Business leadership training is important for your team. Should you send all of your leaders outside to a public leadership session or should you bring your training in-house? There are advantages to each choice, so the situation you are in might determine the best path.

Public Training Sessions

There are lots of public trainings that you can choose from as you look to upgrade your leadership skills in your company. In fact, one of the advantages is the sheer number of leadership programs to choose from. Of course, you may have to travel to attend the session. Sometimes they are local sessions that you can drive to but other times you might have to fly to the training location in order to catch the training that you want because it just happens to be where the training is located. The risk of course is you might have to go to Minneapolis in the winter or Phoenix in the summer.

Public sessions are great options to consider when you are testing out different training methods or consulting companies to see whose philosophy is a good fit for what you want to achieve back in your company. It is also a good option when you have a couple new leaders that you want to get trained verses a major training initiative for all of the leaders in your company. Naturally, to send your entire leadership team off site where there are airplanes and hotels involved can be quite expensive. Sending one or two people who are new to leadership roles or perhaps just joined your company would be a good way to get their skills ramped up quickly.

In-House Training Sessions

When you choose to bring a trainer or consultant into your company to hold workshops and training sessions, you can train many of your leaders at the same time. What’s nice about having the sessions on site is that the consultant or trainer can get to know your business. In fact, they may be working with you in other areas already and are well positioned to support leadership development because they have observed your challenges.

They can tailor their program to align with your company’s core values and further align with your strategy, purpose, vision and mission to make sure that the messages that they are delivering during the training are reinforcing what’s important in your business. This is a nice advantage over public training sessions because at public training sessions, the trainer is delivering material to people from many companies at the same time and, therefore, not tailoring the content to your specific environment or needs.

Reminder: Goal of Any Training

It ‘s important that as leaders, we don’t fall into the trap of thinking that attending training is progress by itself or that learning knowledge and skills is not progress by itself. Remember that training sessions are meant to provide new knowledge and skills so that you can take actions and incorporate the knowledge and skills into new behaviors that lead to improved results.

Here are some ways that you can maximize the effectiveness of your leadership training:

  1. Define the clear results that you want to achieve as a result of your team attending training.
  2. Create metrics to measure how you are doing.
  3. Provide your training attendees with some on-going coaching from the consultant or trainer after the program ends.
  4. Assign those leaders who attend the training a mentor to help guide them. It should be someone who has demonstrated the skill and competences in practice who your training attendees can go to for help and guidance.
  5. Provide your training attendees feedback along the way after the training has ended so that they know what they need to do differently to further develop their skills and incorporate the principles from the training.
  6. Practice a continuous improvement mindset. Learning at the training and applying the new principles are opportunities to experiment, notice what works and adopt these strategies, and then adjust and experiment further until you get the results you want to achieve.

Remember, it is all about how well you implement the principles not just about how well you learn them. It’s not about how smart your team is but how well your smart team gets results. Leadership training should help make your teams more effective and ultimately help the team get better results.