Leadership development helps employees build presence


An employer provides presence training to develop company leaders

American Hotel Register Company

As a premier global hospitality supplier, American Hotel Register Company provides a wide range of products and services to hotels, the military, healthcare organizations, academic institutions, and others. Offering innovative solutions that include full project management services, the company also guides customers on industry trends and strategic direction.

A family-owned company, American Hotel recognizes the importance of leadership development and investing in the long-term success of its associates. Each year, through its succession-planning process, the company identifies associates with high potential to participate in training programs designed to develop their leadership skills.

One of the company’s goals is to help high-potential associates develop presence. As Angela Korompilas, president and CEO of American Hotel, explained, “Presence embodies many traits — from projecting a confident and professional image amongst peers to having deep self-awareness and the capacity for empathy in working alongside others. Especially in our business, growing the values of presence in our associates is paramount to our success as an organization.”

To help meet this goal, American Hotel decided to pilot Presence Essentials in one of its leadership development programs. Developed by Pearson and The Ariel Group, an international training firm, Presence Essentials is an immersive online learning experience that enables organizations to develop the skills of presence in a scalable way. The pilot took place from November 2015 to June 2016.

American Hotel was pleased with the results of the pilot. The company’s strong learning culture, as well as the enthusiastic executive sponsorship of Korompilas and the rest of the leadership team, greatly contributed to the training’s success. The 13 associates, who had applied to the high-potential program, were also highly motivated to participate in the leadership development training.

Results of a survey conducted after the pilot showed the following:

  • 100 percent of the participants either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they would immediately be able to apply what they had learned when presenting to a group.
  • 100 percent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they would immediately be able to apply what they had learned in one-to-one interactions.
  • 84.6 percent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the experience was relevant to their career advancement.
  • 92.3 percent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the experience was relevant to the work challenges they face.

Amy Geltner, American Hotel’s organizational development leader, observed several behavioral shifts in participants after they had completed the professional development. For example, associates who leaned more toward an introvert type of personality found the mission on reaching out and networking extremely valuable and began to extend themselves more. In their presentations, associates showed a better sense of knowing their audience and relating to them.

Public speaking does not come naturally for me, and Presence Essentials gave me some nice practice, ways to focus on my delivery, and items to watch for.

Assistant Controller, American Hotel Register Company

One participant, a district sales manager who has worked for the company for eight years, applied to the leadership development program because she “wanted to be a better manager and hopefully be a leader someday.”

Reflecting on what she had gained from Presence Essentials, she said, “The two most impactful pieces of information I learned were to always be present and to get outside of my comfort zone in meetings.” She observed, “[Presence Essentials] has made me better at what I do and thus made it more enjoyable. I have a fantastic relationship with my team, and I believe it’s due to the knowledge I gained from the course.”

To learn more about how American Hotel invested in leadership development by providing training in presence, read the full success story.

Read the full success story

Presence Essentials

Presence Essentials

Developed in partnership with The Ariel Group, Presence Essentials is a scalable, online experience that incorporates theatre-based communication methods to enable your workforce to show up with impact, influence broad audiences, and create authentic interpersonal connections.
Learn more about Presence Essentials


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