For this week’s CogBlog post we are excited to share a guest post from Kizzy Parks, PhD; a subject matter expert in leadership development and training. Dr. Kizzy M. Parks is President of K. Parks Consulting, Inc. (KPC), an SBA 8(a) certified, minority-woman-owned small business, headquartered in Melbourne, FL with satellite locations in Orlando, FL and D.C. Founded in 2005, KPC specializes in, analytics and metrics services, curriculum development, training and development, corporate branding, multimedia and workforce consulting to help organizations reach higher results.
Over the past few months, relentless winter storms blanketed much of the nation making spring seem impossible, I guess Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was right, winter was not over. However, the official start of spring arrived a few days ago, bringing warmer temperatures in portions of the country, and an increased demand for leadership development services.
Recently, there has been an unprecedented increase in demand for leadership and development assessments and services. Military and Civilian customers alike, have made requests for a variety of instructor-led training courses, coaching services, web-based training, and for off-the-shelf assessments to measure areas such personality, emotional intelligence and leadership characteristics.
Despite the increase in popularity, leadership development is often dreaded and many leaders try to avoid it. However, a shift in perspective and approach can turn your next leadership development program into something that leaders will embrace and look forward to. Below is a list of guidelines to take into account before starting your next training program:
Know the Leaders
To the best of your ability, understand the capabilities and needs of the participants. Sometimes, due to the structure of the contract, conducting a needs assessment is impossible. Nevertheless, simply hold a one to two hour call with the client to better understand the goals of the program and the needs of the participants. Apply the information received to the design and execution of the leadership program with the understanding that leaders are not all focused on improving the same skills and development occurs at different rates.
The next guideline refers to setting a timeframe and emphasizing the instructions when using assessments in the leadership program. It may be the case that trainees cannot remember the relevant information or were not employed long enough with the customer to accurately respond. To ensure a respondent’s recall of events and keep attention focused on the present, identify a specific time period (e.g., one year, 6-months, etc.) and share the instructions in the assessment launch emails.
Instructor –Led Training is Still Alive
Although gamificaiton, e-learning, and other technology-based training and development has significantly grown in popularity, the demand for classroom-based training is on the rise. It is integral to the success of a standard classroom format with in-person instruction to provide a mix of training approaches. The training approaches can include guided discussions, probing and exploring, experiential practice, pop-up coaching tips, presentation, small-group activities, and movie clips to reinforce key concepts. Also, critical to any program’s success is the creative inclusion and linkage to strategy, policy, and other related current organizational objectives.
Implementing these suggestions will yield the right leadership development program. We would love to hear about your experiences. Share some of your leadership development strategies that have worked for you.