How to Maximize Lean with Leader Effectiveness Training

These two programs, Lean Management and Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), deal with two quite different aspects of business. The goal of Lean Management is to reduce and eliminate wasteful activities in order for a business to be more profitable. The goal of L.E.T. is to teach managers the interpersonal skills they need to communicate and resolve conflicts with their teamlean leadership members which results in higher employee satisfaction, higher productivity and increased profitability.

Lean Management

The focus of Lean Management is the elimination of waste. It is based on the idea that anything above the minimum resources required is waste and that wasteful activities end up adding costs of a product that add no value. Lean Management offers a systematic approach for identifying, reducing and eliminating waste. This in turn leads to improved customer satisfaction, shorter lead times, lower costs, more getting it right the first time, and increased profits. To implement Lean Management requires buy-in on the part of top managers.

Because this system requires that people change, managers need excellent interpersonal skills to make it work. That includes the both the ability to communicate clearly to get people on board and the ability to listen when employees express skepticism and other fear of change. It also means being able to effectively confront people when there are problems and to resolve conflicts when they occur. Lack of people skills is one of the leading reasons that Lean implementation programs fail.

Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.)

L.E.T. is an intensive, skills-based training program created by Dr. Thomas Gordon which develops interpersonal communication and conflict resolution competencies in managers and supervisors. It is based on the premise that people thrive when they work in a climate in which their needs are considered and where they have a voice in decisions that affect them. They are more motivated, creative, accountable, productive, fulfilled. Through L.E.T., leaders learn, practice and understand when and how to apply a powerful set of tools including clear, non-blameful self-disclosure, empathic listening and no-lose conflict resolution.

Knowing and using these skills leads to reduced conflict, increased time on task and reduced costs of people problems. When management and staff are equipped with basic communication and relationship skills, they are much more likely to be able to accept and implement specific training or initiatives that are meant to improve a company’s success.

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