Those of you old enough to remember the no nonsense Police Sergeant, Joe Friday in Dragnet, will remember that he had little patience for assumptions, theories, conclusions, or interpretations from his witnesses. He wanted “Just the facts.” He believed that the only way to solve a crime was to determine all the facts of the situation first. The same is true of all problems. The first thing to do is to establish the facts. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains that leadership training such as L.E.T., promotes relating, confronting, etc. people based on their behavior (what you actually see them do and say).
The small circuit board factory had made substantial gains in productivity. Quality was up. Defects were down. But, there were still many problems. The biggest issues included communication between managers and team members and conflict among team members, support groups (maintenance, engineering, human resources), and other teams. In other words, everyone was working harder and smarter but no one was getting along and everyone was worried that they would not be able to sustain the improvements that they had made. We made a decision to conduct someleadership training for all the managers, supervisors, group leaders and senior engineers. The leadership training heavily emphasized communication: effective listening, constructive confrontation, and win/win conflict resolution—it was the L.E.T. (Leader Effectiveness Training) program by Dr. Thomas Gordon.
When asked the question “What is a leader?” most people reply with things like: someone who is charismatic, makes good decisions, a good listener, etc. But what Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains is that those are only qualities of what a good leader can be, but not actually what a leader is. Stinnett’s explanation of a leader is simply when other people choose to follow him/her. He reminds us that even though an individual may be placed in a leadership position – they might not necessarily be a truly effective leader. Effective leadership training, such as L.E.T., gives those in leadership positions the skills that will most likely influence others to follow them.
Companies are far from perfect. Even those which make quality control a top priority slip from time to time where someone along the way will eventually make a mistake, and one that may have a devastating impact. Fortunately, when people openly admit to their mistakes and do everything they can to make things right, most of those affected will be quite forgiving. After all, we’re all human, and all of us make mistakes.
However, in those cases where quality control is poorly managed and problems linger on for weeks or months, everyone is affected, including management, salespeople, customer service people, and worst of all, customers. During times of chaos, managers find themselves in precarious positions where they have little choice but to make excuses for corporate mishaps while shouldering the added stress of frustrated employees and irate customers unloading on them.
Pete C. (L.E.T. Trainer) and Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) discuss how working in law enforcement is much like working in any other business. With the exception of a small percentage of high risk moments, a police force has many similarities to other organizations, such as maintaining customer service, resolving employee conflict, working as a team, and administrative tasks. This is a great example of why leadership training is not just for corporations, but for almost any work environment where people are working together towards a common goal.
The Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) book just turned 35 years old this year – not a spring chicken in book years – but the leadership training concepts and skills that are taught are still current and more relevant than ever in today’s work culture. As Bill Stinnett, Ph.D (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains, human relationships are fundamentally the same as they have always been. People will always have needs – met and unmet, we will always have to communicate our needs, we will always have to listen, and we will always have to be able to empathize with others. The Gordon Model, detailed in the L.E.T. book, addresses these perennial issues with human relationships – conflicts and how to resolve them.
If you’re in a management position, you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. High expectations are placed on you to prove your worth, and your performance is directly tied to the performance of your direct reports. This means you need everyone on your team to give 110% every day in every way which means there is little room for poor attitudes and mediocre work. Hence, your objective is to figure out how you can keep everyone motivated and focused, working like a well-oiled machine. The good news is, it can be done.
However, on those occasions when the machine coughs and sputters, you have a problem. And more often than not, it’s not a technical problem; it’s a “people” problem with conflicts in communication or conflicts of personalities within the work group. Whichever the case, the problem needs to be resolved quickly before it escalates, which it likely will, if ignored.
Pete C. and Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Trainers) discuss leadership training within the law enforcement culture and how important it is that officers are given the skills to Actively Listen – not only to each other, but to “customers” as well. He explains that although police officers need to follow strict procedures at times, the majority of their day involves problem solving and listening. It is important that the law enforcement personnel acknowledge that the customer “owns the problem” and facilitates the customer in solving their own problem.
SOLANA BEACH, CA — Gordon Training International ‘s (GTI) representative in Turkey is for the first time, offering instructor training for Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.). GTI’s rep, Mr. Vedat Erol and 23 other participants will receive the training and then offer P.E.T. classes throughout Turkey. The P.E.T and T.E.T. (Teacher Effectiveness Training) books have been best-sellers in Turkey for the past 15 years so the Gordon Model has become very well-known there. In fact, the Beykoz/Istanbul Municipality ordered 1700 copies of the T.E.T. book as gifts for their teachers. This special edition began with a page-long presentation by the Mayor of Beykoz.
The Master Trainer, Mr. Steve Emmons, who is leading the workshop shares his feedback about this impressive group:
The message we speak is but a small fraction of the whole message. Most of the meaning is communicated through the many nonverbal channels available to us. There are many levels and ways of coding (encoding) our thoughts and feelings (eye contact, body language, facial expression, tone, rate and pitch of voice, gestures, etc.). Much information about our feelings, our beliefs about liking, power, confidence, self esteem, etc. are left to these subtler, more error-prone channels of communication. About 70% of the information in any transaction is carried by the nonverbal channels (eye contact, space, body movements, facial expression . . .). About 23% is carried by the tone of the voice (how loud, soft, fast, slow, high, low). Only 7% of the information is actually carried verbally (in the words). When there are discrepancies among the channels, we tend to believe the non-verbals. This is called the metalanguage paradox.
The joke goes like this. “We’re implementing a new work-life balance program. The committee will meet every morning at six to plan it. Any objections?” Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but not by much. Managers ask, “How much responsibility do we really have? Aren’t my employees adults? Isn’t it their job to make sure they are ready to work when they enter the building? How much time should I spend “babysitting” grown people? I have a job to do and they are paid to help me do it.” If you are too lenient, people will take advantage of you they fear. Managers don’t want to be seen as “pushovers” who can be manipulated. Yet companies promote their work-life balance programs when recruiting and when vying for a “best place to work” award.
So what is “GLOP”? Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. and L.E.T. Trainer, explains that “GLOP” (General Labeling Of People) are judgments about other people’s behaviors. We do it everyday despite what we might have been taught in previous leadership training workshops. When was the last time you said something like “She’s really anti-social.” Yep, that’s GLOP-ping. You just label the person as “anti-social” instead of describing the specific behavior that you see or hear, that’s causing you a problem (preventing you from meeting a need). And the danger of using a general label is that it’s difficult to resolve the conflict or issue since you’re not addressing the specific behavior that’s creating the problem. In working with others regarding problems in your relationship, and what should be stressed in effective leadership training programs, is that it’s important be specific!
Everyone’s mood changes usually everyday, depending on their circumstances, environment and so forth. What is acceptable to you one day, may not be acceptable to you the next day. Seems pretty common sense, right? But even leaders need to be aware that depending on their mood, their window of acceptable behavior will change. So instead of forcing yourself to be consistent in all situations no matter what mood you’re in, Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. andleadership trainingconsultant, explains in this video that being genuine and honest about your feelings and what is and isn’t acceptable to you at a certain time is key to keeping your working relationships functioning effectively.
Shortly after I graduated from college, I was sentenced to work for a horrible boss. I’m not sure if he had teeth because he never smiled – he just seemed to be ticked off about something all the time, and I never knew what was going through his mind because he grunted more than he spoke, often times in vulgarities.
When I took my L.E.T. Workshop back in 2006, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and wished I had the knowledge and communication skills I learned to navigate my way through our interactions. My life would have been much easier.
If you’re stuck working for a horrible boss, consider these eight tips to make your life quite a bit easier and a lot less stressful:
Purchase something as simple as a box of ink cartridges from Best Buy or call tech support for help setting up your router and you’ll probably be asked to take an online survey.
Kudos to those companies taking a genuine interest in their customers by asking for their feedback through surveys and perception studies. As markets continue to grow increasingly competitive, companies are getting pretty savvy on how to acquire the intelligence they need to retain precious customers, influence referrals, attract new business and stomp, ahem, I mean, beat their competition. Surveys prove to be the most effective way to acquire and measure customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Let’s face it – we all want to score high on the I.Q. test. We want to say that we are “smart”. But I.Q. isn’t the only factor in making a leader intelligent – E.Q. (emotional intelligence) is another, if not more important factor. Beyond delegating tasks, planning, and time management, leadership involves dealing with other people’s emotions. Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) is a leadership training workshop that focuses on skills in allowing a leader to handle emotions and feelings in a mature, effective way. You have probably taken an I.Q. test of some sort in your life but if you had to take an E.Q. test, ask yourself – how you would you do?
One concept that makes Leader Effectiveness Training stand out from other leadership training workshops is a concept that Dr. Thomas Gordon developed called “Shifting Gears”. “Shifting Gears” is a skill that allows a leader to Actively Listen to the other after they have sent an I-Message. The likelihood that the other person will hear the leader and change their behavior is much greater if they Active Listen to their problem. This in turns lowers the other person’s “emotional temperature” and increases their ability to problem solve – which is a central focus of effective leadership training.
We talk a lot about Leader Effectiveness Training(L.E.T.) on this blog – so what exactly is it? Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Trainer since 1983) explains that L.E.T. is a leadership training workshop that gives leaders a set of skills that allows him/her to make effective decisions based on the present work situation. The key here is that a set of skills that work together as a system (Active Listening, I-Messages, Gear Shifting, etc.), are taught, not just a single skill. This is what gives the leader the ability to make the appropriate decision in different situations.