August 18, 2010

LEAD Program Enters Second Year

LEAD participants

Are you a campus supervisor looking for a way to enhance your skills, meet new colleagues and discover additional ways to support your department?

The Learn, Engage, Achieve and Develop (LEAD) Certificate Program for Supervisors could be just the right fit for you.

Sponsored by the Department of Human Resources, the LEAD program explores the relationship between team effectiveness and departmental success. The program, which launched as a pilot project in 2009, enrolled its first class earlier this year. The next session is scheduled for October through May.

Erica Merritt, director of organizational development and learning, says assessments such as Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory, Kolb’s Adaptive Style Inventory and coaching sessions are just a few of the tools utilized as a way for participants to learn more about their management style–and themselves. They also take the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory, and supervisors participate in team building exercises with their staff.

As part of the LEAD program, participants also receive the benefit of one-on-one talks. “All participants receive individual coaching sessions,” Merritt says.

The LEAD program also utilizes campus experts. For instance, Tony Lingham, associate professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, is one of the session facilitators.

Denise Bedoya, research operations manager in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, was a member of the inaugural LEAD class.

“I have been a supervisor for almost 10 years and I never actually received any ‘training’ on how to be a supervisor. I went from being a peer to a supervisor,” Bedoya explained. She joined the program to learn more about what she was doing right, as well as to identify areas where she could make improvements.

As a result of the experience, Bedoya said she has changed quite a bit. “I have allowed myself to know that you don’t need to have all of the answers to be a good supervisor, just the ability to find the answers when needed. I have also looked at my team in a different way now that I know about people’s learning styles.”

She’s already recommended the LEAD program. “The experience not only helped me to become a better supervisor, it helped me to be better in general. I think in order to be a good leader, you must first be a good ‘you.’”

Kristie Lillibridge, another LEAD participant, had a similar experience. She was promoted about a year ago, and with that promotion came new duties and employees to supervise. “I hoped that this program would give me some additional tools to be able to use not only in my own development but also in the professional development of those I am supervising,” she said.

Lillibridge, associate director of student services in the Office of Financial Aid, found that she enjoyed the individual and team coaching sessions. “I also enjoyed the monthly sessions where we could share any issues we were having as supervisors with my fellow classmates.”

She added that a program for supervisors “should be mandatory. This program offered not only administrative information but also professional development opportunities for me and for my staff.”

Supervisors can learn more about the LEAD program during an information session scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Adelbert Hall's Toepfer Room. RSVP to Erica Merritt.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, August 18, 2010 10:52 AM | News Topics: Staff, news

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