Creating Leadership Fluency

How can we ensure that learning principles seep throughout our businesses such that its leaders speak and practice a language of leadership fluency? The organization’s guiding concepts, such as values, mission, vision, and competencies, should be reinforced through leadership language and behaviors. To establish durable, successful leadership, you need more than just a one-and-done training session approach. Instead, it needs a learning and development (L&D) strategy that combines multi-touchpoint learning experiences with the creation of a leadership pipeline of emerging and aspiring leaders to groom current leaders.

Read More: The Evolving Role of L&D Leaders in the Future of Workplace Learning

This article discusses how to combine current leadership development programs with additional learning opportunities such as regular training sessions, microlearning, and self-directed learning. Another vital component is establishing learning communities of practice within the company to allow leaders to exchange and explore new ideas and skills and become fluent in the leadership language and techniques that convey the company’s guiding principles.

What is Leadership Fluency?
leadership fluency

Leadership fluency is the state of being fluent, or the capacity to communicate oneself effortlessly, quickly, and fluently. We can define Fluency as the capacity to “accurately and with facility” speak, write, or read a language. It also entails being able to absorb and apply concepts correctly. Looking further into the meaning, however, being fluent also refers to smooth and graceful movement, style, or practice, as well as the capacity to “flow freely” or be “fluid.”

For L&D professionals, applying all components of leadership fluency and development is beneficial. Leaders in today’s volatile, unpredictable, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment, according to HBR, must be intuitive, flexible, and collaborative. Fluent leaders guarantee that all levels and areas of leadership are in sync with one another and the changing requirements of people and the organization.

Read More: The 8 Step Guide to Build a Solid Workplace Learning Strategy for the New Age Leaders

Fluent leaders have a sense of themselves and others that allows them to comprehend various situations, some of which are ambiguous. They can change their approach to fit those demands while still adhering to the organization’s guiding principles.

So, as L&D professionals and designers, how can we create conditions for this to happen while opening doors for all leaders? It’s beneficial to look at some recommendations on how people become proficient.

How to Ensure Leadership Fluency?

According to numerous studies conducted by experts, to become proficient in the corporate language, the leader should:

  • They should immerse themselves.
  • Practice utilizing the language regularly.
  • Engage with local literature, films, and music, for example.
  • Experiment with new things and push themselves beyond their comfort zones.
  • Find a language learning partner or a language learning group.

As learning and development specialists, we understand that mastering any skill is a process. It also entails deliberate practice and exposure to new learning via multiple touchpoints and interactions with people of varying skill levels.

The 6-Step Learning Approach to Groom Seasoned and Efficient Leaders

Similar approaches from language specialists can be applied to leadership development by L&D professionals. By designing a learning model that allows both formal and informal learning touchpoints, for example, creates possibilities for immersion and can motivate learners to keep practicing skills.

A more holistic approach to leadership development learning design ensures that leadership language is consistent across all programs. This strategy has several advantages, including addressing learning retention, or the forgetting curve, which is one of the most challenging difficulties for L&D practitioners.

Read More: How To Counter the Forgetting Curve Using Microlearning

L&D experts can use various methods to reinforce learning and build on concepts learned in earlier sessions. This method also employs the spaced learning delivery model, in which you reintroduce knowledge at predetermined intervals.

Here are some ways that we’ve found to be effective in our leadership development design and that are based on the methods used by language specialists to help learners improve their fluency. Leaders can benefit from the following information:

1. Learning From Skilled Professionals

This learning opportunity is beneficial to both seasoned and rising leaders. It allows aspiring leaders to learn directly from more experienced leaders. Working in a different area of the organization can also assist break down silos and build better awareness of others when leaders receive cross-training. Work shadowing, cross-training, and job sharing or rotation are some of the most acceptable practices.

Job shadowing, for example, can be included in a leadership development program to provide participants with hands-on experience. Learners will be confronted with real-time difficulties or scenarios and will be able to participate in real-life, hands-on solutions.

2. Embracing Additional Responsibilities

This strategy can push people out of their comfort zones by putting people in unusual situations to learn and grow. It allows people to expand their abilities beyond their existing skills and perform at a higher level. Stretch assignments, special projects, and committee work are just a few examples.

Including stretch assignments or special projects in your leadership development program allows you to put new abilities into practice. It also allows participants to demonstrate their abilities. To establish durable, successful leadership, you need more than a one-and-done training session approach is required.

3. Formal and Informal Training

Most L&D training programs’ bread-and-butter is formal learning; yet, for specific learners, it isn’t enough or even the perfect match. Including resources that direct current and potential participants to other learning opportunities that correspond with your offerings can help to maintain leadership fluency. External training and professional development courses, certifications or badges, and degree-seeking programs are some examples.

Read More: How Informal Learning at Workplace Can be Sustained Even When Working Remotely

L&D practitioners can design personalized learning paths using most external training and professional development from suppliers like PlayAblo. Integrating learning paths provided by these external vendors with existing internal programs is an excellent approach for participants to interact with leading experts from other companies while debating and analyzing concepts acquired.

4. Group Participation

In most training sessions, group involvement is nearly a given. Forming semi-structured groups outside of formal offers or in addition to programs, on the other hand, can provide greater support and space for members to develop their leadership skills. Communities of practice, service or volunteering, internet forums, and social learning are some examples.

Using Google Talk and Microsoft Teams to create social learning and communities of practice is a terrific way to get started. You could, for example, build a channel dedicated to a leadership development course where participants may ask questions and share materials.

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5. Guidance from Peers

Numerous studies show that soliciting advice from others as part of one’s professional development has numerous advantages. When added to a formal learning experience, for example, it can assist foster a learning culture and foster connections among participants and stimulate growth. Coaching, mentorship, and mastermind groups are examples of these types of learning experiences.

One of the essential options for integrating diverse leadership development programs and building leadership fluency is to include coaching and mentoring programs in your leadership development strategy. For example, you can consist of a coaching component in your executive leadership program, where executives must mentor participants in an aspiring leaders program. This approach teaches senior leaders some critical coaching skills while also allowing aspiring leaders to benefit from their coach’s experience.

6. Self-study

Self-study opportunities encourage learners to build self-directed learning skills, which is one of the critical advantages of leadership development design. This strategy can also aid in the development of a learning culture within the company. Books, articles and blogs, videos, podcasts, and interviews are just a few examples.

As a “next step in your learning,” including a list of further learning resources might improve the learning experience. For example, you could create a “Read, Watch, Listen” series to connect and reinforce learning opportunities. This method additionally supports and expands previous participants’ learning notions.

Your Next Steps

It’s now time to evaluate your leadership development strategy and approach. We recommend the following methods to assist you in building leadership fluency in your programs:

Gauge Your Current Approach
  • What are the guiding principles of your company?
  • What kind of leadership development programs do you have available right now?
  • What current leadership development opportunities do you have that reinforce the language and application of your guiding principles?
Introduce New Strategies
  • Based on the six-point learning methodology, how will you alter your current learning offers and programs?
  • What more learning opportunities will you create to keep the conversation going?
  • What fresh ideas will you bring back to your company and explore further?
Build Your Community of Practice
  • Who can you reach out to for learning resources, best practices, and new ideas?
  • Who else in your organization or network is doing comparable work with whom you could collaborate?
  • How do you assure your organization’s long-term viability?
Rounding it Up

For L&D professionals, applying all components of fluency to leadership development is beneficial. Want to know more? Feel free to reach our experts at PlayAblo!

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is built for the corporate learner. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

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