Do leadership seminars, and for that matter any soft skills seminars, make a difference in the level of performance and effectiveness of companies and organizations?
This is a question that goes right to the heart of the matter of the impact of organizational training on performance.
There are three main aspects that need to be considered:
• Can the impact be measured quantitatively?
• How much of new learned skills are applied?
• What kind of leadership seminars? To whom? By whom? How often?
The consideration of these 3 aspects is vital to evaluating this issue candidly.
Measuring the effectiveness of leadership seminars – Qualitative Vs. Quantitative
Most things today are evaluated quantitatively with very little consideration given to qualitative evaluation. These two evaluations need to work in tandem 50%-50%, but there’s a great imbalance,(96% – 4%) which leads to erroneous decision-making process, whic himpacts productivity, negatively.
Qualitative evaluation is based in long-term strategic thinking, in “success in process” frame of mind, whereas quantitative evaluation tends to be short-term, tactical, with bottom-line, survival, mindset orientation.
Quantitative evaluation could be likened to giving a hungry person a fish to eat, whereas qualitative evaluation will provide the hungry person with the training of how to fish for themselves.
It is impossible to measure the effects of leadership training programs on immediate basis.When potential leaders are being trained,soft skills enter the picture, such as:
• Emotional Intelligence
• Interpersonal Communication
• Long-term Strategic Thinking
• Strategic Development
• Decision Making
• Creative Thinking and,
• Human Attributes, such as:
- And, of course, Charisma (Leadership By Example!!!)
It would, perhaps, be of value for the reader to know that close to 90% of firing is due to lack of soft skills and only approximately 10% are due to lack of domain skills!
Curious, especially, in light of the fact, that in many organizations soft skills are not considered important.
Do professionals apply newly learned soft skills?
This is a key aspect in being able to truly evaluate the importance of leadership seminars to the progress and effectiveness of organizations.
Every skill and every lesson has two distinct parts:
1. The Out-side/ In-side part, that is taught by a professional in a training setting, where they receive the knowledge, the work shop sensation, the in-class experience, the seed of the lesson, the vitamin of the skill.
2. The In-side / Out-side part, which is self taught by putting that knowledge to practice, fertilizing the sown seed by their own efforts, releasing the vitamin of the skill by its usage and spread.
You can teach a person extremely valuable skills but unless they practice them and apply them in their day-to-day operations they’ll never actually “get it”. Moreover, unless they use what they learned, that knowledge will fade in time.
I have met quite a few personnel in leadership positions who fool themselves by thinking that because they learned something intellectually they know it – No Way!
Here is the crux of the matter:
Does the organization have a progressive policy of tolerance to first-time mistakes?
Why is this question relevant? Well, simply put, unless people feel that they can make mistakes without being punished, they seldom be creative, and if the environment is controlled by fear they won’t be creative.
In other words, to truly invest in professionals it is not enough to provide them with sporadic seminars. Real investment – is to provide them with a tolerant business environment, where they can absorb their mistakes, understanding that the road to new skills must endure mistakes. If people feel they are being punished for first time mistakes they will never be creative or take ownership. This is where a new level of long-term strategic thinking is necessary, one that understands human psychology, short and long term consequences and separating between cause and symptom.
What Kind of Leadership Seminars?
In such seminars a new level of “Motivation to Succeed”would be present. A kind of trainingin which, both, the trainer and the trainees take responsibility for the success of the process.
The trainerhimselfneeds to be an aspiring leader, conducting a live, updated teamwork seminar, where people can have their input and share in the success of the training.
The participants must WANT to be there for a greater reason than just for their own success. When the motive is bigger than just “Me, Me, Me”,than the range of excellence is much greater.
The material has to be practical and real, beyond just nice words that are soon forgotten. The new knowledge must be practiced in a safe and supportive training environment, where the Emotional Intelligence level contributes to the self-confidence and enthusiasm of the participants.
Investment in Leadership Seminars
An organization that wants to develop real leaders, must understand once and for all that people are people and not robots!
It will take time, regular training programs and an environment that promotes change that inspires a new kind of leaders–this would be an investment that will pay off hugely…“the best ROI out there”.
So, you need Quality Training, Trainers that are people’s person, frequent repetitionof quality leadership training seminar, time & a friendly environment to practice the new skills acquired, and a work place that accommodates change!
Human wealth – is the true advantage organizations can have in a highly competitive business environment. When these major aspects are being evaluated properly, then the proposition of leadership seminars becomes a serious long-term affair and not just “hit or miss” one-time event.
Please feel free to contact me for professional training seminars that make a difference:
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The Thinking Coach
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