Looking Back on 2021 and Forward to 2022

One of the things I like to do when December rolls around is to think back about where we’ve been the past year, where we are now, and where we’re going. I do this because research has shown that reflecting on your past and how you’ve successfully dealt with challenges helps you build resilience. Taking stock of where you are now helps you decrease anxiety and focus on the requirements of the moment. And looking ahead helps you set goals, complete projects, and turn your picture of the future into reality.

Where We’ve Been

In so many ways, 2021 has been a year of healing. We’re closer to being able to do the things we did before the pandemic hit. People began coming back to the office and we started having face-to-face meetings again. Officials in California just announced another indoor mask requirement to combat a 47% increase in COVID-19 case rates across the state since Thanksgiving, so we’re not out of the woods yet. The good news is that we’ve adapted to dealing with this pandemic.

So, how was your 2021? What did you get done this year that you feel good about and can praise yourself for?

Where We Are Now

Like so many organizations, 2020 sent our company into a financial tailspin. This year we’ve had a financial comeback and so have many of our clients. It’s still a tough time for many organizations, though, and the movement to digital work has led to some concerning trends: fatigue, weakened interpersonal connections, and dissatisfaction with virtual offerings.  Our company is working with organizations to help them overcome these issues.

How about you? Where are you as 2021 comes to a close? Take a deep breath and appreciate this moment.

Where We’re Going

Our company has lots planned for 2022, starting with our Blanchard Management Essentials, Self Leadership, and SLII® Experience™ programs in the first quarter.

I’m personally excited about 2022, because I’ll be launching my new book with Randy Conley, Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust. The book will be out in February 2022, and you can pre-order your copy now.

I’m also excited about the release of “The Mulligan,” a film based on the book I wrote with PGA touring pro Wally Armstrong. It’s all about second chances in life—and who doesn’t need those?

What are you looking forward to in 2022? Whatever it is, I wish you a rewarding new year!

The 3 Types of Training Leaders Need in 2022

In our recent 2022 survey of learning and development leaders, we asked people to list the training topics they felt were most important in the new year. The top three topics listed were coaching, leading teams, and change management. All three of these topics are near and dear to my heart. Why? Because they are all about leaders working side by side with people to help them achieve their goals.

Coaching

Managers who have been trained in the essentials of coaching are able to offer their people a terrific one-two punch of support. When leaders gain coaching skills such as listening, asking questions, sharing observations, and showing confidence, conversations with direct reports can spark valuable connections that last for years. What’s more, team members who receive coaching from their manager are more likely to become high performers and self reliant problem solvers who not only remain with the company but become leaders themselves. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one!

Leading Teams

High performing teams don’t happen by themselves. Teams need leaders who understand the importance of clear goals, a shared purpose, and mutual accountability in a team setting. Managers who are trained in team leadership know how to diagnose an entire team’s stage of development and apply the right leadership style for each situation.

These days, with many meetings still happening online, it can be tricky for leaders to keep track of team dynamics. Having managers trained in team leadership will give them the skills they need to build effective, collaborative, creative teams that produce the results organizations need today.

Change Management

I don’t need to tell you that change has been part of almost everybody’s day-to-day life for close to two years now, and far longer than that for many. Training leaders in change management shouldn’t be an option these days—it should be a mandate! Why? Because even when it’s done the right way, leading people through change isn’t easy. When it’s done the wrong way, it can be a waste of time and money that causes productivity to crash and employee turnover to shoot up, because people feel ignored and disrespected. And no organization can afford that.

The strongest, most resilient companies stay ahead of their competition by making change a part of their corporate culture. Leaders who know how to uncover and manage team member concerns can head off and reduce people’s natural resistance to change. This leads to increased buy-in and commitment from team members as well as faster results. It’s all about involving your people and making them part of the solution.

So make sure your leaders have the skills they need to help their people achieve their goals in the new year. Managers who are trained in how to effectively coach direct reports, lead teams to high performance, and get everyone working together on positive organizational change are the leaders who will help your company thrive in 2022—and for many years to come.

(Learn more about this year’s survey results by downloading the 2022 HR / L&D Trends eBook!)