How much money does your company invest in Leadership training programs?
Which habit or behavior did you change after your last training?
Did you set any development objectives for yourself and do you review them regularly?
Who supported and encouraged you in applying what you have learned there? Who else could support you and how?
I have talked to a lot of leaders who don’t succeed to apply learnings and change certain behaviors after training. I still observe and hear about reactions of the team like, “oh, he/she has been on a training….just be patient, it will just take some days until he/she is back to normal”. Of course, learners, in this case, are very likely to feel insecure and show new behavior only once or twice and then give up.
How to turn the vicious circle?
This is where development coaching comes into place to build psychological safety for the individual. Psychological safety is defined by how group members think they are viewed by others in the group. We all want to feel respected and act without fear of negative consequences on self-image, status, or career. If a learner steps out of his or her comfort zone, moving on to slippery territory, it is psychological safety that keeps the person going.
Coaching provides a helping hand and the possibility to simulate and reflect with a neutral person. Setting development objectives, challenging them, and enabling a reality check on them. Learners are encouraged to think in different scenarios, change perspectives, gain learner safety and start the ball rolling in real life. After a certain trial period, there is another reflection with the coach to analyze achievements and barriers. Step by step the territory becomes less slippery and more familiar and safe.
Recently, we can find many articles on psychological safety in a team and it’s impact on innovation and responsiveness to change. They describe how leaders can create psychological safety at work but let’s not forget that it all starts with the individual. Only a leader who is feeling safe by him- or herself can genuinely encourage his team to speak up, bring new ideas, and talk about failure. Only a leader who is feeling safe can help to create psychological safety in the team.
Coaching is all about listening, observing, and asking within the frame of psychological safety.
Are you ready for another round of reflection?
- Which kind of environment would you need to try something new? What would make you feel safe enough to do so?
- Who will be impacted by your changed behavior? How would they react? What can you do to bring them on board?
- When was the last time, you moved out of your comfort zone (voluntarily or involuntarily)? What was the situation? How did you feel? How long did that feeling last until you felt secure again? What was different then?
- When was the last time you tried to do something different? Why did you do it? What did you try to achieve? Were you successful? Why were you successful? Or why not? Did you keep the different behavior? What would you do differently next time?
- How often do you encourage someone else to try something new?
- How do you reward yourself for achieving something?
As a coach, I don’t have the answers.
But I do have the questions to make YOU find the answers.