Sales Certificate Candidates gathered in business attire at Walter Hall on the evening of Monday Nov. 18th to attend the Annual Leadership Workshop. Guest speaker John Nobles lead discussions and activities in order to help certificate candidates determine who they are as a leader through their communication style.
John Nobles is the Associate Director at the Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership and Executive in Residence in the Management Department at Ohio University. His experience in leadership and communication comes from past positions as Director of People at The Douglas Company, Director of Leadership & Organization Development at Owen-Illinois Inc., and Organization Development Consultant for Whirlpool.
Corporate Partner of the Sales Centre, EMC was present during the event with a table set up and a representative answering any questions that certificate candidates had about the company. Katie, the EMC representative, spoke to the group before the workshop began. Katie is an Ohio University alumna and a former candidate of the Sales Centre.
She gave words of advice to the candidates, stating how
there is a great deal of competition both outside and within the university between soon-to-be graduates. Katie continued by expressing how important Sales Centre events are to certificate candidates.
“This is the chance to differentiate yourselves,” Katie said, “As a recruiter; these are the events that matter.”
On the topic of leadership, she told candidates that they have the ability to become a leader every day. Stressing that CEOs and executives aren’t the only leaders, entry level employees have the potential to be leaders as well. EMC is also currently hiring 4 sales associates for the company’s 2 year program.
As John Nobles began the Annual Leadership Workshop, he broke the certificate candidates into groups, and passed out a team communication activity. Each participant was given a slip of paper with 5 bits of information on it. The group was not able to write anything down or show the other members their slip; verbal communication only. The teams then had to answer two questions by using the information on the slips while communicating and listening to one another. Those who found a balance between active listening and verbal participation discovered the correct answers faster and more efficiently. This activity taught certificate candidates the importance of proper communication and leadership within a group.
Next, John Nobles presented four points that he wanted to discuss:
- Understanding that people exhibit different behavioral styles
- Learn to recognize the behavioral traits of each style
- Identify your own style and that of others
- Modify/adapt your style to enhance communication and to increase understanding with others
Certificate candidates then placed two dots on a Communication Model to identify their style of communication through their behaviors. Descriptors of each are below:
- Show feelings and enthusiasm freely
- Use animated facial expressions
- Have opinion-oriented statements
- Keep feelings private
- Behave more formal, proper
- Use fact-oriented statements
- Frequent contributor to group conversation
- Expresses opinions readily
- Behave less patient, more competitive
- Infrequent contributor to group conversation
- Reserve expressing opinions
- Behave more patient and cooperative
Depending where on the Communication Model the dots met, determined one of 4 communication styles; Relator, Socializer, Thinker, or Director.Socializers learned that they can be great leaders by using their strong persuasive skills but must be careful of their short attention span, and impulsiveness.
Directors discovered their strengths as a leader comes from their orientation towards productivity but must become more flexible.
Thinkers are systematic problem solvers that use their dependability towards being a successful leader. They must be wary of their strong need to be right and dislike for too much involvement with others.
Relators are warm and caring leaders who are the most people-oriented but must work on being overly-sensitive.
An overwhelming majority of the sales certificate candidates identified as socializers. John Nobles said this wasn’t surprising since the profession of sales requires fast paced workers who are gregarious with strong persuasive skills.
As the event came to a close, attendees left with a better understanding of themselves as communicators and leaders, giving them the tools to apply this knowledge in their future academics and career.