Middle Management Development Activities: 4 To Consider

Middle Management Development Activities

Four key benchmarks that enter into developing your managers as high performance leaders include: connecting them as a team, providing them with insights on their behavioral styles, structuring continual opportunities for feedback, and building out their presentation and presence skills.

Hallett Leadership’s signature program, the Accelerated Leadership Program (ALP), is 9 months long and runs parallel to your team’s ongoing operations. To ensure we hit the key benchmarks, participants engage in a number of activities. We have included a sample below to give some visibility into what your managers might experience when you invest in building out the middle tier of your company’s leadership.

 

Ropes Course

 

Since their creation as a tool for infantry training in the 1940’s, high ropes courses are proven environments for supporting people in coming together as a team, collaborating in the face of perceived danger, and developing authentic interpersonal bonds very quickly. Participating on such a course activates the brain’s fight or flight response, generating deep emotional bonds across the team.

In an ideal situation, we launch ALP with a high-emotion, high-energy team building outing on a ropes course. In the current pandemic environment, we have alternative, virtual team-building programs that provide similar value. Events like these are an effective way of interrupting the day-to-day of the workplace and can give the start of a training program a sense of heightened meaning and importance.

 

Feedback Exchanges

 

Feedback is the most effective, and least expensive management tool. Feedback exchanges foster connection, trust, and respect among members of a team. As your middle management development program strives to create a team spirit among members of the cohort, feedback exchanges will expedite the process.

An effective leadership development program will have specific feedback driven activities throughout its duration. At Hallett Leadership, we believe in providing opportunities for feedback on a regular basis, each time ensuring the environment is optimal.  At various points, and in different forms, we establish situations where participants can deliver feedback to each other constructively and elegantly. Specifically, we include exercises where participants can provide each other with input on actions and behaviors that are having either a positive or negative impact on the growth of the team.

 

DiSC Assessment with Behavioral 360

 

The DiSC assessment is a standardized assessment tool for understanding your own behavioral style as well as the style of each of your co-workers. It is an incredibly useful tool for facilitating self-awareness, awareness of others, developing relationships and establishing good communication among members of a team.

The Behavioral 360 is a tool that aggregates input from other members of your team to provide valuable insights on how they perceive you. Ideally, the feedback you receive in the Behavioral 360 will provide shape, contour, and context that can dovetail with your dominant behavioral style as expressed by the DiSC assessment.

 

Presentation & Presence

 

It is important for every person in leadership to have an effective and authentic presentation style. When a leader takes the stage without confidence, perhaps shifting weight back and forth, and/or avoiding eye contact with audience members, they likely are losing their audience’s attention. Therefore, provide ample time for activities that facilitate participants’ practice and offer input on their presentation style. Consider challenging everyone in the cohort to speak extemporaneously.

For example, in the beginning of the leadership development process, you might challenge each person to speak about his or her role in their department. After each presentation, the audience can provide feedback to that individual on both their presentation content and style.

Hallett Leadership’s ALP cohorts end with small team presentations to senior leadership. In advance of these presentation events, participants practice the team presentations extensively, focusing on content, authenticity, positioning of team members, and transitions between presenters. We recommend further supporting participants by filming their presentations and making the video available for review.

 

Conclusion

 

These activities are only a small glimpse of the comprehensive experiences of the ALP program. The true transformation comes from the deep levels of mutual trust and respect, and commitment to each other’s growth, that develop in the members of the cohort.  Please contact us if you are ready to explore the possibility of transforming your company into a place where high performance is the new normal.

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