A year of work in progress – day 156

Day 156 – 12 September 2014

Today we had an untitled training session (or should I say learning) with the Senior Leadership Team and the Senior Project Leads. It was untitled because we blended a couple of topics – building rapport and building potential.

Steve started us off with a passionate introduction about why he comes into work and how people are our greatest resource. He told a story about an epiphany moment involving the way he responded to a member of his team who had struggled with a customer. He has asked him whether he was having problems and whether he could offer any help. The story though was that another colleague had overheard this and commented on how it was an unusual approach. The moral is that managers are always on show and their team are looking to them for leadership and guidance.

Our expectations for the day were that we want to apply what we are learning, walk the walk, talk the talk and take time to invest in ourselves. I gave my three jobs speech (task, team and self). The SLT’s offer was to provide training, support, time to learn and trust.

It takes a long time to build trust, certainly a lot longer than it takes to lose it, but I’m not sure that we always demonstrate it.  We want to trust but we find it hard to let go and every time that trust is challenged it churns our stomach. Part of the issue is that we are all different people, we each walk in a different way and how we walk will depend upon what we are carrying. We all have different histories, different cultures and different approaches. I was reminded of the quote attributed to Saint Francis Xavier (according to Wikipedia) “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”.

In the afternoon we talked about hygiene and motivational factors and which ones we could influence most. We talked about the talent that we had within our teams, that we knew about and that we didn’t as well as the role of us as managers (leaders) in helping people to make the most of what they are good at. We talked about moving good people on and the limited opportunities we have to reward. I talked about the Peter Principle (people tend to rise to their level of incompetence) and we turned to another Peter (Cheese) and his four step model of developing potential through define, discover, develop and deploy.

I’m never sure about some of the tools and the assumptions that they are based upon but it is always good to get together. I would say that though because of my personality type.

Learning points for today: Paper light means nearly paperless; life is a learning opportunity; Steve’s walk is different to Neil’s walk; knowledge can be a burden; 93% of communication is through body language (how do they know this?); there are more than four types of people; getting people to divide into groups is easy and; the answer to any problem comes in a circle or a square window.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – good session.

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