Why Should Anyone be Led by Gareth Southgate?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries, Uncategorized

football 2018 It’s been reported that businesses are clamouring to secure the services of Gareth Southgate to share his views on leadership, with offers of £100k plus for speaking events. We wrote last month about Gareth Southgate’s ability to hold honest conversations, but what other leadership qualities does he demonstrate, and what can we learn from him?

Here at Pro-Development we regularly ask leaders, ‘why should anyone be led by you?’. This can be a scary question, but in the same way that Gareth Southgate needed the England team to follow him, we need our people to follow us. Goffee and Jones carried out extensive research in this area and found that, in addition to vision and energy, leaders need 4 other qualities. What are they, and how do you and Southgate measure up?

First, inspirational leaders selectively show their weaknesses. Following the semi-final defeat, Southgate admitted that the England team are not in the top 4-5 in the world yet. He has been very honest about the weaknesses of the team as a whole and the work they still need to do together without singling anyone out for praise or criticism, it’s all about the team.

Inspirational leaders dare to be different, Southgate openly hugged his players, demonstrating that he really cares for them as people. He doesn’t stand on the touchline and shout at his players, he speaks quietly and trusts his players to execute his plans, very different from the shouty, aggressive approach of some ‘old style’ football managers.

Leaders who are inspirational demonstrate ‘tough empathy’. They empathise and care intensely about their people and the work they do. Southgate released Fabian Delph mid-tournament so that he could attend the birth of his third child. Tough empathy can include having the courage to let people go in a sensitive way, he was not afraid to drop experienced players such as Wayne Rooney. Inspirational leaders also rely heavily on intuition and collect and interpret soft data. Southgate consoled the Colombian player Uribe after his missed penalty. In his team’s moment of triumph, and his personal redemption, Southgate displayed an understanding and empathy that is often lacking in football.

To what extent do you selectively show your weaknesses, dare to be different, demonstrate ‘tough empathy’ and use your intuition? If you need help in developing as a leader or manager, our management development programme and coaching will help you to develop and grow your unique abilities as a leader.

Are your Leaders and Managers hot to trot?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

2017-06-28 15.21.31 Having the confidence and self-belief to face challenging and sometimes conflict situations in the work place is a common issue we find when we speak to the many managers we come across in our work. As a result, there is a lack of action and issues are left to fester. Often, the lack of action taken by managers in these situations is a source of frustration for many team members and has a detrimental impact on team morale and employee engagement.

Interesting, we are seeing a theme at the moment as well around managers and leaders who are still getting too involved in the role they had before they were promoted and not making time for managing and leading their team. In a coaching session recently, one manager who was spending 90% of his time doing his old role said “but if I don’t do all this work, what would I be doing?” It can seem like a blank sheet to many people who have never led or managed a team before.

We believe that giving managers theory, processes and tips to understand their role or deal with issues and challenges isn’t enough; a more holistic approach is needed to develop their confidence and belief in themselves as a person and as a leader and enable them to develop their own vision of what being an authentic and inspiring leader looks like.

This is the approach we have taken on our Management Development Programme and we are seeing some amazing transformations; one person was even described as going from zero to hero.

• Do you have managers and leaders who know what do to do in challenging situations but are not stepping up?

• Do you have managers and leaders who avoid conflict situations?

• Do you have managers and leaders who seem to be too busy in the day job to manage their team?

• Are your managers and leaders holding back on some honest conversations?

Based on our experience we believe a high percentage of those answers will be yes but let us know your thoughts on what you think gets in their way of dealing with the issues.

We also know our Management Development programme has equipped people with the confidence and belief to go on to be truly authentic and inspirational leaders who face challenges head on. If you think this is something your business would benefit from, click here to watch our video or contact us and we can talk you through the programme and the benefits of having a manager hot to trot!

This Month Michelle and Sue Went On Tour

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Away day June 2018 Yorwaste What goes on tour … well, doesn’t stay on tour as we can’t wait to share with you about what a fantastic 2 days we had. This month Michelle and Sue went on a Yorkshire tour (well a residential) with a fabulous local Yorkshire company and their amazing leadership team. How great it is to see a business seeing the benefits in investing in their managers and leaders.

When you consider that 62% of people leave their job because of their manager, investment at this level makes plain business sense. Managers not only motivate and engage their teams to deliver and be the best they can be, they also ensure that your strategies are implemented and embedded. So how did this group of managers and leaders benefit in attending?

Here are some comments we received…

• A better understanding of the bigger picture – where is the business going and individual roles within that

• A better understanding of why certain polices and procedures are so important

• Able to build new relationships

• The opportunity to make deeper connections with people

• Explored more effective ways of communicating with each other

• A commitment to talk more to each other

• Daring to be vulnerable, sharing their weaknesses

• Had honest conversations and built upon the levels of trust

In addition, we noticed an increase in energy and a lot of fun being had too along the way! Not bad for two days out of the business and we are really excited about where they will take this next?

What about your business?

• What are you doing to develop your leaders and managers?

• Are you giving them time out to step back and reflect?

• When did you last invest in your leaders?

If you would like to know more about how to develop you managers and leaders Click Here for more information or give us a call to understand how we could develop a bespoke event to meet your needs.

Honest Conversations

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

football 2018 We’ve just found out that Gareth Southgate is a massive advocate of honest conversations.

Speaking about his management style to football journalism students at the University of Derby, he stated, “I think that feedback is really important to players, I think they value one-to-one discussions. I think it has got to be honest. There is no use saying: ‘You’re really unlucky not to be in’ as it doesn’t mean anything, you are not giving a player something he can go away and work at. So, I think it is important to be precise.

Also, players are pretty savvy; if you tell them something which they believe not to be true or in a couple of weeks’ time it isn’t true, then they’ll lose faith and belief in you. Sometimes those conversations are really difficult as you have to leave a player out, but I think you owe it to them to be honest.”

Well Mr Southgate we couldn’t agree more, having an honest conversation can help someone develop and grow in their role and if you’re not having those conversations then you could argue that you’re getting in the way of them being their best. Now that doesn’t feel right does it?

What honest conversations have you been putting off?

Remember honest conversations are positive too so we would like to challenge you to have three honest conversations this month. If you would like to know more about support in this area why not contact us or check out our training page for more information and to give you some ideas for the kind of training we can help you with.

Phone Addiction

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

mobile phone pic 2018 This month we have heard about Simon Cowell who has ditched his smart phone for 10 months…WOW! We say WOW because we are not sure we could do that, but the thought of it sounds fantastic. We wonder how many times a day we look at our phones? Even writing this blog we have glanced at it about ten times and touched it twice. If we ever can’t see our phone or fear that we have left it somewhere we go into a complete meltdown. Its quite a scary addiction, and we say addiction because we think we probably are addicted to it.

Rest assured that it’s not just us. When we deliver training courses, we now ask people to turn their phones on to silent. Sometimes we ask people to agree a way of working together to get the most out of the training event, often the mobile phone is mentioned where people ask for agreement that they will remain off them for the duration of the course. Interestingly though, as soon as it is break time we see delegates rummaging in their bags looking for their phones taking calls and checking appointments. Are we really that critical to the business that a couple of hours without contact will cause a massive risk to the business? We think we all know the answer to that one!

Our challenge to you

• Ask someone to be your conscience and notice how often you check your phone during a work day.

• The next meeting you go to, turn your phone off or leave it ask your desk.

• When you get home tonight, turn your phone off until the next morning.

• Notice how you feel, being away from your phone.

Thank you for the…team event!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

team Kanyu pic 2018 This month the team at Pro-Development achieved a wonderful thing and we’re so grateful and proud and all we want is to say it out loud. Yes, we went to the Kanyu Escape rooms near Wetherby and made it out (eventually, with a lot of clues). Now, team events are a bit of a busman’s holiday for us, but how interesting when the tables are turned! So how did we get on?

Well, very well…surprisingly! Although we needed an extra 12 minutes to achieve the task, we got there in the end.

What did we get from the event?

• We worked well as a team, all bringing different strengths and applying them effectively

• It was so good to spend time together without thinking about workloads and deadlines

• Everyone had a voice and was listened to

• When you don’t know what to do, ask for help (we had a lot of help!)

• We are fairly good at sharing information and communicating

• We need to do it more often

If it’s been a while since you have had a team event, we can highly recommend it. If you would like some help, get in touch with us. We design and deliver bespoke events especially for your team so you can get the most our of it too, just like we did.

The power of self-awareness

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

self awarenes 3 Increasing self-awareness is a very powerful tool. What’s great is that ANYONE can do it at ANYTIME. There is just one key rule, you need to be open to it!

There are many ways that we can increase our self-awareness – we can seek feedback from others either verbally or non-verbally, we can work on being more present and in the moment so we spot what is going on around us and how we are feeling/behaving and from reflecting on situations, conversations and their outcomes. In a recent Chartered Institute of Personal and Development article, there is reference to a large company who has invested in a Leadership Programme to “help managers increase their self-awareness and deliver more effectively” and they are seeing great results.

Managers and leaders having great self-awareness is important. How many of you have worked for a manager whose lack of engagement has impacted on the whole teams’ motivation to deliver, or the manager who delivers key business messages starting “this isn’t me saying this, its them” leaving the team disengaged from the content of the message. Managers and Leaders need to have an awareness of their impact on others which in turn impacts on engagement levels and ultimately business results.

Questions for you…

• How engaged are your managers/leaders?

• How self-aware are your managers/leaders?

• How often do you provide feedback to your managers and leaders?

• Do you your managers and leaders ask for feedback?

• How well do your managers/leaders understand and manage their own emotions?

Now reflect and answer the questions on yourself!

Pro-development offer programmes and coaching to build self-awareness Click Here to find out more. If you would like further information or to speak to us then call us on 01904 628838.

Productivity Leadership

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

leadership may 18 Did you know that productivity has hardly grown since the 2008-9 recession, compared to the historic average of around 2%? The UK lag behind all but one of the other G7 nations. Pro-Development have been bringing this important issue to the attention of Yorkshire businesses from the very beginning of our existence! It is something we are very passionate about and driven to make a difference.

Ian Brinkley (acting Chief Economist for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) recently ascribes the problem to poor quality managers, he states that “managerial and technical competencies have long been a weak area in the UK”. Indeed, a government report back in 2012 stated that 75 per cent of workers waste up to two hours out of their working week due to inefficient managers.

Worst management practices responsible for time lost include:-

– unclear communication (33 %)

– lack of support (33 %)

– micro-management (26 %)

– lack of direction (25 %)

Pro-Development see this trend in our Employee Engagement surveys, so our experience suggests this is as real today as ever, so this issue of leadership capability isn’t going away.

Pro-Development have a Leadership Development Programme and we really do recommend that you speak with us if you feel that the leadership capability in your business would benefit.

“Improving leadership and management skills is the key that will unlock the potential of UK businesses, allowing them to seize the opportunities available to them and achieve sustainable economic prosperity – leadership & management in the uk – the key to sustainable growth”

To find out more about the programme click here.

“The course cleverly combined experiential outdoor learning in groups (with very different and stretching activities to anything I’d experienced before) with one-to-one coaching sessions in between and it’s this combination which is really powerful. If you’re serious about your own development as a leader, I couldn’t recommend Pro-Development more highly.” Ed Reid, Owner of The Alternative Board UK

Is this the end of the appraisal?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

appraisal This is becoming an increasingly common question we are asked by managers, often with a hopeful glint in their eye!

Some organisations are indeed ditching the annual appraisal, finding it time consuming, not really understanding the purpose of it and therefore not getting any value. In some organisations the original purpose of introducing appraisals has been lost and they have simply become a method for awarding pay rises or bonus based on a box the individual has been placed in or a label they have been given. The label given is often awarded by managers competing against each other to get their team top ranking, potentially to avoid any awkward honest conversations!

Interestingly, psychologists at Stanford University studied 607 performance tools and they found the ‘labelling of people’ which so often happens in many of these appraisal schemes in fact worsens peoples performance. According to research by leadership specialist Roffey Park, a third of operational managers say they find the nine box grid (another tool used to identify talent) difficult to implement, have concerns about their capacity for objectivity when using such methods, and are reluctant to ‘label’ employees.

Now that is interesting. It’s rare these days to attend a seminar or conference on talent without someone discussing the shortcomings of the talent grids like this. Having worked in talent management we can see where placing people in a talent category might appear to help with succession planning, but there is much evidence suggesting now that doing so, is not helpful. What we are finding works better, is where people are more closely connected, and where management know all their people. Giving people a label or category can over-complicate the process. So back to the original question – is this the end of appraisals?

Absolutely, if it is a once a year process, based around meaningless objectives, ensure compliance or to tick a box.

Absolutely not, if the appraisal is part of an annual framework based on regular, honest conversations that support an individual to meet their objectives, develop and grow and help them work toward aspirations along with helping the business to manage any risks and identify future successors for key roles.

Ultimately the appraisal is one part of a series of quality conversations an individual has with their manager to help them to be their best, feel valued and appreciated. When it’s done well, it’s a fantastic tool, just don’t over-complicate it!

Our challenge to you…

Are your managers equipped with the skills, to conduct quality conversations?

Click here to see what we can offer and how we can help you.

Is that the sun I see?

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

smily sun We’ve been talking in the office about how lovely it is, driving home, and it’s… sunny! Yes, its bright and light outside and we are feeling great! We’ve been thinking, shall we go for a run, cut the grass, go for a walk or swing a golf club? This is great news as our usual thoughts are, what’s for tea, goodness I am tired, or shall I have a glass of wine tonight? Sound familiar?

There is something about the sunshine that fills us with energy. We have read that sunshine boosts levels of serotonin which contributes to a sense of wellbeing and happiness, that’s why we tend to feel happier and more energetic when the sun shines. More importantly (for us), we have also read that HIGHER levels of serotonin in our bodies not only makes you feel happy, but it also suppresses the appetite, so you’ll eat less in warmer weather, say hello to weight loss and feeling healthly!

The good news is that this week it’s only going to get warmer and sunnier, so are you going to seize the opportunity to boost your wellbeing and happiness?

Why not do a brisk walk for 15 to 20 minutes at least once a day. Early in the morning can prepare you for the day ahead. Perhaps at lunchtime to re-assess and re-plan you day, or after work maybe, to release any pressures and to ensure you focus on time for you. We challenge you to do this and email us the difference it made to you on info@pro-development.co.uk.

Wellbeing, happiness and energy levels are very important, if you’d like to talk more about ways of increasing these, to get the best out of both you and your colleagues, why not get in touch for a chat or attend one of our monthly Employee Engagement Workshop events.