I was just chatting with my Managing Director David Shuttleworth about some training I delivered on management skills which was described as a transformational program by some of the managers. 

David wanted to know what factors made it transformational. 

I put down the success of this programme into two key factors. 

1. Design by listening. 

Any course that is transformational starts with getting the design right. You must really understand the needs of the business and its people to formulate an accurate assessment of the challenges faced. Only once you fully understand the needs of the people and business challenges then it's time to craft the design of the programme. 

Often a mistake is that people try to sell solutions and training options without fully understanding the business needs, the lack of listening at this key stage escalates to the lack of learning outcomes. 

2. Delivery by listening 

In this management program, we collectively created a contracted safe space for the managers to be vulnerable. They shared personal insights about themselves that no one ever knew about them. The connection and trust deepened as they shared, trusted and listened to each other.

This state is key for transformational learning, it's only when your audience lets down their walls and is open and willing to be vulnerable and express their views and feelings do they understand one another.

It is only when people feel seen and understood do they feel heard respected and considered. This becomes an inclusive space free of judgment and hierarchy where everyone feels a sense of belonging. 

What soon become evident as people listened to each other was that the challenges they felt only existed for them personally were common amongst many of the managers. As a result, the program shone a light on these shared challenges, and the managers had conversations on how they overcame these challenges. 

Many of the solutions were in fact in the room as there was over 150 years of management experience present. The trusted support network was so beneficial we created a what’s app support group where the managers continue to share and listen to each other supporting each other on upcoming challenges going forward. 

Quality training to me is like coaching, by actively listening and building a deeper trust people feel more heard, supported and respected – this then motivates the team and boost their morale leading them to fully realise their full potential.

Published by Carl Medland