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Blind Spots Derail Engagement

Inspire Engagement & Change Readiness

Engagement matters. People have to grow to meet new challenges. A learning culture is good for that. Engagement gives people the confidence they need to grow into the future.

But, sometimes a leader’s blind spot prevents learning.

I often tell a story about an executive coaching client whose blind spot stunted his team’s growth. “Not letting anyone down” was very important to him. This value morphed into a blind spot that made people afraid to make mistakes. They wouldn’t think for themselves and constantly came to him for guidance. My client saw this as reluctance…a motivational issue.  But, with insight about his blind spot, “Patrick” realized he inadvertently reinforced poor learning habits. People weren’t invested in solving problems. They didn’t see them as safe opportunities for learning.

Leader as Coach

Patrick changed his leadership approach. He became a coach instead of a fire fighter.  He asked curious questions to help people think through their problem-instead of solving it for them. Then, if mistakes were made, he asked team members what they had learned?  He also asked, what would they do differently the next time?

This approach helped his staff to learn-as-they-go. Patrick credits this shift in HIS leadership mindset for changing his organizational culture and his own strategic effectiveness.

At the rate things change today you need people equipped to learn-as-they-go.

When people have safe opportunities to learn they:
• see obstacles as problems they are eager to solve
• feel emboldened to succeed in spite of limited resources
• are able to collaborate

Why Training Falls Short

Unfortunately, traditional training solutions fall short if the training doesn’t incorporate real world situations. I frequently hear people say “I don’t know what that looks like” when I talk to individuals who’ve been through one-off training sessions.

Without opportunities to safely practice adaptive behavior change, they go back to doing what they’ve always done.

Book Gwen for Learn-as-you-go Tactics

Hear this and other stories about high-impact, low-cost learning tactics you can use today. My programs are customized with pre-event interviews and when possible, post event activities that lock in the learning.

I learned hard lessons about leading change as a first time VP and General Manager of a television station. The station was a poor performer in need of a turn around. I needed ideas and tactics that imbedded learning into daily activity. Taking field trips, adding stretch assignments, and innovating digital news delivery became our hands on laboratory. Eventually the station increased it’s community following and won prestigious journalism awards.

I travel from Northern Virginia, USA to deliver keynotes on leading change.

  • "Gwen led a professional development series for us. She was a fantastic find who articulated new ways to navigate change while leveraging personal strengths."
  • "Gwen asked what we wanted/needed then spoke to those needs. She gave us helpful information we can use this year."
  • "Gwen is a masterful storyteller with a unique way of inspiring new thoughts, ideas and actions while you discover–for–yourself–what you may be overlooking."
  • "Gwen was captivating in the way she presented information with real-life stories and examples. We could take what we learned and apply it the very next day."

Speaking Topics Include

  • Employee Engagement
  • Modeling Transformation

Speaking of Employee Engagement: It’s more powerful than you think

Three keys to employee engagement that turned a poor performing station into an award winner. Leave with actionable takeaways you can use immediately to improve employee engagement.

Gwen’s a story oriented employee engagement speaker. She tells a humorous tale of how this dysfunctional station learned to pull together to gain market share,win news awards,and prototype a new digital business model adopted by other stations in their group.

Modeling Transformation: Capturing Daily Insights

Gwen speaks about tools and daily practices leaders can use to reimagine and meet emerging opportunity.

  • Attendees learn techniques that cultivate deep personal insights.
  • Gwen includes stories of what it’s like to actively work on your next big idea…even before you know what it is.
  • And, while no one can totally avoid setbacks, her speech includes examples of the power in a shift of mindset from loss to possibilities.