Empowering leaders with skills and tools to build top performing teams, achieve business goals and facilitate a culture of excellence should be top-of-mind for every company. When it comes to helping leaders develop these skills, what’s the most effective learning strategy?
Let’s start by looking at on-line learning. On-line learning is a good way to provide leaders with a foundation for grasping new skills and tools. It’s cost effective, has a large reach and in most cases is easy to access. But recent experience with the unprecedented shift to on-line learning due to the pandemic is revealing that the lack of social interaction and robust discussion in an on-line forum can hinder a leader’s ability to embrace and internalize concepts, a critical element in the overall learning process.
As more and more studies and surveys related to online learning forums are conducted, the benefit of face-to-face learning is becoming more clear. The social connections and peer-to-peer interactions create a healthy forum for discussion and debate and enable leaders to better connect with each other in a way that promotes an environment conducive to learning.
The real learning outcome unfolds when a leader translates the new skills, tools and behaviors into everyday practice. That’s when a leadership coach can help reinforce application of concepts and help the leader address challenges that emerge from doing things differently.
So what’s the most effective learning strategy for leaders? It turns out that it is not any one approach but a blended learning approach of on-line, face-to-face and coaching that delivers the best results. On-line provides a cost effective way to introduce concepts, skills and tools. Face-to-face interaction is best for embracing and internalizing the use and application of the new concepts, skills and tools. And coaching helps to reinforce what is learned to deliver sustained outcomes.
The blended learning approach provides leaders with versatile learning experiences that when blended together, create a powerful catalyst for leadership development.
As for me, I’m tired or Zooming, Teaming and Webinars. I’m really looking forward to returning to a time when face-to-face interaction, workshop discussions and personal connection are again part of the leadership development cycle. Can’t hardly wait!