Avoid the Pitfalls of Leadership Training and Development
You may be thinking, "What are the pitfalls of leadership training and development?
Isn't training always good?"
Well-developed and well-presented training and development opportunities are great; however
there are some common pitfalls which can undermine the effectiveness of the training and the implementation of what has been gained from the leadership training and development.
The first pitfall is most
common in a large organization; it does, however, appear in some small organizations as well. This pitfall is the idea that training and development is "just a mental health day" to get away from the
Team members taking this attitude will most likely pay little attention and will probably not
institute improvements as a result of the training.
This doesn't mean that training and development opportunities must be dry, dull and
boring. No, in fact training that is fun is much more effective because it will be remembered accurately and in detail.
If team members do not pay attention and become involved in the training and development
events, the cost of the training will be money wasted.
Leadership team members who attend training often encounter a second pitfall. The higher in the leadership hierarchy their position, the more likely it
is that they would encounter it.
Attendance at training and development events means that time should be completely set aside
without interruption. All too often, a leadership team member will be called away from training and development to deal with a problem "only he/she can handle".
This can occur for one of two reasons. Either the organization believes they are not empowered
to act in the leader's absence or the leader believes nothing should be done without their personal involvement. In either case, the leader should be allowed to attend the training without interruption unless a
very real personal emergency occurs.
If this leader is so important to the organization that business can not continue without
his/her presence for a short time, the organization as a whole has an operational problem that requires attention.
The third pitfall involves the type of training and the quality of the training and
You can send the most attentive, open-minded leaders and provide uninterrupted time for the
training, but if the quality of the training and/or the effectiveness of the presentation is poor, your training and development dollars are not being used most efficiently.
Trainers should be excited and present compelling content. Activities should be
interactive, involving all attendees.
If your leaders attend training that contains little or no useful information or that is
presented in a very boring way, they will find it difficult or even impossible to bring value back to your organization.
Another pitfall for leadership training and development is the idea that all training
must be accomplished in-house by staff training personnel.
The problem with this school of thought is that there are no opportunities to learn how other
leaders think and how they are performing their jobs. Sometimes a great cost-saving process can be developed simply because employees at an off-site training session happened to discuss another leader's process
or idea while taking a coffee break.
One simple jewel of information or a new insight or type of understanding can justify the cost
of the entire course or seminar. While in-house training is beneficial and should be used whenever it makes sense to do so; it is also important to obtain outside training for the stimulation and cross-fertilization
of ideas it can provide.
There is yet another pitfall that can occur after participants return from leadership training and development events.
This is the fear of change on the part of the leaders or their superiors. In these cases,
training participants return from training bursting with new ideas and innovative processes they want to implement, only to encounter a wall of resistance to change.
Change is frightening, but a natural part of an organization's healthy
growth and development. As an organizational leader, be willing to exercise intelligent judgment in these situations so your organization is able to derive full benefit from its leadership training and development