Leadership, Communications and Productivity are worth training too

One of the most focused on areas in technology organization training is a an overwhelming focus on competency area skill development. The focus is almost always on specific skill development in particular methodologies, technologies, best practices and other areas of specialization. This is an exceptional practice that should be encouraged. However, I think it is important to ensure that you also spend time enhancing core executive and productivity skill sets. Time management, task management, communication skills, leadership, negotiation and other key skill sets don’t always the focus they should given that they too large degree dictate how impactful any of your other more specialized skill sets will be. When you think about the types of training your organization will need it may be helpful to ensure that the training in the following areas doesn’t get left behind.

Reaching your goals takes more than domain expertise.

1. Leadership – their is a growing focus within many executive oriented education programs to provide specific training in leadership. I think this sort of training should enable executives and senior leadership to understand specific aspects of leadership and focus on developing specific skills and understanding regarding working in teams, facilitating change, communication and interpersonal dynamics.

2. Communications – understanding how to present information visually, verbally and in the written word has perhaps never been more critical. The rise of knowledge based organizations, thinner management structures, requirements for more rapid response times and other factors are making the ability to effectively communicate and effect change critical.

3. Productivity – it is truly surprising how far pretty smart people can go in life without needing a defined approach to organizing their tasks and time. Developing better personal management skills can enable them to spend more time focused on solving problems, innovating or communicating and less time sidetracked, mis-allocating time or focused on the wrong tasking.

In short I think we often short change the skills we use most often. I think this is because we are so focused on domain expertise that we lose sight of the fact that without these other skills our expertise will never be as valuable, powerful or widely understood. Take the time to develop these skills yourself and to invest in developing them within your organization.

I’m sure the categories above aren;’t comprehensive  What other general skills do you feel need to be a part of people’s ongoing professional development?

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

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