This is the third of three blogs on how managers can help make training “stick” after the team returns to the reality of every day work. In this entry we focus on following up with individuals who attended the training.
Teams are collections of individuals, and they will not reach high performance unless the individuals do. Your team members’ plans for personal improvement can feed into a formal, structured process such as a personal development plan or performance review, or a less formal growth opportunity. Regardless, your active interest in your team members’ growth will multiply the chances of successful change. Here are some tips for a coaching conversation:
- Create a personal check-in/coaching time with each team member within 2 weeks of the training. This is a time to review what they personally learned from the training and identify how they intend to apply it.
- Have the person identify one or two key things they’d like to act on; these could lead to developmental goals (i.e., more learning) or behavioural goals (changing how they act in certain situations).
- Have them describe why it’s important to them, the organization and team. How does it fit with their work context and career goals?
- Have them describe tactics/actions that they think will achieve the goal, and what timeframe is realistic for starting and completing the initiative.
- Ask what support and resources they need. Do they need a “partner” who might support them and help hold them accountable?
- Schedule a follow up meeting for 2-4 weeks later. Have additional check-ins as needed.
Individual coaching conversations encourage the application of learning and heighten an individual’s perceptions of accountability to the team. They also show your interest in their well-being as people and as employees.
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This is the second of three blogs on how managers can help make training “stick” after the team returns to the reality of every day work. In this entry we focus on following up with the entire team.
Well-run group challenges on a training day can get people feeling and working like a true team. Engagement, collaboration and synergy are high. If you want to anchor that team “feeling” in the workplace, deliberately connect with them as a team in the weeks following the workshop. You say that you already have weekly or bi-weekly meetings that include tactical discussions and progress reports? Perfect. Now add elements that focus on team culture and you will all reap the benefits. Here are some ideas:
- Review highlights of the training at the first team meeting after the session. Ideally this will be within a week. Ask people to bring their “Key Insights” and “Tool” cards and share one of their take-aways with the team.
- Set aside a dedicated meeting to review your team action plan or your group ‘norms’ as soon as possible.
- Set yourself a task to periodically review and revise the action plan and norms with the team. Are you doing what you said you’d do? Is it working?
- Develop a schedule to focus on one aspect of the training for 10-15 minutes at each of your upcoming team meetings. Involve others and make it fun.
- Provide regular team “forming” activities. These can be short icebreakers at the beginning of meetings where people share about themselves, informal pot-luck lunches, team celebrations or professionally-run team building events.
It takes hard work and commitment from everyone, especially the leader, to create a high performance team culture. And the rewards are great.
In the next blog we will look at things you can do to follow up as you work one-on one with people.
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Most participants of team training sessions get completely fired up to act upon valuable insights from their training day. As trainers, we find this very gratifying since action is a key part of learning. But we know that people can quickly lose their energy when they return to the office to face their bulging inboxes, urgent demands and the seductive lure of convention. No matter how good we are as “fire-starters”, we need people to feed the flame of self-improvement in the weeks following the training event. The job of keeping the fire going typically falls to the team manager and Human Resources department.
In an effort to help make training “stick”, Summit has created a training follow-up guide for managers. We send this document to each team leader after the training program to help them support their staff members and teams on their journey to high performance.
The goal is to keep the learning ‘top of mind’, and to ensure that action plans become, well, actions.
In the next two blogs we will share some of our suggestions for training follow up regarding team and individual action plans.
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True Patriot Love Announces Antarctica as Destination for 2016 Expedition
Wounded Canadian soldiers team up with Canadian business leaders to battle the coldest continent in the world in order to raise awareness and funds for Canada’s military families and veterans.
Toronto ON (November 12, 2014) – The True Patriot Love Foundation is pleased to announce that the Foundation’s 2016 signature Expedition will be to Antarctica. Nine wounded soldiers and 18 business leaders will come together to summit Vinson Massif – the highest peak on the uninhabited continent.
In late December 2016, the Antarctic Expedition team will depart Canada and make their final preparations in Punta Arenas, Chile. From there, the team will fly to Union Glacier in Antarctica to acclimatize before flying via twin otter planes to the base camp of Vinson Massif. As Vinson Massif is one of the world’s Seven Summits, the climb itself is planned to take approximately 7-8 days.
As with previous True Patriot Love Expeditions to the Himalayas in 2012 and the North Pole in 2014, the purpose of this journey is to bring attention to the challenges that face members of the Canadian military, their families and Canada’s veterans each day. By bringing these challenges into the spotlight, True Patriot Love strives to provide inspiration to those facing these issues every day and also garner financial support and awareness from Canadians across the country. In 2014, True Patriot Love Expedition to the magnetic North Pole raised a total of $2 million in support of programs and charities that the foundation supports.
For more information about True Patriot Love or the Antarctic Expedition, please contact:
Director of Expeditions and Events
About True Patriot Love
True Patriot Love Foundation (TPL) is a national charity that honours the sacrifices of members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and their families in both times of peace and conflict. TPL funds unique programs and innovative research in the areas of mental health, physical rehabilitation, family support and veteran transition. TPL is also committed to changing the conversation about our nation’s veterans, hosting an annual multinational symposium and organizing ambitious global expeditions. Since 2009, True Patriot Love has raised more than $20-million to support military charities across Canada. For more information, please visit www.truepatriotlove.com.
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Tune in to the History Channel at 9:00 pm to watch the new documentary based on this expedition.
Recently I skied to the North Pole. It was cold, it was windy, it was beautiful, and it was educational.
For the past two years I have been acting as the Civilian Team Captain for the True Patriot Love expedition series. The True Patriot Love Foundation seeks to raise awareness and funds for ill and injured Canadian military veterans and their families.
The wilderness has long been used as a therapeutic tool to help develop self-confidence and overcome personal challenge. True Patriot Love uses this environment to help our military veterans as they retire from service with various physical injuries and mental illnesses.
After a successful expedition that took us to Everest Base Camp and to the top of Island Peak, we chose the North Pole as our next destination. Our team of military veterans and business leaders would ski more than 125km in a span of five days. The experience was truly wonderful in so many ways, and we all took much away from it.
As a team building and leadership trainer my eye was tuned into the team-oriented learning. These are my take-aways.
You Succeed as a Team: The soldiers reinforced this lesson on day one. With a mix of fitness levels and abilities our large team became strung out over quite a distance. The military value of “leave no one behind” caused several soldiers to become anxious as the slower skiers fell further and further behind. When we get focused on personal success, it is easy to forget the well-being of the team in our haste. Here, we were reminded in vivid terms that, in a true team environment, you succeed or fail as a team. No one is left behind in the process.
Personal Performance is Critical: Although teamwork is critical, each individual must do their part. Some days are better than others for all of us, but the truly strong team members persevere in the face of challenges and hardship. On our way to the pole we encountered blistering cold, fierce wind and long distances. Everyone had to dig deep personally. It was one of those things that you had to do yourself, but you couldn’t do it alone.
Team Culture Forms Fast: We were far too big a group to travel as one so we divided into multiple, smaller pods. It was amazing how fast each pod developed its own distinct culture. We had the loud, the quiet, the crazy, the reserved, the structured and the free flowing, and this all happened within 24-48 hours of being on the ice together. Much of the culture was initiated by the pod leader, but all team members added their own little bits.
Team Building is Critical: Before we hit the ice we gathered for skills training to learn the travel and survival skills that would be necessary for success. I also knew the importance of teamwork and included a team building component in our training. This was designed to build relationships based on trust and respect and to set an expectation of team interactions. The benefit of this team building was evident within the first day as we skied towards the pole.
Share your Success with Others: Not only was this expedition designed to help these soldiers on their personal road to recovery, but it served a much bigger purpose: it raised funds for the larger community of veterans in Canada. Together the team raised close to two million dollars. That will go a long way in helping our veterans deal with the sacrifices they made in the service of our country.
I could go on and on, but for now I will leave it here. On November 11th at 9:00pm EST our story will be told on The History Channel. Tune in and see what you take away.
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