Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created
through the transformation of experience.
— David A. Kolb, American educational theorist (1984)
At Better Conversations, we believe that we grow best when:
- we apply a new approach to a real and current problem we are facing (when it matters most)
- are supported to explore our options for handling that problem to build confidence in ourselves (when we feel safest)
- are the primary designers of the solution (when we feel emotionally invested)
- and then follow through on our plan of action (when we have first-hand experience) with a mindset of considered experimentation (when we connect doing something differently to our own growth)
Proximity of time and significance of impact to us personally are primary determining factors in the success of any leadership development programme. And yet traditional leadership development programmes and their modified variations suffer from fast depleting recall by delegates.
Various studies indicate that, at the very best, leaders recall 30% of study knowledge and go on to apply only single-digit levels of knowledge to their day-to-day work. That is a disastrously poor return on investment and accounts for why most leadership development programmes fail to deliver the impact they promise.
We also believe that leaders who actively use coaching skills to motivate and inspire their people will become our most valued members within organisations — 64% of C-suite leaders around the world say they want it as a matter of priority (The Global Leadership Forecast, E&Y, 2019) and even scale-up organisations rank leadership in their top 3 list of priorities alongside funding and talent retention (Annual Review, Scaleup Institute UK, 2019).
Studies have proven that coaching has emerged as the most effective on-the-job method for increasing leadership capability and productivity when compared to other professional development and training interventions. Conservative global industry estimates of the monetary investment indicate a 6 to 7-fold return on investment from coaching. And when combined with training, the increased productivity yields are over 80%. (International Coach Federation (ICF) Global Coaching Study 2016).
Leaders Who Coach™ overcomes these challenges and brings about a higher recall and application rate by:
- Passing on powerful coaching competencies and skills of professionally trained and credentialed coaches to leaders in ways that are relevant and essential to leaders in their organisations. Leaders Who Coach™ is built on coaching competencies as defined by the ICF and modified to meet the on-the-ground demands placed on leaders.
- Placing the leader at the centre of their own transformational growth journey.
- Grounding concepts and techniques in scientific evidence, documented behavioural research and explanations of our physiological responses (for example, in moments of stress or crisis).
- Offering plenty of opportunities to explore current challenges that those leaders are facing and that require immediate or urgent attention.
- Leveraging those opportunities to be learning moments for peer delegates, which also create common ground and stronger emotional connections between delegates that means that they know how to support each other well beyond the programme.
- All 12 skill assignments are personally relevant to the leader, are short and focused for targeted learning, and bring about that transformation of experience in the context of their role, function, and teams.
- Over four competencies — Grounded Leadership, Emotional Connections, Conversation Skills, and Capability & Capacity of Teams — leaders build on their growing confidence and mastery, skill by skill, over the programme duration.
I hadn’t prepared for just how much richness there was throughout this journey! It exceeded my expectations. I’ve gained the confidence to trust in my leadership, lead in ways which align with my values and to shake off the pressures of what I’ve thought “leadership” traditionally looks like. I’m excited to work with others and walk the journey with them, seeing them thrive in their own decision-making and be a resource rather than an instructor. — Siobhan OH Baker
We have to begin with the needs of the leader not just to deliver organisational results but “me the leader who needs to overcome my fears, insecurities and imposter syndrome, who needs to be respected by my peers and my boss, who needs to feel like I am making a difference to my team, who needs to maintain a desirable reputation, who needs to feel valued and needed, who needs to maintain and increase my financial earnings, who needs to maintain my standing in my professional community…” and so on.