Table of Contents
This project is a peer learning program in which our team leaders developed context specific leadership skills for building and managing their teams. We called it Young Leadership Circle.
The goal is to make team leads aware of their behavioural patterns, analyse the context they are acting in, getting to know different leadership approaches and by trying out different leadership styles, adapt what fits to their personality, team and company culture. This is crucial for us since we are on a path towards a more self-organized organization and we need to enable our current team leaders to shape that transition for their team members but also themselves.
The circle sessions happened in a virtual setting over the time span of September 2020 — March 2021. We used Zoom and Mural to facilitate the sessions with a total of 12 participants.
Topics of the sessions included
We co-created this curriculum together with our participants by doing user-research upfront, a group workshop session about good leadership practice and constant feedback loops to make sure the topics addressed fit the needs of our participants.
Experiential Learning Design The circle was an experiential learning experience, meaning that it was important to us to not just deliver and present learning content but participants learned by working and reflecting from their own experiences, by observing other practitioners in action, by role playing behaviours with each other and coach themselves. To achieve this we created design & facilitation principles for everybody that was involved in creating and hosting the sessions. We relied on an outside service provider for moderating and facilitating the circle sessions since we wanted it to be a safe space for the participants and we have made the experience that when the people team is involved participants are inhibited to share freely and openly.
Major accomplishments We saw from feedback and reflection sessions that the participants showed an increased system awareness and how their leadership style and behaviours is affected and impacts the organizational culture. This was one of our goals since we are undertaking a transformation to a more self-organized way of working and need our leadership to be an active part of this transition. Furthermore, we observed changes in behaviour according to the topics we had addressed in the sessions. Participants started listening more actively, asked trigger questions and were conscious not to jump into providing solutions: Behaviours which were all part of the coaching and trust building sessions. Insights and learning from the sessions were documented on a shared Mural whiteboard that is accessible to the participants. Throughout the session we documented a library of coaching behaviours with exercises leads can do with their team, as well as a facilitation guide for these peer learning sessions.
These are the distinct activities we conducted in order to achieve our project goals. We started with a concept of the learning experience and content as outlined in the proposal. Throughout the first phase of designing the leadership program, we did user research with potential participants in order to shape the program according to their needs as a leader of a team. In this section we report on the major activities in chronological order.