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4 Key Steps To Find The Right Leadership Development Program

by Martha Simmonds
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A good leadership development program can teach you the necessary skills and provide opportunities to practice your leadership abilities in the real world, but the key to success with these programs lies in choosing the right one. There are plenty of leadership development programs out there, which means that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and end up making an uninformed decision.

These four key steps will help you find the best program for leadership development and ensure that you’re learning exactly what you need in order to be successful in your career.

1) Know your objective

Before you can decide which leadership, training is best for you, you need to know exactly what your goals are. If you’re looking for a well-rounded approach that gives you a wide variety of tools, then it might be best to sign up for an umbrella training. However, if your goals are focused on a particular area—for example, becoming better at public speaking or working in teams—then it might be more effective to invest in an intensive workshop or series of workshops instead.

Either way, make sure that everything aligns with your needs so that you get real results from your investment. Leadership development programs are often expensive; don’t spend money on something just because it sounds good if there isn’t specific data proving its effectiveness.

2) Research programs

A quick internet search for leadership training programs reveals more than 56 million results. Once you start digging into those, your options quickly become overwhelming. It’s hard to get a sense of which course is best or if a program really fits your needs—the sheer number of choices can be paralyzing and make decision-making difficult. You need a process for analyzing and filtering programs that ultimately leads you to find what works best for you and your company.

3) Choose a cost-effective program

In most cases, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a course or leadership retreat to improve your skills. Many organizations are now offering low-cost or free tools and resources for employees looking to develop their professional skills. Take advantage of these offers. If there’s a particular program you’re interested in, ask HR if they have relationships with that organization and inquire about discounted rates for employees. Otherwise, visit your local library and take advantage of the free workshops offered in your community.

4) Get feedback from others who have participated in similar programs

Before signing up for any programs, ask your network if they’ve had a positive experience in similar types of leadership development programs. Hearing about someone else’s experience with a certain training or educational opportunity can make all the difference when you’re making an investment like this.

After hearing about some of your own challenges, you may find that it doesn’t make sense to pursue a particular path. Get feedback from others who have participated in similar programs: Before signing up for any programs, ask your network if they’ve had a positive experience in similar types of leadership development programs. Hearing about someone else’s experience with a certain training or educational opportunity can make all the difference when you’re making an investment like this.

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