Empowering Radio Leaders: Learning Waves Senior Management Development Programme.
The OECD Skills report for Ireland published in May 2023 found that a significant investment in skills is required, in particular management skills in the SME sector. 2023 has been designated the European Year of Skills and in order to ensure management supports and capacity is increased in the Independent Radio sector in Ireland, Learning Waves continues the development and delivery of its flagship management programme, Manage | Lead | Inspire. The programme was introduced as a pilot programme in 2021 with trainers Imagine ThinkDo winning the tender process to design and deliver the programme.
Now in its third year, the programme stands as a beacon of success within the Independent Radio Sector in Ireland. Learning Waves has worked with trainers, Russell and Alison Beck, from Imagine ThinkDo, to deliver this programme for Senior Managers across the Independent Commercial Radio Sector in Ireland. This course allows participants the time to invest in themselves, to enhance their skills and to enable them to unlock the human potential in their respective organisations. It also allowes participants to learn how to effectively lead others by understanding themselves. A unique element of the programme is the indiviudal coaching that is provided as part of the programme. There are four core modules in the programme which are supported by four individual coaching sessions for all participants. In 2022, the programme was certified by the Institute of Leadeship and Management in the UK. On successful completion of the programme, participants become members of the institute and they can go on to become fellow members of the institute.
The key to the success of the programme is the background of the trainers who deliver the programme. Russell Beck is an engineer by trade and is not your average people person. He blends an engineer's desire for knowledge, an inquisitive need for evidence and a belief that things can be better with an inspirational, charismatic and thought-provoking style. Russell draws on a diverse background having worked as an engineering project leader in 26 countries as a Managing Director of a €120 million outsourcing business. Alison Beck has a rich history of working in the UK and internationally as a strategy and change consultant, executive coach and facilitator with a very broad mix of clients. She enjoys working with teams at every level in organisations and has a great respect for difference and a passion for drawing the unique perspectives of everyone. In her coaching role Alison has supported executives to successfully lead transformational change, to become more strategic and to communicate and influence more effectively.
The core modules that underpin the programme include:
Understanding your Leadership Style
In this module, participants delve into personality types and their impact on leadership. The exploration of four key personality elements – energy sources, information processing, decision-making, and life approach – provides a framework for self-awareness and understanding others. The personalised report review offers participants valuable insights, while engaging exercises bring theoretical knowledge to life. This module lays the groundwork for effective leadership by emphasising the importance of comprehending one’s own leadership style as a precursor to leading others.
Focusing on the connection between self-awareness and effective team support, this module tackles the nature of leadership. Addressing the diverse realities shaped by age and personality, it emphasises the impact on perceptions, responses, and needs within a team. The significance of fostering a workplace culture of connection and belonging is explored, with attention to the effects of micro exclusions. Leaders learn to navigate external factors’ influences on emotions and biases, reinforcing key values, and creating a personal balance wheel and action plan to promote a healthy leadership approach.
Leading and Managing Teams
This module equips senior managers with the essential skills to steer and optimise team dynamics. From allocating work and setting goals to effective delegation using IDEALS model, leaders gain practical insights into performance management. Strategies for managing distractions, navigating communication challenges, and running efficient meetings are explored. The module underscores the importance of maintaining focus within circles of control and handling the tyranny of the urgent, offering a guide to a high-performing team culture.
Managing Difficult People/Situations
Addressing the challenges inherent in performance management, this module emphasises the critical role of effective conversations. It delves into the neuroscience behind feedback and praise, offering insights into why such conversations can be challenging. Participants learn the art of active listening, using a Thinking Environment approach and how to recognise and overcome self-deception and positioning. The module further covers conflict styles and associated handling strategies, preparing leaders for difficult conversations through a 1st, 2nd, 3rd perspectives technique.
As we hear directly from those who recently completed the course, it’s clear this programme has had a significant impact on their leadership skills. Let these testimonials speak for themselves, providing insights into the practical elements and real-world application of the course.
Melanie O’Sullivan, Events Manager, Radio Kerry
“From a personal point of view, the one-to-one coaching sessions were brilliant. I learned a huge amount despite being skeptical at the start. I have put a lot of the learnings from the course into practice. The work-life and personal elements have been brilliant.”
Seamus O’Connell, Sales Manager, Galway Bay FM
“I have learned that change is a good thing, and you have to accept change. I also learned how to deal with everyone in a different way. The course has given me more confidence to deal with people. I wish I had done it 10 years ago. I am now looking at things differently – inside and outside of work.”
Roisín Reilly, Head of Marketing, Today FM
“Using the 3-way conversation method in the last module taught me to be objective. The training overall was a reminder that you don’t share the same personality as the people around you. It taught me how to adapt my personality to my team. I now have a higher awareness of people’s work styles and communications. There’s power in that.”
Joleen Murphy, News and Sports Editor, Beat 102 103
"When I began this course, I was completely new to management. The Leadership & Management course touched on such a wide range of topics, and it benefited both my work and personal life. It has given me the confidence to open new conversations with people and tailor existing work relationships. I am more self-aware and conscious of the decisions I make, as a team leader and as a staff member. I feel I understand how to laser-focus on points to help balance work and work relationships. I find that I approach things very differently now compared to before the course, and I can’t thank or praise Alison and Russell enough.”
Marion Barry, Sales Manager, South East Radio
“I feel a lot more confident in my role. The course has been a complete eye opener to self-awareness. I found the course so practical from Day 1 and I got huge benefit from the coaching sessions. There were some light bulb moments. I feel empowered now to have difficult conversations. My peers have gained from what I have learned and from what I have been saying to them. I have found that meetings have improved, and this has been hugely beneficial. I am now listening to understand rather than listening to speak.”
Neil MacDermott, Sales Executive, Media Central
“There has been lots from the course that I have used. Initially, I thought it was a huge commitment, but it was great. Working together as a group for so long has allowed us to build trust among each other. There are many small things I have taken away. I check in with people more often now. I would definitely recommend this course. The leadership shadow is a great tool for work and life.”
Peadar Breathnach. Newstalk
“This course is a great basis to start your management journey. Understanding how I behave and how it impacts others has been huge for me. I now think differently, and I think about how people would like to receive information. It was great to get different perspectives from all the people on the course.”
As this course marks its third successful year, it stands as a testament to Learning Waves’ commitment to cultivating strong, capable leaders within the Independent Radio sector in Ireland. Through empowering senior managers with self-awareness, practical skills, and the ability to navigate challenges, this course ensures that the ripples of its impact extend far beyond the training, positively influencing the entire industry.
To find out more about the course go to : https://bit.ly/47z6Zq8. The course will be running in 2024 and if you are interested in taking part in the course please email: email@example.com