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Women in Leadership and Business Conference Promotional Giveaway

Chance to WIN Tickets to the WILB Conference & Pandora Gift Set!

Our 2nd annual Calgary WILB Conference is less than a week away and we have some exciting Twitter giveaways coming your way!

  1. We are delighted to give away a VIP Conference Bundle, valued at $2,500+! Bundle includes:
    • Free Conference Pass, allowing for 1 individual to attend our full 2.5 day conference at the beautiful Calgary Hyatt Regency from SUnday, November 20th - Tuesday, November 22nd
    • Complimentary dinner at our Dine Together event on Monday, November 21st
    • Invitation to the Women Leader Summit on Tuesday Nov 22nd - includes a full lunch and summit
      pandora-giveaway
  2. We are giving away a stunning PANDORA Jewelry Set valued at $150+! Set  includes:
    • Silver clasp bracelet
    • Surprise charm
    • Jewelry box

Twitter Contest Instructions:

  • Be sure to follow @wilbconference on Twitter to enter each contest
  • Look out for our tweets with instructions on how to enter our contests on Wednesday, November 16th at 6 pm ET/4 pm MT
  • Entries accepted from Wednesday, November 16th at 6 pm ET/4pm MT to Friday, November 18th at 12 pm ET/10 am MT
  • Winner will be selected and contacted on Friday, November 18th
  • Participators must be located in Canada

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Calgary Hyatt Regency

 

Are You Ready for Peer Coaching?

This series on Peer Coaching is designed to help you elevate your own performance and your team’s performance. First though, it starts with you. Are you ready to dive in? Are you ready to be vulnerable and trust?olg-1-1

Assess your individual readiness to participate. The person who meets the criteria below is in the best position to coach, be coached and see remarkable results.

  1. Sees the need for coaching. Is open to the possibilities that it brings.
  2. Able to see how valuable peer accountability is
  3. Recognizes it is OK to make mistakes and ask “dumb questions”
  4. Flexible and open to learning and open to being supported to think more deeply and perform differently
  5. Committed to learning and willing to try new things even if they are uncomfortable.
  6. Feels OK about making mistakes in the name of learning
  7. Recognizes and accepts vulnerability in themselves and others

If you want help setting up a peer coaching program on your team, visit Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How To Make Peer Coaching Work

In the last blog, we talked about the what and the why of peer coaching. Here we focus on the HOW. How do you find success with peer coaching? Here is our top 10 list.

  1. Choose a location that is quiet, private, convenient, and free from distractions. Switch off mobile phones during the session. Phone, skype or even email meetings are possible. If on the phone or computer, still choose a quiet location so you can eliminate distractions.
  2. Switch off thinking about other things. Focus on the present. Your partner will know if you are distracted.olg-5-1
  3. Enter with an open mind. Try not to be judgmental or make assumptions
  4. Be clear about your expectations - Before you get started, be clear about parameters. There are times you want input and times you just need someone to listen; spell this out in the beginning. To ensure your arrangement is mutually beneficial, allot an equal amount of time to spend brainstorming and discussing each partner’s opportunities. Decide how often you will connect and whether it will be in person, over the phone or by email. Plan how many projects and commitments you’re willing to discuss at a time. And be clear that whether or not you take your partner’s advice, each person is 100% responsible for their choices.
  5. Map out and agree on how the accountability will work. Plan what you and your partner will do when you don’t make your goals or take agreed-upon action steps.
  6. Meet regularly. Aim for once every two weeks. This keeps everything fresh in your mind and allows you to take course-correcting actions more quickly.
  7. Limit meetings to 30 minutes if possible. Put a time limit on the meetings to keep you both focused. This is not just a gab session; it has deliverables and purpose.
  8. In the session, look for, describe, and assess what you see– not the person’s competence. You may share observations – offeraction-effect-feedback no judgment, give no advice. Use the action / effect formula to share observations. For example…”I noticed that you jumped into the conversation while John was still speaking. Have you noticed that when you do that, he shut down immediately?
  9. Be willing to have the tough conversations and create a shared accountability for future success. Show you care and celebrate the ability to get the tough conversations on the table for increased effectiveness of the team. At the same time, give the benefit of the doubt. Probe with questions before you make a judgment call about someone’s behaviour. Understand your teammates motives and intentions before deciding that their actions signal a lack of trust.
  10. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is not easy for anyone…go with this without expecting it to be easy.

Peer coaching is merely a conversation. It is a shared resource where both parties contribute, and both take something from it. The results can make the difference between a good team and a great team. Go for it. For more information, check out Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How to Use Peer Coaching to Up the Game On Your Team

Our development budgets are being cut, our teams are lean and stretched, and we want to differentiate our organization from the competition. And while a better product or service is a start, the real differentiator comes from your people.  That’s where your competitive advantage comes from.   So how do you ensure that your team is delivering the high levels of performance that you need to stand out? The essential trait of both a high performance team and strong individual performance is peer-to- peer accountability. Similarly, the highest factor in measuring a team’s dysfunction is lack of “peer to peer” accountability (Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage“, 2012)

With a peer-coaching program, team members help each other to be successful. Peer coaches help team members to look at situations from a different perspective, to stay on track, and to look for better solutions.

“You’re the sum of the people you surround yourself with.”peer coaching

When organizations are going through change of any kind, leaders have a tendency to incent, push, or model the behaviours from the top. What gets stronger results though, is developing a strong network of peer-to-peer interactions and peer accountability. People are encouraged and motivated to change their behaviour by those around them as much as by incentives from the top. Peer coaching helps to build accountability, support and recognition across the team, so that peers hold each other accountable for behaviours and results. People willingly call each other on performance issues when they do things that fall outside of the team commitment or values.

Peer accountability is about support, outcomes and stretch goals outside of organizational hierarchy and therefore it has the added benefit of developing stronger relationships, teamwork, communication and responsibility for ones own actions. Peer coaches are not only vested in their own success, but the success of their team.

So HOW does it work?

  1. Everybody IS a coach and everybody GETS a coach. It is easiest to start with peer coaching at the same level. It can cross departments. The premise is simple. We are accountable to each other. And we all get a coach. That makes it “just how we do things”. It’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you are in trouble or not performing. It’s a strategy to help us deliver the highest level of performance. It’s that simple.build your future
  1. Equip coaches with the tools they need to be successful. It doesn’t come easy for everyone. Great coaches ask great, and simple questions. The questions typically start with what or how, and are open ended. They encourage people to go deeper, expand initial thoughts or look at a different perspective. They don’t judge or criticize. They explore. They support. They encourage.
  1. Accountability Pairings last for 8 – 12 weeks…then switch partners. It is important for the team members to get used to different approaches and different strengths. It helps them grow. It keeps it fresh.
  1. Encourage people to focus on behaviours before results. Often, it is easier to hold individuals accountable for results and ignore the behaviours. But since behaviours precede results, start by building new “behavioural ground rules” to hold themselves and each other accountable. When we establish the peer responsibility to call out behaviours that are exhibited and inconsistent with our new behavioural ground rules, we make it more of the expected routine for everyone. Best to pick one key area for behaviour change and start there. Both players pick one behaviour and ask for ideas to help execute new behaviours.
  1. Resist the temptation to fix – resist the temptation of telling people what to do or giving advice – it is about drawing out through questions.

Peer to peer accountability is one of the toughest behaviours to master on a team. It often feels messy and uncomfortable. And it’s not something most of us have had much experience with. But it’s worth it. Teams who can call each other out on lack of follow-through or missed deadlines and broken rules are the ones that excel. They are efficient and productive. They have fun, and their relationships are stronger because of it. Next issue focuses on how to structure your Peer Coaching Sessions. If you want help setting up your Peer Coaching System, visit Learn2.com to speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

5 Great Questions Every Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

10 Ways to Lead a Culture of Innovation In Your Organization or Team

There is one certainty you face as a leader…you will be required to lead transformational change. And if you can lead so that innovation happens on your team, than there is a higher likelihood of success through the change.

As leaders we are sometimes unclear about what innovation looks like and what we need to do to foster it. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Innovative leaders intentionally and skillfully do things that cause innovation to happen. Here’s our top 10 list to get you started.

  1. Articulate and share the BIG PICTURE – the purpose, the why, and why it all matters. If we share our big picture clearly and help people understand how they connect to that big picture and truly impact it, we are more likely to get them focused on ideas or opportunities to make that reality happen.
  2. Broaden your perspective and focus your actions. When we focus on one small element (one department, one product, one perspective) we are missing other key things that may impact our way forward. Get the blinders off. Look around. Then focus your actions specifically on what will impact your way forward. Remove the distractions that get in the way.
  3. Be curious – Be looking for the 2nd best answer or solution. Be open to different ways of doing things. When we have a genuine curios mindset, we just may learn something we hadn’t considered before.
  4. Ask great questions. As leaders we are sometimes tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue, ask questions like “What would you do?”, “What’s the real challenge here?”, or “How can I help?” to get the team engaged in problem solving.
  5. Ask for feedback and surface people’s resistance. With change, comes resistance. So expect it. Roll with it. Manage it together. Actively seek feedback that may even contradict your intended plan or perspective. Get people thinking about the change in a way that involves them in the outcome.
  6. Collaborate with others. We don’t solve problems by ourselves. We have employees, partners, customers, stakeholders, and they all have a valuable perspective. What perspectives are we missing when we try to do it alone?
  7. Time for Reflection and Self-Assessment – We get busy. That’s not likely to change. And innovation isn’t an event you can schedule. We get ideas in strange places and when our mind is free enough to go in uncharted territory. So build down time in. Go for a walk, play music…whatever inspires your creative side. Don’t fill every second of your schedule.
  8. WTF CultureWilling To Fail. As a leader let’s accept failure as an important step on the way to a better solution. Give people permission to fail and have great conversations when we do fail. Learn from it, make it better, grow together. Go there.
  9. Develop Your Innovation System – When we have a system and know how to move an idea forward, how to get support, how to implement the idea, it makes it much more doable. So create a system that takes the guesswork out of it. Plan your steps, so the idea gets to take center stage in your mind, not the uncertainty around what to do with it.
  10. Join us at the next Women In Leadership and Business Conference. Start collaborating with other leaders that want to have a greater impact. Share in learning with great speakers, thought leaders, keynotes and interactive workshops. The next one is on November 20-22 in Calgary, Alberta. This year we have two great sessions on Innovation. Won’t you join us?

We all have ideas, we sometimes just have a hard time implementing them. For information about helping to build innovation on your team, or help you engage your team to deliver great results, contact Learn2.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

Top Leadership Traits to Develop

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/q1JxNeg5fn0″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”How robust is your career?” txt_align=”center” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Get More Resources Now” btn_style=”3d” btn_color=”orange” btn_align=”center” add_icon=”top” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-bullhorn” i_color=”orange” i_background_style=”rounded” i_background_color=”white” i_size=”sm” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Flearn2.com%2Flanding-page-3%2F|title:Get%20More%20Resources%20Now|target:%20_blank” i_on_border=”true”]If you are interested in learning more about how you can apply your learnings from today to your everyday business and produce better results, call us today at 416-410-6434, send an email to Mary@Learn2.com or click below to join our learning community to get free access to resources with high impact and even higher results.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

I’ve Graduated, Now What?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Follow Alex Robichaud as he navigates entering the workforce as a new graduate.[/vc_column_text][ultimate_carousel slides_on_desk=”3″ speed=”500″ autoplay=”off” arrow_style=”circle-bg” arrow_color=”#ff6900″][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu1BthM1Guk”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht2HOOdSc9c”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TwqMEC7URw”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJVWkaewQLM”][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llJB2clG0hw”][/ultimate_carousel][vc_cta h2=”Can you relate to Alex? ” h4=”We’ve all been there, learning as we go.” txt_align=”center” style=”3d” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Learn More” btn_style=”3d” btn_color=”orange” btn_align=”center” add_icon=”top” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-bullhorn” i_color=”orange” i_size=”sm” i_on_border=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Flearn2.com%2Flanding-page-3%2F||target:%20_blank”]Navigating something new doesn’t have to be big and intimidating, whether it is starting a new job with a confusing onboarding process to starting a new long-term strategic plan, we have a solution for you. Call us today at 416-410-6434, send an email to Mary@Learn2.com or click below to join our learning community to get free access to resources with high impact and even higher results.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Top 5 Communication Skills

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Discover the top 5 communication skills that you can acquire to make your business run more effectively and produce better results.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][TS-VCSC-Youtube content_youtube=”https://youtu.be/yfneUJ4W6Lo”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_cta h2=”Connect with Mary Today!” h4=”We are only a click away” txt_align=”center” style=”3d” add_button=”bottom” btn_title=”Learn More” btn_style=”3d” btn_color=”orange” btn_align=”center” add_icon=”top” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-phone” i_color=”orange” i_background_style=”rounded” i_background_color=”white” i_size=”sm” btn_id=”slaask-open-widget” i_on_border=”true” btn_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Flearn2.com%2Flanding-page-3%2F|title:Learn%20More|target:%20_blank”]If you are interested in learning more about how you can apply your learnings from today to your everyday business and produce better results, call us today at 416-410-6434, send an email to Mary@Learn2.com or click below to join our learning community to get free access to resources with high impact and even higher results.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Blog Fulllwidth

Women in Leadership and Business Conference Promotional Giveaway

Chance to WIN Tickets to the WILB Conference & Pandora Gift Set!

Our 2nd annual Calgary WILB Conference is less than a week away and we have some exciting Twitter giveaways coming your way!

  1. We are delighted to give away a VIP Conference Bundle, valued at $2,500+! Bundle includes:
    • Free Conference Pass, allowing for 1 individual to attend our full 2.5 day conference at the beautiful Calgary Hyatt Regency from SUnday, November 20th - Tuesday, November 22nd
    • Complimentary dinner at our Dine Together event on Monday, November 21st
    • Invitation to the Women Leader Summit on Tuesday Nov 22nd - includes a full lunch and summit
      pandora-giveaway
  2. We are giving away a stunning PANDORA Jewelry Set valued at $150+! Set  includes:
    • Silver clasp bracelet
    • Surprise charm
    • Jewelry box

Twitter Contest Instructions:

  • Be sure to follow @wilbconference on Twitter to enter each contest
  • Look out for our tweets with instructions on how to enter our contests on Wednesday, November 16th at 6 pm ET/4 pm MT
  • Entries accepted from Wednesday, November 16th at 6 pm ET/4pm MT to Friday, November 18th at 12 pm ET/10 am MT
  • Winner will be selected and contacted on Friday, November 18th
  • Participators must be located in Canada

Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Calgary Hyatt Regency

 

Are You Ready for Peer Coaching?

This series on Peer Coaching is designed to help you elevate your own performance and your team’s performance. First though, it starts with you. Are you ready to dive in? Are you ready to be vulnerable and trust?olg-1-1

Assess your individual readiness to participate. The person who meets the criteria below is in the best position to coach, be coached and see remarkable results.

  1. Sees the need for coaching. Is open to the possibilities that it brings.
  2. Able to see how valuable peer accountability is
  3. Recognizes it is OK to make mistakes and ask “dumb questions”
  4. Flexible and open to learning and open to being supported to think more deeply and perform differently
  5. Committed to learning and willing to try new things even if they are uncomfortable.
  6. Feels OK about making mistakes in the name of learning
  7. Recognizes and accepts vulnerability in themselves and others

If you want help setting up a peer coaching program on your team, visit Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How To Make Peer Coaching Work

In the last blog, we talked about the what and the why of peer coaching. Here we focus on the HOW. How do you find success with peer coaching? Here is our top 10 list.

  1. Choose a location that is quiet, private, convenient, and free from distractions. Switch off mobile phones during the session. Phone, skype or even email meetings are possible. If on the phone or computer, still choose a quiet location so you can eliminate distractions.
  2. Switch off thinking about other things. Focus on the present. Your partner will know if you are distracted.olg-5-1
  3. Enter with an open mind. Try not to be judgmental or make assumptions
  4. Be clear about your expectations - Before you get started, be clear about parameters. There are times you want input and times you just need someone to listen; spell this out in the beginning. To ensure your arrangement is mutually beneficial, allot an equal amount of time to spend brainstorming and discussing each partner’s opportunities. Decide how often you will connect and whether it will be in person, over the phone or by email. Plan how many projects and commitments you’re willing to discuss at a time. And be clear that whether or not you take your partner’s advice, each person is 100% responsible for their choices.
  5. Map out and agree on how the accountability will work. Plan what you and your partner will do when you don’t make your goals or take agreed-upon action steps.
  6. Meet regularly. Aim for once every two weeks. This keeps everything fresh in your mind and allows you to take course-correcting actions more quickly.
  7. Limit meetings to 30 minutes if possible. Put a time limit on the meetings to keep you both focused. This is not just a gab session; it has deliverables and purpose.
  8. In the session, look for, describe, and assess what you see– not the person’s competence. You may share observations – offeraction-effect-feedback no judgment, give no advice. Use the action / effect formula to share observations. For example…”I noticed that you jumped into the conversation while John was still speaking. Have you noticed that when you do that, he shut down immediately?
  9. Be willing to have the tough conversations and create a shared accountability for future success. Show you care and celebrate the ability to get the tough conversations on the table for increased effectiveness of the team. At the same time, give the benefit of the doubt. Probe with questions before you make a judgment call about someone’s behaviour. Understand your teammates motives and intentions before deciding that their actions signal a lack of trust.
  10. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is not easy for anyone…go with this without expecting it to be easy.

Peer coaching is merely a conversation. It is a shared resource where both parties contribute, and both take something from it. The results can make the difference between a good team and a great team. Go for it. For more information, check out Learn2.com and speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

How to Use Peer Coaching to Up the Game On Your Team

Our development budgets are being cut, our teams are lean and stretched, and we want to differentiate our organization from the competition. And while a better product or service is a start, the real differentiator comes from your people.  That’s where your competitive advantage comes from.   So how do you ensure that your team is delivering the high levels of performance that you need to stand out? The essential trait of both a high performance team and strong individual performance is peer-to- peer accountability. Similarly, the highest factor in measuring a team’s dysfunction is lack of “peer to peer” accountability (Patrick Lencioni, “The Advantage“, 2012)

With a peer-coaching program, team members help each other to be successful. Peer coaches help team members to look at situations from a different perspective, to stay on track, and to look for better solutions.

“You’re the sum of the people you surround yourself with.”peer coaching

When organizations are going through change of any kind, leaders have a tendency to incent, push, or model the behaviours from the top. What gets stronger results though, is developing a strong network of peer-to-peer interactions and peer accountability. People are encouraged and motivated to change their behaviour by those around them as much as by incentives from the top. Peer coaching helps to build accountability, support and recognition across the team, so that peers hold each other accountable for behaviours and results. People willingly call each other on performance issues when they do things that fall outside of the team commitment or values.

Peer accountability is about support, outcomes and stretch goals outside of organizational hierarchy and therefore it has the added benefit of developing stronger relationships, teamwork, communication and responsibility for ones own actions. Peer coaches are not only vested in their own success, but the success of their team.

So HOW does it work?

  1. Everybody IS a coach and everybody GETS a coach. It is easiest to start with peer coaching at the same level. It can cross departments. The premise is simple. We are accountable to each other. And we all get a coach. That makes it “just how we do things”. It’s not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean you are in trouble or not performing. It’s a strategy to help us deliver the highest level of performance. It’s that simple.build your future
  1. Equip coaches with the tools they need to be successful. It doesn’t come easy for everyone. Great coaches ask great, and simple questions. The questions typically start with what or how, and are open ended. They encourage people to go deeper, expand initial thoughts or look at a different perspective. They don’t judge or criticize. They explore. They support. They encourage.
  1. Accountability Pairings last for 8 – 12 weeks…then switch partners. It is important for the team members to get used to different approaches and different strengths. It helps them grow. It keeps it fresh.
  1. Encourage people to focus on behaviours before results. Often, it is easier to hold individuals accountable for results and ignore the behaviours. But since behaviours precede results, start by building new “behavioural ground rules” to hold themselves and each other accountable. When we establish the peer responsibility to call out behaviours that are exhibited and inconsistent with our new behavioural ground rules, we make it more of the expected routine for everyone. Best to pick one key area for behaviour change and start there. Both players pick one behaviour and ask for ideas to help execute new behaviours.
  1. Resist the temptation to fix – resist the temptation of telling people what to do or giving advice – it is about drawing out through questions.

Peer to peer accountability is one of the toughest behaviours to master on a team. It often feels messy and uncomfortable. And it’s not something most of us have had much experience with. But it’s worth it. Teams who can call each other out on lack of follow-through or missed deadlines and broken rules are the ones that excel. They are efficient and productive. They have fun, and their relationships are stronger because of it. Next issue focuses on how to structure your Peer Coaching Sessions. If you want help setting up your Peer Coaching System, visit Learn2.com to speak with a practitioner today.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

5 Great Questions Every Leader Asks Their Team

What makes one company more successful than another? Better products, services, strategies, or technologies? While all of these contribute to superior performance, all of them can also be copied over time. The one thing that creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore ROI, company value and long-term strength – is the people who are the company. And when it comes to people, research has shown, time and again, that employees who are engaged significantly outperform work groups that are not engaged. In the fight for competitive advantage where employees are the differentiator, engaged employees are the ultimate goal.

As leaders we can be tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue for them, ask questions to get the team engaged in problem solving. The answers become conversations about things that are important or meaningful. Conversations are more likely to turn to action.

Here are some of the questions that can help you get started.

1. What do you think?
Instead of offering our answer first, get them thinking, talking and sharing. Hold back, no matter how tempting to share your solution. And when they start talking, just listen and maybe ask a probing question, like “What else?” No judgment, no qualifying, and no hi-jacking…let them explore with your help.
2. What would you do?
Asking this question encourages leadership thinking and ownership – at all levels of the company. Again, follow up with good probing questions to keep listening.
3. What’s the real challenge here for you?
The key here is the word “real”. When you ask about challenges, you may open the flood gates…help them focus on the real challenge so that they can begin to find their way out.
4. Where are you stuck?
Sometimes we just need a push…we may need to admit that we are stuck so that we open ourselves to ideas and new perspectives. Asking this question gives us permission to admit we are stuck so that we can move forward.
5. How can I help?
When your employee gets stuck and focuses there, they may become frustrated and disengaged… Asking this gives hope that they are not alone, and can be the relief they need to move forward. Go through the other questions first though…there is a reason this one is last.

Learn2 works with leaders to help them develop and implement strategies to engage their teams to get great results. Work with one of our Culture Specialists to help you implement lasting change in your team.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

10 Ways to Lead a Culture of Innovation In Your Organization or Team

There is one certainty you face as a leader…you will be required to lead transformational change. And if you can lead so that innovation happens on your team, than there is a higher likelihood of success through the change.

As leaders we are sometimes unclear about what innovation looks like and what we need to do to foster it. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Innovative leaders intentionally and skillfully do things that cause innovation to happen. Here’s our top 10 list to get you started.

  1. Articulate and share the BIG PICTURE – the purpose, the why, and why it all matters. If we share our big picture clearly and help people understand how they connect to that big picture and truly impact it, we are more likely to get them focused on ideas or opportunities to make that reality happen.
  2. Broaden your perspective and focus your actions. When we focus on one small element (one department, one product, one perspective) we are missing other key things that may impact our way forward. Get the blinders off. Look around. Then focus your actions specifically on what will impact your way forward. Remove the distractions that get in the way.
  3. Be curious – Be looking for the 2nd best answer or solution. Be open to different ways of doing things. When we have a genuine curios mindset, we just may learn something we hadn’t considered before.
  4. Ask great questions. As leaders we are sometimes tempted to share our wisdom and solve things for people – too often, and too quickly. When we do, we don’t allow others to grow, to develop, to come up with a brilliant idea…so pretty soon, they just don’t try any more. So rather than solve the issue, ask questions like “What would you do?”, “What’s the real challenge here?”, or “How can I help?” to get the team engaged in problem solving.
  5. Ask for feedback and surface people’s resistance. With change, comes resistance. So expect it. Roll with it. Manage it together. Actively seek feedback that may even contradict your intended plan or perspective. Get people thinking about the change in a way that involves them in the outcome.
  6. Collaborate with others. We don’t solve problems by ourselves. We have employees, partners, customers, stakeholders, and they all have a valuable perspective. What perspectives are we missing when we try to do it alone?
  7. Time for Reflection and Self-Assessment – We get busy. That’s not likely to change. And innovation isn’t an event you can schedule. We get ideas in strange places and when our mind is free enough to go in uncharted territory. So build down time in. Go for a walk, play music…whatever inspires your creative side. Don’t fill every second of your schedule.
  8. WTF CultureWilling To Fail. As a leader let’s accept failure as an important step on the way to a better solution. Give people permission to fail and have great conversations when we do fail. Learn from it, make it better, grow together. Go there.
  9. Develop Your Innovation System – When we have a system and know how to move an idea forward, how to get support, how to implement the idea, it makes it much more doable. So create a system that takes the guesswork out of it. Plan your steps, so the idea gets to take center stage in your mind, not the uncertainty around what to do with it.
  10. Join us at the next Women In Leadership and Business Conference. Start collaborating with other leaders that want to have a greater impact. Share in learning with great speakers, thought leaders, keynotes and interactive workshops. The next one is on November 20-22 in Calgary, Alberta. This year we have two great sessions on Innovation. Won’t you join us?

We all have ideas, we sometimes just have a hard time implementing them. For information about helping to build innovation on your team, or help you engage your team to deliver great results, contact Learn2.

Author: Tammy Sweeney, VP Program Development, Learn2 & CEO, Women in Leadership and Business (WILB) Conference

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