Blended Learning Solution

Program Overview

Our Deliberate Leadership Program has two ambitious objectives. On one hand, it offers the opportunity to learn the essentials of people management in the framework of five one-day training modules. On the other hand, it aims to ensure that this knowledge actually gets built into the daily management practices of the participants. In order to achieve these two goals, participants select, after each module, which take-aways were the most relevant for their current work situation, and alter their behaviour accordingly. They report back to the learning group at the beginning of the next modul what they have experienced.

One or two weeks after each training day, follow-up coaching sessions help participants refine development goals and make specific commitments for action that lead to making clear progress towards those objectives.

Over the last five years, more and more of our client companies have placed an emphasis on harnessing digitalisation in various fields of their business operations, including training and development. The need has arisen for participants to be able to follow up their progress with a digital tool during their leadership development program, and access previously learned materials quickly and easily in a convenient format afterwards, when they face people management dilemmas. For this purpose, we have blended our mobile microlearning app, Act2Manage, with our well established, in-person Deliberate Leadership Program.

Usage statistics have unequivocally proven that the mobile app significantly increases the learning activity of our participants, as well as the number of commitments they make based on their key learnings. Moreover, they don’t just focus on the topics included in the program curriculum, but engage in various other subjects included in the advanced or professional levels of the app.

Several behavioural science research studies have provided evidence that even small commitments significantly increase the provability of behavioural change, which is probably the most relevant KPI of leadership development initiatives.

Act2Manage is an innovative mobile learning tool to support managers with tight schedules to get better in people management and to improve employee engagement. It ensures turning knowledge to action with the help of follow-up commitments and reminder features.

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Key Features 

  • Each learning message is supported by analysis, practice or experiential learning, and is followed by the discussion of the practical applicability in the participants’ own job role. 
  • The participants make commitments at the end of every training day to make sure what they have learnt goes into practice. 
  • Learning and commitment follow-up is supported by an online leadership application. 
  • On the next training day, the participants reflect on their observations among each other, which supports peer-to-peer learning. 
  • Between the monthly held training days a short, focused dual coaching session (coaching in pairs) ensures that the participants implement their take-aways and successfully overcome any challenges emerging during practice. 

Program Structure 

  1. Performance Management and Supportive Communication (1-day training)
    Dual coaching session 1. 
  2. Motivating Others (1-day training)
    Dual coaching session
  3. Leader as Coach (1-day training)
    Dual coaching session
  4. Assertiveness and Conflicts (1-day training)
    Dual coaching session
  5. Stress Management, Time Management, Delegating, Managing Meetings (1-day training)
    Dual coaching session 5. 

The duration of the dual coaching sessions is ~60 minutes. The sessions are to be conducted in batches on prearranged dates (3-4 sessions / day). 

Each module of the program makes the learning experience diverse and effective through exercises, analysis, questionnaires and experiential learning activities. It’s important to note that the training modules contain “classic” leadership knowledge, as well as research findings from the last 10-15 years. 

Science Behind the Modules 

1. Performance Management (goal setting, feedback & evaluation, supportive communication, performance appraisal) 

  • Management by Objectives (Drucker) 
  • One-Minute Manager (Johnson-Blanchard) 
  • SMART goals 
  • Supportive communication, rules of giving feedback, active listening (Cameron, Whetten, Gordon) 
  • Hurdles of interpersonal communication 
  • Performance management and performance review  

2. Motivating Others 

  • Applying main motivation theories at work (Alderfer, Maslow, Murray, McClelland, Herzberg, Skinner, McGregor, Lathem & Locke, Barrett) 
  • Kovach ’s research on motivation, George Mason University 
  • Career Anchors by Schein 
  • Daniel Pink – Drive (Motivation 3.0) 
  • Dealing with demotivated colleagues 
  • The characteristics of Generation Y 

3. Leader as Coach 

  • Coaching as a development tool 
  • Model of adult learning (Kolb) 
  • Building trust in a coaching situation 
  • Questioning techniques 
  • Practicing active listening 
  • Applying the GROW coaching model (Whitmore) 

4. Assertiveness and Conflicts 

  • Assertive vs. Passive vs. Aggressive communication 
  • Assertive communication (Bishop) vs. Supportive communication 
  • “I”-messages (Gordon) 
  • How to say no 
  • How to handle criticism assertively 
  • Conflicts and results (Brown) 
  • Boulding’s ‘devil’s advocate’ experiment 
  • Escalation of conflicts (Glasl) 
  • Conflict resolution approaches (Ruble & Thomas) 
  • Gordon’s model for problem solving 

5. Stress Management, Time Management, Delegating, Managing Meetings 

  • Sources of stress at work 
  • Setting priorities 
  • Personal Mission Statement (Covey) 
  • Time management matrix (Covey) 
  • Roles and goals (Covey) 
  • General and Leadership time management techniques (Cameron) 
  • Methods of effective delegation (Cameron) 
  • Preparing for meetings 
  • Running meetings (Cameron) 
  • How can you spoil meetings? 

Act2Manage Application 

Most leadership development programs fail to meet expectations as managers have a hard time applying what they have learnt in their day-to-day activities. Act2Manage was designed to provide a solution. The application is an interactive, practice-oriented tool which utilizes gamification elements to support managers in the most frequent management & leadership situations and problems. It also offers follow-up to make sure they put in practice what they have learnt.  

Act2Manage provides support for managers by giving them practical solutions to the most frequent management & leadership situations and issues. It also focuses on applying existing knowledge, therefore it can be a great (online) add-on tool to ongoing (offline) development programs in your organization.