Author Archive

So which profiling tool?

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Team development and leadership coaching is teaming with interpretive frameworks, profiling tools and diagnostic instruments designed to help understand people better to support performance improvement.

Due to the diverse nature and purpose of each profiling tool or model, the choice of the right one will depend on many factors, such as the business case, your development programme requirements, management / team expectations and your desired learning outcomes.

In our view the right tools used in the right ways can have immense value and are often undervalued. Many teams and leaders we work with have found them to be helpful ways to think about leadership, team dynamics and organisational principles all with improvements in employee performance, engagement, and effectiveness in mind.

Here’s some of the reasons why incorporating profiling tools can add real value to targeted team or individual development:

• They create a common language across teams

• They can help to build synergy and more effective teamworking

• There is the opportunity to understand differences, respect and value them in self and others

• Increase awareness of individual and collective strengths and development areas

• They help teams and leaders think about biases and blind spots

• Add real insight to targeted team development

• Support active engagement of employees

• Some tools can be used alongside recruitment processes for selecting candidates

• They can support better decision-making, conflict resolution and even make for more effective selling. Profiling isn’t about pigeon-holing people or sticking someone in a category or box. Each individual is continually changing and is always free to choose how he or she responds in the future. In fact, simply understanding a framework or profiling report is often enough for some people to make the changes required to be more effective.

We have spent years developing our skills and abilities using the tools and matching the right ones, in the right scenarios with the right teams and leaders. This will continue to be tweaked with our continued experience and practice.

Our work demonstrates time and time again how dialogue around team and leadership dynamics using good profiling frameworks and tools can be both enlightening and liberating. We never underestimate the human capacity for adaptability and growth.

We can help you to come up with a profiling strategy, clear any misconceptions, help you to follow up regularly so that reports are not left to gather dust. Used and understood correctly, profiling can be a key differentiator for your business: a way to maximise your success.

We offer a wide range of tools and techniques to suit the needs of you, your team and your business, helping you and your team improve how you work together.

• DiSC Workplace, DiSC for Leaders, DiSC 363, DiSC Productive Conflict

• Thomas International – Personal Profile Analysis (PPA), High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI), General Intelligence Assessment (GIA), Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEiQ)

• TMS Development International Magerison and McCann – Team Management Profile, Opportunity Orientation Profile QO2, Window on Work Values, Leadership Behaviours Profile

• Strengths Profile

• VIA Institute on Character (values in action)

We use them in our coaching practice, in development programmes for leaders, teams and individuals, in team building events and in consultancy and other support. Contact us today if this piques your interest.

Ingredients for great Leadership

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We love cooking and one thing that’s really essential is the quality of the ingredients we use to cook up a gastro extravaganza and it’s no different for the ingredients for really great leadership. Here’s our take on those important ingredients needed to become an authentic and inspiring leader.

A tablespoon of talent

Some people are born with an innate ability to achieve in the area they want to work in and some have to work ten times harder for the same success. Great leaders have an eye for talent and surround themselves with good people. The other good thing is talent can be enhanced and it’s not the only ingredient of success and leadership!

Here are some tips for even those with a natural talent:

• Know what your superpower is, what you bring to the table.

• Continue to learn more, read books, articles, videos, podcasts, anything you can get your hands on “Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great

A cup of coaching

Coaching can help take you and your people to the next level. Working with a coach can show you a new perspective or mindset, learn something new, push you that little bit further. If you are looking to enhance your leadership or your success we highly recommend a coach or mentor; allowing you to enhance your skills, perspective, and impact. Leaders build up other leaders through coaching, sharing the big picture, enhancing skills, complementing, giving constructive insight, and motivating.

An ounce of ownership

Taking ownership and knowing what’s right and what’s wrong is important when leading a team to ensure strong work ethics and values are in place. Also, a leader should never be afraid to own up to their mistakes.

A forkful of forgiveness

Good leaders are forgiving and focus on coming up with better ideas to beat the competition rather than seeking revenge. Be kind and encourage people to try new things. Never blame and always create a culture where people learn from mistakes.

A cookbook of continuous learning

Leaders who stop learning will never have an edge over others. Leaders have to be humble and constantly willing to learn new things to stay relevant.

A spoonful of selflessness

By acting in the best interests of others, a leader will have gained plenty of faithful followers along the way. Good leaders appreciate talents and know what is best for people’s career progression even if it means letting them venture to different companies or industries.

A tumbler of teamwork

Respect and trust are crucial components to make any type of relationship work, especially a mutually beneficial one. True leaders will never take absolute credit for all the good work that the team has put together.

An ice cream scoop of Innovation

Leaders who do not innovate will be in danger of falling behind competitors who dare to take risks. Create an environment where people and teams are encouraged to come up with ideas and always feedback on them so people know their contributions are valued.

Whisk up with Work Ethic

Great leaders make time to grow and evolve. They understand work-ethic means you’re willing to consistently set aside time to evolve your skills. Be the role model for your team!

A true recipe for success! Why not find your own recipe to be the ultimate leader!

And if you need any help at all, we have a range of support from an amazing 7-month experiential Leadership Programme with coaching to a one-day People Fundamentals event. All of our leadership programmes attract 40% funding for SMEs in the York, North Yorkshire East Riding region and any business in the Leeds City region. Get in touch to find out more.

Managing a divided workforce

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

A year ago many of us didn’t even know what a furlough scheme was and now it has proved to be a lifesaver for many business but it has come with some difficult decisions and had some unexpected impacts on morale and team dynamics.

  • Employees who have not been furloughed have had very high workloads, often taking on accountability that previously wasn’t theirs.
  • Employees who were/are furloughed might have felt/feel helpless and less valuable.
  • Furloughed people may be worried that they would be/will be first in the line for any potential job cuts.
  • There may be resentment or frustration towards those who have still been involved in the business and know what’s going on.
  • There may be resentment towards those who had/are having ‘time off’ whilst being paid to stay at home.

All of this and more needs handling carefully and has the potential to cause tension and conflict leading to impacts on engagement and productivity.  As Employee Engagement specialists, we are always big on team engagement but now more than ever it’s crucial that you focus on engagement. Here’s some ideas:

  • Communication is everything – do your best to reassure and make people feel valued.
  • Build in time for extra team meetings, huddles, catch ups and give people the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns.
  • Avoid small problems becoming a bigger issue – deal with them, open and honest conversations are key. We deliver lots on this so give us a shout if your team could do with an update and some practice.
  • How about a re-onboarding strategy? Get your team involved in what’s needed.
  • Develop handover plans so all know and understand their responsibilities, especially any changes.
  • Prioritise time with furloughed staff to bring them back up to speed, be sensitive and flexible and make sure they know they are integral to the business.
  • Spend time with none furloughed staff to re-distribute the right parts of their workload.
  • Communicating both short and long term goals to provide clarity will be important.
  • Reassure your people they will always be treated fairly
  • Team building sessions and activities – we can help! We have a 10-session programme with each 2-hour session running every 2/3 weeks​ and it has been very impactful. Each session combines development and action learning to create a sense of team and support for your Managers or your team. ​
  • Buddy up furloughed and non-furlough team members
  • Rewards and recognition will be important, especially if you can find a way to honour your non-furloughed people.
  • Lastly, a great opportunity to ditch obsolete working practices and embrace better ways of working. Empower your team to get them talking and working together on re-designing their work practices and solve problems.

Remember that emotional support might be needed, there’s been a lot going on and many people might be struggling. There is always a friendly ear here if you want to chat through any development, engagement or training issues.

There are plenty of opportunities for funded development and engagement work too. Keep an eye out for what’s available and coming up in your area. Businesses in the Leeds City Region can access 40% funding towards the training investment with us at Pro-Development.   Click here for more information



All you need is Love, altogether now!

Written by Tracey Flannery on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Love is one of the most highly contemplated and argued concepts.

If you google using the word love in business you will find this, “Using the word love adds no value, fails to engage prospects and moves you no closer to getting what you want.”

In a sales email we can understand how you could be turned off (no pun intended) and some people use the word very discriminately, for instance, only with their family. Maybe, in attempts to be business-like, we have over-professionalised our behaviours to the detriment of us all as humans.

There has been much research exploring love in the context of leadership. What might happen if we put love at the heart of our business practice? Coupling the word “love” with leadership can feel uncomfortable, but love is central to leadership. As an emotion and as a behaviour. Even in the most severe and extreme environments, like armed conflict, love has the strongest place. Lieutenant Colonel Joe Ricciardi stood before his battalion of 1,000 soldiers deployed with clearing roads of IEDs in Afghanistan and gave them one simple message “You need to love one another”! Ricciardi went on to do a PhD on this topic and found that a team member who feels loved by his boss is significantly more likely to see his boss as a good leader. He defined love as intimacy, passion, and commitment.

If you are interested in understanding more about love as a deeply human exploration of leadership that is people-focused but continues to drive business, have a read of Dr Tracy Kite’s book Love To Lead.

At Pro-Development we use love a lot and we are not sorry! We love what we do, love working with our fabulous clients and love delivering impact in a fun and engaging way. We believe most of today’s leaders would agree that demonstrating love for employees, customers and a company’s products is important. To us, it’s about caring deeply and strongly. If we are to discuss business from the human view, we can’t not talk about love.

Of course, we need to consider the varieties of love which are appropriate and beneficial in the workplace. For us, it is about love forming the basis of mutually respectful relationships and enabling human beings to care what happens to them, other people and the world around them. If we can translate this into the workplace, we can also expect more trusting relationships, collaborative working and teams who behave more responsibly and with more accountability. We want businesses to be the best they can be, connected, loyal to organisational values and confident in growth potential.

You can spot a team where love is missing, whether you are courageous enough to call it that or not. In the case of our clients, love means providing them with innovative, quality products and services that offer real value. It is about being honest and open but always with love in our heart to help them to achieve all they deserve. And it also means striving to provide the very highest levels of customer service and working in partnership with them and their culture.

For us love means genuinely caring about your people, their happiness and well-being, supporting them and applauding them when they achieve. As a leader, you have the ability to inspire your people and build a culture that gets them excited and fully engaged in their work. You can help your employees learn new skills, take on new responsibilities, and grow and we can help support you with just that.

We also LOVE funding and the team at West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges because working in partnership, we can offer 40% towards your investment in making your business a high performing workplace if you are based in the Leeds City Region. Whether that’s engagement projects, team building, coaching or full-on development programmes that are in your 2021 plan, talk to us about the funding you could receive.

You can contact us by emailing or calling us on 01904 628838.