As the leader of a global marketing communications in the healthcare industry, Melissa Baldinger wanted to explore a fresh approach to leadership and management. Through the recommendation of a colleague, she found UNC Executive Development’s Leadership Effectiveness Workshop.
“I wanted to think about new ways to strengthen, grow and challenge my team and was looking for some best practice approaches to accomplishing that,” she says. “Leadership is a journey. Taking a step back to reflect on what’s working well and what areas I can develop to make myself more influential as a leader in my organization was invaluable.”
Over the course of three days, Baldinger and other participants learned about their unique leadership styles and developed skills around delivering effective feedback and coaching. They also learned techniques and mindsets for leading and influencing others.
“The biggest learning I had from the class is that ongoing feedback is critical,” she says. “More importantly, being able to effectively give feedback in a way that encourage the results and behaviors you want is key. The class gave us some very hands on, real-world approaches to giving feedback to teams to get results.”
Now that Baldinger is back in the office, she’s implementing the skills she developed during the Leadership Effectiveness Workshop to encourage her team to be problem solvers. “I use the feedback model we were taught on a weekly basis now,” she says. “I no longer try to solve problems for my team. I listen more, speak less and help guide them to make their own sound decisions that benefit our organization.”
Baldinger recommends anyone who leads a team or has responsibilities related to leading projects and influencing others to consider attending the Leadership Effectiveness Workshop.
“Be selfish with your time while you’re there,” she advises. “It’s a content rich week and you can be easily distracted by the day-to-day responsibilities that don’t stop while you’re in class. Turning off my phone and putting my day job aside for a few days proved to be a very worthwhile investment in my career and personal development.”