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Helen Green

Quest Leadership

Leadership Collaborator

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Training Leadership

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How old are you? Okay, I admit that is a bit of a personal question but please bear with me for a short while. You see, depending on your age you will have had a very different learning experience at school. For example, if you are of a certain age you may have learnt history through the medium of facts and dates, whereas if you are from a more recent generation you may have been taught to reason and to empathise, to build an understanding of the underlying causes and effects.

This transformation in learning styles may have taken some time to get out of the classroom, but it is now also being seen in the business world. Moves towards blended learning and the provision of holistic view points are taking learning away from the purely theoretical and into the real world. This in turn is having a measurable effect on the way in which employees and leaders not only approached their duties, but also interact with each other and seek to provide transformative customer experiences.

Take leadership training for example. It’s often been quoted that leadership is a journey, but it is a journey which should carry people throughout their working lives. So leadership training is now far more about personal development and the acquisition of skills which will stand on individual in good stead in the workplace rather than the provision of classroom-based theory. That’s not to say that providing people with a grounding in leadership theory is not appropriate, but it does mean that that grounding should help individuals towards personal development and should be applicable to current working conditions.

Balancing theory with training

For example, possessing an in-depth knowledge of communication psychology means nothing if the individual is personally unable to communicate with and relate to others. So whilst some element of theory may be appropriate, it should be balanced with training which looks to help the individual to communicate in spoken or written form. Similarly, being able to draw a decision tree means nothing unless the individual is personally able to question, to elicit facts and to make a balanced judgement.

Leadership nowadays is about empathy and empowerment, about inspiring and enabling. Learning the theory is a part of this but to be a true leader you have to be able to interpret theory and apply it to real situations. To be a modern leader it doesn’t really matter when you went to school, but it does matter whether you can take the theory and engage hearts and minds in developing the future. 

 

Author Profile Picture
Helen Green

Leadership Collaborator

Read more from Helen Green
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