Increase Your Leadership Effectiveness Through Skill and Awareness – Leadership Trainer Barcelona

I was leading an online workshop training in English with one of my trainers in Barcelona yesterday for a US-based company with offices in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia. I don’t really consider myself a trainer, but more a facilitator because I believe that training or educating people have two components: skill and awareness.

Skill is ‘’how you do it’’

Awareness is ‘’are you willing to do it’’

A trainer or a teacher can teach a skill. A facilitator and coaching bring awareness. We need both. However, we have been trained too much and most people lack awareness and the ability to think.

One of the most important skills of training people is awareness and we do that through questioning. Why?

Because questioning leads to greater awareness. Awareness leads to insight. And insight leads to new behavior.

Firstly, if you are training someone and you want to change their behavior, you don’t only want to teach them the skill but also the awareness of why they need to change.

Most people don’t learn when they are told what to do – remember in school, how boring it was when the teacher talked AT you the whole day, and how little you actually remember?

Secondly, awareness is different for everyone.

Different people will ‘see’ or recognize different things, depending on their level of awareness.

When I run a workshop on helping leaders discover their personal values, this is not about skill. This is about awareness.

What does authenticity mean, for example? This is not a skill. To be authentic is to be aware of who you are inside. Awareness of your values, awareness of your thoughts, your fears, how you see yourself…. awareness about your life journey…awareness about your intuition, your inner voice….

Every leader, every manager, every employee has different values. So in order for you to maximize your effectiveness in work and life, knowing your personal values are essential. Awareness will help you discover those; and as a facilitator, I bring them to the conscious level. Knowing how to use your values is key for personal effectiveness in work and life.

Training and development in your life and your career always consist of two elements. The internal world and the external world. It’s that simple.

Do you want to increase efficiency and productivity within a company? Help your leaders align their internal and external world.

Operating in the external world, we already know how to do it. Achieve business results, develop a business strategy, reach deadlines, execute tasks etc.


Operating in the internal world, we often DON’T know how to do it. We’ve never been shown how.


Now, this is where the gap exists between what you focus on, from ‘’your results’’ to ‘’enjoying the journey of getting there’’.

The journey of getting there means the journey of least resistance, the journey of reducing stress, the journey of knowing who you are, the journey of making the right decisions for yourself in your life, your team, and the company. To connect with people heart to heart instead of office politics.

Discovering that internal journey requires awareness through executive coaching.

This leads to the current growing trend for many high-level executives looking for a coach or a mentor on their journey later on in their careers. Because leaders have the skills but they begin to realize they lack awareness and true insight or vision.

Most of my workshop training in Barcelona is now done in English and Spanish. Before when I used to live in China, I did in Chinese but I gave up because of the intensity of the cultural difference and understanding. A more common language such as English would remove a lot of cultural barriers.

Because when you train or coach someone the cultural aspect is very important as well. We live in an interconnected world much more than ever before.

In Barcelona or when I travel to teach, more than ever I have intercultural teams in my workshops. Intercultural does not just mean people from different countries. It means people with a different values system. People with different behavioral patterns and people with different mindsets.

The question is how do you bring these teams together to maximize efficiency?Trainer Barcelona

Yes, skill is important, but which one is more important? Awareness. Why?

Because if there is no awareness a person in Northern Europe will never understand why Spanish people have lunch at 14 pm, take a siesta, and have meetings for 3 or 4 hours. Or a person in America will not understand why he will never get a direct response from a person in China about why a report, a shipment, or deadline is delayed and never give a straight answer.

Awareness helps to eliminate these barriers. Awareness is about observing, it is about understanding, it is about not being attached to your own thoughts and be willing to step into and understand the other person’s shoes and perspective. So I would first work on awareness and then train the skill on how to communicate.

Because imagine you are communicating just based on skill without awareness about how the other person feels. This is what we call manipulation, politics, thinking about one’s own agenda only. Trying to get your own needs met without considering the other person’s perspective or needs. This results in distrustful relationships, and a lack of trust.

Some people do this, and the interesting part is that it’s not necessarily to hurt the other person but because there is a gap within the leader that he or she needs to get filled. Some time ago in Barcelona, I was coaching a leader from a European company to increase his self-awareness. His business results were excellent, he had solutions for most problems, he was very knowledgeable in his area of expertise, and very successful. The only issue was that he could not connect with people in his team on an emotional level. When he was a child his mother and father were emotionally absent.

So all emotions he experienced during childhood and growing up, he kept inside of him. He never learned to express those emotions, or how to listen to them or to know why they are important. So for him to have authentic heart-to-heart communication was very difficult. Mentally he tried but emotionally he couldn’t. This reflected in his private life by having relationship issues with his partners that had changed over the years, as well as in his career with his team. There was a lack of trust and there were people leaving the team constantly because they did not feel emotionally engaged, acknowledged or understood.

He had the skills to communicate but he lacked the awareness to connect with people on a heart-to-heart level.

Here is an interesting video that Brene Brown created, well known for her work on vulnerability.

So back to the leader, his case is not alone. When I started as a leadership trainer 15 years ago one of the first training I did was on Emotional Intelligence. Understanding and listening to your own emotions. Acknowledging them and being able to embrace and accept them was one of the first things I started teaching. Later on, as I became a facilitator I focused more on deep questioning to help leaders discover their true essence, emotionally and spiritually, and how to communicate to others.

I used emotional intelligence to coach this leader and it took him 6 months to completely change his leadership style. He had to learn to become aware of his emotions on a daily basis. Not an easy task if you have been ignoring those emotions for 40 years. Next, he had to learn how these emotions affected his behavior and finally the impact it had on his relationships in his private life and the company. And finally, coach him around adopting new behavior where he was true to himself and also be able to build trust with his team, to allow others to have other opinions and acknowledge them. Employee turnover decreased and performance improved. Simply by working on the awareness of the leader.

Emotional intelligence, effective communication, managing people, presentation skills, cross-cultural understanding, sales, and negotiation, all consist of two areas SKILL and AWARENESS.

Without skill, the tools are missing.

Without awareness, the emotional part is missing.

In order to be truly effective and successful in life and business, both awareness and skill have to be integrated into one person.

So, if you are looking for a facilitator or leadership trainer in Barcelona or internationally to help facilitate team meetings in English or Spanish, you can reach out to us at the contact page so we can better understand your needs and see how we can help you.

Raf Adams

Raf Adams

The Suited Monk provides guidance on how to live and lead a good life. This 2-minute questionnaire will help you discover where you are on your life journey. Take your free check-up here now.

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I am a life mentor and philosopher and write thought pieces and provide perspective on life and leadership to help people to increase the quality of their decision making. By doing so, achieving mental, emotional, and spiritual balance be more effective and make a positive difference for themselves, their teams, company, and society. If you want to fastrack your results right now, click here to get the Suited Monk book or provide it as a gift for a friend or colleague. Yes, I want it!



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