The first session of our latest Executive Leadership Skill Development programme took place on Wednesday the 26th. We actually used one of the Executive Boxes in the Stadium of Light for this session as the Hilton Hotel was having maintenance.
The seven participants have varied backgrounds and experiences with some being in leadership positions for a number of years and some relatively new to their roles. The group gelled very quickly and we were soon sharing and discussing the challenges that leadership brings and the skill areas they wish to develop. One thing became clear very early in the session – although their roles and experience are different, a number of the challenges faced are similar or the same.
The first exercise was for all to present to the group outlining their role and what they wish to develop. This was filmed for each of them and then reviewed individually with a particular emphasis on how they look to themselves, their good qualities and skills on show and the areas for improvement. We then discussed that when we are leaders, we are never ‘off duty’ as such. Everything that we say and don’t say and do and don’t do communicates and good or bad, our people think ‘if its alright for them it must be alright for me to say/do/act like that! That was quite and eye opener!
The remainder of the session was spent on understanding and developing high level communication skills and how to read people’s moods and attitudes more effectively to better understand them and then get better, more effective performance out of them. That is surely one of the key skills of leadership?
Their assignments between sessions include the application of these skills and also to read a book they were given on the pitfalls of leadership with a view to seeing if they have fallen into any of these! We’ll know more at session 2 – watch out for our next blog about this programme after the 9th May