How to select delegates for leadership training

What are the key steps to identifying the right people in your organisation to benefit from leadership development?

Delegates should be nominated by senior or board level management within your organisation. However, even after this takes place you should insist on evidence that these nominees have leadership potential.

As with management training courses, these are not a remedy for underperforming staff – if one of your senior executives is struggling or not performing in the way needed and intended by the organisation, it needs to be dealt with separately.

For the best results, make sure delegates undergo pre-course assessment, such as 360-degree feedback or appropriate psychometric profiling.

Leigh Lovering, management and personal development director at training and skills development provider QA, recommends 360-degree feedback, saying “it’s more related to the workplace than psychometrics”.

With leadership dependent to such a large degree on communication, 360-degree feedback represents the best way of getting an accurate view of the candidate and their potential training needs.

Delegates at this level may feel that they no longer need to be developed – try to avoid developing only those receptive to these courses. It may be that the less receptive people are those in greater need of development.

And it’s worth bearing in mind – and pointing out to them if necessary – that the changing economy means that new skills are needed in even the most experienced of leaders.

Today’s younger senior management may not have worked during the last recession, and they will almost certainly not have been in management then.

The workforce will also have changed since they joined the ranks of management – today’s leaders will be heading more multicultural teams than ever before. They will also face challenges around managing remote teams – perhaps homeworkers – and will need to be equipped to do so.


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