According to Gallup, employees who have regular meetings with their managers are almost three times as likely to be engaged.  Effective meetings and open communication between leaders and their teams is even more important in today’s volatile business environment.  The social, economic and regulatory impact of the pandemic leaves many people confused about processes and priorities; exhausted by the speed of change and overwhelmed by the volume of new information they have to take in each day.

So what is the solution?

The Power of Conversation

There is no single antidote to all this upheaval, but research consistently demonstrates the power of honest, transparent conversation between employees and their leaders for settling anxiety and building trusting relationships.  These leader-team interactions are most effective when they address workplace concerns in deliberate ways, but even small moments of genuine candor and concern can open the door to more meaningful conversation.

Employees look to their leaders and managers for information on

Goals and priorities, so they feel confident that the work they are doing is important; Problem-solving frameworks, so they can participate in and contribute ideas to the collective work of the team; Progress updates, so they know how their efforts are impacting team projects;

Leaders build team skills and strengthen engagement through conversations that:

Offer guidance (rather than direction), so people feel ownership of their own growth and development; Address problems early, so employees trust that leaders are invested in their success; Celebrate wins, to remind people that they are seen and appreciated; Notice the small stuff, to build authentic connections so conversations about the “big stuff” are easier

New Leadership Program

These and other essential conversations form the foundation of a  year-long program that I am launching this month in collaboration with the GCC BEST Center.  It is a “micro-skills” course in Leadership which focuses on essential conversations that will help leaders build  genuine relationships necessary for lasting team success.

Integrating Learning and Work

This is not your typical day-long leadership course.  Instead, this highly interactive program combines short (90 minute) instructor-led training sessions each month with individual coaching between sessions and mentored practice to support the application of concepts in the workplace.

By integrating learning and work on an regular basis, participants gain more than just knowledge of essential leadership concepts, but also months of facilitated practice applying the skills and habits and achieving lasting change in their workplaces.

Modular Design | Immediate Value

Imagined as a full-year program, the modular design allows people to sign up for modules (fall & winter 2020 and spring 2021) that are directly and immediately valuable. This first module, beginning September 22, 2020, focuses on formal interactions between leaders and their team members, and answers three important questions about team communication:

  • How can we meet less but communicate more?
  • How can we get the best ideas and engagement from the team?
  • How can we resolve challenges that undermine our effectiveness?

Future modules will address informal interactions by focusing on conversations that build individual team member skills and engagement, and conversations addressing team goals and organizational priorities.

Email me if you would like to know more about the program.
To register, Contact the GCC BEST Center

Alexandria Misiti
Program Coordinator, The BEST Center
Genesee Community College
One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020
Office: (585) 343-0055 x6602
Fax: (585) 345-6890
E-mail: [email protected]



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