Why leadership training makes sense for younger employees
by Donald Macintyre
Leadership is often associated with directing a team, making tough decisions and taking on big responsibilities. Typically, leadership training programs target the potential rising stars within an organization. But it's important to recognize that leadership skills can play a crucial role in the growth and development of every employee.
These skills enable individuals to mature as professionals who can make meaningful contributions to the organization's success. So, what's the connection between being a leader and exhibiting professional behavior in the workplace?
A professional is often regarded as the "safe pair of hands" who is given the jobs that have to be done right, and on time. Professionals are competent, reliable, and accountable. They can work alone or as part of a team, and they communicate well with colleagues, superiors, and clients. Their high standards contribute to a positive organizational culture.
Junior employees may have fewer opportunities to assume formal leadership roles within their organization. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t demonstrate leadership qualities in their day-to-day work. Junior employees can lead by setting an example through their work ethic, attitude, and communication style. They become self-leaders, becoming more self-aware and learning how to take control of their own actions and responsibilities.
Here are some ways in which leadership skills training can help junior employees grow and excel in their professional roles, whether or not they are on a fast-track career path.
Setting High Standards: At the core of professionalism is the ability to perform one's job competently. Leadership skills encourage junior employees to set high standards for themselves and their work. They strive for excellence and lead by example, demonstrating a commitment to professionalism.
Accountability: Leaders take responsibility for their actions and decisions. They own up to mistakes and work to make things right. Junior employees with leadership skills are more likely to hold themselves accountable for their work, acknowledging both successes and mistakes.
Communication: Leaders convey ideas and information in clear, simple language, listen to others and adapt their communication style to suit the audience. Junior employees who develop these skills can express themselves more effectively. They also learn to listen to what their colleagues are saying, asking questions and providing feedback.
Adaptability: Leaders often need to adapt to changing circumstances and challenges. Junior employees with leadership skills are better equipped to handle workplace changes with professionalism – they learn to embrace change and help others navigate transitions.
Conflict Resolution: Leadership skills include the ability to address and resolve conflicts professionally. Junior employees who can mediate disputes, find common ground and encourage dialogue to contribute to a more professional workplace.
Teamwork: Leaders can inspire others and encourage collaboration. Junior employees with leadership skills work better with others, fostering an environment where colleagues respect and support each other's contributions.
Self-Awareness: Junior employees who can manage their emotions and reactions professionally contribute to a more stable and respectful work environment. Leadership training encourages self-reflection and self-awareness, helping junior employees to recognize their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
Attitude: Through leadership training, junior employees can develop a positive and proactive attitude that influences their own performance and sets a positive tone for their colleagues. Junior employees learn to take initiative and look for opportunities to contribute to their teams.
In short, leadership training shouldn’t be confined to formal leaders within an organization. Skills that make leaders successful can play a vital role in shaping the professional behaviour and growth of all employees, including junior staff members.
By demonstrating leadership qualities
such as a strong work ethic, self-awareness and a proactive approach to problem-solving, junior employees can make significant contributions to their organization's success. At the time, they are also positioning themselves for future career growth and success.