When designing a leadership development program, it is essential to consider leaders’ specific challenges in your current environment. Your program should start by equipping leaders with the skills, tools, and behaviors they need to confidently lead others and drive the performance of their team or organization. Here are five skills to include in a comprehensive leadership development program:
Communication plays a vital role in our lives every day. To be an effective leader, you need to have strong communication skills. While communication can be learned through reading and watching videos, practicing is the best way to improve communication skills. As a leader, communication happens all the time – in presentations, one-on-one meetings, phone calls, text messages, and emails. By optimizing communication skills, leaders will be better prepared to handle any situation that arises. With communication training, leaders will learn how to better relate to their team, build relationships, and resolve conflict. Leaders can set themselves up for professional and personal success by investing in communication training.
Good leaders know that accountability is key to success. Successful leaders must be able to hold their teams accountable for their actions. So leaders must be able to define what accountability means and ensure that their teams meet the set standards. Leaders must also be willing to listen to feedback to learn from their mistakes. Accountability is essential for any leader who wants to be successful. By training leaders on this concept, you can ensure they can be accountable and produce the needed results.
Coaching is one of the best methods leaders can leverage to release the full potential of their direct reports. Coachable moments happen every day, and a leader with solid coaching skills can seize these moments and turn them into valuable learning experiences. Coaching is a skill that can go a long way in positively influencing employee engagement and productivity. Yearly reviews are good, but employees today want real-time feedback, motivation, and guidance, and leaders must effectively provide those things. Leaders who are effective coaches create trusting relationships with their employees where employees feel safe to take risks, experiment, and grow. These same coaching relationships encourage employees to openly share their ideas and suggestions for how you can improve things, which leads to process improvements and a more engaged workforce. To be an effective coach, leaders need to listen more than they speak, ask probing questions that help employees think through problems and issues, and provide honest feedback that is timely and specific. Coaching can profoundly impact an organization when it is done well by helping leaders develop their staff talent and position the company for long-term success.
- Influence and Negotiation
The best leaders are not the ones who command with authority but who inspire, persuade and encourage others to make their vision a reality. By learning to be a strong influencer and fair negotiator, leaders can build relationships, align priorities and find a win-win that leads to delivered results. Rather than demanding that an employee do something because of hierarchy, leaders can use influence and negotiation to build relationships, align priorities and find a win-win that leads to delivered results. In doing so, they will realize it is not about who has the most power but how to best influence employees to achieve the desired results.
- Change Management
Change is a constant in the business world. Companies grow and change direction, employees come and go, and new technologies appear almost daily. As a result, leaders need to be prepared to manage change effectively. Change management training can help leaders provide vision and strong leadership during any season of change. It can also help them capitalize on these times of change to improve performance. When change is managed effectively, it can be an opportunity for growth and innovation. When mishandled, it can lead to chaos and confusion. By including change management training in leadership development programs, companies can ensure that their leaders meet the challenges of change head-on.
Many factors contribute to a company’s success, but leadership is one of the most important. Strong leadership with the right skills can help shape company culture, drive engagement and motivation, and improve employee performance. Leadership development is essential for any organization that wants to achieve lasting success. By developing these skills listed above in your emerging leaders, you can create a strong leadership foundation that will lead to better outcomes for your company.
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