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How to conduct a successful workshop on leadership development

by | Sep 16, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy, 1963

Identifying and developing new leaders who can replace senior executives when they retire or leave an organization is critical. Succession planning is the process of training and developing capable employees to assume leadership roles as they present themselves.

Leadership development programs allow employees to grow within a company rather than move elsewhere to fulfill their career ambitions. Leadership development workshops are an important part of succession planning. Prioritizing these programs represents a commitment to developing high-performing employees, giving them a reason to commit their time and career to the organization.

This blog discusses how leadership workshops and leadership development programs are critical components of employee engagement, succession planning and the commitment of key talent. We’ll give you everything you need to plan and execute your own leadership workshop. 

What is a leadership workshop?

Leadership workshops are typically short, targeted development interventions aimed at leadership skill-building in specific functional areas or specialized skills for particular positions or organizations.

Additionally, leadership development workshops help develop leadership effectiveness, enhance employee engagement, increase the organization’s ability to deal with talent gaps, and reduce the costs associated with managerial turnover.

Leadership Succession Planning

Leadership succession planning increases the availability of capable employees who are prepared to assume key management roles as they become available. 

Benefits of Leadership Workshops

A leadership workshop can introduce new concepts and specific challenges, encouraging participants to find their own unique solutions or to utilize a proven approach.

  • 77 % of organizations report that leadership is lacking, and while that is a big number it should not come as a surprise given that 10,000 Baby Boomers retire every single day. (ApolloTechnical, 2022)
  • 83% of businesses say it’s important to develop leaders at all levels. (ApolloTechnical 2022)

Why should organizations have a leadership development program?

A leadership development program can significantly impact an individual’s leadership skills and capacities to excel personally and professionally in their role and organization. Below are examples of organizations with successful leadership development programs:

  • Upwork’s leadership training program supports new managers through peer coaching and mentoring from more senior-level leaders.
  • Adobe’s leadership training program includes career planning sessions, a learning stipend, and access to skill development resources.
  • Paycor’s leadership program includes senior leaders’ participation and a partnership with Miami University’s Farmer School of Business to deliver learning content and facilitate discussions around Paycor-specific training.

The most effective leadership development programs build needed competencies while preparing new and effective leaders to manage future challenges.

How to Plan and Structure Leadership Training Workshops

Plan workshop objectives and desired outcomes

According to McGill University, workshop learning outcomes are clear statements of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that participants will develop as a result of participating in your workshop.

Statement of learning outcomes (McGill University):

  • focused on participant learning,
  • clear and concise,
  • measurable and observable
  • achievable

“By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to…”

Note: Good objectives are specific, measurable, and realistic

The following questions can be used to develop learning outcomes:

  • What problem is this workshop addressing?
  • What is the goal of this workshop?
  • What skills do we want the workshop members to learn?
  • What exercises will help workshop members learn the required skills?
  • How do we assess workshop success?
  • How does leadership development benefit from this workshop?

Examples leadership workshop outcomes

By the end of the workshop, members should be able to:

  • Plan quarterly sales targets
  • Resolve a conflict between coworkers
  • Promote organizational diversity and tolerance
  • Design and execute a virtual training session
  • Assemble and lead a project team

Examples List of Leaders Skills to Develop Through Workshops

The following are examples of leadership skills that can be develop through workshop activities:

  • Conflict resolution: a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement.
  • Problem-solving: defining a problem, determining the cause, identifying options, and implementing a solution.
  • Leading innovation: Guide an enterprise through accelerating change with agile, insightful leadership.
  • Leading change: requires a deliberate focus on developing leaders who can lead others through the waters of change.
  • Virtual leadership: providing the foundation and value employees need to thrive in any environment.
  • Team building: strengthening bonds between group members for more efficiently achieving the group’s goals. (Team leaders)
  • Decision-making: making choices by identifying a decision, gathering information, and assessing alternative resolutions.
  • Goal setting: identifying something you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes.
  • Time management: the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities.
  • Resource allocation: the process of assigning and managing assets in a manner that supports an organization’s strategic planning goals.
  • Communication and Networking: using a network, people can communicate efficiently with a group of people through instant messaging, video conferencing, social media, chat rooms, etc. It is easy to share files, data, and information.
  • Diversity Awareness: one’s ability to embrace the uniqueness of all individuals along several dimensions such as race, religious beliefs, ethnicity, age, gender, physical abilities, political views, and socioeconomic status.
  • Managing Group dynamics: is the process of managing human behavior; team members develop mutual trust, are ready to work collectively, provide support, productively brainstorm ideas, and listen to other group members.

Workshop Activities Overview

Leadership exercises include events, games, and skills training to teach teams and managers to be better leaders.

Communication activities

Communicative activities include exercises that encourage and require a learner to speak with and listen to other trainees. These activities are designed to: inform, break down barriers, build trust, increase self-awareness and learn about organizational diversity.

Problem-solving activities

Problem-solving activities help develop critical reasoning skills and encourage trainees to overcome challenges individually or as a team.

Decision-making activities

Decision-making is essential for all management functions; from planning to budgeting, hiring, or completing tasks, leaders are constantly making decisions. Thus, activities that enhance logic, critical thinking, and decisiveness are key components of any leadership workshop.

Conflict-resolution activities

Conflict management is a vital skill that involves handling confrontations tactfully and constructively. The aim is to yield a positive result from disputes and disagreements between individuals in the workplace.

Trust-building activities

Trust-building activities are a great way to help teams form high levels of trust, making them more productive. However, despite working together so often, employees will rarely have a chance to bond on a personal level.

Concluding a Leadership Workshop:

    1. Provide a summary of the main points, verbally and in writing
    2. Discuss the workshop’s effectiveness (Question and Answer session)
    3. Take time to recognize contributions of peers, coworkers and participants
    4. Ensure that participants provide feedback about what they have gained from experience.

Succession planning is critical for organizations of all sizes. By identifying and developing new leaders who can replace senior leaders when they retire or leave, the organization ensures that it will continue to thrive even when key individuals move on.

In addition, leadership development programs allow employees to grow within a company rather than move elsewhere to fulfill their desires for growth. This commitment to leadership development represents a dedication by the entire organization to its employees and shows that it is willing to invest in their future.

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