Posts Tagged ‘Team’

Fun in the sun!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Just a little update on our team trip to Murcia in Spain.

We had a fantastic time recharging our batteries and celebrating over 4 years of business! We managed one fairly lengthy team meeting but once that was done, we pretty much had a ban on “work talk” and concentrated on sunning ourselves with the odd Gin and Tonic thrown in for good measure, as expected Gordon came with us 😉

We pampered ourselves, laughed a lot, danced, shopped, sunbathed, read and talked! We even all managed to go for a sunny run around the lovely La Torre Golf Resort. What more could we ask for!?

Our apologies go to the tree that we pole danced, the people with whom we tried to hold conversations whilst under the influence of Gordon 😉 and to LA Torre resort for disrupting the peace and generally lowering the tone of the neighbourhood! Beware….we’ll be back!

As you can see by the photo the sun was shining for the latest corporate Pro-Development photo shoot!

Pro-Development at La Torre

Leadership through horses

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Bringing out the best in your team

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”. – Winston Churchill

We’ve just had an amazing day working with some brilliant team members. Let us introduce them……

horses from leadership

         

Why horses?

Because your ability to lead others is put to the test! A horse can weigh more than 500 kilos and speaks in a foreign tongue, and unless you can attract and hold his interest, he may not be very interested in interacting with you. Believe us, they will also provide you with immediate, honest feedback on how you are doing!

The Directors on our Management Development Programme were certainly put to the test. They found it frustrating, rewarding, surprising and thought provoking! And it paid off, as by the end of the day they all influenced and motivated a horse (team member) to follow them by choice. What an achievement!

leading a horse

 

 

 

 

 

So what did our Directors learn from the team?

  • Take the time to build trust and build relationships
    • How often do you take the time to connect with people?
  • Be focused and set a clear direction
    • Do you know where you are heading?
  • Be purposeful
    • Does lack of confidence, hesitancy or indecision get in your way?
  • Keep things interesting
    • How are you engaging the team?
    • If something is not working, do you try something different?
  • Different situations require different levels of energy
    • Is using too much energy startling the team or draining you?
    • Is too little energy slowing the pace?
  • Be present and observe what’s happening
    • When did you last observe the team?
  • Step back
    • When things aren’t going as planned, do you come out of the detail?
  • Give people space
    • Are you overpowering, over focusing or micro-managing them
  • Strike the right balance between task and relationships
    • Are you so focused on the task that you forget about the people?
  • Communicate
    • It’s not just what you say, its often about non-verbal communication

Partnering with horses is an effective and impacting method to develop communication skills, increase self-awareness, inspire teamwork, collaboration and trust through genuine leadership. All attributes which are readily transferable to the workplace.

First Line Manager Programme

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

Through our employee engagement reviews we often uncover that line managers are a contributing factor for people feeling less engaged in their work. Research supports this, reporting that 62% of people leave their job as a result of their manager!

Untitled

But save a thought for the manager!

hmmm thinking

Many of the managers we meet have never had the new expectation of the role made clear to them; in fact, sometimes the leaders themselves don’t truly know what they expect from their managers. Often the manager has been promoted because of their technical ability within the role, and not on their ability to manage and motivate a team to be their best. On top of this, there is then the delicate nature of managing changing relationships with team members. Those who were once peers are now reporting into the new manager, finding the right balance and managing this with skill and grace is not easy.

In response to the issues we are finding, we have developed a First Line Manager Programme which explores essential elements of management and leadership to help managers become effective in their role. The programme covers a range of topics including:

sunflower dev you
  • Understanding you and your role
  • Understanding teams
  • Honest and effective communication
  • Performance Management
  • Bringing out the best in your team
  • Dealing with difficult situations
  • Delivering through others
  • Developing you and your team

There are numerous outcomes too:

  • Describe their own management style and the impact on others
  • Explain the factors which contribute to a high performing team
  • Evaluate team behaviour, taking appropriate action
  • Develop tools and techniques to communicate more effectively
  • Describe the manager’s role in performance management
  • Construct smart objectives and monitor performance effectively
  • Conduct appraisals that add value to both individuals and the business
  • Identify ways to motivate and empower individuals
  • Apply techniques for praising and rewarding people in the appropriate way
  • Explain how to manage under performers
  • Empower the team and delegate tasks effectively
  • Explore the difference between conduct and capability
  • Explain the processes in place to manage absence
  • Recognise the importance of knowing strengths and aspirations of individuals
  • Identify development opportunities and provide opportunities for growth
  • Build personal self – belief

In addition, to help embed learning we offer support including 1:1 sessions, coaching or action learning groups where managers can focus on specific challenges and issues.

Here’s what previous delegates on an in-house programme had to say:

“Overall I have enjoyed the whole experience; it has certainly been an eye opener! I did not realise there was so much to it” (Lauren – DriveSpeed)

“At times a challenging experience but unbelievably beneficial for management teams to work together” (Sabrina – DriveSpeed)

“An amazing programme. Sue and Michelle are thorough and tough when they need to be, but it’s only because they want to help you to be the best leader you can be!” (Kirsty – DriveSpeed)

Interested?

This programme has a flexible approach and can be adapted to suit business need, so if you think this programme might be part of your solution to having inspiring managers why not get in touch and we can tailor a solution that’s right for you. Don’t forget – you may qualify for match funding for this programme. Click here to find out more

A new member of the team!

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

We are pleased to officially announce that we have a new member of our team! Liz Dunn has joined us and will be working with the social media and IT side of things along with supporting Michelle and Sue on lots of other projects.

Liz has a solid training background and worked at York NHS Trust for 14 years in the Training Team.

We are delighted that she has joined us and especially happy that she has agreed (at her interview) to do the Three Peaks Challenge with us!

Liz Dunn

Click here for more information on Liz

Management Development – Bringing out the best in your team

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

What a team

As ever, the management development programme brought a different element to learning, and in August it was leadership though horses. Unlike people, horses will only co-operate from a place of connection and mutual respect and trust. When you can lead teams from a place of heart-felt connection and trust, rather than intimidation and fear, you form high performing teams where everyone contributes and plays an active role. We learnt so much over the day about:

• Being authentic and showing your vulnerabilities

• Trust and respect are key to bringing out the best in others

• Giving clear direction and always being purposeful

• Setting the right pace and tone and enjoying the journey

• Having honest conversations along the way

• Being prepared to step out of our comfort zone

• Thinking about how best to lead the individual and the team

• Finding ways to work in harmony with our team

• Believing in ourselves and others

• Observing what is going on (without judgement)

• Remembering that leaders don’t know everything!

It really was a fantastic experience; people were operating outside of their comfort zone and achieved more than they could have imagined. One delegate emailed us the next day:-

“My only complaint … it wasn’t long enough – I wanted more … both working with the horses but also the learning!!!! After a full on day, it was great to read that and we agreed too. There were a few people who slept well that night 🙂

Our thanks go to Julia Felton at Business Horse Power for supporting us and making it such a great day!