I’m taking a break this week from my series on leadership because I have been spending a lot of my time preparing to teach two Soft Skills and Leadership Development courses overseas in a couple of weeks. This has been an interesting experience. First, I had to pull together content for a number of subjects to create the two courses, each of which will be three days long. Then I had to prepare the participants’ workbook, PowerPoint slides and the instructor’s manual for myself. In the long run though, it will be very worthwhile.
The other interesting aspect to this project is that I will be traveling to Saudi Arabia to deliver the courses. This will not be my first trip to the Persian Gulf, but it will be my first trip to SA. Getting my visa and arranging travel plans have been relatively easy as most of the work was done by the organization with which I am contracted to deliver the courses. I’m not necessarily looking forward to the long flights but I am looking forward to the overall experience.
My audience will be employees of a joint USA/Saudi company working in the oil and gas industry, all managers who will be spending the time exploring how to improve their management skills, primarily their soft skills such as:
· Interpersonal communications
· Influencing, Professionalism
· Problem solving
· Time & personal management
· The Ability to learn
All of these I have written about in previous posts and have become the foundation of my coaching practice.
Last week I had the privilege of presenting my three-hour interpersonal communications workshop and then six hours of coaching to the sales leadership team of a major sports team in Vancouver. The two days I spent with these leaders allowed me to observe a fast-paced, exciting sales environment and the interaction of these sales leaders with their teams. The obvious analogy of team sports and the sales team ran throughout the organization, using the language and strategies that you might imagine an organization like this would use. Bottom line, the leaders were left with an additional tool that they could use when working with their direct reports, and the initial feedback was that they were already using many of the concepts. In fact, I observed them using them the day after the workshop. It’s always fun to see and overhear conversations in which it’s obvious the clients are applying what they just learned. I believe that one of the reasons this happens is because of the follow up one-hour coaching session I do after the workshop that reinforces the learning at an individual level.
When I started, I didn’t intend this blog to be a big promo of what I do, however I think every once and awhile it’s good to present the activities in which we are involved. Why? Because it demonstrates and give credibility to what we write about. We are actually practicing what we preach and are actively involved in the business and practice of leadership.