Leadership development: Making Training Better

September 6, 2017 by Wally Bock

Leadership development programs depend on training, but that simple phrase can lead us astray. I realized that recently when I read the following in Kevin Eikenberry’s article: “New Training Strategies for a New Day.”

“I was asked to write about “new training strategies for today’s workforce,” I agreed to do so and hence the title of this article. The confession is that it is the wrong title. If we focus only on training we will, as history has found, chase after bright and shiny “new” ideas (typically new technologies) and often be left disappointed. When, however we focus on ways to apply the principles of learning and support real learning (and in our case, that means skill and behavior change in the workplace).”

If we want to make training a more effective part of leadership development, we must concentrate on learning, not training. Then we should lift our eyes from “training” and consider what happens before and after the training.

Leadership development and leadership learning

Training is important, but if it stands alone it doesn’t do much good. So, before we send someone off to a training program, the aspiring leader should have some development objectives tied to the training. The aspiring leader’s manager, mentor, or coach can help sharpen the specific learning objectives.

When an aspiring leader completes a training program, he or she must put the learning to work on the job. The aspiring leader’s manager can help with debriefing and by assuming the role of an accountability partner to apply learning to the job.

Leadership development to accelerate on-the-job learning

Effective training can help an aspiring leader accelerate his or her development. To make that happen, sharpen learning objectives before attending training. Then help apply learning once the aspiring leader is back on the job.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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