Training and Developing Leaders and Leadership

By: Bart Icles

Different organizations roll out leadership training programs to their employees and a lot of outlines of leadership training and development programs are available for use. However, a question remains: what should leadership training and development programs really include?
As with any activity, it would be helpful to start a leadership training and development program with icebreakers and warm up activities. Icebreakers like The Magic Wand, Marooned, The Interview, Who Did That?, The ADDIE Game (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation), and Finish the Sentence usually help clear the way for learning to come about through making learners feel more comfortable by making them engage in conversations. There are also motivators or activities intended to help stimulate learners to engage in the training proper.
The bulk of the leadership training and development program should focus on the different concepts that surround leadership. These include concepts on leadership such as the different approaches that leaders take to address different situations, the kind of leadership that they assume, culture and climate, people and mission, relationship with others, self assessment, leadership matrix, and others. Human behavior should also be part of the discussion as this is essential in determining how to motivate different types of persons.
Then, you can start focusing on different leadership and management tasks such as leading, directing, communicating, and motivating. Making and implementing visions and engaging in coaching activities are integral parts of leading. When discussing direction, you must take into consideration the importance of asking the right questions. The Johari Window is effective in showing people that communication occurs in two levels: overt and covert. It also discusses how people view the two levels of the communication process (arena, faade, blind spot, and unknown).
A sensitive part in any leadership training and development program is motivating. Discussing motivation often incites more conflict instead of developing understanding. When discussing motivation, it is crucial to understand what people want from their jobs, the importance of positive reinforcement, the effect of mistakes and blame, how to identify performance problems, effective confrontation counseling, and how to go about performance appraisals.
In any leadership training and development program, it is vital to remember that beliefs and values, leadership styles, teamwork, diversity, time management, change, and organizational behavior as elements that should not be left out. Although there is no perfect leadership training and development program, it is always possible for an organization to come up with one that would be most effective in enhancing the skills of their leaders and improving the kind of leadership that they support.

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