Podcast with Gerry Murray and Author, Leadership Coach, NLP Trainer and fellow Harrison Assessments Managing Partner and Quadrant 1 International Director, Pat Hutchinson
Gerry talks to Pat about personal development and leadership and what it’s like to learn and apply practical things after you go on a training course. Pat calls these types of courses REAL courses, in the sense that you learn skills that have real practical application and value in our day to day lives.
One of the key things that Pat points out is that we’re all unique and therefore we have our own individual perspectives on the world, our own development needs and our own sense of who we are. She emphasises how she has used the combination of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and the Harrison Assessment to help leaders better understand themselves and their teams.
Pat has great advice on how leaders can learn from the people that they’re working with, how it’s ok to be wrong occasionally and how they can have more meaningful conversations.
Key skills that leaders need to acquire
How a “sheep dipping” approach to Leadership Development is not useful
Why we sometimes stop doing things that we’re actually good at
The need for simplicity in business
Pat’s top 3 tips for Leaders
Listen to the podcast here, and you can find Gerry’s Leading People series here
We’re often taught in business that decisions should be made based on facts, data and evidence. And it’s definitely important to consider all of the above when making an important decision. But relying on evidence alone can leave you with just half of the picture.
As emotionally intelligent human beings, we have also been gifted with something else which can be just as powerful as cold hard data – intuition, or gut instinct.
Do you sometimes just know something to be true without even knowing why? Have you ever known something is the right thing, or the wrong thing to do – contrary to what all the evidence is telling you? This is your intuition speaking to you. It’s a very useful tool that we all possess, but not everyone uses.
What is intuition?
It’s often said that the gut acts like a second brain. The brain continually takes on board unconscious information and automatically filters it through past experience and knowledge. This happens instantaneously as the unconscious mind is so much more powerful than the conscious mind, and intuition is the resulting feeling you get based on this unconscious processing.
It has also been widely reported that intuition is a right-brain function alongside creative thought, art, music, senses and emotion, whereas analysis takes place in the left hand side of the brain, as does reading, analyzing information, understanding languages, etc.
So how can listening to your gut instinct help you as a leader?
Intuition can help us to keep an open mind, and be open to opportunities and new ideas that our rational minds may close us off from.
Likewise, our gut can act as a voice of caution at times. Trusting in this early warning system to steer clear of a risk which may have been mitigated on paper by facts and figures can be priceless.
It can help us to be a good leader and colleague, allowing us to sense when something may not quite be right with a team mate. We are then able to adjust our approach to find the best way to deal with that person or situation for the best outcome.
Our intuition links into our values; it can help to guide us towards finding the right path and purpose so that we can feel fulfilled in what we are doing.
In this podcast Pat Hutchinson, Quadrant 1 MD, talks to Gerry Murray on his Leading People show about how intuition helped her carve her own career path to lead her to where she is now…
Learn from the past
Think back about situations or opportunities where you’ve used your intuition to guide you that worked out really well. Try to remember how you intuitively felt as these situations were developing, and what it was that your gut was telling you.
Things don’t always work out. It is important to reflect back on situations from the past where you’ve trusted your gut but that haven’t worked out as well as you wish they did. What can you learn?
As with everything, balance is key.
Relying solely on intuition and failing to sufficiently analyse a plan or problem can lead to making non-logical decisions. Avoiding analysing situations whilst at the same time mistrusting your intuition can leave you paralysed and unable to make a decision at all.
For all aspects to be in balance, intuition should be combined with good analytical skills to help you sense the important factors, while at the same time analysing the risks to arrive at a logical and well-considered solution. Next time you are faced with a decision and you’ve spent some time considering the facts, spend a minute checking to see how you feel about the situation, what are your gut feelings telling you?
Paradoxical Leadership Technology
Paradox Technology measures how employees manage 12 paradoxical pairs of behaviours, each of which relate to an important core value.
All of the Harrison Paradoxes relate to leadership and have a great impact on the organization which can either create a positive culture or a dysfunctional culture.
You can find out more about balancing Paradoxical traits, like intuitive and analysing, here, or you can get in touch at [email protected] or on 07768 922244
Great leaders possess specific strengths outside of their technical knowledge of the job they do.
As a rule leaders tend to gain their positions through demonstration of exceptional skills in the operational side of their roles together with an enthusiastic and optimistic attitude and relevant experience. Operational expertise and experience are relatively easy to measure and as such dominate the decision making process of leader selection.
But what about the rest?
Most people would agree they would like their leaders to be competent, knowledgeable, visionary, progressive and decisive with excellent interpersonal skills, innovative and open to new ideas.
How about a propensity for self improvement, a desire to lead, an outgoing personality, a reasonable level of self acceptance, a balance of analytical and intuitive skills, a balance of diplomacy and frankness and a balance between assertiveness and helpfulness. There is an endless list of traits we would like our leaders and upcoming leaders to possess.
Here are 10 Leadership competencies you can be measuring and developing in your leaders…
Promotes & presents clear vision & initiatives. Speaks up regarding concerns, listens effectively, provides timely and helpful information, and takes responsibility to confirm communications are received.
Motivates others to achieve goals, articulates a common vision, engages team members, relates openly, and empowers others to achieve.
Gains knowledge from experiences, successes, and mistakes, and applies that knowledge to new situations or responsibilities.
Perceptive and logical when identifying problems, finds the source or cause of problems, and thinks through potential difficulties of the solution steps.
Resilience and Perseverance
Persists in the face of adversity, obstacles, or setbacks including effectively managing a crisis and quickly adapting to change.
Consistently achieves objectives, accepts difficult challenges, seizes opportunities, and has a high level of energy and enthusiasm.
Impact and Influence
Influence others to achieve goals, enlists their cooperation, appeals to their interests, builds trust, and negotiates mutually beneficial and sustainable agreements.
Experiments with different ways to improve processes, efficiency, and/or effectiveness while maintaining focus on the desired objective or result.
Takes responsibility to achieve the organization’s mission, provides clear direction, promotes team participation and cooperation, and accepts decision-making authority.
Creates effective strategies and long-term plans to seize opportunities, anticipate issues and risks, draws from previous experiences, explores industry information, and collaborates with the right Individuals.
The Harrison Assessment Leadership Behavioural Competency framework measures people’s individual skills and areas for development against 10 essential Leadership Competencies in an objective way.
Each competency is made up of a series of essential traits, desirable traits and traits to avoid. Development candidates complete a short, online SmartQuestionnaireTM. Responses are then mapped against each of the Harrison Leadership Competencies which can then highlights areas of strength and areas for development both for an individual and for a team.
As well as the Leadership Behavioural Competency other standard, pre-defined behavioural competencies are available. Bespoke behavioural competencies can be developed according to the requirements of your organisation and built around your own set of required traits and behaviours.
You can download a sample Behavioural Competency report here.
If you would like to find out more about the Harrison Leadership Behavioural Competency, other pre-defined competencies, or indeed about creating a bespoke competency, please call us on 07768 922244, email [email protected] or leave us your details and we will contact you.
The UK Learning and Development Report 2018 shows that 94 per cent of the best performers surveyed say learning and development is critical to success. Almost two-thirds of companies with increased turnover in the past year rate leadership and management development as their top priority. The national average of £300 spent per employee on learning and development constitutes a big chunk of an organisation’s budget and it is essential therefore, that development programmes are successful, effective and represent an appropriate return on investment.
Your organisation will probably have a leadership development programme in place. Candidates are typically selected to take part in this development programme as a result of demonstrating exceptional skills in the operational side of their role and they will have a willingness and an enthusiasm to progress. Leadership, however, requires a completely different set of skills. It requires people to let go of their technical skills, develop excellent communication and influencing skills as well as the skills to be visionary about the future and put together well thought through strategic plans.
How then do you measure the success of the development programme?
Traditionally this has been done in a number of ways including anecdotal evidence of performance or leadership style following the programme, an annual appraisal, subjective measurement against company behavioural competencies, subjective 360 degree feedback which is time consuming and therefore expensive to collect and collate to name but a few. Most methods have a large element of subjectivity which will affect the findings. So how can we eliminate the subjectivity from the measurement process?
What if, at the start of a leadership development programme, you could objectively measure the group of candidates against a set of pre-defined leadership-specific behaviours? And then objectively measure them again some time down the line following the completion of the programme?
The Harrison Assessment Leadership Behavioural Competency framework can do just that. It measures people’s individual skills and areas for development against 10 essential Leadership Competencies in an objective way using a forced ranking questionnaire. These include the following behavioural competencies –
Resilience and Perseverance
Impact and Influence
Each competency is made up of a series of essential traits, desirable traits and traits to avoid. Development candidates complete a short, online SmartQuestionnaireTM, the result of 30 years research by Dan Harrison PhD who focuses on the link between results and the enjoyment factor. It is well documented that people who enjoy what they do produce better results. The SmartQuestionnaireTM therefore takes into account working preferences and cross matches 175 factors to define the individual’s ‘behavioural DNA’.
Responses are then mapped against each of the Harrison Leadership Competencies which can then highlights areas of strength and areas for development both for an individual and for a team. The image below shows a sample report for the Strategic Thinking Competency, and the responses mapped for the essential traits of this competency. We can see that Andrew Jones’* higher scoring essential traits – higher scores generally relate to better performance – are Analytical and Truth Exploring, where as his disinclination for Research/Learning could indicate this could be an area for further development.
Once you have the group of individual reports, a team report can be created, as shown below in the example team report for the Competency of ‘Strategic Thinking’. This example is based on the team’s position before the commencement of the leadership programme. Candidate names have been replaced by numbers in the left hand column. The red areas show clearly the areas to focus on for development. The green areas denote the areas where individuals show a preference for work that requires type of behaviour.
In this case, from the graph above you can see that the team shows a clear preference for analytical factors in their work, with responses predominantly illustrated in green, whereas the high number of responses shown in red under the ‘systematic’ column shows that further training and focus for development may be required to help the team become more systematic in their approach to work, if appropriate. A personal or team development plan and additional training can then be designed around the real objective data provided here.
If a second questionnaire is then carried out some time later following the programme, once the candidates have had time to embed the learning, the two reports can be compared to see where the individual has improved against their earlier results, and where further development may be required. Comparison of the two reports can show with laser clarity ultimately whether the leadership development programme has been successful.
The HATS behavioural competency also measures desirable traits and traits to avoid. The same measurements can be carried out for these to provide further evaluation. The HATS Leadership Behavioural Competency and other standard, pre-defined behavioural competencies are available. Bespoke behavioural competencies can be developed according to the requirements of your organisation and built around your own set of required traits and behaviours.
If you would like to find out more about the HATS Leadership Behavioural Competency, other pre-defined competencies, or indeed about creating a bespoke competency, please call us on 07768 922244 or get in touch with us online.
*Andrew Jones is a real person, whose name has been changed & who has given permission for his reports to be used as Harrison samples.