fact that you are listening to this today can mean only one thing – you have had a chance to practice your learnings and are ready for the final installment – if so, congratulations!
It’s great that you have taken the time and learned the ropes, so to speak. It’s a profession that can be highly rewarding once you know how to master it.
In Part 3 – the shortest of the 3 parts, we’ll learn how to Transform participants experience into a lasting memory, together with the last download in this series called the “Post-event guide for facilitators,” which, in addition to providing helpful advice and guidance, is filled with great insights, reference sites, and book suggestions.
It’s a truly awesome way to round out this series.
So what to expect from this final part? Well, it’s all about how we as facilitators can guide the post-workshop experience and create the mystical link between what was learned during and what is implemented post the workshop. I’m going to break it into 3 clusters.
They are – the Fundamentals, the Foundation layers, and the bridge builders, and if you look at your downloaded Post-event guide, you will notice that pages 2 to 4 each have one of these headings.
For the fundamentals – these are the given activities which should follow each workshop, but happen surprisingly few times – at least this has been our experience.
Those foundation layers – are steps which provide opportunities and enable the participants to recall learnings, discuss and learn from others experience.
And finally, the bridge builders – well, these are the futurists, using tools and methods only made possible through big & microdata analytics, AI, and machine learning. A landscape where individual adaptive refresher learning is now a reality.
The success of each of these clusters is based on the premise that spaced repetition increases knowledge retention, which in turn heightens the potential for competence, skill, and or knowledge to be put into practice. Thereby providing tangible ROI. The holy grail of all learning bodies.
Let’s dive into those 5 Fundamental activities we see and use as a first step in the post-workshop setting. These tend to be well known but finding the time to practice them is a stretch for many.
So the first one – The facilitator provides their contact details along with an open offer for responding to participant questions after the event.
It’s a generous offer and could be an all-consuming pastime depending on the volume of workshops facilitated and the number of participants that take up the request to utilize such a resource.
We’ve tracked this approach over the years and are always surprised and disappointed by the low take-up rate.
With the second – The facilitator obtains from each participant a verbal commitment on what they will do immediately following the workshop.
A close cousin to this approach, but a much more useful version is the request for participants to set 2 -3 next steps and write them down as a SMART action. I’m sure you can see why this is the stronger option of the two. Having something in writing helps in the area of memory retention and provides an opportunity for further focus.
#3 Is the follow-up group email with an attached summary of key learnings support by a pictorial journey as a memory from the event.
Even more powerful again, if the mail is sent to individuals, with a personal message offering encouragement to pursue their actions.
It used to be common practice in many organizations to send out a “participant who’s who” as part of this mail, but that may have to be revised now given GDPR.
#4 The 1 – 3 month follow-up survey or quiz. This is something designed by the facilitator and should target the desired learning objectives before creating the workshop.
It serves as a useful tool in refreshing the memory of participants on topics often long forgotten.
And #5 – The most beneficial and valuable of the 5 actions listed here and which has been studied and proven to be highly effective is the post-workshop Supervisor/participant review, where this couple comes together to discuss the event, the learnings, and the implementation of those learnings.
At first glance, this may not seem to involve the facilitator. Still, as simple a step as it seems, it often takes the facilitator’s repeated prompting for both parties to turn this concept into reality.
Our recommendation is that you strive to ensure all of these activities are realized. The more active you can stimulate the participants through any of these steps, the better the retention level.
Next, we move to the foundation layers. There are numerous studies available that indicate that companies who are making this level of investment on refresher learnings are reaping the benefits.
These foundation layers are also not foreign to many facilitators. Still, they are less practiced than the fundamentals, largely as they don’t always come as part of the facilitator’s brief and can rest more within the companys’ responsibility.
Regardless it is in the interests of every facilitator to understand the importance of all tools available, particularly if they have a positive impact on behavior change. For these foundation layers, we are listing 5 more examples that could be practiced.
#1 -Establish a social-media group for networking, answering questions, providing key material from the workshop and new material post-workshop. This is quite popular today among many
it’s an easy and inexpensive approach to keeping the participants centered on the learnings and helps develop that all-important support network.
The refresher webinars or conference calls – typically, we’d recommend two of these for important workshops. The first would be conducted within the first month to review the topics and answer questions, while the second within 3 months to listen and gather examples of real-life experiences.
It’s a simple but effective approach to follow the F2F workshop. Personally, we prefer the webinar instead of the conference call largely because of the ability to review content.
Many companies today provide access to online material via mobile, tablet, or computer.
Realizing this capability and providing follow-up bite-sized refresher nuggets using methods such as short eLearnings, nano or micro-videos, podcasts, simulations, etc., are a great resource for participants as and when they most need it.
This is an area we expect to see growing considerably in the coming years.
The use of tandem partners or a buddy system, where you leverage support from a colleague that attended the same workshop, is currently in vogue. However, our observations to date are that the effectiveness is quite patchy, with many participants struggling to find the time to sync the meeting or call.
Despite this downside, the practice itself can work quite well if the two people are willing to share and open up to the potential learnings available. It’s like having a personal business mentor for a short period of time.
Again we have left the most effective of these 5 methods to last. Having the facilitator acting like a 1 on 1 or 1 on group coach provides a special insight and drives participants to utilize their learnings.
Whereas there is an element of self-commitment required in the previous 4 approaches, in this instance, having the facilitator calling you in person to enquire about your progress places a little more onus on the participant.
If all foundation layers were options, together with all of the fundamentals, you would be in a very healthy position to select which approaches would be most suited to your workshop participants – as not one size fits all.
For information purposes, however, we would lean more towards the foundation layers as they have proven more effective in recent times.
Now onto the final cluster, which we have branded the bridge builders.
As the name suggests, these babies really start to make the impossible possible.
These bridge builders are where we enter into new territory for most facilitators and companies, for that matter.
It’s the ground for the true pioneers, those willing and able to leverage breakthrough technology by adopting the benefits of big and microdata for analytical purposes and the harness the power of supercomputers utilizing AI and machine learning programs.
Numerous companies have been quick to jump on the bandwagon of these developments. Still, as of today, the end of 2018, few have been able to master them, particularly within our elevator-escalator tribe.
To kick start this group, however, we are throwing in a low-tech option – at least by today’s standards – into this category. It’s the field of selfies or at least their advanced sister of self-made videos, which capture actions via the mobile and are edited from the same tool with the support of free downloadable apps.
These self-made, short videos demonstrating practices in the real world have taken a relatively simple concept to a powerful new level where everyone can play the role of expert and showcase their prowess on any topic of choice.
Imagine encouraging your participants to shoot their own self-made video to demonstrate their learnings as a part of their daily activities—a powerful, fun way of locking in a practice.
Virtual reality has been around for decades but is primarily used in arcade games or the now hugely popular gaming world. In more recent years, we have seen VR move into our learning space with simulations for functions like sales and safety.
Our expectation however, is that we will see VR evolve quite quickly as it runs the risk of becoming outdated technology now that major development companies are turning their attention towards AR.
While a very useful learning tool in the right applications, it does have limitations with the need to have the equipment hardware successfully deployed and available for each participant.
#3 – A relatively new approach is that of Adaptive learning, which is using the same analytics and machine learning approach of the major search engines today.
Despite its recent entry into our learning landscape, it has made quite an impact already with the early adopters. You will see in the Post-event guide a list of 10 vendors all offering something in this field.
Essentially the process is based on software that transforms your content into bite-sized 3-5 minute daily follow-up questions with an escalating level of difficulty. Depending on the development company, this software adapts the questions based on the participants’ responses and can assess the answers on a knowledge and competence level.
This helps to ensure the depth of understanding and retention.
Finally and one of the most exciting to reach our shores is the onset of augmented and mixed reality (or perhaps soon a combination of AR & VR) – while AR is still very new, it is already being utilized quite heavily in many industrial sectors such aerospace, automotive and to a lesser extent our own industry – primarily to enhance business applications and processes.
However, we believe with the money being poured into research by most of the large wealthy tech companies, major progress and breakthroughs are just around the corner.
Once this happens, of course, it won’t be long before it becomes affordable enough to become more mainstream in our part of the world.
Picture the scenario where a hologram can be presented and interacted with from any corner of the world at the same time and facilitated by one expert in any location, using simultaneous translation technology to overcome the language barriers.
This will transform the learning space and change our approach for all aspects pre, during, and post-delivery.
Admittedly these bridge builders are not on the menu for everyone at this moment, but the future landscape is so dynamic and exciting, we thought it worth including them on the radar for all and placing at least a couple in your wish list letter to Santa Claus this Christmas.
As AI develops at lightning speed, who knows what will be next?
As mentioned, you will see it listed in your Post-event guide for facilitators 10 of the various adaptive Learning software.
If you don’t know much about this technology, it’s worth doing your research, as we believe this is the next major leap forward with our ability to embed learning.
Additionally, in this guide, you will notice on the final pages a series of reference sources – these are books, websites, TED Talks, and videos – many of which we have used in researching the material for this series.
While they’re just the tip of the iceberg, they offer you the opportunity to expand your knowledge on the profession of facilitation.
If you’ve taken the time to listen and work through all 3 parts of this podcast, we know you’re serious about improving your ability in this field and wish you well with your endeavors going forward.
We trust we’ve been able to support your journey and provide some useful tools that will make this pursuit a little simpler.
We’ve really enjoyed the challenge of producing this series and are looking forward to our future podcasts. Here’s a sampling of the subjects we’ll be covering;
Peak performance & flow
The Change dilemma
Conflicts for leaders
Cultural awareness in our global world
Dealing with values & beliefs
Leading through diversity & inclusion
Millennials vs. Baby Boomers
Adult learning theories
To coach or mentor
And Our future office
Well, that’s it for now. We look forward to you joining us again as we build and enhance your leadership capabilities together.
Be sure to check out our blog site www.amentorscouch.com, where I play the role of your Coach. Together with three other elevator-escalator tribal groups, “Our Legends,” “Our Innovators,” and “Our Cheque Writers,” we are regularly posting new articles, podcasts, and videos – each aimed at sharing our experience and passing on some learnings.
50 year LEGEND of the industry Dr Rory Smith sharing adventures, insights and learnings from his career.
transcript written by Wayne Brown
Welcome to the first in our “Legend” episodes. We start with a pioneer in technology and a real gentleman: our 50 year LEGEND of the industry Dr Rory Smith. His career spans many countries, cultures and he remains fully engaged in our industry today.
Introducing Dr Rory Smith
Hello, I’m really excited to bring this episode to you, where I speak with Dr Smith. We first met back around 2005-2006 on a major project in Shanghai. I’ve had the pleasure of working on numerous projects with him since. As I my own career enters it’s 42nd year, I can honestly say that I have never met or worked with a more genuine person.
Please join me as we explore his diverse career, spanning multiple companies, countries, cultures and topics.
One issue becomes clear to me after concluding this interview: We are loosing far too many great people from our industry. And with them goes knowledge, skills and experience which can not be replaced through books and study alone.
This is a re-affirmation for me to push even harder with my aim and purpose from this site and through these podcasts, blogs and videos, where we are looking to capture and share insights from great legends such as Dr Rory Smith.
Welcome back… Hopefully, you’ve watched the intro video, read the blog, or listened to the podcast for this new series and have a general understanding of the 10 topics we are now starting to work through.
The overall program is called “Constant Change requires Leaders to Excel in the Basics and in this video, we cover the first of those basics, “Understanding your place in the team.”
As with all of our modules, we provide you three ways to access this content. In addition to the podcast, which you’re able to download, the full transcript (complete with pictures and additional links) can be found through our Coaches blog section of our website “amentorscouch.com.” or you can watch the original video on our YouTube channel “Mentors Rant.” Three ways to better lock in the knowledge.
So let’s get started with topic 1.
In our role as a leader, we are surrounded by key stakeholder groups.
At home with family members and the broader community or social networks – i.e., friends, church, clubs, etc. as well as with our working environment – be it from our team or peers, our customers, our boss or even more senior management, the company itself and even our suppliers.
People or organizations that with varying expectations and needs from us and our limited capacity are limited by time, resources, competence and so on.
Perhaps these limitations are known by
some stakeholders, but this typically only heightens their concerns about our
ability or willingness to satisfy those expectations.
It helps, therefore, that you as the leader are able to realize your shortcomings in order to communicate with and manage these stakeholders successfully.
A useful starting point in managing stakeholders is incorporating a method referred to as the “Circle of Influence.” This tool enables us to sort and cluster our stakeholders, thereby making sense of the chaos.
We can develop strategies and actions necessary to manage or support these groups or individuals.
It’s a particularly useful approach for less experienced leaders who feel overwhelmed by the events and the volume of demand.
Once clustered, we review each group to determine if they are supporters or perhaps detractors. This is powerful knowledge that we can utilize to determine the best strategy for working together successfully in the future.
Our aim should be to expand this Circle of Influence & encompass as many of those in the Circle of Concern as possible– particularly those “critical of us.”
We’ll include several links with the transcript notes for people interested in researching this stakeholder concept and tools.
Let’s now look closer at each of the stakeholder groups and touch on those important considerations.
There is no right or wrong order for presenting each stakeholder here. It’s definitely not my purpose to trigger heated debate about which of the groups or individuals are the more important – family versus work, customers versus team, management versus suppliers, and so forth – hopefully, if you have performed the Circle of Influence exercise, you will have assessed how this works for you.
And without wanting to alienate anyone, I’m starting with two of my key groups, “Teams and Customers,” as they impact all leaders and mostly from within our inner circle.
Plus, they generally have very real and immediate expectations or needs.
Each group can be treated as equal in this regard to avoid the chicken and egg question – there’s currently good social media discussion fueling this debate without my added involvement.
The “team” is critical in that collectively, they determine your business`es success.
Therefore they need your full commitment through professional leadership and supporting, encouraging, coaching and developing them.
The 1+1 equals more than 2 principle, which definitely applies here.
Create the right environment and enable each team member to perform consistently at their peak, and the business becomes unstoppable.
Therefore, no real surprise is that in the following videos in this series, we place heavy emphasis on specifics for developing this key stakeholder group.
Similarly, with the other group, understand your customer’s needs and drive your business processes, systems, and team actions towards true focused customer centricity and success become sustainable & profitable.
There’s a wealth of evidence from successful companies to reinforce this message AND any number of ways to move in this direction, but it starts within and the commitment to realize it.
Check out the link on our site to the “Net Promoter Score” – this is a very in-depth analysis of how you and your business can determine if your customers are promoters or detractors. It’s well worth the investment of your time to review
Moving now to the topic of work-life balance, or perhaps more specifically, work-family balance.
Today, most leaders understand this concept and requirement, but we are not always so good at implementing it.
We know it’s critical to ensure that the family needs are addressed. All the stakeholder groups this one sticks with us through the toughest of times, encouraging, supporting, and keeping the home front together while we are often away, traveling, entertaining, or working long days.
Some cultures, countries, and companies seem to have found the right mix while others not. At the end of the day, you need to determine the right balance – and this does not only apply to you but also to your team.
Please give your team members an equal opportunity to strike this harmony.
Check out the link to the Jeff Bezos interview speaking about “Work-Life Harmony”. He provides an interesting take on this topic..
On the other side of the spectrum, perhaps (depending on their philosophy) is your immediate boss.
As one of the key stakeholders for you and your team, this person (or persons as is the case in many matrix organizations today), plays a major part in the success of your career through their role modeling, support, coaching, and guidance.
Most likely, they were influential in you being in the role you are in today, so it makes a lot of sense that you establish the ground rules early with this stakeholder –
What are they expecting
How would they prefer to receive communication
At what frequency?
Are there any do’s and don’ts?
One of the worst outcomes we see is from the leader who chooses to ignore this step.
They believe that their boss will see their level of commitment, effort, and determination through their actions (which might be true). Still, in the end, they fail because they didn’t establish that clarity, connection, and trust through rigorous dialogue first.
So, the opportunity for you now is to go knock on your boss’s door and set up a one-on-one chat – it’s never too late.
Onto our 3rd grouping of stakeholders – Peers and Suppliers, an interesting duo.
We clustered them on the same portion of this video intentionally because there are many common dynamics which play out here through you as the leader and your interaction with them.
And with this duo, we want you to do a little experiment.
For this experiment, we could just as easily have chosen the final coupling of our stakeholder groups – that is, the Company and Social Networks, given your interaction frequency is normally not as regular as it is with the first 2 groupings covered.
Less familiarity means the results will be less predictable and, therefore, easier to determine.
Many studies maintain that verbal, non-verbal, and emotional actions become “contagious.”
We’ve attached a link to a very interesting video on this subject from a Harvard researcher, …. so please take the time to watch it.
In short, the studies suggest that your body language, the questions you ask, and the emotions you express during that communication have a tremendous impact on how others react and interact with you.
For me, this strikes an accord, as my own experience is that we react to someone based on how we perceive them.
Therefore, we would like you to try the following yourself and monitor your peers’ and your suppliers’ reactions.
The first test is through body language using your hands and face to support your expression
. When greeting someone, ensure that your hands are visible and open at all times and use hand gestures while speaking.
Also, make sure you are smiling authentically (watch the video to understand that in greater detail).
Now try the reverse with a different colleague – hide the hands and don’t smile.
Which of the two methods created the warmest and most charming atmosphere? How was the conversation and body language of your colleague?
For the second experiment, repeat the non-verbal gestures
visible, open hands, and warm, friendly smile.
but this time, choose your conversation questions more carefully and do this twice,
the 1st time using topics related to enjoyable events or situations – “do you planned any vacations?”
the 2nd time using mundane questions tends to be more work-related – such as “been busy lately?”
Gauge the difference in response. We’re pretty sure the results will be quite clear. Reinforces our series opening comments about the importance of being an effective communicator, doesn’t it?
And now to our final 2 stakeholder groups – those that are not directly related to me as a leader but often have a significant impact – and sometimes when we least expect it.
They typically sit across our Circles of Influence and Concern.
Let’s start with the Company. This relates to those people – perhaps in our regions or HQ’s, most often they are located in a different city and maybe even another country.
Identifying and understanding how and why your role may impact them or appear on their radar enables you to maintain an awareness and be conscious of any issues which might trigger that unexpected or unforeseen reaction.
It’s also great in helping you identify how you can contribute to the company’s success by considering and seeing the bigger and broader picture.
If you struggle to identify those persons or determine which actions might have an impact, we suggest that you seek guidance from your immediate boss.
Most likely, they will be happy to help you work through this as there’s a good chance that the impact will also have some consequence for them.
As stated at the very beginning, we didn’t group the stakeholders in order of priority.
Therefore, this final stakeholder – our social network, should be seen as no less important than any others.
In fact, many times in my career, the broader community has had a tremendous influence on supporting and assisting my career.
Here’s something you could do your own research on – Have you ever heard of the term “6 degrees of separation?”
Since it was first introduced, many attempts to test and prove its viability without ever being proven emphatically.
More recently, however, through the explosion of online social media, a new dynamic has evolved.
This dynamic supported by machine learning technology is starting to illustrate that the size of your network is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of a few random acquaintances.
And that their impact on you is often much higher than the impact through your friends.
We’ve included a couple of links in case you want to research a little deeper yourself.
However, it does makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?
Should I have accepted the “friend request” from that stranger the other day? What opportunity did I just miss out on as a result?
And before closing, let’s take a moment to reflect one last time at our stakeholder groups – can you identify the one stakeholder we haven’t covered thus far – if any of you guessed “our future robotic partners,” then you are very in tune with our thinking.
It is a reality that today and to a much larger extent very soon, we will have to work more closely with robotics utilizing the latest AI development and driving our IoT world.
How and in exactly what capacity is becoming gradually clearer. It is certain already that this will be a factor in our lifetimes and perhaps even within the coming few years.
Taking time to think through the connections we are making today with machines such as Siri, Alexa, household appliances and security systems, autonomous cars, and any multitude of technologies soon, and you should start to understand the point I’m making – we are in our infancy in this field. Still, the coming explosion of interconnectedness through IoT and convergence of all technologies means our interaction and reliance on robots is almost guaranteed.
So, this provides a very brief insight into our 9 stakeholder groups.
Each group is individually important, and collectively, they are crucial to your performance and career progression.
Please find some time to review the additional links on our site amentorscouch.com and read through the transcript blog again for greater learnings.
As we progress into the next 5-6 topics, we turn most of our attention towards the “TEAM” stakeholder group.
The reason why is simple. If you can lock in these core learnings on these basic skills with your team and empower them by applying the knowledge and methods we’ll cover, then your foundation for success is laid and solid.
This concludes the first of our topics called “Understanding your place in the team.” In this series, “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics,” we will present 10 topics.
The next topic covers “Motivating your future team.” We look forward to having you join us again.
Remember, you can also watch this video series or topic by topic on our channel Mentors Rant. We aim to release our trio on each topic (i.e., a video, podcast, and blog) every two weeks.
Topic 9 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series – Pitching Value based strategies
transcript written by Wayne Brown
Hello again and welcome back to this the penultimate episode in our Basics series. Today’s topic is called “Pitching value based strategies”.
In the last couple of episodes we have started to focus more closely on our own Leadership and self awareness and we continue in this direction now.
Shortly we’ll be asking you to identify your values – it won’t be a complete value exploration, but it’s important for this topic that you start with an understanding of these inner unconscious guidelines, before looking to those company values for alignment.
After establishing this, we broaden our perspectives and explore how well we as Leaders can run our business by following both personal and company values whilst striving for constant growth and sustainable performance.
This journey will lead us through discussions on the role of diversity,
inclusion and culture in our teams and the business as a whole.
In the end we must find a solution which enables us to couple our values with the need to achieve results.
Have you heard of the term “servant leadership”…?
It’s been around a long time, but has re-surfaced in recent times, as has the discussion around emotional intelligence – both subjects are very closely interwoven and very much on point with our topic today about Values Based leadership.
The traditional approach of top-down leadership, where we only focus on control and achieving targets is outdated and counterproductive, as explained by Dan Gable in his book “Alive at Work”.
As an alternative, he says that we need to look for leaders to demonstrate humility, courage and insights, which they should utilize in helping their teams to explore and grow.
Through servant leadership we emphasize the need for leaders to increase ownership, autonomy and the responsibility of the team. AND it can be as easy as starting with the question “How can I help you deliver excellence in your role?”
Sounds familiar with some of the feedback questions we highlighted way
back in topic 5 doesn’t it.
Now, whilst this approach is appealing at least on the surface, does it really fit to everyone’s values base?
We’re guessing that the answer will be influenced by country and company cultures and for the largest percentage of leaders, it will require a shift in personal values, including perhaps their beliefs and perspectives and behaviors.
Identifying your values …
So, let’s begin with an exercise to identify your current values. Note
that your values can and do change over time and at the very least the priority
will fluctuate, based on the current environment you are situated in.
In addition, you will most likely be able to identify both positive and negative values.
if you’re training for a marathon or trying
for a baby, your value of “health” may be at the top of the list.
But if you’re going back to school then
“learning” or “curiosity” might be up top somewhere!
Your values are always moving with you. Something you loved and valued in
your twenties, most likely won’t appeal in the same way in your forties and so
This is why we sometimes ‘outgrow’ a job, activity or role which
initially suited us.
Therefore, please realize that this exercise will only provide you with
your “now” values. As such, this is an exercise which you perform on a regular
basis – in my case I like to review every 6 months.
Let’s start and please follow the prompts as we work through the exercise…
You will need to have pen and paper handy, and be ready to pause the recording, as we work through these 4 steps. The whole exercise will take around 30-45 mins. Are you ready….?
Step 1: Take 5 minutes and brainstorm a list of as many things as possible in answer to this question…
“What’s most important to me in life?“
Aim for a list of at least 20 items.
And for now, don’t worry too much about
whether a word is really a “value” or not. Pause the audio now whilst you do
For anyone interested in this whole process, we have provided below two free workbooks – one for Personal Values and the other for Career values. Please download and work through either or both of them if you want to delve deeper into this topic.
Step 2: Now look at your list and see
whether you can group similar words – from each group choose the most
meaningful word. Pause the audio again until you complete this step.
Step 3: Once you have completed the
grouping and narrowed down your list, select the top 8 values most important to
you – those ones which you feel most strongly about. Stop the audio again until
you are finished.
So by now you should have your list of the top 8 values.
Step 4: Our next and final step is to put these 8 values in priority order.
And to do this we’ll use a diagram which you’re about to draw on a clean blank sheet of paper.
The diagram will consist of 4 circles starting with the smallest circle in the centre of your page – make this circle about 25mm or 1 inch diameter.
Draw a second larger circle, evenly spaced around the first circle. This second circle should be about 100mm or 4 inches in diameter and that will mean 35mm or 1 ½ inch clearance between the two circles.
Same approach now with the next two larger circles – each one evenly spaced around the previous circle – with a gap of approx. 10mm or ½ inch all around the inner circle. Meaning the 3rd circle has a 10mm gap around the 2nd circle and the 4th circle with a 10mm gap around the 3rd circle.
Whew – it’s sooo much easier to demonstrate this on video!!!!
Don’t worry if the circles don’t look perfect just at the moment, you can
always re-draw this later when you have more time.
Now the final part of the diagram – dividing the circle into 8 equal sections. Start by drawing a vertical line from the top of the most outer circle through the centre of the smallest circle all the way down to the bottom of the outer circle.
The repeat the process, but this time drawing a horizontal line that cuts through the middle of the circles. In other words, if I was talking about the hours on a clock – I would say a draw line vertically from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock and horizontally from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock.
You should now have 4 equal quadrants. Choose the top right-hand quadrant and on the outer circle find the hallway point of the quadrant – i.e. the 1 ½ hours past the 12 o’clock position. Then draw a line from that point through the centre of the smallest circle and continue down through the middle of bottom left quadrant – or 7 ½ hours past 12 o’clock.
Repeat the exercise for the remaining two quadrants.
OK so hopefully you now have 8 equal sections inside the 4 circles.
If so then we are almost ready to start Step 4 and prioritizing your 8 values.
One final item before commencing. Make a large dot on the outer circle
line at the 12 o’clock point.
Start with the largest circle – the second inner circle and write one of your 8 top values ineach of the 8 sections – the order of these values isn’t important. Pause now until you complete this part.
Then in the smallest inner circle – state as a % (using a minimum of 0% and a highest value of 100%), the extent that you are living this value today? Whether that value relates to work or socially – how much are you experiencing and fulfilling it today. Again pause the audio whilst you do this.
So now you should have the two inner circle completed showing the 8 values in no particular order, and today’s % of fulfillment for each. And now we start to compare and prioritize those values, starting with the value in the top section to the right side of the dot (at 12 o’clock)
Work your way clockwise around the circle, comparing each value against the other 7 values.
That means consider Value 1 against value 2, then 1 against 3, value 1 against 4 & so on.
As you complete each comparison and select which is the stronger and preferred value then place a 1 in the 3rd circle above that value.
After completing one full round for the first value against all other 7 values, repeat the exercise for values 2 thru value 7 – each time the number of values you are comparing reduces by 1 – for instance you have already completed the comparison between value 1 and value 2 in the first round.
so when you move onto value 2 comparisons you do not repeat the comparison with value 1, only the remaining 6 values.
For value 3 only compare with the remaining 5 values.
Try not to over think the comparison in making you decision – choose
your preferred value and move to the next one. Pause the audio now and complete
You should now determine which value scored the most votes.
Tally the votes and record the answer total in the most outer circle.
Then rank the values from the one with highest score being the #1 priority and so on until all 8 values are ranked.
If you have a tie between tallies on 2 or more values then decide which is the more important.
You will now have a clear picture of the priority order for your top 8 at this moment in your life or career?
Are there any real surprises which jump out?
How does the result look when you compare it
to the % fulfillment you recorded earlier for those values.
Any that are high priority but low fulfillment, might warrant further
thought or action to understand what can be addressed to change the situation.
If you are unsure of what might be done, then speaking with a Coach would be a great place to start.
As mentioned earlier, this is only a brief journey into discovering your values and if you would like to do a deeper level exploration, please go to the show notes and download those two 5 step Values workbooks.
However, for the purpose of this exercise you are now armed with the necessary knowledge to address the next portion of this Value-based leadership topic and that is to look at the alignment equation – i.e. to compare your personal or career values against those of the company.
Be aware that as you do this comparison, it’s not necessary to have an
exact match – in fact this would be most unlikely as we are all individuals
with our own independent thoughts and values.
Instead we are looking to see how far we are apart and whether there are any surprising similarities or conflicting values.
Most importantly therefore is whether there is anything which jumps out at you as unexpected or confronting to you. In reality, it’s more likely that the company values will compliment your own.
Understanding this process, enables you to guide your own team through a similar exercise. And whilst helping each individual get more clarity around their values, it also aids you to have a deeper level of connection with your team members, which of course is important if your looking to demonstrate empathy and become the servant leader.
During this team exercise you would also take the opportunity to
explore diversity and inclusion with-in the team and company – discussing the
benefits each brings to the group as a whole.
Things such as the celebration;
that everyone is unique with their own
that diversity and inclusive teams are more
efficient, competitive and innovative whilst being drivers towards a strong
value-based company culture.
At the same time highlighting that with diversity comes differences
inherent to a diverse mix of people – age gender, race, culture, religious and
political beliefs, etc. And therefore there is a need to acknowledge these
differences and to remain respectful towards each others’ differences.
And on the other hand leveraging off this diverse and inclusive working
environment often leads to innovation and creative ideas which might otherwise
Current studies with the Millennial generation in particular are highlighting that they expect and look for this awareness and behavior in the company they work for whereas the Gen X and Baby Boomers seem to have a different understanding about the meaning of diversity and inclusion.
Let’s go deeper now on the importance of value-based Leadership in the formation of company culture…
Work culture is an intangible ecosystem that makes some places great
to work and other places toxic. No matter how talented and smart you
are, you will work to the best of your capabilities and creative skills when
you are surrounded by an encouraging environment that values human resource.
As we have highlighted in previous episodes the Leader influences this
culture through their direct actions and from the structure they build for the
Here’s 4 outcomes of a Leadership led
values-based company culture.
1st – it increases
loyalty at your workplace – An organization whose
employees have a deep sense of loyalty and ownership towards their workplace is
an organization viewed favorably and with a bright future.
2nd it’s a
key to retention – Whether the employee feels happy and
satisfied in his/her work-space is another crucial determinant.
3rd – it prompts
employees to watch each others’ back – For a new employee who enters an organization and
watches a culture of cohesion among workers, where all employees help each
other, will automatically embody these values in his/her daily life.
4th – it attracts
talent – A good work culture not only helps retain
organization’s human resource, it also helps attract new talent as word spreads
quickly. An employee who loves his/her organization will spread the goodwill
and will be instrumental in attracting good human resource to the organization.
And here’s the secret to leading the company
towards success through a value-based culture – it starts with Leaders internalizing the guiding structures.
For example a leader could ;
Take external guidelines
such as following the procedures for feedback and formally conduct and dutifully
record the session, versus the alternative
A leader who implicitly and
spontaneously offers genuine empathetic coaching or informal feedback to employees.
In addition, leaders need to ensure that their
communications and language in general are clear, understandable and simplified
so that everyone can interpret and digest accurately.
Remember to leave the door open for unsolicited drop ins and off the cuff questions.
Celebrate employee efforts and successes regularly and above all else remain consistent in your approach.
People need and want to feel that their
structure is solid and they can rely on it week on week.
Make these actions a reality and reap the
benefits of a strong culture organization.
And last but not least, the topic of performance versus values and culture. The simplest response to this query is that you need both.
Leaders that focus purely on performance
without values and culture, run the risk of triggering unacceptable behavior!
Leaders that focus purely on values and
culture without consideration towards performance, jeopardize the company’s
Leaders need to strike a balance between
performance, values and culture to create sustainable profitable success.
And so that’s a wrap on this topic “Pitching Value based
strategies”. We hope you have enjoyed the exercises and discussion around
what is an increasingly important topic, particularly among the younger
generations in our workforce.
The final episode of the Basics series…
With that we now turn to the final episode in this Basics series – “Running
with your game plan”. If you joined us from the beginning the intro episode
and found the challenge of sticking with us as we have moved towards the 10th episode, congratulations.
Even better if you can truly identify with any of our discussions and
found them useful, perhaps even feeling compelled to bring some of the
suggested actions to reality with-in your business. If so well done!
We know if you have, that you are among a rare group of people seeking
out ways to enhance your skills and become better leaders.
Be sure to stayed with us until the end as we will be offering our listeners a special take-away for episode 10 – a summarized checklist covering all 10 of the topics with a step by step approach to implementing your Leadership game plan.
This is something we have developed especially for our Mastermind
participants and whilst they receive deeper insight, this will contain the same
information which they receive when attending our F2F session.
So episode 10, looks at of bundling everything we’ve spoken about in a structured, practical way, that you can utilize for a hugely positive impact with your stakeholders and business alike.
We’re extremely excited about the release of this next episode and hope
that you will be able to join us.
Until then, keep pushing towards excellence, stay safe and we will see you again soon. Bye for now.
How do leaders excel in the basics – Intro to this 10 video “Excel in the Basics” series… (video transcript) written by Wayne Brown Hello and welcome to our latest program. This time we’re launching a new video series, focusing on the coming changes through technology and the need for […]
Topic 10 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series – Running with your game plan
transcript written by Wayne Brown
We’ve reached the end…
Welcome to this very special, final edition of our “Leadership Basics series”. It’s been a labor of love during these past months where we achieved (more or less) our goal of releasing a new episode every 2 weeks.
As an outcome, this program has now been running for the past 5-6 months with this the eleventh video, podcast and blog.
A mere drop
in the ocean when compared with my own career spans more than 40 years, with
more than half of it in a managerial or leadership capacity with
multi-national, fortune 500 companies.
In parallel, I’ve started a number of businesses, the first, an electrical contracting business, registered way back in 1983 and then in 1999 I founded my first limited liability company.
throughout this entire period I’m pleased to say that I’ve never stopped learning,
developing my skills and honing my knowledge into tactics.
And a new beginning… (my own Game Plan)
Those that are following this channel or our podcast and blog, will possibly now that in the last 12 month I’ve intensified my studies, with the aim of modernizing my knowledge and skills sets in preparation for our latest venture, the registering of a new company and venture in July this year called “Skills 4 Executives”.
Our purpose is to directly address the needs for elite talent development with-in the elevator-escalator tribe but by ensuring we target specific requirements of the industry not purely generic leadership.
We plan to do this through the aid of our vast global network and an array of acclaimed experts.
Let’s have a quick look at our Skills 4 Executives (S4E) company structure;
Communications via “A Mentors Couch”…
Staring with the communications arm called “amentorscouch.com” which we launched approx. 9 months ago around the end of Dec 2018.
With-in this arm, we will continue to host our Coaches Blog, the podcast show called couchTALK and this video channel called Mentors Rant. And additionally, in the coming months we’ll be commencing a bi-monthly webinar show together with quarterly newsletters.
And the big news, we’re targeting by middle of 2020 to release our first eBook. More on that in the period ahead.
Aside from this communications arm, Skills 4 Executives has three core areas of focus.
Coaching via “Coaching 4 Companies” …
At the heart of everything is Coaching. In the future you will find that we launch various services through “coaching4companies.com”, where we work with corporate executives and executive teams primarily from with-in our elevator-escalator global tribe.
This is available via face to face or with virtually interactions and offer those being coached exposure to industry and non-industry legends as well as being supported by a huge range of quality techniques, tools and templates.
One executive group to receive special attention are those nominated by their company as “Elite Talents”. These talents are our tribe’s future leaders and require grooming to thrive in this dynamic, converging world.
As such, we are building a unique, industry specific, two Level “Elite Talents Program”. At the programs core is a fully automated, multi layered, computer-based Leadership simulation.
test participants ability to steer their way through real life day on day
scenarios with the challenge of not only running the business but being
successful in growing it in a sustainable and profitable manner.
Facilitation via “Facilitation 4 Companies” …
Supporting this will be a 2-year part time, 12 module blended program which shall be offered through 3 day bi-monthly face to face workshops via “facilitation4companies.com”.
Whilst these workshops offer participants the most comprehensive and fully experiential journey through hands on practice, discussions and networking opportunities, we realize that not everyone has the luxury of attending such a demanding program.
Online Self-study via “Education 4 Companies” …
Therefore, we are also preparing a modified version of the program via our online self-education platform called “education4companies.com”.
As mentioned already, scaling globally face to face will be possible through a large and diversified network of experts – all with corporate leadership backgrounds and many coming with a strong emphasis in education and development.
sure you can sense that I’m hugely excited about the venture as it’s one which
brings with it the potential to re-shape our industry’s approach to Leadership
And now it’s your turn …
So, there you have my GAME PLAN in a nutshell – Skills 4 Executives Limited. It continues to be a work-in-progress and pleasingly is evolving at pace.
My first goal is simple – “to move one step closer every single day to realizing the release of this industry specific Elite Talents development program”. And the great thing is that once this is goal is achieved, we will be able to fully focus on preparations for our first industry Mastermind in late 2020.
It’s now time to bring together all of the elements to help finalize your arsenal of basic skills, which we’ve covered in the past 10 episodes. And in the process, to create clarity for you so that it’s simple to understand and to apply.
If you can recall all the way back in the very first of those episodes, we outlined our reasoning for putting this series together.
to ensure that our tribal executives had the basics locked in place as a
standard part of their daily practice so that they are able to free their minds
and focus on the bigger picture; those changes coming around the corner in the
not too distant future.
Our belief is that with-in the next 3-5 years, as a result of the unprecedented technology convergence, our industry along with most other industries will be turned on it’s head.
This will then require flexibility, agility and new skills. But that doesn’t mean total disbandment of our core principles and work ethics, nor do we stop engaging with and satisfying stakeholders, or building strong teams that can address even more complex challenges.
means that these must be locked in as a solid part of your leadership package.
And therefore, that you are ready and able to accommodate whatever the new
world throws at you.
For the remainder of this episode we will give you a blueprint, to simplify those key learnings which need to be adopted and implemented. So here we go….
Our stakeholders …
If you visit our site www.amentorscouch.com and the blog called “Running with your game plan” you will find near the top the Game Plan Blueprint, we’ve compiled for you.
Our suggestion is that you
download and print it so that you can follow through and take notes as we help build
your game plan together.
Do you recall our 9 stakeholder groups? And how we dissected these between internal and external, as well as those we placed in our inner and outer circleof influence and finally deciding whether they were deemed a supporter or detractor?
Step 1: You will find this as the first activity in the downloaded document. Having this stakeholder information sorted enables you to look at how you want to engage in the future with each major stakeholder – be they an “Influencer” or otherwise.
Please note here that even
if you did this exercise some 5-6 months back, we would suggest now is a great
time to review and update the results where necessary. It s a dynamic group and
requires regular review and reflection.
Broadly speaking we would
start with the Inner/Outer Circle as step 1. List all the stakeholders you can
identify and then plot them into their respective quadrant – noting your
relationship with them and their interest in your operations.
From here you can ask yourself the question – “Are all Influencers sitting in your inner circle and do you have any real detractors?”
One critical stakeholder – “OUR TEAM” …
Step 2. Based on your assessment, utilise our template and
plan out your engagement strategy for all those you consider critical to your
One of the
largest stakeholder groups will be your team and we discussed in video 2 how
essential this group are for you and your company’s success.
we start now to look at what concrete actions are possible to build and develop
To help you communicate effectively, to show empathy and humilitywhilst establishing a connection of trust, which becomes empowering.
You’ll see the in the Topic 2 checklist that we outline the broad headings which represent those 7 sub-topics which we detailed during that episode, starting with;
the 5 leadership traits which you require and must consistently demonstrate.
the workplace environment, talking here about the physical surroundings, rather than anything relational
the healthy mind platters 7 areas of focus – working with and enabling your team to embody these in their life & work style.
Acknowledging that our workforce, which today spans 4 different generations – from baby boomers, through to Gen Z require interaction and communication with correctly
Then understanding the large range of motivational theories which might helpful for you in identifying and to maintain team engagement and empowerment.
working with rational & emotional strategies and identifying how to motivate by addressing inner needs through extrinsic and intrinsic means
And then finally to the SCARF model, looking at the 5 domains of social experience and ensuring we trigger the positive, reward response, not the negative, threat reaction.
Next, Delegation and Feedback…
We now move to the beginning of a major subject which will spans multiple episodes – Delegation and Feedback. Starting with the basics behind the delegation process and establishing of the “WHY, WHAT and HOW”.
In our checklist you will find these questions under Topic 3 – Creative Delegation Techniques. Each is list as a broad headings and under that, the key items which you as the leader need to know and practice.
You may recall we kicked off with the 3 reasons behind the“WHY” question – and we said that;
we delegate to ensure we meet stakeholder expectations,
to help with team development and growth,
as well as to simply allow us enough time to lead.
introduced a couple of tools and a series of questions under the “WHAT” portion, which gave us a way of determining the tasks to delegate based
on identified priorities and to which members of your team were most suitable
in handling the challenge.
Then finally under the “HOW” we bought to the table a series of newer concepts. Ideas centered around what we have learnt from theoretical and practical research, which indicate people want some freedom to work on activities of their own choosing.
Additionally, they also want the see that they are making progress, hence we introduced to Activities of Choice and the weekly team meetings where individuals were able to showcase their project, discuss issues and report progress.
Then, to establish the rules and objectives…
Still under the heading of “How” and related to delegation, we introduced Topic 4 – SMART rules and reward goals.
Here traditional goal setting meets online gaming, where we took our old favorite the SMART goal setting tool and looked at how we could make the process more engaging during the task delegation.
First, we used the tool to set the expectations on both sides, ensuring clarity, together with a few do’s and don’ts to observe.
applied these requirements in our weekly progress reporting. But until that
point there wasn’t really that much new, and we weren’t so confident that with
these few steps would engage with all 4 generations.
wanted to shake it up a little and see whether we could learn something from
the online gaming world.
We discovered that game designers essentially work on three core elements when building their products
games must be goal driven,
challenge intense and
offer immediate feedback
All whilst providing a rich experience through-out their time online.
Gamers are motivated to achieve their goals by being rewarded or penalized along the way, based on their own skill and performance – the potential carrot and stick is there in the background, but it’s much more intrinsic, driven by a personal desire to do well and to receive instant gratification and feedback.
Hence, we reviewed our SMART process to ensure we captured the traditional 5 elements for clarity, but modernized our approach with our weekly meetings, ensuring transparent progress reviews, team collaboration and immediate gratification or feedback.
It was a
win-win formula which bodes well with all in our workforce.
learnings didn’t stop there however, and although any leader that has applied
the lessons from topics 1 – 4 will be far ahead of the pack, we wanted to
ensure that these wins became the norm and were locked into our workplace
You will notice how we enable you to work through & capture this practice via the checklist.
Therefore, during Topics 5 & 6, we turned our focus to different Feedback Strategies, commencing with an understanding of what happens in people’s heads when they are given feedback – be it from colleagues, their boss or even friends and family.
The amygdala hijacking triggers that threat or reward response as studied in Topic 2.
effort to help us manage the whole feedback topic more effectively, we provided
a 4-step strategy as a guide for Leaders. This strategy commenced with;
the need to educate everyone involved on the value in seeking feedback and learning how to effectively receive feedback. And we explored multiple ways that we might do so.
Then we moved into the considerations and actions required during the preparation and planning of your feedback sessions
both of these steps in place, it was time to dive into two types of feedback,
which we again supported with some simple tools to make your life a little
Our first feedback approach was the informal version. The type of thing you might expect walking down the corridor or when you see your boss whilst getting a coffee.
always, that offering
guidance on improvement is critical; without it, the person will be uncertain
as to how to avoid the same or similar issues in the future.
To assist we intro’d a tool called FAST which stands for Frequent, Actionable, Specific and Timely.
And finally, to the more formal feedback – the F2F sessions, where we ensure we have privacy and a number of other pre-requisites in place from the outset.
During this portion of the episode we reviewed briefly (3) three different feedback tools and suggested the two most common today are which are called BOOST and SBI.
One area which has become quite controversial and somewhat dated was the annual performance review.
we decided to bring the entire process into the 21 century with the use of
technology and a continuation of our earlier journey with regular weekly or
bi-weekly reviews and feedback.
Adopting Achievement Reviews as a replacement to those dreaded Performance improvement discussions.
looked at what current technology offered and how leading companies where
starting to utilize these tools.
we also wanted to ensure that there was some research supporting the switch and
that this was not purely a gut feeling we had but that it was right direction.
we found ample evidence that supported our direction.
Starting with our motivational theories and David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory and his Iceberg Model, then further through Intrinsic Motivators and with the SCARF theory.
All supported us on our quest.
And further, when we were able to couple these theories with many research papers from leading University professors and noticed that fortune 500 companies were beginning to shift in a similar direction, our confidence and belief that we were heading in the right direction skyrocketed.
To ensure we left no one behind in our transition however, we decided to offer an interim step in shifting from performance to achievement reviews – this was the humble 360 degree report which offers a buffer between the sole opinion of the immediate boss, by including feedback from colleagues, customers, suppliers, your team as well as your boss.
nice deflection indeed and made even more attractive today due to the price
decrease possible as a result of technology advances.
the end of the day, this is a great extension along our journey – if you had applied the
earlier strategies we spoke of, then the results of each employee’s successful projects will be known already to the other team members.
Therefore, these results can be made visible to the entire team, thus creating a form of competition, but also offering the opportunity for continued immediate gratitude and feedback from all.
Now onto Topic 7, where it’s time to shift gear slightly, and start by assuming that “Utopia” in business seldom exists and that from time to time we are bound to find ourselves challenged with problems, be they related to people or to systems and processes.
We as managers and leaders need to be effective in working towards and identifying solutions. Enter this topic and the bundle of new skills it introduces for us.
We commenced by analysing our conflict management awareness and determining which of the 5 default styles we adopt when confronted with conflict.
will see in the checklist the 5 styles and a link to the questionnaire which
will help you make your own and or a team members assessment.
We also explored the typical reaction we can expect from our team when they are questioned about an issue or situation. Both are very useful for your preparations as well as deepening your leadership self-awareness.
then, we move broader and deeper and ask “but what if the problem is larger and
involving more than one person – what then”?
This is where we introduced you to various problem-solving techniques and tools.
Again, you will see these under Topic 7 of your Game Plan checklist.
And finally, we said that whilst few leaders today are well equipped with these skills and knowledge, we want you to have even more options in your tool kit and therefore introduced the concepts of incorporating Creative and Critical Thinking into the Problem-solving mix.
outcome is a truly dynamic process which will help you nail 99% of the issues
you encounter in your career.
Then the icing on the cake – looking at how to take some of those creative juices and apply with the problem solving equation by including group dynamics, diversity and visualization to map out the end to end process and identify gaps which enable you to strengthen the overall process design – a magic, modern day twist to the solution formula.
reaching Topic 8, we know that the skills shared so far will have placed you in
great shape as a Leader among leaders, and someone that your team will follow,
whilst other stakeholders are happy to collaborate with.
final 2 topics are to further consolidate those abilities and prepare you for
the advanced series which will follow soon after the conclusion of this basic
So, in this topic 8 we begin speaking about Change and why as a Leader you need to first understand yourself, that change is an essential component of everything in our lives – since birth through to now and beyond until you pass to the other side. And this reality is no different with-in your career and for your company.
As Steven Covey was famous for stating “The only Constant is Change”.
So in our Game Plan checklist, we help to visualize this reality and offer guidance on the typical psychological impact we all have as a consequence of any change.
this provides you the opportunity to see when a member of your team is stuck
and needs support as they transition along the curve from denial and anger to
acceptance and adoption.
this knowledge is not sufficient, we also wanted to provide you the tools,
which you can utilise and make your own, when your career requires that you do
so – if you
haven’t already been involved in a change initiative, then it’s probably only a matter of
time before this is thrust upon you. – remember “the only constant in life…”.
with this knowledge and tools you have your starter kit in place and ready to
test the waters.
One foundational skill set which you must possess for success with Change is the ability to communicate. We offered you an insight on how to structure your communications here, but unless you are already a natural story-teller, then this is one area where you are going to require further information and coaching.
Finding the balance between values and performance…
In Topic 2 we began by providing 5 leadership traits which you must process – Trust, Listen, Accept, Share and Enable. Whilst these are 5 essentials, they are not the only hallmarks of a strong leader.
We mentioned your ability to communication just a moment ago, so I won’t list it again here, but in addition, a leader that functions with and consistently demonstrates humility, empathy, self-awarenessand operates from a values base of ethics, integrity and compassion, will thrive with all generations of the workforce today.
And so, it
was a logical inclusion as the final basic skill that we speak about the
Values-based leader. This is someone that understands the benefits of having a
diverse team and seeks opportunities for inclusion of that diversity in
But it’s also a leader that understands that a pure,
may not foster the company culture it desires. That a pure, values-based leader
may lack the drive to perform and grow.
In this regard the Leader needs to seek the perfect blend between values and performance as one with-out the other is seldom sustainable.
that right balance tends to result in a company whose culture is based on
fairness and compassion but also shares the desire to be successful and drives
together towards profitable outcomes.
review topic in our checklist therefore incorporates those key considerations
and sets the target for finding that harmonious blend.
And so, to this last Topic 10 – Running with your Game Plan…
we have summarized this Basics series with you, where we hope that you have
made additional notes and highlighted lessons which you and your team might
still benefit further from.
It’s now your turn to outline your blueprint for taking your team and your own performance from “Good to Great” and beyond – to borrow from Jim Collins and his best selling book.
the core changes which you will make next week, to drive improvements, be it
with any of the 9 stakeholder groups, but most importantly with the team and
Our journey led us from Stakeholder engagement to Team Motivation and Delegation, Feedback, through Problem Solving and Change Management to leading with Values.
It’s a truly powerful set of core basic skills, which can only help to serve and better your career as a Leader.
As we have mentioned through-out this Basics series our plan is to now dive deeper into more advanced discussions – many of which are dear to my heart and which our brand-new company Skills 4 Executives, will be focused on providing for this industry.
I hope that
you have enjoyed this series and if so, please subscribe below if you haven’t already. We really look forward to you
joining us as we launch into the “Leaders Advance” series.
perform strongly and grow daily. Bye for now.
Video 1.02 – What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in
Video 1.03 – Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win
Video 1.04 – Leaders need to learn how to close
Welcome back to “Highly effective presentations for every leader” – in episode 1.01, we started by looking at the necessary preparations to enable professional presentations.
Episode 1.02 followed with a detailed review of the critical considerations for that opening stanza of the presentation.
And now you’ve reached episode 1.03 in this 4 part series, where we discuss how to enable better knowledge retention and the likelihood of behavioral change, based on the presenters’ ability to keep the new information in bite-size nuggets or parcels – we call them chunks – which are well structured and with a clear link from one chunk to the next.
Before starting off on this new material, however, let’s go back and briefly summarize the 3 key considerations from previous episode 1.02 – “What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in.”
3 key considerations from that episode
# 1: Captivate from the very beginning
# 2: Opening comments
# 3: Engage through Story
Before starting off on this new material, however, let’s go back and briefly summarize the 3 key considerations from previous episode 1.02 – “What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in.”
We highlighted the fact that first impressions are lasting, and therefore our # 1 consideration begins the moment you step up in front of the audience and before opening your mouth
approach the podium,
pause in silence,
scan the room,
raise your eyebrows,
pause again and then smile.
Then we move to those opening comments
look at how your opening can be powerful,
naturally connected to the subject &
hooking the audience
And finally, we suggest you engage through a story.
But important to become effective at delivering stories.
Understand the difference between telling me and showing me the story through a descriptive well thought through & emotive storyline.
In this episode 1.03 – “Leaders that chunk, link, recall, and review, win,” we will cover 5 specific considerations.
1st – The art of chunking & linking,
2nd – Body language to enhance the message,
3RD – Using voice to enhance the message,
4TH – Recall through activities
5TH – and finally Revisit and Review
Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
Consideration # 1: The art of chunking and linking – adults digest information best when broken into small parcels of sequential data in a logically structured way.
Start by raising the audience interest in a new topic
use your visual tools to outline something memorable and perhaps even abstract to get their attention.
See whether the participants can determine what you are showing or illustrating. Word of warning, however, must be related or connected to the topic your introducing.
Chunk the topic info by spending no more than 15-20 mins discussing the topic items – this timeframe allows people to remain focused and digest the new information.
Anything longer and studies have shown that the human absorption rate drops off quite sharply.
Link the topic items and subsequent topics so that there is a clear structure between points
where possible find ways to link the information to the audience’s workplace.
This will help with the “Participant Centredness.”
Consideration # 2: Using Body language to enhance the message.
Focus on facial expression, hand gestures, and body movement to greatly enhance engagement with the audience.
Leverage your face to highlight key points – people engage best when the presenter uses the upper half of the face – i.e., eyes and forehead, rather than only the mouth.
Eye contact is essential with each participant but makes your scanning natural rather than a continuous radar.
Hand gestures are powerful when used as an invite – extended arm and open palm to the audience, equally so when wanting to reinforce a point by using the steeple hands to question or reflect.
Avoid placing your hands behind your back and in pockets – this appears if you have something to hide.
Walking towards the audience helps emphasize the importance of a point, and moving backward brings closure to that discussion or point.
Avoid rocking in one place or prowling around the floor.
As a guide – move, then pause, make your point, and then move again.
Consideration # 3: Using voice to enhance the message
– just as your body language conveys a visual message, your voice tells the verbal & vocal message
Terms such as “Register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch & volume” are as many key attributes for presenters as they are for singers.
Your ability to control and utilize your voice to emphasize a point is a critical tool and should be practiced.
At all costs, avoid the monotone dialogue.
Utilize the PAUSE and SILENCE methods to create effect and emphasize key points – an interesting practice is to use pause and get the audience to complete sentences to create engagement.
Brian Tracy, one of the business success gurus, illustrates this nicely in several of his videos.
A final suggestion here is to make the microphone your best friend but don’t make love to the microphone.
If you have a large gathering, use a microphone to ensure your voice carries
Practice using the microphone in advance so that you are aware of how it sounds.
However, avoid playing with it or making it a distraction during your presentation.
Consideration # 4: Recall through activities
active learning is powerful, and research confirms that it’s the best way to help adults remember (i.e., learning through experience).
Plan short activities to reinforce the theory of the topics – no more than 5-10 mins is required after each subject, but this depends on the type of workshop you are presenting.
Additionally, incorporate simple reinforcement exercises through discussion, questions, brainstorming will help participants digest and recall.
Ensure your activities relate to the topic and enable the audience to easily link the theory with the experience.
A good practice is to ask the audience to visualize how they could use this knowledge or skills at a later stage back in their workplace.
By doing this, you transfer the learning and experience across to implementation – forming a very powerful and lasting connection.
Consideration # 5: Revisit and review
if this part is utilized correctly, it will deepen learning retention and increase the potential for behavior change.
There are three main stages to your presentation – the opening, the body, and the close.
At the open, you tell them what you are going to say to them
during the body, you tell them what you need to tell them
and in closing, you tell them what you have already told them.
Studies show that it’s necessary to revise each topic 6 – 7 times to maximize the potential for later recall – each way should be a little different from the previous.
This can be achieved informally through simple discussion, question/ answer, summarizing, even with hands-on activities, or in a more formal manner where participants are asked to complete a written test.
Whichever combination you choose, seek out as many opportunities as possible to repeatedly review the topic you have introduced.
One effective way we have already mentioned earlier is to conclude the topic with an example and illustrate that example via a “show me” story.
We’ve covered a lot of territory in this episode, so let’s recap and summarize the 5 key considerations;
During the body of any presentation, we touch on 4 of the 7 concepts for memory retention.
# 1 The art of chunking & linking – adults digest information best when it is broken into small parcels
# 2 Using body language to enhance the message – focusing on your facial expression, hand gestures, and body movement
# 3 Using voice to enhance the message – just as body language conveys a visual message, your voice conveys the verbal & vocal message
# 4 Recall through activities – active learning is a powerful mechanism for assisting adults in locking in the message
# 5 Revisit and review – will deepen learning retention and create the potential for behavior change
Thank you for listening to this third episode, “Leaders that chunk, link, recall, and review, win,” from our series “Highly effective presentations for every leader.”
One episode remaining in this series called “Leaders need to learn how to close.”
Looking forward to seeing you soon, be sure to preparation, open with purpose, and practice chunking and linking.