The “tops” do not have it. Top Managers often do not have enough time but their tasks are very important. So they need to learn a lot and in a record time.
For example, top management of one of the largest Russian banks ordered a training course on communication for the management team. All participants could only be gathered in one place for 4 hours and they asked to fit in as much information as possible. Previously, none of the participants were trained in these particular skills. To solve this problem, it was necessary, for example, to replace all problematic exercises with video illustrations from famous films, in order to convey the importance or the absurdity of some idea within 30-40 seconds.
The “tops” think, act, and emotionally react quicker than other participants. It can be both the reason and the consequence of their demanding position.
It is important to keep the pace during training. By the way, the above-mentioned example illustrates this really well: video clips wouldn’t have helped to go through that amount of information in 4 hours if it was not for the very fast work pace of the participants.
At any training course, the coach may face a strong leadership position of one or several participants, as well as the reaction of the others to this leadership. And at any training session, the coach needs to keep the initiative and manage the role structure of the group. But only at a training session for the “tops” the coach might get a group full of leaders, each one of which has something to say on the subject and something to object to it. Without coach’s superior ownership of the initiative, the process will slow down and the course will never reach its goal.
The more successful experience is, the more likely a person is to rely on it. But the truly new knowledge must contradict the experience, cause cognitive dissonance and discomfort. The “tops” naturally have quite a lot of successful experience in their background. Thus, the cognitive dissonance can be quite palpable. And taking into account the leadership described above, one can vividly imagine the reaction of such participants to information which they disagree with. A coach who cannot master the work with the resistance of the participants should not even come close to such groups. Because many techniques that help simply "crush resistance” in other groups will not work here.
The “tops” immediately try out any tool learned during the training in their company. Others do that too, of course. But only “tops” can transform a practice into a real session with real decision making.
For example: during the training session on planning for the management of a trading network, in the course of studying network planning using the Gantt chart the “tops” used one of their projects that they just started for practice. While practicing, the participants saw gaps in their plans and got the idea to bring the planning to full clarity and take it as an operating plan, taking advantage of the fact that the whole board of directors was present.
For this, they sacrificed a number of planned topics but they were very pleased with the result.
Unlike other categories of participants, the “tops” identify themselves with the company and enjoy all the rights of a customer. If they come up with some interesting idea, they can easily suggest including it in the training directly during the course.