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Development of Leadership Development Programme

Info: 11533 words (46 pages) Dissertation
Published: 9th Dec 2019

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Tagged: ManagementLeadership

Section 1: Leadership Development Programme: Diagnostics, Design and Evaluation

Wordcount for Section one: 2,499



Our proposed leadership model………………………………………………………………………1-2

Leadership development programme…………………………………………………………………….2


Development methods…………………………………………………………………………3-5


Proposed schedule…………………………………………………………………………………………6-7

Next steps……………………………………………………………………………………………………….7



Proposal for Expert Packaging Ltd


You want a leadership development programme that is suitable for your top 50 most senior managers. Our proposed programme will contain two different learning methods: coaching and reflection. Due to Expert Packaging already having a good reputation amongst its staff for offering opportunities at work to learn new skills and get involved in projects; through diagnostics and development methods we will further develop the characteristics and skills of the staff in the company who already demonstrate some aspects of Transformational Leadership. Therefore, the four aspects of Transformational Leadership will need to be recognised and developed.

Our Proposed Leadership Model

There are many different models and theories of leadership. To meet the needs of your organisation, we recommend that we adopt the Transformational Leadership Theory, developed by Burns (1978) who defined it as a process whereby leaders and followers help raise one another’s levels of morality and motivation. Due to the recent employee attitude survey revealing that staff at Expert Packaging experience the organisation as generally supportive, with most senior managers demonstrating at least some aspects of Transformational Leadership, we decided that this model would be suitable. Bass (1990) states that Transformational Leadership occurs when leaders broaden the interests of employees and look beyond their own self-interest for the good of the group. This applies to Expert Packaging as the staff have been described as open, considerate and having a strong customer focus. The four aspects of Transformational Leadership are: intellectual stimulation (leaders need to inspire creativity amongst followers), individualised consideration (encouragement and support allows team members to share new ideas), inspirational motivation (sharing vision of how a project will succeed will give followers motivation) and idealised influence (the idealised influence a Transformational Leader possesses will inspire followers to succeed by internalising managers ideals and making them their own.)


Leadership Development Programme

  1. Diagnostics: to diagnose the leadership development needs of senior managers in the company, using 360-degree feedback.
  2. Design: the development methods we propose are: coaching and reflection.
  3. Evaluation: to check your needs have been met and further improvements are identified for the future.


Transformational Leadership Theory is based upon the belief of having more than one leader in a group. Therefore, the 360 Degree Feedback (Appendix A1/2) method for diagnostics is suitable to develop leadership in all fifty senior managers.

This tool has been chosen to understand the individuals’ needs, due to feedback allowing individuals to adjust the level of direction of their efforts to match the company requirements of their role (Seifert & Yukl, 2010; Locke & Latham, 2002, c.f. Externbrink & Inceoglu, 2014); this therefore suits this company due to the individual requirements. This process of developing the role requirements through the 360 Degree Feedback Process shows the commitment to the organisation, which is further linked to Transformational Leadership (Barling, Weber, & Kelloway, 1996; Bycio, Hackett, & Allen, 1995, c.f. Dvir, Eden, Avolio, & Shamir, 2017). This commitment leads to enhanced satisfaction with the job (Hater & Bass, 1988, c.f. Kelloway & Barling, 2000) and lower levels of job and role stress (Sosik & Godshalk, 2000; Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Bommer, 1996, c.f. Kelloway & Barling, 2000).

This process follows a sequence (London & Beatty, 1993), which begins by agreeing on competencies to be included in the questionnaire. The main competencies to be developed for Expert Packaging are: intellectual stimulation, individualised consideration, inspirational motivation, and idealised influence which are essential in becoming a Transformational Leader (Appendix A3). Based upon these competencies there are around forty questions with numerical ratings. The individual senior managers will select who they would like to receive feedback from, this is usually other managers/supervisors, and can be external to the organisation too (Antonioni, 1996). The participants will be given a brief of the diagnostic tool, by email or online, followed by the questionnaire. Collection of data and production of the report usually takes around three weeks to complete. The final stage involves feedback to the senior managers, this takes around 90 – 120 minutes, involving one-to-one feedback and an action plan for development. Once the programme is finished the final discussion will provide feedback to direct and motivate improvement (Kluger, 1993; c.f. London & Beatty, 1993).

Through 360-degree feedback, individuals are provided with information concerning: how they are perceived by others, advice for improvement, ratings and feedback (DeNisi & Griffin, 2001). This diagnostic being online is advantageous as it provides access to difficult-to-reach individuals (Wellman, 1997), e.g. individuals with disabilities. On the other hand, this process does provide individuals with a lot of information which can be overwhelming, so help is needed by a consultant to comprehend the information (DeNisi & Griffin, 2001). Overall the real effectiveness of this process is unknown (Armour, 2003, London, Smither, & Adsit, 1997; Waldman, Atwater, & Antonioni, 1998), however, in combination with coaching, it has resulted in improved manager and employee satisfaction (Luthans & Peterson, 2003; c.f. Ladegard & Gjerde, 2014).

Development Methods

Once 360-degree feedback has been used to gain an insight into the skills and competencies already held by the senior managers, the next stage is developing these Transformational Leadership Skills. The first development method is coaching, this is both action-orientated and learning-orientated, focusing on individual goals in relation to intrapersonal and interpersonal skills (Byrne, 2007; c.f. McNamara, 2014).

The coaching programme for Expert Packaging will involve one to one coaching, whereby work-related issues will be discussed to improve leadership effectiveness (Ely et al, 2010; Feldman & Lankau, 2005; Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998). The GROW model, initially developed by Alexander (2006) and popularised by Whitmore (2010), will be used to allow the senior managers to identify a plan to reach their goal.

The first coaching session will take place a few weeks after 360-degree feedback. There will be four sessions provided by a consultant one to one, to help senior managers develop the four aspects of Transformational Leadership (each session will focus on each aspect). Also, two coaching sessions will be conducted within the company by the senior managers to each other; this will be recorded so any errors in the coaching session can be highlighted by a consultant, so the next session is successful. This allows the senior managers to have more coaching sessions due to costs and timing, and becoming a coach will benefit the senior managers and increase professionalism (Wasylyshyn, 2003). Six sessions altogether will provide the senior managers with enough guidance to allow them to make progress, without taking them out of their jobs too often, it is recommended that the coaching process usually entails three to seven sessions (Hellervik, Hazucha & Schneider, 1992; Saporito, 1996; c.f. Ely et al, 2010.)

The coaching session, using the GROW model (Appendix B1) begins by discussing goals (this is the G in GROW), so this identifies the objectives and desired result from the session. The second stage involves the reality (R in GROW) of the situation, whereby the senior manager will assess their current situation in terms of the actions taken so far. Stage three concerns what options (O in GROW) the individual has, to reach their objectives, by identifying all possibilities and alternatives. The final stage concerns what they will (W in GROW) do, in terms of what they have learned and what can be changed to achieve their goals. During this stage they may outline any possible future obstacles, and consider how they could overcome these. Any support required will be identified, and a summary and plan of action to reach the desired goal will be produced. During the session the coach will encourage the senior manager to talk for most of the time by asking powerful questions, starting broad at the beginning and becoming more focused throughout, to encourage discussion. They will show active listening by replying through nodding, saying yes, and smiling to encourage continuation.

Coaching has been found to have a positive effect even after only one session (Burke & Linley, 2007; c.f. Ladegard & Gjerde, 2014), and the number of coaching sessions is positively associated with the leaders post-training self-efficacy (Baron & Morin, 2010; c.f. Ladegard & Gjerde, 2014). Several research studies have shown that in a coaching relationship, the participant will create a new insight, develop new knowledge and skills and this will help spur personal growth (Hall, Otazo, & Hollenbeck, 1999). Due to this they are proven effective by many, for example Caplan (2003) found that organisations operating in environments marked by frequent shifts in environment dynamics benefit massively from coaching programmes; so, this should be valuable for Expert Packaging, being a company spread across five countries.

Generally, there are no inherent disadvantages to the coaching method if it is properly delivered, however, if the 360-degree feedback method has not been successful in depicting the current and required skills of the employees this can result in coaching sessions failing to address the skill development areas (Caplan, 2003). Also, it has been recognised that there is not always a clear link from one GROW session to the next, as the individual may have different goals each session. The RE-GROW model was developed to help achieve this link between sessions (Greene & Grant, 2003), as the initial stages are review and evaluate. In our case, this is not an issue as there are 4 aspects of Transformational Leadership to be developed, so each session will concern a different aspect.

The next development model requires reflection/reflexivity, which relates directly to how effectively individuals learn from their own personal experiences (Boud, Keogh, & Walker, 1985; c.f. Densten & Gray, 2001). There is an important distinction between reflexivity and reflection; senior managers will be using both, reflexivity will be used throughout the process, and reflection will be used at the end of the process (Finlay, 2002). This method will involve reflexivity/reflection in a personal diary (they will be guided to do this roughly every two weeks to keep an update of their progress), using Gibb’s reflective cycle (Gibbs, 1988) (Appendix B2). This reflection writing will involve reflecting on what processes have been successful and unsuccessful (Brookfield, 1995). Senior managers will be given a session concerning Gibb’s reflective cycle at the beginning of the process, after the first coaching session. In this session the senior managers will be given another ‘coaching session’ based upon Gibb’s reflective cycle. This will be more of a guide to know how the cycle should be used for when they are writing their diary independently (Appendix B3). The first step involves description; therefore, the individual would describe their situation in detail. The next step involves discussing their feelings towards this situation, and talking about what they thought and felt during the experience. The third step is evaluation, so the senior manager would be encouraged to look objectively at which approaches are working. Step four will include conclusions, once the situation has been evaluated. And the final stage involves the action that can be taken to deal with this situation and other situations in the future. For example, through 360-degree feedback and the coaching session, the individual may realise that they lack the empathy and support aspect of individualised consideration to become more of a Transformational Leader, they may have identified their issues within the coaching session, and this reflective diary method will monitor their progress throughout this goal development.

This process will be helpful for senior managers to identify skill development, however, there are some drawbacks. Korthagen (2001) described the difficulty of measuring this process as it occurs in the individuals brain, and is not directly observable. Also, a lot of commitment is involved in the reflexivity process (Finlay, 2002), which can be difficult when senior managers have a large workload. Diary keeping could occur during work; they could make short notes throughout the week, and then the process of Gibb’s reflective cycle will take less time when they write their diary. In addition, preparation to come clean about mistakes and engage in analysis to help further development is necessary (Kleinman, 1991; c.f. Finlay, 2002), which can be difficult for some individuals. However, the 360-degree feedback process at the beginning will highlight these issues for the senior managers and the coaching and diary methods will work on these issues.


To evaluate the impact of this leadership development programme, we will re-use 360-degree feedback after the programme, to monitor the progress of the senior managers. We will also use Kirkpatrick’s four-level evaluation model (Appendix C1), which helps you objectively analyse the effectiveness of this programme so improvements can be made in the future (Kirkpatrick, 1959). This will be conducted by a consultant in a hotel nearby, and will last around two hours. The four levels of this programme involve: reaction-this measures how the participants reacted to the programme and how well it was received, learning-what the participants have learnt from the experience and whether their objectives have been met, behaviour-how much the participants’ behaviour has changed based on the programmes support, and lastly, results-at this level you analyse the results of this programme, and how effective the structure of the programme has been. This in combination with 360-degree feedback will measure specifically whether Transformational Leadership skills have been developed. This will enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of our programme so that appropriate changes can be made in the future.

The Kirkpatrick model has served as the primary design for programme evaluation for over thirty years, due to its popularity being a straightforward, systematic system (Bates, 2004). However, it is used in many different areas including in higher education (Upcraft & Poole, 1991), student services advisors (Brown & Krager, 1985) and in programme evaluation (such as this leadership programme) (Newman & Brown, 1996); and many other areas. However, criticism received included the fact that it evaluates everything afterwards, focusing on end results too much whilst gathering little data to help improve training programmes (Bozarth, 2008). Many authors have actually stopped the evaluation process after the first step, and this therefore leads to ‘smile sheets’-these measure the participants perception of their training. Although this is important, using this solely can prevent the maximisation of the model (Nickols, 2005). Due to this, Rossett (2009) asserted that each level should have a certain percentage of ‘attention’. With level 1-94%, level 2-34%, level 3-13% and level 4-3%. To overcome this, we are using this evaluation method in combination with 360-degree feedback, therefore, more data will be gathered. 360-degree feedback will focus more on the individual improvements and Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model will focus more on the effectiveness of the programme as a whole. These two in combination will provide an overall evaluation of the programme, which is vital to success and improvement (Deming, 1986; Kaufman & Zahn, 1993; c.f. Kaufman & Keller, 1994).

Using the evaluation process will enable us to know whether we have met the objectives for this programme and is suitable for your top fifty most senior managers by guiding the development of the four aspects of Transformational Leadership. This will also be helpful for us to continually develop our programme.

Proposed Schedule

Year 1
Week 1 360-degree feedback-this takes a month in total with the data production, collection.
Week 4 360-degree feedback-this will enable the senior managers to identify goals ready for coaching.
Week 6 The first coaching session will be conducted here by a professional coach, lasting for around 2 hours.
Week 8 The reflection session conducted by a professional consultant, lasting 1 hour. Diary reflection-this can take place as often as the senior managers decide, although guidance of completing their diary once every 2 weeks is suggested for improvements to be made. This ongoing process is useful for the senior managers themselves-they can exchange diaries between them if they wish or keep them personal for self-reflection. This may be something they wish to continue after the programme.
Week 23 The second coaching session will be conducted by a professional consultant, lasting for around 2 hours.
Week 40 The third coaching session will be conducted by a professional consultant, lasting for around 2 hours.
Week 52 The fourth coaching session will be conducted by a professional consultant, lasting for around 2 hours.
Year 2
Week 18 The fifth coaching session will be conducted by another senior manager(s), lasting between 30 minutes-2 hours.
Week 36 The sixth coaching session will be conducted by another senior manager(s), lasting between 30 minutes-2 hours.
Week 40 Evaluation using the 360-degree model will take place, taking around a month to collate the information.
Week 50 Evaluation using Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model, taking around 2 hours.
Week 52 Feedback to the senior managers- the consultants will provide feedback to the evaluation given by the senior managers, and will explain the next steps on how to continue with the process of becoming a leader.

Next steps

We will contact you next week to discuss this proposal further, if you have any queries in the meantime feel free to get in touch.








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Appendix A-Diagnostics

360 Degree Feedback

Table A1. The dimensions used by subordinates to evaluate managers in the organisation (general leadership qualities)







Job Knowledge


Performance Observation

Problem Identification

Decision Making


A / / / / / /
B / / / / /
C / / / / /
(continued for all 50 participants) / / / / / / /

Table A2. Internal customer feedback survey (general leadership qualities)

What level of service should be provided from Expert Packaging? What level of service do you receive from Expert Packaging?
SERVICES PROVIDED Expectations (7-high, 1-low) Performance
Processing of invoices 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 NA 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 NA
COMMUNICATION Expectations Performance
Provides updates 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Listens to customer 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Explains procedure 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Seeks feedback 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
RELIABILITY Expectations Performance
Provides service 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Consistent 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Dependable 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Take responsibility 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Accuracy 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
FLEXIBILITY/CREATIVE Expectations Performance
Alternative methods 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Adaptable 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Decision making 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
KNOWLEDGE Expectations Performance
Efforts relate to service 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Understand needs 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Sensitive to client needs 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Advice and consulting 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
GROUP RATING Expectations Performance
Rate overall service 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N

Table A3. Transformational leadership skills survey using 360-degree feedback for senior managers (participants)

To what extent do you already have this skill? (Competed by the participant) To what extent does the employee have this skill? (Completed by another member of staff)
INDIVIDUALISED CONSIDERATION 7-high, 1-low, N-N/A 7-high, 1-low, N-N/A
Empathy and support 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Attending to others needs 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Listening to others needs 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Communication 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Respect 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Will and aspirations 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Intrinsic motivation 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Challenging others 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Risk-taking 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Encourage creativity 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Develop others 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Knowledge-seeking 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Inquisitive 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Articulates vision 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
High standards 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Optimism 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Motivated 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Drive 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Power 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Willing to invest effort 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Self-belief 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Role model 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Demonstrates pride 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Ethical 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N
Trust 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 N



Appendix B- Development Methods

B1: Coaching

GROW Model Questions:


What do you want from this discussion?

How would you like to get to your goal?

What does your goal look like?

What will you tell yourself to do the reach this objective?

What will others be telling you?

What will you have at the end of this session that you do not have already?

Once this programme is over and you have achieved your goals, how will you feel? What new elements are in place? What is different now?


What are you doing at the moment about this?

How important is this goal to you?

On a scale of 1-10, if 10 is the ideal situation, what number are you on right now?

What number on the scale would you like to reach?

How do you feel about this change?

What impact does this goal have on you?

What are you currently doing to get you to your goal?

Who else is affected by this goal?


What could you do about it?

What ideas do you have?

What alternatives are there?

What has worked in the past?

What steps could you now take?

Who could help you to reach this goal?

Where could you go to receive help?


What will you do to reach your objectives?

How will you do that?

When will you do this?

Who will you talk to for guidance?

Where will you go to do this?

Is there anything you need to do first before reaching your goals?

How committed do you feel to taking that action?

B2-Reflexivity-Gibb’s Reflective Model

Step 1-Description

Questions to consider:

When and where did this occur?

Who else was there?

What happened?

What did you do?

What did others do?

What was the outcome of this situation?

Step 2-Feelings

Questions to consider:

How did you feel before this situation?

How did you feel during this situation?

What do you feel now about the situation?

What do you think others will feel about the situation?

Step 3-Evaluation

What were the positive aspects of this situation?

What were the negative aspects of this situation?

What didn’t go well?

What did you do to contribute to this situation?

What did others do to contribute to this situation?

Step 4-Conclusions

How could this experience have been more positive?

If you were faced with this situation again what would you now do differently?

What skills would help you deal with this situation better?

Step 5-Action

What is your plan of action?

How are you going to accomplish this plan of action?

How long will it take you to do this?

B3: An example of Gibbs reflective model:

Stage 1: Description of the event

I am currently a senior manager at Expert Packaging and have discovered that I lack some Transformational Leadership skills that I should have being a senior manager, using 360-degree feedback. I then participated in a coaching session to work my way around how I could reach my goal. My goal concerns my individualised consideration skills, in particular my communication skills. This is an issue because sometimes I struggle to get guide my staff through communication, and therefore, I want to reverse this as I know what needs to be done within the company, and I am well aware of what others need to be doing. However, I struggle to communicate this, which results in a lack of time and energy on my part as we can fall back and I sometimes have to do more work than necessary to get us back on track. During this meeting I am attempting to discover what is it that causes my lack of communication, and I will continue to log my progress using this process in a diary. I have already begun to use my coaching session to develop this skill.

Stage 2: Feelings and thoughts (self-awareness)

Generally, I deem myself to be quite a sociable person, I enjoy meeting with friends, I have a family and wife. So, at first when I was given feedback to discover that I lack in communication, I did not believe it, being an extroverted person myself. However, during my coaching session I began to realise that I do actually lack this, as I could not think of a time that I had given instructions and they were actually carried out to a good standard. Although I firstly saw this as negative, I have begun to realise that this developing of my communication skills will help a lot in my work position, and other aspects of my life too. As I developed a plan in my coaching session, I have already began working on this skill and have spoken to several people concerning this for guidance.

Stage 3: Evaluation and analysis

Overall, I have improved my communication skills, however, I do have a way to go with it. Other individualised consideration skills that I lacked concerned listening to others needs. These show me that overall, I need to work on communication in several different aspects. I have challenged this situation; however, I will need to work on this for quite a while and I will need to gain feedback and help from others throughout the process. The only negative aspect of this is that developing a skill like this is actually a lot more challenging than I originally assumed, and therefore, more work will need to put into this to ensure I reach my goal.

The only aspect of this that I am unaware of is exactly how much communication is necessary, I understand that staff do know what they are doing so all they need is my guidance. However, I do not want to seem over-powering and patronising.

Stage 4: Conclusion

I have begun to develop an insight into what is necessary in terms of communication with other members of staff, I do think that I need to only slightly increase the amount of guidance I give as the staff do know what is expected of the company. However, I really need to work on my listening skills, in case they do have any queries about anything I can then give them appropriate guidance and it will not appear too over-powering as they will have asked for the help.

Stage 5: Action Plan

I am going to work on this goal, and if it occurs again whereby a member of staff seems unsure, or anyone makes a comment on my communicative skills I will not take this negatively. Instead, I will try and improve this as I now know how necessary this is in the workplace since working on it, and realising how much easier and quicker things are getting done. I will also ask others for their guidance on this skill if necessary, being a large company everyone will have different strengths and due to this we can work as a team to help encourage each other to reach goals through the help of each other.

















Appendix C-Evaluation

C1: Kirkpatrick’s four level evaluation

Level 1-Reaction:

Identify how you will measure your reaction by addressing these questions:

Was the programme worth your time and effort?

Do you think that the programme was successful?

What were the main strengths and weaknesses?

Did you like the presentation of the programme?

Did the methods accommodate to your personal learning style?

Level 2-Learning:

Identify what you would like to evaluate from what you have learnt-which will have been measured before and after this programme using 360-degree feedback.

Level 3-Behaviour:

Did you put your learning from the coaching sessions into use?

Do you think you could teach your new skills to others?

Are you aware of the skills you have developed?

Level 4-Results:

Identify which outcomes are most closely linked to training, here are some outcomes:

Increased employee retention

Higher morale

Increased sales

Higher ratings

Fewer complaints

Increased customer satisfaction

Section 2:  Reflection on skills practice



Gibb’s reflective cycle

Applying Gibb’s reflective cycle

What happened?

What was I thinking and feeling?

What was good and bad about the experience?

What sense can I make of the experience?

What else could I have done?

What will I do in the future, if faced with the same situation?



Appendix 1:  Skills practice 1 – my skills and development needs, as a leader. A diagnosis produced from self-feedback and peer-feedback.

Appendix 2:  Skills practice 2 –  My skills as observer.  My structured feedback and observations of another student’s coaching session.

Appendix 3:  Skills practice 3:  My skills as coach.  Feedback on my coaching of another student; self-feedback and feedback from others

Wordcount for Section Two: 998


During this module I worked on my confidence and assertiveness; self-confidence is traditionally valued as essential in leadership performance, as confidence welcomes new challenges and helps to set difficult goals (Luthans, Luthans, Hodgetts, & Luhans, 2001). Confidence not only assists leaders to work towards their objectives (Black & Porter, 2000; Northouse, 1997), but it increases follower’s willingness to work towards the objectives set by the leader (Luthans & Peterson, 2002). I am going to reflect on my experiences throughout this module in relation to leadership skills I have developed, using Gibbs Reflective Cycle (1988). The other significant models I will be introducing are Action Centred Learning (Adair, 1973), GROW Coaching (Whitmore, 2010), and Self Efficacy (Bandura, 1997).

Gibb’s reflective cycle

Gibbs reflective cycle (1988) was developed from the earlier theoretical model by Kolb (1984) which is depicted as an experiential learning model (learning through experience). However, Gibbs’ model is referred to as an iterative model (learning occurs through repetition).

Gibbs’ model (1988) can be used to allow people to make sense of situations through reflecting on past experiences (Boud, Keogh & Walker, 1985; Van Manen, 1977; Mezirow, 1981; & Schon, 1991).

This process involves five stages: the first stage involves description of the situation, the second stage is based on feelings towards the situation, the third stage is evaluation of which approaches worked, the fourth stage concerns the conclusions about what happened, and the final stage involves discussing possible actions to deal with similar situations more effectively in the future (Gibbs, 1988).

From ‘Learning by Doing’ by Graham Gibbs, published by Oxford Polytechnic (1988).

If reflection is done effectively, it can be a powerful tool to examine and develop performance, and can be used in any field working with people (Hobbs, 2007; cited from Finlay, 2008). Gibb’s reflective model is used extensively by healthcare professionals, as it enables the learner to think systematically about their experiences gained and improves professional judgement (Oelofsen, 2012). Whilst models such as this offer a helpful structure for reflection, it is argued that a broader and more critically reflexive approach is needed. Zeichner and Liston (1996) argue that reflection should move beyond and critically examine how these practises can lead to a change of commitment; which has encouraged more elaborative models such as Jay and Johnson’s (2002) reflection process involving: description, comparison and critical reflection.

Applying Gibb’s reflective cycle

What happened?

The first skills session involved Action Centred Learning (Adair, 1973); this involves a group of people attempting to achieve a goal whereby one of more of the individuals will act as a leader. I was in a group of six and we were given a scenario concerning a regional banking firm.

The second skills session involved a coaching session using the GROW model (Whitmore, 2010), which stands for: Goals, Reality, Options and Will. I was the coach, learner, and then observer.

The third skills session focused on feedback which I gave and received concerning coursework, our contributions to this module, and feedforward involving giving and receiving advice concerning a situation, to move forward.

What was I thinking and feeling?

I was quite nervous in the first skills session, due to being observed in a large group. I attempted to participate as much as possible in discussions, however, some individuals were very confident and over-powering which made it difficult.

The second skills session gave me confidence in the situation I was coached on, although I was not given advice, I realised how to reach my goal. Therefore, the GROW model (Whitmore, 2010) was beneficial in guiding my awareness and understanding.

The third skills session was useful; the coursework feedback helped as I could compare my coursework and discuss improvements.

What was good and bad about the experience?

In the first skills session, I portrayed support and encouragement; in an organisation support and encouragement are essential leadership traits which inspire employees to take initiative (Martins & Terblanche, 2003; Mumford & Gustafson; c.f. Sarros, Cooper, & Santora, 2008.) These skills also relate to the Transformational Leadership Skill, Individualised Consideration: which is the degree to which the leader attends to each follower and gives empathy and support (Burns, 1978). However, the session was quite daunting and as my feedback sheet has suggested, I lacked confidence and assertiveness.

In the second skills session I enjoyed coaching, however, I found it difficult to keep the conversation flowing (which was shown in my feedback, whereby I was described as ‘robotic’). I discovered that I demonstrate good listening skills which are essential in leadership (Whitworth, Kimsey-House, & Sandahl, 1998); I was not previously aware of having this skill.

The third session was positive, as I received good feedback. I demonstrated high self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997), as I showed optimism focusing on positives, followed by negatives, which allowed me to make an action plan.  I found it difficult to provide feedforward for others, as I lack in confidence with my own ideas and opinions. However, the feedforward that I received guided me to develop an appropriate action plan.

What sense can I make of the experience?

The experience has led me to realise I already have certain leadership skills, and it has allowed me to experience unfamiliar situations to develop new skills.

What else could I have done?

I could have prepared for the skills sessions and familiarised myself with the topics. I could have also been more assertive in the sessions, as assertiveness plays a critical role in perceptions about leaders (Ames & Flynn, 2007).

What will I do in the future, if faced with the same situation?

Confident leaders are seen as competent and more capable; however, over-confidence can be detrimental to a leader’s performance (Shipman, & Mumford, 2011); therefore, I need to work on gaining the correct amount of confidence to be successful. I will work on these weaknesses, and try and put myself in these situations to allow improvements. If faced with the same situation I would properly prepare myself, and go out of my comfort zone.


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Appendix 1:  Skills practice 1 – my skills and development needs, as a leader. A diagnosis produced from self-feedback and peer-feedback.

Appendix 2:  Skills practice 2 –  My skills as observer.  My structured feedback and observations of another student’s coaching session.

Appendix 3:  Skills practice 3:  My skills as coach.  Feedback on my coaching of another student; self-feedback and feedback from others.

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