Training employees to become better managers or executives is an important part of maintaining a strong leadership pipeline. Without this type of development, an organization can be left with leadership gaps that result in decreased productivity, unintentional shifts in the company culture, and potentially lost profits. That is why it is crucial to address certain leadership topics throughout an employee’s development, in order to improve communication skills and team dynamics.
The types of leadership topics that are most relevant will depend on factors like where an individual is on their development path and the foundation of skills that has already been created. Consider including these ideas as you develop your leadership development program.
For those individuals who are early in their journey to becoming a leader, learning how to effectively communicate is critical. Learning and implementing techniques for active listening is the first step in avoiding misunderstandings and overcoming roadblocks. As they continue to grow into leadership positions that require managing people, they can achieve greater impact by learning how to solicit and provide feedback to improve performance. Senior leaders benefit from learning how to create and deliver the consistent messages that will promote a unified culture.
Why leaders engage: Everybody faces challenges that can be resolved using strong communication skills. Leaders in training want to know how they can be better at communicating effectively so that they can generate the results they expect from their teams.
One of the many strengths that makes an individual a great leader is the talent for developing brilliant strategies. However, in order to be effective, this skill must be paired with the ability to execute. Learning how to implement smart strategies through creating plans, tracking milestones, and leveraging innovation enables leaders to demonstrate that their strategies are valid by delivering results.
Why leaders engage: Teaching leaders how to put their strategies into action empowers them to develop new initiatives and gives them confidence in their ability to bring them to reality.
3. Leadership During Transitions
One of the most challenging times for any organization is a period of transition. Whether it is a change in leadership, a merger, or opening a new branch office, employees crave structure, knowledge, and security in their roles. With the right approach and solid change management skills, leaders can continue to drive productivity during transitional times.
Why leaders engage: This type of training is always relevant but is particularly powerful before a planned transition. Having a clear approach allows executives to respond to change with confidence and poise.
4. Empowering Others
All leaders must delegate tasks, both large and small. In addition to knowing which tasks are appropriate for the right people, a good leader also has the skills to engage individuals in the decision-making process so that they feel empowered to do whatever is required to produce the best results. Leaders who know how to empower others unleash the full potential of their teams.
Why leaders engage: Leaders who focus on optimizing results want to learn how to get the most from their teams. Although they might know how to maximize their own productivity, they might not yet know how to encourage the same in others.
5. Team Performance
By its very nature, a leadership role requires an individual to guide other people. Different personalities, work ethics, skill sets, and other factors contribute to the many challenges a leader might face when trying to improve team performance. Having the practical skills to overcome these various hurdles enables a leader to both help individuals grow and foster higher levels of collaboration.
Why leaders engage: Effectively leading teams is an ongoing process that requires a broad but refined skill set in order to handle the wide range of situations that will arise.
Development programs for emerging leaders, managers, and executives can include many types of leadership topics. Select the ones that make the most sense for everyone depending on their career level, the challenges they currently face, and the journey you expect them to take as they continue to grow as leaders.