FLP: Session Overviews

The Six Sessions of the Future Leaders Program
1. Trust and Influence:
"Command and control" leadership no longer works well, if it ever did. Today's managers must build trust and influence to get the best results from their people. Focusing on behaviors that promote trust in all areas of one's professional life, you will learn why and how to build a stronger, more trust-rich environment with direct reports, managers, colleagues, customers, and suppliers. Leaders who hold themselves accountable to the results of their decisions find their people more apt to do the same.

Learning Objectives:
  • Differentiate the dual roles of leader and manager, and determine which role is situationally most appropriate for achieving a successful outcome
  • Request feedback from your manager, peers, and direct reports to complete the 360° Leadership Survey
  • Prepare for classroom discussion of MRA’s Diagnostic Direction® Model
During the Meeting:
  • Identify the nine characteristics successful leaders employ to engage their teams to positive results
  • Recognize three challenges managers are guaranteed to face and how to handle them successfully
  • Describe the effective uses of both influential and positional power
  • Discover three “winning ways” in which leaders demonstrate personal accountability in owning the results of their choices
  • Use four essential elements to design a plan that builds greater trust and respect in the workplace
  • Practice the three steps of MRA’s Diagnostic Direction® Model to adjust your leadership style to an employee’s specific need at the correct time
  • Identify your areas of greatest leadership need based on your 360° Leadership Survey
  • Explain multiple differences between being an individual contributor and being a manager and discuss your own transition to management
  • Assess the current state of your work relationships, and plan how to increase the effectiveness of these relationships
  • Discuss what you’ve learned so far from the Future Leaders Program with your manager
2. Communicating for Results:
Regardless of what product or service your organization offers, as a leader you're in the people business big time. Success demands high-level communication skills. Talking, writing, texting, emailing, phoning, gesturing, and listening you swim every day in the ocean of communication. If those communication skills are poor, you're in the ocean with an anchor tied to your feet. In this session, you learn Olympic-sized techniques to strengthen your talent. Just like swimming, you analyze the strokes you currently use, discovering important aspects of your own communication style. You learn to adapt your personal communication to those whose style is different from yours and take out your earplugs to hone your listening skills. Your awareness and use of nonverbal communication sharpens. After the session, you feel confident to win a gold medal in communication.

Learning Objectives:
  • Complete and review the results of the DiSC® Communication Style assessment
  • Examine appropriate and effective uses of various modes of communication technology such as e-mail, text messages, and conference calls
  • Assess the strengths and challenges of your own personal communication
  • Examine the 5 C’s of communication and identify specific examples in the workplace
  • Analyze the characteristics of various generations
  • Complete generations activity by applying characteristics identified
During the Meeting:
  • Review the twelve communications styles of the DiSC model to communicate with others more effectively
  • Demonstrate three keys to active listening and explore two questioning techniques to uncover ways to get the best outcomes
  • Apply five communication strategies to minimize defensive responses when in conflict
  • Create two types of “I” messages that either help to improve poor results or help to get excellent results repeated and enhanced
  • Examine the impact of the four emotional intelligence factors on successful communication
  • Compare and contrast five nonverbal guidelines that put value into meaning
  • Recognize generational differences and consider the impact of those differences on the work group
  • Identify with your manager the DiSC® Styles of individual team members and how you will use DiSC® to improve clarity and results
  • Apply listening techniques through practice with a direct report
  • Summarize results with your study group of the listening practice and delivery of the “I” Message
  • Consider the benefits of empathetic leadership by watching Brene Brown's The Power of Empathy TedTalk
  • React to the “People Reading” videos
  • Share your thoughts on with the study group on how you will utilize the “People Reading” concepts with your direct reports
3. Culture, Motivation, and Aligning Goals with Strategies:
Applying your organization's vision and strategy, while building effective company culture, is vital to successful leadership. If you focus solely on daily productivity in a nose-to-the-grindstone fashion, you neglect the crucial ingredient of building morale and motivating your employees to greater productivity and increased engagement.

This session concentrates on the skills you need to strike just the right balance. You will learn how to work to strategic objectives and help your employees create complementary goals.
Learning Objectives:
  • Practice two strategic thinking techniques found in the videos narrated by author Dan Heath
  • Critique your organization’s mission statement and discuss three things in it that inspire/don’t inspire you with your study group
  • Consider three benefits of having a clearly defined mission statement
During the Meeting:
  • Describe at least three cultural norms that make your organization unique
  • Create a departmental purpose statement using a three-step process
  • Examine six motivational myths and identify why they are untrue
  • Explore the use of eight human needs to create engagement
  • Apply the motivational concepts of praise and consequences to increase productivity and foster engagement
  • Present the Human Needs and Motivation Wheel to your direct reports, and have them identify their individual motivations or discuss your motivational wheel components with your manager
  • Demonstrate the use of praise and consequences, share results with your study group
  • Complete the Pygmalion eLearning and share with the study group your reactions and how you will use the concepts to interact with direct reports
  • Watch SMART Goals webinar
  • Create two SMART goals to present
4. Training, Delegating, Coaching and Managing Performance:
It's a myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand. But the myth is a spot-on analogy for leaders who take no action when their employees are faltering, who insist on doing it all themselves, or who fail to recognize the value of proactively managing performance. This session helps you banish the notion that, "This will go away if I just ignore it." By learning to effectively train, delegate, coach, set goals, and give feedback in effective, efficient, and ethical ways, you increase your employees' chances for success on the job. You acquire the skills to implement a consultative method of addressing issues and a process that gets to the heart of performance issues while recognizing the vital steps to take when discipline is required.

Learning Objectives:
  • Recognize the critical importance of performance documentation by discovering nine major liabilities poor or missing documentation can cause
  • Establish a standard for each of the six performance management categories
  • Create a SMART goal using the SMART goals webinar resource
  • Practice three training tools from the training techniques eLearning, to grow and develop the skills and knowledge of employees
  • Identify three strengths/three areas for improvement by taking the Coaching Quiz
  • Describe the four steps of progressive discipline
  • Prepare to debate your theory on the outcome of the arbitration case, citing evidence from the case study to defend your position
During the Meeting (1.5 days in class):
  • Communicate three areas where applying what was learned in the past meeting’s post work impacted the effectiveness of your team
  • Distinguish the five elements that comprise a successful performance management system
  • List six causes of poor performance
  • Develop a coaching process, using two skills that help employees realize their growth potential
  • Determine how much time would be saved in a week by delegating a task, after viewing the How and When to Delegate video
  • Contrast two aspects of an effective counseling conversation to the major characteristics of a successful coaching process
  • Record seven reasons (legitimate or not) why managers don’t discipline employees for poor behavior
  • Identify six errors managers make when administering performance reviews with their direct reports, and develop a process to make them successful
Post Meeting:
  • Explore three implications the role of a legal agent has for managers
  • Determine when and how to partner with human resources
5. Building Collaboration and Managing Conflict:
Higher achievement. Deeper commitment. Sharper solutions. Ah, the payoff of superior teamwork! Helping groups achieve stellar results calls for particular skills, including creating trust, involving others in making decisions, and aligning team members' personal goals with the work of the group. It's a sure bet that team members with different backgrounds, interests, and personalities will bring different viewpoints to the table. It's a sure bet that team members with different backgrounds, interests, and personalities will bring different viewpoints to the table. It's also a sure bet that those different viewpoints can create stress and unproductive conflict. Competence in handling the complexities of teamwork in just the right way takes the know-how and practice this session provides. You'll learn how to skyrocket the effectiveness of a team and minimize unproductive conflict. You'll take away practical techniques to address expected and unexpected behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
  • Assess the strengths of your team as well as the opportunities for improving its performance
  • Categorize the characteristics within each of the four stages of team development
  • Employ three strategies for building consensus on the team 
During the Meeting:
  • List the characteristics of highly successful teams and plan to incorporate them into present and future teams
  • Recognize the value of diversity of thought, expertise, and perspective in team innovation and successful outcomes
  • Indicate which of the five decision-making options will get the best results when leading a team situationally
  • Identify the four components of the team effectiveness model and use it pro-actively when forming new teams
  • Contrast seven characteristics that distinguish unproductive from productive conflict in the workplace and run a gap analysis to promote future productivity
  • Compare the five responses to conflict in the workplace and determine the appropriate and inappropriate situations to use each effectively
  • Practice a six-step process for managing and resolving conflict successfully and respectfully
Post Meeting:
  • Explore ten best practices for keeping remote employees productive and engaged
  • Identify the warning signs and prepare to handle potential problems such as violence and substance abuse in the workplace
6. Leading Change and Putting It All Together:
Savvy business leaders are always on the lookout for opportunities for change. With many of today's top industries completely unknown 30 years ago, merely maintaining the status quo is flirting with failure. Understanding the dynamics of change and encouraging changes and improvements in their areas of responsibility are requirements for effective and forward-thinking leaders. This session addresses the challenge of initiating and shepherding change, focusing on techniques to communicate with and engage those affected. You learn best practices for dealing with unintended consequences of change and how to avoid the tug of war that can occur when change is poorly managed.

Note: The final portion of this program includes a wrap-up of the entire Future Leaders Program and the Individual Learning Plan used throughout all six sessions of the series.

Learning Objectives:
  • Consider how your work relationships have changed and grown in all four directions (manager, internal/external peers, and direct reports) since you started the Future Leaders Program
  • Recognize the emotional stages of change transition and plan to overcome them by viewing a video based on the book Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, PhD
  • Analyze five ways significant workplace change has directly affected your organization and your industry and run a gap analysis on how to make change go in a positive direction
  • List the seven levels of change from industry altering to minor behavioral tweaks 
During the Meeting:
  • Examine the four common emotional stages people experience when going through change
  • Interpret an eight-step model for leading large-scale change initiatives and contrast it to a five-step model for implementing day-to-day change
  • Label the three key players as well as the stakeholders and the roles they play in workplace change
  • Predict eleven common reasons why people resist change and develop a strategy to help people make the transition to the new way
  • Develop a four-part plan for discussing change clearly and successfully 
  • Join the Future Leaders PLX Graduate Community
  • Network with fellow cohort members and other graduates
  • Apply what you’ve learned and unlock future successes for both you and for your team!
A participant’s Individualized Learning Plan is used throughout all six sessions of the Future Leaders Program.
Managers of Future Leaders are provided a Manager Coaching Guide that follows the sessions in the series including an overview of what is covered in each session, as well as coaching questions for discussion, to help guide and optimize the training experience in the workplace.

Future Leaders Program