Management literature contains many theories about leadership. Each theory has its own particular strengths and weaknesses but all contribute something to our understanding. This module shows you how to use these theories to start to challenge your own approach to leadership and to being a leader and highlight development opportunities.
In this course you will explore the roles and responsibilities of a successful coach and the techniques associated with one of the most powerful and effective methods of developing others at a manager’s disposal.
Communicating effectively as a leader
This module focuses on face-to-face communication. While stressing the complexity of interpersonal communication, it identifies some simple practical steps to improve your ability to communicate with others.
Developing as a leader
In this course, you will consider the differences between a transactional and a transformational style of leadership. You will review the abilities of successful leaders and the skills required to lead boundary-spanning teams.
Developing as a leader also involves developing the team and you will consider how greater team participation can be encouraged through more delegation. Power should be used responsibly and ways of doing this will be reviewed.
By completing this module you will recognise that as a leader you have a shared responsibility for developing people. You will realise that training is not always equivalent to development and that there are other methods you can use.
You will learn how to avoid some of the common pitfalls in developing people. Finally, you will understand the roles of coaching and mentoring and the difference between them.
Developing your personal creativity
Everyone is creative – it is an inherent human skill. However, many people often overlook this fact. Innate creative skills are often untapped or go unrecognised. This course will introduce you to a number of ways in which you can stimulate your own creativity and instill a more creative attitude in both yourself and others.
This module helps you to consider the informal or formal networks that may be available to you external to your organisation and will help you to consider how to develop your networks so that you gain the maximum advantage from them.
You will identify what networks you belong to, what benefits membership gives you and what you must contribute to each one. You will also consider which networks you should join and what you need to do to enter those networks.You will then consider how important it is to create a climate in which networking will flourish and be successful.
Finally you will then be introduced to a simple, effective framework to help you develop better networks.
Even with the most carefully considered plans, things may not always go smoothly. To ensure results, leaders must be able to overcome conflict and solve problems. They must understand some of the reasons why conflict may occur and must be able to use their influence to keep the team ‘on board’. Using the control loop will help leaders to monitor progress and ensure successful outcomes.
In this module, you will review how problems can be defined as bounded or unbounded. You will consider how conflict is a common problem which leaders may face and must resolve. You will identify a structured approach to problem solving and the six influencing strategies that a leader can use. You will consider how applying the control loop will help to bring plans to a satisfactory conclusion.
Giving constructive feedback
The essence of effective feedback is that there are regular face-to-face meetings where structured feedback is given.
Feedback needs to be constructive so that employees are able to improve and develop their performance. As a leader you need to recognise that communication can make people feel both valued and clear about what is expected from them at work.
Over the next twenty minutes you will explore how giving constructive feedback can be used to develop an individual’s performance.
Leaders need to be able to harness the support of others. Whether they are implementing existing projects, looking for extra resources or seeking support for a new proposal, every leader needs effective influencing skills.
In this course you will be thinking first about power – ie the ability or capacity to do something – and then about influence – i.e. the effect of one person or thing on another.
You will be identifying the people or groups over whom you have power. Then you will identify various influencing strategies that can be used. For some of these, some form of power is essential. However, in several cases you do not need to have power in order to influence others.
Inspiring others to success
Being a leader is often defined as being a role model for others and maintaining the morale, cohesion and commitment of your team. Leadership is having an influence on things that matter. Therefore as a leader you should be alert to the strengths of others and encourage participation.
In this module you will examine the leader as a role model and recognise your strengths and weaknesses in helping to maintain group morale. You will also consider the different types of participation and understand their importance in inspiring others to succeed.
This course is aimed at aspiring, new and existing leaders and looks at:
- the qualities of a good leader
- different leadership styles
- how to create a vision for your team
- improving delegation skills
- how to motivate people.
Making better decisions
In many situations structured approaches to decision making can be beneficial. However, as with all rational models, these have some limitations. Fortunately there are a number of techniques to assist in decision making and creative problem solving.
In this course you will explore a number of techniques you can use to improve the quality of your decisions.
In this course you will explore the nature of complexity, so that you will be more comfortable with the challenges it presents to you and your team. This element also offers ideas and tools for leading in situations of change and uncertainty.
Managing risk and uncertainty
In this course you will consider a process for managing risk and uncertainty, exploring the types of and sources of risk that can occur within organisations.
Managing your key relationships
Your key relationships at work can be complex, but they directly affect your performance as a leader. There are no simple prescriptions for good relationships, as each situation is different. Nevertheless, there are two linked areas you can work on that, over time, will help build good relationships: developing trust and meeting communication needs. This module will help you in these areas.
In this module you will explore what being a mentor means and what’s involved in mentoring successfully.
Negotiating better outcomes
By completing this course you will realise that negotiations do not have to be win-lose situations. Joint problem solving provides an alternative approach and you will learn how to use this technique.
You will identify specific behaviours that will and will not help you to succeed and you will learn how to develop a fallback position, in case any negotiation ends in an impasse.
In this module, you will identify why everyone in the team must ‘own performance’. You will look at ways to encourage team involvement and to manage and maintain their commitment.You will be encouraged to consider how peoples’ initial reluctance to a proposed change or plan can be overcome.
Even the best plans will not be successful if enthusiasm and momentum is lost and ideas for maintaining momentum will be reviewed.
Providing purpose and direction
You will consider which techniques leaders may use in order to define their vision in terms of acceptable and agreed aims and objectives. You will also examine how leaders will scope all activities by clarifying the boundaries and allocating individual roles.
You will review how roles and responsibilities can be appropriately allocated and how staff motivation can be maintained.
The power of imagery
Imagery and fantasy can be used in a variety of ways to explore problems and generate new intuitive insights. Imagery techniques can bring to the surface hidden assumptions and break mindsets easily and effectively. They can also be fun to use.
This module promotes the power of imagery in clarifying and seeking creative solutions to problems. It includes a script for a guided fantasy and outlines the steps necessary to facilitate a technique called ‘imagery manipulation’. Problem solving is perceived as a process of generating new perceptions.
Turning plans into action
In this module, you will review the six-step model that will help a leader to implement change and the skills that they will need to possess as ‘change agents’.
Teams will have more confidence in leaders who have confidence in themselves, so you will have an opportunity to examine the various sources of leadership power. The whole team must contribute to the successful implementation of a plan and the elements of performance management will be reviewed.
Understanding the significance of conflict at work and being able to manage it correctly are very important.
This course considers how conflicts in groups and organisations arise and examines how they might be prevented or resolved.
Understanding decision making
You will consider the decision making process and how leaders make decisions, and explore a structured approach to decision making.
In this module you will explore ways of understanding motivation. You will consider factors in the workplace that may motivate or demotivate and how people differ with respect to motivation.
Exploring these issues will demonstrate how you can help people work to their own satisfaction while meeting the goals of the organisation.
Visual thinking is a way of structuring and eliciting group involvement in creative problem-solving settings. In this module, you will be encouraged to use different visual thinking techniques and promote them to others.
You will be introduced to a six-stage framework for working collaboratively. You will consider how to identify potential partners for collaborative working and also how to attract them. You will also consider how collaborations can be evaluated effectively.