Repetition Repetition Repetition! Isn’t that what they taught us in school? Learn it, do it. Learn it in a different way and practice it over and over until you get it. Some where along the way though, as adult learns we seem to have lost that concept of repetition style learning.
Thousands and thousands of dollars are spent on training in organizations each year. Employees and teams are sent to off site training or a presenter is brought in. The team is energized and recharged. They love the ideas and get excited about how it might have positive implications for their organization, the atmosphere of their worksite and the work they do. There is usually a taste at the end of the training of applying it to your organization. Participants are involved in some brainstorming and potentially team discussions and then everyone is sent on their way.
Back at the worksite there is a bit of discussion about applying the newfound learning, but then the daily grind takes over and much of what could have been implemented or changed is lost. The one-off training was a big investment with little return. Employees get disheartened and wonder what the point of the training was.
As leaders it is our responsibility to look before we schedule training at what we plan to do with it over the long term. What is the outcome you are wanting from the training? What is the responsibility of the employee who is taking the training? What will they do with it? What is your role in helping them learn it, apply it and grow because of it as well as helping it be integrated into the workplace? What is the investment you are making? It is a worthwhile investment if you do it properly.
When looking at a new training concept, leaders should plan a period of a few months to have the training initially and then follow with continued learning and incorporating the concepts. The repetition, application of the learning and reinforcement will go a long way to having it have a positive impact on your team. Depending on your resources a possible training schedule could look something like this:
1 to 2 days - training with your trainer and your team
One week later – follow up with a two-hour team session led by you. Reinforce the learning. Practice the concepts. Get a sense of what the staff liked, how they are applying it and what they need more follow up on. Set an ongoing plan for implementation.
One month later - after consulting with the trainer based on the information you have of how the team is applying the information, have the trainer in again or conduct an on line session with them for a half day. Really hone in on what you want and applying the tools in your organization.
Two months later – Another 2-hour session led by you with the intent of once again re-energizing your team and their use of the new information. Celebrate successes. Identify challenges. Redesign the plan for ongoing implementation if needed.
3 months later – have an hour conference call with trainer. Celebrate how the team is doing. Reinforce learning. Take it up a notch. Where else can you grow and learn? Is there another state to the learning that you are ready to start?
Ongoing – use every chance you get to talk about the new skill or concept. One-to-one supervision meetings or staff meetings are a great place bring it up, talk about it and reinforce it.
With this kind of training schedule on the same topic, skill or tool, you will apply the learning techniques that worked so well in grade school that had you learn math facts, how to spell and all the capital cities! Now, though it may be more useful things you are learning and can have your team feeling valued and that there is momentum forward.
Here's what I know about great leaders - they want more. Great leaders are always looking to grow themselves and their team. Not just because it looks good as they climb their career ladder, but also because it makes a difference. Great leaders want more because it makes a difference in the world. A yearning for more means better services and products. Achieving more means better outcomes and it creates a sense of pride and connection in individuals and organizations.
But…when does more become too much? When does the drive for more get in the way of doing great work? When wanting more interferes with your health and wellbeing and that of your team, it’s become too much. This often happens when you loose sight of your purpose. When your vision gets cloudy or overpowered by a particular goal or desire and you forget why you are doing this work, you’ve become too focused on the more.
Your purpose is why you do what you do. Some people call it a personal mission or vision statement. It connects the person you re to the work you do. To find your purpose, begin by asking yourself some questions and spend some time reflecting on your answers:
My mission is to connect people fully to themselves, their families and the world around them. I envision a world were we are truly connected. My mission drives my work. This helps me to make decisions every day about what I am doing, the choices I make and the ways in which I connect with others. When I work with individuals who get reconnected to their own body, when they start to recognize the signs of stress in their own body and simply begin to take coffee breaks, I get excited. When I am working with a team and see them truly listen and communicate and begin to see the importance of eliminating distractions around them during conversations, I realize I am on the right path.
So strive for more. Always look at where you can improve. Identify areas for growth and be clear on what needs to happen next. Zoom in sometimes and really focus on what is happening on a project, pay particular attention to a specific team member or problem, and get a real sense of what is going on. And then pull back and see how all of this fits in relation to everything else. How does what you are doing fit in with the overall organizational health, your team members, your own passions and priorities? What is the point or purpose of all of this?
If you need help identifying your purpose, download the Coaches Training Institute App on your phone and try the life purpose visualization. This might just help you achieve more and feel great about doing it.
Some days it's hard to get moving. You drag your butt out of bed and pour a coffee and hope it kicks in soon. There are days like this for sure. Days that you wish you'd had more sleep. Days that you can't wait for the weekend to start. And there are days that you wonder if there will ever be a time that you don't feel so tired. But what if one day like this turns into another and another and you just don't care anymore? How do you know when you are at the fateful burnout stage?
Exhausted, empty, depressed, sad and hopeless are ways that Tony Schwartz from The Energy Project describes the Burnout Zone. This is the place of low energy and lots of negativity. It's not a fun place to be. And it's a place you need to get help. Talk to your doctor, your Employee Assistance Program, Counsellor or Coach. Get the help you need.
Interestingly there is another place that many leaders tend to live. It is in Survival Zone. This place (and look closely for the words that describe you here) is full of impatience, irritability, frustration, anger, defensiveness, anxiety and worry. Rather than shutting down (burnout), in the Survival Zone you can still operate, you just look like and feel a "@#$(&%$#!. This is a place that leaders go to when they are feeling threatened. Often they are not consciously going there. Something happens that has them go to fight or flight mode. Their workload increases, they are struggling with an employee or there is a meeting coming up that has huge financial implications. The key to getting out or staying out of this zone is awareness.
Increase your awareness of what you are doing (snapping at people or working way too many hours), how your body is feeling (tight shoulders, headaches and ulcers) and what your internal dialogue is saying ("You idiot, why did you do that?" or "You are never going to get this all done!"). Notice when these things start to happen. Notice what not only what triggered them and but more importantly what helps minimize them. (hint: self care, wellness techniques and work life balance).
What's that you say, you can't remember the last time you were here? It's probably time you look for some of this before you do truly burnout.The Recovery Zone is what is supposed to happen on evenings, weekends and vacations. This is the place to re-energize an recharge. If you are having trouble getting here, try shutting off your phone and computer and see if it is any easier is to get here.
Do you want to know more about these four Energy Quardrants. Check out this quick video here from The Energy Project. And if you want to find out more about your self in relation to the quadrants, I encourage you to take the Energy Audit. It's a great way of identifying areas that you might need some Olympic style coaching on.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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