When I was in my early 20’s, I had a leader that recognized potential in me. He felt like I could be a great leader someday so over the next two years, he held leadership development sessions with me on a regular basis. During those sessions he helped me recognize my strengths and how to leverage them. He also helped me overcome some of my weaknesses. He taught me many great leadership lessons. Those leadership development sessions helped me understand what I could become.
That leader was a great leader. His leadership development sessions helped me to be the person I am today. Those lessons have stuck with me through the years.
As a leader, you have the ability to provide leadership development sessions for those you lead. You can use this as an opportunity to help them grow to become great leaders. When they become great leaders, everyone benefits.
So what should you do during the leadership development sessions? The following four points explain topics you can address during these sessions.
1. Provide Training
When leadership development is your number one goal, focus on helping those you lead to understand what it means to be a great leader and how they can become a great leader. Train them on the do’s and don’ts of great leadership. Also, help them understand how they can be a leader within their current roles and responsibilities.
Once they have a strong grasp on that, help them understand the bigger picture. Help them know how their leadership habits now will impact on where they end up down the road. Help them to develop their own leadership development plan for their future so they are focused on what they need to do to improve.
2. Provide Growth Opportunities
When I was in the engineering program for my bachelor’s degree, I learned a lot about engineering. I did lots of homework problems and worked several real-life scenarios. That practice helped me to prepare to be an engineer after graduation, however, there was still a lot I didn’t know.
Once I got my first job and started working as an engineer, I really learned what it took to be an engineer. In the professional engineering environment, I had the growth opportunities I needed to succeed. They allowed me to put what I had learned to the test. As I tested them out, my knowledge expanded and my abilities improved.
It is the same with leadership. You can learn a lot about what it takes to be a great leader, but until you start doing what a leader does, it is hard to reach the next level. When you work with others on leadership development, provide them with opportunities to develop their leadership abilities.
3. Address Negative Behavior Immediately
When you are doing leadership development, address negative behavior immediately so the behavior can be stopped before it becomes a habit. When you address the behavior, do it in a positive way that encourages growth. Present it as a learning/growth opportunity rather than a reprimand. It will create the same end result, but won’t have the negative side effects that would come with a reprimand.
4. Provide Coaching
Provide regular coaching for those you developing. During the leadership development sessions, you don’t have to have all the answers. Instead, discuss the cause and effect of various behaviors. Analyze what happened and how future actions can be different to create specific targeted results.
Providing leadership development training for those you lead helps them improve as leaders and improves your own leadership abilities. You, your team, and your company as a whole will benefit from your leadership development efforts.
How have you helped others through leadership development? What benefits have you seen from following the four points outlined above? How have you benefited from others following the points outlined above? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!