Is virtual leadership training better than traditional in-person training? Absolutely, says Richard Lepsinger, president of OnPoint Consulting, if it meets these three criteria:

The training is practical

Virtual leaders have the same responsibilities as leaders who manage co-located employees, but the virtual setting makes challenges, such as how to provide feedback or coach accountability, more difficult. “Virtual leaders should be trained to develop these skills in the environment where they are most likely to use them,” says Lepsinger, which is a virtual setting, so virtual instructor-led online programs make sense.

Participants aren’t passive observers

With today’s technology, including video conferencing and collaborative software, where team members can interact face-to-face, easily share documents, and communicate, virtual training shouldn’t be a passive experience for learners.

“While some skills can be learned by reading a book or participating in an e-learning course and responding to multiple choice questions, other skills and knowledge demand a different learning format,” Lepsinger says. “When the skill benefits from interaction with others, it’s better suited for virtual instructor-led training, and this training format is a good fit for leadership skills, such as coaching, managing conflict and influencing.”

It’s good for the budget—without sacrificing quality

Virtual leadership training is usually more cost-effective than in-person training, so it makes business sense. “If your organization has to fly in participants located across the country or around the world, you could easily spend $1,500 or more per person on transportation, lodging and food alone,” he says. “Virtual training removes these added costs, allowing your organization to make every dollar go further toward what matters most-preparing your leaders for success.”

The Remote Leadership Institute offers a growing list of virtual instructor-led courses, covering critical lessons, such as coaching remote employees, leading virtual meetings and more! Click here to learn more!

Rick is President of OnPoint Consulting and has a twenty-five year track record of success as a human resource consultant and executive. He has served as a consultant to leaders and management teams at AIG, AmeriGas, Amway, Autodesk, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Coca-Cola Company, Eisai Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Goldman Sachs, Hartford Steamboiler, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Medidata, Merck & Co., Mphasis, PepBoys, Pfizer Inc., Pitney Bowes, PPL, Prudential, and Siemens Medical Systems among others. He has authored five books, including Closing the Execution Gap: How Great Leaders and Their Companies Get Results and Virtual Team Success: A Practical Guide to Working and Leading From a Distance (co-author with Darleen DeRosa), published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley.

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