Leadership by Grapefruit

Years ago on vacation, I saw a t-shirt that said, “Beatings will continue until morale improves!” 

As ridiculous as that sounds, again and again, I see team leaders use this approach. They believe performance will improve when employees are directly confronted with their weaknesses, so they can get to work fixing them. 

And are surprised when training programs using this approach don’t engage participants and don’t deliver the results they really want. 

If leaders and H.R. professionals really want an engaged, transformed workforce, the programs and trainers they bring in must instead employ three crucial elements:
  1.  A focus on building confidence first:  
    • Most high performers working in complex corporate environments demand a lot of themselves. So hearing about the negative impact of their actions tends to make them defensive, dismissive, or disengaged. If instead, people increase awareness about the positive impact of their efforts on their colleagues, team, and the organization, their confidence builds. They feel good, perform better, and are more open to feedback that will help them grow.
  2. Well curated, proven tools that are sequenced to support participants’ learning and growth:
    • People like bright, shiny lures. I get that. But often organizations will jump into the latest trend because it looks easy, like a silver bullet solution. Like the “grapefruit diet” that gave quick, short-term results but increased hunger and cravings, “Leadership by Grapefruit” may get people excited, but it won’t deliver the sustainable results that lead to the collaboration, effectiveness, and innovation companies are looking for.
  3. Compelling trainers who really take the time to engage the audience:
    • No matter how amazing the content, a program only really comes alive when a trainer meets their audience where they are. If participants are burnt out trying to balance remote work and family, distracted because business is uncertain or they’ve just found out they won’t be promoted this year, it all needs to come into the work. Until participants feel heard and seen, they aren’t open to learning, and the investment is lost.
When all three of these work together in concert, amazing things can happen. At a recent delivery of my I to the 4th Power program at a Fortune 200 credit card company, the large group of 120 participants were engaged, collaborative, involved, and building community. After the program participants reported being:
  • Better able to advocate for themselves
  • Better equipped to provide their manager with strong well-thought-out recommendations on priority work
  • Better equipped to engage in and manage difficult conversations
  • And able to apply what they learned in their work
So much so, that participants give the program a 75 Net Promoter Score, 
which exceeds the typical program score at this company by 25 to 35 points.

I have seen over and over the impact of making sure these three crucial elements are included when making your selection of talent development programs. 

Your company deserves to get a return on your training investment, and this engaged, positive approach is one of the best ways I know to ensure that happens.

If you’re interested in the possibilities and impact these ideas can have on your organization, or have questions about your specific situation, reach out to schedule a time to talk. We will discuss where your organization is, where you’d like to be, and whether one of our Clear Strategy Coaching Programs could be a fit.

All my best,

Tifin Dillon - Use Astrology for Your Leadership Style

Isabelle Steichen - Millennial Free Agent

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