What is a Lunch and Learn?
It is 2 – 3 hour, interactive, learning-filled professional development workshop on a single topic, delivered on-site at your organization, to groups ranging from 5 up to 50.
Who is the Target Audience for a Lunch and Learn Program?
Most topics are intended for supervisors, managers and leaders. However, several of the programs are very appropriate for individual contributors and those with key non-supervisory roles.
What are the Benefits and Advantages of Lunch and Learn Programs
In today’s overloaded work world, it can be difficult to get managers and staff away for even half a day, much less one or two day seminars. Further, budgets are tight and achieving a great return on your investment (ROI) in training is even more important than ever. Hence the Lunch and Learn format is highly effective because:
-They are short impactful programs, designed to minimize time away from work
-They focus on a single subject, with emphasis on skill development and practical tools
-Sessions can be held for 5 up to 50 participants, different departments and groups can be combined to break down organizational “silos”
-Best-practices are shared, and inter-group cooperation and consistency are improved
-The programs are conveniently held on your site over the lunch period
-The short format lends itself to a monthly or quarterly series, maintaining the learning momentum, encouraging new habits, and ensuring skills stay sharp
What topics are covered in a Lunch and Learn?
The 19 Lunch and Learn topics listed below can all be delivered in 2 – 3 hour sessions. All programs are interactive, multi-media, and an effective combination of brief theory/concepts, followed by an emphasis on practical tools and workplace application.
Who is the Lunch and Learn Program Facilitator?
Dr. Seth R. Silver is an Organizational Consultant specializing in leadership and team development, coaching, and helping organizations create positive work relationships and high impact performance.
Seth is also a graduate level professor of Human Resource Development at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.
1.The 4 Es of Leadership: (Half-Day) Introduction: If you were to offer four pieces of essential advice to a manager so that he/she could be successful, what would you advise? In effect, this program answers that question. Using the easy to remember idea of “4 Es”, this program presents four separate leadership strategies and related concepts to help those who manage/lead others, at any level, be fully effective and respected.
2.Making Meetings Magnificent. When most managers are asked about the key skills to be an effective manager, ‘running good meetings’, if it is mentioned at all, is usually way down the list. This is a huge mistake. For most professionals today, meetings both formal and informal, can account for well over half of the work-day, and are the place where key information is reviewed and much of the important work gets done. If meetings are not well planned and well run, staff can view them as a waste of time and as a result disengage and view their manager negatively. And indeed meetings can be a huge waste of money, and a lost opportunity to align the group, get input from all attendees, and achieve goals effectively. Meetings count, and thoughtful organizations know that well run meetings are one of the best indicators of effective leadership and strong teamwork.
3.High Impact Coaching Through ‘GROW’. We see the effects of coaching clearly in sports. Most of the time, a team with a superb coach and average players will do better than an average coach and superb players. Great coaching will bring up performance every time. Legendary teams always have legendary coaches. The same is often true in organizations. The role of the manager, acting as coach, is to help bring up individual and team performance. The problem is, without effective training, many managers assume that “coaching” is simply “telling”. This approach is wrong, and can often actually worsen performance. A better method, proven first in sports and then adapted for the workplace, is the GROW Model: Goals, Reality, Options, and Wrap-Up. Sir John Whitmore from the UK developed the model and it was later refined by renowned sports coach-turned-consultant, Tim Gallwey. The model helps coaches ask deep questions, designed to help the ‘player’ (or employee) think through what they want to accomplish; what has happened before; what they have tried; what they can do; and what they will do. The outcome is greater buy-in to an action plan for improved performance that the employee has developed him/herself. In short, the GROW Model helps staff members grow, and obtain high performance.
4. Engagement: Fact, Fiction, Application (Half-Day) Introduction: The words “engagement” and “engage” are now used often in most workplaces. For example: “We want to engage our staff”, or “We want more engagement of our customers”. The problem is, like many other words used in today’s organizations such as “customer service” or “communication”, we all have our own definitions and standards and there is little common agreement on what these terms actually mean. In the last 20 years, many organizations have begun to measure their levels of ‘employee engagement’, in the hopes that it will strengthen other factors they care about, such as morale, effort and commitment. These organizations are actually on to something, but the misunderstandings and misconceptions persist even among those who are familiar with the concept and work to promote it. What precisely is “employee engagement”, and what is it not? Where did the concept come from? How can it be measured? Is a high or low level of employee engagement meaningful for the organization? What are the real (as opposed to hyped) consequences of either? If employee engagement is desirable, how can it be fostered? This program directly addresses these questions.
5.Staying Rational in an Irrational World. We are living in stressful times. Most families have two working adults and yet still struggle with weighty debt and insufficient savings; salaries for 95% of us have not kept up with inflation over the past 40 years; and competition is intense in our schools, the job market, and in life generally. No wonder that in the US and Canada the rates of opioid and drug addiction have risen dramatically; alcoholism has increased steadily year over year; suicides and gun deaths are way up; and stress-related illnesses are now the most common seen by family physicians. The challenge today, perhaps more than ever before, is to manage our responses and our stress so that we don’t just ‘survive’ but can actually ‘thrive’, in our careers and in our personal lives.
6.Exceptional Customer Service. Borrowing ideas from Wegmans, this session looks at the difference between “good” and “exceptional” customer service. Ideas, stories and best practices are shared; and commitments or “promises” to one’s “customers” are developed.
7.Developing a Workplace Covenanttm. Workplace relationships are the key to success. In particular, the manager-team relationship is vital to group effectiveness and morale. The Workplace Covenant is a process to develop and maintain respectful, trustworthy, aligned and partnership-oriented relationships. This session outlines the need, the process, and then guides participants to develop a Workplace Covenanttm for their own group.
8. Empowerment: A Way to Engage, Energize and Excite Your Team. Unlike some other workplace initiatives over the past 40 years, empowerment is not a fad. Empowerment, at its core, is about the control we believe we have at work over what we do, and how we do it. Recent research suggests that empowerment is composed of these four components: meaning (do we identify and support what we are doing at work); impact (do we have the ability to influence goals and colleagues); self-determination (can we make decisions independently without layers of approval); and competence (do we believe in our own abilities as applied at work). When these four components are rated high, and so employees feel ‘empowered’, the research is clear: better team performance; lower employee turnover; higher customer satisfaction and loyalty; more employee engagement; and ultimately, better organizational results. Without question, empowerment is a key to a better workplace, a better experience at work, and better outcomes.
9.Managing versus Leading: (Half-Day) Introduction: If you supervise others, no matter what level, this program is for you! The verbs “manage” and “lead” (as in “he manages that group” or “she leads this team”), and the titles “manager” and “leader”, are often used interchangeably but in fact there are meaningful differences in behavior, skill and outcome. The challenge is that in order to be fully effective, a supervisor (or “manager”, “director” or “executive”) must both “manage” and “lead” at various times for their group to be successful. So what are managers good at? What are leaders good at? What are the key differences and what are the overlaps? How can one person be both? These are some of the questions explored in this session.
10.Myers-Briggs – Finding Your Personality Style. This session would provide each participant with the Personal Style Inventory (PSI, a short self-scored version of Myers-Briggs). In the session, they would learn their Myers-Briggs style (e.g. ESTJ), the meaning of this, and have a chance to share and action plan with colleagues. The benefits and limitations of knowing your style would be covered, as well as suggestions on how to leverage the “diversity” of style in your work-group. (Note: This session would have an additional cost of $8 per participant to cover the expense of the copyrighted inventory)
11. Creating High Performance Teamwork. The challenge of creating effective teams has increased in the 21st century, where there are now “teams” of one (e.g., business partners and consultants) who work with clients, or teams of many distributed across time and location (e.g., virtual work). No matter what your organization does, it is likely that most of the work and results get done through the collective effort of teams. Yet as most of us have experienced, ‘high performance teamwork’ does not happen by chance, and too often we may have worked on “teams” that lacked clear goals, effective leadership, supportive trustworthy teammates, a positive work climate, etc. This highly interactive program briefly presents recent research on high performance teams, and then many practical ideas and tools designed to help any team achieve improved performance and engagement.
12. Dealing with Conflict; Negotiating Confidently (Full-Day) Class Overview: This full-day interactive program, Dealing with Conflict; Negotiation Confidently is divided into two sections. In the first half, the focus is on conflict generally. This is important because all negotiating takes place in the context of differing goals, the related effects on important relationships, and the impact of our behavior. Hence, in this section participants reflect on their experience with conflict at work or at home, and then proceed to learn a few key ideas about its causes, their personal style in relating to conflict, and then several practical ‘tools’ and concepts to help them deal more effectively with conflict in their professional and personal lives.
13.Performance Assessment and Development. This session provides tips and ideas on how to prepare for, and conduct, a motivating and meaningful “performance appraisal” conversation. A short 18 minute video will be included, followed by dialogue, sub-group discussion, and practical suggestions.
14.The Soul at Work: Discovering the Meaning of What You Do. This session is a somewhat more reflective and ‘deep’ look at what each person finds meaningful in their lives, and how some of this can be enacted at work. Without reference to any particular religion, views on the purpose of life will be shared in sub-groups, “appreciation lists” will be created, life goals and personal values will be reflected on, and work as a way to make a contribution to the world and feel connected to others will be discussed.
15.Effective Presentation Skills. This session includes ideas and tips on making powerful, attention-grabbing, and effective presentations. A short (20 minute) video is followed by brief concepts, and then ‘real-time’ skill practice in small groups, where everyone can make a short presentation and receive constructive feedback.
16.Ethics at Work. This session delves into the more subtle aspects of ethics. Everyone knows stealing, lying and bullying are wrong. But what about withholding information, skewing facts, not keeping promises, misuse of privileged data, or choosing between two competing ‘rights’? Following a short video (20 min.), sub-group discussion is held to explore ethical issues at work, at home, and in the community. Participants take away a heightened appreciation of the ethical dimensions in everyday interactions, and the importance of modeling the right behaviors, at all times, in all places.
17.Change is inevitable; Progress is a Choice (Half-Day) Introduction: We have all heard the refrains: ‘The only constant is change’, and Darwin’s famous, ‘Survival does not go to the strongest, fastest, or smartest, but to those most adaptable to change’. The statements are mostly true but do not make the challenges posed by change any easier for individuals, groups or organizations. Much research suggests that individuals who maintain a positive, optimistic outlook (‘see the glass as half full’); manage stress effectively (i.e. are not consumed by frequent worry or fear); and are flexible in the face of changing conditions, will lead healthier, happier and longer lives. Put differently, hardening of the arteries may determine how long you live; hardening of the attitudes determines how well you live! More recent research in such areas as positive psychology, resilience, stress reduction, peak performance, and centenarians (those living past age 100) provide important new insights into how we can not only survive but actually thrive while coping with change. Tony Robbins has observed that “change is inevitable”, that is, it will happen to us physically, to our families, our organizations, the economy, our nation, etc. “But progress is choice”, inferring that improvement (to our health, relationships, careers, etc.) is not a given and must be worked at through helpful habits, an “opportunity mind-set” (as opposed to an “obstacle mind-set”), and compelling goals that are truly motivating. Adapting to change is continuous, and the better we get at it, the better our lives will be. Fortunately, there are some best practices for us as individuals and for our organizations. This program will review some key concepts related to change, and best practices to help us adapt and make progress.
18. Dealing with Incivility and Negativity in the Academic Workplace This three hour program explores the phenomenon of incivility, negativity and bullying in the academic workplace. It begins with the obvious, but important, conversation on what the school’s goals are with respect to the workplace and how everyone should be (or not be) treated.