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How to develop leadership skills in your managers

Leadership skills are critical to ensure your managers lead your teams effectively. Find out how to develop managers’ leadership skills with Go1.
Mike Jeavons, Content Writer

A good manager isn’t a boss, but instead, they lead their team from one success to another. They’re not only great listeners and communicators, they’re also experts in their industry and somebody their colleagues can turn to.

But how do you ensure your managers develop their skills so they become the very best leaders? In this post, we’re going to take a look at how managers can develop their skills and how online leadership and management courses can help make that happen.

The importance of leadership development in the workplace

Some employees are naturally better at leadership than others. That’s not to say that others can’t learn the necessary skills to become strong leaders as their careers develop.

However, there’s one thing both experienced leaders and new leaders have in common: they can always learn more. Your managers may have a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience in leading a team, but there are always advancements made which means the learning should never stop.

Leadership development shouldn’t be limited to current or trainee managers, as the skills taught in courses develop employees of all levels. These include:

  • Teamwork
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Giving constructive feedback
  • Motivation
  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Resilience

By offering leadership development within your business, it allows your teams to work confidently together, and enables you to promote from within and retain top talent.

The importance of leadership development in the workplace cannot be understated. Without it, your competitors are likely to overtake you, you’ll operate outdated practices, and your teams simply won’t perform as well as they should.

The importance of leadership training for managers

A great manager has to be proficient in many skills, and have in-depth knowledge in a multitude of different areas. These include communication, delegation, decision-making, listening, HR skills, and many more. This is why leadership training is important, and managers should frequently learn to upskill and refresh.

Leadership training for managers doesn’t simply cover the basics. While there is a wide selection of training that covers the fundamentals, there are also many courses that cover specific topics so your managers can become even better at what they do. It’s likely that your managers already have basic leadership skills, but developing this will equip them with everything they need to inspire, motivate, engage, strategize and organize.

When you have a manager who has great leadership skills you ensure the success of your teams, which in turn means you deliver quality results for your clients and customers.

For more information check out our blog post on 12 essential leadership skills.

The advantages of leadership training

As we’ve already highlighted, your managers may already have many qualities that make them great leaders. Qualities that come naturally to some managers include confidence, listening skills, and resilience. However, while they may exceed in some areas, they may lack skills in others - that’s why improving leadership skills is imperative, regardless of seniority or experience.

The advantages of leadership training include:

  • Attract and retain top-tier talent
  • Save costs and improve financial performance - when you develop existing employees not only do you save on expensive and lengthy recruitment, but investing in your people can have a significant ROI
  • Improved teamwork and communication
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved engagement
  • Manage change effectively
  • Improved decision making

How difficult is it to develop leadership skills?

Depending on the current knowledge and experience of your managers, learning leadership skills will take a varying amount of time and effort. More experienced managers may find that they can complete certain leadership courses relatively quickly, while newer or developing managers may find it more challenging.

There is also a range of leadership training topics, from basic to advanced, which will have varying degrees of difficulty.

However, leadership development training ensures that the necessary skills can be learned regardless of the student's prior experience.

For example, communication is a skill everyone has - it’s just that some employees have better communication skills than others. Most employees know the fundamentals of communication, but training allows them to get a deeper understanding and helps them to learn the hows, wheres, whys, whos, and whens involved with workplace communication.

But one major question is how can employees develop their leadership skills? This may be especially challenging for employees looking to upskill, while not currently being in a role that allows them to put those skills into practice. It can also be difficult to find time away from the business to dedicate to development.

How to develop leadership skills

There are three ways employees can develop their leadership skills:

  • Work shadowing or mentoring
  • In-person training
  • Online management courses

Work shadowing or mentoring can be a highly effective way of learning the ins and outs of a specific role. However, this isn’t the best way to identify an individual employee's unique management style - what works for one manager may not work for another.

In-person training can be useful, however, it can be expensive and time-consuming, taking multiple employees away from the business which can disrupt their day-to-day responsibilities.

Among the best leadership training programs are those offered online. Online courses are cost-effective and completely self-directed, meaning they can be taken during periods of downtime, or at other convenient times.

Online training will allow employees to develop their leadership skills by:

  • Understanding their weaknesses and how to improve them
  • Showing them how to strategize and set ambitious yet attainable goals
  • Helping them to understand their own leadership style
  • Teaching them how to become a well-rounded communicator
  • Allowing them to make better, well-informed decisions
  • Knowing how to learn from their mistakes (and not repeat them)

How to improve leadership skills in the workplace

Online leadership courses can teach managers all the relevant skills needed to be great leaders, but there is also more the employee can do to develop these skills in the workplace.

Three ways to improve leadership skills outside of training include:

  • Set goals - a key leadership quality is being driven by goals, and setting goals for themselves - which they then stick to - can lead to goal setting for others
  • Offer to help out colleagues - when employees offer to help others it displays a positive, proactive attitude, and can help build relationships and respect
  • Learn more about the business - a leader isn’t someone who sticks to their own team or department and will have to work closely with others throughout the business. For this reason, learning more about the business and the way other teams work will help build a deeper understanding of the business and how it operates

When looking to develop, an action plan to improve leadership skills on top of online training courses is imperative for managers to become well-rounded leaders.

How to practice leadership skills

Leadership and management training will teach managers how to be good leaders, but it’s also important that employees know how to practice the leadership skills they have learned.

Simple ways to use these skills include:

  • Be seen - a good leader doesn’t blend into the crowd, they make themselves available wherever possible
  • Feedback - a key leadership skill is offering constructive, well-articulated feedback
  • Listen - this is the one part of communication that some people forget
  • Motivate others - positivity and motivation are the qualities of a great leader
  • Accountability - everybody makes mistakes, so owning and learning from them is important
  • Learn - use every opportunity to learn more

Improve your managers' leadership skills with online training from Go1

Go1 offers a wide range of online leadership training courses which are perfect for new or seasoned managers. For more information on what Go1 can offer your business, schedule a demo with our experts today.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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