How can I integrate my new insights into my daily doing as a leader?
I am reflecting back on a 3-day, leadership training with my inspiring co-trainer: Everhard Uphoff. We worked with 14 highly motivated participants, eager to learn how they can increase their impact as a leader in their organisation. Back home I’ve spent the next 2 days coaching more leaders, this time, reflecting on a 20-week leadership learning journey.
Both groups struggle with the same challenge:
How can I integrate my new insights into my daily doing?
If you recognise that struggle, here are my 10 best suggestions:
Learning starts with a deliberate effort to do something differently.
Identify meetings or work situations in which you want to try out a certain insight, tool or behavior, e.g. active listening, giving compliments, setting boundaries.
Recruit an accountability partner.
This can be a fellow participant, a mentor, a friend or a coach. Tell them what you’re planning to learn and invite them to ask you about your progress.
Design your work situation as a research situation.
Observe how others do it. Do you want to practice open questions? Observe how someone how mastered this uses them. Do you want to improve your team meetings? How do the people you find efficient structure them? How do they talk? Either put a block note next to you, or use a digital document. Write your research question and then turf, observe, jot down observations or test a model – do it for a day or a week. Next step: see item 4.
Keep it small.
What is the smallest action with the biggest impact you can practice? One micro change at a time. Embed it in things you do anyways. For example: Take the stairs. Start a meeting with a powerful question (“What in your work gave you the most energy last week?”)
Make it stick.
Challenge yourself to try out one small thing for a day, then another day, then another day and so on. Use the Covey-method of time planning: first put the the ‘big rocks’ in your agenda (an hour of reflection, a lunch with your accountability partner), then the smaller rocks (15 minutes of journalling or 10 minutes meditation), then the small sand grains (see item 4).
Reward yourself for your progress.
Literally pat yourself on the shoulder or stand in power pose when you have managed a new skill. Show yourself the ‘Becker-fist’. Reward your body memory with a serotonin pose! Share about it on LinkedIn. Do something you like as a reward. Don’t skip this!
Teach what you want to learn.
Tell others about what you have learned. Announce a 20 minute learning nugget to your team about a topic you want to dive in yourself. Then deliver. Scale it up to a one-hour workshop. It is incredible how we start to ‘own’ knowledge once we share it.
Create space for reflection.
Allow yourself a window in which you don’t let new information enter your brain, but review your notes. Stare out of the window. Reflect of what you have heard, seen, experienced. I call this ‘sourdough time’
Tape or record yourself.
This is a challenging one! Do it! It’s scary, but it works!
Tap into your intrinsic motivation.Why do you want to learn this skill? Imagine yourself having mastered it. Use the power of visualisation
You can do it.
And whatever you do: keep a growth mindset. Ask for feedback along the way!
Continue the Learning Journey: Embrace your growth and celebrate your achievements
Learning starts with deliberate effort and a commitment to try new things. By incorporating these tips into your leadership journey, you can create lasting change and increase your impact as a leader. I encourage you to embrace a growth mindset, seek feedback, and celebrate your progress along the way. I would love to hear what works for you on your learning journey. Happy learning!
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