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Innovative Leadership Training Topics For 2019 - HRDQ

Innovative Leadership Training Topics For 2019

The business landscape is continually changing with thousands of new start-ups forming every year. Some of these disruptors, like Airbnb or Lyft, are entirely transforming their industries. Things are just as volatile in the workplace, with companies continuously reinventing themselves to keep pace with this recent speed of transformation. There has never been a more exciting time to be an organizational leader.

To be effective, you need to be constantly honing your skills. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the top leadership training topics in 2019.

Explore the leadership training materials available at HRDQ to help you improve leadership skills in your organization.

The Rise of Big Data

The influence of big data on every aspect of our lives has been one of the most important trends of the last decade. 90% of the world's data has been created in the previous two years—and by 2020, it's estimated that 1.7MB of data will be collected every second for every person on earth, according to a recent report by DOMO.

Handling all this personal data responsibly has been a significant challenge for many organizations. With the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, data protection became a top priority for companies worldwide.

Organizational leaders need to understand how to use data strategically to keep their organizations competitive while also implementing practices to safeguard their data from privacy threats.

Developing Soft Skills

These days, communication in the workplace is increasingly handled online. Conversations take place over Slack channels, meetings happen on Zoom, and decisions are made by email. In our tech-everything environment, managers must help workers continue to build the soft skills that make for high-functioning teams. Great teams listen to one another, communicate well, and collaborate effectively on problems. Successful organizations must continue to develop these skills.

Developing soft skills is particularly important for those new to managerial roles. All too often, a stellar frontline worker becomes an "accidental manager." You've probably seen it in your organization; an employee is elevated to a managerial role for their tech skills—and then their suddenly lost—needing to manage direct reports for the first time without any formal training. For accidental managers, it's especially important to develop the soft skills needed to delegate tasks and communicate effectively with team members.

Matrix Manager Inventory

This powerful assessment and training workshop helps both new and seasoned managers to develop the capabilities and versatility they need to succeed in today’s interconnected and collaborative world.

Matrix Manager Inventory | HRDQ

Mentoring & Coaching

Employee coaching has long been a hot topic for leadership training—and for a good reason. It's all too common for a manager's days to be completely filled. Running from meeting to meeting, answering scores of emails, and handling other administrative tasks take up every minute. Facetime with direct unfortunately often reports falls to the bottom of the list.

Building a culture that prioritizes coaching is one of the most powerful ways to engage employees and develop a team. And with Millennials making up the largest share of the U.S. workforce, coaching is more important than ever. For younger workers, personal and professional development is essential for job satisfaction.

However, developing younger employees is only part of the picture, and many organizations are also struggling to fill senior management positions. When experienced managers leave, positions sometimes go unfilled for months on end, as organizations struggle to find a qualified replacement.

Organizations need to take a long-term view, coaching not just obvious superstars who can rapidly rise into leadership roles but also other qualified employees for leadership roles who might not have drawn consideration in the past.

Continuing to develop Millennials into leadership, candidates can also help with this challenge. In either case, developing a coaching culture is the key to building a strong pipeline of leadership candidates.

Explore the coaching skills training materials available at HRDQ to help you build powerful mentors at all levels of your organization.

What's My Coaching Style

Coaches and managers can identify and understand personality traits, learn how to capitalize on personal strengths, and minimize potential weaknesses.

Coaching Skills Inventory

The Coaching Skills Inventory offers a seven-step formula for conducting coaching meetings that are based on mutual trust and respect.

Psychological Safety

Despite the great lengths most organizations make to build a positive corporate culture, most employees still feel very unsafe taking risks in the workplace.

"We really want to look good, and we especially want to look good in a hierarchy. And the spontaneous way to try to achieve that goal is to be quiet unless I’m sure that what I have to say will be very well received, especially by the higher-ups," says Amy Edmondson, a Harvard organizational psychologist, and authority on psychological safety.

In many workplaces, employees feel that it's unsafe to share their opinions, offer their honest thoughts, or give feedback. After all, many leaders find it difficult to accept criticism or feedback from their direct reports. But when leaders don't create a psychologically safe environment, they often set their teams up for organizational errors and failures.

The most successful teams work differently. Great leaders make it safe for others to take risks by showing their imperfections. And they create processes that enable team members to give criticism and be candid.

Achieving Gender Equity

Organizations are starting to understand that promoting women to leadership positions isn't just the right thing to do—it's also great for business.

Companies that were in the top quartile for gender diversity on leadership teams were 15% more likely to experience above-average profitability, according to a 2018 McKinsey report. And these companies were much more likely to have a stronger growth culture, with leaders collaborating and working across organizational boundaries.

Appreciating Diversity

This customizable training course explores the subtle ways that fundamental attribution errors and micro-inequities occur. Learn how to combat these by fostering an environment that focuses on building respectful interactions.


To reach gender balance, companies need to do more than simply promote women to senior positions. They need to proactively prepare future female candidates for leadership with leadership development opportunities. These initiatives can help promising female employees value the unique strengths they bring to the table and take actionable steps to progress in the company.

Your Turn

There is always room for leaders to improve, and there is nowhere more important for leaders to grow than in the workplace. If companies build powerful leaders, they can promote progress and unity across all levels of the organization.

click hereFor more great leadership skills assessments and training materials, explore our full Leadership Skills Training collection. Shop Now!

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.