Planning your Leadership Skills Training and Development Goals
Thoughtful leadership is a crucial ingredient in running practically any organization. With solid and practical leadership skills, you can make effective decisions, nurture employees’ talents, abilities and more importantly, help the whole company feel like they are part of a bigger goal.
Different organizations and businesses have their own cultures and practices when it comes to leadership, however; it is conventionally known that all leadership positions involve influence, and a Leadership Development training program can help.
What is Leadership Training and Development?
Leadership skills training development is an essential part of every organization to allow for the organic growth of leadership within the organization, but also to manage the ongoing change that is present in every competitive organization. Leaders need to be well equipped to adapt to the changes resulting from challenges such as the continuing geographic challenge of remote work teams, increased globalization in competition, and generational differences which lead to differences in attitudes to work, changes in culture, and other factors.
Rise of Remote workers
The last few years have witnessed an increase in remote employees. According to many, this trend is set to stay with an increase in freelancers, contractors and previously based office employees who now work at home or a combination of in and out of the office. Many professionals that are searching for a new job are hesitant to accept a position based 100% in the office.
Many globally recognized organizations are exploring relocating to emerging markets. This change needs leaders to be well equipped to deal with diversity and handle teams from across the country, or from different nations.
The younger generations are rising to the challenges of this newly changed more global economy to take up leadership roles and bring on new ideas that redefine the workforce. Some of the new approaches and methods employed by this new group of leaders cannot support traditional forms of leadership or management organization; hence, the need for training to tackle the differences.
Finally, the importance of introducing leadership skills training and development is to fill leadership gaps. Several organizations struggle to find suitable candidates to fill vacant leadership roles, and when hiring for these positions often work with an executive search and placement firm.
Planning your Leadership Skills Training and Development Program
These programs are learning opportunities for individuals in and out of leadership positions. Here are a few tips to consider:
Assess and Identify talent
Various organizations have internal leadership development programs where you can choose a few individuals for a specific program. However, some are lacking in these formal programs. Consider identifying a few key individuals within your organization who would be suitable for this type of leadership development program.
Obtain buy-in from key stakeholders
For your leadership program to succeed, you need to obtain support from the majority of your senior leadership team. Ideally you will have an executive champion who will be able to support your leadership development program from the top of the leadership chain and pass that sense of importance through every level of the management organization.
Identify your leadership culture
Every organization has its unique approach when it comes to leadership and leadership development. These approaches are influenced by the organization's culture, mission, and needs. However, it's best to encourage those participating in the program to practice flexibility. This way, they can adapt to various and continually changing working environments.
Design the development plan
When designing your leadership development program, you should refer to your organization's subject matter. This will help you develop an appropriate program for the participants. Your program should consider various learning opportunities, including:
• Job shadowing
• Job rotation
• Professional development courses
• Self-paced micro-learning
• Leadership mentoring
Leadership Skills Training and Development Goals
For any leadership training and development program to succeed, each participant should have a set of goals they wish to improve. This could be accomplished by reflection or by leadership effectiveness surveys. Individual personality indicators such as DiSC may also be appropriate to help leaders identify their own approach to things such as directness, comfort with vulnerability, and other leadership traits. Here are a few goals to consider using at the initial stages of the program.
As a leader, you should be ready to listen to the input from every member of their team. A leader should also be able to create a forum where individuals can safely share their suggestions without fear.
One of the most important aspects of being a leader is being able to nurture other people's talents and to set an example for others. A leader should be able to identify leadership skills in a team member and help them grow their potential. Helping others is a crucial part of promoting a leadership culture within an organization. In most cases, this involves providing actionable and constructive feedback, coaching, and paying attention to how others handle challenging projects within the organization.
Openness to change
A leader should be open to new ideas and approaches. This way, they can learn new things that can prove invaluable when running the organization. Being open to new opportunities can help you both in the short and long term.
To succeed as a leader, an individual needs to demonstrate a high level of emotional intelligence. Major components of emotional intelligence include social regulation, self-awareness, social awareness, motivation, and self-regulation. With these skills, a leader can effectively manage stress, set goals, and make sound decisions.
Honesty and Accountability
A leader's credibility is tested to make them demonstrate their honesty, transparency, and accountability. For a leadership development program to succeed, it should develop honest leaders who can take responsibility for their actions.
These traits help build a bond of trust between the leader, the management, and the team members. Knowing one’s values and approach to honest and accountable leadership can help your leader increase their resilience. In turn, they may be able to build resilience throughout the organization by reinforcing this trait in the culture.
Planning a leadership development program will require you, as a learning and development professional, to build a solid set of courses and experiences based on your organization’s culture and priorities for the future. It will also require you to secure a champion or at least approval from executive members, managers, and others who will be part of developing a leadership training approach.
You will also need to find a way to help leaders and high potential individual contributors to acknowledge and understand their current leadership skills and capabilities in order to measure and grow their skills consciously in the future. To do this you may want to employ an index like DiSC or other team-based indicator such as 5 Behaviours of Successful Teams.
Want to get started planning your Leadership Development program, but not sure where to begin?
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