JCI Training 2017 – my 3 favourite sessions so far this year
By Fee Francis
I’m a self-confessed management and development nerd. I love books about management techniques and new ways to work on myself and tend to spend my free time watching TedX talks and working on my time management and goal setting. Told you, super nerdy. I’m also a manager of a team of 6 and only 21 so the JCI Southampton training series ‘Being a Young Leader’ is right up my street.
Goal setting – ‘Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be – January
This was the first training session of the year and a great start to a new year. I’m not a fan of setting New Year’s resolutions for the sake of it as they always end up being fairly generic, unachievable or forgotten after a few days. Instead, I’m a big fan of setting quantifiable goals with a deadline to achieve them and this session was perfect for this.
The trainer, life coach Lesley Strachan, had us pair up and sit face to face with our partner and take it in turns to ask the other person “What do you want?” repeatedly and write down their answers. This felt slightly unnatural as it’s a pretty personal question but the repeated asking allowed us to give honest answers and mine ranged from owning a puppy to owning a house, getting out of debt, learning to drive and cooking from scratch more.
We were then given a sheet to write our top goals in the following categories: financial, career, free time, health, relationships, personal life and making a difference. We had to write what we wanted and why we wanted it to give us something to aim towards and a deadline date of when we’d like to achieve it by. This was great because we had then said our goals out loud to another person and physically written them down which really helps to cement goals and give some accountability for getting them achieved *insert muscle arm emoji here*
Strachan is a Jack Canfield qualified life coach and follows the principles in his book The Success Principles which I added to my amazon basket at the training and finally purchased today so I will report back on how I get on!
Coaching to motivate and inspire – April
This session hugely appealed to me as I’m constantly working on being a better manager and coaching can be a huge part of this. The session was led by Hannah Hastilow from University of Southampton Student’s Union where coaching is the norm in the workplace. During the session, Hannah shared that 91% of highly engaged employees state their manager as the reason for their engagement (Engaging for Success – a government report on employee engagement) and she also shared the findings of Google’s Project Oxygen which is the 8 top behaviours of good managers in order of importance:
- Be a good coach
- Empower your team and don’t micromanage
- Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being
- Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented
- Be a good communicator and listen to your team
- Help your employees with career development
- Have a clear vision and strategy for the team
- Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team
Being a good coach is the number 1 skill that Google need for a good manager and Google are the best company in the world to work for so I think they know a thing or two about management! These two statistics really highlighted to me the importance of being a good manager for my team and how coaching can be a huge part of this.
Hannah defined coaching as facilitating the development of an individual’s skills through targeted discussion and reflection but in keeping with the session, she only gave us this definition after we had already written down our own definition and had a group discussion about what we thought coaching was.
The main thing I took away from this training session is that coaching is about helping people find the answers rather than giving them an answer. This is something that I know as a manager I need to work on as it can be too easy when approached with a question to just give an answer rather than helping that person to find out the answer on their own.
The Art of Networking – May
Last Friday, 4 members of JCI Southampton took a road trip down to Pompey for JCI Portsmouth’s relaunch training event – The Art of Networking which was delivered by our JCI Regional Group Chair Jasmine Lambert. This was a great and informative session which covered dos and don’ts of networking, types of networking sessions to attend and tips for introductions.
My favourite tips were
- Don’t get a drink straight away – this closes you off to the group and also if you don’t have a drink, you have a built in excuse for leaving a conversation once it dries up!
- When someone asks “What do you do?”, try to reply in a creative way instead of just stating your job title. These can be funny or meaningful and an excellent way to break the ice and stop people’s misconceptions about your job before you’ve had a chance to explain it!
The examples given included
- Don’t say “I’m a financial adviser”, do say “I protect and grow your wealth”
- Don’t say “I’m a cleaner”, do say “I give you back valuable time with your family”
- Don’t say “I’m a graphic designer”, do say “I draw shapes on a computer all day”
At the end of the day, a lot of the time networking is networking but these handy tips gave me a fresh perspective on going into my next networking session. It also helped to hear that even Jasmine, who has been networking for a decade and set up her own networking group, still gets nervous which made me feel slightly more normal for always feeling a little bit sick before solo networking!
Networking comes in all shapes and sizes, especially with our JCI Southampton sessions. Why not come along to our bowling tournament on May 19th, practice your networking skills and get a bit competitive! Details here
Categorised in: Training
This post was written by makedo