Category Archives: Leadership




In this session, participants will identify what effective one-to-one meetings look like. They will discuss some of the qualities of effective one-to-one meetings.


  • 30-minutes


After going through this session, participants will be able to

  • List and describe three actions they can take to make their one-to-one meetings more effective


  • Yes


  • None


  • Participants should know what one-to-one meetings are and their purpose.


  • Introduce the activity by sharing the learning objective with them. Display the slide titled – LEARNING OBJECTIVE.


  • After displaying the slide, tell them that:
    • In this session we want to explore what effective one-to-one meetings look like so we can identify some concrete actions to take to ensure they are beneficial to us and our team members
    • We know that one-to-one meetings can help to build trust between managers and team members, guide team members development and give you the opportunity to have open and honest conversations with the people you manage.
    • These benefits are only possible if our one-to-ones meetings are done effectively. We want to answer a key question in this session which is – What do effective one-to-one meetings look like?
  • Direct each person to the section of their workbooks titled – TWO ONE-TO-ONE MEETINGS.

two one to ones 1

two one to ones 2

two one to ones 4

  • They should read the information for about 8-minutes.
  • After they’ve read the information, tell them you are going to split them into small groups to do the activity in the section of their workbooks titled – TWO ONE-TO-ONES: DIFFERENCES AND LESSONS (you may share the page on screen to further explain what they will do in their small groups).

two one to ones 5

  • Use the ‘breakout rooms’ feature to put them into small groups. Ideally, no group should have more than three people (maximum of four).
  • Give them 10-minutes for the activity. If they need more time, you can give them an extra 5-minutes.
  • Join each room briefly to check that they understand what they are required to do.
  • When their time is up, stop them and bring everyone back to the main room.
  • Thank them for doing the activity and let them know that you will first explore what didn’t work well in both one-to-one meetings.
  • After that you explore what worked well in each of the meetings.
  • Then you will ask each person for one lesson that will make their one-to-one meetings more effective.
  • Go through this process by first listening to each group talk about what didn’t work well, then what worked well and ask each person for one lesson.
  • After having that discussion, let them know that you are going to share with them some actions we can take to make out one-to-one meetings more effective.
  • The information summarises some of what they identified as what worked well from Pablo’s one-to-one meeting with Bernice.
  • Display the slide titled – ACTIONS FOR EFFECTIVE ONE-TO-ONES.


  • When the slide displays it will be blank with just a title. You will need to click on the slide six times to display information and each time read out the information to them. You don’t need any extra information because it is self-explanatory.
  • After presenting the information, let them know that the information you just presented is in their workbooks.
  • There’s also an excerpt from a Harvard Business Review article by Rebecca Knight titled – HOW TO MAKE YOUR ONE-ON-ONES WITH EMPLOYEES MORE PRODUCTIVE in their workbooks.

two one to ones article 1

two one to ones article 2

  • Give them 5-minutes to read through the article.
  • Next direct each of them to another section in their workbooks titled – THREE PERSONAL ACTIONS FOR EFFECTIVE ONE-TO-ONES.

two one to ones article 3

  • Tell them to read the information there and complete the reflective activity.
  • Give them 5-minutes to do it.
  • After that, ask each of them to go into the chat window and share one of the actions they wrote down in their workbooks.
  • Allow up to 3-minutes for them to write down their actions and as they do, read through them quietly so you don’t distract them.
  • After 3-minutes, stop them and appreciate them for doing the activity. Then read out all the actions they wrote in the chat window, while at the same time appreciating each person that wrote the action.
  • After that, move on to review what was discussed during the session.
  • Tell them that:
    • During this session, we explored actions we can all take to make our one-to-one meetings more effective.
    • We compared two one-to-ones to see what went well and what can be done to make them much better.
    • Finally, you reflected on three actions you will take to improve your own one-to-one meetings and shared one of them.
  • After that, end the session.

This is the end of the session.

Five Things I have Learnt About Leadership

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We love to celebrate and, to an extent idolize those we consider to be leaders and exalt them to superstar status. And, yes, of course, leaders who achieve credible things should be celebrated but they are still mortals like the rest of us. If you are interested in leadership then here are five things you should be aware of.

  1. Leaders are not all-round effective. In fact, most of the time they are strong at one or two things. Winston Churchill was a great wartime leader but not very effective when there was no war to fight. There are business leaders who became political leaders (won’t mention names) and they were shambolic. There are even leaders who can build unicorn-valued companies but struggle to hold their families together. Summarily, just because a leader is great in one area doesn’t mean they don’t have weaknesses in other areas.
  2. Leadership is really about exerting influence in a specific domain. According to the late Dr. Myles Munroe, “everyone was created to lead but not over people but rather in a domain or specific area.” People really don’t follow leaders, they follow their vision and achievements. Leadership always requires you to have influence first before followers. So, it’s purpose before people. As in organisations, you can employ people but if you have no clear vision of where you are going, people will show up for their paycheck with no passion or commitment.
  3. If you want to stand out you will have strong opinions. You must have things you believe in strongly and you must be willing to talk about them. That’s why people pleasers can’t be effective leaders. They are too scared of saying things that offend others. This does not mean that leaders should intentionally go out of their way to upset people. Far from it. I personally believe that good leaders strive to respect others and preserve their dignity. Nevertheless, real leaders are not afraid to share their opinions and offend some people occasionally. Consequently, from time to time they may find their mugshot plastered across social media sites with very degrading comments attached. That comes with leadership territory.
  4. You cannot lead effectively if you can’t or are not willing to be vulnerable. Brené Brown in her brilliant book, ‘Dare To Lead’, calls it ‘leaning into vulnerability’. At its core leadership is about how we respond emotionally more than anything else. Leaders will need to do things that make them uncomfortable and vulnerable and there is nothing easy about that. This single reason is why most of us don’t want to lead in anything. The emotional pain of being vulnerable is far too risky so we will rather play it safe.
  5. Finally, being highly technically competent does not make you a leader. I remember working in a company where we had a large team of software developers. They had a manager who was highly skilled in software development but he had no clue about how to deal with people. He could not encourage, motivate or empower his team. Subsequently, he was sacked. He was probably hired for his knowledge but that was not enough to get the team going. He needed to lead and leadership does require you to get people on your side to achieve the goal. That was a bit too much for him. He just had to leave.

So, these are five personal lessons about leadership that I’ve learnt. What do you think about them? Or better still, what are your personal leadership lessons?

Situational Leadership II

The Situational Leadership II model implies there is no one style of leadership. People should be managed according to the situation. Managers should diagnose the development level of their team members in relation to their work tasks and projects, then manage them using the appropriate leadership style. This model was first developed by Paul Hersey (late) and Ken Blanchard and has been updated by Ken Blanchard to Situational Leadership II. Below are the development levels and appropriate leadership styles.

20 - Situational Leadership II

Exploring Management 2


Last week I introduced a course I’ve been working on titled, Exploring Management. You can read that post here. This course is for people interested in management who are not yet managers and can also be useful for first-time and new managers.

The course is split into two parts and I summarised the first part of the course in my previous post. In this post I will introduce the second part of the course.

Unlike the first part, this part focuses on leadership and it has the following learning objectives:

By the end of this session participants will be able to:

  • describe leadership,
  • distinguish between leadership and management,
  • identify and recognise different leadership styles,
  • use the information on leadership styles to reflect on their own leadership styles, and
  • create a personal development plan to continue their management development journey.

The course starts out looking at what leadership is and the participants explore leadership by first watching a video and then writing their own definitions for leadership using the chat window.

After that we share some definitions of leadership, discuss briefly why leadership is important to managers and then do an activity to discuss the differences between leadership and management.

The other half of the course focuses on exploring various leadership styles. First, we review the task they would have been given after the first session which is to complete a short leadership styles questionnaire to reflect on their own possible leadership styles. After that we discuss a number of leadership styles which are:

  • Transactional leadership
  • Transformational leadership
  • Six emotional leadership styles
  • Situational leadership

The course ends with the participants doing some personal development planning to continue their management development journey.

Below are free samples of the course and a link to where you can get the full course.

Sample from Exploring Management 2 – Facilitation Guide

Sample from Exploring Management 2 – Presentation

Sample from Exploring Management 2 – Workbook

To get the full course resources click on the link below:


Exploring Management 1


In a previous post I wrote about the importance of preparing people for management before they become managers by making training available to them. For sure, no amount of training alone can totally prepare people for management but it does help if there is training available that can give people some understanding of what management is like. I have been working on a 2-part virtual training course called Exploring Management

This course is aimed at people who are not yet managers but are interested in learning about management. It can also be useful for first-time managers who are new to the role. The course is split into two parts and each part is about 2.5 hours long. The first part of the course focuses on management and the learning objectives for the course are shown below:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • describe what management is,
  • explain what the purpose of management is,
  • identify the roles of a manager, and
  • list some of the skills and knowledge required to be an effective manager.

The course starts out with a discussion of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of management. In other words, what is management and what is its purpose. Here participants have a breakout room discussion to identify what management is and it’s purpose. There is also a link for them to watch a brilliant video on YouTube which describes management and its four roles.

Then we change direction to look at the manager and the two questions dealt with here are:

  • Who is a manager?
  • What does a manager actually do?

The participants are given the opportunity to reflect on what their managers do on a day-to-day basis before being introduced to Henry Mintzbergs three roles of the manager and the simple but brilliant action-centred leadership model from John Adair.

Next, they then look at some skills managers need to be effective and reflect on their own management skills.

The next part of the course looks more at leadership styles and I will write about that part of the course next week.

Below are samples of the course and a link to where you can get the full course.

Sample from Exploring Management 1 – Facilitation Guide

Sample from Exploring Management 1 – Presentation

Sample from Exploring Management 1 – Workbook

To get the full course resources click on the link below:





This is the final post for the session on Introducing Situational Leadership. The previous posts on the session and where you can read them are below:

  • What is situational leadership (here)?
  • What is a leadership style (here)?
  • The four leadership styles (here)
  • The four development levels (here)
  • Matching leadership styles to development levels (here)
  • Reflecting on my team (here)

In this post, the session will be reviewed, participants will have a final reflection of what they learnt during the session and then the session will be brought to a close.



  • Display the slide titled – SESSION REVIEW.


  • Tell them that:
    • During this session we’ve explored what situational leadership is.
    • We also discussed the four leadership styles and development levels under situational leaders.
    • We also looked at how the leadership styles match up with the development levels.
    • The final activity is for you to think about what you will do differently as a result of your learning today.


  • Display the slide titled – REFLECT – NOTE – ACT.


  • Direct each person to the section in their workbooks titled – REFLECT – NOTE – ACT. Here is the template for this activity – reflect-note-act template
  • Give them 10-minutes to do the activity there.
  • When the 10-minutes is up, stop them and again ask for each of them to share one thing they are either going to start doing, stop doing or continue doing.
  • Listen to each of them without commenting.
  • When they finish, thank them for doing the activity and let them know you’ve now come to the end of the session.


  • Display the next slide and end the session.


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