Life at Encepta

Leadership Development at Encepta

Developing Leadership Skills at Encepta

Over the last months, Encepta conducted three leadership development workshops in partnership with Claire Simpkins from Tekara Organizational Effectiveness. As a company, we recognize the importance of improving leadership performance and creating a positive work environment. 

After our managers attended these leadership development sessions, they came away with valuable insights that we believe would benefit other companies looking to invest in their leaders. In today's article, we'll share some key takeaways from these sessions and offer insights based on our experience at Encepta. We also invited Encepta HR Manager, Monique Snyder to share her feedback from these workshops.   

Leadership Sessions Recap

Leadership Styles 

The first session covered inspiration leadership and highlighted the framework created by Zenger and Folkman. The framework identifies six differentiated ways that an individual can inspirationally lead others:

As well, Claire Simpkins introduced Situational Leadership. A framework developed by Ken Blanchard that highlights that there is no single 'best' style of leadership – rather, effective leadership is task-relevant, and that the most successful leaders are those that adapt their style accordingly. Our managers worked through different scenarios to learn how to apply the situational leadership framework in the workplace.

Coaching as a Busy Leader

The second session focused on helping our managers develop foundational coaching skills needed to build higher levels of engagement. Claire helped our managers learn the difference between coaching, training, mentoring and performance management and when to use each approach when leading a team. Managers learned that coaching emphasizes asking questions to help team members expand their awareness, generate insights and commit to action rather than solving employees' problems. Furthermore, Claire introduced the GROW Coaching Model (visualized below) created by Sir John Whitmore, which stands for Goal, Reality, Options, and Will. The framework is utilized for performance improvement and people development. Overall, coaching is a valuable tool for leadership development in businesses. Our managers will use this to help others achieve their full potential, improve their performance, and ultimately drive our People success at Encepta.

Creating a Culture of Healthy Communication 

As we approach our Mid-Year Performance Reviews, our last session highlighted how leaders can create a culture and environment for healthy conversations in the workplace. Managers first learned the various reasons individuals avoid difficult discussions, such as lack of time, fear of conflict and damaging relationships, not feeling skilled enough, and lack of support in company culture.  As well, managers learned of four common communication mistakes that negatively impact a conversation. These mistakes include assuming you are right, and the other person is wrong; not being curious and asking enough questions; using judgmental language that can put others on the defensive; and failing to ensure consistent communication. Moving forward, our managers need to be aware of these mistakes and plan ahead of time to mitigate them in discussions.

Throughout the session, Claire introduced research and frameworks introduced by Kerry Patterson – Crucial Conversations: Tools for talking when stakes are high, and Gervase Bushe – Clear Leadership. Sustaining real collaboration and partnership at work.

Some key aspects to consider in preparing for challenging conversations:

Ultimately, this session was beneficial in empowering Encepta managers to have difficult conversations with their team members and to create a culture of trust, transparency, and open communication.

Insights from a Manager

Monique Snyder, HR Manager, shared some insights from attending the leadership sessions. 

Interview Questions & Answers

What were your biggest takeaways from the leadership sessions? 

Monique (M): There are always great tidbits of information in these sessions, but the biggest takeaway is always seeing everyone’s varying perspectives and how we each individually and uniquely deal with communication, conflict, praise, collaboration and approach to life at work. 

Did the sessions change your perspective on leadership? If so, how?

(M): I'm lucky to have had quite a bit of exposure to leadership principles and approaches through my education and industry, I think the sessions helped me understand leadership in the context of Encepta and how we can better support our middle-management team. Being a manager is not easy! Pair tight deadlines with operational efficiencies, budget oversight, hiring, performance monitoring, and keeping your team happy - it's a tall order. I look forward to more sessions like this in the future for our management team.

What specific strategies or tactics did you learn that you plan to incorporate into your leadership style? 

(M): I really enjoyed the "walk the cube" experience cube, conflict methodology - it helps you identify how you frame a difficult conversation in an easy and approachable way. (image below)

Source: Experience Cub from  Clear Leadership by Gervase Bushe

How has the leadership sessions impacted interactions with your team? Have you noticed any improvements in team morale or productivity since attending the sessions?

(M): Since my team is small and still getting into the flow of working together, I can't notice a difference yet, but I think it's helped me communicate across teams and to other managers.

How do you plan to continue developing your leadership skills beyond the sessions? 

(M): I get a lot of great resources from my HR email subscriptions and CPHR network, I also really enjoy putting on a TedTalk about leadership/work when I'm working on certain projects.

Encepta's leadership development sessions were a great success in empowering managers to lead effectively. The sessions provided practical tools and insights that the managers can apply in their day-to-day leadership roles. Our managers also appreciated the opportunity to learn from a seasoned leadership coach and to connect with their peers in a supportive learning environment. Thank you to Claire Simpkins and Tekara Organizational Effectiveness for the exceptional sessions.

If you’re interested in running leadership sessions at your company, visit Tekara’s website here to learn more about what they do.

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