What are leadership training programs?
Leadership training programs aim to provide the skills, tools, and behaviors to certain high potential employees who are expected to expand their capacity as leaders of a team. Most of the leadership programs may include two or more of the below components.
- Time management
- Goal setting and team management
- Handling conflicts and difficult situations
- Improving productivity
- Short-term and long-term business planning
- Horizontal integration with other teams
Many evolved organizations have leadership competency models that clearly define leadership qualities expected at various levels in the hierarchy. One of the main aims of any such organization is to ensure that leadership training modules are in sync with their leadership competency model.
What are the common methods of leadership training?
Leadership development training can be a formal 6-8 months training program or an on-going process with many modules dealing with different key areas. Most trainings are a combination of more than one method of imparting training.
- Executive coaching – Assigning a senior mentor (who is himself/herself a successful leader) as a guide to a trainee provides individual guidance.
- Classroom courses – Useful for educating trainees on various organizational policies and theoretical aspects of leadership.
- Experiential learning – Training different skills through role-plays, pilot projects and simulations to mimic different business situations and challenges trainees will face on the job.
- Out-door/ Fun activity session –The new-age methodology that involves teaming up trainees to finish tasks and groom their leadership skills in the process.
Why mid-level managers need it most?
Mid-level managers in any organization face multiple challenges in their roles like
- Do-your-tasks perfectly to Get-it-done perfectly
- Managing communication dynamics in the team
- Dealing with individual strengths and weaknesses of team members
- Setting goals and expectations for everyone
- Objective performance appraisal of team
- Managing clients/customers
- Working with other business functions to get the work done
- Hiring and firing for team
- Direct responsibility of business deliverables and many more.
A mid-level manager is someone who may still be grappling with the complexity of managing a team and direct responsibility of business results. Add to that, his/her individual personality traits and those of the team members and you have a perfect recipe for stress and low-productivity if not dealt with in the beginning itself. Many organizations, therefore, start giving leadership development training to potential employees even before they are given managerial roles.
How to make the most of it?
Companies spend a lot of money and business hours on leadership training programs for their managers. To ensure that they get the best results out of it, some of the things they can do is,
Set goals and milestones
For every training module, clear goals and milestones should be set that will help measure the success of the training and also help the participants know what they are expected to learn at the end of the training.
Aligning the trainings with companies ethos
All organizations have a set of ethics, policies and general behavior patterns that define its culture. Unless the trainings also include elements of accountability, ethical behavior and the company’s vision and mission, the trainee may constantly feel conflicted between the learnings and practical situations he/she faces on a day-to-day basis.
Including practical on-job application modules
3 to 6 months post the training, the program should also monitor and observe how the training is being applied by the manager on the ground. Measuring the impact of training is useful for the participant as well as help the training team improve the learning modules.