How to Ensure Your Leadership Training Sticks
You’ve invested the time and effort to go to leadership training. So how do you ensure the work you’ve done will make you a better leader? How do you get feedback from your team on what’s working (and what’s not?)
What steps can you take to ensure the leadership training actually improves your leadership?
Leadership training isn’t about what you learned, it’s about what you do with what you learned.
If you’re just back from training, here are a few tips to ensure your leadership training makes you and your team stronger.
1. Focus on one behavior change at a time
When you learn game-changing leadership techniques, it’s tempting to try everything at once. After all, if these techniques produce results, you owe it to your team to use them. Right? Perhaps. But not all at the same time. Pick one specific behavior or approach your gut tells you will make the biggest impact and integrate it into your leadership approach. Practice it consistently. Tweak it. Make it your own. Ask for feedback. Once you feel confident and competent in that behavior, the timing might be right to add in another technique. Too much change all at once will overwhelm both you and your team.
2. Find an accountability partner
Change is hard, and it can be lonely. It’s much easier to give up when no one’s looking. Find someone you trust who understands what you’ve just learned (someone else in your training class is a great choice.) Share the behavior you’re working on and make a commitment to check in with one another once a week to see how things are going and discuss challenges and brainstorm next steps.
3. Invite your team on the journey
Tell your team what you’ve learned and what you’ve chosen to work on and why. Invite them to notice when it’s working and offer suggestions as to what you can do better. Your team already knows you’re not perfect, and they’ll be delighted to know you’re working on becoming a more effective manager. It’s even okay to show your hand. Share the I.N.S.P.I.R.E. model or the 9 What’s Method and work through the process with them. “I’ve just come back from leadership training and I’ve learned a new technique that I think could help. Want to try it?”
4. Teach what you’ve learned
One of the best ways to become a rock star at a skill is to teach it. Consider sharing some of the tools you’ve learned and teach them to others. See where they struggle. Share your stories.
5. Ask for feedback
Make it a point to ask for feedback on the impact your new approach is having on the people you’re leading. Ask open-ended questions about what you can do to improve.
5. When you screw up, apologize and try again
New habits don’t come easy. If you slip back into old behaviors, apologize and try again. Your team knows you’re not perfect. They just want to know you’re trying. Training is important, but what matters most is what you do when you get back to your team. With just a bit of focus, you can ensure the strongest ROI for you and your team.
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