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The Ten Commandments of Finding the Right Leadership Skill Training
By Joel Garfinkle
Most leading businesses invest in executive leadership training of some sort. But before spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on leadership training programs, here are 10 no-nonsense commandments you should read, study, and bookmark in your portable tablet to save your employees from spiraling down into the deep pits of leadership training hell.
Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Not Pretend Thou Art All-Knowing
If you’re the HR manager in charge of sourcing a leadership training program, don’t assume you know exactly what the company needs. Speak to department managers to get their feedback on pressing issues they come across in the workplace. Talk to employees on all rungs of the corporate ladder to learn what can help them (and the firm) produce better leaders.
Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Etch Out Thine Vision
With your research done, connect the dots and figure out what type of leadership training will work best for your staff. For example, if your research uncovered that employees lack technical skills, perhaps a skill training leadership course could work, or if you found that managers lack direction and insight, a strategic planning course might be the route to go.
Commandment #3: Thou Shalt Know Your Audience
The leadership skill training course you choose must match the person who will be attending the training. For new employees, perhaps an introductory skill-based training program will suffice. For advanced executives, a course that skims the surface might prove to be too basic, resulting in a waste of their time and your money.
Commandment #4: Thou Shalt Ask About How the Course is Delivered
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of leadership training courses available today. You can pick from online video courses to live teleconferences, webinars to seminars and small boardroom workshops to massive conference room events. If you have a small office, a corporate boardroom could work. For training top executives, one-on-one coaching or telephonic training sessions might be a good idea.
Commandment #5: Thou Shalt Not Keep Thy Questions to Thyself
Companies that say they’ll send over one of their trainers to present on a specific topic you can choose from their menu can be dicey. To maximize results, you should directly speak to the person who will be presenting and clear any questions or concerns you have. Ask if the training can be customized. Find out whether they have any questions for you, and if they don’t, be cautious.
Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Ask for References
You want to make sure you pick a management leadership training program that holds some merit. Ask the training company or leadership training coach to provide references and testimonials of previous clients. If you come across familiar names you recognize, you know they’re a safe bet.
Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Draft a Budget
You might find the perfect motivational leadership speaker only to realize that they’re way over your budget. Establishing a budget will help you filter out your options. However, one important factor to keep in mind is that being too cost-conscious might mean sacrificing the perfect training program that delivers results for a mediocre event that leaves no impact. The call is yours.
Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Know What Thou Art Getting
In your search for a leadership training coach with all the right skills, make sure you know what they plan to deliver. Are they only going to offer motivational anecdotes and stories to inspire the audience, or will they provide hands-on tools your staff can put to use right away?
Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Support the Speaker
Professional inspirational speakers usually want to learn about the company culture, your vision and what your expectations are for the training they’ll be providing. Helping them to get what they need, from interviews with managers and employees to the right lighting on stage, will ensure you get the best results possible.
Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Follow Up
Training to build leadership skills within an organization does not end when the speaker leaves. The speaker’s job is to provide powerful tools and tips to help build better leaders; your job is to make sure the practices learned are implemented. Hosting sequel trainings, asking for feedback, and holding managers accountable are a few ways to follow up after the training session concludes.
Follow these Ten Commandments and you’ll be sure to find a leadership training and coaching program to lead your people to leadership training heaven.
Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"
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