Leadership development programs are a hotter commodity today than ever before! As the boomers continue to retire from the workforce, there is a demand for new leaders to fill those positions. In my opinion, experiential, on-the-job learning is the best way to embed deep leadership skills. However, this approach can be accelerated with HR training on leadership development that concentrates on developing core leadership competencies. When this is complemented with one-on-one coaching, the impact can exceptionally powerful.
There are different leadership styles that people gravitate towards. The most effective style to adopt depends on the situation and the players involved. Certain people respond better to different leadership styles. The preference for a certain leadership style differs based on personality type and the individual’s current leadership capacity themselves. In my experience, there are four primary leadership styles that can be drawn upon:
1) Directing Leader: tells people what to do, when to do it, and how it needs to be done with little input from subordinates. She/he closely supervises and evaluates subordinates work.
2) Coaching Leader: is very skilled at observing the strengths and weaknesses of his/her team. He/she then determines how to best use the abilities of each team member.
3) Supportive Leader: defines a job and then leaves it up to a person or group to complete the job.
4) Delegating Leader: is similar to the head of a committee with recognition and responsibility shared within the group; and work is evaluated individually and by the group.
Truly talent leaders are able to move from one leadership style to another with grace and confidence. During certain situations that are fraught with major change such as a merger and acquisition situation, employees may prefer the clarity that comes with a directing leader style. The best leadership is integrated, where the leader has the wisdom and judgement to know what style to tap into.
The value of considering HR training on leadership development is that it provides focused time for employees to reflect and apply leadership competencies to their day-to-day lives. An external coach can serve as a trusted HR advisor that does not have the vested political motivations that an internal manager will have. Leadership expert, Cheryl Cran, says that “People do not leave their jobs; they leave their leaders“. This makes it very important for organizations to ensure their managers have the necessary skills to motivate and lead employees. Managerial skills are completely different than leadership skills. Both are important, but they are composed of different competencies. Key leadership skills that you will want to develop in your employees are:
- Emotional Intelligence;
- Effective Communications;
- Collaboration & Problem Solving;
- Building High Performance Teams;
- Change Management;
- Conflict Resolution; and
- Maximizing Employee Engagement.