Training and Organizational Development – what is a leader’s most important skill?

Training and organizational development strategies are varied and vast, depending on company, individuals, and the subject at hand. However, no matter the strategy, the company or the people, there is one constant factor to consider. You, as a leader, have the greatest responsibility, the greatest burden, and the greatest role in the entire waltz that is organizational learning.

Training and Organizational Development – The Skills Every Leader Must Have

As a leader, you’re not foreign to the concept of immense responsibility and the need to be reliable and steadfast in the face of hardships or great challenge. However, there is no greater challenge a leader can face than conducting organized learning or training with his or her subordinates, and today, we’re going to take a step back from the theories and philosophies, and see what skill or skills are the most important for leadership during such a challenge.

organizational development

Part One

First, let’s get the biggest catch-22 of your situation out of the way. As a leader, your employees are going to look to you as the final answer and position on any quandary or problem they may face. This is the case during their normal work, and it will be the case during times of learning as well.

This means that as a leader, you need to seem knowledgeable in the subject at hand, and able to deliver the ultimate verdict on any question or misunderstanding they may encounter. Unfortunately for you as a leader, you’re often learning alongside your employees, and seldom have time to prepare in this way, or at least to the extent you’d prefer.

As such, you need to be able to, when unsure, deliver a demeanor of certainty in that you can, in a brief time, give them an answer that they can hold to be gospel. This means that when you don’t know, you need to graciously say so, but assure them that in a brief period, you can come to them with a definitive answer no matter what. And then, of course, you must be able to do so.

At the same time, though, you need to show a sense of growing and learning alongside your employees, to be relatable to them. You must show an interest in what all of your employees are learning equally, and show the same awe at epiphanies that they show. If an employee comes to you with a revelation, it must be a revelation to you, as a leader, no matter how trivial it may be. This reinforces their drive to continue learning, and it humanizes you during these challenging times.

But above all, as a leader, you must be managerial. You must have a skill for wisely organizing and delegating who must learn what, and when. You must know when the time to stop everyone and enforce a new idea arrives, and you must know when to step back, and let your employees perform their jobs and learn as they go. You must know how to maintain morale and progress, without hindering normal productivity. And above all else, you must be able to maintain their respect and admiration through this.

Conclusion

As a leader, the most important skill is a clear, calm and collected managerial thought process that allows you to strategize while maintaining human decency and connection with your employees, maintaining their respect, desire to make you proud, and their confidence.

As a leader, this is your greatest skill, strategy and humanity, when working out employees training and development strategies, and so you must plan around this in all things.

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
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