The Ingredients For An Amazing Training Experience

I was nominated by my management to attend an off-site training the last couple of days.  The topic was Performance Based Presentations.  I thought, oh goody, another class on PowerPoint.  I could not have been more wrong.

The content of the course was absolutely amazing.  I got some great strategies for both preparing and delivering presentations in different scenarios.  In the next few weeks I have a few important presentations that this will no doubt make a difference in not only my success, but also help my self-confidence.

The moral of this story though isn’t about this great course.¬† A manager I had at one point had a theory about training.¬† There are three value propositions for training: getting away from the daily grind at the office to focus, the people you meet and collaborate with during the experience, and, of course, the content itself.

I have a lot going on in my world right now, especially at work.  Getting a break from my office and those fun meetings to build a skill, and the chance to meet some great people when added to the content of the course made this an encounter that will impact me going forward.  I am grateful for this opportunity.

What Does a Metronome Have To Do With Management?

What does a metronome have to do with management?

A couple of weeks ago I received the results of the employee opinion survey. ¬†It’s hard to stomach reading about your failings as a leader, but if one can manage to set the ego aside, it can prove to be quite useful to find some improvement opportunities. ¬†The answer isn’t always what is obvious, but with some deeper analysis often some useful nuggets can be unearthed.

In my case, I was able to trace back a few key issues to a simple and common problem — communication. ¬†Specifically, my team felt that the information did not flow consistently and a couple of key topics. ¬†After having the sort of year we had, with the lack of a leader for over half of 2010, it wasn’t really a big surprise that I saw that feedback.

To respond to it, I have adopted the theme of rhythm.  Rhythm is defined as the uniform or recurrence of a beat, accent or the like.  In this context, I am applying rhythm by making sure that regular communication meetings, employee 1:1 meetings among others are prioritized and carried out.  People tend to appreciate a level of structure that they can count on.  It is kind of like a metronome is used by a musician.  Even if they choose to complain about more meetings, they actually do want those frequent touch points.  I also used to complain when a metronome was brought out when practicing piano!

This seems obvious, maybe, but the ability to respond, adapt and sustain new leadership habits is another example of a Big Play.  So far, so good for me after making this choice.  The feedback has been positive, and it has done a lot to help me reconnect with my team.