Throughout your life, you’ll develop a variety of soft and hard skills that will help you carve out your career path. If you plan to ascend to the management level at your company, you may require additional training. You may be naturally adaptable and enthusiastic, but a not-so-natural communicator or problem solver, and that’s totally fine! Some leadership skills may come easily, while others will be acquired through education, experience, and hard work.
Today, let’s take a look at why leadership training is important and 12 topics that you can work on to become a better leader, a more productive teammate, and an effective manager.
Why is leadership training important?
They say that you can measure your own success as a leader by how the people who work for you succeed. To lead effectively, managers need to remain agile in many different situations. They need to be mindful of their own behaviours and those of their employees to mitigate stress at work.
Working on your own skillset as a leader will also encourage your subordinates to develop a growth mindset. When you believe that your combined skills and hard work can be continuously developed, your employees will be motivated to learn and grow through diverse situations.
Invest in yourself today by working on the following leadership training topics!
Run productive leadership meetings
Increase meeting engagement and productivity with a collaborative agenda that the whole team can contribute to. Try using a tool like Fellow!
12 leadership training topics to learn
- Building trust
- Emotional intelligence
- Effective communication
- Motivating employees
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Hosting productive meetings
- Change management
No workplace is free from conflict! Problem-solving is the ability to develop solutions to complex issues. It’s an important topic for current and prospective leaders to focus on so everyone is prepared when a new challenge arises. When you’re able to define a problem, determine the cause, and effectively select and implement a solution, solving everyday issues will be a breeze. Leaders can work on their problem-solving skills by understanding what causes problems, creating strategies for long-term issues, and working with their team to turn challenges into opportunities.
It’s vital that leaders have the trust of their employees. Maintaining a high level of trust with your team will enhance overall employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction at work. To build trust as a leader, you should: honour your commitments, offer regular support, schedule one-on-one and group meetings, give positive and constructive feedback, and communicate effectively with members of your team. If you’re looking to develop your skills in this area, practice by listening actively during each conversation, asking thoughtful questions, and validating your employees’ thoughts and feelings when they come to you.
When you recognize and understand your own emotions, you’ll be able to use this awareness to manage your own behaviour and relationships. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use and manage your emotions in positive ways. In other words, you aim to respond rather than react during stressful times. EQ is important for leaders because it can help you communicate effectively, empathize with others, and diffuse conflict. If you’re looking to improve your own EQ, you can begin by observing how you react to others in stressful situations, taking responsibility for your actions, and examining how your decisions will affect others before you make them.
All great leaders are great communicators. Leaders should prioritize effective communication if they want their teams to be successful. This skill can help promote collaboration among team members, increase productivity, help employees remain focused on objectives, and ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of their responsibilities. To become a better communicator, strive to: deliver clear and concise instructions, practice your active listening skills regularly, ask for feedback from your colleagues and manager, and use nonberbal cues to your advantage.
Winston Churchill once said that “the price of greatness is responsibility.” He was right. No one likes working with a teammate who plays the blame game! Accountability is the willingness to accept responsibility or account for one’s actions. Leaders need to take their roles seriously to build trust among team members and create a culture that promotes growth. It’s simple: when employees know that they have the space to admit their weaknesses and learn from their mistakes, they’ll also feel comfortable enough to ask for help and work on new skills. Hone your own accountability skills today by acknowledging your mistakes, being willing to accept criticism, and standing up for what’s right!
In episode 83 of our Supermanagers podcast, Executive Coach Peter Anderton says:
“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in their leader, but a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”
Motivating means providing your employees with opportunities to grow so they are encouraged to do great work. Leaders can do this by making the team a pleasant place to be, offering rewards for great work, sharing positive feedback, and accommodating employee needs!
Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. Delegation, or in other words, your ability to assign tasks, will help you get more done and keep you from falling into a trap of micromanaging your teammates. It will also allow members of your team to take on new opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. If you want to work on your delegation skills as a leader, try using a project planning tool to help your team visualize upcoming projects and tasks. Once you assign action items, you’ll be able to visualize and track your employees’ progress and reassign tasks as necessary.
If you want to work effectively, you’ll need to be able to time your time. Time management is an important topic for leaders to focus on because it can increase your focus and productivity. When you properly manage your time, you can spend more of it on the projects, goals, and people that matter. The quality of your work may also improve! Start working on this skill by making a realistic to-do list, allocating time to each item, and then scheduling those tasks into your calendar. Before you know it, you’ll be passing on your own tips and tricks to your subordinates!
Simply put, conflict resolution is the way you choose to resolve disagreements. Unless your workplace is perfect (newsflash, it probably isn’t), there are bound to be disagreements about projects, work systems and procedures, or even conflicting personalities. Knowing how to quickly and meaningfully resolve conflict can build consensus among your employees and even lead to increased employee retention. There are many conflict resolution styles—like assertive, cooperative, and accommodating—so aim to find your style and put it to use whenever possible!
Leaders coach employees by giving regular positive and constructive feedback. They also ask for feedback from employees to ensure that they’re consistently improving their own skills. Practice giving feedback during each one-on-one meeting with a subordinate. Before the meeting, think about how the individual is performing well, and in what areas they could improve. Also, did you know that using Fellow enables your team to share real-time feedback on performance, meetings, and projects? Using Fellow’s Feedback feature, you can incorporate opportunities for feedback into your team’s day-to-day experience and keep a history of the feedback you exchange with others!
11Hosting productive meetings
Productive meetings can make the difference between a high-achieving team, and one that never meets its goals. All great leaders know that productive meetings are the key to success. Brush up on your in-person and virtual meeting skills by setting a clear goal for your meeting and distributing an agenda at least 24 hours in advance. Keep things on track and assign clear action items throughout the meeting with realistic deadlines. You can also level up your leadership skills and run productive meetings with Fellow by building great meeting habits with collaborative agendas, real-time notetaking, and an array of templates.
Change management is the application of a structured process and set of tools to help lead the transformation of an organization’s goals or systems. In short, change management establishes a clear vision for the company. Leaders should be familiar with change management as it can help employees in the company buy into the company’s vision. To improve skills in this area, leaders can start by communicating day-to-day issues to employees, whether they’re mundane problems or there are more serious changes to be made.
When you stop learning, you stop improving! Even leaders need to seek regular training to remain nimble. The road to success is under never-ending construction, and that’s okay!
Allot some time to work on our 12 suggested leadership topics. The best way to get started is by putting the skills into practice, asking for feedback, and making small, marginal improvements towards your goals. You can also seek out opportunities and resources that will help you along the way (hint: we have quite a few on the Fellow Blog!). Above all else, remember that personal development is a gradual but rewarding process. Happy growing!