How Quick Updates Can Propel Your Business and Team Forward

By Leslie Copland
YPO Certified Forum Facilitator

YPO has always taken a holistic approach to the chief executive by providing the learning and networking opportunities to increase members’ leadership capabilities in all domains of life – business, family and personal.

This presents itself most acutely in YPO forum, small groups of eight-12 members who meet regularly in a confidential space to address life’s challenges and opportunities. Forums use the collective experience of the group, while also enhancing self-awareness, emotional intelligence, communication and leadership skills.

There are specific forum practices that, when applied to a company, can accelerate progress toward business goals. Leaders who have infused forum practices into business report greater team engagement, productivity and empowerment. Here’s a sampling of feedback from companies I’ve helped:

  • 98% say it helped develop a safe and reliable peer network
  • 96% say it helped them be more effective in my business
  • 95% say it helped them solve some real-time issues or problems
  • 95% say it contributed to their development as a people manager and team leader

While I’ve run year-long programs to help companies reap the benefits of forum in business, you don’t have to make such a deep commitment to make significant impact. Here is one key practice, adapted from YPO forum, that any leader can use to build more trust and transparency into their business.

Evolve 1:1s From Routine Reporting To Action Planning

Updates are a key component of a forum meeting. They provide time for each member to briefly share the challenges and opportunities that consume members’ mental, emotional and physical energies.

Using the update format, you can evolve your 1:1s from routine status reporting and action planning by adding effective professional development conversations with your team. In your 1:1s, ask your direct reports the following:

  • What has been a highlight or best accomplishment since we last met?
    • How do you feel about this?
    • How was this significant?
    • What was the impact on you, the team and the business?
    • What did you learn that can be leveraged going forward?
  • What was your greatest challenge since we last met?
    • How do you feel about this?
    • What was the impact on you, the team and the business?
    • What have you learned that can be leveraged going forward?
    • Where do you still feel stuck or unable to figure out?

Effectively using the update format means engaging your best inquiry and active listening skills. It requires patience and abstaining from jumping in to give advice, solving the problem for your direct report or even brainstorming until the appropriate time.

When contributing input, it is helpful to share from your own experience, using “I” language (“What I did in a similar situation…what I learned was…”) instead of “shoulding” on others (“You should…you need to…).

This type of interaction generates deeper levels of conversation and more connected relationships. They provide opportunities for acknowledging accomplishments and development coaching. This surfaces the levels of skills, knowledge, confidence and commitment your direct report has and those that need to be cultivated.

About Leslie Copland
In her 20 years as a YPO Certified Forum Facilitator, Leslie has seen it all. She understands the unique challenges that being “at the top” brings. Her agile style and ever-growing knowledge makes her an exceptional resource for YPO forums and chapters. In addition to her work with YPO, Leslie’s clients include world-class corporations, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies. Leslie can be reached at lesliecoplandleadership.com.

Members, does this story interest you? Attend the Business Powered by Forum event in San Diego, California, USA, 1-3 November 2017. Learn more and register

Every CEO needs somewhere to turn for the insight and perspective only trusted peers can provide. In YPO, the supreme sounding board is forum. Around the world in 3,800 forums, small groups of members – and small groups of their spouses and young adult children – meet in an atmosphere of confidentiality, respect and trust. Most members say forum is their most valued asset, because the maxim holds true: it can be lonely at the top, but it doesn't have to be. YPO members, spouses, management team and YPO certified forum facilitators (CFF) are contributors of the articles below. CFFs are a specialized group of 100 highly skilled professionals with a deep understanding of forum process and protocol. Each CFF has completed a rigorous application, interview and certification process that requires peer recommendations.