The Effective Leader Certificate Program

This program is open to those who currently hold supervisory or management positions. The core programs are required and each participant will be required to select one elective.

An effective leader is a skilled listener who is comfortable with confronting problems and holding people accountable for performance. An effective leader is by definition a competent problem solver.  Effective leaders are also skilled at building work teams by developing the talents in those they lead; in essence, they are adept at building relationships.

Whether you refer to someone as a manager, a supervisor or a team leader, the person is expected to lead those who report to him/her; however; becoming a leader is an earned status, not a function of a position, and it is earned through the demonstration of the skills listed above.  The OCQI Staff Education and Training Unit offers a leadership series to build these skills which has been presented for many years and continually receives positive feedback.

The following are descriptions of the three core programs in the series, Leader Effectiveness Training, Accountability and Competency Based Interviewing - each designed to help those in leadership positions be more effective in those roles.  These are opportunities to build the skills necessary for   supervisors to function more effectively and build solidly performing teams. 

The Effective Leader

Supervisors and Managers will:

Share a common model of communication that includes listening beyond the words to assure understanding, confronting unacceptable behavior, and entering into collaborative problem solving.

Develop skill and comfort in setting measurable performance expectations and holding staff accountable to those expectations.

Training Modules

1.    Leader Effectiveness Training: Three days (all are required)
What makes a leader?  And how do leaders get followers?  According to Thomas Gordon, Ph.D., the effective leader is both task-centered and people-centered, i.e. able to meet organizational needs and group members' needs.  The effective leader is one who is able to facilitate problem solving and conflict resolution. Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), developed by Dr. Gordon, is designed "to provide leaders with the interpersonal skills that build collaborative relationships and tap the creativity, motivation and best efforts of their group members".  The program presents advanced communication and conflict resolution skills with concepts and philosophies that support their use in an organizational setting.

Participants will learn and practice:

Active Listening to Help Others Solve Problems

Influencing Others to Change Behavior
Resolving Conflicts
Managing Values Collisions

As a result of the training and skills practice, participants will be able to:

Recognize when others need their help as skilled listeners;
Avoid the 12 typical responses that cause most "helping" attempts to fail;
Become functional in the powerful skill of active listening;
Learn how to get their needs met by confronting others effectively;
Learn the natural limits of the confrontive message;
Understand the price we pay for resolving conflict by either autocratic or permissive  means;
Learn a far more effective problem solving model;
Understand the special nature of the conflicts called "values collisions"; and
Learn a variety of effective strategies for influencing, changing or accepting another's differing values.

2.    Accountability:  Measureable Performance Expectations, Coaching for Improved Performance, Effective Discipline and the Supervisory Role in the Grievance Process – one day
Holding employees accountable for performance is a critical function of supervisors and managers.  Coaching for improved performance for overall good employees who simply have areas where they might improve and certainly for those not meeting performance expectations is vital to employee success. Too often supervisors move from informal communication to counseling and discipline and miss opportunities to build relationships and develop employees. This module provides a practical method for describing performance problems, a coaching model that relies on such concepts as good business reasons for expectations and consequences for failure to meet expectations, and skill development in holding employees accountable for improving their own performance.

Since effectively coaching an employee requires that measurable performance expectations already be in place, the program begins with practice in developing clear, measurable expectations. 
In some cases coaching does not result in improvements, leaving the supervisor no choice but to utilize the formal discipline process. This challenge can create genuine discomfort, sometimes resulting in supervisors not utilizing the options available. The following topics will be covered in this module:

•Recognize the importance of using the contracts as references in managing staff
•Understand that the contracts are not the only reference sources in managing staff
•Identify contractual rights of management
•Recognize links between supervisor/contract
•Understand differences between performance deficiencies and misconduct
•Utilize appropriate levels of discipline
•Understand steps of the grievance process and gain confidence in going through the process
•Realize importance of checking with Human Resources
•Look at Contract Administration and Progressive Discipline as technical processes and as human processes
•A discussion of the grievance process, and the roles of supervisors and Human Resources in this process.

As a result of this one-day program, participants will:

Be able to write measurable performance expectations;

Learn and practice a coaching model for holding employees accountable to the expectations; and

Learn the steps of the formal discipline process as required by contract and when and how to use them.

3.   Competency Based Interviewing – one day
Competency Based Interviewing

Participants will learn a Competency Based model of interviewing potential employees.  The program will cover how to make selection decisions based on competencies, that is patterns of behavior that distinguish high performers from others.  Competency Based Interviewing focuses the conversation on past behavior, which is the best predictor of future performance; uses a set of predetermined questions to gather specific evidence of high performance; and provides information from candidates that assesses their respective suitability for the position.  Participants will define competencies, develop interview questions and conduct mock interviews.  Human Resources will join the program to answer questions relevant to contractual obligations and practices in the hiring process.

The objectives for Competency Based Interviewing are to:

Learn what a "competency" is and how to conduct a competency based interview;

Learn how to define competencies;

Learn how to develop questions for Competency Based Interviews; and practice Competency Based Interviewing

4.  Strategic Planning– one day
Strategic Planning is the process of defining strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating resources to assure that strategies are implemented to drive overall objectives. Development of a strategic plan for use as a guide for measuring progress toward objectives is critical for efficient and effective utilization of resources. Supervisors play important roles in both developing and implementing plans. In this program participants will learn a strategic planning model involving clarifying a mission; determining overall goals for a specific time period; writing specific, measurable objectives to drive the goals; and developing strategies and action plans designed to reach each objective. This program is one of the required programs for the Leadership Development Certificate and the Effective Leader Certificate.

5.    Electives:  choice of one
Writing Skills – one day
Writing such as documentation of justifications for decisions and/or written materials that may become legal documents challenge writers to use clear language, present only relevant facts and findings, organize materials, and use appropriate grammar and punctuation. Through presentation, discussion, and group activities participants will explore: the use of plain language; recording only actual observations; organizing material; and grammar and punctuation.

Facilitating Successful Meetings – two days
More individuals are being called upon to facilitate meetings with their colleagues, service providers and others.  Some will be naturally comfortable in the facilitator role; however, many of us benefit from building skills in handling the common concerns that arise in meetings. All too often time spent in meetings is wasted.  In this program, we work on methods to assure productivity and results.

Do you need to develop skills in planning meetings? Leading them?  Handling disruptive behaviors?  Bringing groups to decisions?

Topics in the program are: pre-planning, agenda setting, facilitating and recording techniques, decision making methods, balancing  "process" and "content" in meetings, and techniques for encouraging behaviors that keep meetings on track and minimizing behaviors that are disruptive or counterproductive.

Resiliency – one day
The American Psychological Association defines "resilience" as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as an ability to recover from or adjust easily to change or misfortune. Research shows us that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary, and that people commonly demonstrate it; yet the current economic climate presents factors that challenge each of us, regardless of our respective lines of work.

In this program participants will focus on the potential for personal burnout and will learn the answers to such questions as who is and who tends to be most resilient and why. The program offers a four-step process for building resiliency amid increasing demands. Topics will include clarifying personal missions, identifying the values behind motivation, surviving change and managing time, energy and stress.

The process of developing resilience is a personal journey. Participants will complete individual assessments and will leave the program with personal action plans developed during the session.