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.
Facilitated Peer Coaching
One method we use for helping women build important leadership skills is through a series of Facilitated Peer Coaching sessions. Each session is built around a skill or leadership attribute where women share their own challenges and personal solutions. We facilitate the sessions and bring best practices and thought leadership. At the end of each session, the participants set goals for how they will adopt new insights or practice new skills before the next session. At the beginning of the next session, participants are invited to share their experiences in achieving their goals. This reinforces the lessons learned, promotes accountability and provides an opportunity to celebrate successes. Facilitated Peer Coaching works well with groups of up to fifteen 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.
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:
> 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 their brand through their communications, management style and other actions.
> 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.
> 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.
> Mastering Meetings 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.
> 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.
> 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 — Too often people abandon a job when the stress of integrating personal and professional commitments becomes too difficult. 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.
We also offer a WILLO leadership training series which will help prepare the women in your organization for leadership roles by providing them the basic skills to navigate and advance their careers successfully. The series of four sessions build upon each other and are linked through individual action plans prepared by participants.
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?