Attitudes Should Be a Part of Leadership Skills Training
By Andre Boykin
If you hear a motivational speaker you can probably make a safe bet that at some point in the speech there is going to be a discussion about attitudes. Motivational speakers know how important attitudes are for anyone to achieve what they want to achieve. What we don’t see is a lot of talk about attitudes in leadership development training. Before we get into that, let’s look at the role attitudes play in business.
Even though there is a lot written and spoken about attitudes, we still don’t understand them. Attitudes are viewpoints or outlooks that are unique to us as individuals. The attitudes that we have are habitual ways of thinking. Attitudes are not opinions because opinions tend to change frequently. Attitudes, on the other hand, tend to remain constant over long periods of time. It is these habitual ways of thinking or attitudes that determine our behaviors.
In business attitudes are often the last thing considered for achieving business goals. Let’s look at an example of how attitudes are often overlooked until it is too late. Usually when a business looks to hire someone they make sure that the person has the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. In fact, a company will usually invest in the individual to develop further the skills and knowledge of the person they hire. Conversely when a company gets ready to fire someone, isn’t it usually about the attitudes of the person? Still, very little if anything is invested in developing attitudes.
Attitudes are really the multipliers of performance. While skills and knowledge are necessary to perform a job successfully, it is the attitudes that determine the level of excellence in a job. You probably have seen where a person who had tremendous skills and knowledge but, had poor attitudes did not succeed in the job. And, you probably have seen where someone with mediocre skills and knowledge but a great attitude excel in the job. Why is that? The reason is: attitudes are the multipliers of performance.
Leadership Skills Training & Attitudes
So if attitudes are so important to the success in the performance of a job, why don’t you train attitudes as a basis for leadership skills training? In leadership skills training usually there is a focus on competencies that make a great leader. The leadership competencies would include communication, problem solving, decision making, goal setting, conflict resolution, and so on. It is very rare to see a module on attitudes. Yet attitudes are a key component of great leadership.
Some attitudes that you would want to see in a leader are:
- Being a self starter
- Willing to take responsibility for their own actions and actions for their team
- Being open minded
- Being resilient
- Having a results orientation
- Being customer focused
Each one of these attitude areas has skills associated with them; but, it is the mindset or attitudes that a person has in each of these areas that is going to determine how successful the person will be.
If more emphasis was placed on attitudes in leadership skills training the effectiveness of the leadership would improve, customer and employee satisfaction would escalate, and overall productivity would increase. Look at how you develop your leaders and ensure that attitude development is part of your leadership skills training.
From: Andre Boykin – Managing Partner, CAPITAL iDEA and Co-Creator of Leadership Development Essentials.
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