There is plenty of evidence that conversations are the highways to deliver better cohesion, higher energy and better performance. Even in our small company, every day we see how influential conversations are across our team.
I am sure it is pretty much the same in your organization. Maybe on a larger scale, but with the same subtle dynamics. Facing the same challenges: helping people to master their skills and most of all to raise their confidence and self-awareness on Critical Conversations is not easy at all.
Mastery conversation is hard!
We have long reflected on the importance of mastery Critical Conversation (here is an interesting article “Building a Community of Leadership Abundance”) and on how practicing is by far the most efficient and long-term sustainable way to get and maintain results (here is another inspiring article “From Critical to Empowering Conversations: Let’s Change the World Using the C-FACTOR”).
We continue to discuss this subject (by the way, we would love to hear your thoughts) to inspire our next evolution of SkillGym.
We keep working hard on our methodology, since we believe that handling Critical Conversation to the point of mastery is just as hard. Because emotions are involved, ancestral fears tend to overwhelm, and those who are not well trained tend to avoid them as the most comfortable option they have.
If you are a HR or L&D professional struggling with developing leadership in your organization and you agree with the above assessment, you may have already experienced (or maybe you are just starting to reflect on this) that practicing is the best way to expand your comfort zone as well as to measure and expand your limits.
Well, read on. There are at least ten good reasons for which it makes sense to integrate a training system that can help you deliver powerful and actionable practice with Critical Conversations.
Some good news
The following is a short list of the typical pains that most of our clients face every day when dealing with empowering leadership throughout their organization. Does it ring any bells?
For each challenge, I try to summarize what happens when you put SkillGym in the picture. Of course, each situation is different, so I don’t expect that all the following points apply to you, but I am sure you will find some food for thought.
- Your Leaders are fed up with “pit-stop” learning. Those gatherings that happen one or two times per year, lasting two to three days and ending up in forgetting almost everything within the next two-three weeks. Many of them argue that they don’t even need leadership courses because “they know how to manage”.
- If you are scratching your head thinking about the next “one-shot” training fireworks to wake them up, please consider flipping the problem. They don’t really need another pit-stop. What they need is a consistent on-the-go support to let them reflect on the outcomes of their current level of mastery and to help them get and stay fit with conversational leadership (by the way, did you check out this amazing blog on this subject?)
- SkillGym is a gym where Leaders can challenge their current performance in Critical Conversation and, most of all, it’s a place where they can improve by practicing.
- Benefit to you: a great shift in traditional paradigms that will help you raise your Leaders’ interest. And a common ground will help you to better convey your other strategies, such as teambuilding, executive coaching as well as leadership classes and workshops. (Yes, we see that when people get feedback by practicing, like SkillGym provides, this turns on their self-awareness and their appetite for new and very focused knowledge!)
- Your organization is asking you to boost your Leaders’ ability to engage their teams and pull out their best. But your last (and very traditional) empowering course didn’t seem to bring long-term results in the way they manage (potentially) empowering conversations.
- Leadership development is more than an informative process. Much more! It is a transformative process (more in this interesting and provocative article by Jack Dunigan). That’s why traditional leadership training alone falls short. It’s time to support your Leaders with long-term, consistent solutions that turn potential into real action.
- SkillGym specifically works on two paramount metrics: confidence in taking Critical Conversations (“oh yes, it’s easy for me, I have done it before!”) and self-awareness of one’s own real impact on others.
- Benefit to you: you will expand your Leaders’ comfort zone in less time and more efficiently, with laser targeted self-paced practice that can be easily supported and integrated by other training services on demand.
- You have so many subjects to work on, and leadership development seems to have never-ending borders. And, of course, resources can’t keep up.
- Certainly, you are familiar with the 80/20 principle (that’s tried and true law) in which 20% of the causes are responsible of 80% of the effects. Conversational leadership isn’t an exception. There is a short list of types of conversations that make most of the difference.
- SkillGym Curriculum focuses on 16 types of Critical Conversations. We build stories on those types that look like what your Leaders normally face every day.
- Benefit to you: no more divided energy, no more reinventing the wheel. Total focus on what really makes a difference. Storytelling is also a very powerful hook on its own, but when people recognize their own daily challenges in your stories, it becomes addictive!
- You struggle to keep trainees engaged. Especially with digital learning.
- Welcome to reality! We know all too well how hard it is to keep the momentum, that we dedicated one entire webinar to this challenge (with a very provocative title, by the way!).
- SkillGym leverages a great principle to keep engagement high: habits. We are so hard-wired to our habit of following our schedule calendar that we stick to any appointment we put on it. So, each character of each Digital Role Play in SkillGym pops-up from time to time with a request for a conversation, sending a doodle to your busy Leaders. 😉 And guess what? After scheduling the appointment, almost no one misses the meeting.
- Benefit for you: a much higher level of engagement, exploiting such a well-rooted habit of human beings.
- You need to measure and, most of all, boost your Leaders’ learning agility. Especially the most senior Leaders. It’s not at all easy.
- Learning Agility is one of the most important factors affecting the speed of development of people’s potential. It is paramount to measure it and it’s one of the key elements to stress for reaching any overall improvements.
- SkillGym measures Learning Agility in three ways: Skill Flexibility, Learning Speed and Retention Degree. Each Digital Role Play inside SkillGym challenges those three factors at the same time.
- Benefit to you: not only do you get an authentic measure on the go, you also push your Leaders’ limits by challenging them to keep up with increasingly complex and adaptive situations.
- You need to find a compromise between the aim of personalizing your training strategy to the real needs of each individual and the resources you have to scale your training programs.
- Adaptive learning is becoming very popular these days. But it doesn’t come without organizational challenges. How can you keep up with all those individual needs, avoiding the risk of overflowing your capacity to deliver efficient training?
- SkillGym leverages AI to deliver what we call the Digital Fitness program. A totally personalized way to schedule the right dose of training. We start with a questionnaire to assess the real self-perceived need and the acceptable pace and then we adjust the program on the way, learning from each person’s real commitment and response to our challenges.
- Benefit to you: effortless personalization of the training path/pace and fully adaptive learning schedule available for all.
- You need to turn training progresses into metrics to be shown to trainees for encouraging them to follow-up and you need to engage your and their sponsors to demonstrate the ROI of your activity.
- Measuring soft skills improvement is very important. But it is not easy if you can’t rely on a smart system rooted in consistent behavioral metrics.
- SkillGym is designed on behavioral grades from the ground up. We build each Digital Role Play on a solid behavior map and we measure over 50 different metrics that can be aggregated in several ways to fit your competence map, whatever that may be.
- Benefit to you: not only will SkillGym fit your model, it turns your KPIs in measurable evidence from one single dashboard. SkillGym Butler will also automatically informing your stakeholders about the results of your training management efforts.
- You need to match competency assessment with annual performance reviews.
- Competency-based performance review is of course very popular and on the rise. It’s not easy to deliver when the organization is growing.
- SkillGym includes an option to run recurrent assessments on conversational skills and to export the data to your performance review workflow.
- Benefit to you: add an important angle to your performance reviews, highlighting potential blind spots on one of the most critical competency areas of all.
- You need to focus on long-term maintenance of the new skills that you helped your Leaders develop. You know that people tend to slip back into their old habits, but scaling a skill-maintenance program is no simple task.
- Humans work on and stick to habits, whatever they do. You know how hard it is to change old habits. And you know even better how easy it is for old habits to crop back up if you don’t maintain your recently gained new approaches.
- SkillGym is not just another “touch-and-go” learning tool. It is a real on-the-go gym, specifically designed to follow and escort trainees over time. Because we know that new habits require maintenance to turn them into engrained habits.
- Benefit to you: no more “pit-stop” learning activities that fizzle out after two days. You can now integrate a long-term maintenance strategy that will keep you in touch with your Leaders over the long haul, providing self-scheduled recurrent practice and consistent progressive metrics to check effectiveness.
- Sometimes you need to solve very specific problems unique to your organization. Storytelling requires personalization to really trigger your Leaders’ engagement.
- Even if leadership challenges are almost the same in every organization, each ecosystem is still unique. And sometimes your internal clients ask for as much personalization as possible, demanding extra effort from you to sort out the perfect dedicated nuances from established and well-running training programs.
- SkillGym provides a growing catalogue of the most recurrent leadership Critical Conversations with a 20/80 approach that is designed to challenge Leaders on conversations that really make the bigger difference. At the same time, however, we listen to each of our clients and quite often we develop custom-made stories if their needs become very specific.
- Benefit to you: from day one, you can start providing one of the most common challenges by using our ready-made stories. You can rely on a great team of storytellers and video makers to work with you to develop your next personalized scenario.
I hope I was able to inspire you with this list. Based on our experiences, more and more HR and L&D professionals are increasingly facing one or more of these challenges. What do you think? I would welcome the opportunity to continue this conversation with you directly, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to dig deeper.
In closing, you may want to reflect on the characteristics to look for when choosing your next Digital Role Play system. We wrote this article (“Digital Role Plays, the Best Way to Develop Conversational Leadership”) to help familiarize you with this world.
Of course, we would be delighted to show you SkillGym’s solution in a very interactive and hands-on 1-hour demo.
Thanks for reading!