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Leadership Skills TrainingOften one of the first questions asked in management training is ‘How do I motivate my team?

If only it was as simple as one word or one sentence answer. The difficulty in motivating a team is that a team is a group of individuals all with differing wants and needs and unfortunately there is no “one fits all”. That means that in management training there are 2 different ways to answer the question.

One way is to talk about the various theories of motivation, the other is to take a more practical approach and draw on your knowledge and the knowledge of others as to what we believe motivates.

Some people are motivated by competition, others by praise and others could be financial reward etc. We all know financial reward is important but it may not be the main motivator for many people. Often in management training the motivation is broken down into two distinct areas.

The areas being the difference between long term motivation and short term motivation. Unfortunately most motivation we use is short term, example being that of a pay rise, competition etc.

There is a saying in life ‘Eaten bread is soon forgotten’ -in other words many things we use to motivate, once given, are then no longer motivators that cannot be continuously used.

When we look at some of the theories of motivation, the most common one everyone thinks about is Maslows Hierarchy of Needs.

This theory states once an individuals physiological needs have been satisfied the individual automatically moves up to other levels of need such as “esteem” and “fulfillment”, it is at some of the higher levels of need that individuals personal potential are realised.

In Maslows Hierarchy the first 4 needs are seen as basic and are seen as vital to the health of an individual. Maslow maintains that the lower level needs must be truly satisfied before moving to the upper level needs.

He also maintains that needs can change due to circumstances, this has never been more evident than in recent times when people who may have been in the upper level needs, who have lost money due to the economic turnaround now find themselves back in the lower level needs.

In management training it is taught that motivation is all about establishing where someone is in Maslows Hierarchy and fulfilling that need to help them move on to the next need.

Maslows needs are determined as follows:

1. Physiological

2. Safety

3. Social

4. Self Esteem

5. Self-realization

There have been numerous articles written on Maslows Theory from numerous sources, this is not intended to teach you Maslows Theory but to possibly let you think about motivation so as you can try and answer for yourself in the next management training you attend ‘How do I motivate my team?’

For further information on team motivation see www.premiertraining.ie

Management Training is essentially about helping managers increase the performance of their team and the individuals within the team.

There are many skillsets needed by managers to undertake this effectively. A core skill required is the ability to set goals. Managers must be good at setting the goals they desire but also use influencing or persuasive skills to gain buy in from the individual whose responsibility it is to achieve the goal.

Good managers are those that feel comfortable in joint goal setting with an individual -so the individual feels a strong link to the goal and part of the decision making process.

Problems may arise if a manager just sets goals and fails to gain ‘buy in’. The goal is still seen as the managers and not the individuals. The key to success is to ensure the individual sees this as their target and something they are responsible for achieving.

When an individual agrees a goal the Manager should also have the skill and the confidence to let the individual speak about any barriers that may get in the way of the achievement of the goal.

In Management Training this is known as “Removing the Barrier”. There is a school of thought with many managers who feel once the individual has agreed the goal we should tie it up as quick as possible and let them go and achieve it.

The problem with this is that the individual can still perceive it as the managers goal and also perceive that they were pushed into it. If there is going to be a problem with the goal being achieved it is better to know upfront so solutions can be made to overcome the barriers. Advanced notice gives time to adjust accordingly.

Once the goal is agreed and barriers removed the individual should be afforded the chance to carry out the task, you may want to put check points in at various stages like milestones, but again in Management Training we suggest you do that upfront. The individual is entitled to know how and when you are going to monitor etc.

Always remember that in Management it is vitally important to ‘inspect what you expect’ -monitoring is a vital part of any managers job.

After this it is down to that famous Management Training word- Feedback. The managers role is to give constant feedback and the skills needed for effective feedback are vital to any manager.

Improving performance is quite simple if you follow these steps and offer the individual coaching if necessary to carry out the tasks and make sure your own management skills are kept up to date through effective Management Training.

For further information or tips and techniques see www.premiertraining.ie


You do not want to be part of the seagull system. Leadership skills trainers describe the seagull system as the leader that flies in s****s everywhere and flies out again leaving their mess to be cleaned up. As a leadership skills trainer I am aware that there re various diverse job roles that you need to take on as you can be harshly judged.

Your staff can be working in a strange and disconnecting environment. Your staff needs to know that you can relate to them, that you are behind them, that you are providing them with learning opportunities and developments, that you are focused, encouraging, guiding and motivating to each member of staff, that’s all.

Getting all your staff to pull in the same direction can be like herding cats. Te result can end up being perspiring rather than inspiring. What leadership skill courses use to overcome this is connecting points so that the staff knows what there job is, why they are doing it and how to overcome the obstacles.

The first connection point that you need to consider is to create and hold focus. This tool often used in leadership skills training courses will is about taking reality checks, developing your people to value themselves and your company, to manage yourself so that you are an example, to develop your vision and values and to collaborate with your staff on the visions and values and values that they will follow. As the saying goes a house divided against itself cannot stand its self.

The second area that is suggested by leadership skills trainers would be to keep it meaningful. You need to give an innovation that is valued for people’s minds to stay engaged. When you ask your staff questions you arise them from their job allowing them a break and letting them see that you are interested in their work and do care about what they have to say. Trainers in leadership skills courses will always say to keep in mind that it is not the strongest person that survives but it is the one that is most adaptable to change.

The third area that leaders need to bear in mind so that they will not join the seagull system is to ensure there is continuous training. In this current climate jobs are scarce but if you offered your staff constant training they should be able to survive and thrive as they have developed an increasingly valuable skill net. Training empowers your staff to develop their ideas and abilities. Consider cross training as this will allow your staff to gain a better understanding of how other people work and it will enable them to see where they fit into the equation.

The fourth and final step is your self management. Do not worry changes do not happen over night if there are some positive changes keep implementing them.  Do not have unrealistic expectations. Provide leadership by example and as you have heard either on a leadership skills training courses or through another means actions speak louder than word therefore look at your staff, talk to your staff, smile at your staff and thank your staff. A useful to use is to talk to the customers and get their feedback to see what you could do to improve customer satisfaction.

Through leadership skills training courses you can develop the skills and strategies for exceptional leadership as it is not what you know it is what you do with what you know. As Albert Schneitzer said the only ones that will really be happy are those that have sought and found how to serve.

Are you the person that goes through life just taking and getting what you get? Do you want to be the person that embraces what they have worked for because you knew what you wanted and have got what you wanted? According to the World Future Society the essence of leadership is the ability to see and create the future. I as a leadership skills trainer could not agree more. I expect that through leadership skills training course you will develop this ability to see and create to become a master of your destiny.

I, as a leadership and communication skills trainer believe, that in order to gain success in our lives it ultimately comes down to the quality of our communication with others. I know that we need to tailor our communication so that it becomes compelling for someone else as you will be seen as the master communicator.

There are 5 principles to success that is used in leadership skills courses. If you want to be the future Martin Luther King, Gandi, Nelson Mandela, trainer or parent you need to be aware of these principles.

  1. Know Your Outcome. As I stated earlier you do not want to be the person that just takes what they are given. If you want to be the builder of your dreams then you need to ask yourself what you want. Simply ask what you want to get out of this. This will empower you and shift your focus on what needs to be changed. Be clear on what you want your outcome to be so that you will not just get.
  2. Take Action. As a leadership skills trainer I always remember a key quote by Will Rogers, “Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you jus sit there”. There is no substitute for taking action in terms of producing the results that you require to get the outcome that you want.
  3. Sensory Awareness. You need to be aware of whether or not the changes and steps that you have taken are actually making a difference. You need to be able to see results and outcomes that you expected.
  4. Change Behaviour. Inevitably if you have not been producing results you need to analyse where the problems are and find solutions to achieve your goals. You need to be willing to have behaviour flexibility.
  5. Operate from a physiology and psychology of excellence. Imagine if you were to do a door to door sales call. You would not stand there with a frown, mumbling and head and shoulders slouched. You need to be confident, speaking clearly and enthusiastic. If you want to produce results you need to hold your body in a way that’s going to do that. Tiger Woods does not slouch so why should you as a professional and a role model?

As any leadership skills course will teach you we all need to go through trial and error to get to where we are and where we want to be. Do not be afraid to take action to build your own hopes and dreams.