Leadership training programs – choosing the right one

Leader talking to team

Your leaders are the very core of your business. They drive success through motivating their teams, making effective decisions, and understanding your business. Leadership training programs will embed the right skills into the people who need them.

Leadership isn’t static and your business needs to constantly focus on leadership development to stay ahead. There are so many options for leadership training and coaching, how do you choose the right one?

To help you make the right decision for the leaders in your business, we’re going to be looking at:

  • The different types of leadership training available
  • The hard and soft skills you can expect your leaders to learn
  • What practical elements you should demand from your training program

What options do I have for leadership training programs?

You can train your leaders in lots of different ways. There’s no perfect answer and it’ll depend on your business needs and the leaders you want.

The main types of training options available to you are:

  • Academic learning – sending your leaders back into a classroom to learn theory. It gives a solid theoretical grounding but can be disengaging.
  • Seminars and workshops – booking offsite meetings for your leaders allows them to network across the business and industry but can be expensive with few actions to takeaway.
  • Technology led – your team can engage in remote training across your multiple sites and you get clear reporting of outcomes. However, you may need to invest in devices.
  • In house training – on the job training can be effective to get leaders to embed themselves quickly in the business, although achieving consistency can be hard.

What should my leaders learn when they receive leadership coaching?

Being a good leader is a mix of soft and tangible skills. They can be taught to most people – leadership isn’t something we’re born with. You should be looking for leadership development programs that focus on different areas of leadership to get the best out of your team.

We’ve boiled it down to five key things you want to be sure your team will learn as they undertake the training you choose:

  1. Coaching skills will mean they can help everyone they lead to improve with strong guidance.
  2. Accountability gives your leaders good decision-making skills.
  3. Change management will teach leaders to follow markets and develop business acumen.
  4. Influence and negotiations ensures your leaders can bring their team along with them.
  5. Communication skills are vital to getting your strategy across to everyone in the business.

Be sure to look at exactly what skills you can expect your leaders to return to your office with following their training. You shouldn’t be investing in a motivational speaker plus crafts and puzzles to focus on teamwork.

How should good leadership training programs be delivered?

Once you understand what your leaders are going to learn, it’s important to know how. Leadership training needs to be fun but with a serious message. It also needs to be engaging and delivered with practical experiences.

You need to make sure that your leadership training will:

  • Focus on practical and actionable outcomes
  • Be specific to your industry
  • Involve every level of leadership from junior managers to the C-suite
  • Have strong follow up options available
  • Take in a diverse range of talent from across the business

When you use simulation training for your leaders, you are hitting every expectation for your training program. Teams are organised from a cross-section of the business to encourage networking and are tasked with making decisions for a simulated business.  

Together, each team of leaders must work through scenarios and watch as key industry indicators change with their decisions. As well as being a fun and engaging way to learn about the industry, it embeds skills like decision making and taking strategic goals into account.

Conclusion

Your leaders need to feel valued so that they engage with your business. Investing in their knowledge and skills will foster a positive relationship between employee and employer and should also give a recognisable return on investment.

Choose your leadership training program wisely. Make sure the training that you offer will improve your team and your business. Leadership development isn’t just about strong, motivational speaking – you want clear results and a better group of leaders. This will in turn, lead teams to deliver better quality outcomes.

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