Sunday, July 08, 2007

KOOKY: Leadership Training

Last Friday, I went to a professional development workshop on leadership that's put on by HR. It was aptly titled "Moving From Peer to Supervisor to Leader". The moment I was promoted, I wanted to take a leadership workshop to help train me to be a better leader. I already heard about this workshop, so I promptly asked my manager if I could sign up.

I've always felt that being a leader in the workplace isn't always an intuitive thing for many people. I got the promotion through my hard work as an IT person, but I understand computers, not people. Hence, understanding how to positively communicate, supervise and motivate people can be an elusive notion to many. I thought it would be a good idea to try to get some training before I made too many mistakes or started going down incorrect paths. After all, how many of us has complained, griped or resented decisions or actions that management makes? I know I have in the past.

One thing I was looking for was how to motivate people who were under me. I know that everyone has a different way of doing things that are not my way. However, I didn't know how to move beyond that point. I didn't know how to motivate people properly. What may motivate me may not motivate others in the same way. And I certainly didn't want to be a nagging mother to those whom I supervise.

Two ideas were presented to me:
1) Personal Coaching Styles Inventory - This is "a self-inventory where people designate how they want to give and receive feedback and advice". Basically, it's a tool that tells you what your communication style is. While I don't think any one person fits in to one particular style, most of us tend towards one or two particular styles more so than the others. We did a self-assessment to determine what our styles were, and did a presentation of each one (there are four).

The main style that I fell in, describes about 80% of how I communicate and think. And going through the other styles, I can definitely see where my manager falls as well as one of my subordinates. What was really nice was that there were people in the workshop who fell into each category. I got to see how they approach things, and learned to appreciate better their good points instead of just focusing on their weaknesses (which is something I tend to do, according to this tool). This definitely gave me a lot to think about.

2) Legacy Leadership - The image at the top is a basic summary of of the model. Our instructor said that most leadership/management books/models/theories out there will fall underneath at least one of the five Best Practices. You basically need all five to have a balanced leadership. There were discussions around these principles to illustrate how we can action each one out.

All in all, I felt that it was a very worthwhile workshop. Unfortunately, Friday was a bad time to take off from work (but when is it ever a good time to take off from work?). There is a part two to the workshop, which is in a couple of week. I'll let you know how that goes.

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