Leaders need to learn how to close_HEP_105.4

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • Video 2 – What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in
  • Video 3 – Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win
  • Video 4 – Leaders need to learn how to close

Welcome back to “Highly effective presentations for every leader” – you have reached the final episode of this series. And before moving onto our new material from episode #1.04, it’s important to recap what we’ve covered so far.

In episode # 1.01 – Preparing to present like a pro, we started by looking at the necessary preparations to enable professional presentations.

Episode # 1.02 – What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in, we reviewed the critical considerations for that opening stanza of the presentation.

And the previous episode #1.03 called “Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win”, we looked closely the essentials for presenters during the body of the delivery – and we’ll now summarize this in more detail.

5 key considerations from previous video

– “Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, WIN” 

  • #: 1 The art of chunking & linking
  • # 2: Body language to enhance the message
  • # 3: Using voice to enhance the message
  • # 4: Recall through activities
  • # 5: Revisit and review

OK, so let’s at the consolidation of the 5 key considerations from episode #1.03.

If you recall, this episode is related to the “body of the presentation” and we touch on the 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 to lock in the message
  • # 5 Revisit and review – will deepen learning retention and create the potential for behaviour change

Primacy, Recency, Chunking, Linking, Record & recall, review & revisit and outstandingness                   

  • Primacy was the most important
  • Recency second most
  • Final opportunity to convey key points

As we have covered all 7 concepts of memory, let’s review them again here first and in order of importance

  • Primacy,
  • Recency,
  • Chunking,
  • Linking,
  • Record & recall,
  • review & revisit
  • and outstandingness.               

Do you recall this topic from episode 2 where we said Primacy was the most important concept for memory?

Well now we look at the second most important “Recency” meaning the last things we do before finishing our presentation – our close.

This is your final opportunity to ensure that all of the key points the audience has received and discussed, are taken away with them in their minds and perhaps their hands.

Let us now move into today’s topic.

Episode 4: Leaders need to learn how to close

During the next few minutes we will explore the final 3 considerations in this 4th and final episode of the series – “Leaders need to learn how to close”

  • Starting with, “Summarizing topics & key take-aways”
  • Followed by, “Concluding the presentation”
  • And finishing off with a Call to action     

Are you ready, then let’s start!

Consideration # 1:            Summarizing topics & key take-aways

  • Re-state the topics & key points
  • Make the points visual
  • Take final questions

This is where you bring it all together that one last time. Do you remember we spoke about the important of reviewing a minimum of 6 times in the previous episode?                       

  • State the topics you have covered and those key points from each – recall something specific that was discussed with these points, so participants are able to recall.
  • Make the points visual so that there is a final chance to digest and retain – show graphically the link between all the topics which lead to the conclusion.
  • Take final questions and try to seek the audience involvement to review if your forum allows.

Consideration # 2:            Concluding the presentation

  • Demonstrate outstandingness
  • Use closing statement
  • Lasting image

This is your chance to finish on a high! A great opportunity to practice your outstandingness – put on your dancing shoes (figuratively speaking) and make it special.

Leave the audience with something to remember the subject by – such as a closing statement quoted by someone famous, or a dire prediction if no change follows, etc

During your preparations you would have identified this and now it’s time to live it and illustrate lasting image you want the group to leave with – make it big and bold on and off the screen.

Consideration # 3:            Calling to action …    

  • “Challenge or Call back” close
  • Handouts, notes or future events
  • Close presentation

All great presentations have a follow-up request or requirement. Try using the “challenge” or “call back” close – pose something which will require the audience to act immediately or commit to a post workshop event.

Providing handouts, notes, or information on future events for the audience to take if interested is a good idea – but again create a reason why people would want to open it after they leave.

I’ve been to way too many events where I have been given material which sits on my desk for a while when I get back to the office, but eventually ends up on my shelf or in the bin. 

Don’t drag the ending on too long – bring the presentation to a close.

If possible, stay for remainder of proceeding to field questions outside of event.

Consolidation of the 3 key considerations

  • # 1 Summarizing the topics and key take-aways
  • # 2 Concluding the presentation
  • # 3 Calling to action

So to summarize episode # 1.04 and consolidate the 3 key considerations –  we’ve just learnt how to effectively close a presentation.            

Start by Summarizing the topics and key take-aways – this is where you bring it all together.

Then conclude the presentation – your chance to finish on a high – Leave the audience with something to remember the subject by – such as a closing statement quoted by someone famous.

And finally, and very importantly, create a Call to action – all great presentations have a follow-up request for some form immediate action or commit to a post workshop event.

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • Video 2 – What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in
  • Video 3 – Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win
  • Video 4 – Leaders need to learn how to close

Thank you for listening to this series “Highly effective presentations for every leader”.

We’ve enjoyed making the episode and hope that you enjoyed participating.

Please visit our site @ A Mentors Couch.com or subscribe to our channel to receive notifications when new material is released.

Until next time, bye for now and happy presenting!

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Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win_HEP_105.3

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1.01 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • 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 behavioural change, based around 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 links from one chunk to the next.

3 key considerations from previous episode 1.02

– “What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in” 

  • # 1: 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 a telling me and showing me the story, through descriptive well thought through & emotive storyline.

Episode 3: Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win

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 & linking

  • Raise interest through dialogue & visuals
  • Chunk topics into 15-20 mins segments
  • Link the topic items and subsequent topics

Adults digest information best when it is broken into small parcels of sequential data in a logical 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 it 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 able to 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 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:       Body language to enhance the message …                 

  • Leverage your face to highlight key
  • Hand gestures are powerful
  • Control your movements

Focus on your 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 make your scanning natural rather than acting like a continuous radar.

Hand gestures are powerful when used as an invite – extended arm and open palm to audience, equally so when wanting to reinforce a point by using the steeple hands to question or

reflect. Avoid hiding your hands behind your back and in pockets – this appears if you have something to hide.

Walking towards the audience helps emphasise importance of a point and moving backwards brings closure to that discussion or point.

Avoid rocking in the 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 …

  • Register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch & volume
  • Utilize the pausing and silence
  • Use a microphone

Just as your body language conveys a visual message, your voice conveys the verbal & vocal message. Terms such as “Register, timbre, prosody, pace, pitch & volume” are as much key attributes for presenters as they are for singers.

  • your ability to control and utilise your voice to emphasis 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 to place emphasis on 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 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

  • 5 – 10 min activities
  • Learning through experience
  • Link theory to experience

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 topics theory – no more than 5-10 mins is required after each topic but this depends on the type of workshop you are presenting at. 

Additionally, incorporate simple reinforcement exercises through discussion, questions, brainstorming will help participants digest and recall.

Make sure 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…

  • Open – tell them what you are going to tell them,
  • Body – tell them what you need to tell them
  • Close – tell them what you have already told them
  • 6 – 7 times review
  • Finish with “show me” story

If this part is utilised correctly it will deepen learning retention and increase potential for behaviour change. There are main three stages to your presentation – the opening, the body and the close.

At the open you tell them what you are going to tell them, during the body, you tell them what you need to tell them and on closing you tell them what you have already told them.

Studies show that it’s necessary to revise each topic 6 – 7 times to maximise 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 which we have already mentioned earlier is to conclude the topic with an example and illustrate that example via a “show me” story.

Consolidation of the 5 key considerations

  • # 1 The art of chunking & linking
  • # 2 Body language to enhance the message
  • # 3 Using voice to enhance the message
  • # 4 Recall through activities
  • # 5 Revisit and review

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 the 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 to lock in the message
  • # 5 Revisit and review – will deepen learning retention and create the potential for behaviour 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, happy chunking and bye for now.

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What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in_HEP_105.2

transcript written by Wayne Brown

What leaders need to achieve initial buy-in

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1.01 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • 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” – have you already complete episode # 1.01 – Preparing to present like a pro?

As this is a series of 4 episodes it will make it much easy if you watch them in sequence. However, don’t despair, if time is short, (and isn’t for everyone), we will start here with a summary of episode 1.01.

So, it seems you’re about to get started with episode 1.02.

Here we identify what leaders need to do during the crucial opening moments.

In the final two episodes 1.03 & 1.04, titled “Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win” and “Leaders need to learn how to close” respectively, we’ll investigate how to structure great presentations and then the methods for closing on a high.

5 key considerations from previous episode – “Preparing to present like a Pro”           

  • # 1: Know your audience
  • # 2: Structure your presentation
  • # 3: Create great visuals
  • # 4: Powerful questions & engaging activities
  • # 5: Prepare through practice

From episode 1.01 – Preparing to present like a Pro, we covered these 5 key considerations and said to remember that preparation helps you to stay Participant Centred through-out the presentation. Let’s quickly recap on what we have covered so far.

#1 Know your audience

  • meaning know who will be participating and how experienced they are on the subject

#2 Structure your presentation

  • by this we mean actively chunk topics and create links or bridges between these topics, using the rule of 3 and incorporate stories.

#3 Create great visuals

  • remember simple is best so they are easy to read and understand. 65% of adults have a visual learning preference.

#4 Prepare powerful questions and engaging activities

  • do some research on questioning techniques such as “funnelling and develop simple activities.

#5 Prepare through practice

  • experts say there are typically 3 presentation versions for every eventual delivery – Each individual needs to develop their own method which works best for them.

Before jumping into episode 1.02, we would like to give you a short intro to the 7 concepts of memory (listed here in order of importance) – Primacy, Recency, Chunking, Linking, Record & Recall, Review & Revisit and Outstandingness.

  • # 1 in order of importance is Primacy – covered in this episode
  • # 2 in order of importance is Recency – covered in episode 1.04
  • # 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 – covered in episodes 1.03 & 1.04.

As stated # 1 is Primacy – i.e. the things our participants remember the most from your presentation is the opening (particularly if it stinks).

The second most important is how you close – ie Recency

  • the last things we hear, do or say before completing the presentation
  • we address this item in episode 4 of this series.

Whilst #’s 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 (the remaining 5 concepts) we’ll cover in episodes 3 & 4.

So, it’s clearly important if we want people to retain the experience and learnings from our presentation, that we turn our focus to these 7 concepts in the remaining 3 episodes.

Let’s now begin with episode 1.02.

Episode 1.02: What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in

Starting now with the 3 vital considerations specific to our second episode – “What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in”

  • 1st captivate “From the very beginning”
  • 2nd nailing those “opening comments”
  • 3rd “Engage through Story”

Consideration # 1:            From the very beginning

  • Dress to impress
  • Communicate through body language
  • Standstill – don’t rock or prowl

First impressions are critical so from the very moment you appear, the clock is running and your audience is making their judgement about you and the likely presentation.

Therefore, make you actions and expressions purposeful

  • approach the podium confidently,
  • pause in silence,
  • scan the room,
  • raise your eyebrow
  • and smile.

People connect more with the top half of your face than the bottom, hence the eyebrow movement but smiling is infectious so don’t miss it.   

Dress to impress – meaning neatly, regardless of dress code. If it’s stated that the dress code is smart casual dress on the on the smart side. If more formal, make sure you are clear on the requirements – NEVER underdress.

Use of body language for successful engagement. > 50% of your communication occurs through your body language.

  • Standstill – don’t prowl excessively – in the beginning move more from the hips and plant your feet.
  • Avoid rocking backwards of forward or swaying.
  • Keep hands visible in front of you. Use them to emphasis a point but don’t become the flag bearer waving wildly.

Consideration # 2:            Opening comments …

  • Remember the “WHY”  
  • Remember the “HOW”
  • Voice control
  • Graphic visual image

Use a powerful intro to give the subject substance & connect to the audience. When we say “Remember the WHY” – consider that we are all presenters at some stage in our career.

The audience is there because they are wanting to hear and learn something new. Ensure your opening confirms their trust in you and reason for listening.

“Remember the HOW” – by demonstrating through words, your Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, Love – or HAIL, as Julian Treasure refers to it in his 2013 TED Talk on “How to speak so that people want to listen”. Julian further defines HAIL “as to greet or acclaim enthusiastically”.

Additionally, lock the audience into you with your voice control

  • don’t speak to fast or too speed,
  • ensure the right tone,
  • volume and pitch.

If you have a voice like me use aids to assist you.

Introduce the subject using words which paint a graphic, visual image. Explore and express the subject in a way that the audience will connect with.

Consideration # 3:            Engage through Story …

  • Use stories to link yourself
  • Be relatable
  • And have fun!

And understand the difference between a telling me and showing me story.

Learning to become a storyteller is one of your most powerful aids as a presenter. Discover how to unpack a story by taking the time to detail and explore details and living each moment. Where possible link yourself into the subject through this story as a means of self-introduction and introducing your background.

Be careful to stay relatable – authentic by being yourself, relaxed, engaging, enthusiastic. If the story is too unbelievable then more likely that it won’t be.

Finally remember to have fun! Enjoy the moment regardless of whether the topic is serious and dry or humorous and comical.

Consolidation of the 3 key considerations

  • # 1 From the very beginning
  • # 2 Opening comments
  • # 3 Engage through Story

So that covers the 3 key considerations in this episode # 2.  What leaders need, to  achieve initial buy-in”

Remember that the opening seconds / minutes set the scene for the success of your presentation. In this episode the 3 key considerations we spoke about were.  

# 1 From the very beginning – we need to approach the podium confidently, pause in silence, scan the room, raise your eyebrows, pause again and then smile.

# 2 Opening comments – use a powerful intro to give the subject substance & connect to the audience. Paint a graphic picture through your words.

# 3 Engage through story – and understand the difference between a “telling me & showing me” story.

Thank you for listening to this 2nd episode called “What leaders need, to achieve initial buy-in”, from our series “Highly effective presentations for every leader”.

We look forward to you joining us as we continue our journey with episode #3 called “Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win”!

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Preparing to present like a pro_HEP_105.1

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Preparing to present like a pro

Highly effective presentations for every leader”

  • Video 1 – Preparing to present like a Pro
  • Video 2 – What leaders need to achieve initial buy-in
  • Video 3 – Leaders that chunk, link, recall and review, win
  • Video 4 – Leaders need to learn how to close

Hello, I’m Professor Wayne and I’ll be your Mentor for this video, podcast and blog series called “Highly effective presentations for every leader”. Welcome to this the first of 4 short modules.

The title of this episode is – Preparing to present like a Pro, where we will deep dive into the necessary preparation steps that ensure your presentation runs smoothly.

In the following three episodes we turn our attention to the presentation delivery focusing first in episode 2 on the opening, then in episode 3 we explore the content, structure and how to maximise retention with chunking and linking, and finally we round out the series in episode 4 by identifying how to close your presentation on a high.

First now to defining the difference between facilitating and presenting.   

        Facilitation     VS     Presentation | Facilitation + Presentation = Training

A couple of items to clarify before commencing with the preparations video. Let’s first clearly define the difference between presenting and facilitating as the two are often confused.   

Facilitation in the purest sense and as defined in the Cambridge dictionary, “is the act of helping other people to deal with a process or reach an agreement or solution without getting directly involved in the process, discussion, etc. yourself”

– a typical example might be if we are chairing a meeting or workshop.

Presentation at its most basic level “is a platform for communicating information and ideas”

– there are many examples where we present, but in our case, we’ll be stick with meetings, conferences, public speaking events or workshops.

Whilst the difference between the two roles is quite clear, it’s also possible to combine Facilitation & Presentation

– there are occasions when we need to overlap the two activities, and this is most often seen with people that deliver training as they need to play both roles simultaneously.

Presentation framework and context

Presentation duration – 60 minutes | Target audience – executives | Presentation subject – focus on Leadership.

One further distinction, is to provide some context to this video series and place a framework around the type of presentations we will be discussing;

Any single presentation has a given duration – it can be extremely short, perhaps just a few minutes or to the other extreme can last several hours. And of course, anywhere in between. In our instance we’ll suppose a typical 60-minute presentation.

As this series is developed for executives and leaders of our ELEVATOR-ESCALATOR TRIBE, we will target a similar audience group for these 60 min presentations.

The subject of the presentation is not as important, but again for the sake of this series and for any Use cases introduced in the episodes, we’ll focus on the subject of “Leadership”.

So, let’s look at the 5 specific areas of consideration related to our first video – “Preparing to present like a pro”. They are:

  • # 1 – Know your audience
  • # 2 – Structure your presentation
  • # 3 – Create great visuals
  • # 4 – Powerful questions & engaging activities
  • # 5 – Prepare through practice

Consideration #1:             Know your audience …

adjust your presentation,  preparing the timing and flow,   where is the “power” is sitting

– meaning know who will be participating and how experienced they are on the subject. This helps you stay “Participant Centred” by; 

  • Being able to tailor or adjust your presentation – with both content and your questions.
    • It also enables you to gauge the timing and flow of the presentation, so that you can maintain interest and engagement
    • Plus, and very importantly particularly in meetings, to understand where the “power” is sitting in the room

Consideration #2:       Structure your presentation …

  • clear objectives & include only the key points,
  • focus on participant needs – “think, feel & do”.
  • utilizing the “Rule of 3” and include a story

Consideration #3:       Create great visuals …

remember simple is best so they are easy to read and understand.

– this let’s the participant digest the message quickly and then return their focus to you. 

For slides – minimise the text (preferably one or two items per slide) together with a grabbing image. Keep the text in the top half of the slide for easy of reading.

For handouts – keep them short, simple and well formatted. Use graphics to help illustrate so that the information can be skimmed rather than studied.

For flipcharts, wall charts or other supporting graphics they should bring to life the points rather than just restate what you’re saying.

Remember that approximately 65% of all adults, have a visual learning dominance or preference. Don’t risk eliminating 2/3 of your audience from the start as a result of poor visuals…

Consideration #4:             Prepare powerful questions and engaging activities …

  • Use funnelling technique,
  • Closed questions for confirmation & closure,
  • Incorporate engaging activities

– this is such a critical component and yet the area least practiced.      

To assist you here, do some research on questioning techniques such as “funnelling”. The method assists you to extract greater involvement through open-ended questions before confirming the situation and then closing the discussion.

In addition, as adults we learn best through experience, therefore if you can incorporate simple, quick activities to re-affirm to key messages you want the participants to grasp then this is highly effective.

Consideration #5:       Prepare through practice …

prepare the presentation script, convert script into key points, practice the presentation,

– experts say there are typically 3 presentation versions for every eventual delivery

  • the presentation you prepare, the presentation you practice and the final presentation you deliver.

Each individual needs to develop their own method which works best for them, but here’s how I do it depending on the level of importance and complexity.

  • Start by preparing the presentation script in detail and edit this until you’re happy when reading it out aloud.
  • After reciting the script multiple times, convert this detailed script into clustered topics, utilizing techniques such as mind mapping to outline the structure and key points
  • Finally, find a quiet location or locations (somewhere preferably with a mirror) and practice the presentation repeatedly including the stories. Try to anticipate questions and practice your response. Even better if you can record your delivery, then listen and watch for areas to improve.

Consolidation of the 5 key considerations

  • #1 Know your audience
  • #2 Structure your presentation
  • #3 Create great visuals
  • #4 Powerful questions & engaging activities
  • #5 Prepare through practice

Episode 1 summary            

And that wraps up our 5 key considerations for this topic of “preparing to present like a pro”. Remember this preparation helps you to stay Participant Centred through-out the presentation.

Let’s quickly recap on what we have covered so far.

#1 Know your audience

  • meaning know who will be participating and how experienced they are on the subject.

#2 Structure your presentation

  • by this we mean actively chunk topics and create links or bridges between these topics, using the rule of 3 and incorporate stories.

#3 Create great visuals

  • remember simple is best so they are easy to read and understand. 65% of adults have a visual learning preference.

#4 Prepare powerful questions and engaging activities

  • do some research on questioning techniques such as “funnelling and develop simple activities.

#5 Prepare through practice

  • experts say there are typically 3 presentation versions for every eventual delivery
  • each individual needs to develop their own method which works best for them.

Thank you for listening to this first episode “Preparing to present like a Pro”. from our series “Highly effective presentations for every leader”.

If you enjoyed it, please hit the LIKE button below and be sure to join us for episode #2 called What leaders need to achieve initial buy-in”.

We’d love to receive your comments and if you want to be notified of future material please subscribe below.

Until next time, stay safe and prepare well. Bye for now. 

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“Running with your game plan_EiB_104.11”

Topic 10 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

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.

Please download your free Game Plan blueprint …

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.

And 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.

This will 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.

Overall I’m 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 development.

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.

We wanted 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.

It simply 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 circle of 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 success.

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.

Therefore, we start now to look at what concrete actions are possible to build and develop your team.

To help you communicate effectively, to show empathy and humility whilst 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.

We then 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.

And we 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.

So, we 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.

The 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 practices.

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.

In an 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

With 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 easier.

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.

Remembering 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.

So, 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.

We looked at what current technology offered and how leading companies where starting to utilize these tools.

But 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.

And 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.

A nice deflection indeed and made even more attractive today due to the price decrease possible as a result of technology advances.

At 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.

You 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.

But 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.

The 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.

By 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.

The 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 series.

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.

Understanding 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.

But again 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…”.

Armed 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-awareness and 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 decision making.

But it’s also a leader that understands that a pure, values–based approach, 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.

Finding 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.

The final 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…

Until now 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.

What are 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 yourself?

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. 

Stay safe, perform strongly and grow daily. Bye for now.

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“Pitching Value based strategies_EiB_104.10”

Topic 9 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

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.

For example,

  • 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 on.

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 this exercise.

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 in each 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 this activity.

  • 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 strengths,
  • 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 be missed.

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 company.

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 economic future!
  • 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.

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“The necessity for Change_EiB_104.9”

Topic 8 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Hello and welcome to CHANGE or at least the “Necessity for Change”. As you can see from my appearance, we are leaving no stone unturned to re-enforce this message – visually as well as informatively. (As you’re not watching the video, I’ll describe my outfit. I’m wearing an all white suit with black shirt and handkerchief. Standing rather than sitting and ready to rock.)

During this episode, we plan to paint a convincing picture why your relationship with Change is such a formative part of your Leadership credentials and how you can help others understand and follow your lead, during what can be a highly emotive and therefore challenging process to fulfil at work.

As always, we have already aligned your chances for successful in advance, through the earlier topics introduced, so this exercise is just an extension of those learnings. In fact, whilst you may not realize it, we are living a life of constant daily change.

The only difference with change at work and change in your private life is that we may not always be in control of the decision for making the change at work and therefore we become concerned by the uncertainty & potential impact.

Let’s take a closer look…

What age are you now? – in my case I’m nearing 60 (baby boom generation) and as I cast my mind back to the earliest times I can recall – maybe around 3 or 4 years of age, I can see that things were quite different then, compared to just 5 years later, when I started playing competitive sport.

During that 5 year period of course there was constant change as I developed and learnt exponentially. Then the next 10 years, moving from primary to high school (freedom!)

These first 15 or so years were so formative, influencing my values and my thoughts, offering experiences which created my beliefs and eventually shaped my behaviors. Ah the memories ….

But of course it didn’t stop there, change continued during the next 10 years – girls, cars, the beach, sport and introducing this thing called a job. And then a further 10 years – the feeling of responsibility really kicks in, with the addition of family, on top of work pressures.

What ever your age or images, I’m sure you can see that until today your life has been in a constant flux of change – some of it planned and intentional, some forced and some unexpected. During this time we reacted and responded, but we survived and most likely grew stronger in our mind as a result.

On a personal level, technology has had a significant influence on the changes in my world – the use of calculators only came into practice towards the end of my high school years. Computers a few years after that. I purchased my first desktop in 1986 with a dos operating system, floppy disc drive and a massive 20mb of storage on it’s hard drive for a resounding AUD $5000.

10 years later I read a book written by Bill Gates called “Crossroads” (unfortunately I can’t find a link to this book anymore) where he predicted that in 5 years time we would all be walking around with our world in our back pocket  – whilst his prediction was a little ambitious, it was an image that certainly painted a picture of significant change ahead.

Today, as we record this episode, we are entering another significant moment in history where change is reshaping our lives – the technical convergence of AI, IoT, Internet 3.0, 5G, Quantum computing, autonomous vehicles and the list goes on – I look at my 5 year old daughter and can’t help but wonder what her teenage life will be like 10 years from now.

Change or be gone…

So, as we shift that image of constant change occurring everywhere in our personal lives across into the workplace, we need to ask why does it become such an emotional process.

We know that all business, profit or non profit, exists to provide a product and/or service to the customer which addresses their pain.

These pains (needs) change with time and therefore a company’s solution also needs to change right in parallel. And we have witnessed countless examples over the decades where once dominant companies in their field have disappeared entirely.

Why, for the simple reason that they didn’t understand or ignored those changing needs. So the message being that a company which fails to keep pace with the changes happening all around it will soon be replaced by a company that does.

Naturally there are a range of considerations for all companies during any change process – what is the impact to the employees, to the customer, to the systems and processes and importantly the company culture.

We’ll be exploring a number of these elements as we delve deeper in this episode.

For now see if you can recall some industry titans from the past couple of decades that no longer exist or have been forced into a different direction? And by contrast, who are the current day titans (those dominating the landscape).

Past companies such as Kodak, compared to the Amazons, Microsoft, Apple and Google whom are presently shaping much of our current and future lives – history will tell the story, whether all of these will survive 20 years from now.

And then we have a few less examples of those mega companies such as Walmart & Disney, that have been able to weather the change storm and continue to dominant decade after decade, what is the secret to their success?

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a really, really, fascinating topic.

Change Cuvre and House explained…

And where to start therefore to unravel some of the reasons – we have decided to introduce first the neurological aspect, as we’ve touched on this already with the Motivational discussion (remember Topic 2). It’s really the fundamentals of what drives our emotions and subsequent behaviors.

We can explain this simplest by showing either the 5 stage Kubler-Ross Change Curve depicting morale & competence or using a more vivid example through the Claes Jansen Change House model.

Kubler-Ross model illustrates 5 stages along a curve placing denial, frustration, depression, experiment & decision measured across a time axis. In our illustration we have tried to overlay the curve onto the house to give you some resemblance of how this might work.

Typically, we start from the status quo (from contentment where everything is proceeding as normal and we feel relaxed, comfortable there’s no sign of any storm looming – you might say the sun is shinning and the birds are singing.

Suddenly, my environment encounters a change, I’m shocked and in denial on the need for such a change when everything has been so relaxed until now. As time progresses, we move to frustration and anger.

If not dealt with correctly people may get stuck here. Best practice is to allow those involved to express their annoyance as part of the healing process.

After which the realization starts to set in and we often see depression or general apathy towards the situation. The good news is this is the turning point and provided you as the leader are present and supporting, we begin to climb out of the negative situation.

However, the next phase is that enter a state of confusion which is often the greatest challenge. Something may feel wrong, but we’re not sure what, or what to do to make things right.

We could be tense with feelings of inferiority and doubts – this is normally where we will start to experiment with the new changes. To develop our understanding further and grow in our confidence about accommodating and using them.

We need to be conscious here that the new environment might not suit everyone and there is a risk that people may not be able to accept the situation instead opting to leave and seek a different environment rather than stay.

Finally, with more time, experience and guidance we reach the final stage or room – we make the decision to not only accept the changes but also start to embrace them, they rebuild their ways of working. Only when people get to this stage can the organization really start to reap the rewards of the change initiative.

Preparation and careful planning…

As you may imagine, there is a large degree of preparation and careful planning required to have any chance of success during any change initiative. Understanding clearly where you are today and what the future state looks with both mindset and behaviors.

This requires due consideration to your stakeholders reactions (whether it’s your team, customers, suppliers etc.) based on their motivation, attitude and abilities.

And then finally being able to think through the entire implementation process communicating through-out, demonstrating your belief in the changes by leading from the front, ensuring that the necessary supporting systems, tools or processes are available and working, to the need for additional stakeholder development, coaching or guidance to enable implementation.

You can see illustrated on the screen the 4 broad steps mentioned in this entire change process. We are now going to move onto explore in detail the requirements of the last 2 steps, starting with WHAT & HOW focusing on Mindset and Behavior Change using the “from-to” tool, before introducing the implementation guideline technique called BCM or Behavior Change Model and how to incorporate the Change Story for more powerful communications. 

Change the mindset with purpose…

With every Change initiative clarity of purpose is extremely important. Starting therefore with the exercise to define “What is the current status and what is it we desire for the future” 

This definition then enables us to explore the stakeholders current related mindset. Changing the mindset to align with that defined future state is perhaps the most critical factor in achieving success with-in the change process.

It’s foundational in being able to reshape behavior and so we introduce here a simple 3 part tool, which Leaders can utilize together with their stakeholders and we start by identifying where they are today – i.e.

  • What is the current status and how is this status supported by current behaviours and their underlying mindset, which we list in the “From” column.

This provides us with a powerful insight, as we have already defined our desired future state, and therefore we can now determine what our mindset and behavior needs to look like to achieve that state.

Hence in the “To” column, we list these new thoughts, beliefs and rules and necessary activities as a consequence.

Based on this realization we can then develop the necessary actions which will drive that change in mindset and behaviour from today, to the future vision. 

Introducing the Behavior Change Model…

And therefore the time has arrived to start making the change a reality, by considering the actions which need to be implemented for this Change initiative to be successful.

For those familiar with John Kotter’s famous 8 step Change model (this links to a list of all Kotter’s books), you will notice some similarities in the model we are about to introduce. There are numerous models available to you so feel free to utilize the one which works best for you.

In our case we are going with a simple and visually easy 4 quadrant model, referred to as the Behavior Change Model. Our 4 quadrants cover in order the actions required “Creating understanding”, Being a role model, aligning systems and Building capabilities.

For Creating Understanding we need focus in on our Communications skills mentioned a little earlier in this video to ensure that ever stakeholder has clarity around the change the reason why, it’s the starting point where we provide the rationale – introducing the big picture and zooming in to the local level, outling timing, approach, systems, training etc.

Then address what I’m required to do as a result and what’s the impact. Later we introduce the “Change Story” technique to support you here.

From this we move to quadrant 2 and look at what actions are required of us as Leaders to demonstrate our belief in this change.

Essentially wanting to illustrate that we champion the initiative and will lead the way with adoption. Don’t under estimate this step – the stakeholders will be watching you closely to gauge your buy-in.

Quadrant 3 & 4 help us consider the supporting systems, tools, processes and training, associated with this Change. Are they available? Is part of the Change involving new technology which replaces existing legacy systems and will generate extra workload to introduce, therefore resistance.

Whatever the case you need to have considered carefully the actions required and the resulting reactions. Rigorously, working through each of the 4 implementation stages will greatly increase your chances of success which in it’s self a significant achievement given that 70% of all Change Initiatives fail.  

The Change Story – a best seller…

And finally to put the icing on the cake – and as we mentioned earlier, let’s ensure that you can celebrate that success by making all of your communication, through-out the process as effective and engaging as possible. To do so, we introduce 5 easy to remember, key elements in developing our Change Story.

  1. Have the right parts and structure – i.e. make it personable, stating the BIG REASON WHY change is necessary. Paint the vision, the goals, what will we be doing different in the future, what’s expected and what are the next steps?
  • Tie your story to a strong analogy – introduce a theme or fable which can be easily associated back to this change initiative and is enticing and motivating.
  • Grab the stakeholders attention with a teaser – create some buzz and excitement with-in the story around the change process using something relevant and enforceable.
  • Spark emotions – the story should stir up emotions. Remember the motivational methods covered in Topic 2

And finally as made famous by Stephen Covey in his 7 Habits – always have the end in mind. Make the ending of your story positive and the recipients wanting to know more.

Something to keep firmly in mind through-out this entire Change process and I’ll quote John Kotter again here –

“Do not declare victory to soon”.

by John Kotter

The secret is to remember the Change curve and the reality that change is a process which takes time. People need the opportunity to work through their emotions and whilst they can be supported and guided they can’t be forced!

So this brings us to the end of this topic “Necessity for Change”. We hope that you have been able to gain a brief insight to the “Why, What and How of Change”. 

For our next episode…

Our VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world today requires that we not only understand this Change need, but that we leaders must also champion the process.

As we move into our next and second last topic “Pitching your value based strategies” we’ll take a peek into the need for balance between performance and values and the impact of strong culture, based on diversity and inclusion. How does this guide your approach in the pursuit of strategic objectives?

And as always, until next time, stay safe and keep learning. Bye for now!

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“Problem solving situations_EiB_104.8”

Topic 7 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Kick starting Topic 7…

Congratulations on tuning back in to this next topic which deals with Problem Solving around issues with your stakeholders and projects. Until this point we have been focused on building the team dynamics and disrupting the traditional ideas or approaches in areas such as motivation, delegation and feedback.

And whilst the 1st portion of this episode will deal specifically with the creation of self awareness about your leadership style in managing conflict and how to respond to team challenges and difficult conversations, we shall broaden this perspective for the remainder of the video, to look at how to engage the stakeholder in Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking constructs.

It’s a fascinating and incredibly insightful leg of the journey, as it’s one of the “basics” areas practiced least often by leaders. Therefore we can’t wait to share these ideas with you as we know the learning and subsequent outcome for you and your team is enormous. So please get comfortable, take a note book in hand & focus your energy as we step through this topic called Problem Solving Situations.

First to recap on the previous topics…

If you have followed the steps introduced in our previous 6 episodes you will have greatly reduced the likelihood of dealing with argumentative stakeholders – in particular those in your team. And if you recall during topic 5 Feedback Strategies, you were introduced to a few models for successfully delivering feedback – using FAST, BOOST and SBI which are among the more popular methods today.

So it’s probably no real surprise as well, that when you are the leader introducing change, be-it a new process, systems or tools, offering constructive feedback, or any number of other diverse situations, the recipients may not always be on the same page as you nor agree with your opinion or actions.

The learning here is that this is a natural part of leadership as everyone is an individual and whilst they may for the most part be a loyal team player, co-operative colleague, understanding boss or considerate client, they will still hold unique personal values, beliefs and perspectives, which may not always align with the working environment, situation or discussion.

Let’s start by looking at our Conflict Style…

Therefore as a starting point in this episode we want you to reflect first on your own conflict handling style. This self awareness of your style preference will greatly enhance your ability to handle different scenarios (if you choose to utilize it) with different stakeholders, more effectively and avoiding unintentional escalation of the matter.

For this we introduce a very popular tool called the Thomas-Kilmann model of Conflict Management. This model compares our level of assertiveness against our willingness to cooperate in a conflict situation and defines 5 different conflict styles which we can and do adopt as a result.

  • Ranging between a win-win outcome through collaboration on the one hand and to total avoidance of the issue at the other end.

In between these two extremes, we also have 3 other styles;

  • Competing, where you are highly assertive with little willingness to cooperate. This tends to create the win-lose outcome.
  • Accommodating, where you are highly cooperative, however normally at your own expense. This of course might be intentional for example where you wish to preserve the relationship.
  • And lastly through Compromise such as in a sales negotiation process where there is typically give & take, but it can also be considered as a lose-lose situation as neither party achieves what they really want.

Depending on the stakeholder and the situation in conflict, you may decide elect to use any of the 5 styles or even select a combination of more than one these options. We’ll go deeper into conflict management in the Advanced series, but for now check out the links provided here in this blog, to help with your self awareness and understanding of how you can utilize this knowledge during future conflict situations.

Take the test…

We would encourage you to complete the questionnaire included above and practice using the 5 styles.

Exploring conflict scenarios…

And back to our reality that all leaders should expect this conflict scenario to present itself at some stage. It’s important therefore to prepare ourselves (by knowing our default styles) and learn to allow the stakeholders to air their grievance, voice their concerns and state their thoughts, without you reacting inappropriately.

To assist us in this regard, when conflict arises during team feedback sessions, it’s pleasing to know that we can predict with a degree of accuracy (based on numerous studies in this field), the types of push back to expect. Knowing this, enables us to be somewhat prepared ahead of the communication.

Typically the recipient will express one or more of these 4 responses if being confronted about an issue.

  1. They deny that the situation exists in which case you need to be able to support the claim with facts and examples.
  2. They may trivialize the scale of the situation stating that it’s not really a big issue – in this situation you support your claim with an outline of the impact and why it matters
  3. They may shifting the blame onto others. Here you should allow the recipient to detail the situation as they see it and explain the causes. Dig into the situation to find the root cause.
  4. Shifting blame onto a lack of personal knowledge or skill – here you would explore together which capability is missing and agree if this is truly the cause. If so, decide a solution together.

In the end it’s important to reach agreement on a way forward with concrete actions, nomination of the responsible persons and clear timeline milestones.

The more you expose yourself to this challenge, the better you are likely to become in handling the situation and managing your style, provided of course that you utilize the tools provided and practice the communication methods already highlighted.

Remember to be factual and base the feedback on your observations not hear-say, park your emotions, allow time for input from the recipient and work towards solutions, don’t get bogged down in the issue or problem. Keep moving the discussion towards the solution.

Now to the more complex situations…

But what if we confront a more complex problem with a larger group? This will require a somewhat different approach.

Let’s consider that your company is working on a large project and have encountered a significant problem which could jeopardize the completion date and financial outcome.

People are getting emotional, the atmosphere is heated and the blame game is rampant. What can be done to quickly settle down the situation and move things towards a solution? The obvious step would be to call the team meeting, paint the picture and demand cohesion and effort to bring the turn around.

We see this approach used time and again and with similar outcome – most often with little change in performance or success.

Introducing Problem Solving techniques…

Well thankfully it’s possible and relatively easy to disrupt this mentality by introducing a little logic and process to the equation – we kick start this with our Problem Solving mindset and later elaborate on the process with Critical and Creative Thinking techniques.

These steps are what we were referring to earlier when we said that most managers fail to utilize the collective genius of the group to identify and solve complex problems fearing that the process takes too much time or more often that they simply don’t know how or what to do.

So let’s unpack this approach in greater detail and understand more about each component and examine some of the supporting tools. And we start with the traditional Problem Solving methodology.

Starting with an understanding of this term Problem Solving and the realization that many companies have developed their practices to incorporate one or more of the problem solving methods as standards in their daily workplace activities. You can see the definition and a small sampling (10) of common problem solving methods/tools on the screen.

This problem solving approach became very popular in the automotive industry around  quality topics in the 1980’s and utilized many of these assessment tools. It has since spread to all areas of business and usually with simplified methodology such as Constructive or Inductive Reasoning techniques or perhaps PDCA – plan do check act just to name a few.

To help you understand better I would like to introduce a simple but effective method for you which relates to the concept and how this problem solving theory can be applied in your business practices with stakeholders and projects.

The approach covers the principles adopted in the majority of methods whilst utilizing a simple 6 step model. Hence the reason I prefer this, particularly when working with groups that are not familiar with traditional problem solving techniques.

Each of the 6 steps have a multiple of characteristics, which we adhere to or question during that stage plus at the same time we’ll incorporate various tools or techniques for drilling deeper into the problem.

The process starts with step 1 “Defining the problem”. In this step we look to diagnose the situation so that our focus is on the problem, not just its symptoms. For this stage we introduce the end to end process review in the form of a flow chart to ensure we are clear about what is meant to happen along the entire activity.

Next in step 2 we “Determine the root causes or causes”. Meaning what is it that is causing you to wind up in this problem or situation? We use tools such as the cause and effect diagram and the 5 Why questioning technique to explore deeper into the linkage .

In step 3 we need to “Define alternative solutions” – typically using lateral thinking exercises such as Brainstorming you try to identify all possible answers. Anything which may help solve this issue should be considered.

Then in Step 4 we “Select a solution or solutions” after grouping and prioritizing the possibilities before choosing the one/s which you believe will resolve the matter.

Now that the solution has been chosen, we are left with the task of “Implementing the change” in step 5, which can be a simple or complex process and involving multiple steps depending on the scale of the problem. And as a final step we continue to “monitor and evaluate” the results after the implementation has been completed.

But wait – we still have more to show…

We could of course stop here as this Problem Solving approach alone will result in a high degree of success over most problems and resolve most disagreements. But of course we want to make sure you have a fully endowed arsenal of tools and therefore we’re going to incorporate the applications of creative and critical thinking. These two separate elements are highly powerful as stand alone topics and could have a video devoted to each, but in our case we want to highlight merely their value add & show how to couple them together for greater problem solving effect.

Let’s start by introducing Creative Thinking as a means of expanding the range of our solutions particularly during step 3 of our Problem Solving exercise. This is the concept of thinking outside of the box to generate innovative thoughts and ideas. Moving from convergent to divergent ideas.

The concept of Creative Thinking…

Looking for alternative solution rather than only one correct outcome. To create the right stimulation for this creative thinking process to occur you need to establish the right environment and combine the right ingredients – such as a diverse group of people with different roles, different backgrounds, different cultures, age, gender, expertise and so on, as and where necessary. Plus be sure to clearly define the game rules for the creativity exercise.

With this in place, we can call on different creative thinking tools and techniques. Again there are a considerable number to select from – Brainstorming, Mind mapping from Tony Buzan, 6 hats from Edward Debono, some less known approaches such as SCAMPER and they can be supported by following more abstract and remotely practiced suggestions from people such as Balder Onarheim with the use of “continuous practice” to train your mind to think creatively, the use dream sleep to work on solving a stated problem or using randomness to trigger abstract connections to the problem. Whichever you select the aim is to enhance the solution ideation.

Followed by Critical Thinking…

And then of course once we have these new untested thoughts, how can we assess them and that’s our bridge to the use of Critical Thinking in our problem solving process. So what is critical thinking – well it can be defined as a developed skill acquired through practice, which enables the ability to think clearly and rationally, to understand the logical connection between ideas.

It refers to the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgmentCritical thinking involves the evaluation of sources such as data, facts, observable phenomenon, and research findings.

Good critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from a set of information and discriminate between useful and less useful details to solve a problem or make a decision. 

Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. So if we reflect back to our 6 step problem solving process, we have already utilized Creative Thinking during step 3 to enhance and broaden our possible solution pool.

Now in step 4 during the selection of the most effective solution we can apply our critical thinking to challenge our rationale, based on the facts provided in step 2 & 3. The outcome will be a concise, well thought through reasoning, which sits behind the solution selection process.

So there we have the complete approach – we started with the simple feedback situations and encountering individual disagreement or resistance. Learning about our conflict management style and then broadened our perspective to more complex issues affecting larger projects and groups.

For these we introduced a simple 6 step Problem Solving methodology which encapsulates both Creative and Critical Thinking practices.

Putting theory into practice…

And I want to share with you a highly effective example of addressing a problem which combines all 3 elements – problem solving combining the use of creative and critical thinking is through the use of a systems thinking model referred to as a collaborative visualization approach.

Addressing the problem through this systems model by using drawings of images on sticky notes pages and arranging then expanding on the end to end process flow through group collaboration – to produce a visual frame of reference offering both clarity and alignment. This approach is excellently illustrated on Tom Wujec’s site called DrawToast and his Wicked Problem Solving™ toolkit.

Having facilitated workshops where groups used the approach, I can vouch first hand on it’s effectiveness. We will include a link to his website and TEDTalk so that you can gauge for yourself the methods effectiveness.

And so to conclude and introduce the next topic. With this topic closing we have now provided you a 3 part mini series related to feedback, celebrating success, managing conflict and solving problems. Applying the learnings from these 3 videos alone will stand you apart from most leaders.

Therefore please do yourself a favor and review them again if there is anything you are unclear about and remember to re-visit any of these podcast transcripts here at our site amentorscouch.com to access each transcript which contain all of the topic related links.

And onto next week…  

With only 3 videos remaining in this Basics series, you have reached the business end of proceedings. Up next, topic 8 dealing with the Necessity for Change. I have a little surprise lined up for you in this video but you’ll need to wait until we release it to see more.

The final two topics cover “Pitching value based strategies” and “Running with your game plan”.

In these 3 episodes we bring into scope “Self Awareness” which was recently cited in a MIT Sloan Management Review article as the most important capability for any leader. Whilst self awareness, similar to communication, has always been a foundational part of this program, it will start to become a more visible component in our discussions as our attention turns towards you more so than the team or other stakeholders.

It’s been a blast…

I can’t wait to bring the Change story to you but until then stay safe and be careful driving. Cheers for now.

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“Achievement reviews_EiB_104.7”

Topic 6 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Hello and welcome back to our series “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics”.

Today we continue our discussions related to team and employee feedback by looking closer at turning the traditional approach of the annual performance appraisal on its head and offering achievement reviews instead.

It’s a logical step if you have already adopted the learnings from the previous 5 leadership basics.

And by now your team would be motivated and heavily engaged, whilst working on their assigned and chosen tasks. They will be able to see and share their progress & at the same time receiving ongoing & immediate feedback.

Hence the need to conduct that one off annual performance review is greatly diminished. Instead we turn this event into an opportunity to celebrate the success each employee is experiencing.

First for a quick series recap…

Given that we at the half way juncture of this series however and before plunging head long into this topic, let’s quickly recap on what we have covered in the first 5 topics.

Topic 1: Understanding your place in the team – looking at 9 key stakeholders and how to manage and set expectations

Topic 2: Motivating your future team – turning our focus to one of the key stakeholders and learning about 7 primary considerations to achieving positive and sustainable motivation

Topic 3: Creative delegation techniques – introducing task prioritization & the correct assignment of those tasks, but incorporating Activities of choice, showcasing progress & team collaboration.

Topic 4: SMART rules and reward goals – modernizing the traditional SMART goal setting tool by adopting & online gamers mindset to enable immediate gratitude and feedback (at least weekly)

And last topic 5: Feedback strategies – where we looked at the importance of everyone soliciting feedback whether informal and formal and for the leaders we offered several tools to improve their ability to prepare and deliver.

Way of the Future…

And one last item before we start our discussion on replacing the traditional performance review with our Topic 6 alternative, called Achievement reviews.

First to technology using web and mobile-based applications that offer instant real time feedback to employees and leaders alike. In addition many of these applications offer a modern version of the 360-degree employee assessment.

This approach is being adopted by more and more organizations from start-ups thru to fortune 500 companies and awareness of this practice was recently showcased by Tony Robbins and his interview with Ray Dalio (one of the greatest Hedge Fund managers of our time) where Dalio explains the process adopted with-in his company Bridgewater and the tremendous value the use of this feedback application has bought to the employees and company alike.

Essentially during any given period (meeting or at any time when the system is open), an employee or leader is able to provide feedback to each other member of the team. The receiving team member can receive this feedback immediately and react or adjust accordingly. I’m sure you see the connection here to the approach we introduced in the previous topics with our gaming world and weekly meetings.

Click here to access the 2019 review of Performance Management & Appraisal software

Or here to review 15 Employee Feedback Tools to Track Your Team’s Engagement in 2019

Breaking from tradition…

So we’re now ready to tackle our feature topic, by throwing out tradition and the annual performance review process and replacing it with our approach which turns the focus towards the successes rather than the improvement gaps or failures.

To kick start this we start with a long standing motivational theory. How many of you recall in topic 2, that we spoke about a number of motivational theories? One of these was the Motivation Theory or Acquired Needs Theory from David McClelland. From his research he concluded that people have motivating drivers that are directly linked to need, regardless of age, gender, culture or race and identified 4 of these needs – achievement, affiliation, power & avoidance.

David McClelland also developed the iceberg model using the McClelland Motivation Theory. The Iceberg model looks at a person’s visible behaviour, knowledge and skills and the underlying unexpressed and unconscious deeper layers. It provides an insight into the (learned) needs of someone by his McClelland Motivation Theory and links this to what this person does (above water level) and what they think and want (below the water level).

In short we want to utilize the learnings from this theory and model to understand how we can maintain our employees motivation during this dreaded once or twice year event depending on the company HR system but ensuring that we focus on achievement, affiliation and power, being careful not to trigger any hidden (below the water) reaction in the minds of our team.

Softly, gently, transitioning…

Rather than go cold turkey and turn off the performance evaluation mentality all at once, we’re going to provide here a soft transition – offering an interim step for those whom might feel more comfortable doing this gradually – therefore we discuss first a practice which has become quite popular in recent years and that is the use of 360 degree appraisal / feedback.

The traditional method has always been quite costly to perform where a large volume of participants were involved and therefore they tended to be conducted less frequently and for a special occasion such as Leadership or talent development and perhaps with some coaching scenarios. Fortunately the evolution in technology has also impacted many of these HR assessment platforms and with it we can find relatively lower cost 360 degree assessment options for businesses.

The concept however remains similar. The person seeking feedback will request input via a questionnaire related to their performance. Typically in addition to rating themselves, they seek this input from peers, direct reports, and their immediate boss, but from time to time the clustering may be broader and involve customers or suppliers depending on the circumstance.

There’s considerable advantage in this approach over and above the one on one performance review, as the cross section of respondents provide a balanced means of comparative feedback which is easier for the employee to accept and often offers insights which the Leader may not have known existed.  The real challenge however is to ensure that the results are interrupted correctly and feed back with concrete actions as an outcome.

The downside to the 360 degree assessment process is that it is seldom specific to the individuals role or tasks and tends to be more centered around their personalities.

And now for the “Piece de Resistance”

The final method addresses that issue and is therefore our preferred concept for all semi annual or annual reviews – we call it the Achievement Review (remember the McClelland Needs Theory).

As the name implies, leaders will meet with the employee to acknowledge their successes during that past 6 or 12 months – if this leader has adopted our methods from topics 1- 5 then this will simply be a consolidation activity of all the tasks or projects completed and discussed weekly through-out the year.

  • The initial meeting will still be done, in private, 1 on 1.

And the continuing on from our earlier online gaming phenomenon, the results of each employee and their successful projects will be known already to the other team members and therefore 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. (again remember McClelland’s theory and the Affiliation and Power Needs).

Through this method you skillfully satisfy all 3 motivational needs and is a result based the visible behavior (i.e. above water actions) whilst shaping the below water thinking and wants. The outcome is reinforcement of great performance, which becomes somewhat self-perpetuating for the employee and a sustained results driven team.

Hopefully you’re able to see how each of these six topics feed into and support each other. Its not a linear approach but a truly, powerful combination of parallel skills and activities. In short an excellent way to the end topic 6 and our focus on feedback.

Well almost – in topic 7 we acknowledge that even the best leaders and their teams have moments where not everything goes as scripted. There are those times when individuals express or demonstrate their disapproval about a situation. It’s human nature and a part of our DNA.

If you remember the learnings from the SCARF model you will recall that we each have our own unique personal behavior preferences which ensures we can perceive situations just as easily as a threat as we can a reward. It’s therefore not likely that every member of the team will always agree with everything the leader wants or needs to do.

So, what’s next…

So in the next episode, we look at this reality and explore ways to deal with it – from handling conflict to turning the situation into a problem solving exercise that everyone can learn and grow from. 

We hope you are enjoying this series so far and have already subscribed to our video channel Mentors Rant and our podcast channel couchTALK – if not we’d love to have you join us and also to receive your feedback and thoughts about these episodes, so please take a moment and leave a comment below. Here’s hoping that your day as a elevator-escalator tribe executive is productive, fruitful and safe. Bye for now.

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“SMART rules & reward goals_EiB_104.5”

Topic 4 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

Here we are at topic 4 already – the title is “SMART rules and reward goals”…

In this 3 pack episode we talk about an old favorite of many – the SMART goal setting tool, but incorporate it with a more modern flavor, leveraging off the gaming world and what has made this phenomenon so popular with the millennials and iGen groups.

And remember that we are using this approach in the context of delegation – i.e. how to get buy-in and positive, sustainable, action towards achievement of those delegated tasks.

There is much debate today about whether the SMART approach to setting goals still works with our younger generations. So during this blog we’ll explore that concept a little deeper and identify a way in which we can utilize the SMART structure whilst modernizing the method.

Let’s start with a review of our target…

The aim here is to delegate our Priority 3 and 2 tasks to a motivated, capable and engaged team in a way where the effort is sustainable – every leaders dream right?

If you have been with us since the beginning of this series you should be starting to realize that there isn’t one single, fast cure all in this equation. Rather it’s a combination of carefully coupled actions (basic skills) which enables the leader to excel. And a large portion of that success revolves around your teams performance.

So in topic 2 “Motivating your future team”, we spent time exploring 7 key triggers for motivating each individual. In topic 3, Creative Delegation Techniques, we took one step further and spoke about assessing each tasks complexity and the teams skills before deciding on the which tasks were best suited for which team member

And do you also recall in the topic 3, we were also careful to add in those “activities of choice”? (this link connects to the recently published book on Silicon Valleys lead coach Bill Campbell, where he discusses the application of this approach)

Now we wish to take this journey one step further by establishing the requirements for each and every delegated task or project. Typically this is where we introduce our SMART acronym and we still do but understand that it’s just the starting point. So let’s move onto this traditional tool and take a closer look at the pro’s and con’s.

SMART is made up of 5 words…

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound – although peak performance versions talk about the need to stretch and challenge the individual and therefore they use the word Ambitious instead of attainable. In itself SMART forms a great guide to work through with employees as you assign the tasks.

Note however that we need clear determinability (meaning we must be able to identify if the “objective is achieved or not achieved” – is really of central importance. There must be a criterion that allows everyone involved to clearly and unmistakably make that determination.

Remember through-out this process, the secret lies in communicating concisely your expectations but also allowing the team member to speak and express their thoughts. “

Based on the employees personal behavior motivators and skills, you would also include during the discussion, the level of support and review that should take place through-out the activity.

At this moment the leader should…

Take the time to make clear, that some additional rules apply as well as those just mentioned above;

  • If the achievement of the objective is endangered, the employee must provide early timely feedback to the leader.
  • The agreed objectives are documented.
  • The leader helps the employee to help themselves.

If you remember our earlier discussions you will recall that we said all 4 of today’s working generations appreciate communications, clarity and feedback, so no real issue so far. In fact, if this part is done correctly it should be a positive and exciting experience for everyone involved. However the outcome is still somewhat predictable.

Now we want you to cast your mind back to Topic 3…

We introduced delegation and in particular something a little extra – the weekly meeting to discuss your project and progress.

This was an important step as recent studies have identified that the psychological effect of “making progress” is critical to sustained motivation. It encourages even higher levels of effort and opens the window to innovation. When coupled with team or peer collaboration you have the chance of unlocking epic and creative, performance improvement.

So a simple, yet effective trigger, is to ensure we are showcasing the various projects and discussing each persons progress whilst obtaining support and feedback from the team.

So why do we bring this up now. Simply because you have the opportunity right here and now at this stage of setting the goals, setting the rules and setting the periods for feedback, to tap into this powerful realization – your ability to design the work to be inherently motivating

You have the foundations laid. They are solid based on everything we have covered to date. Now its time to look at your progress and development of SMART goals and rules and ask yourself if you have created that environment to enable and sustain that great work. Have we bridged the gap between the old ways and the future needs? The gap which academics refer to as Constructive Discontent

Have we enabled the employee to do their work and therefore achieve the all important progress? Have we designed the work to be inherently motivating?

2.35 billion online video gamers worldwide…

To explore this we need to examine closely the way that game designers are thinking. How have they attracted an estimated 2.35 billion online video gamers worldwide collaborating by choice with each other.

It’s worth noting here that more than half of those are based in Asia Pacific. In business we know that today the rules of engagement and buy-in of our employees have changed and therefore we will explore what makes this gaming revolution so attractive to the millennial and iGen workforce.

How can we learn from and tap into this phenomenon to make our work place activities equally enticing across all 4 generations.

Essentially game designers work on three elements – goal driven, challenge intense, immediate feedback, all with the aim of providing a rich experience. Sounds somehow familiar right – so are we that far from a solution.

The great realization is that if we have already acted on the topics 1, 2 & 3 we are very well positioned for this next quantum leap.

The gamers rewards are inherent from their success, based on their own skill and performance – the potential carrot and stick is there but in the back ground, it’s much more intrinsic, driven by a personal desire to do well and receive instant gratification and feedback based on ability and performance.

Have you picked up on that one missing element in most businesses today – it’s the removal of latency. Gamers receive instant feedback on their performance. By contrast many employees have no idea how their performance is seen until the annual performance review. Did the light bulb just come on – do you now see the connection between the weekly progress and team collaboration meetings?

So let’s summarize what we have introduced in this topic 4 video…

  • It’s important that you have already actioned the learnings from Topics 1, 2 & 3. These form the basis for building a strong and successful team and turning your leadership from good to great.
  • We now add to that repertoire with the establishment of the task framework, expectations and ground rules – using the traditional tool called SMART – ensuring that the targets are a stretch and challenging. This is an opportunity for you to sit with each of your team and discuss the project in detail, identifying support and resource requirements.
  • But then the extra element – we introduce as part of this planning is the agreement to participate in weekly meetings to “establish that clear sense of progress”. This is done in collaboration with the team as each project is reviewed – for anyone familiar with the project management technique called Agile you will see similarities here with sprints and regular update meetings

Succeed and win, you fail you lose…

And you probably expect it by now; there are secrets to the way that we need to offer this feedback. In the gamer’s world it is very black and white. Succeed and win, you fail you lose!

Do we or should take a similar harsh approach with our employees and their projects when they aren’t going so well – typically not!

In fact that goes against what we have already introduced. Instead we offer feedback which doesn’t become stuck on the problem and reasons why not, we turn our attention to what needs to be done to get the project back on track.

More on this in our next topic “Feedback strategies”. We look forward to having you join us again for this vital and final step in establishing a high performance team through genuine leadership.

These are basics skills but are coupled with the latest learnings of neuro-science. If you are able to put them in place then you will truly separate yourself from the pack. Bye for now. 

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“Creative Delegation Techniques _EiB_104.4”

Topic 3 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

written by Wayne Brown

Hello again to our series called Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics – and you’ve already reached topic 3 – Creative Delegation Techniques.

We now have 2 big topics behind us Understanding your place in the team and Motivating your future team“. But I’m very happy to say that we are still just getting started and today’s discussion is equally important and challenging…

In this 3 pack – video, podcast and associated blog, we’re going to break down our delegation process under 3 broad questions of – WHY delegate, WHAT to delegate and HOW to delegate.

WHY DELEGATE …

With the first question “WHY delegate” – we’ll identify that there can be multiple reasons & explore 3 which are key;

  • 1st is to enable us to address stakeholders expectations. As discussed in Topic 1 we have numerous Stakeholders with far too many expectations, which we almost certainly, don’t have the capacity or perhaps even the necessary skills to cope with.
  • 2nd, we have potentially 4 generations and considerable diversity in our workforce today whom we need to motivate and cultivate.

We spoke about the need and ways of motivating from a neuro-science perspective in Topic 2. But also, we have the realization that many of our team are experts in their field and very capable of working under pressure and coming up with practical new ideas which lead to positive outcomes.

  • 3rd and final, we simply need time to give adequate attention to doing our job as a leader. To work on those critical tasks such as strategic planning, growth, managing the business, reporting and team/s to name just a few areas.

If you recall the conversation about work-life balance from Topic 1, you will remember that we need to find a long-term solution to managing our workload, rather than trying to cope with everything as this isn’t sustainable.

When adopting the wrong approach, we eventually end up giving inadequate focus, time and effort on all 3 mentioned areas and thereby fail more often than not to reach a successful result.

So, this covers our question on “WHY delegate”. Next, we turn our attention to the question of WHAT to delegate.

WHAT TO DELEGATE …

This second question starts with the realization that we can’t and shouldn’t delegate everything just for the sake of it.

Hence, before delegating we need to make a conscious decision about:

  • the skill and willingness of the employee to take on the task,
  • the complexity and urgency of the task,
  • the amount of support we will need or be willing to provide,
  • there’s even the need to avoid delegating some tasks,

So, the leader really must be aware of and consider these questions fully from the outset.

And to assist us with this we introduce two models which come with simple tools as support.

The first is from the 34th American president. A gift to business called the Eisenhower matrix and the second is the Skill / Will matrix from Max Landsberg in his book the Tao of Coaching.

Before moving onto these areas or tools, we need to first explore a little on the reasons behind some managers reluctance to delegate.

A number of these reasons may sound trivial or perhaps a few will even sound familiar, but most are common among managers.

Here’s 10 limiting statements which we have heard and even seen being played out by various managers – you notice we don’t use the term Leader in this discussion.

Aside from the fact that we should already be clear on the point that you don’t have sufficient time to do everything – and even in the situation where you work long hours, we know that it’s not sustainable.

And in all instances, there are actions you can take to alleviate your concerns.

As usual you will find additional material through-out this blog which will help deepen your learnings where needed.

However, if you still need more convincing then please refer back to the beginning of this Topic and review 3 key reasons WHY we delegate? And then read this Harvard Business Review article.

With that clarity, let’s examine the Eisenhower matrix – to aid us in grouping our tasks prior to selecting which ones to delegate.

Eisenhower Matrix …

Typically, we agree that Quadrant 1 tasks are for the leader or manager to handle due to the urgency and importance.

These pressing tasks often preclude you from having an employee do it UNLESS the employee is already an expert in this area.

Having said that however, it may be a good idea with non-confidential or sensitive tasks, to have a team member work on the task with you as a means of developing their skills for the longer term.

  • From the Eisenhower matrix and your groupings, the best area to select tasks for delegation come out of Quadrant 3. In addition, it will also be useful to select from Quadrant 2 for specific items.

If you’re not sure how to use this tool check out the link provided here to a great site, which steps you through the process.

And we’ll outline under the final category in this topic “How to delegate” – what to do with this list and how to distribute the chosen tasks among your team.

Please be aware that there are sometimes where we agree that it’s not appropriate to delegate. The following tasks are examples where we would normally not delegate and are typically leadership and management tasks:

  • Employee evaluation meetings 
  • Strategic planning
  • Team development
  • Final decisions
  • Personnel selection
  • Tasks that have been delegated to you explicitly

Not surprisingly you will find most of these tasks in Quadrant 1 or perhaps Quadrant 2. And of course, as mentioned before, it does not mean that you can’t include some of your employees here to assist you and learn from you in the process for future support.

One further critical question a manager needs to consider is the level of support, focus or control which the task and team member would require. One model which is often used in this process is called the Situational Leadership model. We copy a link here but won’t go into that model today.

For the task we should consider the;

  • complexity, urgency and consequences if it is delayed or not completed correctly.
  • and for the employee, we need to consider their qualification for the task and motivation to accept the task.

We’ll now introduce our second model to help us address some of these concerns.

Skill – Will Matrix …

Starting with the model called the Skill / Will matrix.

The matrix can be used to assess your employee’s skill and willingness to perform a specific task or project.

Based on that assessment, you can choose how to best manage the employee towards success. Note that an employee is seldom in one quadrant all the time, but is likely to fall into one or more quadrants depending on the task.

Some supporting questions you might ask in parallel with your assessment.

  • Does the employee have the necessary time and resources available?
  • Does the employee have the necessary professional qualifications to accomplish the task successfully?
  • Does the employee have the necessary overarching competences?
  • Would this task entail an increase in the qualification and personal development of the employee?
  • Does the task to be delegated accord with the employee’s motivation?
  • How will the team / other departments react if the employee takes on the task?
  • Will it be seen as fair if the employee is awarded this task?

HOW TO DELEGATE …

We’ve reached the final category “HOW to delegate” and until now we have given you a lot of material, but not really anything new or creative. So that’s about to change!

Let’s first do a pulse check to ensure you’re clear about the tasks that you have selected for delegation – if not, these should be sitting in the Eisenhower matrix you prepared.

In addition, you have considered the level of support, focus and control needed for each task, plus determined with the aid of the skill / will matrix and your earlier work using the SCARF model, which employees to delegate to which task.

If you are good with all of these then we’re now ready to go back to your Eisenhower model and beside the quadrants if you have not already done so, make a list of all your employees – beside each of their names and at the top of any delegated tasks write the words “Activity of Choice TBC”.

For the next step – send your team a group communication and invite them to join a meeting – at a date and time of your choosing, provided it’s not too far off.

As part of the communication you explain that this meeting will become a regular weekly or bi-weekly event and for the first meeting each person should prepare at least one work related activity which they would really passionate about and love to work on – they have the freedom to decide what it is, but they need to introduce the topic at the meeting and it will be voted on and agreed by the group.

Agreeing on the “Activity of Choice”…

To open the meeting, you introduce the concept and purpose of this and future meetings. You advise that each member of the team will be given an opportunity to develop their skills through various tasks or projects which you will be assigning to them. In addition, they have their “Activity of Choice” – provided it makes the cut.

Moving forward at these future meeting each member of the team will discuss the projects they are working on, the current status and next actions.

By doing this, everyone in the team becomes aware of each-others work and will be required to discuss or contribute ideas to those projects.

Once each new “Activity of choice” is agreed on by the group, the project leader will have the time and resources allocated (after final approval with you of course).

During that first meeting you will ask each person to write their desired activity on the white board and briefly introduce it to the group.

As a group, you discuss the idea, the likely resources and time allocation needed? What value it might bring to the group and the business overall? If any other member of the group has a similar interest and would prefer to forgo their project, in order to work on one of the others, they can do so.

By the end of this first meeting there should be a decision about who is working on what activity or project. 

Following this meeting, you meet with each person to detail the activities / projects / or tasks and we’ll cover that process in our next topic – “SMART rules and reward goals”.

Then for all future meetings one final step – at the beginning of each meeting and before moving into the activity reviews, you have a compulsory “check-in” session where all team members share stories about what they did during the last week-end?

This takes the degree of team connectedness to the next level and softens the relationships from being “all business, all the time”.

Do you recall our 3 whys for delegating – sharing the workload to satisfy your stakeholders, providing opportunities for team development and growth, plus to free you up to focus on the tasks you need to do as a leader!

In addition to achieving these goals can you envisage the power of what you have unlocked through this final step in the process?

By allowing each of the generations to work on something which they are passionate about, rather than only working on those activities which are delegated to them, you empower your people and create a sense of contribution, perhaps even unlocking untapped potential.

By keeping the activities visible to the whole group, you ensure transparency, accountability and engagement, even a sharing of learnings. This in turn should minimize conflict or at worst, bring issues to the surface quickly so they can be openly discussed and resolved.

So, who would have thought that this simple act of delegation could bring so many real team benefits?

The final wrap up …

Well we’re making great progress. Hopefully as we conclude each topic you find an opportunity to practice what has been discussed.

If you have been, then you should already be starting to see some fairly dramatic changes in your teams’ engagement and performance.

Our next video introduces us to the Virtual (online) gaming world as we tap into the secrets behind its popularity and apply this to our more traditional approach of managing by objectives.

The title is “SMART rules and reward goals” – as always, we are looking forward to having you join us. Bye for now.

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“Motivating your future team_EiB_104.3”

Topic 2 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

WOW you have reached a truly vital stage in the overall Leadership basics series.

Today our attention is squarely focused on how to motivate your team members.

There is so much great information in this podcast, that we debated splitting it in half, but as we’re already committed to having one episode for each of the 10 skills, we’ve found a way to package it.

Here we go…

What we’ll cover in this blog broadly deals with seven key considerations when understanding and addressing the topic of Motivation. We can split these 7 into 3 clusters.

The first cluster of 3 considerations we call our “Motivational Enablers”. This cluster are like the pre-requisites to motivating and cover Leadership behaviors, workspace & environment plus a healthy mind.

The second cluster – a group of 2 considerations, we call our “Motivational platform” – where we look closer at our workforce generational mix and the various motivational theories available to us. 

The final and 3rd cluster we call “Motivational techniques”. Where we dig into using rational and emotion when triggering action.

Under emotion we explore both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to satisfy the inner needs and the last area is to look at the latest neuro-science model called SCARF to assist us in determining the right intrinsic motivators to use.  

Before we going further however, I want to pause here and add that to be successful in motivating you team requires effort and focus on your part. Seldom have we witnessed a motivated team where the leader hasn’t been fully engaged and leading the way.

Hence all of the following 7 considerations require you to be in the center of the action. With that said let’s move into our first cluster the “Motivational Enablers”- these are a pre-cursor before attempting to motivate and if addressed properly will improve your changes of success dramatically.

Cluster 1: 5 leadership behaviors…

#1 in cluster 1, is you as the Leader and the leadership behaviors which you display and operate from. Your team want a leader that embodies all 5 of these. Simply stated the behaviors are Trust, Listen, Share, Accept and Enable.

Trust – the team wants to trust that you have their back and will stand by your word. In turn you need to demonstrate that you trust the team and that they are working with, not against you. 

Listen – remember the concept of having 2 ears and one mouth. Practice active listening and encourage dialogue. Give your team a chance to have their say.

Share – communicate openly, transparently and frequently. Remove the potential for hidden agendas and rumours with regular townhalls, Q&A and feedback sessions.

Accept – that the team are competent and capable. Seek opportunities to engage them in the decision making process and learn how to delegate meaningfully.

And finally Enable – building on the first 4 traits, ensure that you provide a way for your team members to develop and grow. Provide sufficiently challenging tasks which encourage their input and shared learnings.

One last consideration here – as leaders today we must accommodate diversity and virtual teams. This brings with it different cultures, work environments and potential for communication challenges, which may hinder our ability to successfully demonstrate all 5 of these behaviour traits.

Leaders today therefore need not only to be effective in F2F situations and with their own local teams they must be clear of how to build that trust and relationships in all circumstances to effectively connect in our global operations.

Cluster 1: Workspace & environment…

The 2nd “Motivational Enabler” looks at the workspace and the environment – the space is not always something which is fully with-in our immediate control, given budget constraints and fixed facilities. As was just mentioned we must also give due consideration to the reality of today’s virtual teams.

These can be as simple as employees working from home or out of their vehicles, to more challenging scenarios in dealing with team members which are scattered regionally or even globally.

But if you are creative and engage your team to participate in open dialogue and the decision making process, you can and should come up with ways to improve the working environment and meet the current day less formal, modern and healthy workspace expectations – it’s something which nearly all employees we speak with want and appreciate.

Whether this is a fixed or mobile space, remote or local location, taking steps to transform your team’s surroundings, the ambience and creation of an overall healthier atmosphere, has the potential to generate a mindset change and positive impact on working attitudes.

Cluster 1: Healthy mind..

The 3rd and final “motivational enabler” and pre-requisite to motivating is a little more challenging to ensure than the first two, as it looks at enabling a healthy mind through 7 key foundational life and work practices. A detailed review of these 7 practices can be found in an article titled “The Healthy Mind Platter” published by the NeuroLeadership journal issue 4, back in 2012. 

We’ve placed a link here to the video on You Tube for this topic.

To avoid becoming too technical with the explanation we’ll leave you to read through and understand more deeply about each. You should notice however that it supports many previously held beliefs in this area of research.

Here’s the list of seven daily practices required for creating a healthy mind;

So, there you have it – start with your own mind – challenge yourself to see which of these you are or are not fulfilling and then look to your team. Question the current working & life style of your team – what might be changed to enhance or enable these 7 practices?

Remember any of the 3 motivational enablers may work as a form of motivator, but more so they serve to open the team to increased performance possibilities.

Cluster 2: 4 different employee generations…

Right so we have addressed the Motivational Enablers and are ready to tackle the two topics in Cluster 2 which we call our “Motivational Platform”.

And the first is a major one. Our workforce today spans 4 different generations – from baby boomers, through Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z or iGen as they are regularly referred too.

There is nothing new with the age spread – young employees have traditionally entered the scene around 18-20 years of age and worked beside veterans 60 years or more, thus offering a breadth of working knowledge and expertise spanning 40 – 50 years. – i.e. someone that entered the workforce in 1970-1975 is retiring as we approach 2020.

The newest member to the clan are Generation Z and will form the second largest of the 4 groups mentioned. By 2020 it is estimated that the iGen’s will make up 20% of the work force.

The difference however comes when we explore the era that these generations have grown up in and therefore the expectations that accompany them.

In some instances those expectations have compounded from generation to generation, whilst particularly in the Millennials and Gen Z case they have been born into different eras – be it wealthy parents, the threat from terrorism, global financial crisis or technology explosion and digitalization.

In the later case, digitalization we see technology on every level continually reinventing itself at increasing speed. So much so that we’re now entering one of the most transformational periods in our history and certainly for this current workforce demographic.

We are seeing a convergence of multiple technologies, each one singularly changing how we live, but collectively the impact is probably beyond most of our imaginations – and this in the space of just a few years. 

Your role as a leader is to come to terms with the varying needs and expectations as you look to employ the right motivational techniques. 

Cluster 2: Motivational theories…

OK so we’re almost ready to start motivating, but “what should we focus on” and “how to do it” – these 2 questions need to be considered first & therefore forms the 2nd topic of this cluster.

For more than a century, researchers have been asking these questions and the results are quite interesting. We list here a number the better-known motivational theories which have evolved from more than a century of studies.

Theories from legends such as Freud, Maslow, Herzberg, Vrooms and Adams, through to the more modern and less known neuro-science studies and people such as David Rock.

Not surprisingly perhaps, that over time, as our workforce evolved, so to have the research findings. Of-course technology has played a significant role, enabling us to perform our studies in different ways – particularly in recent decades with the developments in the area of neuro-science.

With each new theory comes a new level of sophistication in our understanding. And as each theory gets accepted by the experts and adopted we begin to glean a common thread linking past findings and whilst also identifying elements which bring something new to the table.

Note that for the purposes of moving forward and onto our 3rd and final cluster, we will work mostly with modern day theories – those originating during 1970’s through to the last decade.

Cluster 3: Using strategies and motivators…

And so now to Cluster 3 and the last two of our topics where we’ll discuss the use of “rational & emotional strategies” and how to leverage these to motivate. In particular, we zoom in and explore our extrinsic and intrinsic inner needs.

We have learnt that leaders need to be able to address the rational (i.e. provide a logical, well-structured, wholistic and simplified communication) when introducing any change topic to the team – to do this the leader must provide the meaning related to the topic and enable the team to see the big picture as well as where they fit into this process .

This helps individuals, when receiving the information, to digest and associate with it on a personal level. It offers the chance for clarity on the reasoning behind the action. By itself however is unlikely to be sufficient.

That’s because we often need a little emotional stimulus to kick start us into action. Here we identify two methods to generate this emotional tie – firstly we have the traditional power play at our disposal, however this is no longer the accepted approach in most cultures.

It may be necessary in certain circumstances, but as a general rule we try to avoid this method of leading through authority. The preferred way to trigger buy-in and action is via motivation and this is what we will focus on for the remainder of this discussion.

Starting with the understanding of two words “extrinsic” and “intrinsic”.

Extrinsic, meaning to provide a short to medium term stimulus for individuals – through things such incentives, pay increases or bonus. We often refer to this as the carrot used to derive an outcome and whist this may be necessary in some circumstances to bring balance and fairness, it not always possible nor is it seen as a lasting solution.

The most preferred approach is to address those inner needs by focusing on those intrinsic motivators – and depending on the individual, these will differ. Fortunately, there are a variety of the options available – things such recognition, empowerment, autonomy, challenging tasks etc. each of these falling into this intrinsic category. 

Cluster 3: Using the neuro-science S.C.A.R.F. model

We now know that we need to be able to lead change through the use of both rational and emotional stimuli. For the emotional component, we do so through motivating perhaps using a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators but leaning mostly on the intrinsic needs.

And now for the final piece of the puzzle – an understanding of how to determine the best motivators for each individual in your team?

To assist us in the task we turn to neuro-science and the latest study published in 2008 on the use of motivation thru determining what triggers social behaviour in people.

There are two aspects – the first being the principle of threat and reward. The second being 5 domains of social experience, which depending on how each domain is triggered can activate a negative, threat response or a positive, reward response with our brains’ neuron circuitry.

The actual model uses an acronym called SCARF – and each letter relates to one of the 5 domains.

  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Autonomy
  • Relatedness
  • Fairness.

In this blog we’ll include a link to the site where you can complete a free online assessment to determine your own domain mixture and which of the 5 are most dominant.

Understanding yourself first, helps you understand the tool and the theory better. It would then be useful to have your team perform this same assessment so that you have a clear picture about which domains you need to focus on when trying to motivate an individual through reward and which areas you need to be careful not to trigger as a threat.

The good news is that this model works across our generations – naturally with differing dominant domains but still with the 5 domains in play.        

And that’s it – we’ve covered a lot of territory with this video examining 3 clusters of 7 different considerations to achieve highly motivated current and future teams.

The more of cluster 1 & 2 you can incorporate into your preparation and planning, the higher the chance that you will have great success motivating your team.

Provided of course that you then incorporate the “how to” actions” – i.e.

  • combining both the rational and emotive strategies
  • blended with a mix of extrinsic and intrinsic needs
  • and coupled with what we have learnt from the SCARF model on the ways to treat each individual based around their social behavioral preferences.

And a promo opportunity here – we’re planning an “Advanced Leadership series” to follow this 10-episode Basics series. One topic will be Peak Performance – this is a continuation on from this motivation topic and the next topic on delegation – with these two locked in place the discussion around peak performance makes a lot more sense.   

Right so we have finished with our 2nd of the basics

Basic 1 was about Understanding your place in the team

and this one

Basic 2, about Motivating your current and future team.

Next up we look at how to take our motivated employees and find creative ways for you the leader to engage and delegate tasks or projects.

BTW if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe on our website to receive automatic notifications as each new podcast, video and blog are released.

Looking forward to chatting again shortly. Cheers for now.

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“Understanding your place in the team_EiB_104.2”

  • Topic 1 from the “Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics” series

transcript written by Wayne Brown

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 article 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.

Additionally we hope that the screen graphics are helpful in making the connection to numerous items we cover.

So let’s get started with topic 1…   

As illustrated here in the graphic, in our role as leaders 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 each have varying expectations and needs from us and our limited capacity – 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 engage these stakeholders successfully.

Stakeholder engagement introduction…

A useful starting point in engaging stakeholders is to incorporate 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. From here we can develop strategies and actions where necessary, to manage or support these groups or individuals.

It’s a particularly useful approach for less experienced leaders, that are feeling overwhelmed by the events and the volume of demand.

Once clustered, we review each group to determine if they are a supporter or perhaps a detractor. This is powerful knowledge which we can utilize to determine the best strategy for working together successfully going forward.

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”.

The 3rd links shared here are for people interested in doing further research on this influence concept and tools using a slightly different angle and perspective.

Let’s now look closer at each of the stakeholder groups and touch on those important considerations.

There is no right or wrong order here and it’s definitely not my purpose to trigger heated debate about which of the stakeholder 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.

Team versus Customer stakeholders…

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 with-in 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 sufficient social media discussion fueling this debate, without my added involvement.

The “team” is critical in that collectively they determine the success of you and your business. Therefore they need your full commitment through professional leadership and by supporting, encouraging, coaching and developing them.

The 1+1 equals more than 2 principle, definitely applies here. Create the right environment and enable each member of your team to perform consistently at their peak and the business becomes unstoppable.

No real surprise therefore that in the following videos in this series we place heavy emphasis on specifics for developing this key stakeholder group.

Similarly, understand your customer’s expectations and drive your business processes, systems and team actions towards true focused customer centricity and success becomes 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 with-in and the commitment to realize it. 

Check out this link to video 1 of the Net Promoter Score video series – a very in-depth analysis on how you and your business can determine if your customers are promoters or detractors.

Family versus Boss stakeholders…

Moving now to the topic of work-life balance or perhaps more specifically work-family balance. Most leaders today 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, because of all the stakeholder groups this one sticks with us through the toughest of times, encouraging, supporting and keeping the home front together whilst we are often away, travelling, entertaining or working long days.

Some cultures, countries and companies seem to have found the right mix whilst others not.

At the end of the day you need to determine what is the right balance – and this is not only applies for you but also for your team.

Please give your team members equal opportunity to strike this harmony.

Check out the Jeff Bezos interview speaking about “Work-Life Harmony”.

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 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 and at what frequency?
  • Are there any do’s and don’ts?

One of the worst outcomes we see is from leaders that choose 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), but 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 bosses door and set-up a one-on-one chat – it’s never too late.

Peer versus Supplier stakeholders…

Onto another two stakeholder groups – 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 we want you to do a little experiment.

For this experiment we could just as easily have chosen the final two stakeholder groups of the Company and Social Networks, given your interaction frequency is normally not as regular as the previous 4 stakeholders already covered. Less familiarity means the results will be easier to determine.

There’s are numerous studies conducted which maintain that verbal, non-verbal and emotional actions are super powerful and character shaping – watch this video from Amy Cuddy as one great example.

The attached link “YOU ARE CONTAGIOUS” – a video from Vanessa Van Edwards covers this very interesting subject so 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.

This tends to make sense as 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 suppliers reaction. Remember the Leaders body language is the focus of everyone else.

The first test is through body language using your hands and face to support your expression – when greeting someone ensure that your hands are open and visible at all times and use hand gestures whilst speaking. And make sure you are smiling authentically (watch the above 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 endearing atmosphere? How was the conversation and body language of your colleague?

For the second experiment, repeat the non-verbal gestures but this time choose your questions carefully –do this twice, the first time using topics related to enjoyable events or situations – “have you planned any vacations recently?”

The second time, use mundane types of work related questions – such as “been busy lately?” Gauge the difference in response. We’re pretty sure the results will be quite clear.

Company versus Social Media…

And to our final two stakeholder groups – those that are not directly related to me as a leader but often have an 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 people – perhaps in the region, or HQ, most often they are located in a different city and perhaps country.

Identifying and understanding how and why your role may impact them or appear on their radar, enables you maintain an awareness and be conscious of any issues which might trigger a reaction.

Remember the importance of networking!

It’s also great in helping you identify how you can contribute to the success of the company by being able to see the bigger and broader picture.

If you struggle to identify those persons or can’t determine what actions might be appropriate, seek guidance from your immediate boss. Most likely they will be happy to help you work through this.

As stated in the beginning, we didn’t group the stakeholders in order of priority.

Therefore this final group – our social network, should be seen as no less important than any of the others.

In fact many times in my life, the broader community has had tremendous influence on assisting my career.

Have you ever heard of the 6 degrees of separation. It has had numerous tests to prove it’s viability, however never really been proven emphatically. More recently however through the explosion of online social media a new dynamic has evolved.

This illustrates that the size of your network is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of a few random acquaintances and that their impact for you is often much higher than the impact through your friends – makes you stop and think doesn’t it?

Should I have accepted the social media friend request from that stranger the other day? What opportunity did I just miss out on as a result? 

Take one last closer look at the diagram – can you see the one stakeholder which we haven’t covered thus far – yes our future robotic partners. It is a reality that in the very near future we will have to work more closely with robotics that are utilizing the latest in AI development and driving our IoT world.

How and what exactly is still not clear, but what is certain, is that this is something for our lifetimes and perhaps even in the very near future 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 in the near future and you should start see the point I’m making .

We are in our infancy in this field, but the coming explosion of interconnectedness through IoT and convergence of all technologies, means our reliance on robots is almost guaranteed.

Best to have them on the radar don’t you think?

So this provides a very brief insight to our 8 – sorry 9 stakeholder groups. Each group is individually important and collectively they are crucial to your performance and career progression.

Conclusion…

You’re encouraged now before moving onto the next topic to review this transcript, listen to the podcast and or watch the video. Hope you found the collection of links and additional information on the various stakeholders groups useful and interesting.

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 the basic skills with your team and empower them by applying the topics and methods we’ll cover, then your foundation for success is laid and solid.

So that concludes the first topic 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 to press the like button if you enjoyed and even better if you wish Subscribe to our channel Mentors Rant.

Looking forward to chatting again shortly.

BTW you can also find this podcast on Stitcher and iTunes;

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“Leaders need to excel in the basics_EiB_104.1”

couchTALK: Coaching our elevator-escalator global tribe

“Constant change requires leaders to excel in the basics”

10 skills at the heart of every leaders arsenal.

  • Video 1  –  Understanding your place in the team
  • Video 2  –  Motivating your future team
  • Video 3  –  Creative delegation
  • Video 4  –  SMART rules and rewarding goals
  • Video 5  –  Feedback strategies
  • Video 6  –  Achievement reviews
  • Video 7  –   Problem & solution solving
  • Video 8  –   The necessity for Change
  • Video 9  –   Pitching value-based strategies
  • Video 10 –  Running with your game plan

Hello and welcome to couchTalk episode – 104. This time we are helping to launch a new 10 video program on our YouTube channel called Mentors Rant.

The progam focuses on the coming changes through technology and the need to get centered with the basic skills surrounding Leadership in our elevator-escalator global tribe.

In my article titled “10 Essential Leadership Skills for ’2019-20 – Our final opportunity to get the basics locked-in”, I state;

The age of Industry 4.0 is upon us and with it comes Big data, IoT, quantum computing, AI, Internet 3.0, 5G, Augmented reality and much more.

Individually each of these breakthroughs will, are changing our lives. With the convergence of these technologies however they will completely re-design the way we live and work in the near future.

For leaders to maintain their edge and to stay abreast of these immense changes to the way our people think, behave and perform, we must have at the very least, a set of basic leadership skills firmly embedded in our DNA. And without trying to over dramatize the situation …  

“There isn’t a lot of time remaining for each of us to prepare for this gravitational shift – a digital quantum leap as such!”

Experts are predicting that in less than 5 years from now we will be living and working entirely different from our norms of today. With this in mind let’s move on to review the 10 basics covered by our videos.

You can also find this podcast on Stitcher and iTunes;

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50 year LEGEND and great guy, Dr. Rory Smith_501

Sharing adventures, insights and learnings from his career in our global elevator-escalator tribe.

Welcome to the first in our “Legend” episodes. We start with a true legend, a pioneer in technology and a real gentleman with 50 years of hands on experience. 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 and 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, were we are looking to capture and share insights from great legends such as Dr Rory Smith.

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Your podcast host Wayne

Transform participants experience to a lasting memory

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 learnt in Parts 1 & 2, before joining us for Part 3 and unlocking the secrets to empowerment which you experience when you knowingly create behavioural 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 instalment – if so, congratulations!

It’s great that you have taken the time and learnt the ropes so to speak. It’s a profession which can be highly rewarding once you learn how to master it.

In Part 3 – the shortest of the 3 parts, we’ll learn how to Transform participants experience to a lasting memory, together with the final 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 learnt 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.

The fundamentals – these are the given activities which should follow each workshop, but happen surprisingly few times – at least this has been our experience.

The foundation layers – are those steps which provide opportunities and enable the participants to recall learnings, discuss and learn from others experience.

The bridge builders – well these are the futurists, using tools and methods only made possible through big & micro data analytics, AI and machine learning. A landscape where individual adaptive refresher learning is now a reality. 

The success of each of these clusters are based on the premise that spaced repetition increases knowledge retention, which in turn heightens the potential for the competence, skill and or knowledge to be put into practice. Thereby providing tangible R.O.I. The holy grail of all learning bodies.

We’ve enjoyed 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
  • Effective delegation
  • Offering feedback
  • Conflicts for leaders
  • Cultural awareness in our global world
  • Dealing with values & beliefs
  • Leading through diversity & inclusion
  • Millennials vs Baby Boomers
  • Adult learning theories
  • Corporate education
  • To coach or mentor
  • Leadership strategies
  • 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 the rest of our blog site www.amentorscouch.com, where I play the role of your Coach and together with three other elevator-escalator tribal groups “Our Legends”, “Our Innovators” and “Our Cheque Writers” we are regularly posting new articles and videos – each one aimed at sharing their experiences and passing on their learnings. Until then take care and happy facilitating.

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Leaders need to learn how to facilitate

Today, in Part 2 of this podcast, we’ll look to the facilitation activities which you need to concentrate on during the event itself.

AND to help you along the way we also provide a downloadable “Facilitation Game Plan” and it will allow you to incorporate a structured framework for each step throughout the entire facilitation process.

The great news is that from Part 1’s activities, your preparations have placed you in an excellent position to successfully facilitate your next and all future events, making life easy for our participants and shaping the meetings towards the desired outcome and continuing on that path of personal development and growth. So, let’s set sail and look at some keys areas for you to address and master.

Please printout your “Facilitator Game Plan” so that you can follow through our discussion easily. You will note that each topic is numbered, so as we start a new topic, I will state the topic number to help you follow along. In addition, under each topic we have a space for recording your notes – maybe you heard something that resonated with you and you want to capture it here for future reference. In Part 3 we’ll be providing one more template called the “Post-event guide for facilitators” which will complete the trilogy. We hope that with all 3 documents, you have the necessary ingredients to facilitate at many successful events through-out your career.

Be warned however that like most things in our life today, this isn’t a one-time solution and requires you to stay current with technology and new practices whilst actively facilitating on a regular basis.

Today and as shown in the Facilitator Game Plan, we break our 6 topics over 2 segments. The first 3 topics in segment 1 are;

Topic 1.01:        Ringing the opening bell

Topic 1.02:        Setting ground rules & enlisting engagement

Topic 1.03:        Time managing – the agenda & discussions

In segment 2, we cover;

Topic 1.04:        Creating pulse checks and parking lots

Topic 1.05:        Managing challenging situations

Topic 1.06:        Pounding the closing bell

From topic 1.06 we mention the importance for a Call to Action. This is a powerful way to help keep the spark alive following the event, perhaps long enough for the new ideas to take hold and see the light of day – for behaviour change to become more than just a catch cry.

Well there is and its related to the post-event follow-up process.  So as we close Part 2 of this podcast, here’s your Call to Action – join us in Part 3 the final episode in this trilogy, to learn the secrets. In Part 3, we will provide the various methods available to us as facilitators to reach that holy grail. Before then we hope you find time to apply what you have covered in Parts 1 & 2. If so, we then will welcome you to join us on the next leg of this facilitators journey. 

Reference links mentioned during the podcast;

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couchTALK Introduction_100

Welcome to this first episode of couchTALK – an introduction to how we will be coaching our elevator-escalator global tribe.

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;

  • Our Legends, those with 30 years or more working experience in our industry
  • Our Innovators, those disruptors that are looking to shape our industries future
  • Our 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.

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Preparation leaders need to achieve success_101

Welcome to this trilogy focused on Facilitation – the title of the series is called Highly effective facilitation for every leader and in this episode Part 1 – Preparation leaders need to achieve success, we focus on 5 key prep-steps.

As the previous couchTALK introduction episode mentions, the aim of this show is to bring learning opportunities to executives of our tribe, through the experiences and insights of the collective tribe members themselves. Like-minded individuals that are networked globally and offering up their experience and knowledge through discussions and interviews for the betterment of our industry.

We also ask our colleagues from outside the industry – those that are members of a different tribe but which heavily influence our own – these architects, consultants, developers, property owners and managers, even the end user who all share in-valuable insights about what they see as our challenges and opportunities, even requirements.

In this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world we are faced with today, we all need whatever assistance we can obtain. So in addition to the above, I will act as your host and Coach, providing those more formal learnings moments.

We kick start this trilogy on Facilitation under “Highly effective facilitation for every leader and this episode as Part 1 – Preparation leaders need to achieve success”. Why commence with facilitation – well as John Naisbitt says;

“Our new Leaders need to be facilitators, not order givers”.

Establishing your pre-event checklist – how many of you recreate the wheel every time you come to the task of facilitating?

Sure, over time your level of comfort may increase and certain routines are established, but I’m guess most of you won’t be facilitating regularly, right? Perhaps you’re still in the early stages of grounding yourself as a new or young leader and therefore the last thing you need to burden yourself with is any added pressure.

Trying to understand those key steps which we need to follow, does nothing to calm the nerves or enable you to facilitate effectively. Hence, during part 1 of this podcast we’ll run through 5 key prep-steps, which we’re quietly confident will provide you the essentials to nail this critical stage. We a sneak peek at the titles of those 5 steps;

Prep step #1:   Know your audience

Prep step #2:   Know your event and agenda

Prep step #3:   Create the venue environment 

Prep step #4:   Prepare your tools & questions

Prep step #5:   Prepare your mind & your agility

And just to be sure, we’ll be providing you with a copy of this “Pre-event checklist for facilitators”, which you can download and save for use whenever a facilitation opportunity comes your way. Who knows – rather than dread this process, perhaps you will even start to feel so confident that you will seek out opportunities to practice and showcase your talents. We’re hoping so anyway and are ready to support you on that journey.

Reference links mentioned during the podcast;

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