Posted on 15 February 2017

How to Engage Your People as a Leader – Anywhere!

Asleaders,weoftenhaveimportantinformationtoshare-informationthatotherpeopleneedtoachieveresults.I’mtalkingabouttraining-butthiscouldbeequallytrueforanybusiness’forum’.Thismightincludesomethingasformalasanannualmeetingtopresentthecompanyvisionfortheupcomingyear,orsomethingascasual asacatch-upovercoffeetodiscussanewprojectwithyourteam.

Regardlessofthesetting,theimportantthingforleadersistobeabletoengagepeopleintheseforums,sothatotherscaneasilyunderstandandretaintheinformationyousharewiththem.Corporationsspendbillionsofdollarsontrainingandmeetingseachyear,butactuallygettingthemessagetostickiswhatgivestheforumitsreturnoninvestment.

Inordertoreallyengagepeopleinanyforum,Iencourageyoutoconsiderthelearningopportunityfromabroaderperspectivethantheactualeventalone,andlookatwhathappensbeforeandaftertheforumaswell.Irecommendthatleaders-‘Prepare’,’Present’and’FollowUp’.

Prepare

Beforetheforumbegins,thereisalwayssomeplanninginvolved,butit’smainlyfromtheforumorganiser’sperspectiveofdecidingwhattosay.Thepreparationphaseisalsoagreatopportunitytogetyouraudiencereadytoreceivetheinformationyouwanttosharewiththem,aswell.Todothis:

  • Warmthemupwithsomethingtosparktheirinterest-Thinkofitlikepre-heatingtheovensoit’sreadywhenthecakegoesin.Itmightbeassimpleasateaseremailorsomepre-reading,thegoalistomakesureyourpeoples’brainsareprimedbeforehandandreadytojumpstraightintothetopic.
  • Setexpectations–Organisationalsupportisabigfactorinhowwellknowledgeisretained,socontactwithsupervisorsconveystheimportanceoftheforumtoattendees.Ifit’sameetingforexample,sendingoutanagendaletseveryoneknowwhattoexpectandhowtheymightprepare.

Present

Presentationskillsaren’tjustaboutbeingabletousepowerpointeffectively.Thehumanbrainiswiredincertainwayswhenitcomestopayingattention,andyouasaleadercantakeadvantageofthistoboostunderstanding,retentionandinvolvement.Onewaytodothisisbykeepinganeyeontheclock.

  • 90minutes–isthelongestourbrainscanstayontrackwithoutabreak.There’sareasonmostmoviesgoforanhourandahalf,somakesuremeetingsandtrainingsessionslongerthanthishaveabreakinthemiddle.
  • 20minutes–thisisourbrains’limitforretaininginformation.Anythingmorethanthatontheonetopicandourmindswillstartto‘chunkout’anddriftofftootherthingslikewonderingwhattohavefordinner.Thisisgoodtorememberformeetingagendas;after20minutesit’sprobablybettertodoaquickrevisitandmoveontothenextsubject.
  • 8minutes–itseemslikeashortlengthoftime,butwithoutsomesortofvarietyorinvolvement,ourbrainsshutdownprettyquickly.Thinkaboutameetingyou’vebeento,ifonepersonkeepstalkingformorethan10minuteswithnoinputfromanyoneelse,theytendtolosetheroom.Playingaquickvideoclip,gettingpeopletomoveorevenjustaskarhetoricalquestiontomixthingsup,anythingtobreakupthepatternwillkeepyourpeopleontrack.

Followup

Nomatterhowwellyoupresentedthatinformation,theunfortunatefactisatleast35%ofitwilldisappearfromyouraudiences’mindsthenextday.Thehumanbrainisahighlyefficientthing,designedtogetridofirrelevantinformationsothattheimportantstuffcanstick,butwithoutrevisitinginformation,itgetsfiledbythebrainas‘notimportant’.

Inotherwords,afollowupemailorencouragingyourpeopletosharewhatthey’velearnedwithsomeoneelsecouldpreventathirdofyourtrainingexpenditureevaporatingovernight.Theseareknownas‘boosters’andagreatstructuretooptimisetheirimpactisthe2x2x2model.

  • 2daysaftertheevent:sendyourpeoplesomethingthatwillrequirethemtorecognisetherightanswers(eg:afewmultiplechoicequestions)
  • 2weeksaftertheevent:sendsomethingthatwillencouragethemtogenerateideasonhowitmightbeappliedintheirrole
  • 2monthsaftertheevent:getthemtoconsideranexampleofhowthey’veusedtheknowledgeintheirrolesincethe forum

Thesedon’thavetobealongandinvolvedboosterseither,justtouchingonacoupleofkeypointsisoftenenoughtosignaltothebrainthatthewholethingwasimportantinformation.

Considerhowyoucouldusethisprinciplestobolsteryournextforum,andsetyourselfandothersupforsuccess!

PostedbyMelArmstrong. 

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