Dozens of research studies show that better leadership at work positively impacts employee engagement, retention, and numerous other business metrics. But is there an overlooked benefit to the money companies spend on developing their leaders?
Researchers at Development Dimensions International (DDI) wanted to determine: Are leaders who apply their leadership skills at work likely to apply them at home in family and personal interactions as well? To answer this question, DDI surveyed 100 leaders who recently participated in one or more DDI courses to develop their leadership skills, according to a press release.
Here’s what DDI discovered:
Finding 1: Good news for companies that invest in leadership development—99% of respondents applied the leadership skills they learned at work to their jobs. More specifically, 73% had the opportunity to apply their training frequently, and 26% had opportunities to apply it moderately.
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Finding 2: The more leaders used their leadership skills on the job, the more likely they were to benefit from these skills at home. Of the 73% of respondents who frequently applied leadership skills learned at work to their jobs, 97% applied these skills outside work with some-to-considerable increase in effectiveness.
For this group, the most frequently used skills they got better at were listening more effectively (96%), maintaining the esteem of others (95%), providing positive recognition (95%), dealing with challenging or difficult situations (91%), providing emotional support to others (89%), sharing thoughts and feelings (89%), and seeking the opinion of others (82%).
Finding 3: Even when there were moderate opportunities to apply learned leadership skills at work, when applied at home, interactions improved. For the 26% who moderately applied the leadership skills learned to their jobs, more than two-thirds (69%) applied these skills outside work with some or considerable increase in effectiveness. Growing confidence in their ability to use these skills outside of work may also result in improved confidence for application of their leadership skills back at work.
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Crossover Skills Matter
The ability to facilitate effective interactions is critical at every level of leadership and is equally essential outside the workplace. These interactions are made up of thousands of conversations leaders have every day when dealing with new customers, launching new products, talking with a spouse, or coaching a child’s team.
DDI’s trend research, Driving Workplace Performance Through High-Quality Conversations: What Leaders Must Do Every Day to Be Effective, has more information on the behaviors that reinforce leader effectiveness and details the skills needed to address the practical and personal sides of interactions both at work and at home. For more information, go to Bringing Work Home Is Good for You After All.