Leadership Training – Coaching Teams with Simulation Games

Team works together in meeting room on a leadership project

Using simulation games in leadership training is a sure way to coach your team to success. The skills needed for leadership don’t come naturally to everyone, but developing leadership capabilities in your team is possible with the right training.

Leadership training comes in many guises, each with their own unique positives and drawbacks. Simulation games offer a different approach that can bring fresh perspectives to your team. In this article, we’re going to be exploring:

  • The skills that make a good leader
  • Different types of leadership training available
  • The benefits of simulation games to drive leadership development

What skills does a good leader need?

Before looking at what leadership coaching your team needs, it’s worth taking a step back to understand what a good leader actually looks like. Here’s our take on what you want to coach your leaders to achieve:

  • Clarity of vision – understanding the bigger picture that goes into decisions
  • Decisiveness – making decisions based on all available information and with purpose
  • Courage – making bold moves without undue hesitation
  • Passion – truly caring about the task and having a connection
  • Humility – being willing to ask for help and admit fault when needed

These naturally occur in some people and are not present in others. Wherever your leaders fall on that spectrum, leadership training will hone and distil their best qualities.

What leadership training options are available?

Investing in training your leaders will pay massive dividends in the future. Having strong leadership in your business is going to drive you forward towards achieving your strategic goals.

With so many options for leadership training available, it’s worth us spending a moment looking at the options:

  • In house training has your current leaders work with the ones you’re grooming to take the reins. It’s a very personal approach but time consuming for your existing leadership team.
  • Technology-led training such as online courses through training providers. They’re a cost-effective option but can lack the industry- or business-specific knowledge.
  • Live seminars and workshops take your future leaders offsite to a training day. You have a lot of control over who you send your team to listen to but the day can feel like a lecture.
  • Private consultation brings in an outside expert to assess your leadership training needs and rolls out a plan. It’s very targeted but also comes with a high cost.
  • Academic training sees your leaders attend business and management classes at college or online. The training will be thorough but can lack practical knowledge.
  • Simulation games gather your team together to solve challenges specific to your business needs. Sometimes it might feel a bit too “gamey”, but they allow your team to practice their new skills, be led by experts, and target all leadership elements.

How can I use simulation games for leadership training?

Simulation games are used to gamify the coaching process. Rather than hours in classrooms, in front of computer screens, or listening to speeches, simulator games give your leaders hands-on experience to develop their skills.

Excelerate offers simulation games for the banking and finance industry that are led by experts in the field. In a nutshell, participants from your business will split into teams and be given a set of challenges. The teams need to manipulate a range of business drivers to solve complex problems throughout the day, interspersed with expert discussions and real-world examples.

Training utilising simulation games throughout the day offers a broad perspective on an industry, from regulatory requirements to market forces and financial measures. Your team will be able to understand how to consider the whole industry when making their future choices.

Taking part in simulation-based training requires lots of real-world decisions to be made by each team. It gives everyone a chance to understand the consequences of their decisions without jeopardising a real business – giving everyone the confidence to be decisive.

Being bold is encouraged on the training day, in the simulation game. Teams will rarely be given full facts in a scenario and will have to exercise judgement, based on what is known. It’s ok to make mistakes in the simulated environment but the impacts are clearly visible, building courage that they can get things right.

The team element allows leaders taking part in the training day’s simulation games to be able to ask for help and recognise where their knowledge is lacking. By working alongside likeminded people, a sense of passion for the job will develop – making work feel fun is a great motivator.

The take home

Leadership training is there to hone the essential skills that every leader needs. There are plenty of types of leadership training available, but they can often feel stale and aren’t always industry specific. Using simulation-based training for leadership hits all of the areas you want to harness through training targeted to solve the issues your business and leadership team face.

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