CAN YOU DEVELOP LEADERS AND MANAGERS IN 140 CHARACTERS?
By NICHOLAS C. HILL(FIC FInstLM)
How long does it take to train someone to be an effective manager? You certainly cannot achieve it with a few ‘tweets’ on Twitter, or a card with a list of ’10 Top Tips’, though some organisations seem to believe you could.
While it is true to say that much of the learning is done ‘on the job’, nothing beats being prepared. And for that reason, there should be no time limit on learning important new skills.
Newly appointed managers must be aware of the essential skills before moving forward, which is why good leadership and management training courses are essential. Drive to any of our venues in London, Birmingham, Exeter, Newcastle, Manchester or Glasgow and it will take you longer to get to our venue than to learn your first new skill!
No company or organisation wants their staff to be away from the office for too long, but if they are being prepared for a productive future, just how long is appropriate?
It is the responsibility of any trainer to demonstrate just how effective their courses will be. It is fair to say that developing new skills can be more time consuming than learning the theory. Of course, there is inevitably theory to learn with leadership, but you do not develop leadership and management skills by reading books, or watching a DVD.
Verbal advice and tips are one matter, but practice is far more important and significant. You cannot learn a skill until you actually do it, receive feedback and change your approach, and only then are you ready and confident to start leading a team – and that takes time.
No one can say exactly how much time is required to teach leadership skills, especially to someone very fresh to leadership and management. It boils down to this: do you want the training to be quick but ineffective or longer and worth the effort? Are you willing to drive to London, Birmingham, Exeter, Newcastle, Manchester or Glasgow to get some hardcore strategic intervention? Perhaps you might prefer to sit on the sofa with your feet up reading an entertaining leadership and management book in the hope that the wisdom will sink in.
Trying to teach leadership to a group however small or large in just a day can be, frankly, a waste of time and unlikely to achieve anything other than satisfy the accounts department. What it will do is starve your team of the actual full cycle of the developmental process, because such an abridged approach does little more than lead to problems in the future.
Get it right first time. If you rush someone through a leadership and management training course, you are putting them under pressure to become an overnight success. They learn the basics, develop their own habits thereafter, and are likely to become resistant to change in the future, and any future need to make changes will take time.
Taking the time to do it properly first time will prevent many problems further down the line, and will certainly boost the chances of a company making a successful appointment, in particular if it is a first time leader.
So if a leadership and management training course takes place over more days than you would like, yet is proven effective, then allow the time. Wisely investing a couple of extra days, away from the office, will almost certainly save time in the future.
Nicholas C. Hill is Managing Director and Principal Trainer for The Hill Consultancy Ltd, London, specialising in UK-wide public training courses in leadership and management development. Become a highly productive manager and influential leader today. Claim £100 off the list price on any two-day course. Promotional code: PASSION0213. Visit the website or call now to find out more or request a FREE consultation.
T: 020 7993 9955 W: www.nicholashill.com