While it's true some people appear to be natural-born leaders, others need a bit of help to learn how to effectively manage a group. Leadership training is a type of business training that aims to help people develop the skills they need to be able to supervise those who are working beneath them. Leadership training may be provided as part of a general business curriculum or as a separate area of study. Upon completion of their leadership development training, students may be awarded a certificate, degree, or diploma.
The content of a leadership training class can vary widely. Some of the common topics covered in leadership training include team building, presentation skills, and motivating a group that includes people with varying personality types. Dealing with employees who don't perform up to task and handling difficult customers are examples of challenges that may be addressed through role playing exercises. Depending upon the course provider, public speaking, overcoming stage fright, and basic sales training may also be included under the general umbrella of leadership development.
The military is often cited by civilians as an example of the importance of effective leadership. While the modern workplace can never replicate the rigid environment of an Army boot camp, it's becoming increasingly popular for corporate managers to seek out leadership training provided by former military officials. Studies examining the effectiveness of military management and leadership styles in a non-military environment have had mixed results, but there are many people who say this type of leadership training offers benefits that are hard to find elsewhere.
Most leadership training classes are open to both men and women, although a small number of programs are devoted exclusively to helping female managers become more effective at their jobs. These types of classes focus on the many subtle ways in which men and women tend to differ in their management styles. For example, many women find they are less authoritative than male managers during a conflict because they prefer a more cooperative approach to resolving an issue. However, women also tend to be more empathetic than men, which can be an asset when dealing with a diverse group of employees.
While the best type of leadership training is a seminar or class that allows for interaction with others, people interested in leadership development may also benefit from reading books on the subject. Books with case studies covering various leadership dilemmas can provide a starting point for thinking about how to apply theories of successful leadership to your own life. Forming a book club to discuss the topic of leadership with other professionals is another great way to enhance your leadership skills without investing large amounts of money in formal classes.