Leadership Blog #100 — Communicate Effectively with the Secret of Chosen Words

Communicate Effectively with the Secret of Chosen Words

Imagine having a conversation with four different people:

Person A: “Let’s show the boss how innovative our minds are.”
Person B: “Follow these directions for optimal performance.”
Person C: “Give me an educated guess on why our KPIs are not met this quarter.”
Person D: “The rules are the same for everyone.”

Who would you have more difficulty communicating with? Most likely, you would have reacted negatively to one of them. Why is that so?

The findings from a pilot study conducted by Target Training International’s Center for Applied Cognitive Research suggests that certain words may evoke negative reaction in your brain immediately upon hearing them. As to which words trigger, that largely depends on your dominant behavioral style (DISC).

Using the earlier example:

Person A’s words do not work for people with the primary Steadiness style.
Person B’s words do not work for people with the primary Dominance style.
Person C’s words do not work for people with the primary Compliance style.
Person D’s words do not work for people with the primary Influence style.

Download the white paper “Words that Don’t Work” by our partner TTI Success Insights to discover more findings from the study and improve your communication with your bosses, colleagues, team members, clients, or anyone who has a different dominant behavioral style from you.

Understanding other styles, appreciating differences and knowing how to adapt to other communication styles will significantly impact the performance of a team. Time and again, in my years of training leaders, I have witnessed DISC aiding many teams in collaborating effectively and efficiently.

If you would like to identify and understand the primary DISC style of your own and your team members, drop me an email.

Have a great week breaking communication barriers!


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Posted in Assessment, Communication, Research

Leadership Blog #99 — Leading Young Men to Adulthood

Leading Young Men to Adulthood

The journey of transformation from a young man to a mature adult can be challenging. Many more young men are now trapped between adolescence and adulthood.

Positive role models are crucial during this transition. Yet often, they are few and far between. So many young men struggle to find healthy male role models. As a result, they turn to get their modelling from the television, internet, gaming or even from their friends who may also be struggling.

In one of his blog post, Tim Elmore from Growing Leaders suggests five steps one can begin with to offer direction to young men. Here’s an excerpt:


Let me take a moment and suggest some steps you can begin with if you have young males in your life:

  1. Begin to expose them to role models early.
  2. Screen and limit the screen time.
  3. Provide appropriate hands-on learning opportunities.
  4. Educate yourself on the effects of prescription drugs.
  5. Be careful about male bashing.

So How Do We Provide Direction?

Let’s begin with a simple list of steps anyone can take:

  1. Build a relationship with them, one at a time.
  2. Spark conversation based on their interests, not yours.
  3. Ask them questions that will encourage them to think about the future.
  4. Use metaphors and experiences to teach them principles they’ll need as an adult.
  5. Meet regularly and dependably. You may be the only male they learn to count on.

As you work with young men, whether it’s on a team, or as an employer, seize the opportunities to encourage and guide them by example and actions. You may be the only adult they learn to transit to adulthood authentically.

Interested to mentor and coach but unsure of how to do so? We can help you. Contact us to learn more on how you can become a coach and impact lives!

Posted in Coaching, Talent Management

Leadership Blog #98 — 6 Key Tools to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace

6 Key Tools to Communicate Effectively in the Workplace

Communication in the workplace is, no doubt, a most important skill. Not only can it inform and persuade, it also connects and inspires. Communicate effectively with your bosses, teams and colleagues, and you will find that work gets done promptly and professionally.

Bill Rosenthal, CEO of our partner Communispond, has shared 6 practical things and skills that you can work on to become an even better employee this new year.

Improve these and stand out as a great communicator and driven employee in your workplace!

Posted in Communication

Leadership Blog #97 — Top 5 Leadership Posts of 2017

Best 5 Leadership Posts of 2017

As we moved forward into the new year, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the highlights of 2017 from our leadership blog.

Among the various topics we had shared, these are the best five posts that is worth a re-explore:

Thank you for reading our posts and making 2017 a wonderful year. What leadership topics do you want to see in 2018? Drop an email to let me know!

I look forward to journeying with you on another excellent year of leadership growth and success.

Posted in Leadership Development, Leadership Training

Leadership Blog #96 — Can You Be an Introvert and a Leader?

Can You Be an Introvert and a Leader?

When we think of leaders, these are the usual words that come to mind: “Power”, “Confident”, “Dominant”, “Expressive” and “Charismatic”.

A popular perception is that extroverts leaders generally perform better than passive, quiet and reserved introverts. It is out of the common to see the words “introvert” and “leader” being used in a sentence. Great leaders, however, do arise from various behavioral styles, even the introverted leaders.

Uncover the misconceptions about introverts and the merits of introverted leaders in this TTI Success Insights webinar. Andy Johnson, Executive Coach, and Organizational Consultant at Price Associates, will debunk myths about introverts and help you understand and harness the power of introverted leaders.

Introvert or extrovert, you can leverage your unique personality strengths to lead effectively. Successful teams tap on the strengths of people from both ends of the spectrum to produce superior results. Contact us to find out how to discover yours or your teams’ unique personality strengths.

Posted in Assessment, Leadership Qualities

Leadership Blog #95 — “Out of the Box” Year End Leadership Actions for a Better 2018

“Out of the Box” Year End Leadership Actions for a Better 2018

Here it is December and we are being reminded to set our goals and make our 2018 resolutions. Why not approach 2018 differently and adopt some of the “Out of the Box” but practical activities you may do to give you a better “start to finish” in 2018.

Make a Gratitude List. Review 2017 and list out what you are grateful for. What went well? How have others blessed you? Who to write a thank you note or email to? Reflect on what you might do to be more gracious and giving in 2018.

Unsubscribe. It is amazing how many emails, blogs and e-zines we sign up for but rarely find useful. Make a serious effort to unsubscribe and eliminate emails that you do not need to receive. Be more email productive and dump the trash.

Be Coached and Mentored. Determine how you want to grow in 2018. Then identify the coaches or mentors that can help you, and ask them for their monthly time in 2018. Remember if they cannot commit, ask for a coach/mentor referral as these many times are more satisfying coaching experiences.

Give Quantity to Your Family. Giving quality time to your spouse and kids is a big lie. Figure out how you may give more quantity time to your family and loved ones. They will decide out of the quantity time you give them, what is quality they receive being with you. Take a bold step and make an effort to be the available mentor.

Use up the Vacation Time. Don’t let those unused vacation days go to waste. Use up all your vacation time. Give yourself a break.

Forgive. The opposite of your Gratitude List might be called “Who Stuffed You List.” Not forgiving someone is like drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die. Decide to forgive those who stuffed, you took advantage of you, hurt you and move on with life in 2018.

Determine Your Life Mission and Purpose. Your life purpose isn’t your company name card or LinkedIn page. It is living a life of significance. Download my “Life Purpose Pyramid” and determine your input for each slab of the pyramid. Take your time over the holidays and see what the pyramid reveals to you for 2018.

Read More. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Elon Musk all attribute part of their success to reading more. Read more. You may even want to take an effective reading course.

Determine your “Daily 5 Swings.” John Maxwell in his book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,” John teaches us to determine what are the 5 actions we need to do daily to grow. The reason I suggest this is I find many people have a disconnect between their goals for the year and determining what they need to do daily to grow and achieve their goals. My 5 Daily Swings are: Read, Be Healthy, Add Value, Innovate, and Improve.

Affirm Others. I found this ignored habit has paid me dividends in being positive, being secure, and being gracious. Simply, affirm, recognize or care for at least 3 people every day. See how your outlook on people changes. The holiday season is a good time to start.

Take a different approach to 2018, grow yourself and your healthy relationships for a more significant 2018.


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Posted in Growth, Self Leadership

Leadership Blog #94 — Expanding Your Team’s Capabilities in 2018

Expanding Your Team’s Capabilities in 2018

An Achieve+Forum Tool to Boost Team Productivity

With the right preparation, coaching, and guidance, your teams can take on many tasks and responsibilities once reserved for you or your managers in 2018. To expand your team’s capabilities to do this, you need to answer the following questions:

  • How do we, as team leaders, prepare our teams to take on tasks and responsibilities that we have been handling?
  • How do we know when and if teams are ready to take on new tasks?
  • What coaching and/or training do my teams need?
  • How do we set up tasks so that teams can take ownership and deliver on these new responsibilities?
  • As my teams work on tasks, projects and process, when and how do we help them?

At the end of this blog, you can download an assessment of your teams’ abilities in eight skill/knowledge areas and analyze your teams’ ability to handle a specific task, process or project they may be assigned in 2018. Using this information, you will learn when and how to plan to train, coach, and monitor their teams for greater productivity in 2018.

As a manager or team leader, you have traditionally have had two major responsibilities:

To ensure your team delivers a high level of quality of work on time.

To develop the capabilities of individual team members so that the quality of teamwork will continue to improve to exceed the KPI’s of any work the team delivers on. 

Today, because the business environment is changing so rapidly, a third responsibility has been added.

You must observe the business environment and anticipate the changes that the organization must make to remain successful. Then you must work with the team and others in the organization to effect the changes for success.

But where will you find the time to fulfil this third responsibility?

Realistically, the time can come from only one place. Your team must begin to take on many of the tasks you have handled. Yet you cannot simply “drop” tasks on the team and walk away. After all, you are still responsible for the quality of the team’s work and for developing the capabilities of individual team members.

In the following situations, you may need to transfer to the team specific tasks you previously performed:

  • You think that the team is ready to perform a task that you normally so.
  • You don’t have time to perform a new task you have been given.
  • The team could do its work better if it had more decision-making responsibility for a particular task.
  • The team needs to make direct contact with another team or person in order to clarify and negotiate issues.
  • Team members are asking for more responsibilities, decision-making authority, and challenges.
  • A cross-functional quality team has determined that a work process would be improved if handled directly by the team responsible of the work.

A smooth and successful transfer of responsibility to the team requires an organized approach. The Key Actions of Expanding Your Teams’ Capabilities described here will help you plan and carry out the process in a way that ensures positive outcomes for yourself and the team in 2018.

Expanding Your Teams’ Capabilities Key Action Overview

1. Assess the team’s ability to perform the task.

The decision to ask the team to take on a task is an important one and deserves careful consideration. The team’s success depends, in large part, on how skilled you are at analyzing the task and the team’s abilities.

2. Develop a plan to enable the team members to perform the task.

If your assessment of the team’s abilities has revealed areas of weakness, you will need to work with team members to develop their skills. A good plan includes setting task boundaries and preparing the right mix of training, coaching, and monitoring.

 3. Describe the task, benefits, and task boundaries to the team.

It’s important for your team members to fully understand what the task involves and how they will benefit from taking it on. After completing the first two Key Actions, you need to meet with team members to outline the task, the limits to their decision-making authority, and any other key issues.

4. Ask for the team’s commitment to take on the task.

If you want to foster a feeling of shared ownership, team members need to feel that they were involved in making the decision to take on the task. This is a two-way action in which you ask for team input and commitment and pledge to provide yours in return.

5. Work with the team until it performs the task.

In expanding your team’s capabilities, your ongoing responsibility is to maintain the right degree of involvement as the team gradually masters the task.

We have developed an Assessing Your Teams’ Capabilities Survey to help you expand your teams’ capabilities to achieve new levels of team performance in 2018.  The purpose of this survey is to assess your team(s) current state of productivity across 8 crucial areas.

There are two versions of this survey: The Team Leader Assessment and the Team Assessment. Having you and your team members complete these complimentary surveys can create team buy in and highlight alignment or gaps in team capabilities and commitment when expanding team roles in 2018. These surveys also provide you with direction for improving team skills, attitude and process for success in 2018.

Download both assessments for the team leader and the team survey below.

Get started now for having even more successful teamwork in 2018!


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Posted in Growth, Team Management

Leadership Blog #93 — Align for Training Results

Align for Training Results

The 10 Keys to Get More Out of Your Training Initiatives

It is amazing how many times there is a disconnect between a training intervention or workshop and the day-to-day SOP’s and activities of the organization. Training is used to build necessary knowledge, skill or process, or to solve business issues. Many times the training program is positioned and conducted without the necessary alignment to get results.

Just as a ship entering a harbor will align harbor lights to reach the port safely, the journey of training must be aligned to address the needs of the organization and individuals receiving the training so as to achieve the desired results. Let’s review the keys of alignment to get a good return on your training investment.

1. Align with a Champion.

Training interventions that solve business problems are often delegated to HR. Yes, HR can facilitate the program but results orientated training programs need a senior Champion to consistently signal the importance of the training. For example if sales training, then the Champion could be the Sales Director.

2. Align with Strategy.

Every training intervention should be able to be linked and identified with the core strategy of the organization. A simple question needs to be asked, “How does this training program support and drive the organization’s strategy?”

3. Align with Job Descriptions.

Get the job descriptions of the participants to be trained and ensure there is a direct connection between the specific job specs and training skills and knowledge. If not, the job spec may have to be updated.

4. Align Training Group Size with Realistic Outcomes.

Many HR departments are positively stroked on how many trainees they can cram into a training workshop. The learning ROI is discarded for numbers and budget. Make sure the group size is aligned with realistic training objectives. Knowledge training can accommodate more participants than skill or process training. Skill based training with one trainer/coach is best with 6-15 participants. Do you want to learn golf, tennis or badminton in a group of 6 or 25?

5. Align Training Outcomes between Client and Training Provider.

Many training providers promise the world and participants who “live happily ever after” the training program is finished. Get agreement of the training deliverables and outcomes before the contract for delivery is signed. This also minimizes post training frustration and misunderstandings.

6. Align with the Supervisor or Coach.

Research indicates the participant’s direct supervisor has the biggest impact of skill and process application back on the job by the training participant. Always involve the direct supervisors in the pre course signaling and post program reinforcement.

7. Align with Reinforcement.

Training programs do not microwave new leaders, more effective sales people, or better teams. The post training reinforcement or coaching is need to “crock pot” solid training success. Always align a reinforcement process that coaches can easily implement to make skills and knowledge stick.

8. Align with KPI’s.

I find it utterly amazing how many companies carry out training for skill process and knowledge but have not adjusted their team and individual KPI’s to drive and support new skill or knowledge success back on the job. Always determine before training starts, what are the OTJ KPI’s that will be measured when the trainees are back on the job. Focus on leading KPI’s. For example if coaching skills are taught, measure the number of monthly coaching conversations a leader has with each employee.

9. Align with Kirkpatrick.

Many companies struggle with measuring training effectively. Use the globally tested Kirkpatrick model to help the organization determine how training will be measured for success. Four levels of training measurement from easy to more difficult to measure.

10. Align with Participant Personal Needs.

Training’s first priority is to provide skill knowledge and process to improve organizational performance, finance or image needs. Effective training aligns the organizational goals with the individual needs and goals of personal growth. Personal needs may include achievement, recognition, power, safety and order. Aligning with personal needs gets participants more committed to apply the learning on the job.

The next time you design a training program or a company wide change intervention, use this 10 point alignment list to ensure success, better ROI, and committed buy-in from senior management, coaches and the participants. Align your training programs as drivers of “Strategy to Results through Your People.”

Have a great week being the leader you have potential to be!

Posted in Leadership Training

Leadership Blog #92 — Develop Leadership Pipeline to Build Current and Future Success

Develop Leadership Pipeline to Build Current and Future Success

A vibrant leadership pipeline secures the long-term stability of your organisation.

Being strategic about your leadership talent pipeline as you are about your business ensures that you’re building a robust pipeline that attracts and retains leaders whilst aligns to deliver against the desired results of your business.

With four decades of experience with business leaders, our partner AchieveForum found that highly effective leaders excel in four areas. The development of leaders at all levels should focus on specific areas to drive effectiveness, agility, and strategy execution now and in the future.

These focus areas play out differently for different leadership levels. Similar to having a different approach for targeting each audience needs, leaders are the same. First-line, mid-level, and high-potential/ senior leaders have their unique needs. As they move up the ranks, leaders must expand and deepen their focus in each of these areas to be effective.

AchieveForum’s point of view paper, “Align Your Business and Leadership Strategies”, reveals more on these four focus areas and the characteristics that should be the spotlight of design for each level of leader.

Download to learn more on building a pipeline of leadership talent to execute strategy for today and tomorrow.


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Posted in Leadership Development

Leadership Blog #91 — Uncover the Hidden Training Challenges

Uncover the Hidden Training Challenges

Leaders are responsible for developing the talent in their organizations. As retired chairman and CEO of General Electric Jack Welch says, “My main job was developing talent. I was a gardener providing water and other nourishment to our top 750 people”.

At times, simply nourishing may not be sufficient and weeding becomes necessary. What if you could uncover your team’s hidden beliefs that are silently undermining training efforts?

The findings of a brain imaging study released by our partner TTI Success Insights (TTI SI) provide some insights. Through this first-of-its-kind research, authentic and unbiased reactions to skills were revealed. It affirms that skills are experience-based and tied directly to emotional reactions, meaning you can have positive acceptance to a soft skill or you can have a very negative subconscious reaction.

Download the white paper “Uncovering Training Challenges With Brain Imaging” below to learn more on the research findings that may help you solve many of your leadership training dilemmas.

Do you have a training project that would benefit from these findings? Contact us to learn more on how you can use TTI SI assessments to transform your training and increase your results. 


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Posted in Leadership Training

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Michael       Amit            Anne

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Mali             Nirupama