Your Executive Assistant calls to let you know that Jake has arrived for his interview. When you walk in to the lobby to greet him, he’s dressed a bit odd (not the kind of clothes you would wear) and he doesn’t seem friendly and outgoing (quite the opposite of you).
He follows you into your office and engages in small talk about the weather and how the Packers blew it in the playoffs. After a few minutes of going over his resume, you discuss the position you need to fill, and quickly get the sense that Jake isn’t the kind of personality you could work with very well. As a matter of fact, you conclude that you just don’t like the guy. BUT, his credentials and experience are ideal for the role you need to fill AND, his salary requirements are in line with what you’re willing to pay.
If you have ever been on the receiving end of punishment (which most of us have), you know how ineffective it can be. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains that in the workplace there are so many conditions that have to be met for punishment to be effective, that it is just about useless. The best leadership training will help leaders create an environment where people want to do their job without the existence or threat of punishment. And how do you create this work environment? When leaders Active Listen to their team; confront individuals in a constructive, respectful way and in regards to specific behavior that is not productive to the organization; include team members in the decision-making process; and send I-Messages to let others know they are appreciated and an important part of the organization – this all helps create an environment where punishment is unnecessary.
If you were to write down a list of human emotions, how long would that list be? Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains that through leadership training, learning how to more accurately express our emotions is key to effectively communicating to others. As an example, think of yourself as a PC, your words as a video cable, and the other person as a TV. If you want the highest quality signal from a PC to the TV you need the right cable. So to more accurately express your state of emotion (PC), you might choose to use a more precise phrase like “I’m really confused about the schedule next week.”(highest quality cable) rather than “I’m so frustrated.” (low quality cable) when speaking to your team member (TV). Expanding our emotional vocabulary is one way to help others be more understanding of what’s going inside our head.
You might think that leadership training is only for managers and supervisors – what we typically label as a leader position. But as Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains, anyone working in an organization will benefit from leadership training such as Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) because at some point that individual is in a leadership position. This doesn’t mean that at some point everyone will be a manager, but they will be in a position where they will have more knowledge or skills to help a fellow team member out or teach them a new skill. This occurs often in organizations that have a “team” environment, where everyone has some decision-making abilities.
One method of leadership is to maintain control over the people, but (and I think we all kinda know this by now, right?)…that isn’t necessarily the best one. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) describes a real-life example of how one manager at a business he was consulting with, hid a tape-recorder to catch his employees talking as they were working. This style of controlled management doesn’t exactly create a productive environment. The One method of leadership is to maintain control over the people, but (and I think wOne method of leadership is to maintain control over the people, but (and I think we all kinda know this by now, right?)…that isn’t necessarily the best one. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) describes a real-life example of how one manager at a business he was consulting with, hid a tape-recorder to catch his employees talking as they were working. This style of controlled management doesn’t exactly create a productive environment. The leadership training implemented afterwards recognized that talking among the workers was necessary to ease the boredom of the tedious task, and actually created better productivity. In the end, good leadership is about creating a positive, productive environment – and sometimes that means it’s ok to talk.
I’ve worked for many managers and alongside many different people anointed into leadership positions without any training on how to motivate people, build strong work teams or on how to resolve problems that impede production. It wasn’t until I took my course in L.E.T. several years ago that I realized how damaging some communications can be between managers and their employees.
Below is a list of statements that roadblock communications which are indicative of autocratic micromanagers who give misguided advice, warn, lay down laws and put employees back in their places. As you read through this list, make note of how high your blood pressure elevates for each. And then ask yourself if you’ve used any on your employees or colleagues. Finally, ask yourself if there may be a better way to communicate. That is precisely where leadership training makes the biggest difference between effective managers and those who can’t seem to hold on to good people.
Talk about irony. On the same day, December 18, two world leaders died. One was revered and truly beloved by his people. The other feared and mourned only through intimidation. Václav Havel, an unlikely political leader, a playwright, poet and dissident, published a famous essay in 1978, “The Power of the Powerless.” His words and commitment to the ideals of truth and beauty were a powerful force in Czechoslovakia’s (now the Czech Republic) “Velvet Revolution.” Co-author of the human rights charter called “Charter 77,” he was persecuted and imprisoned by the Communist police state in power at the time. He emerged as the president of a free Czechoslovakia and the recipient of numerous awards around the world for his courage. Havel wrote about his own country when still under a repressive Communist regime, that they are required to “live within a lie.” They lived with tons of slogans but few real beliefs.
We all know that the road to absolutely nowhere is paved with good intentions.
Everyone has them, but intentions usually require that we (gulp) change, which can be difficult. But as we all know, change is both inevitable and necessary.
So for 2012, consider activating one of the following good intentions to polish your management and leadership skills. Whichever one you choose, commit to it entirely with unrelenting focus – you owe it to your colleagues, your company and most importantly, you owe it to yourself. You’ll notice an immediate improvement in how you and your employees communicate with each other, and you’ll likely notice a boost in morale within your company or department. Guaranteed.
“Let’s compromise”. We’ve all heard this offer with friends, clients, colleagues, etc. On the superficial level, the intent to compromise is to resolve a conflict between two or more people that have different needs. But in order to compromise, each party needs to give something up, meaning that all their needs are not being met. So can we think of a better way to truly resolve conflict? Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) discusses the difference between compromise and true conflict resolution—and how the leadership training workshop, Leader Effectiveness Training, teaches the skills so everyone’s needs are met—and no one has to lose a thing.