Main by way of affect: 6 classes from management improvement programs – visitor blogger Janet Knupp

How do development programs such as the ability to influence participants and business impact in the long term for the benefit of participants and their organizations? Changing human behavior is difficult to measure, but people recognize when their own changes have positive results. Many of the participants who later became managers shared the lessons they learned from courses that I used to support in their careers. Not only did they value their personal results, but as leaders, their organizations cascaded the new approaches they used to achieve better cultural and business outcomes.

6 examples of behavior change leaders assigned to leadership development classes:

1. Take action on hard feedback

As a director, Jack received strong corrective feedback on his 360 degree feedback survey, a key component of a class on influence and collaboration in which he participated. The feedback showed that he was considered loveless, open-minded, and too concentrated, regardless of people. He used this feedback as an opportunity to think, took the feedback to heart, used the skills he had learned in class, and worked actively to improve these skills. Years later, as the functional leader, he brought the class to his current employer, attended as the leader, and was nervous about his feedback on the same survey.

This time, however, he received an average score of 4.7 out of 5 for all questions and respondents. Out of the thousands of 360 surveys I've reviewed, these are some of the best I've seen. Excerpts from respondents' comments that are closely coordinated with the course content:

  • "Seems to really appreciate hearing other people's opinions"
  • "Is a consensus-maker; he listens well and then goes a way forward "
  • "He is very accessible and builds connections"
  • "Very thoughtful in his approach to everything"
  • "Is a great partner to work with"

After class, one of Jack's direct reports took me aside to tell me that Jack's leadership style was key to her decision to stay with the company when faced with personal difficulties. Jack has become a great leader because of his business acumen and ability to influence as a leader.

2. Be viewed as collaborative rather than combative

It takes courage for a leader to ask for help, but a double student did and changed the way he perceived himself in his organization for the better. He did not believe that a cooperative approach would be beneficial in conflict situations and expressed this opinion very clearly. I already knew that it wasn't good for him at his company and surprisingly he contacted me two weeks after class and asked for help. He admitted that his win / loss approach had been a lifelong challenge and that he wanted to learn a better way.

Over the course of a year, we continued our discussion as a coach and dealt with certain situations and what he could do differently. And it paid off. At his next annual review, his boss said he wished he had more employees like him. He learned to communicate with an open-minded mindset so that he could solve problems with others instead of insisting on his perspective.

3. Others recognize that they have valid perspectives

An “aha” moment for a mechanical engineer occurred in class when she was preparing a case study and then asked to play the customer role in practice. She had bad feedback on the survey, mostly because she tended to see things only from her perspective – not from others. After doing the role-playing exercise and experiencing the client's perspective, she found that the "other side" had relevant perspectives that she needed to understand. As a result, she and others claimed to be more effective leaders by improving their ability to better understand their audience's needs and concerns.

Leadership development influence skills

4. The importance of asking questions without assumptions

Two middle-class managers, Alex and Lynn, attended a class of influence and collaboration, and they ended in tears and laughed as they watched their record of selling their perspective. They realized how much they had separated from their "customer". These two analytical personalities showed neither verbally nor physically emotions when their very expressive customer shared hers. Her answer to every idea was a version of "No, we can't. "" They clearly saw how ineffective they were to show no enthusiasm, not to ask questions and to be open to no other perspective than their own.

Years later, they were both leaders and Lynn, the leader, often introduced future classes. She said that she was in a lawsuit shortly after the original class and determined whether a suspect would go to prison. Like 10 of the 12 judges, she believed the person was innocent. She used the skills she had learned from the influence and collaboration course to avoid asking questions with assumptions and manipulative phrases such as, "After all the evidence, do you really believe the accused is guilty?" Instead, she used questions such as "What did you hear at the trial that indicated that you were guilty?" to find out why the two jurors found the person on trial guilty. Lynn and the other nine judges understood their perspective and were able to provide the two judges with the right information, and the jury found the accused innocent.

5. Acknowledgment for positive changes in a new employer

Alex joined a company as SVP. He had the Influence and Collaboration courses he had taken on in a previous role run for his new role (and had the part of the class social style expanded based on his own experience as an analyst). . Shortly after completing the course, other function leaders noticed new influential behaviors from his team and had the same courses run for their organizations. Alex was seen as a leader who added value beyond his functional expertise. Since many of his colleagues have moved to other companies, they brought the courses with them to offer their new organizations the same value.

6. Realize personal success from opportunities of continuous learning

There are other great results that people have shared, including personal gains, such as:

  • The European human resources manager, who used his new skills and was surprised when his boss said, "I just learned some great leadership skills by watching you today."
  • "I had the best conversation with my teenager in two years."
  • "I had a great online date with these skills."
  • "I found the real reason my daughter wanted to drop out of her class by asking the right questions."

As everyone strives quickly and efficiently today, aspiring executives still have to take time to learn new skills to be the leaders of tomorrow. Nobody has learned to ride a bike from someone who “efficiently” explains how to do it. You got on a bike, practiced, made mistakes and learned from these mistakes. That is what well-designed leadership development means to you.

How can attending a leadership development course help you be even more effective?

– Janet Knupp

About Janet

Janet_Knupp Janet Knupp is a senior citizen thoughtpartner ™ with the Grossman Group. She led learning and development roles at Nielsen and Quaker Oats and worked with many Fortune 500 companies including McDonald’s, Kraft, Campbell’s Soup, Hershey, the Northern Trust Bank and Chase. When she's not working, she may ride her Harley Davidson with her dogs in the sidecar in the Chicago suburbs.

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