Instructor Spotlight: Diane Davidson
Prior to her consulting career, Diane Davidson was a full-time entertainer, producer and recording artist. After building a digital recording facility, she decided to apply her entrepreneurial and performance skills to the world of corporate training. As a leadership development consultant and an instructor for UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education, Davidson has since acquired more than 25 years of experience training and coaching leaders.
Davidson developed her interest in leadership development during childhood. “My family often had dinner conversations about work challenges, and it was fun to explore solutions together,” she recalls. With the help of her first corporate manager and motivated by a desire to be the best she could be, Davidson invested in her own leadership development. “I learned so much, and the speed of meeting and exceeding my goals increased exponentially,” she says. “This experience inspired me to want to share my learning with others.”
Developing Your Leadership Skills
As an instructor, Davidson loves to see people apply their learning to different situations. She uses personal stories and challenges to create a safe learning environment for her students to practice new skills with current real-world scenarios and issues. “I want students to take away specific easy-to-learn behavioral skills that work for most leadership challenges,” says Davidson. “The key is for students to apply those skills immediately and integrate them into what they do every day.”
Tailored Training for Your Team
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Davidson believes that leading with a service mindset, having strong communication skills and giving recognition and feedback are key attributes of a successful leader. “Effective leadership inspires people to take positive action to achieve their goals, which benefits individuals, teams and organizations,” she explains. She also believes that during turbulent times, understanding the needs of others and providing support is particularly important. She points to the common adage that “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.” “With people working remotely, it’s easy to lose touch with your team,” she says. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to stay in touch in order to keep your best talent.”
Advice for Leaders
One of the most impactful lessons she’s learned about leadership is that people don’t like to receive constructive criticism about past behavior that can’t be changed. “When giving feedback, talk about what could be done differently next time, because people are more willing and open, and they can actually change future behaviors.”