Monday, October 10, 2016
A year ago when I accepted a challenge to deliver training to Union leaders in Marathi, several questions had flocked my mind.
How do Union leaders view behavioural training programs? Will the participants hijack the agenda of training program & make it an open house to vent their grievances to the Management? Is the Management serious about the training objectives or is to give participants a feel good factor or is the hidden agenda of amicably completing the process of revision of wage agreement.
I am glad what started as an experiment for me, successfully grew multi fold in a year’s time.
It’s been an eventful journey working with the Unions. In fact I have learned the most from these trainings. I find these participants unique in their attitude & approach and hence these trainings are more challenging than any other leadership trainings.
Several things that I learned while working with Unions & their well educated counterparts:
1. Education doesn’t make you smart. What really matters while working with Union is are you able to treat them as partners in working
2. Perception is reality. Your intentions may not matter if you are perceived wrongly. They are far more intelligent to read between the lines
3. You need to be smarter to implement your agenda; else it is highly possible of them to hijack the agenda by diverting it to a grievance session. (There have been instances where I had to ask the IR head to walk out of the training session, so we could focus on training objectives & not let the participants make it an open house)
4. To develop symbiotic working, you first need to work on bridging the credibility gap between the employer & the Union
5. To make your Union progressive & develop collaborative mindset, trust, transparency, mutual interests needs to be worked upon on sustained basis
6. To build responsible & responsive Union leaders, you need to invest in them. This facilitates positive contribution to the growth of an organization
7. Don’t interact only when there’s a problem. If you do so, the relationship will be built in stressful & tense situations. Instead foster positive relationships by rewarding positive behaviours. This will help to build trust on both sides.
What I really love about the interactions with Union members/leaders is it’s a unique integration of willingness to transform workshop learning’s with practical application & a genuine feedback of what worked & what did not. For me it’s been a profound personal transformation about decoding leadership lessons, understanding what really matters!
Posted by Synectics Academy at 3:00 AM
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The landline rings. Mother picks up the call. The grandfather on the other side of the call wants to talk to his grandchild.
The 6 year old kid says...I am busy. I will talk to you later. May be over the ‘weekend’.
A 5 year old kid pretends to type on a laptop, has plugged in ear phones. An mused Father asks the kiddo what are you doing?
Kids response: I am on a conference call. Kindly do not disturb.
An 8 year old kid plays with few trophies & medals. He is very happy hanging around with those. Finally looks at the Father & almost speaks in an announcing manner...I don’t think so you will ever get a medal for being a Best Father & does a thumbs down.
Scenario 4: The child gives a preface that he was enjoying coffee with his parents at Starbucks. The scene that gets depicted is as follows. Child busy looking here & there, kind of liking the coffee. Father on a call. Mother busy coaxing a child to click a selfie & then posting it on Facebook with a title “Time well spent with my kid”
Scenario 5: The child is studying. Mother is on whatsapp & keeps telling the child in between..sit properly...study well...
And it was followed by many such scenarios. A theatre based workshop with students of age 5 to 13 years brought out few facts where parents and teachers several times felt like laughing & crying at the same time.
Few questions that facilitated a discussion with parents:
1. Are we living a weekend life? How can we improve it?
2. How can we wisely & thoughtfully integrate household chores (that takes a lot of our time on weekends) with kids?
3. Can we unplug at least social media & whatsapp over the weekends and also while spending time with kids?
4. Introspect – Do we walk the talk?
5. If we don’t log in into the office network over the weekend, is it so difficult to catch up on Monday?
6. Is the work really urgent or have you got into a habit/behaviour to bolster your self-worth with proof of 24/7 availability?
So is it a time for you to take your life back? Your laptop & smartphone also needs some idle time while you live & enjoy your life!
Posted by Synectics Academy at 3:39 AM
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
The training head of a large manufacturing organization asked me – “What can you guarantee”? And I very calmly responded “Nothing”. She was taken aback by my composure coz she had probably expected me to fall all over myself making promises of change in participants after attending the workshop.
I am sharing the excerpts of our interesting conversation to highlight:
1. Organizations play a larger role than the facilitator in making training effective
2. Can training really change people?
Here is the excerpt of our conversation.
I was very upfront in telling that Training as a standalone event can rarely change people. It does help in brining all participants to a common denominator & also helps in broadening the thinking horizon of participants. Training cannot be a substitute for feedback that the organization was looking for. I have often seen employees being pushed in a training program without any debrief about the workshop. If there is no dialogue between the participant & the manager about how a specific session can accelerate their learning or what are the changes that a Manager would like to see after the session, whose responsibility is it to make training effective?
I believe & I can surely guarantee success of my programs if organizations guarantee:
1. Each participant have had a dialogue with their Manager about their current skill sets and on how the program can help
2. The messages or outcomes of the training & that given by the Manager are same
3. Manager/Organization gives opportunities to the participants in making the desired change or demonstrate the change
4. Participation in training is neither used a yardstick to performance nor as a substitute for feedback
I do not believe that training alone can change people, however I do believe
1. A well structured session with a supportive facilitator can help people accelerate their learning
2. Along with training, a series of activities like debrief, feedback, action plans, reviews should be planned to continue the momentum of learning created/established during the workshopLearning is owned by the learner. The Manager should own the responsibility of ensuring employees readiness to learn & the facilitator should be able to simplistically deliver key messages that can be readily experimented at work place
Posted by Synectics Academy at 3:37 AM