While top leaders subscribe to lifelong learning, so many agree that skepticism is the result of a saturated landscape amidst remedial, outdated or difficult-to-apply curriculum. We’re pleased to provide these 5 key rules to success, which will safeguard the leader-learning platform at all levels.
1. Get your top company authority involved and lighting the path.
Leaders must be seen learning, lifelong. Delivering leadership training not aligned with your top leaders’ practices can backfire by shining light on perceived problems. Leadership training done well not only improves leader effectiveness, but also emphasizes a culture of continuous improvement. While more than 16 effective leadership styles are profiled, a leader can only lead to the extent subordinates are willing to follow. Supervisors who are transparently incorrect or appear unsupported will lose team confidence fast.
In some companies, new hires may have received more formal leadership training than those to whom they report. Where this occurs, either the talented new hire then resigns or is forced out.
2. Address the majority who prefer interactive learning.
While learning styles differ among individuals, kinesthetic interactive learning outpaces auditory learning more than 2:1. Auditory learning is the least preferred learning style, consisting of lecture, listened instruction and/or audio-training. Leaders like to lead, and kinesthetic interaction shortens average time-to-learn. When learning style is unknown, kinesthetic, visual or combination methods are best deployed as a default. The most prolific leadership training is facilitated by subject experts who can improvise.
3. When choosing a trainer, embrace that speaker and facilitator skills may be reverse-correlated.
Unless a panel discussion, the act of speaking in front of hundreds or thousands at a time is often accompanied by ability to disconnect from the audience and regurgitate a scripted presentation. Some speakers are more entertainers than subject masters, in which case Q&A may suffer. Entertainment most definitely has its place in the schemata of combination-method training; however, a memorable presentation must be followed by the answer to “How do I apply this information in my setting?” For boardroom-style training we recommend choosing a coach who is both subject master and assessor, capable to meaningfully answer unanticipated questions and tailor curriculum to learning needs.
4. Teach and deploy trilogy-training techniques.
Neuro-study tells us the average human mind must receive a message 3 times before long-term memory is invoked. Long-term memory has been statistically defined as only 20+ minutes’ duration. Leaders are no exception to this rule. In fact, as memory is impacted by attention and interest, studies prove that highly active brains become easily bored with routine and “old news.” Those charged with routine training are often found omitting information to trainees. We most efficiently overcome this gap by deploying a multiple of training and memory-enhancement methods to achieve our 3x. All leader-learning should not only consider the knowledge transfer to immediately trained leaders, but also a “train-the-trainer” approach.
5. Market leadership training as not only necessary but also a coveted employee benefit.
The benefit component can be easier to market when a third-party expert is secured. However, every investment into the team is in fact a benefit to be boasted. Effective leadership training creates transformational leaders and improves success for all. Top talent recognizes learning and development as a key benefit and motivating magnet.
Beyond these 5 key rules, leaders need regular refreshers and self-forgiveness in re-grounding to the basics while learning cutting edge findings. While leadership training needs to help leaders advance, leadership training also needs to refresh certain redundancies which the intelligent mind would otherwise prefer to move past. Custom adaptation is critical. Employment law, motivation, corrective action, personality styles, six-hat thinking, appreciative inquiry, situational leadership and so many more topics are integral to today’s landscape in leadership development.
Jessica Ollenburg, CMC, CPCM, is Managing Partner of Ollenburg LLC and former CEO of HRS, Inc., enjoying a 35+ year legacy with topic success. Delivering executive consulting relative to talent management, employment law and consulting Chief HR Officer solutions, Ollenburg LLC offers discounted programs to Starr Group clients. Please contact Ollenburg LLC for more information, including bios, methodology and sources of statistics published herein. www.OllenburgLLC.com, John@OllenburgLLC.com or 262.227.9333.