Choose the professional leadership program that is right for your needs!
So you are interested in attending a leadership program for professionals, but want to make sure you get your money’s worth. Many leadership programs may offer quick results or guaranteed success for participants, but how will you truly know if the leadership program will be successful for you or for your employees?
There are some key considerations to think about before signing up for a leadership program. First, does the program include a small and focused group. The last thing you want is to be placed in a room or a zoom call with 200 other people trying to retain the information without the chance to ask questions. In a small and intimate setting, you have the ability to ask questions and develop a relationship with the instructor and other students in the class. Developing relationships within the class setting can not only help without learning, but also allow you to develop connections within the industry. The course can also become more interactive and therefore more engaging. Small group work and classroom settings have been found to help students develop higher order thinking; an important process for engaging in long-term change (Davis, Suggestions for Using Small Groups in the Classroom).
There is something wrong with traditional corporate training. You spend an hour or two learning about new concepts and then there is no follow up or cocaching through the change.
In addition, a leadership program should include multiple methods of learning leadership concepts. You want the course and the instructor to consider differentiated learning and multiple intelligences while creating and delivering a course. Not everyone learns the same and not everyone is looking to be the same type of leader, so it is vital for the course creators to take into consideration the needs of all the participants. This includes incorporating auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic aspects within the course to accommodate all types of learners and to ensure individual needs are considered and met throughout the delivery of the course.
Traditional training programs, provide at most 1-2 points of followup. Research has demonstrated that real change, requires several weeks and consistent follow up to support individuals on achieving long-term goals.
Participants should be followed up with and continuously supported after the completion of the initial course. Make sure the course includes ongoing support after the initial course is completed. Having continued support means you will be able to gather feedback and more information on positive leadership skills. Follow-ups also keep the course creators and instructors accountable. Having a strict follow-up program means that the company putting on the course is interested in the success of their students and are constantly looking to improve their course. A follow-up program also allows for more personal relationships to evolve over time.
Good relationships take time to foster and a follow-up program allows for more time for students and instructors to interact.
Finally, when looking for a leadership program make sure to consider if clear goals are set for the students. Students should have an opportunity to learn and communicate different goals they wish to accomplish. The course content should allow for many opportunities for students to set goals and then track the progression of these goals. The goals should be set in regards to the key concepts discussed in class and mentors should be consulted every step of the way. Goals should be specific to each student and not generalized for everyone. Each person comes from a unique place and their individual needs must be considered. This will ensure the greatest progress in leadership training.
Before purchasing a course package or joining a classroom make sure you do thorough research on the leadership course. If the website or reviews does not give enough information, make sure to personally reach out to the organization and receive the facts you need. If someone is not willing to provide you with the information you are looking for, consider finding a new leadership program to join. If the organization is not willing to make time to answer your questions then they may not be interested in your success as a leader! Make the right choice for you!