Where To Begin
Choosing the best leadership training program for your needs can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of companies all with varying approaches and methodologies. Leadership training is not only important, but it’s also personal. It’s an opportunity for a team or organization to look at themselves, admit there’s room for improvement, and face challenges together all with the hope of realizing growth and change.
The decision to participate in leadership training to make improvements is always a good idea, so if you’re researching programs, you’re already off to a great start. In many cases, this first step is the most challenging. Realizing your team is in need of outside help is a big deal. Here are 6 tips for choosing the best leadership training program for deciding what to do next.
You’ve identified the need for your team to participate in leadership training, but why? What are the specific challenges your team is facing? If you’re unsure, look for a leadership training program that offers discovery services. Ideally, you want to invite a professional into your daily working environment so they can see the obstacles your team faces first-hand. In many cases, the real challenges your team is facing may not be obvious to you but a 3rd party observer will be able to identify the root cause right away.
Interview the company or the person that will be conducting your training. Get to know their background and inquire about their experience working with other individuals or organizations within your industry. Give them an overview of your team dynamics and what your challenges might be. Interview as if you are hiring this person and have them experience any culture exercises that you may run candidates through during the recruitment process. The goal is to confirm that this person will understand your current culture and inspire both yourself and your team.
Take time to outline the expectations that you have for your leadership development investment. Keep in mind that identifying challenges is different than outlining expectations and do a sanity check to be sure that your expectations are realistic. For example, if you’re expecting to have someone else come in and fix all of your challenges in one session, your expectations may be unrealistic. Share your expectations with the potential instructor and ensure you’re both on the same page with the expected outcome.
Leadership Training Details
Discuss the components of the leadership training program with the instructor prior to participating in the program. Understand exactly what the team will be learning and how it will help support your expectations. Become familiar with the types of leadership tools that your team will be exposed to. The idea isn’t to nitpick the program, but you should get a clear understanding of what the program consists of since you are making an investment.
This is a big one. Remember – your team will only get what they put into a leadership training program. Leadership training is a big first step, however, there is a must larger commitment that goes along with making improvements and driving change within any team. What is your team doing to prepare for training? Are they present and actively participating during training? What do they do with the information after training is complete? The point is that leadership training is a much larger commitment than simply attending the session so look to your team to dedicate not only to the experience but to whatever happens after training is over.
Many times participants leave a leadership training program and they feel as if they are on Cloud 9. They are excited about the experience and they have a handful of new tools at their disposal that they’re ready to start using. Preparation for training and the training itself are major components of making improvements, however, it’s what you do with the information that is key. How do you plan on implementing everything you learned into your everyday? What can you do to keep your team motivated to improve? Change is one of the most difficult challenges professionals face, so having an implementation plan in place to help follow-up is the most important aspect of leadership training. If you aren’t sure how to put one together, the company or leadership professional you’re working with should be able to provide these services.
Any opportunity to improve is a good idea and the more opportunities you give your team to grow is even better. The best leadership training program is the one your team is inspired by and can be committed to.
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