How to Design a Leadership Training ProgramOctober 17, 2019 | Posted by Scott Stiver in Leadership Development, Sales Training
We have all met a natural leader. Whoever this person is for you, you can likely feel their presence from a mile away. There’s something about this person that makes you want to be around them and listen carefully to the words they say. Natural leaders seem to get along with everyone they meet. They are skilled decision makers and they always know what to say, when to say it and how to act. A large portion of these leadership characteristics are a direct result of one’s EQ (emotional intelligence) skills, and the person you’re thinking of probably ranks high in EQ. Therefore, when it comes to considering how to design a leadership training program, it makes sense to include skills training that will develop EQ. Fortunately, for those looking to train leaders, it’s great news to learn that unlike personality or IQ, EQ is something that can be learned and developed over time!
How to design a leadership training program that will develop EQ skills
While people who are naturally emotionally intelligent will run into fewer obstacles when it comes to excelling in leadership positions, leadership training programs that focus on developing EQ can help those who weren’t born with high EQ develop their skills and catch up to their naturally emotionally intelligent counterparts.
There are four core skills that compose EQ: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. These are the skills that your leadership training program should teach if your goal is to develop exceptional leaders.
Each of the four core skills should have its own set of exercises to help you practice. For example, to develop self-awareness, practice keeping a journal of your emotions or seeking feedback from others as to how they perceive you. To develop self-management, you can practice visualization techniques. To develop social-awareness you can practice observing and reading body language. Finally, to develop relationship management, you can practice the best ways to acknowledge others’ feelings or explain your own thought processes and decision-making.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to designing a leadership training program
A major part of any leadership training program (and any training program, in general) is the time you are given for practice! When it comes to designing a leadership training program then, it is imperative that you build in time for your trainees to practice their freshly acquired EQ/leadership skills. This can be done via role-plays and recording sessions where participants receive individual coaching, feedback and tailored recommendations for improvement.
Perhaps even more important than in-training practice is the inclusion of a reinforcement component post-training. A leadership training program that is viewed as a one-time event will not have its intended effect. But a training program that is built as a spaced-learning event that includes additional practice, assignments and coaching sessions weeks—and even months—after the initial training event has concluded will facilitate behavior change and skill acquisition that sticks.
When it comes to designing your own leadership training program or choosing a leadership training provider, ensure the curriculum focuses on developing EQ skills and provides for frequent practice that will help your trainees gradually acquire, develop and retain their newly acquired EQ/leadership skills.
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