Leadership Development Plan
Leaders are made, not born. Therefore, it takes time for them to grow. Too often, people are promoted into leadership positions without training in effective leadership skills. DREAM4 refers to these skills as “human skills.” These include empathy, active listening, conflict resolution, and having difficult conversations. The good news is for the person willing to do the work, these skills can be learned.
Human skills cultivate the most important quality a leader must be able to develop, trust. The make-or-break attribute for any leader is a seemingly intangible quality. Trust is the foundation of all relationships. When a leader can develop trust among his or her team, the leader can begin to influence well.
At DREAM4 we work alongside leaders, as a team or individually, to develop and deepen trust among their peers, team, and direct reports. Our leadership development plan starts wherever leaders are, whether they have been leading 30 years or 30 days. DREAM4 assesses and provides leaders actionable steps that can be implemented almost immediately.
What is Included
Typically our plans range from 1-to-3 years; however, every organization’s needs are different. We want to create a plan that works with you and your leadership team’s schedule without compromising on the content. Plans can be geared toward group workshops or one-on-one coaching.
Too many leadership courses are simply one-and-done workshops. Your team gets fired up for one day and then the notebook of ideas stays on the shelf. The DREAM4 Leadership Development Plan has a regular cadence of teaching, implementing, evaluating, and adapting the ideas and material that are covered.
DREAM4 creates specific assessments to determine the growth that occurs as leadership teams progress through the Leadership Development Plan. It is important for individuals and teams to see definitive progress in developing human skills.
Access to all DREAM4 Coaches
DREAM4 is intentional about having a well-rounded team of Coaches who resemble your organization. While one or two DREAM4 Coaches will be primarily assigned to your organization, you have the availability of all Coaches. Some participants feel more comfortable with a DREAM4 Coach of the same sex or race. Our Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds and have different experiences; however, all are well-trained in the DREAM4 methodology of leadership development.
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How It Works
Again, leaders are made, and it takes time to both learn and implement human skills into day-to-day leadership. Whether it is a team of leaders or individuals, we tailor our solutions toward your specific needs within our framework. Below is a brief outline of the curricula for each year of the Leadership Development Plan.
Year 1 - Nine in-person or remote sessions which develop our level 1 leadership attributes. We focus on self-awareness and the skills it takes to foster trust and move toward momentum with your teams.
Year 2 – Four to six in-person or remote sessions that focus on level 2 leadership attributes. During year two we place more emphasis on the one-on-one coaching aspect and offer a regular cadence of individual sessions.
Year 3 - By year three we are tailoring the leadership performance model toward the specific needs of the leader or organization. No single leader or organization progresses the same way or at the same rate. Therefore, we customize our solution in year three within our trademarked framework to maximize leadership/team performance.
The DREAM4 approach in creating a successful Leadership Development Plan is centered around four key steps:
Step 1 - Assess and Benchmark
All DREAM4 Leadership Development work is supported by quantifiable data. We create and provide assessments that are given at the beginning and end of every specific year or workshop.
One specialized assessment that is utilized is Clifton’s Strength Finders. This provides specific leader insights into the strengths they possess and how to leverage them for greater success in the organization. We take each person’s strengths and form a composite matrix. We then work with the team to see how these strengths form the health and working picture of the team.
Step 2 - Group and 1-1 Sessions
Group Meetings - The group meetings are designed to bring leadership awareness, topical discussion, team interaction, and practical application. Each session works through specific components of our framework and provides a clear path for each leader to mark and measure success.
1-1 Sessions - Between the group meetings, leaders are encouraged to maintain their focus on their goals and develop accountability for the work they have committed. 1-1 Sessions are set up to help leaders in this process as designed in your Leadership Development Plan.
Step 3 - Measure and Adjust
Milestones - We have specific milestones built into our plans that allow us to tweak and adjust the plan for the progress of leaders. Discussion items, issues, and areas of growth differ in every organization, so we work to adjust to the specific needs presented along the way.
Measurements - In addition to our DREAM4 assessments we set up unique and specific measurements that provide leaders with a way to mark their growth and help them stay focused when challenges arise.
Step 4 - Provide Next-Step Guidance
At the end of every phase of the Leadership Development Plan, DREAM4 will provide customized recommendations for the organization’s next right step. This will include items that the organization can do on their own as well as other DREAM4 services that will continue to help move the organization forward.
The DREAM4 Leadership Plan is designed to assist leaders to function at their highest level. Our Team Performance Plan and our Personal Wellbeing Plan are effective programs that complement the Leadership plan in fully developing a healthy organization.
Healthy Leaders FAQs
Human skills are ways we communicate. Active listening, understanding, empathy, self-awareness, even body language are key elements of human skills.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the most sought-after management skills right now is empathy. When human skills are developed and empathy is demonstrated by leaders, trust is built within the group. This dynamic opens the door for cooperation, which creates a stronger, more effective team. Poor communication feeds mistrust, uncertainty, and resentment. Eventually, the best workers find another job leaving the poor workers behind. The old saying is, “People don’t quit jobs; they quit bad leaders.” Leaders with strong human skills create an environment very few want to leave.
Yes! It begins with an understanding of what empathy is and the desire to learn and practice it. Learning empathy also involves accountability to work daily on demonstrating it.
Every good leader works on improving every day. A good leader communicates clearly and listens with empathy and an open mind. Good leaders are relational. They work with their team, and they invest in each member’s improvement - not just in work but also in life.
Good leaders are intentional in serving and desire to be a positive influence on their team members.
Too often we forget that when someone is promoted, they are starting over. Many poor leaders are poor because no one helped them in their new start. If a poor leader has a desire to improve, he/she can. Good leaders are always working to get better, learning something new, and developing skills. A poor leader needs to be challenged to grow and given the opportunity to do so. If there is a good leader’s desire in him/her, it will flourish.
Creating an environment with an emphasis on both production and relational skills must be intentional. It doesn’t just happen. Production-focused leaders will need to be taught the benefits of using human skills within their team. Focused, ongoing training helps ensure the skills are being developed and reinforced.
Production is important. We don’t eat if we don’t produce. However, if the sole focus is on production, then team members will begin to see themselves as “another brick in the wall,” unimportant and easily replaced.
Many executives have found that practicing empathy leads to more engaged, happy, and productive staff. When leaders learn and practice empathy, active listening, and clear communication, team members feel valued and gain a sense of belonging. Team members take greater pride in their roles and responsibilities and become more productive.
Production benefits from leaders who use Human Skills.
We know your organization will benefit simply because we have seen the results. Our leadership development plan has been used in a variety of companies, both large and small. Our process has been proven to be effective.
Our method of leadership development is not a one and done approach but an ongoing process. Part of the process we use is ownership and accountability. We encourage leaders to own their growth. We meet with leaders one-on-one and assess where they are and how they are following through with their plans.
Yes. We want our participants to be able to speak freely. We want a trust relationship where the participant knows we have his/her best interests at heart. DREAM4 Coaches will break this confidentiality only if participants indicate they are going to hurt themselves or others.
We believe investing in your people and helping them achieve personal success is an essential part of creating a higher employee satisfaction rate. We also know that when employees are happy in their personal lives, they bring that positive attitude into the work environment, which benefits organizational health.
Healthy people, healthy leaders, and healthy teams create a healthy organization.
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