How do you choose training for your leaders that actually works? There are approximately one thousand and one different training materials you can purchase out there, and each one promises to build the team you need. Most trainings are similar in how they approach things. They give information on how to lead, nice anecdotes to connect the dots for you and your leaders, and they end with reflection questions. Honestly, any training you use or buy is probably giving good subject matter. They probably have worth-while subjects and topics that are essential for you and you leaders.
So why do you find that you’ve spent $400 on a training seminar or convention, only to realize that the breakout session you were so passionate about left no impact on your ministry in the long run? Let me tell you why –
Information will never be enough.
We won’t get better leaders through more information alone. Information certainly has a place, but only as a first step. Information is only good so far as it helps leaders understand the goal or intended outcome as well as the pathway to get there. Once this information has been conveyed, the most important part of the training can begin – actually putting it into action. In order to put information into action, leaders need 3 things: an example of what the expected action looks like, achievable, measurable steps, and debrief after those steps are taken. Let’s start with understanding the example.
Notice the progression. One thing we’ve learned is that people rarely have the ability to go from information straight to innovation. People need the imitatable example in their lives so they can see what the expected behavior or change is supposed to look like. That comes from you, the leader. Once leaders begin to practice the example they’ve seen, they will grow in competency. Once competency grows, they start to make it their own. They innovate.
We can’t expect people to go from knowing to doing. We have to help them know how to do what is expected and know how to tweak it for next time they give it a try. I think you’ll find that we are an over-informed culture that is in need of guides to reach our goals. Leaders need people to walk before them and show them the way. Information can only get us so far – it is the modeling and action that will actually make a difference in our ministry.