Leadership

future proof your career leadership training

The Benefits and Limitations of Leadership Training

In the UK, a huge amount of money is spent by companies, large and small, on leadership training. Globally leadership and management training is thriving, with some $356 billion estimated to be spent in a single year (2015), including around £45 billion in the UK alone and this figure is sure to keep on rising. But are companies getting a good return on their investment, and is it paying off in terms of productivity and success?

The Barriers to Success

In surveys, many senior managers have said that training appears to have only a short-term benefit. Leadership training programmes are undoubtedly a force for good in most cases and particularly where leaders understand the importance of clear, concise and regular communication, as emphasised by experienced mentoring companies like Eric Land Mentoring, leaders in the field of guiding businesses to success through training, mentorship and upskilling.

In the early days of a leadership training course, participants usually gain plenty of benefits and insight, which enables them to work better with colleagues and establish new objectives for their organisation going forward. Unfortunately, this initial surge is too often short-lived as managers and staff settle back into old routines and entrenched attitudes.

It becomes clear what the barriers are to effecting permanent change for the better in companies struggling to achieve their full potential, and the most common ones are:

  • An unclear direction on strategy and achievement goals
  • A lack of teamwork among senior executives and leaders
  • A reluctance by senior managers to change direction or acknowledge their own failings
  • A reluctance by employees to point out to senior managers the obstacles standing in the way of effective operation

How Leadership Training Can Overcome Barriers to Enable Permanent Change

The most effective leadership training aims to improve individual development and organisational redesign and development in tandem with an emphasis on senior and lower level managers developing and evolving on the job as it were, teaching the art of continual learning in order to adapt to changing circumstances whenever they occur.

A vital part of leadership training is helping managers and senior executives to understand what behaviours and practices are expected of them and particularly in terms of how to set out a clear path to success for their organisation, including the hiring and development of new and existing talent within the company.

Managers can learn to understand the importance of looking for skills gaps within their staff as well as spotting underused employees who could be better employed elsewhere in the organisation with the help of further training and education.

As pointed out earlier, through leadership training, managers could learn the benefits of better communication with company employees and colleagues in order to gain insights into how the organisation is performing, what could be changed or improved and how day-to-day coaching and mentoring could help facilitate new strategies and values on the way to success all across the board. 

Leading Diverse Teams, What Good Leaders Get Right

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

There are many leadership styles. Do they all work well and get the best out of the diverse teams?

We look at what good diverse team leaders get right and how they overcome the many challenges leaders face. Attitudes to inclusive leadership and diverse teams will define how you are perceived and successful as a leader you are.

Engaging and energising

The ability to engage and energise are skills required by any leader to inspire others to achieve, give their best and ultimately benefit the business.  Leaders should be role models that others want to emulate and work hard for.  A good leader will recognise individuals for their skills and talents, improve and expect and be prepared to listen and actively seek opinion. They will develop their team by imparting knowledge, delegating and not ruling with a rod of iron.  Leading a diverse team demands that individuals be treated as such and given equal opportunity to contribute to the team to feel valued and listened to. Their ideas count. 

Inclusion

To manage a diverse team, leaders must show authentic inclusion. Team members must feel they have a stake in the future and can leverage their perspectives and approaches so that learning and growth drive the business forward. There needs to be authentic value in both words and deeds, showing appreciation and respect for the contributions of all team members, irrespective of their diverse identities, talents and background. To do so, leaders must be aware of their biases and stereotypes that could influence their thinking and do all they can to neutralise and remove them. In fact, to successfully lead a team of diverse individuals, a good leader will seek to actively learn from the diversity within the team and ensure that team members are open-minded and will learn and be open to the opinions and backgrounds of others. 

High-engagement culture

A good leader will listen as much as they speak. This must be without bias if a leader is to create a team of individuals who are free to express their ideas without fear. Leaders must promote team relations that support a democratic, fair and supportive environment that deals with challenges and avoids authoritarian, defensive or favoured ways. They should challenge those that show disrespectful behaviour towards others and hold individuals accountable for any inappropriate behaviour to ensure everyone feels safe, included and valued.

Inclusive leaders will be transparent and expect transparency, thus engineering a shift away from exclusionary or stagnant cultures that damage businesses seeking to move ahead in a diverse and forward-thinking way. An open and accepting culture leverages team member differences to positive effect to inspire and encourage collaboration without borders or boundaries. In this way, team members feel motivated to do the best for themselves and the business.

Whether it is overcoming gender, race, background or sexual diversity: organisations that demonstrate inclusivity at every level will see better results. Those whose barriers and closed ceilings prevent them from exploring the wealth of talent and opinion that diverse backgrounds can bring will suffer for it. 

This article explains why diversity, equity and inclusion must not be put aside if leaders and businesses are to avoid being at a disadvantage.

business owner

The Biggest Challenges of Leading Remotely

It’s easier to manage and lead a team when everyone is in front of you, and you can see what is going on more clearly. Yet, with the change to hybrid and remote working showing signs of continuing, it’s essential to brush up on the skills of leading remotely. Of course, there are challenges, and here we take a look at what they are and what you can do to overcome them.

Setting clear expectations

Don’t assume that just because expectations in the office were clear this is the case for home or hybrid workers. You may need to give more direction and guidance, especially when it comes to what you expect when it comes to responding to communications and attending virtual meetings.

Avoid micromanaging. Instead, empower your team’s belonging and accountability, so they take responsibility for getting the job done without you.

Managing productivity

Whilst remote working can improve productivity for many workers; others will struggle. They may find it difficult to keep focussed and productive with home distractions and a lack of direct in-person supervision. Set realistic goals and innovative ways to track working time and progress to help keep them on track. 

You may also face the challenge of aligning expectations of those in the office with remote workers to manage perceptions and ensure resentment over production or perceived lack of it doesn’t build. Keep everyone in the office and home up-to-date on who is responsible and doing what.

Communicate regularly

With the ability to integrate and discuss matters freely around an office, it’s essential to make time for engagement and communication with those working remotely, and these tips may help. Set aside some times of the day when you are free to engage in short sessions with remote employees to catch up and share your calendar to let them know when you are available.

Cohesive teams

It can be challenging to treat both on-site and hybrid workers equally, but it’s essential to make everything as fair as possible. Differences can cause teams to break up through resentment and will affect productivity. Find ways to include remote workers if you provide free snacks or meals during meetings to office-based employees. Find ways to extend flexible working hours to remote workers if it’s a benefit afforded to on-site workers, or recognise that remote workers do not have the travel hassles of their office-based colleagues. There are no hard and fast rules but you should seek to remove any bias.

Social interactions

Remote workers are at risk of social isolation, and loneliness is one of the most common complaints, especially from those who had transitioned to home working when they previously came to your office each day. So it’s essential to be mindful and make ways to include socially those at home, grab a virtual coffee together and chat about things that aren’t work-related as you would over a typical office coffee break. Open a chat channel that is fun and is more about inclusion and socialising than work, listen to the concerns of both those in the office and at home, and be sure to follow up, just as you would do if everyone were together. 

Lastly, lead by example. The easier and more pleasant you make it, the more work everyone is likely to get through. Perhaps learn how to become more productive yourself and share insights and experiences with all your team members no matter where they are based.

business success via mentoring

Leadership Communication Strategies For Business Success

A great leader understands the importance of communication. Communication skills can undoubtedly be learned to make success easier. No matter how big or small your business or organisation, you need to excel at communication for the sake of your business.

Does It Matter As Long As The Job Gets Done?

In short, the answer is yes. Poor communication leads to low morale, lost sales and missed goals and that hits your bottom line. On the other hand, get communication right and you will rally teams, empower employees and build trust amongst colleagues. 

What Are Essential Skills?

  • Active Listening– hearing and understanding what is being said to you. Knowing when to speak and when to listen, ask questions and listen to what is said. Employees who feel heard, have a chance to express ideas and give feedback feel more valued, are more actively engaged, leading to higher morale and productivity. Keep your focus on the employee and eliminate any distractions. If you want to win them over, they need to know they are an essential part of the company structure.
  • Identifying your leadership style and adapting your communication style–you need to understand how employees perceive you and tailor your interactions to influence them to respond. Whilst you may feel you are an authoritative leader, this may not be the best approach to win over a strong employee seeking autonomy. The ability to adapt your communication style will make a difference.
  • Transparency – Leaders build trust through an environment where employees understand the company goals and challenges. Every individual understands the importance of their role within the company and transparent leaders helps make this connection. 5 Powerful things happen when a leader is transparent; this Forbes article shows changes a leader can make to get results.
  • Empathy– this quite possibly should have been listed first, as it is a leadership skill must for success. Acknowledging employees feelings and experiences will help them feel valued. Showing you may not be able to change things, but you hear them will build a more robust, more productive culture that every leader needs for success.
  • Body Language– How you carry yourself can undo thousands of words. Make eye contact and take control of your mouth. Know when to give a smile or grimace and convey warmth with your movements. 
  • Questioning style– Practice asking open-ended questions and how to elicit thoughtful and thorough responses. Clarify and probe when you need to. In doing so, you will get more considered answers and clarity on what is required for all to succeed. Closed questions will shut down opinions and employees feeling that they have no right t be heard.
  • Feedback– Ask for it and be prepared to act on it. If you never implement changes from feedback or are not transparent about why changes cant be made, you will lose employee faith. Let employees know you hear them and inform them of any progress you can or have made if you want them to take you seriously.

Alongside the tips above, we recommend you check out these top 5 leadership books of all time to give you even more strategies for communicating well within your business.

The Reason Leadership Is So Essential To Success

In our competitive world today, management skills are crucial to any profitable business. What is management? Management is commonly used to discuss with activities reminiscent of conducting, guiding, or directing people; initiating activity. Nonetheless, leadership can also be used to check with someone who’s a leader. How can management be utilized in so many ways and what constitutes a leader in all of these situations? The answer is contained within the realization that maybe essentially the most elementary characteristic of management, and therefore of leaders, is personal leadership.

Some individuals are born leaders while others have to acquire the skill and expertise to successfully make their mark as a leader. It is obvious that some individuals have the confidence and the charisma to make themselves role models for others to follow. These people do not require much steering in nurturing their inherent talent.

However there are scores of others for whom developing management qualities is essential to their success. Management skill coaching is of immense significance within the present day corporate world. Leadership skill training is imparted to concerned people to help them derive the utmost profit so far as buying leadership skill is concerned.

At instances it’s not very simple for new leaders to change their position from a contributor to a leader. Management skill coaching empowers an individual to place confidence in others and likewise assists him in utilizing his time fruitfully with others by grooming individuals with assistance from steerage, assist, and training.

These skills, much like keyword research, may be tough to amass, so the switchover to the status of leadership may be very demanding and at occasions unthinkable within the absence of effective steering and help.

What is personal management? It is the capacity to guide others and yourself in the path you need your life to take. The ability to outline what you want out of life and how you’ll get there is the first step in growing leadership. It is just the beginning as a result of personal leadership means “main”, “directing”, and “taking action”. It means dwelling each day to the fullest. It means growing targets that you want so badly that you simply live every day with enthusiastic ardor to your goals, yourself, and all who’re close to you. Realizing what you want out of life; understanding what success is to you; realizing what your targets are; figuring out that you will achieve those goals no matter what different folks suppose, say, or do, is the essence of non-public leadership.

Personal leadership additionally means “accountability”. It means that you have decided to use the abilities which can be distinctive to you and can develop them further to succeed in your goals. It means that you realize that you’ve got the potential to develop further. It means that you’ve got determined the course of your future-you’re the master of your life.

Management coaching additionally helps leaders who have the inherent talent in them to advance their skill and sense of judgment to transform themselves into leaders of great repute.

If you want added information with reference to leadership development programs visit Mindi B Menxter’s website.

Leadership Communication Strategies For Business Success

A great leader understands the importance of communication. Communication skills can undoubtedly be learned to make success easier. No matter how big or small your business or organisation, you need to excel at communication for the sake of your business.

Does It Matter As Long As The Job Gets Done?

In short, the answer is yes. Poor communication leads to low morale, lost sales and missed goals and that hits your bottom line. On the other hand, get communication right and you will rally teams, empower employees and build trust amongst colleagues. 

What Are Essential Skills?

  • Active Listening– hearing and understanding what is being said to you. Knowing when to speak and when to listen, ask questions and listen to what is said. Employees who feel heard, have a chance to express ideas and give feedback feel more valued, are more actively engaged, leading to higher morale and productivity. Keep your focus on the employee and eliminate any distractions. If you want to win them over, they need to know they are an essential part of the company structure.
  • Identifying your leadership style and adapting your communication style–you need to understand how employees perceive you and tailor your interactions to influence them to respond. Whilst you may feel you are an authoritative leader, this may not be the best approach to win over a strong employee seeking autonomy. The ability to adapt your communication style will make a difference.
  • Transparency – Leaders build trust through an environment where employees understand the company goals and challenges. Every individual understands the importance of their role within the company and transparent leaders helps make this connection. 5 Powerful things happen when a leader is transparent; this Forbes article shows changes a leader can make to get results.
  • Empathy– this quite possibly should have been listed first, as it is a leadership skill must for success. Acknowledging employees feelings and experiences will help them feel valued. Showing you may not be able to change things, but you hear them will build a more robust, more productive culture that every leader needs for success.
  • Body Language– How you carry yourself can undo thousands of words. Make eye contact and take control of your mouth. Know when to give a smile or grimace and convey warmth with your movements. 
  • Questioning style– Practice asking open-ended questions and how to elicit thoughtful and thorough responses. Clarify and probe when you need to. In doing so, you will get more considered answers and clarity on what is required for all to succeed. Closed questions will shut down opinions and employees feeling that they have no right t be heard.
  • Feedback– Ask for it and be prepared to act on it. If you never implement changes from feedback or are not transparent about why changes cant be made, you will lose employee faith. Let employees know you hear them and inform them of any progress you can or have made if you want them to take you seriously.

Alongside the tips above, we recommend you check out these top 5 leadership books of all time to give you even more strategies for communicating well within your business.

future proof your career leadership training

Leadership Tips for Introverts

Are you looking for your next promotion, the next step in your career or a leadership role? Are you concerned that as an introvert you are not a natural leader? Well, fear not, as introverts have personality traits that can lead to great leadership skills. 

Here are some leadership tips that will help you secure your next big role and be successful in it. They are simple and easy to implement. 

1. Listen skills

The ability to listen to others is a powerful skill that introverts have and comes naturally to them. This will allow you to listen fully to your team then acting instinctively. You will be able to listen to all viewpoints when making various decisions. This will enable you to lead your team in a positive way.

2.Thinking skills

As an introvert, you are more likely to enjoy spending time on your own than with others. This can allow you time to think and contemplate. This could aid you in making better decisions and could lead you to consider ideas more, instead of jumping in with little thought!

3. Writing it down

It is probably easier as an introvert to write things down then speaking about them. This can be used to your advantage. We don’t always remember what we would like to say but writing them down on paper allows as to come back to the ideas and not forget them.

4. Meetings

It is key that you prepare for meetings so you don’t feel overwhelmed or nervous talking in front of a large audience as this is something which you are not used to. It may also be productive to practice beforehand the agenda that is to be discussed. This will give you more confidence in the delivery.

5. Get to know your team

You may find it difficult to socialise, as this does not come naturally to introverts. However, if you plan for this through after-work events or even allow times during the working day this will help you build positive relationships within your team.

6. Recognise different personalities

It is probably likely that there are many other introvert personalities within your team. Recognising this will allow you to hon in on each individuals strengths, regardless of their personality. This will give them the best possible chance of success.

7. Professional Development

Always remember that professional development will allow you to further develop your skills in leadership and get better at the things you are not particularly good at. Look at the skills you want to develop and take action. This can be through taking on a public speaking course, taking the lead on the next big project and more. 

So, as an introvert, you have an abundant set of skills to take on your next leadership role. Some of these skills come naturally and others can be developed and refined. Remember, through time there have been plenty of famous introverts such as Albert Einstein and Bill Gates, who have revolutionised the world in their field, and you could be up there with them!  

6 Ways to settle in your new recruit

Your new employee has accepted the job and it is now their first day.  They are bound to be nervous and the longer this lasts, the more their productivity and motivation for their job will be affected.  So what can you do to minimise this, and help them to settle as part of the team more quickly?

Create understanding

Spend time showing them the whole picture. Knowing how they fit into the organisation and how their contribution makes a difference will help them to feel valued and inspired to pitch in. Teach them about your company vision and values.  Understanding the purpose of their role, knowing the progression route that is achievable for them will help them to settle and see a future for themselves.

Keep up the energy

If you present a picture of energy and enthusiasm for your job, the company and your team, this will be contagious.  If you see your new recruit in difficulty or looking hesitant, ensure they know who can offer assistance.  Resolve any issues they have quickly and keep the momentum going.  

An open-door policy

You know that the reality of the job is often not quite that given in the interview picture, your new recruit will be aware of this too, so why not be open and honest, remove the surprises and chances for uncertainty to creep in.  

A team that feels their boss is open, approachable and honest will pull together through good and bad.  If a new recruit sees this, they will feel less intimidated and grow in confidence, which will help their performance. 

Individual attention

This is especially important for new recruits. No matter the size of your team or how quickly the new recruit settles into their role; it’s essential to keep conversations about development going.

Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your team.  You may have a little gem in your new recruit that takes them far beyond the role you employed them for.  

Encouraging them, allowing them to learn a little about you, and you about them, not just work personas, will allow for a free flow of feedback and encouragement.  

Inviting workspace

Your workspacee has to accommodate many different pieces of equipment, but placement and lighting can help to make the area more inviting, and the more comfortable, inviting and friendly your set up is, the more you productivity is likely to improve.

You are more likely to recruit and retain employees if they love their environment.  If your new recruit sees others happy at work, then they will be more likely to relax and follow.

Create social events both in and out of the work place, hold regular team building meetings, and show your new recruit their opinion is as valued as that of a long-standing employee.  After all fresh eyes can often see what older ones miss. You may learn something worthwhile too.

Track progress and reward

Do not be afraid to monitor progress and reward your new recruit, recognise small achievements, whether by a comment or more formal reward. You will help keep your new recruit engaged and motivated when they see you notice. 

It will also help you step in early should their need to be changes, before it becomes a bigger issue that requires more drastic actions.

Mentoring An Anxious Employee – Top Tips

According to the HSE, in 2018/19, there were over 600 thousand employees suffering with anxiety, depression or stress in the workplace. Whether they’re a new recruit or an old hand that’s suffering, looking after the mental health of your employees is as important as their physical health.  Wiht this in mind, what can you do within your business to help anxiety levels in the employees you mentor?

Clear Company Policy

One of the first and perhaps the most important factors is to ensure that your entire business is open to mental health awareness. Maintain a clear visible strategy to show staff that both mental and physical wellbeing is important and they can be confident to speak, through established channels when they need help or believe another member of staff may.

Mentoring junior employees can help greatly in reducing their stress levels, which in turn gives them more confidence and ultimately leads to greater productivity and help them to settle into their work.  

When handled sensitively, a mentor can be the difference between an anxious employee succeeding in your company or crumbling under the pressure.

Mental Health Awareness

Managing mental health in the workplace requires a strategy that promotes wellbeing for all staff. It is important that staff who require additional mental health support feel they can speak out, be listened to and receive support. It is important to focus on what employees can do, rather than what they cannot. 

Providing a mentor for an anxious employee will provide them with the security of support from someone who will get to know them and be able to personalise the support they give.  It can be as simple as giving feedback on a task more regularly than they would normally receive, or simply an ear to discuss concerns they are having whether it is in work or their private life.  

Action Plans

Mental health can affect an employee differently from one day to the next. By supporting your managers to work with those suffering, developing an action plan in advance with tailored support ready for the times they feel they are not coping so well, will ensure you are able to respond quickly as issues arise.  Creating practical and agreed steps in advance gives both the employer and the employee a basis for review and monitoring. It should cover triggers and warning signs, so that both learn to recognise the onset quickly. Is should also recognise the impact an occurrence may have on their performance and what support can be offered to reduce the effects and lastly cover what workplace changes may be needed to facilitate the support. 

It should also identify positive steps that the individual can take to safeguard their wellbeing, and manage their anxiety.

Changes

Many of the changes required are often small and inexpensive, but will require some thought. Perhaps scheduling a catch up meeting to help prioritise workloads, offering flexible working to facilitate causes of anxiety outside the workplace, allowing adjusted working hours or an additional break which can help some individuals cope, especially those on medication. 

Your company will benefit by fostering a caring attitude for staff and reduce the number of staff that may be unable to continue working if no support could be offered.  Anxious employees will often thrive, grow in confidence and ability and provide many years of loyal service if the right support is given by their emplpyees and those that mentor them.

Learning as leaders – How to make sure you’re not leading from behind

When it comes to leadership there are a number of very distinct styles that team leaders can often find themselves falling into. 

When you lead from the front, rather than from behind, this means that you are play a vital and active role in the day to day running of the company or organisation that you are working for. When a business leader adopts this style of leadership, they are actively choosing to be more engaged with the members of their team, their customers and the stakeholders who are actively involved with the operations “front line.” 

You can learn from those you lead

Being a leader is not all about you, its actually about the people that you lead, and they have a lot of valuable information to share with those who are willing to listen. A huge part of being a leader requires you to use great communication skills, this might be for talking to customers, stakeholders or even the members of your team. But communication is more than talking it is also about listening, and your team can be a great source of information and ideas if you are willing to listen to them. 

When you encounter a problem with something you are working on you might want to get the team together to work on finding a solution; this can often come from the most unexpected member of your team. In other words the members of your team can teach you things, but you have to be willing to listen to them. Interacting with your team, letting them see that you are also working on problems, and getting involved will help them to feel like their voice matters. When you choose to put barriers between you and your team; to create a “me” and “them” situations, and this is not effective leading.

Learning is constant

From the CEO of a company to the newest apprentice, learning is a continual process. You are always in a position to learn something new whilst you are working. It is also important to consider your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as well. These are the learning activities that any professional undertakes to enhance and renew their skills in the workplace. These are not just those skills linked solely to your role, they can also be your interpersonal skills as well and even the skills needed to use new software and technology. Continually improving your skills can help to keep you in the loop with developments that occur within your field, new innovations and methodologies that might help you to carry out your role much better.

When you create the right environment within your team and are not leading from behind it benefits everyone and there are opportunities for team member to learn from each other. It isn’t a sign of weakness when the team leader learns something from another person in the team but rather a sign of strength that can help to strengthen the team.