In the 12 months since the world was thrown into a near complete shut down due to the spread of COVID-19, the shift in how leadership training is delivered continues to evolve. As we begin the slow return to normalcy, it is worth taking the time to reflect on how the changes we have adapted to have proven successful for developing high performance teams. Though much of our activity has been uncertain for so long, there is also a lot that can be learned from how we handled such uncertainty. What worked? What did not? And what trends will continue in a post-COVID world?
Online Leadership Training
Perhaps the most prevalent change of the past year has been the significant increase in the use of virtual meeting spaces such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams for conducting leadership development training. Though online training systems were certainly commonplace prior to the pandemic, the necessity for their exclusive use has brought to light the many benefits they provide. When The Leadership Sphere moved the delivery of the Dare to Lead™ Program to Zoom, we were able to continue to provide high quality training to participants across Australia. The ability to develop and maintain connections will continue to be integral to the success of leadership training programs in the future.
Flexible Training Programs
In addition to being able to run live training programs, one of the greatest benefits of online leadership training is the fact that many courses can be self-paced. In a rapidly developing business environment, many individuals in leadership positions are finding themselves to be time-poor. Self-led or self-paced leadership development programs offer the flexibility to engage with the learning in a way that fits in with their schedule. This means that they can continue to deliver high performance in their work without being distracted by the needs of their training. Simultaneously, they can give their full focus to their training without worrying about how they’re going to meet upcoming deadlines.
Effective change management has been one of the most vital factors in business endurance during these times of uncertainty. Unfortunately, many businesses have struggled to cope in the face of it. This has exposed the need for leadership training moving forward to encompass a greater focus on navigating change and succeeding while also dealing with major unexpected disruptions. Managers must now, more than ever, be prepared to lead and support their teams through time of crisis.
Leading Remote Teams
We often think of leadership in a very hands on and face-to-face capacity, however the last decade has seen a consistent shift towards more remote operations for many industries. With this shift, comes the added challenge of leaders needing to manage teams whose members may rarely get to meet in person. This requires that leadership training programs reflect this and ensure the development of skills necessary for this style of business.
Soft Skills Development
The development of soft skills within the workplace has been a growing focus for some time, and the uncertainty and stress caused by the global pandemic has highlighted how necessary such skills are in all roles, but especially in leadership. In times of crisis, leaders must exhibit higher levels of empathy and emotional intelligence to effectively support and communicate with their teams. Soft skills are becoming more integral to organisational success as workplace culture becomes more important to potential employees.
Where we go from here with Leadership Development
The importance of leadership training and development has always been widely known. However, the disruption and uncertainty caused by the COVD-19 pandemic shone a much needed light on the role that the resilience of leaders plays in succeeding through times of crisis. It has taught us that we can adapt in any situation and that what we learn under pressure can have a lasting impact in how we grow and develop into the future.
For more information about The Leadership Sphere and how we can help you unlock performance through leadership, by supporting your leaders at every level of the organisation with leadership development, executive coaching and high performance team programs please visit our website or call us on 1300 100 857.