There are so many people who call themselves leaders, whether that’s in business, education, government, or another field. Yet few would argue that we as a society are suffering from a lack of true leadership. We need more people who can provide vision, direction, and inspiration to help us reach our goals. While there is such a thing as a natural born leader, far more leaders received training and development to reach the level of successful leadership they desire. That’s where training courses for leadership development play a critical role.
The Difference between Leaders and Managers
While there is some overlap between the duties and responsibilities of leaders and managers, the two roles require distinctly different training and development courses in order to reach their full potential. To use a metaphor, a manager may be called upon to keep the ship sailing under normal conditions, while a leader will select the destination and make course corrections.
Here are a few typical training courses for leadership development:
Being able to communicate clearly and authoritatively is an essential skill for every leader. This includes effective listening, positive verbal as well as non-verbal communication, delegating tasks clearly and efficiently, giving presentations, and managing meetings.
In a critical thinking course, leaders learn to become more disciplined in their thinking. Critical thinking is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence as opposed to emotion. That’s not to say that leaders are without emotion. On the contrary, emotional intelligence is another important skill for leaders.
Employees will work to earn a paycheck, but in order to inspire passion and enhanced productivity leaders need to how to motivate their team members. This might be through recognition and rewards, mentoring, asking for input, setting stretching goals, or any number of other techniques that leaders can learn through training and professional development.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Effective leaders are always looking for ways to deliver performance feedback without becoming a micromanager. To do this, leaders need to learn how to set clear expectations, building employee confidence, providing positive reinforcement, and delivering respectful and specific advice when needed. Leaders must also learn to graciously accept feedback from others, so that that are always learning and growing in their position.
Many More Skills
There are many more skills that leaders can potentially learn in professional development courses. The above examples are just that – examples. Also, every individual and every organization is likely to emphasize some skills over others, so don’t make assumptions about what might be needed until you’ve researched the position and the organization.