The Development Trigger for Leaders

By Carl Sanders-Edwards

Sep 10

What makes us do what we do?  What makes a leader interested in development? QUESTION: How does the ‘trigger’ happen?

The behaviour approach that can be used to guide this moment comes from the widely researched, B-COM and B-MAT models.  Behaviour equals Capability, Opportunity and Motivation or the very similar Behaviour equals Motivation, Ability and Trigger.

There are three primary triggers (or opportunities) that can be used in this space for developing leaders in the workplace:
  1. An invite.  It’s important to signal to a person that development and dedicating attention to development is important. An invite from a leader who knows the value of development is key. People dedicate time to things that they know other people care about. Setting this up in the initial invite process makes a big difference to initial motivation. Follow up is even more important.  A coach or a manager taking a few moments to reflect with this leader on their learnings creates a dramatic increase in follow on engagement and carries a long shadow of continued engagement.
  2. Assessment.  This is very powerful and plays into our natural desire to understand how we currently show up and then a want to improve or move forward in some way. If we’re not tracking how our thinking changes through the stages of our development it’s hard to support an ongoing journey of growth.
  3. Situational prompt. We develop best when we have to, not when we want to. Real situations in the workplace create great triggers for self development. Prompting around situations leaders face, moves development right into the day-to-day nature of work. I.e “It’s time to start thinking about that crucial conversation coming up”. A few of these prompts go a very long way turning day-to-day experiences of leadership into deep developmental opportunities (and you get incredible data in the process).

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