Training your leadership team can be an intimidating prospect. After all, you could be placing your leaders in a place with someone they have never met for the purpose of being questioned about how they deal with pressure and how they react to conflict in the workplace.
And, if you’re leading a team of leaders, as so many of us are these days, it’s even more challenging because you have to make sure that your employees understands what that type of leadership is all about. The interactions between leaders being different to that between the person running the team and the employees under them. Think of it as the difference between the commanders in an army and a captain and the troops under their command.
So, what is the best way to train your leadership team? As you can imagine, there is a lot of ground to cover here and it might seem like a lot to do in one go. After all, there are so many different issues and contexts to bear in mind when it comes to training any leadership team.
However, there are some universal truths as to what works and what doesn’t.
Keep It Short And Sweet.
You can’t start off any training when everyone is exhausted. A full day of leadership training is hard on anyone, and a weekend training programme can be truly exhausting. So, keep it short and sweet, but intense. It is also vital to ensure you give all the attendees some time to process all that they have learnt, as only then will they be able to integrate it into their work.
Train In a Manner That Matches The World They Live And Work In
One of the best ways you can train your leaders (and their teams) in both their own skills, and how they can support one another, is to create some realistic scenarios that are as close to the real world as possible.
You want to get as real as possible, but you don’t want to exhaust anyone to the point that they cannot take any more or make them feel overwhelmed. So make sure all attendees understands what is going to happen and take the time to go over the whole process before the it starts. You also have to allow some time to have a good debrief afterward.
It could be that everyone on the course will make too many errors in the first few times you use this ‘real life scenario’, so take the time to go over the process and show them all how it all works and make sure everyone has a chance to practice. This will also help the leaders as they will be able to check on how the other team members (and/or the other leaders in the process) react and how each helps the other members recover.
You’ll gain a huge amount of information on how your staff operate under pressure, and you can start to see how each member of the team supports the others.
Plus, remember to break the ice and bring some fun and levity to the proceedings as this will help everyone feel more comfortable and help them take on board the details of new skills they’re learning.
Start Training The Right Way.
There are a few ways to go about this, but you want to commence your training in the right frame of mind, one where everyone participating knows what is going to happen and why the training is taking place. Basically, where all ‘are’ and where they hope to reach. So have each team member or leader open up on what they feel about the process, and what they hope to achieve and what their concerns are.
Make Sure Everyone Understands What The Training Is Supposed To Achieve
When anyone starts to learn new skills, it’s easy for everyone to lose track of the bigger picture. Let everyone know that the training is designed to help increase productivity and their ability to work together.
Demonstrate To Your People Why These Skills Are Important.
You’ve got all the team in the room, they’re practising these new skills, and they’re probably thinking that they have done a pretty good job. But now it’s time to get to the nitty gritty. It’s time to talk about why these skills are important, and what impact they can have.
You should ask all to come up with an example from the last week where they would have liked to they had these skills, and why this would have made them react in a different way.
You can also ask them to share one thing they’re going to do more effectively in the future with these new skills and how they plan to hold each other accountable. It is vital that this time is taken as it creates a lasting impact, one that goes beyond the training material itself.
Get Expert Help
At some point, you will probably need to get some external help to help you train your leadership team and their staff. This can be especially helpful if you manage a large organisation where it is difficult to construct an effective training programme.
While you can certainly train your staff without help, it’s not always the most effective or efficient way to go about it. You can save a deal of time and money by partnering with someone who has a proven process.
Remember you’ve got a lot to do as a leader, so why not get help from someone who’s been there before to help you train your staff? They’ve seen the pitfalls, they know the challenges, and they’re ready to help you go down the right path.
And while you are bringing in this external help, why not go down a different path, and select a training company with a different approach to the problem, one that uses simulations that really do mimic real life situations, the sort that you want your staff to be better able to cope with, a company like Prendo?
They understand the challenges your business faces and have proved that that the best learning system there is to address these challenges is by using advanced simulations. They know that people ‘learn by doing’ and that complex skills can only be understood by (a) making quick decisions or taking actions, (b) experiencing the consequences, and then (c) figuring out what happened and why, and then doing it all again, i.e. practicing.
Leadership training is an important, but often overlooked, aspect of building a successful business. But it can be very hard to plan and execute, especially if you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do it properly. Fortunately, there are many ways to get the help you require, and the best way to do that is to start with a clear understanding on what you want to achieve.