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Leading Your Team on a Journey of Personal Growth

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 21/01/2016 Nick Segal
BUSINESS TEAM © Hero Images via Getty Images BUSINESS TEAM

Personal development is an ongoing process. We can always improve and achieve more of what we want out of life. At Partners Trust, I'm honored to share this philosophy with our team of 200 plus associates, and each year, I have the privilege of leading them through an eight-week series focused on self discovery and growth.
This year, my series is inspired by my upcoming book on value conscious negotiation, and it explores the way each of us can create a more joyful and abundant life. To ensure as many members of our team participated in this journey and gained as much personal value as possible, I challenged myself to step up my game in the way the series was presented.
To do this, I came up with the 5 action steps below.
Build Excitement & Engagement -- We always announce the upcoming series weeks in advance, sharing small previews in our office meetings and in email reminders. This year, I took that a step further, providing a pre-class handout with additional ways to prepare. I recorded a five-minute exercise that everyone can listen to and incorporate into their daily lives, so that when the series begins, they are as excited as I am to begin.
Explore Multimedia -- Not everyone learns the same way. My classes are broadcast live to our team members who prefer to view remotely. The edited classes are also archived and stored online in a password-protected area, along with the handouts. This year we are also making the audio broadcast available for those who prefer to listen that way.
Pen to Paper Still Works -- We all spend so much time on our laptops and mobile devices that there is something special about taking pen to paper and writing things down. During my eight-week series, we all keep a Gratitude Journal that we check in with two times a day to share the experiences and things in our lives we are grateful for. We also use mindmapping and vision boards as part of the series and provide printed booklets. The act of writing engages people in a way that tapping on a screen doesn't.
Accountability -- Sometimes in life, we tend to show up for others more than for ourselves. Participants are taking part in breakout sessions where they share what they've learned so far and explore the concepts in depth. Each person also has an accountability buddy to check in with as the week's progress. People know that if they drop out of the program they will be missed and that helps keep them focused and on track.
Follow Up -- We've created a series of quotes from the materials I've prepared and shared them on Instagram and other social media platforms to keep the energy going between classes. I've also sent out notes praising everyone who participated and encouraging them to continue the journey.
Guess what? It worked, as we had nearly the entire company, across our nine offices, attend in person or online and actively participate.
Pulling all of this together is not easy, but I've found that the benefits for my company are immeasurable. We not only increase people's productivity, but more importantly, they are happier, more focused and feel more engaged in their work and they carry on that enthusiasm to their clients.

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