Being human, most of our decisions are based on our emotions. As much as we like to think that we are logical, analytical, adults – every person bases almost every choice on how they feel. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) discusses how the seemingly difficult task of handling emotions can be managed through proper leadership training, such as L.E.T. The best leadership training will use both left-brained logical thinking and right-brained intuitive feeling to improve communication skills.
There’s a term called “GLOP” I learned in my leadership training class which is an acronym for “General Labeling Of People.” We were taught not to GLOP for the obvious reason that GLOPing is very similar to stereotyping, and stereotyping is too often based on ignorance and/or prejudices.
I’m not a GLOPPer, however, for the purpose of this blog post, I’ll need to GLOP to deliver my point.
So we have this new breed entering the workforce we call “Generation Y.” I actually call them Gen “Why” because it’s easy to remember and it resonates with people who can’t understand “why” this group acts and thinks the way they do. I’ve heard enough times that this is the generation of people who don’t know the meaning of responsibility or accountability. This is supposedly the generation of people who believe they are automatically entitled to pretty much whatever they want just because. This is also supposedly the generation of people who, as some managers will tell you “don’t want to work.” How’s that for GLOPing? I’ll slap my own hand later.
Ever notice that anger seems to be the first emotion that bursts out of us when we’re upset, troubled, frustrated with someone? Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) discusses the “Feelings Iceberg” – a concept about how anger is often the only emotion that displays as result of built up, underlying frustration, sadness, or anxiety. This is why anger is labeled as a “secondary emotion”. In leadership training this concept is important to keep in mind because it helps you understand another’s point of view better if you know that underneath the anger there are most likely many other negative emotions that are the root of the problem.
Earning a spot on two of the most prestigious lists in one of the most respected business publications was no accident. Nor was it by coincidence or luck.
There is something magical happening at these companies that goes far beyond profit and growth. There are leaders at the helm who understand how vital it is to create and foster a culture conducive to peak performance. Employees don’t rank their company as the best to work for unless they have passion for what they do and are working for superior leaders they admire and respect.
In leadership training such as L.E.T. (Leader Effectiveness Training), you learn there are 12 communication roadblocks (created by Dr. Thomas Gordon in the 60’s when he launched P.E.T.) – one of the most used ones is “questioning”. When someone comes to you with a problem, chances are one of your first responses is a question, followed by a series of more questions and then finishing off with some advice (another communication roadblock). Does this sound familiar? The problem with asking questions when the other person owns the problem is that it steers the conversation in the direction that YOU want it – not them. Asking questions also implies that the other isn’t capable of solving their own problem. A more effective response instead of asking questions would be Active Listening – where you feedback what you heard the person say to not only make sure you understand their problem correctly but also for them to hear their problem out loud.
Bad bosses are everywhere and come in many forms. They are masters at getting the bare minimum out of their employees, have a knack for keeping turnover nice and high, and they all believe their management style (cough) works.
I’ve listed my personal favorites below…I worked for a few and heard horror stories of the others. If I’m missing one (or two), feel free to add to my list.
1. THE “I’LL BE BACKER” – This is the manager who never seems to be around, responds to urgent emails within 72 hours and has all calls go straight to voicemail. They are either traveling, closing deals on the golf course, at networking functions, or are perpetually in “meetings.” Think of George Costanza when he left his car in the parking lot while vacationing with his girlfriend. The danger: Employees are left to their own devices to make decisions and solve problems with no direction or leadership to facilitate. It also enables slackers to continue slacking, which causes tension and dissent within the company.
Webster’s dictionary lists the definition of a team as “a number of persons associated together in work or activity.” Sometimes the word “team” in the workplace conjures up images of a faceless mass of people with no room for individuality or expression. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains that one of the functions of a team is for everyone to understand the needs of the other individuals that make up the whole. Communication skills that are taught in leadership training, such as Active Listening, can’t happen without more than one person – so without a team how can anyone listen to your needs? In the end, a group of individuals that work together as a team are more productive and satisfied than a group of individuals that work as individuals.
Leadership training can be seen as an opportunity, but sometimes can be perceived as somewhat daunting. For some, being “sent“ to leadership training means they must be lacking skills, or their communications skills aren’tgood enough, or they are doing poorly at their job. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) explains that in any training, and especially Leader Effectiveness Training, the purpose is simply to provide a new set of skills that can be used to further success within the workplace. It’s like going to the hardware store and buying a new set of socket wrenches – it doesn’t mean your old rusty, worn wrenches will be taken away from you – but once you get your hands on the new tools and you see how you get the job done faster and easier – why go back to the old ones?
Whenever the topic of training comes up with an organization, a discussion of how much it will cost inevitably follows. Bill Stinnett, Ph.D. (L.E.T. Master Trainer) gives a new perspective on how not training employees with problem solving and effective communication skills ends up costing a company more money. The key is thinking of the longevity of an organization – there is a cost incurred now for leadership training, but over the course of a few years (or less) that investment will pay off and then some, by creating a more productive work environment with higher employee retention.