Learning Is Not Doing: 5 Core Skills in Leading Team Development

A highly successful developer of on-line learning software recently told me that the key to her success is to turn learning into doing.  Her focus on doing as a part of learning, she said, has made her a key problem solver to her clients.  Converting knowledge to action reinforces learning (the subject matter), develops high-performing teams and helps her clients resolve performance gaps that often result from misapplied training efforts. My friend lives by the adage that you have to learn how to do and, then, you learn by doing. Or as Benjamin Franklin puts it, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” 

The development of high-performing talent is not a task to be relegated to Human Resources, but is a fundamental mandate of every leader in today’s business environment.  Research shows that a leader’s involvement in their employees’ development activities significantly impacts both leadership effectiveness and employee performance.  Great leaders recognize that their involvement in employee development programs, done with thought and consistency, are of strategic importance to both organizations and employees, creating a force of high-performing workers who excel at building organization-wide capabilities that drive business growth. 

Look around you; those leading the development of their people are the ones with successful teams – engaged, loyal, motivated, and consistently producing meaningful results.

Do you want to be a leader who better develops high performing and results driven employees?  Here are 5 core skills that will help you: 

  1. Know Your Employee: “…events influence our future choices. Thus, people create themselves through the choice of actual occasions they live through.” – Alice Y. Kolb and David A. Kolb. In creating relevant, strategically aligned and tailored development opportunities, it is essential to understand your employees’ strengths, weaknesses, level of experience and familiarity with the organization. Observe how your employee thinks, feels, perceives and behaves, and assess their decision-making and creativity abilities. 
  2. Build Confidence: Confident team members are more effective and efficient in executing their role.  Provide experiences to produce positive emotional effects, notably confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of personal value and purpose. Remove barriers that may prevent an effective learning experience (e.g. politics, lack of support, resources, oversight, timing, etc.).
  3. Involve Yourself: Engage in your employee’s development by participating in appropriate development opportunities together, regularly monitoring progress, and holding yourself accountable as a vital element of the employees’ development and, ultimately, their performance. Be sure to communicate to your employees, your specific role and accountability in their development plans.
  4. Leverage Others: Involve outside team members whose roles and relationships are critical to the success of your employee’s development; emphasize relationship development and the building of trust.  Be willing to help develop employees outside of your own team.
  5. Provide Feedback and Time to Reflect:  “Learning results from synergetic transactions between the person and the environment.” – Angela M. Passarelli and David A. Kolb.  Listen, observe, and communicate through timely, candid feedback. Be open to new ideas and empower people to bring to the table different ways to think about and do things that result from employees’ learning experiences.

What are you doing to be better at leading your team’s development and performance?

Prism Partners International can help you assess the performance of your employees against the strategy and culture of your organization and deliver resulting employee development plans that will drive superior performance and improved organizational results. Through our practical, operational experience, and innovative assessments and analytics, we can help you develop your strategy and culture and, then, focus and align management actions and employee performance to achieve improved profitability.  

Further, we have recently partnered with Dynactive Software, an online gamification learning software company.  Dynactive’s learning and content management systems, enables users to learn more, faster, and at significantly lower costs.  Dynactive’s proven methodology can help employees achieve their potential and their company’s critically vital business goals in a cost saving and revenue enhancing way.    

Please contact us to learn how we can help.  We invite you sign-up for our periodic blog posts at http://www.prismpartnersintl.com/blog.  We also ask that you join our LinkedIn Group (Strategic Human Capital Alignment Forum), Like Us on Facebook (Prism Partners International) and Follow Us on Twitter (@PrismPartners).