The most successful teams and organisations are the ones where leaders display a high level of emotional intelligence, are not afraid to have difficult conversations and have a true understanding of what motivates themselves and their team to perform at their best. When everyone is clear about their purpose and contribution towards the bigger picture, and is comfortable articulating their vision, thoughts and feedback; it creates a culture of accountability. When organisations invest time and training into developing the EQ of their leadership team, they stand to benefit from reduced silo thinking, effective performance feedback conversations, and a more motivated workforce which overall. creates a more productive and collaborative working environment.
No one recognises the benefits of heightened EQ in leadership positions more than Direct Line Group, who following a successful ‘Facing The Same Way’ leadership conference for Technology Services, asked Wildgoose to design and deliver two immersive sessions as part of their ‘Supercharging Our Future’ leadership conference for the organisation’s commercial arm. The objective of the day was to develop a higher level of emotional intelligence amongst the leadership team through exploration of the Radical Candor framework for courageous conversations. Whilst developing leaders who are aware of the motivating factors and driving forces that get the best out of their teams to improve performance.
The day-long conference was split into a number of different sessions and breakout activities, of which Wildgoose Learning facilitated two. The first used the concept of forum theatre to introduce participants to the Radical Candor framework and put it into practice as a tool to develop more emotionally intelligent leaders. The second session from Wildgoose was a gamified interactive session focussed on Drive – using our technology platform.
For the radical candor piece, Wildgoose facilitated a forum theatre session using trained actors to play out scenarios that explored actions and behaviours from each quadrant of the Radical Candor matrix: Ruinous Empathy, Obnoxious Aggression and Manipulative Insincerity.
The audience members were tasked with recognising which conversation style was being played out in front of them, before directing the actors on how to adjust their behaviours, in order to give feedback that both challenged directly, and cared personally. In providing this instruction to the actors, programme participants were forced to recognise and implement the behaviours required to have difficult performance conversations, that come from a kind place.
To reinforce and promote learning transfer back to the workplace, members of the leadership team were then invited to step into the shoes of the actors – practically applying the behavioural characteristics of a radically candid leader in given scenarios. This allowed their peers and colleagues to provide feedback, allowing participants to immerse themselves in the framework, and provide them with constructive development points to take back to their day-to-day work.
Forum theatre is a beneficial model for implementing behavioural change because it requires participants to recognise behavioural traits in themselves and others, before implementing the techniques and processes required to improve. Once people see and assist in implementing the adjustments needed to become more radically candid, it becomes a lot easier to put the learning into practice back in the office.
The second session delivered by Wildgoose Learning was a gamified activity using tablets that encouraged participants to explore the foundations of intrinsic motivation – Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose – and how these directly affect performance and wellbeing.
The Drive session ran twice for two breakout groups of 30 and began with each group being introduced to the principles of motivational theory, namely the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation, by a Wildgoose facilitator, before being split into teams of six.
Teams were then given 25 minutes to complete a series of tasks on tablets designed to draw out their own experiences of ‘Burning Drive’, something typically experienced when in a state of ‘flow’ (full immersion in an enjoyable task, free from distractions) or when practising a hobby. Multi-media challenges were included in the session, that required participants to explore what motivates them and their teammates within given scenarios.
Following completion of the tasks, teams were gathered for a facilitated session, where submissions from the tasks were reviewed to draw out the learning. Using the experiences from the interactive session, participants were encouraged to identify how they can seek out Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose to motivate themselves and others – creating the perfect conditions for high performance. As part of the facilitation, participants were also invited to pair up and identify an action they will commit to taking to promote intrinsic motivation and help ‘build burning drive’.
The conference proved to be hugely successful, participants left the event with a better understanding of how emotional intelligence can be built upon by utilising the Radical Candor model as the framework for performance feedback conversations.
Furthermore, the exploration of motivation and what ‘builds burning drive’ through the use of interactive technology, blended with facilitation, allowed leaders to increase their awareness of not only their own motivating factors, but also those of their colleagues and team members.
The response and engagement throughout the conferences was truly outstanding. Through facilitated discussion, forum theatre and our interactive Drive session, valuable conversations were had about the collective need for leaders to develop EQ and the positive impact this can have on performance and well-being. Post-conference feedback, emphasised the benefits of using forum theatre and actors as a tool for immersive learning, whilst the blend of technology and facilitation experienced in the afternoon’s Drive session provided a unique and immersive way of exploring motivational theories in the context of leadership.
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