How to create outstanding managers faster!
Brought to you by LifeLabs Learning + Lingo Live
In this workshop, we’ll dive deep into the skills People Ops people (POPs) need to develop great managers – from motivating and inspiring their direct reports, to giving critical feedback. You’ll be inspired and ready to share these easy-to-implement leadership “hacks” and leave with a plan for accelerating the skills and development of your managers.
About LifeLabs Learning
LifeLabs Learning is the go-to leadership skills accelerator for 1,000+ innovative companies (like TED, GoPro, and The New York Times). We train managers, execs, and teams in ‘tipping point skills’ — small changes that make a big impact on performance and engagement — and help weave them into the fabric of company culture. Our learning experiences are short, fun, science-based, and immediately practical.
Here are some relevant resources you might find interesting:
The role of managers in the Great Reshuffling – Fireside Chat
5 Benefits of Leadership Training
Leading Before Speaking? Definitely a Backwards Order
From Man of Steel to Man of Teal: A New Vision for Male Leadership
Nurturing the Next Generation of Leaders: Interview with Mike Giordani
So folks, today’s event is our manager accelerated program and we’re coproducing this with Lingo Live. We actually have someone here to share a little bit more about them. So I’m going to pass it over to Tyler and then we’ll dive into our topic.
Awesome. Thanks so much, Brian. Can I get a thumbs up too? Can you hear me? Yes. Awesome. Okay, real quick, just a high level on Lingo Live. So Lingo Live, what we are is an online coaching platform and we work with managers at hyper growth companies like BigCommerce Slack and Off Zero to empower them to become better leaders in the workplace. And we do that entirely focused on one on one coaching.
And what makes us unique is our skills based coaching approach. So unlike traditional executive coaching, which oftentimes can be a bit organic and opaque, our skills based coaching model really focuses on alignment with your team, on what skills are really critical for you to develop as a leader and what are some of your strengths. And then you work with your coach to identify a specific goal and skills from our curriculum that you’re going to develop to work towards that goal. And so one of the reasons we partner with Life Labs, we’re just such a big fan of the kind of very specific approach to building manager competencies that you all take. And we think it aligns really nicely with our skills based coaching approach. So if you want to get in touch, my email is just Tyler at Lingo Live.com pretty easy.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Tyler. And folks, we’re going to be talking a lot about skills today as this really is the sort of most paramount thing when it comes to developing folks, whether it’s through one on one coaching or through skills training and learning and development. Now I want to do a few housekeeping things here so that we have a good time today and we’re set up for success. So first and foremost, everyone, go ahead and take yourself off mute for just a quick second. If you’re not in Gallery view, switch over to Gallery view and just let’s all give each other a warm hello on the count of three views.
Closest friends, right? And so folks, look, there are tons of you here today and you may have questions. We’re going to offer our contact information so that if you have any curiosity about our programs, about Lingo Live programs, please reach out to us. If you do have questions, feel free to throw those in the chat. There are a lot of you, so I may not get to all of them, but we’ll try to get to the ones that we can and take care of each other over this hour. Feel free to use the chat as a way to I got muted there. Feel free to use the chat to share resources, connect with each other, give each other kudos. If folks have great ideas or inclusions.
And please also feel free to virtually raise your hand if at any time you need that. Now, friends, my name is Brian Dan. I am one of the facilitators here at Life Labs. Brian Life Labs. I spent about ten years as an executive coach and consultants here in New York City. And I can tell you in the ten years that I’ve been doing this stuff, folks, Life Labs really does have some of the best content out there. And so I’m really excited to share a little bit under the hood about how we develop our workshops and how you might engage with those.
Krishpu, it looks like I don’t have screen sharing. Can you turn it on for me? We’re going to share a presentation here in just a second here.
There we go. We got it now. Okay. And so today’s topic, our event is called Manager Accelerator. The point of this really is to understand how to help managers become the best possible in the least amount of time. We call this speed to roll effectiveness. Now, I know that all the folks here know this, right? How valuable it can be to get our managers to become great in a short amount of time.
And this has become more important than ever in this hybrid world. One of the other things we’ll talk a little bit about today and one of my favorite concepts is this thing called minimum viable learning. For those that are in the software world, you’ll know, this is a minimum viable product. Really, what we’re going to focus in on are only the most important things that will have the biggest impact. We’ll also talk about how this informed our research as well as our development of our workshops. We are no longer all co located. Some of us are remote, some of us are hybrid.
Some of us have experienced both of those things at different times, and we don’t know how long this is going to be going on for. And so throughout this time, we’ve been keeping a really steady eye on how this has impacted the way that managers get developed. Now, what we found are three sort of important consequences in terms of how this hybrid and remote world has impacted the way managers work and the way that we develop them. And so first we got to talk about attrition, right? We all have heard the articles or read the articles about the great resignation. And attrition is happening in part because people are less connected to their culture. And so when we think about how do we keep great people, how do we keep great talent, we do that by having great managers. Managers also help to build and form the culture of any company.
And we know that culture matters now more than ever because so much of our life is tied to work. This was even precovid here. But I’ll argue that in the last two years, we’ve had to get really intentional about how we connect with folks and that the culture of our work informs the culture of our lives. Finally, many of you are part of fast growing companies, maybe even hyper growth companies. And the importance of getting individual contributors to develop and become really great employees as soon as possible is more important than ever. Managers unlock all of these things. They keep great people, they make great cultures, and they develop people in fantastic ways.
So here’s where you come in. What we know is that people, operations, people, L and D, folks, you’re the ones who helped develop these great managers. And we’ve only got so much time to do this. And so we have to focus in on the most important skill sets that are going to give us the bang for our buck. So first, I want to do exercise here, folks. Think about the people within your organization. And in particular, I want you to think about your great managers.
I’ll give us 30 seconds to think through this. But what I want us to do here is think through what makes a great manager different. And in particular, let’s think about behaviors. If you think about managers that are really confident, what do they do differently to exhibit that confidence? If you think about managers that are inclusive, what do they do to be inclusive? So it takes 30 seconds just kind of percolate on this.
Yes, folks, as these ideas are coming up, throw them in the chat.
We’re seeing some really great things here, right. So they have patience. They’re affirmative and appreciative. They’re supportive, vulnerable, inclusive. They listen. Yes. Alexa, tell us a little bit more.
Why does listening matter so much as a manager skill? Hi. I wasn’t prepared to speak. Sorry. No, it’s all good. I think that they listen. The reason why that’s so important is because people want to be heard pretty simply, and that’s really all they want. They don’t always want a reaction.
They just want to know that the person heard what they had to say. Yeah, they wanted to feel heard. It’s maybe not even about coming up with a solution, but just knowing that someone’s on my side, that someone’s there, folks, there are lots and lots of great ideas that are coming up in the chat. And one of the things that I want to share with you actually is part of our research. What we found is that there are five main things that all people seek out in their work. Now, what I’m about to share with you, we call the camps model. We use this in a few of our workshops, but ultimately it boils down to five different ways that we can engineer engagement fulfillment with our folks, giving them a sense of certainty.
Do I know what’s coming up? Do I know what I should focus on? But also helping folks deal with uncertainty. And boy, have we had to deal with lots of uncertainty over the last two years. Autonomy. How are managers helping to instill a sense of ownership with their folks? Meaning? Do I understand why things are happening while we’re coming back to the office? But do I also understand the meaning of my work and how it’s valued progress? Am I getting those really great dopamine hits, knowing that I’m making progress in my work and on my projects? And finally, social inclusion? Do I belong to this organization? Do I consider myself part of the team? Managers engineer their relationships through these five lenses to help keep people, to help create great cultures. And so what we’ll talk about here is how to behaviors that how do they create engagement, create that certainty, instill that autonomy with their folks. Now some of you why we use engineer. Yeah, let’s actually talk about that.
So the way we engineer our relationships, but also the way we engineer our workshops is through research. Right. And what we found is that Kanye and Lee and her two co founders wanted to find out what made great managers. And those great managers kept great people. So we worked with lots of innovative companies, and we asked the same question that we asked you earlier, what makes a great manager? Now, the folks that were named time and time again, we brought them into our lab and we studied what they did differently. Now from that research, we found a few main skill sets that separated great managers from average managers, but we did more than that. We really Dove into the behaviors inside of those skills that separated them out.
And so in our workshops and in our content that we share with you today, we’re going to focus on some of the findings from that research and really the small changes that have the biggest impact because life is busy. We don’t want you to worry about kind of reinventing the wheel and having these big lifts. You’re going to get a lot more with these small changes, these behaviors.
And so the question that we have to ask ourselves here in terms of how do we make this an accelerated program? Because there are so many skills and there are so many possible behaviors out there, we have to focus in on the ones that will give us the biggest bang for a buck in the shortest amount of time. And so in terms of figuring out how to build these programs, how to make ones that will engage and enlighten our managers, we’ll talk about three things today. First, how do we pick our focus? How do we understand what skills matter most? We’ll then talk about what we call be used. These are behavioral units. Essentially, a behavioral unit is a thing that you can practice within a skill. Now I’ll tell you more about how to determine those things, but we’ll actually talk about two of the behavioral units that we teach in our workshops that you can then share it with your folks. And then finally we’ll talk about how to set up programs well so that they’re successful.
All right. So first, how do we know what to work on? What are the skills that matter most? Well, in terms of figuring out our focus here, one of the other findings that we got from our research was that great managers excelled in four main areas. They were great coaches. They gave incredible and clear feedback. They understood how to align on what matters most prioritize. And they brought all of these skills together, plus more in their one on one conversations with their team. It seems to have headaches here.
So I think this makes sense to folks. You understand that coaching matters, feedback matters. And so in terms of our program here, our sort of like benchmark program we call Core One, and we cover all four of these topics with manager cohorts. We start with coaching here because it illustrates one of the most important behavioral units that we teach, which is asking great questions. Questions are what we call a tipping point skill. So when we ask great questions, we are actually improving not just our ability to be coaches, but how we give feedback, how we understand where priorities are. And so week to week, we actually build in learning from the previous lesson to expand learning and focus in on those behavioral units.
So what are the behavioral units? What are the things that matter most? Let’s actually start with coaching here. So if you were to guess what one of the behavioral units of coaching is, what might you say? Let’s give some ideas in the chat. Active listening. Yes. What else? Yes. Asking questions. I love that low ego.
Yes. Kim, I think you’ve taken a Life Labs workshop. Q Stepping is what we call it here. And I’ll talk more about why we call it cue stepping. Yes. Not giving the answers. Giving feedback.
Yeah. These are all components of coaching. And so let’s first talk about this sort of science of practice here. So whenever anyone’s trying to gain a skill, we all know that practice makes progress. This makes sense for things like riding a bike or playing an instrument. That’s the skill. The same is true for leadership skills, things like coaching and feedback.
And so first we identify the skill coaching. Once we pick that skill, we then have to break it up into these behavioral units, which folks, you are sharing some incredible views in the chat, things like playbacks, checking for understanding. And so we pick the most important behavioral units. And then you have folks practice those behavioral units. Practicing those things will eventually create feedback cycles, and folks will understand and know those skills deeper and deeper as they continue to practice. They’ll also make adjustments that will help them navigate how these skills show up in their work environment. If folks want to learn more about practice and habit science.
I highly encourage folks to read Grit by Angela Duckworth and Atomic Habits by James Clear. These are two great sort of deep dive resources into understanding this. And Life Labs also has a book. We have a book called The Leader Lab, which explains the seven most important be use and the eight most important skills that the best managers show time and time again. So we have our own resource that we can offer you as well. Okay. So this is how we know our focus.
We pick those skills that matter most, break them down into behavioral units, and then practice those behavioral units.
Yes. I love that folks are showing some love for The Leader Lab folks. It’s a really great read. It’s also if you do decide at some point to work with Life Labs, it’s a great complementary piece to deepen learning for folks that are in cohorts. So if you have folks that are going through core one or core two, we highly encourage folks to have the Leader Lab as a supplemental material. Okay. So once we have the focus, we have to identify those be used.
What I’m going to do now is share with you two of our most important behavioral units that we offer in our workshops. These are ones that are specifically tied to coaching and feedback. However, these same views show up in many of our workshops, and we change the practice and context to make them make more sense of that skill. So for coaching, we’ll talk about Q stepping. It’s our way of talking about asking questions and feedback. We’ll talk about the Blurring, and we’ll talk about more about what that is. And I’ll share some insights on how we actually practice that in the workshop.
So first coaching. Now, many of you talked about how asking great questions is a way that we can enable and improve our ability to coach. When we were doing our research, we wanted to be able to differentiate average managers from great managers, and we wanted to keep it pretty simple. So we counted we took groups of average managers and great managers, and all we did was put them into rooms with direct reports or colleagues in a 15 minutes time period and counted how many questions they ask. And so let’s do some guesswork here, folks. How many questions do you think the average manager group asked in a 15 minutes time period? Let’s get some numbers in the chat.
Yeah. Folks, if we were playing the prices right, many of you would be the winner here because the answer is two. On average, two questions were asked in that 15 minutes time period. Okay. So now we’re going to do another round here. How many questions do we think is a great manager group asked in that same time period? 400. I love it.
The answer is actually ten, right. So many of you are on the same page here. But the great managers asked more questions. Now at this point, you might be wondering, Brian, why don’t we just call it asking questions? Why do we call it Q stepping? We wanted to add in some physical elements to this skill here. And really what we know is that managers tend to step into advice mode when something happens, when a report has a problem, or if they’re trying to figure something out with a coworker, they give advice or they tell. And so to physicalized this, we want to call this Q stepping to really help people in their bodies feel what it’s like to step into question mode. And so I’ll give you all a little bit of a mini mission.
Here your mission for the next week. Try to ask one more question than you normally would, or if you’re already asking a lot of questions, share this mission with your managers or with your colleagues. See how they might be able to add in just one more question than normally would. Now we have to also practice this year. Right? So in the workshop, we present a scenario where a direct report is coming to their manager. With a scenario like this, we’ve got a big project on their plate, and they’re not quite sure how to handle it. Now what we know from our research is that the average manager is going to tell they’re going to give advice.
And so this is a coaching opportunity, folks. Let’s just get some questions rolling in the chat. If a director of yours asks you this question, what might you ask in response to help coach them through this, to help coach them through this challenge or this problem? What are your goals? What outcomes are you trying to achieve? What do you want to accomplish? How do you think it should be handled? What have you already considered? What are your options? Yeah. So these are some really fantastic questions. I’m going to highly encourage you to steal from each other. And so when you see a question that you love show up in the chat, go ahead and write it down. And so we want to get a little bit deeper here in terms of why this matters.
Right. And so in the workshop, we also help folks understand the benefit of asking questions. Now when we ask questions, we make sure we’re on the same page as the folks that we’re supporting. And maybe the problem that they’re presenting is actually a much deeper problem. We can also help them clarify their thinking, though. So oftentimes when folks are coming to us, they’re stressed they have way too much on their plate and they’re not really clear on what the problem actually is. And so by pausing the conversation and asking some questions, we can help them have a better understanding of what they’re actually dealing with.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, asking questions allows for us to help people take ownership over their problems and over their roles.
And so let’s Zoom out here, right. Not even with this scenario in general. But what are some of your go to powerful questions. Let’s start that in the chat as well. What are some of your favorite questions to ask folks? Tell me more. Yes.
And what else, Tamika, would you be willing to share? What have you found to be the benefit of and what else? Not sure if everyone wants to hear me. I think the benefit of and what else? It just kind of prompts additional thinking. So I was recently in this project management course. It’s kind of like The Five. Why? Okay, tell me more. And what else? It just kind of prompts more conversation where me as a thought partner or manager aren’t jumping to solve but trying to facilitate that conversation. So I like the value of it because it gives the person the opportunity just to kind of dig a little bit deeper and not be at surface level.
Big plus, one of the other things that you mentioned, and I just want to kind of play that to folks as well is that oftentimes because we’re so rushed, we take the first answer that we hear the benefit of asking. And what else is that? We’re creating a series of options, whether it’s options on the way forward, options on what the actual biggest obstacle is. And so we’re helping folks really expand their thinking and also simultaneously narrow the conversation as we focus in on the ones that matter. And so, folks, you’ve added so many great questions in the chat. I want to offer just a few more here. And so on your screen, you’ll see a list of some of our favorite questions. Now let me look through this.
So I’m going to share with you two of my favorite questions. First, how can we systematize this? One of the reasons why I love this question in particular is that the more that we can create automation or process in our work, the more time we create for our people to develop themselves, to dive into learning to practice some of these buzz. I love that question. I also love that if you had a magic wand question, because they’re going to help people get out of their own way, right out of their own belief systems, limiting beliefs sometimes. And so these are two questions that I definitely like to add into the mix. Now I want to give just like one more plug here for Pops United. This is a great place to share ideas on questions.
And so imagine you’re having to figure out how to get people open to the idea of coming back into the office and you’re looking for some questions that you might leverage to coach people through coming back into the office once it’s okay, too. Yes, Melissa big plus one to the coaching habit, actually, one of the questions. So Michael Bungie Stanier is the person who wrote that book. He talks about the seven power questions. And what else is one of those power questions? Is it pronounced Yad? Am I saying that right? Yes, correct. Can you say a little bit more about what you mean when you say it’s not about asking powerful questions? By asking questions powerfully? Yeah. Sorry, I’m off camera, but basically it’s not about kind of template questions.
I noticed that back to the point of listening, when you listen, you know intuitively what questions you should ask. I couldn’t agree more. And so to this .1 of the other behavioral units that we talk about in our coaching skills workshops is something called playbacks. You all may know that as mirroring or paraphrasing, but essentially it’s really deep listening where we play back to the person what we’ve heard them say. And when we get in the habit of doing that, it’s much easier for us to ask questions from a place of power. Right. That we’re really listening to those folks.
The summary that I want you all to share with your team and your managers here is first, that great managers ask more questions and so they can role model being great managers by cuestepping. I also want you all to think about some of the questions that you’d like for your managers to be asking more or maybe some of the questions that you would like to ask more. And when we train managers and coaching specifically around these BU’s, we allow for them to be the best managers possible. The last thing I’ll throw out here is any way that you can systematize, asking great questions, the better. And so whatever resources you can create, we also have some resources that we can share with you. However, you can make it easier for your folks to ask great questions, the better. And so that’s coaching.
I want to also mention one of the BU’s that we talk about in our feedback skills workshop. And this Bu that we’ll talk about, De Blurring, comes up in a lot of our workshops. Now, before I tell you what it is, folks, let me know in the chat. What do you think De Blurring is? What is De Blurring? Making it specific, clarifying, being explicit. Yes. Yes, Kendall, I love that’s. Your favorite for you.
It’s one of mine, too. Taking away the fuzzy, what a good transition. And so, folks, oftentimes the way we communicate is pretty fuzzy. We think we’re being clear. And this shows up a lot in how we communicate expectations, how we share feedback, even in things like job descriptions. Right. We think we’re clear, but ultimately, it’s not actually clear to everyone who’s on the receiving end of that communication.
And so Deep Blurring is really about creating clear communication where everyone is on the same page. We understand what it means. And so in our feedback skills workshop, as well as some other workshops, we go through some practice rounds where we first help folks identify blur words. And so just to be clear, here, blur words, the way that Life labs define them are words that can have different definitions depending on who you ask. And so, folks, if we look at this example here, this feedback you’re coming across as unprofessional. What’s the blur word in this example? And let’s hear some ideas in the chat. What’s the blur word in this example? Yes, unprofessional, folks, professional.
Unprofessional is my somehow favorite and least favorite blur word. And yes, Amanda, because what the heck does it mean if I were to ask each of you to share with me what your definition of professional is, we’re going to get 423 different answers. And so first, great managers mentally underline those blur words. And some of the ways they do that is actually by asking themselves and others questions to gain clarity. So this is where question becomes a tipping point skill. Right? And so we may ask ourselves, hey, how am I defining professional? If I were to look at the situation as if I were a camera, what behavior can I point to? What am I hearing or seeing that if anyone else were hearing or seeing the same things, they would say, yes, that thing is happening. And so we take managers through a process to create really clear, data driven feedback, and it ends up looking something more like this.
You wore pajamas during the client meeting. Now, what’s great about this is one it’s objective. There is no chance for misinterpretation. Yes, it is comfy. Right. And maybe in the Zoom world, that’s okay, right. As long as it’s not on screen.
Yes, it is. Manager jargon. No worries, Andrew. If you’re wearing comfy pajamas, please continue wearing comfy jamas. But really, this is about helping managers feel equipped and clear about either repeatable or diminishable behaviors. How are we letting folks know exactly what to keep doing or to stop doing? And so one of the things that we do in our workshops is actually put people into breakout pairs, and we have them talk to each other about things they care about and their partner asks them clarifying questions. Sujada I’m going to say something about that in just a minute here.
And I’ll voice that over. So in the Feedback Skills workshop, we have them practice be blurring with each other, asking those clarifying questions to really get to the heart of the matter. And so Sudana asked about SBIA. I actually know as SBI. So I might ask you what the A stands for? FBI stands for situation behavior impact. And so some of what we talk about in our action. Great.
What we talk about in our Feedback Skills workshop is in the same area. Right. So we want to identify the situation, the behavior, for sure. We have a section on impact. We have two other behavioral units, though, that we add into the mix. One called the micro yes, which is essentially asking a permission based question before engaging in feedback to make it more brain friendly and more like a conversation versus a monologue. We also talk about the importance of asking questions during feedback, in part to elicit action forward.
Right. So we ask questions like, how do you want to use this feedback for the future? Or what can we do differently going forward? Right. And so in the feedback skills workshop, we talk about deep learning, but also the importance of impact. The importance of micro. Yeses. And illustrating questions within our feedback. And so to summarize here in our feedback skills workshop, we have managers practice noticing those blur words and then defining the data points to show examples in action.
Now one of the things I’ll offer here, folks, is starting after today, I’m going to encourage you to look out for blur words, a really great shortcut here for what blur words are. Adjectives, adjectives tend to be blur words. And so look at your job descriptions, look at your performance management, look at any documentation that you share with your folks. Where could it be 10% more clear about what we mean when we say X-Y-Z? All right. So, folks, those are just two of the many behavioral units that we talk about in our workshops. But that’s not the only reason why you’re here. You’re also here to understand how to set your programs up well.
And so, folks, we’re going to take this last like 20 minutes or so to really dive into how to set up programs. Well. And in this section here, I’ll be pulling for some thoughts or questions from you all, because here’s the thing. You all set up programs. So there’s a strong likelihood that you have some great insight to share here as well. So at this point, we’ve worked with over a thousand different companies over almost a decade. And one of the most important things that we know is programs are most effective when we start with managers.
Now, my guess is that many of you know this the reason why managers are such a great starting point here is where their influence is happening. They can influence up. They can also influence their team and their individual contributors and each other. And so whenever you’re trying to create culture change or climate change within your organization, manager training is essential. And so I’m curious here, who here has any sort of additional thoughts on how starting with managers has improved the way you set up your programs? Let’s hear some ideas in the chat. Leading from the front. Yeah.
Sujata, would you be willing to share a little bit more about your personal experience with how leading from the front has improved the way that you have been able to develop your programs? Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for this opportunity.
So just to give you a bit of a context, I run a sales team. I work in the fundraising business, and I’m just giving you an example from something that’s happened pretty recently. So we’re on this campaign called Children Believe and pretty much a tough campaign to sell, to be honest, and get donations from. But I think for the majority of my team, I feel that they can tend to be a little passive. So it’s like calling it a bad day if you’re not getting any deals in the first 2 hours. Right. But I think leading from the front for me has been extremely beneficial for the team because we had the campaign sinking for the whole week.
And yesterday, myself and my fellow manager, we hop on the dial. We just do all like practicing the good habits you need to have no shortcuts. Like if you need to objection handle a donor, you need to do it for three hard nose before you hang up. So having those kind of implementing those good habits and leading from the front, like when the two of us ended up with three or four deals in 1 hour, it just tells the team that, hey, you don’t have an excuse for not producing anything at all when you’re on the team for 6 hours straight. When we can get the same thing in 2 hours. Yeah. And so there’s a few important things I want to double click on here.
So one, managers create a space or have the potential to create a space to have a growth mindset. Right. That when things are not working out or when we’re having a really hard time, that that’s a learning opportunity. What I’m also hearing is that managers create spaces for learning extractions to really make it explicit about what we should be taking from this time. And so the last thing I’m hearing here is that managers are signal setters right, that they ultimately help people see how to show up here.
You know what, Sarah? Let’s talk about this. Can you share more about what you wrote here in the chat starting with Execs is how you have started your programs.
Can you hear me? Yes.
I feel like if you have not given Execs some sense of the curriculum, what you’re trying to do to help managers change, they can’t support it the right way. So even if you don’t put them through the exact same thing, I think they need to have a sense of where you’re going. So both you have their buy in and they’ve done some of the work themselves so they can speak to the challenges of making those kinds of changes themselves. And they can be on the lookout for changes in their subordinates behavior that is in the right direction, that they can support, recognize, call out.
Those are some really great insights here I can share with you for my consulting days. Like, there were times that we did start with Execs. And so I think the thing I’ll throw out here is one buy in. Wow. Does that matter? Right. And so if the sort of entry point for getting your managers training is to start with execs, then maybe that’s where you start. The other thing I’ll throw out here is that it depends on the organization.
It depends on the culture, it depends on the size. The one thing I will share here, especially for folks who are part of larger organizations, one additional benefit to starting with managers is their end. Their sphere of influence tends to be bigger. Execs tend to have less people that they’re having daily touch points with. Now if your organization is not like that and your execs are having lots of touch points with lots of folks, then maybe that’s who you start with. And so really, folks, what I want you to think about is where is the sphere of influence going to allow for me for the fastest growth or the fastest development? That’s the question to ask here.
And so once we’ve determined where we want to start our learning, we then have to message the program, we have to message the training. And so one of the benefits around messaging, the training is that it saves time in order for folks to understand why the training is happening and it creates alignment and motivation. And so, folks, what are some of your pro tips when it comes to messaging, the training programs that you’re creating for anyone in your organization, what do you think are the most important components of a good message, the outcome, the return on the investment? What’s in it for me? Yeah. Matt, can you say more? How have you communicated the wisdom factor or the what’s in it for me in your messaging around programs? Yeah, for sure. When we talk about the what’s in it for me, we’re really just kind of looking at taking an empathic approach towards our messaging. So it’s easy to state what is the benefit to the organization? What is the benefit to our end results. But where we tend to want to start is where are people coming from? Why would they want to be part of this program? How is this going to help them grow and develop in their career? So kind of looking at all of those aspects, but making sure that we include that as part of our initial messaging.
Yeah, I really appreciate that. And ultimately, what that’s kind of speaking to you here is that we’re helping them see how this gives them a sense of meaning in their work. Right. It’s really addressing that camps aspect. And it looks like there’s some love for someone in the chat here. I’m not seeing what Mihail said. Laura, what was it that Mihail said that really connected with you? Michael said to tie the oh, sorry, I misspelled it wasn’t Mihail.
It’s Michael. So tie the whip up to their career development. And I think if you can do that, if you can make it relevant to their career and not just their career, maybe to their job as well. Like how will this ultimately impact them at work? How will it impact their relationships with their reports? How will this help them in terms of time, benefit down the road, etc. For we are asking to take them away from all of the tasks that occupy their brain space and their calendar to go to training. And so we have to make it relevant to them in the now and in the future. I really liked what Michael said.
Thank you for sharing some of that additional context here. One of the things that I sort of heard and what you are saying is that we can help them see how this is going to produce some of their pains. Right? Exactly. And let’s face it, I actually just put a post up on LinkedIn today or sorry, on Medium today about managers are burnt out. They’re feeling the pain like big time right now. And they are also expected to pick up the slack because in hiring, etc. You know, with all that going on, hybrid workplaces, remote workplaces, employees, mental health, their own mental health.
I mean, there’s so much raining down on them and they’re expected to keep all the wheels turning at the same pace or faster than they were before. So we need when we’re saying, hey, you take some time out for professional development, we need to make it worth their while so that they see why they should be doing this. But that also sounds like it’s helping them see the long term benefit and not just the short term. Right. Because in the short term, what they’ll see is like I’m losing 2 hours. What do you mean? Where in the long run they’re going to actually gain so much more time as they practice these skills? I really appreciate that. You know what it also sounds like I’d like to hear this from folks.
Is it’s not just about messaging, the program, but messaging being a deliberately developmental organization. Right. That development is how we do things. It’s how we grow, it’s how we support you. It’s how we invest in you. And so messaging can’t just be for the program itself. It has to be part of how you do things.
Now, there was a question here in the chat.
What if I don’t have any proof in the pudding. Andrew essentially wrote here. And so folks, let’s share some resources here in the chat for Andrew, if you haven’t put a program together, how might you help create buy in from your managers but also from your execs. Right. To help them see if this really does make a difference and it’s worthwhile I’ll share with you also, research is really great. Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Gallup, these are all companies or sources that are constantly collecting or surfacing research about how development improves metrics, how it improves retention, which is like a good thing right now. And so, yeah, folks keep sharing some of these resources or some of these avenues to learn about where we might be able to kind of sell the program a little bit more.
Yes, Jennifer, I also really appreciate this. Right. Like folks want to be developed. And so this all might not actually be that hard. And if you’re getting some resistance, folks, you have a question or you have a skill that we learned today questions. And so ask those questions, queue stuff with your folks. If you’re seeing resistance from them in terms of taking development, they’ll give you the answers.
They’ll tell you what to do next. So in addition to this and some of you actually already wrote this in the chat here. And so one of the things that we can do in addition to our messaging and within our messaging is link the training back to their job. In other words, how does this training inform competencies that they’re expected to be Masters in? How does it inform what’s expected of them as managers? And so what we see a lot of people have folks doing in their messaging, but also in their performance management and saying, hey, you’re expected to coach your folks. It’s expected that you ask for feedback on a regular basis. It’s important that you’re having regular career conversations with your folks. For those of you that have competency models as a part of your performance management matrix, it’s really easy to tie not just our skills, but like any skills training program, it’s really easy to tie those things to competencies.
One competency framework that I did a lot with in my consulting days was the Lomenter. There’s another name in there if anyone knows what the other name is, someone’s last name. Yes. It’s Corn Theory. That’s actually a better resource. So Corn Theory uses the Loman Jerk 37 core principal. Competencies and competencies are essentially buckets of skills.
And then you have skills and you have behaviors within those skills. And so we can help you, our consultants and also any good training programs should be able to help you connect back any workshop to competencies that your folks are expected to have. Finally. And I think this is actually one of the differentiating factors with how we approach learning versus other organizations. It’s really important to understand how to pace your work and literally how long any given workshop should be. And so when we were building a workshop, we learned that one 2 hours is really the Max amount of time that folks can stay present within a workshop and retain information, because here’s the thing. Retention dips by about 80% for however long after a workshop, we’ve taken something.
And so it’s not just about keeping it short and sweet. It’s also about having short bursts of learning. And so the way we design and actually, Gianna, I’ll say a little bit more about that in just a moment here. The way that we design our core series is we typically have a week to two weeks break in between our workshops, and then so if coaching and feedback are the first two, we have coaching. Let’s say today, a week from now, same group gets together and visits feedback. But before we start feedback, we do a flash review of the behavioral units of coaching, because the more frequently that a brain hears the same message, the more likely it is to stick.
And so let’s talk about this virtual versus in person here.
I don’t have any hard research from the last two years in terms of what the difference is virtual versus remote in terms of 2 hours. What I can share with you here is I think I’ve actually found it easier for folks to participate in a two hour session, especially for folks who tend to be more introverted or more reclusive when they’re in the comfort of their own home.
I think it also depends on your team and the dynamic of what their workload looks like. What we have found is 2 hours is great because it allows for enough practice time as well. And so if you’re doing like a 1 hour session, it’s really hard to do practice in that time. And Melissa, I could not agree more. 2 hours of someone talking at you is not a workshop. So one of the things that we’ve really developed a lot of in all of our sessions is tons and tons of practice time. We didn’t really do that today because I want to kind of give you an insight into how to make an accelerated manager program.
But a good training workshop should have, I’m going to say at least like 30% of the time, if not 50% of the time should be dedicated to practice and even more time in addition to that, with reflection after practice. Right. Adults really need to reflect on their learning and figure out where they might use that in their day to day to make it relevant as well as useful.
I’m going to just throw this out here, folks. I’ve been facilitating for ten years now. I never thought I would like remote learning.
I was wrong. There are so many great benefits to remote and hybrid learning. People get to be from the comfort of their own home. They get to learn in the ways that make sense for them. Breakout rooms are really incredible. We also have access to all this technology now that allows for all different types of learning. And so if folks have been hesitant to engage in learning over the last two years because it’s remote, I can tell you that so much great learning has happened over these last two years.
Yes, folks, I really appreciate the line of agreement here. And so, folks, we have a few more minutes here. I want to open up the floor now. Right. And so when you think about setting up programs and specifically programs that will accelerate your manager’s abilities. What questions are coming up or what concerns are coming up? Cynthia, you wrote me a private message here. Can I share it with the class, so to speak? Absolutely.
Yeah. Yeah. So Cynthia wrote this really incredible thing here that honestly, I should have said as well, which is that the benefit of hybrid and remote learning is that we get to bring people from all different areas of the world together to learn together. And so you can have folks who are in the UK, in Canada, in Texas, in Guatemala all together learning at the same time, which yes, Stephanie, it also gives us access to different backgrounds and different kinds of people and allows for us to sort of learn more about each other.
Yeah. Andrew, can you explain a little bit more about your thinking on the time limit thing? Can you hear us, Andrew? Yeah, I can hear you. Can you hear me? We can hear you now. Okay. Any damn things plugged in, I never know how to work my computer. So basically, this just happened to me today where people want a four minute video clip that’s going to change their life. And I want that, too.
Don’t get me wrong.
I wish that we were just like upfront and normalized. That behavioral change, relationship knowledge. This isn’t the Matrix where someone shoves a metal Rod in your head. It takes some time. I don’t think if someone has that answer, too, I would take that. So I just wish that we were more OK with saying, hey, as a team, collectively, we believe in your development. And that’s not just here’s five grand for tuition reimbursement it’s.
Hey, here’s 5 hours a month for your learning, and we’re going to pay for that time. I love that. And if your organization has that to spare, please do that. When we talk about limiting learning to 2 hours, it’s not like per month or at a given time. It’s just like within that particular learning session. And really what it boils down to is how much information are they retaining and the information that they’re retaining, are they able to easily practice it right after I’m seeing some ideas about going to the gym here. Right.
And so essentially, we’re giving people exercises that they can practice after that 2 hours. It has to continue after that 2 hours. Otherwise it’s not going to stick. And if you have the capacity to give folks many learning sessions over a given month, I could not vote up more for that if it were possible.
Okay, so I got a question here in the chat with our managers holding so much trauma from the pandemic life, how can we ask more of them? And so for the person that wrote this in here, I think this comes down to messaging. Right? We can message development and training as asking something of them, or we can message it as something that we’re giving to them. And here’s the reality here. We can look at Mazda’s hierarchy of needs. If your folks are not getting basic needs met, if they’re not sleeping, if they’re not eating because work is too busy, you got to start there, right? They’re not going to be able to learn and actualize themselves if things are actually that hectic. And so what I would share with all of you here is investigate first. Right.
Figure out what the things that are getting in the way are for development, if it’s messaging, if it’s circumstances, because I can share with you. Just like personally from my years of experience, when managers feel like that this is something they have to do that’s expected of them. Right. And obviously, we have to expect things from our managers, but that can feel heavy. And in the world that we’re living in right now, heavy is like the last thing that we need. Someone also asked about facilitation skills. So one thing I offer here is Lifelong has a workshop called Delivery Skills where we teach facilitation, we teach folks how to facilitate.
And so if you’d like to learn more about that and any of our workshops, we’re going to give an email in the chat for how you can connect with one of our consultants or one of our program leads to learn more about that. I just also highly encourage folks to get nerdy. Right. So in whatever way you learn best, whether it’s through workshops, through reading, through YouTube, there’s so much stuff out there that can teach you some really great things. And so I encourage you to just not worry about the modality as much as just doing it.
Let me just check to see if there are other thoughts here, folks. You’re likely going to have some more questions. I’m a big nerd, so that’s one of my go to folks. I want to just kind of wrap us up here so that we all leave here with a shared understanding. We’re going to give an email after today as well. So if folks have questions, please feel free to reach out. I’ll also stick around for an additional few minutes once we’re done in case folks have more questions.
But to summarize, here what we’ve covered today. We’ve talked about knowing the focus. How do we determine what skills matter most once we’ve determined those skills? We identified the behaviors that inform those skills. Practice, practice, practice. And then we talked about some of the ways that we can set programs up for success. So what’s next for you? Well, a few things here. First, practice some of these Buz.
I encourage folks to start Q stepping all the time, really practicing deblurring and put the observer lens on. Start looking at what are some of the other behavioral units that you might want your folks to practice. Also, if you would like our support in developing your managers and you’d like to partner with us. We have lots of different programs, whether it’s for your managers or for execs as well. And we can help also teach you how to optimize your touch points and even shift the culture. If you work with us, you’ll be paired with a consultant who has a depth and breadth of experience. And so it’s not just the workshop that you’re getting.
You’re getting literally a sea of experts. Now, I have one final request here before we end our time together today. And this is really important. I need your feedback. And so, folks, in a moment here, I’ll put a link in the chat. It’s just lifelabsfeedback comEVENT. This takes less than two minutes.
It’s really important that I hear from all of you because this is how we continue to grow ourselves, myself as a facilitator, but also at the event itself. And so please take the next two minutes. Give us some feedback list. Now, what stood out to you? What did you like? And maybe any other feedback you have. And folks, continue like sharing resources with each other, share each other’s emails. I’ll give us a few minutes to do feedback, and then I’ll open it up to any last questions that folks have. Yes, Kuspu just shared the Slack channel, the Pops United channel in the chat.
We can add it a few more times as well.
Yeah. And folks, don’t worry about being lurkers in the Slack channel, even if you’re, like, in a program and you’re not working full time just yet, or if you’re working in a program, it’s for everybody, right? Anyone who is a people person. This is your space for my friend who just sent me a private message. Let’s hang tight here if you have a few minutes, because I want to be able to address this.
Folks, once you’re done with feedback, I don’t want to hold anyone up. It’s Thursday at 06:00 P.m., at least here in the city for some of you, it might be like very early or very late in the morning. And so once you’re done with feedback, you’re free to go. Let me just one last time here. Put the email for us. If you need training or have any questions, it’s email@example.com. Okay, so, friend, I won’t name you.
I’ll kind of restate your question here in just a second. I just want to make sure folks are able to say their goodbyes or share their contact info before we all leave.
And so I’ll do my best here to answer this question. This one is a little hard without digging in a little bit further. So let me see the question first. How do you help address your own helplessness and hopelessness when trying to implement development training? My team, from the top down, is 100% unresponsive and uninterested, and you’re not going to speak. Okay. And so, man, that’s tough and real. Folks, I’m going to stop sharing my screen here in just a moment.
Please take down the email address if you need it.
Okay. I’ll assume everyone has it now. It’s hello at Lifelove Learning.com.
Okay, so first, before I share with you my thoughts and ideas on working through your own helplessness and helplessness and launching programs, I want to hear from you all. And so let’s do this. Actually, let’s do some virtual hand raising. I’d like to open up to anyone who’s willing to share their own workarounds or their own tools in dealing with hopelessness and helplessness in developing your programs, to virtually raise your hand, go to where it says Reactions at the bottom of your screen, and you’ll see a little button that says Raise hand. Yes, Cathy, I’d love to hear from you. Tell us, what are your thoughts? Hi. Sorry, I think I know where the mute was by now.
Look, I always miss it, so please don’t worry. Okay. I’ll turn my camera onto Greetings from Minnesota.
One thing that has kind of become my mantra, especially over the last two years, is control the controllables. If you were to imagine a circle in that go through the practice of writing down what can I control, and outside the circle is what you can’t control and just got to stick with it, it really helps to kind of clear the blur it for yourself a little bit about what is something that I can do and what can’t I do and being okay with that.
I know for me, that’s been super helpful getting through handling the frustrations of making a change. And so I just thought I’d share that advice. Really appreciate that. Nikolai, let’s go to you next.
Okay. I’m going to keep my camera off, if that’s okay. That’s fine. All right. So I think making sure that everyone has the tools needed to actually achieve and complete the goals. It sounds extremely basic, but I’ve seen multiple examples. I’m not even in leadership role officially, but from my employee perspective, I’ve seen so many times where expectations are set or QA, for instance, in a corporate environment has changed, and then there aren’t training materials to back up the change because the environment is moving so fast.
So you’re essentially changing the approach to the job but not giving people the tools to adapt to the change. So creating the materials, even if they are going to eventually be obsolete, is an essential part of the job, but something that can be easily written off. I couldn’t agree more. And actually, I want to split track this a little bit because I think ultimately you’re getting to two really important things. So one of the ways that we can sort of sell execs on the importance of this training is that it allows for them to be utilized and ultimately be profitable as quickly as possible in an ever changing environment. And so I’m going to guess that at least half of the companies here have had really big shifts over these last two years. Some may have come very close after another.
And so if you want your folks to be able to keep up with that pace, we have to train them. Otherwise we’re never going to catch up. What I’m also hearing, though, and this is maybe getting a little bit meta here is helping give your execs the resources that they need in order to successfully make the decision around training. And so what that might mean is understanding how they make decisions. What are the most important things that they’re thinking through whenever they make any decision in the organization? But also what are the things that they need to know about your training or an external training program that would really help them see how this helps them so much? The other thing I’ll throw out here is that there is sometimes Gray area between being influential and being convincing. Convincing is like, I’m going to push this idea on you, influencing is creating motivation and buy in for folks to try something or to go try out your idea. And so one of the things that we found in our research and there’s a workshop called Influential Communications that we talk about this is the importance of asking questions.
And so a few questions you might ask your execs are, can you tell me a little bit more about what would make this a priority or what makes this not a priority? The unresponsiveness thing, man, that’s tough. Let me actually open up to the floor here, folks. When your execs are just literally not responding to your ideas, to your program proposals, how do you navigate that? Yeah, let’s hear from Vania. Hi there. So I feel like advocating is important. If the sea level is not responsive, are the managers willing to take the training? Are people actually genuinely interested? And if you’ve gotten their buy in, they could also advocate. And then if you have a lot more people than just the HR people person advocating for this, I feel like people at the top are more willing to listen.
Yeah. What I’m hearing in that is like buy in by numbers. Exactly. Which I really appreciate. Yeah. We do have a workshop called Leading Change, which is another great sort of supplemental material for you all in terms of helping your leaders change the way they think about training. Something else I’ll throw out there is the importance of advocacy.
And so if you can’t get in touch with folks, is there someone who has a relationship with them who could advocate for you and for the program on your behalf? Now I’ll be clear here, deep blur with them what your goals are, what you’re asking for so that they don’t misrepresent it, especially if they’re not familiar with your program. But sometimes we have to leverage our network in order to get access to those points. And this is especially true in large organizations.
For my friends who wrote that question, please feel free to reach out to us if you need any more support here. We’re here to help folks. I want to open up. Are there any other kind of last questions that folks want to ask? And actually just go ahead and feel free to raise your hand if you have a question.
Yeah, we have two questions here. And so let’s take these two questions, and then I’ll wrap this up. So, Nikolay, what’s your question? For someone who’s never been in a leadership role, and the prospect of failure because you’re in a position of authority and responsibility is just a fact, since everyone else seems to be much more experienced. How did you face that and what were some of your solutions? So I just want to make sure I’m answering the right question. Can you clarify what specifically are you trying to navigate in terms of facing the challenge of the problem? Fear of failure, I think. Yeah.
One, I think the book Mindset by Carol Dweck is a really good place to learn about how normal fear of failure is. She popularized the term growth mindset and also fixed mindset. Many of us in many parts of our life have a fixed mindset where we believe that if I’m not good, it’s just how things are or failure is bad. And so ultimately, what this is about and this is not just for you, this is also for your leaders. Here one, are we in a culture that promotes growth mindset? In other words, are we helping people see that everything is a learning opportunity, that truly there is no failure and that we can always improve and be better if you’re not in a growth culture? Mindset, that can be really tough here. And so some of this is also, like internal work I can share with you. I have failed many times in my career.
And when I was first starting in coaching and training, I was very concerned about failure until a mentor of mine shared something really important, which is, Brian, your failures are going to always feel worse and feel harder than your successes, but they’ll also help you get to your successes more frequently and more often. And so this is also about giving yourself some forgiveness, giving yourself some leeway, and maybe finding those, like, safe risks where you’re just doing enough so that you’re going outside of your comfort zone, but maybe not risking so much that you might lose your job. We don’t want that. That’s not worth it.
It takes time. I still have moments where I feel failure coming in. Today, I was like, oh, man, there’s a lot of people here. I hope I don’t mess up.
Sorry. For the record, you spoke clearly. You provided a lot of great information. I took their own notes, and I look forward to rewatching and picking up on things that I may have missed. Thank you.
As far as trial and error. Yeah, it’s the advice that no one likes to hear but you just got to sit down and do it. So thank you. Growth isn’t comfy.
Maybe that’s the last thing I’ll say here. Growth isn’t comfy. Kushu are we able to send the recorded session to folks? Awesome. All right. So folks, in the follow up email you’ll get from us, we’re going to share this session. Folks, I wish you nothing but the best here. Please please reach out to us if you need our support or help and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Bye. Have a great day, everyone stay safe out there.