The Difficult Decision about Online Training
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As things appear right now, it seems that employees and their managers will be staying in their home offices for quite some time yet. What does this mean for supporting, equipping, and developing our managers?

We know that the answer is online training and I can honestly foresee some great online learning journeys, preferably with one day’s training at a time over a set period, creating a continuous learning experience that incorporates plenty of encouragement for the managers involved.


The fear of losing control

One of the reasons for companies being so apprehensive about online training is rooted in the same concern that we experienced eight months ago, when our people were suddenly forced to reside in their home offices: The notorious fear of losing control…

Over the last half century, efficiency has been so ingrained in our management style that we as managers find it hard to believe that our employees will perform without our close oversight. Yes, there are some people who do not function properly without our ‘tight reins’, but this could well be the result of our own leadership style. Maybe we have not trusted them or have not offered them enough space to try things out on their own. It could also be that we have not given our so-called ‘low performers’ the relevant guidance, correction, and empathic confrontation, when it was needed.

Our present concern about online learning could also be the result of an outmoded leadership mindset and management style, currently expressing itself to us through the constant vicious circles of thought that are based on internal arguments weighing pros and cons. This mindset can only leave us paralysed in making sound decisions.

Adopting a modern leadership mindset

A proper – and thoroughly convincing – decision to run online training for those working from home is clearly not made on its own but as a result of adopting the modern leadership mindset necessary and suitable for this age and time.

I know the business managers of today are all experienced champions in delivering services and products and continue to do so in spite of the present difficult circumstances. Most companies have done this successfully over the last 50 years and some for much longer than that. They have been doing an excellent job, and we can indeed be immensely proud of their past performance and results.

This being said, we should not miss one important point! Are we aware that, in the future, how we deliver these services and products will be as important as the delivery itself? Times are changing, and customers and employees are receiving various up-to-date impulses and having new insights. Their preferences are changing, and their needs are greater than ever before.


More freedom and transparency

This is also the case with our own dear employees. If the way we lead does not match the preferences and needs of our present environment then the flow, as we have known it over the years, will begin to disappear and a period of stagnation may set in. Of course, we could blame it all on ‘the crisis’, but is this really fair? The length of the present crisis is already showing us that these are not times in which we can just try to ride things out, waiting for the better times to come.

It is also interesting to observe that these times even bring some decisions to the surface that have been overdue for a long time. Online training could certainly be one of them. Yes, these are uncertain times, but, as I learned from the late Stephen R. Covey, ‘We are not the product of our circumstances, we are the product of our decisions’. I remind myself of this important principle whenever I need direction or sense some uneasiness about certain developments.

I do wish us all much courage in deciding for ourselves to start to embrace a leadership style of influencing instead of anxiously clinging to control over our people. We must face the fact that we are living in times where we cannot steer, command, and control things as we have done before… we will probably never do so again. Let us decide to encourage our employees to more freedom and transparency, resulting in an emotionally safe environment.

 I encourage you to browse our home page and see for yourself how we can support you in this exciting task of serving others in the area of leadership.


 Please browse our home page for further information on our new interactive online course 

Leadership Mindset



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  Feel free to contact us as how we can best support you on this journey.


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