Chris' Story - Customized Training

Chris Talks Customized TrainingMy career has spanned nearly forty years in Saskatchewan, having worked for three major employment sectors: post-secondary education, oil and gas, and municipal government. I consider myself a lifelong learner, and put into practice what I have learned.

I have always been especially keen on improving as a manager and leader. I have attended many stand-alone courses and seminars, read a shelf full of books, and followed the theories of popular thought leaders like Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Taylor Hartman and Daniel Goleman. I am currently enrolled in a Leadership Development Program through the University of Regina, which has been customized for my organization. Never have I participated in any type of learning that so directly related to improving my performance, that tied so many of the relevant threads together, and was so directly beneficial to my goal of growing as a leader both at work and in my personal life.

I am in a group of 24 students, all from our company. We are working through eight 2-day facilitated modules over the course of 12 months. Having a consistent group of students together, who also interact with you at the workplace, is excellent for team-building, practicing the common leadership language and also for peer accountability. Everyone was teamed up with a coaching partner in the first session, and we take time during each session to set objectives on what we want to work on. We then check in with our partner between sessions, to talk about how we are progressing. This encouragement and prodding helps keep the learning top of mind when we are being consumed by the daily details of work. Prior to the sessions starting, every student went through a 360 degree feedback survey on their current performance.

The results were a good reality check, and helped us to level-set where we were, and where we wanted to improve. The same survey will be given at the end of the program, measuring where we have improved and what needs more focus. The first session included a section on discovering our personality traits, and used four common colours to describe what we each preferred. It helped me to understand myself better, and just as importantly, to have a better understanding and appreciation of the people I work with.

What I am learning in this program also translates seamlessly into my personal life. I am a Board member of two local organizations, and being more skilled at conflict resolution, coaching and active listening has made me more effective. I am very appreciative of my company investing in me and my colleagues in this manner. It makes me want to strive to be a better employee, to give back to show that their faith in me was justified.

Chris, March 2016

Learn more about Customized Training