Leadership Training that Transforms
How to Make the Most of Leadership Training
What You’ll Read:
- Leadership training can be created using a variety of methods
- Learning content in this example was diverse, down-to-earth, and interactive
- Exposing learners to what it means to be a leader is key for effective leadership training
There is a misconception that some skills develop naturally, and that there are others that can never be learned. Leadership is not a part of a fixed mindset; leadership can be learned if properly trained.
Training is essential for growth, and it can be tailor made to fit any work environment. When O.C. Tanner approached AllenComm to develop a strong leadership training course, we asked ourselves what is the most effective way to teach leadership to potential leaders? By addressing these needs early on, we could customize a course that could engage learners with as many unique methods as possible. Our belief was that the leadership training needed to be diverse in the content, as grounded in the real world as possible, and engaging for the learner.
Diversity in Learning Content
When we set out to design diverse content, we looked at the best presentation to deliver the most captivating learner experience. The purpose was to make the material engaging to a large group of learners who came from a wide range of different industries and socio-economic groups. We had seven topics to cover, which meant we had seven unique activities to design.
One of the more notable designs was an interactive obstacle course that visually represented challenges a leader may face, and whether or not they should steer clear of these obstacles or push through them. Activities such as an obstacle course were designed to draw in the learner’s attention and have them interface with the material beyond simple reactionary responses. We stretched our creativity and focused on presenting educational materials that would resonate with the learner.
To best fit the needs of our learners, our design had to adapt to meet the needs of those we wished to teach. We concentrated on making the content relatable at a basic level by teaching how to manufacture something that fit the basic needs of a customer, or how plan for a large presentation in front of a global audience.
Down-to-Earth Learning Content
When we looked for the best approach to leadership training, we discussed some of the real-world applications a leader would have to face. We determined that a grounded approach, one based in practical situations a leader might encounter, would be the most applicable approach. Since a good leader understands how to perform functions outside of their normal job requirements, we designed a course that focused on many different problems, such as designing a new product, managing inventory, or creating an event to its full potential.
It was our goal to encourage leaders to be able to act quickly and to think specifically on the tasks they’ve been assigned. By driving the learners to see beyond the necessary considerations, such as how to increase productivity or to maximize interest in something, we emphasized the need to be attentive to the different factors outside of what would normally be expected.
The learners were able to build from the knowledge of each activity with a series of educational modules aimed at placing the learner in the role of leader. While the learner was actively placed in a position, they were presented with a scenario where they were to expand their knowledge skills by concentrating to external considerations, such as their environment or their sphere of influence. The prompts would lead to active assessments about what they may do differently when presented with a new challenge.
By participating in several different scenarios, the learners developed their adaptability and started discovering the latent leadership skills that were already present within them.
Interactive Learning Content
When we assessed the needs of the client, we decided to implement a gamified learning strategy for this module. By nature, leaders are competitive individuals who are always looking for ways to test their limits and to gain positive experiences. We didn’t want to structure the learning on a pass/fail scenario, but to emphasize the need to improve. It was our belief that when the learner didn’t achieve the success they desired, it would be motivating to go back and be receptive to other possibilities.
By designing interactive features that drove the learner to consider the correct answer from a selection of multiple correct answers, we engaged the learner to consider the most nuanced aspects in finding their best option. If the learner was to fully engage with the materials, they would be able to make their determinations based on subtle differences between their options. It was our belief that even though there are correct answers, nuance can be the determining factor for greater success.
Other features utilized in the training capitalized on the instinctual reactions the learner would have with a scenario. When we incorporated the use of a timer, we would present the learner with a situation that would prompt them to choose their first reaction. By discovering their first reaction, we could provide immediate feedback as to how their decisions may or may not have been the most beneficial decision. The learning leader then had the option to revisit the same scenarios and reconsider alternative solutions. By challenging the learner to be more receptive and to act more readily, they could compare the results between their first and their repeated attempts.
Leadership is something we at AllenComm believe can be taught with the right promptings to the learner. The goal is to expose learners to the greater spectrum of what it means to be a leader, and we believe that it comes from trying the job from a variety of angles. Each facet leads to a new perspective, which is exactly what a leader should strive for: a wider picture that is open to endless possibilities.