Avoid the Pitfalls of Leadership T & D
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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 office.

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 development events.

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 investment.

Copyright © 2005 by Bill Roche.  All rights reserved.  All material on this site (www.TopResults.com) is protected by U.S. Federal Copyright law. It may not be reprinted in any form, or hosted on any Web site, without explicit permission.


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