During any leadership training workshop, ask the participants, "What is the hardest part of your job? Is it understanding the technology? Is it developing an effective business model? Sales?" Or, "Is it dealing with the people?" The executives, managers, and supervisors in the room will almost always say, "Dealing with the people." Even though we persist in talking about "soft" skills, most believe that maintaining good working relationships is the hardest part of the job. Technical expertise and business know-how are necessary for good leadership but they are only the beginning of the story.
Leaders Need People Skills
Overwhelmingly, the research shows that people who work in a climate of respect, caring, honesty, collaboration, teamwork, and trust are the ones who work the hardest and produce the best results. In other words, leaders simply do not succeed without good people skills. While few companies would compromise on the technical abilities or the business savvy of people they develop for leadership positions, many view leadership training as an afterthought. Very risky in today's highly competitive business environment!
Despite the stubborn idea that, "Leaders are born, not made," the evidence illustrates quite the opposite. The skills taught in well designed and facilitated leadership training can indeed be learned. Leadership training workshops that emphasize good listening, giving clear, unambiguous feedback, and discovering mutually acceptable solutions to conflicts help participants "unlearn" old habits and replace them with new, more effective skills. As a company's leaders learn and consistently apply these skills, the result is a more productive, efficient and fulfilling workplace. An organization that is better equipped to thrive even when there are difficult challenges!
Workshops Offer Leadership Training
The most effective leadership training workshops are based on well-documented research, utilize time-tested adult learning principles, allow sufficient time for skill practice, provide lots of real time feedback and encourage participants to explore practical ways to apply what they learn on the job.
Gordon Training International's Leader Effectiveness Training is certainly one good example of this. It is based on Dr. Thomas Gordon's pioneering research and is designed from the ground up to match the way human beings function in the real world.