Experience-based Leadership Training

Experience-based Leadership Workshops

At WILLO, our approach involves drawing upon not only our combined 70 years of business experience, but also current research and data about the topics we discuss during training. We share relevant personal stories and real life examples, use humor and solicit audience participation to illustrate key messages. Our delivery style reflects our passion for leadership excellence.

When we present to large groups, we use techniques like body polls, small group discussions and other audience participation methods to engage the group and encourage interaction. For smaller groups, we promote interactive discussion to share experiences and to solicit discovery of the material rather than relying solely upon lecture.

Remote Learning Delivery Options

Working remotely has created challenges and opportunities for companies.  One of the challenges is how to redesign training in a way that combines the advantages of interaction provided by live training with the safety and convenience of online training.  At WILLO, we have updated our program topics for experience-based leadership training to help organizations such as yours meet this challenge.   We offer several delivery options and have updated our training content for working remotely.

  • Webinars for large groups – When we provide webinars for larger groups, we utilize dynamic visuals and promote interaction with the audience through group chat, polling, comment streams and live word clouds. Participants are more engaged and retain the material better when they can actively participate in the presentation.
  • Online symposiums for small groups – For smaller groups, we provide group discussion using Zoom or your preferred platform. These discussions help participants discover how they can apply concepts rather than just listen to a presentation.
  • Coaching for individuals—As an added option, we can provide one on one coaching sessions to participants following the training where we assist the participants in setting personal goals and action plans related to the material. These goals can remain confidential or be shared with the team.  Training is most effective when the new skills are immediately practiced.  Session follow-up can be tailored to your team.
  • Lunch and learns—We also provide short sessions (1/2 hour) to accommodate teams that already spend multiple hours a day in virtual meetings and want to enhance their skills in quick doses rather than longer sessions.

Leadership Series

We also offer a WILLO leadership training series which will help prepare rising women leaders in your organization for leadership roles by providing them the basic skills to navigate and advance their careers successfully. The series of four to six sessions build upon each other and are linked through individual action plans prepared by participants.

Mentoring – Additional Service

In conjunction with the Leadership Workshops or Facilitated Peer Coaching sessions, we can provide mentoring one on one sessions, phone calls or email follow-up for each participant as individually requested or for all participants as part of the formal program. The focus of the mentoring would be on the participants’ goals and action plans that correlate directly with the training topics.

Program Topics
The following training topics can be adapted for any size group or level of participants and can be delivered through Leadership Workshops or Facilitated Peer Coaching Sessions:

> Deciphering Gender Differences in Communication — Women use different language patterns than men when speaking with their own gender. Although highly effective in certain circumstances, they can derail a woman’s effectiveness when they are operating in an environment that is predominantly male. We explore these patterns and the benefits of being “bilingual”.

> Negotiating for Career Success — Whether it’s access to resources, information, or other career support, a leader needs to know when and how to get what he or she needs to advance. Knowing what is an appropriate ask and how to get to “yes” is an important skill to cultivate.

> Making Meetings Matter as a Leader and Participant — People can spend 25% to 35% of their workweek in meetings. Accordingly, career success can be significantly impacted by how effective a person is in meetings. We share how participants can maximize their impact in achieving meeting objectives whether they are leading or just attending a meeting.  We share tips on how to adapt effectively to videoconferencing in lieu of live meetings.

> Managing a Virtual Team — Working remotely can challenge even the most skilled supervisor.  We provide a framework to utilize when leading employees that can be scaled for the nature of the projects involved.  Employees rise to the occasion when they understand their roles.

> Finding and Using a Mentor Effectively — Employees are 20% more likely to be promoted if they have a mentor. Even more important is having a personal board of directors to help guide their career. The ultimate goal should be finding sponsors who provide opportunities and support for risk taking. We will explore how to identify and cultivate mentor relationships and a meaningful personal board.  If working remotely, professionals must find new ways to find and connect with mentors.

> Being Recognized for Your Contributions — Without in person connections, professionals are limited on how they can showcase their talents and accomplishments.  We share how to consistently promote skills through communications, management style and other actions.

> Targeted Networking — Targeted networking is approaching individuals either internal or external to a person’s organization to build a relationship. This session explores the basics of reaching out to others, whether it is to find a mentor, cultivate a potential client or find colleagues that share common goals.

> Community Networking — Community networking is the broad base networking that includes working a room or getting involved in external activities. Participants learn strategies to gain confidence, find meaningful connections and enjoy the process of building a network.

> Recognizing and Responding to Unconscious Bias — We all have unconscious bias. We explore how unconscious bias manifests itself in the workplace, the impact it has on individuals that are the recipients of such bias, and how organizations and individuals can become aware of and take actions to respond to and overcome the consequences of unconscious bias.

> Work/Life Choices — Pursuing a successful career while cultivating a meaningful personal life has always been a constant tug-of-war for a busy professional.  As employees work remotely, they are finding their usual routines disrupted, creating additional challenges. We work with participants to use the same skills that they use to solve work-related problems to find ways to structure their own lives. We explore several problem-solving strategies that can help individuals find a solution tailor-made for their career and personal life.

> Discovering Career Aspirations — Over and over again, when we speak to people about what is holding them back from reaching their career aspirations, we hear that the underlying issue is “I don’t know what my career aspirations are.” Our practical, results-oriented approach is to provide a framework for participants to articulate what they want out of their career by creating career criteria through exploring their values, skills, desired daily activity attributes and rewards needed. This insight can become the springboard for participants to make the most of their career as they adapt to the accelerating change of our current environment.

> Creating Your Personal Brand to Promote Your Best Self — Participants will reflect on how to leverage their unique talents to create their own brand. They will learn how to consistently promote and evolve their brand to enhance their career ambitions.

> Visual Impressions to Enhance Your Career — In the world of “business casual,” determining appropriate attire can be a challenge. Women, in particular, can underestimate the impact their attire has on their perceived credibility. We will discuss the visual markers that undermine or enhance a woman’s leadership efforts.


If you are interested in other topics, just let us know. We’d be happy to develop a session for you or we can put you in touch with other speakers who specialize in topics of interest.

When to Have Women-only Training?
While we provide training on topics for both men and women, there are times when providing separate training for women is preferable. Additionally, some topics that we cover address specific challenges that women face that men do not. For example, when we discuss making good visual impressions, the topic is more challenging for women because women have many more choices in attire. However, other topics for leadership training are applicable to both men and women. Therefore, we are often asked why women should have their own training. The two main reasons are gender differences in group dynamics and in access to role models. Women are less likely to speak out in coed groups and tend to be more candid in women-only sessions. Therefore, we can explore the unique needs of the group better in women-only sessions.

Women frequently do not have as many role models of their own gender. Therefore, things that men may learn through observation of role models or mentors of the same gender are not as accessible to women. Training for just women allows them to pick up skills that they would otherwise learn from a mentor or role model.

Would you like to know more?