Listo Systems is a graphic service agency and is one of the leading companies within the sector. They recently implemented a new black box technology which resulted in a demand for trainings for the employees as well as “train-the trainer” sessions. Cami Machado is responsible for conducting these sessions and she feels well prepared. She is also the one who represents the company at an annual Computer Graphic Service Trade Show.
Key Issues and Problems:
Cami Machado has previous experiences and therefore feels confident and eager for the first session of the trainings. However, the general evaluations of the course were poor and most of the trainers had no clue of what was expected from them. Although Cami is not worried, her manager realizes that something needs to be done.
The second issue is related to the Graphic Service Trade Show where Cami routinely represents Listo Systems. This year because of the occurring changes, Listo has scheduled a private presentation for key contacts. Cami is assigned to give a flashy, multimedia overview of the clients benefits of the new “black box system”. However, she is procrastinating and thinks that from sales or marketing would be better suited for this task.
Cami knows that she could do a good job making the “glamour show”, however she wants to have the presentation reassigned. In this case Cami is able but unwilling and therefore her performance readiness is R3 (at level 3). She prefers to talk to the “real” people with “real” questions.
As for the trainings that she has been assigned to organize, Cami feels herself able, confident and willing (R4). In the past she has taught Information Technology courses at a local university and for that reason she feels well prepared. She has spent two weeks preparing detailed manuals however the professional trainers do not share her enthusiasm and confidence. From their perspective, Cami is an R2, because even though she is very motivated and willing to accomplish this task, the other trainers are not satisfied with her work. She is not very effective in giving precise directions of what should be done and what is expected, and the majority of the trainers are lost and confused.
It is important to notice that the concepts of ability and willingness are an “interacting influence system”. In other words, that they are interconnected and a significant change in one will affect the whole. This is why the amount of knowledge, experience and skills often affect confidence and motivation. Cami feels that she knows what is required for the trainings to be successful because she has had experience at the University. However, it is hard to say whether she has all the skills that are necessary to train-the-trainers.
Comments from the trainers also included “lots of smoke but no fire” and “talks down to us”. We can therefore conclude that the reason why the trainers where not satisfied was not necessarily because of Cami’s technical skills, but maybe her relationship with the employees. Her directive behavior is very high but her relationship and supportive behavior not as much. Looking at the Situational Leadership model, Cam is using S4 leadership style, which includes low relationship and mostly delegating.
Alternative Courses of Action:
In order to be more successful in leading the others, Cami should use the S2 leadership style, which includes selling and most importantly explaining what she expects from the trainers. Cami considers herself well prepared and experienced however the evaluation of the course was poor because of lack of explanations.
Another reason why the employees were not satisfied was because Cami was “talking down to them”. To avoid this, Cami should be more supportive and use participative leadership style that will allow her to interact with the other trainer and to improve her relationship with them....