Choosing the Right Training Methods

Assume that you’ve been tasked with educating your team about new code of conduct procedures. What factors do you consider while deciding how to perform the training?

Do you get your team together for a group discussion? Do you plan to create an e-Learning course?

  • Do you provide a test or a quiz?
  • Should you create scenarios for role-playing in groups?
  • What additional kind of on-the-job training could you include?

It’s not always easy to choose the best training strategy.

The best training approach is determined by your objectives, trainees, and training content.

First, we’ll discuss a range of training methods, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Then you’ll discover what things to think about when determining which strategy is appropriate for your team and situation.

You can use a variety of approaches to convey training information and assist your team in developing new skills or behaviours.

Four of the most frequent types of training methods are:

  • Lectures, webinars, and guest speakers are examples of presentations.
  • On-the-job training, case studies, and exercises or assessments are all examples of hands-on training.
  • Team building exercises might take the form of team challenges or business games.
  • Online courses, video tutorials, animations, and other computer applications are examples of e-learning and multimedia approaches.

To choose the ideal training approach, you must first examine your scenario and then choose the method (or combination of methods) that best fits your needs.

To make the optimal decision, identify your training goals, analyse your audience, assess your restrictions, and evaluate your existing resources.

Make training interesting and useful. Employees are more engaged when training is immediately relevant or related to their daily tasks.

Consider how you can use case studies or videos to make training content more engaging, or how you can make it more relevant by using real-life examples. Use your imagination!

The key takeaways

You can use a variety of approaches to convey training information and assist your team in developing new skills or behaviours.

The best training approach is determined by your objectives, trainees, and training content.

To choose the ideal training approach, you must first examine your scenario and then choose the method (or combination of methods) that best fits your needs.

The Four Stages of Team Development

You realise your new team is a group of individuals who collaborate to achieve a common goal, right?

The reality is, it takes time for a group of strangers to gel into a cohesive unit.

Your team members must get to know one another, form relationships, and learn how to work together and contribute to the team.

Consider this: Each team develops their own culture, conventions, and dynamics. It’s unrealistic to expect your team to master these skills in a single day. Along the way, there will be hiccups, challenges, and experimentation.

So, how do teams come together?

What are the steps in the formation of a team?

And how can you, as their manager, assist your team in moving faster through the stages of development?

The team development model of Dr. Bruce Tuckman is a common framework for understanding how teams form.

Teams, according to Tuckman, progress through four stages of development: forming, storming, norming, and performing.

  • The formation stage is the first step for teams. Members are just starting to get to know one another and what they’ll be doing together.
  • The storming stage follows, which is characterised by conflict, competing ideas, and conflicting communication methods.
  • Norming is the third stage. Teams embrace a uniform set of team rules, roles, and conventions in this situation. They begin to learn how to collaborate and complete tasks.
  • When teams reach their peak performance, they are said to be performing.

As team manager, you should be aware of your team’s current stage of development, and modify your management strategy to help them progress to the next level.

Ask yourself…

“What has happened to my team?”

Examine the four stages of team development to see which stage your team most closely resembles.

“What stage are they at now?”

What can you do to assist them in moving forwards?

The key takeaways

Teams go through four stages of development, according to Dr. Bruce Tuckman: forming, storming, norming, and performing.

Managers should be aware of their team’s development stage so that they can modify their management strategies to help the team to progress.

Developing Your Team Through Coaching

Coaching is a process through which managers and team members work together.

The team member is treated as the expert in a coaching relationship, and the coach serves as a facilitator who assists them in finding their own solution, charting their own course, and determining their own path forwards.

Coaches achieve this via probing questions, seeking ideas, recognising limiting beliefs, talking about goals, and establishing action steps.

If coaching sessions with team members are planned and have a clear goal, they will be more fruitful.

The GROW model was developed by John Whitmore in his book “Coaching for Performance.” The GROW model is a straightforward and effective structure for organising coaching sessions.

There are four steps to it:

G stands for set a goal
R stands for examine the current reality
O stands for explore your options
W stands for determine a way forward

Setting Goals

To begin, a session must have a goal or objective that must be met. If the aim is to be measured and achieved, it must be specific and measurable.

So, once the goals have been established, simple questions like “What would you like to achieve in this area?” are good places to start.

It is critical that the goals are articulated in a positive manner, such as ‘I would like to achieve……..’ rather than ‘I must not fail………’ It’s also a good idea to talk about the goal of the unique coaching session.

Reality Checking

Knowing where you want to start can help you figure out what you want to accomplish. That is, the current situation. This is frequently a crucial beginning point, and once this is established, the solution becomes clear and simple.

It may be necessary to revisit the original goal and discuss ‘how challenging/realistic are these goals in light of current reality?’

Options Stage

The next step is to define your options for accomplishing your objectives after you know where you are and where you want to go.

Following the creation of a list of prospective solutions and possibilities, the benefits and costs of each option can be assessed. Coaches’ suggestions should only be treated as possibilities, not as answers. The participant, not the coach, must provide the solutions.

Will (Way Forward) Stage

The goal of this step is to turn a discussion into a decision. You must also be motivated or have the will to make the journey. Whatever emphasis is placed on this stage, the ideal outcome is a commitment to action.

Keep in mind that a coach is not the same as a teacher. Team members are more likely to take ownership of their ideas and outcomes if they are given the opportunity to participate actively in solving problems or furthering their careers.

Make a note of any unusual behaviours, ideas, or language patterns. Keep an eye out for anything unusual.

  • Have you noticed some unusual behaviours, ideas, or language patterns?
  • Have you ever observed how a member of your team frequently competes with or compares themselves to their coworkers?
  • Have you ever observed a disconnect between a team member’s self-perception and their actual performance?

Call out your observations; they can be powerful points for reflection.

The key takeaways

The GROW model is a straightforward and effective structure for organising coaching sessions. There are four steps to it:

G stands for set a goal, R stands for examine the current reality, O stands for explore your options, and W stands for determine a way forward.

Coaches achieve this via probing questions, seeking ideas, recognising limiting beliefs and talking about goals.

It may be necessary to revisit the original goal and discuss ‘how challenging/realistic are these goals in light of current reality?’

Once you know where you are and where you want to go, the next stage is to define your options.

The final step is to turn a discussion into a decision. You must also be motivated or have the ‘will’ to make the journey. Whatever emphasis is placed on this stage, the ideal outcome is a commitment to action.

Coaches’ suggestions should only be treated as possibilities, not as answers. Team members are more likely to take ownership of their ideas and outcomes if they are given the opportunity to participate actively in solving problems or furthering their careers.

A Manager’s Role In Career Development

Career development is a lifelong journey of self-awareness and professional growth.

As a manager, you are responsible for the success of your team. It is your responsibility to motivate your staff so that they, as well as you, may attain higher levels of success.

However, with career development, it’s not always clear where such responsibilities begin and end.

Yes, you should assist your team in setting goals. Yes, you should keep track of their progress, encourage them to complete tasks, and provide direction. But what part do you play in an employee’s long-term professional development? What, if any, role do you have in an employee’s personal development?

You’ll likely get different replies depending on who you ask. Some people believe that it is the employee’s obligation to develop.
Others say that the effort should be led by a manager. So, who’s right? The truth, like with most questions, lies somewhere in the middle.

As a manager, when you encourage your employees to invest in their professional growth, you increase their motivation and engagement, increase productivity, and improve your organisation’s reputation.

If you invest in your employees’ growth, you’ll not only have a consistent supply of highly skilled staff, but you’ll also be able to recruit and keep even more top talent.
While employees should be in charge of their own professional development, you should be supportive of them.

Get to know your employees, share your ideas, and provide them with opportunities. It’s a straightforward method that benefits your employees while also benefiting your organisation as a whole and helps you to stand out as a manager.

The key takeaways

When managers encourage and support their employees to invest in their professional growth, they increase their staffs’ motivation and engagement, increase productivity, improve their organisation’s reputation and helps them stand out as a manager.

Investing in employees’ growth, means managers also have a consistent supply of highly skilled staff, and able to recruit and keep more top talent.

Managing the Multigenerational Workplace

Take a peek around your workplace. Who are your colleagues? Do you see any significant age differences? You’re in the majority if you do.

Something unusual is happening in today’s workplace, as you may have noticed. For the first time in history, older generations are remaining in the workforce for longer periods of time. The workforce is currently the most age-diverse it has ever been, thanks to the influx of younger generations.

In today’s workplace, there can be up to five generations working together:

  • Traditionalists are characterised by pride, prudence, and loyalty.
  • Baby boomers are known for their work ethic, competitiveness, and ambition.
  • Generation X is known for its self-reliance, independence, and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Millennials are known for being tech-savvy and gregarious, as well as having a high regard for independence, flexibility, and feedback.
  • Generation Zers are social, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial, and are defined by their diversity and innovation.

When you mix all of the above generations together, you’re going to run into issues like communication breakdowns, interpersonal conflicts, and differing work preferences. Your team is also vulnerable to stereotyping and bias.

Despite the difficulties, you can bridge the generation gap by using a variety of communication styles, providing work options, and encouraging cross-generational relationships.

Here are some ideas you may find useful:

  • Establish and foster communication.
  • Avoid stereotypes.
  • Be actively involved.
  • Use the right tools.
  • Avoid the ‘one size fits all’ approach.
  • Create a work-life balance.

Taking a personalised approach is at the heart of any effective plan. Treat your team members as individuals first. Understanding the differences across generations is beneficial, but there are no absolutes.

Finally, the most successful managers concentrate on individuals rather than categories.

The key takeaways

The workforce is currently the most age-diverse it has ever been, thanks to the influx of younger generations.

Traditionalists are characterised by pride, prudence, and loyalty.

Baby boomers are known for their work ethic and competitiveness.

Generation X is known for its self-reliance, independence, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Millennials are known for being tech-savvy and gregarious, as well as having a high regard for independence, flexibility, and feedback.

Generation Zers are social, tech-savvy, and entrepreneurial, and are defined by their diversity and innovation.

Understanding and Leveraging Different Work Styles

A person’s work style refers to how they prefer to complete tasks. People are most likely to associate one or two of the following styles:

  • Visualisers. Individuals who respect creativity, big ideas, and spontaneity.
  • Prioritsers. Competitive, logical, and candid analytical decision-makers.
  • Arrangers. Individuals who emphasise human connection, empathy, and diplomacy in their relationships.
  • Planners. Deliberate, thoughtful, and structured, methodical and detail oriented individuals.

The four work styles are based on characteristics you may be able to observe. Assign each person one or two dominating styles based on what you know about your team.

Then, by embracing what makes people different, tailoring your communication to the individual, and providing different job possibilities different styles, you can take advantage of that cognitive diversity.

If you follow those procedures, you’ll play a key part in assisting your team in achieving more together.

Adopt a custom approach. People are complex, and some team members may be on the borderline of several styles. Perhaps one of your team members is a Prioritiser who also values relationships. In these circumstances, take a unique strategy, combining tactics to appeal to the person behind the style.

The key takeaways

A person’s work style refers to how they prefer to complete tasks.

Assign each person one or two dominating styles based on what you know about your team.

Tailoring your communication to the individual, and providing different job possibilities different styles, can take advantage of cognitive diversity.

Tips for Improving Team Dynamics

The way people in a group communicate with one another has an impact on team dynamics. People work together to improve their performance when the dynamics are positive. When team dynamics are negative, members clash and fail to meet expectations.

Several factors contribute to challenges with team dynamics:

  • Blocking behaviours
  • Weak or domineering leadership
  • Groupthink
  • Free-riding
  • Evaluation apprehension.

Improve team dynamics by getting to know your team. Determine how each person works, what they require, and how you might assist them. Then, by defining responsibilities and expectations, you can establish accountability.

Create a culture of open communication and encourage social connection through team-building exercises to encourage the free flow of ideas.

Finally, keep an eye on your staff so you can reinforce or redirect their conduct as needed.

You can continue to improve team chemistry by using these tactics, resulting in a productive team that achieves more than any single person could.

Be patient: it takes time to improve. Relationships are at the heart of team dynamics, and they, like all relationships, require time to build. So, please be patient.

Don’t give up if your team is having trouble. Continue to use the five tactics discussed above, and keep in mind that progress takes time.

The key takeaways

Get to know your team by defining responsibilities and expectations and establish accountability.

Create a culture of open communication and encourage social connection through team-building exercises.

Be patient as it takes time to improve team dynamics, and don’t give up if your team is having trouble.

Characteristics of High-Performing Teams

A high-performing team generates consistent, high-quality outputs, but an average team is prone to variable results and conflict. Six fundamental criteria characterise a high-performing team:

  • A clear sense of direction. The team is united by a single goal, and everyone understands their role.
  • Transparency and open communication. People communicate openly and regularly, settling issues swiftly and encouraging cooperation and teamwork.
  • Shared ownership and accountability. No one takes a back seat when it comes to responsibility. Each person is responsible for their own weight.
  • Mutual trust and respect. Rather than doubting one another, team members have faith in one another and value what their colleagues have to offer.
  • Diverse skills and perspectives. These teams include people with a diverse range of work methods, personalities, backgrounds, and perspectives.
  • Flexibility and adaptability. Members of the team understand that if situations or demands change, they must evolve as well. These teams value education, progress, and innovation.

As a leader, consider where your team stands. Where are you missing the mark? What are your areas of strength? Look to instil as many of these attributes as possible as you grow your team, as this is the key to building your own high-performing team.

The characteristics are all interrelated. If one of your team’s characteristics is lacking, it’s likely that others are as well. Employees, for example, cannot share ownership without also sharing a common goal. The characteristics are all interrelated. As a result, be aware of the gaps. Focus on one attribute at a time if necessary, and the rest will fall into place over time.

The key takeaways

While an average team is prone to inconsistent results and conflict, a high-performing team produces consistent, high-quality results. These teams are made up of six foundational characteristics:

  • A strong sense of purpose.
  • Open communication and transparency.
  • Shared ownership and accountability.
  • Mutual trust and respect.
  • Diverse skills and perspectives
  • Flexibility and adaptability.

Common Roles in a Team

Team roles can be formal or informal.

Informal roles are more difficult to define than formal roles, which describe an individual’s job title or assigned position.

Team members naturally fill informal roles based on their behavioural patterns and interpersonal strengths.

Nine common team roles are listed in Belbin’s notion of team roles:

Are there numerous people performing the same tasks? Is it causing any tension?

  • Plant (creates ideas)
  • Resource Investigator (explores opportunities and contacts)
  • Co-ordinator (clarifies goals, promotes decision making)
  • Shaper (drives the team forward)
  • Teamworker (provides support and encourages cooperation)
  • Monitor Evaluator (discerning judgment)
  • Implementer (turns ideas into action)
  • Completer (attention to detail)
  • Specialist (technical knowledge and skills)

Discuss the various roles with your team, as well as the roles they recognise in themselves or others. Understanding and clarifying informal team roles are crucial stages in building a more resilient and well-rounded team.

Keep in mind that team roles represent behaviour patterns and interpersonal styles. While people prefer to take a specific team role, that role might shift based on the scenario and the other members of the team. Instead of forcing others to fit into strict boxes, use these roles as a flexible guide.

The key takeaways

  • Informal team roles can be more difficult to define than formal ones.
  • Team members naturally fill informal roles based on their behaviour patterns and interpersonal strengths.
  • Understanding and clarifying informal team roles are crucial stages in building a resilient and well-rounded team.
  • Use Belbin’s nine team roles as a flexible guide.

Transitioning from Peer to Boss

You’ve just received your promotion. You’re ready for it, even if you’re not totally comfortable with the new role.

While you may be feeling some butterflies, you’re eager to prove yourself.

It’s easy to take the first steps toward transition to management, but you want to do it thoughtfully and be prepared for what’s to come.

Taking on the role of manager is an exciting and gratifying experience. Helping others develop their abilities, progress as professionals, and attain increasingly ambitious goals can be extremely fulfilling.

When you shift from peer to boss, you shift from doing work to leading others through the process of accomplishing a goal.

The focus moves from doing work to supporting, guiding, and developing others in doing work. It’s a shift from working on a project to overseeing many projects. It’s a shift from working with people you trust to working with people you don’t know or control.

To manage a team successfully requires a shift in mentality and in your approach to your job. You need to reframe your goals and expectations. Your goals shift from being an expert in your job to being a facilitator who helps others become experts in their jobs.

With so much on the line, define your goals for the next year, put together a plan, and take steps to make it happen. Understand the role you’ll need to play as a manager.

The way a manager functions varies from organisation to organisation, but most managers will need to be able to do the following:

  • Hire and train staff.
  • Maintain a good working environment over time.
  • Delegate duties.
  • Assign Projects.
  • Create a work plan that can be followed efficiently.
  • Oversee existing processes.
  • Listen carefully and communicate well with clients and co-workers.
  • Manage time well from day to day.

People management is a talent that must be honed and mastered. If you aren’t where you want to be in a day, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Finding your management style, seeing what works, and practising and perfecting your talents will take some time.

The key takeaways

People management is a talent that must be honed and learned. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t where you want to be overnight.

Accepting your job as someone who supports, guides, and develops others can help you make a positive impact on your team.

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