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Intense is Good: Why Feedback-intensive Programs Work

If taking time away from work to attend a professional development program seems out of the question, think again. The insights, lessons, ideas and networks that come from a feedback-intensive, multi-day program are an unbeatable investment. 

  The many tools employed in a feedback-intensive program measure needs, preferences, values, skills and behaviors, all with a dual purpose: to enhance self-awareness and to begin to think clearly about planning change.  

Consider this: Over time, we develop skills in areas that are comfortable for us. Later, as we are rewarded for what we do well, we naturally tend to rely on those strengths. Yet we know that new challenges often demand new approaches. We cannot count on today’s accomplishments as a measure of tomorrow’s success. To continue our effectiveness as leaders, we must maintain active awareness of current abilities and develop new skills to add to our repertoire.

Feedback-intensive programs (FIPs) can jump-start this process by helping us to:

  • See more clearly significant patterns of behavior
  • Better understand the attitudes and motivations underlying these patterns
  • Provide opportunities to reassess what makes us more or less effective relative to the goals we want to attain
  • Evaluate alternative ways of meeting these goals

What is a feedback-intensive program?

Programs that CCL calls feedback-intensive have both depth and breadth. Feedback is rich, deep and comprehensive; it comes from many sources and reflects many attributes. FIPs incorporate a range of methodologies or formats, including: assessment-for-development tools (such as 360-degree feedback), experiential interactions, direct teaching of practical tools and ideas from leadership research, and peer coaching. The many tools employed in a feedback-intensive program measure needs, preferences, values, skills and behaviors from the perspective of many different audiences, all with a dual purpose: to enhance self-awareness and to begin to think clearly about planning change.

When should I take a feedback-intensive program?

Feedback-intensive programs may be helpful at any time, but they are particularly useful at key points in your career. Consider taking a feedback-intensive program if:

  • You are considered a “high-potential” manager. FIPs are valuable in developing the careers of people who are on the fast-track or are being eyed for key positions. Organizations often feel that full and complete assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their future leaders is a worthwhile investment.
  • You are facing a career transition. If you are taking on management responsibilities for the first time, an FIP can give you insight into your management style and provide you strategies for leading others. The same is true if you’ve gained new responsibilities or are joining a new organization.
  • You are showing signs of potential derailment. Being passed over for promotion, faltering in performance in normally strong areas, and interpersonal difficulties are all signs that point to a need to take stock, using the comprehensive assessment that an FIP provides.
  • You are dealing with major organizational changes. When the organization is attempting to blend or change the culture, shift the organization’s strategy, or work with a merger or acquisition, an FIP can help you understand differences, think in different terms and drive change effectively.

For more information about our programs for individuals and organizations, visit www.ccl.org/programs, e-mail info@leaders.ccl.org or contact Client Services at 336-545-2810.


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