Training Day: Can you train someone to be inspirational?

Training Day: Can you train someone to be inspirational?

The consensus is that inspiration cannot be taught or trained.  

For example, research by Crown Workplace Relocations earlier this year found that eight per cent of employees say their best ideas were formed in the Boardroom.   

Over a third said that informal chatting with colleagues was where most ideas were generated, a fifth said it was on their commute, and 15% said the brainwaves came to them during lunch or when on a break.

So, if, as the findings suggest, inspiration doesn’t arise from conventional workplace scenarios, can it be taught?   

Ian Symes, General Manager for the UK at Right Management, says that, firstly, the myth that leaders are born, not made, needs to be dispelled by HR.

“This will,” he explains, “prevent stagnating the progress of leaders who have perhaps mastered a lot of the necessary skills by assuming that they simply have a natural talent, and therefore don’t need further learning opportunities.”

“A lot of the existing methods of identifying leaders, including gut-feeling, contacts and experience, partly resulted from this myth and are not delivering the results they should.”

When it comes to making the manager inspirational, Ian Feaver, UK Director of OC Tanner, tells us: “Many managers see it as their role to critique and coach their teams. However, few understand the importance of regularly appreciating and recognising individuals’ achievements.”

He gives the example of a crowd at a football match: their celebrations aren’t confined the end of a match, they cheer every pass, goal, and tackle while the game is taking place.  

“Likewise,” he says, “managers need to show appreciation of their people in a meaningful way daily rather than waiting for a career milestone to recognise their achievements.

“Although some people are born to be great leaders and can instinctively appreciate people in an effective way, most managers will need their organisations to train and coach them on the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of delivering recognition, thereby taking them, as leaders, to a whole new level.

“Recognition training programmes can be important tools for teaching the ‘how’ of delivering recognition. However, it is also important for organisations to tackle the ‘why’ early-on so that managers fully understand the true value of employee appreciation and are bought into the company’s recognition goals. After all, there’s little point managers’ handing out tokens of appreciation to their team members if they do so with little enthusiasm.” 

If you're interested in the topic of inspirational leaders, then check out our Annual HR & Talent Management Conference. For more information, click here

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