11 Vital Leadership Training Topics that Turn Managers and Supervisors into High-Performing Leaders that Boost Team Performance

We live in a world that is continually, and rapidly, changing, fueled by expanding global competition, new technology, emerging customer demands, and, most recently, a global pandemic. 

Especially in the uncertain environment that has existed since the pandemic emerged, there are a wide range of leadership training topics that can help boost the effectiveness of your current and future leaders.

Leadership training can run the gamut from learning how to delegate effectively, to coaching and counseling employees, to dealing effectively with change and ambiguity, and much, much more. 

Even leaders fresh out of school will find that once on the job, they discover the need for practical how-to skills training on a wide range of topics. And, of course, for those who were never trained formally in leadership, the need is even greater.

Today’s organizations need to provide an environment that can ensure the ongoing effectiveness of leaders amid rapid change and the ongoing need to learn and relearn skills related to both doing, and overseeing, the work of the organization.

Why Developing Leaders is Important 

As organizations strive to remain competitive in a global and rapidly changing marketplace they recognize the importance of having strong leaders on board. 

Strong leadership impacts the entire organization. Leaders play a role in boosting productivity, strengthening retention, improving teamwork, and driving employee engagement.

quote on developing leaders by business training experts

But developing leaders doesn’t only benefit the organization—it also benefits the leaders themselves, and their team members.

  • Leadership development arms leaders with the skills they need to be effective and successful. They benefit from increased confidence and the competence to deal with what might otherwise be troubling workplace challenges. 
  • Leadership development also helps leaders make the most effective use of their time, especially when holding employees accountable and working with employees who may need course correction or discipline.
  • Employees also benefit from having strong leaders. They are more productive, more engaged, and more likely to remain with the organization. Strong leadership trickles down to the rest of the team.

Leadership development is important both for leaders already in a leadership role as well as for those who demonstrate potential to be future leaders. Companies that can prepare leaders to step up into advanced roles can leverage the skills of top talent while ensuring a continual pipeline of competent leaders.  

Organizations recognize the value that well-trained leaders can bring to the company and its staff members. They also recognize the wide range of leadership training topics that can make a difference to team performance.  

list of 11 critical leadership training topics


Communication, of course, is a core leadership competency. Effective communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and working toward the same goals and objectives. Leaders need to be open to different perspectives, encourage a continuous flow of new ideas, and listen well to employees and others.

Conflict Resolution 

Every organization will have conflict and, consequently, every leader will need to be able to effectively address and resolve conflict and focus resolution on future-focused problem-solving. Conflict resolution is a critical skill and an important focus of leadership training.  

Change Management 

It has perhaps never been more true—change is a constant for today’s organizations and their leaders. Effective leaders must be adept at responding to change and working with team members to help them navigate change productively.

Developing a collaborative mindset and a positive perspective toward change ensures that leaders will be able to engage and influence others toward productive outcomes.

Virtual Leadership 

The pandemic has resulted in the widespread adoption of virtual or hybrid models for getting work done. Today’s leaders must be comfortable with and adept at leading in virtual environments which will likely be a greater emphasis moving forward as many workers—and leaders—continue to work remotely.

Leaders need to understand how to make sure employees feel engaged and part of the team when they aren’t physically working together with other employees. They need to help employees effectively manage their time to ensure a productive focus. 

And they need to remain engaged with employees wherever they are, to make use of the right tools and communication channels to be most effective—and to ensure that their teams are effective.


Leaders play an important role in developing others—both employees who will be sole contributors and employees who may advance into leadership roles themselves. 

Coaching and mentoring employees is a crucial skill that requires effective relationships with team members, the ability to ensure that team members feel recognized and valued for the work that they do, and a commitment to employee development, growth and learning.

Building Winning Teams 

One of a leader’s primary roles is to get their team members working together effectively in pursuit of common goals. They need to leverage the strengths of individual team members while creating an environment that is conducive to team, and individual, excellence. And they need to know how to use communication, and communication channels, effectively—especially during challenging times.


Today’s leadership is less about “command and control” and much more about empowering team members to make sound decisions and to move forward independently to accomplish individual and team goals. 

Effective leaders are adept at delegation and establishing an environment that supports autonomy. They provide frequent, appropriate and specific feedback to ensure employees are engaged and productive.


Effective leaders conduct themselves professionally and serve as positive role models for their team members and others. They earn respect by demonstrating that they are reliable and trustworthy—that they will go above and beyond to help the team achieve its goals.

Problem Solving 

The ability to solve problems effectively and efficiently is an important skill for leaders in any setting. They must be able to identify problems proactively, and as they arise, and to take ownership and responsibility for working with their team members and others to resolve the problems they face. As they make decisions, effective leaders also understand the importance of holding themselves and others accountable to achieve results.

Motivation and Engagement 

The goal of any organization is to get work done to achieve goals and objectives; consequently, the goal of any leader is to motivate and effectively manage others to achieve goals and objectives. 

Effective leaders are adept at engaging team members, identifying and removing barriers or obstacles, and turning setbacks into opportunities. They recognize that their own behaviors set an example for others to model.

Time Management 

Organizations are more profitable when time is managed effectively and work is performed as efficiently as possible to control costs and maximize revenue. Leaders practice effective time management by planning and prioritizing tasks, communicating expectations to employees, and holding employees accountable for achieving goals in a productive and efficient way.

Leadership training is a process, not an event. Today’s leaders need to continually learn new and hone existing skills to lead effectively in a fast-changing, global environment.

These 11 critical leadership training topics will help your managers and supervisors become high-performing leaders who can boost the productivity and performance of their teams.

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Categories: Leadership, Learning & Development, Management
Lin Grensing-Pophal, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Author: Lin Grensing-Pophal, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Lin is a business journalist and communication strategist with expertise in HR and employee relations. She is accredited through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP) and Human Resource Certification Institute (SPHR) and writes frequently for SHRM, HR Daily Advisor, and a wide range of trade publications and corporate clients.