Leadership Lessons for Government & Education Settings
It is widely accepted that strong leadership skills are important to the functioning of all organizations. In particular, decision-making and coaching are key leadership skills for government and education leaders.

The following leadership development videos will provide the necessary lessons so education and government leaders can make stronger, more informed group decisions. They will also learn how to successfully coach any member of their team.  

Groupthink is one of the most helpful
leadership training videos for educating managers (and others) about the dangers of the “groupthink” phenomenon. Psychologist Irving Janis coined the term groupthink and defined it as “a mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members’ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.”  

In other words, employees become so concerned with fitting in that they fail to speak up when they disagree with — or even question — a decision or process, and no one critically considers other options and ideas.

Participants involved in a group decision-making process often think they are serving the group’s best interest by withholding their opinions, concerns and feelings.They wait to see how others are leaning, or what the group leader wants to do.

The Abilene Paradox
They may withhold their opinion due to lack of confidence in their ideas, or because they think everyone else is in agreement and they don’t want to be the “odd man out” or to appear in conflict with the group. Ironically, the
Abilene Paradox occurs when everyone IS in agreement (anonymously and secretly) about an issue, but no one speaks up, and the group ends up going in the opposite direction with their decision because no one knew everyone else agreed with them.

The paradox comes into play when everyone is making the same errors in judgment; and because no one is sharing their concerns, poor ideas are given support, bad decisions are made, and pointless “trips to Abilene” are taken.  

Leadership development courses like Groupthink and The Abilene Paradox teach us that it is a leader’s job to combat this tendency in groups by doing things like including people in the decision-making who wouldn’t normally be included, encouraging idea-sharing, welcoming “nay-sayers” and “devil’s advocates,” and generally checking at each phase of a big decision whether anyone has any qualms or legitimate concerns.

The Practical Coach 2 
Managers in educational settings or government agencies also need to know how to effectively conduct performance coaching. The Practical Coach 2 is a leadership training program which teaches that you should let your team members know that what they do matters to you - notice what they’re doing and let them know you notice. There are three different times to let your employees know they matter.

  1. When they are doing great work: never let great work go unnoticed. Thank them for their effort.

  2. When their work needs improvement: you should never let poor work go unnoticed, either. Find a private place to speak to them, let them know what you’ve observed, and keep the conversation positive and not punitive. Don’t dwell on mistakes and failures - just ask the employee what they’ve learned and what they’ll do differently next time.

  3. When they’re on a dead-end road: when an employee’s performance is very problematic, it’s time for a more serious coaching session. State what you’ve observed, listen to their response and remind them of what you expect. Ask them for a solution and then agree on a course of action. 

No matter the leadership training content
, there are many
leadership training videos available to help leaders in government and education hone their abilities.

In addition to the employee training videos mentioned above, you may also be interested in checking out programs in other topic areas: The Guest, It’s a Dog’s World (customer service/patient satisfaction); Accountability That Works (personal accountability); Let’s Get Honest, In This Together, The Respectful Workplace (harassment and respect); What To Do When Conflict Happens (conflict management).