3 Ways To Maximize The Benefits Of Leadership Skills Training
- By Andre Boykin
Studies show that only a small percentage of what is taught in leadership skills training classes is ever actually implemented. Individuals get aggravated when they feel as if they have squandered their time and money. Moreover, companies miss out due to the fact they now have individuals in leadership jobs that are lacking in leadership skills.
To maximize the benefits of the training the challenge becomes taking the knowledge acquired in the leadership skills training and actually using the new skills on the job.
For the most part leadership skills training is without a doubt concentrated on building up competencies, such as, communication, scheduling and also organizing, delegation, dealing with conflict, etc. There are actually very good text books and training programs to help develop these competencies. In order for any proficiency to become developed, it is important to determine the outcomes which will be accomplished as an outcome of the improved skill. For example, when the manager learns to make improvements in delegating, the outcomes might be measured in:
- Team meeting work deadlines
- Improved internal and external client services
- Employee development and retention
- Decreased overtime
Correlating a competency to a measurable result improves in relevancy and thus promotes new behaviors.
A number of prestigious and expensive leadership training courses provide a one week intensive program. Usually executives regarded as, rough around the edges, are sent to the intensive training to find out exactly how to be better with people. The staff anxiously waits for their newly transformed manager to return. Typically the first few days the manager seems to have changed. Situations which once would send them into a tail spin are treated calmly. However, after a few days, there are indicators that the former boss is back! And, inside of a month, the only things that remain from the leadership training are the manuals and certificates!
What went wrong? There was no follow-up plan! Without follow-up from an internal or external coach, the benefits from the intensives are lost. Reinforcement makes all of the difference in the world!
It's extremely difficult for anyone to change habits and behaviors that they have developed over a lifetime in a one week. Ongoing discussions, reflections, and coaching provide the reinforcement needed to allow the new behaviors to take root.
Finally, make sure the executive team is emulating the behaviors that you want your new leaders to model. Commonly, newly promoted managers are informed they need to develop their leadership abilities to make certain that they can be successful in their new role.
Enthusiastically, the new manager hurries off to get leadership skills training, read books, and tune in to webinars. But the truth is, if the actions of the senior management team are dysfunctional and improper, the new manager will be unable to put into action the newly acquired leadership skills. The role models are not modeling the desirable behaviors!
Imagine a student is taught in school to share and be considerate. Then the student comes home to an abusive and harassing family. What behavior might you expect to have from that student?
As a professional, it's essential to be committed to continuous improvement by ensuring that skills can be linked to results. Training needs to be succeeded by coaching and mentoring. If top leadership emulates the sought after behaviors, the financial and time commitment invested in leadership skills training will pay off in big ways.