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Todd Kennedy

LaL is the most impactful training program I have attended in my 12+ year career.

Thanks to the ongoing coaching and feedback I have received in my company, I’ve become much more aware of my areas for improvement and the importance of addressing them. Nevertheless, I’ve been frustrated by my lack of progress in improving certain areas of my leadership style. In particular, I have consistently received developmental feedback related to communication style and general emotional intelligence (EQ). For example, I have always struggled with being too directive with my direct reports or feeling the need to argue points to prove that I am right. Obviously, these behaviors are not conducive to learning and development nor do they create an environment where others are comfortable being open with their ideas. While I was aware of this, I had not made more than incremental progress in changing, despite making it a regular developmental priority.

The LaL program provided a set of experiences and tools that allowed me to better understand the root cause of these counterproductive behaviors. I now have better understanding of why part of me continues to cling to them as a source of security amongst other benefits.

The change in my actual behavior has been most rewarding. One of my biggest challenges at work and in my personal life is being vulnerable with others. This has prevented me from connecting with people in the way that I would like and, in turn, has made others feel that I am distant or unempathetic to their issues or needs. I have spent a lot of time during the LaL seminars and in my coaching calls working on this issue and I have made some real headway.

Last year, I was faced with the unenviable task of redeploying a direct report who was a long-time employee and an all-around good guy. Historically, I would have dealt with this by being very objective and transactional in my dealings with the impacted associate. While the associate would have heard all the “right things” and been given all the “right tools,” they would have not felt much empathy or seen much emotion from me. This time, the process went a lot better and I have received very positive feedback from the associate regarding our interactions. Personally, the process was also a lot more rewarding.

I am also much more aware of how my need to prove that I am right impacts my relationships with my peers and direct reports. I am able to truly listen versus focus on preparing my response. This change has really helped my relationships with my direct reports where I am much more cognizant of their needs or concerns versus always being focused on what I wanted to get out of the conversation.