5 Reasons Why Leaders Should Consider Going Back to School for Psychology Training – Ryan Ayers

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The traditional portrait of executive leaders who are highly skilled in the technical aspects of running enterprises without regard for the human component no longer flies in corporate America. Today’s multifaceted executive leaders must actively seek feedback from others, rather than doling out instinctual directives based on intuition and experience. Leadership seems like a straightforward responsibility. However, it’s quite complex. Modern enterprises demand that leaders are collaborative, flexible, nimble, profit driven, socially responsible, visionary team players – among other traits. Consequently, leaders must learn the values, beliefs and psychology of human nature to complete their executive tool kits.

The natural leaders of today combine their technical skills and expertise in working with people. In addition to knowing their way around complex market research, modern leaders understand, or discover, the motivations behind historical performance metrics. In other capacities, contemporary leaders collaborate with team members to develop marketing plans that speak to hearts and minds of targeted consumers. These professionals are inquisitive, intrigued by the human condition and genuinely empathetic to the feelings and behaviors of others. To hone these kinds of skills, more executives are enrolling in psychology classes at United States colleges and universities.

Executives go back to school, because it’s a fast and effective way to enhance their skill sets. The following 5 entries highlight a few of the reasons that ambitious and forward-thinking executives pursue advanced training in psychology.

Reason 1: A Better Understanding of the Human Condition

The Bachelor’s in Psychology learning track introduces executive leaders to the science of human behavior. The learning track encompasses training in areas such as abnormal psychology, human development and organizational behavior. Specialized areas of study may include topics such as positive psychology and feminine psychology.

Reason 2: Development of Social Equity Values

Modern executive leaders are adding community welfare to their list of organizational objectives. By working to promote social equity, civic-minded leaders are doing their part to ensure that communities thrive, and that citizens are fairly represented in influential circles. The executives frequently partner with community advocates and public agencies to work toward this outcome. The desired result is that communities in relevant marketplaces, and across the nation, do not go underserved, or underrepresented. By pursuing advanced training in psychology, executive leaders are better skilled at connecting with and understanding the sentiments and needs of people in the community.

Reason 3: Enhanced Ability to Manage the Expectations of Others

In the modern marketplace, change is a constant. Despite this well-known circumstance, most people don’t like change. People are continually trying to guess future outcomes and predict future events, however misguided or inaccurate. In part, it’s natural to feel this way; it’s instinctual to avoid things that might pose a threat. Leaders who return to school for psychology training are adept at reassuring others and themselves when changes arise.

Reason 4: Increased Skill in Managing Conflict

Conflict is unavoidable aspect of business. Skilled leaders are proficient at managing internal and external organizational conflicts. Organizations count on executive leaders to make effective decisions during both positive and negative circumstances. The leaders manage fear and anxiety in themselves and among others to make intelligent decisions and promote positive outcomes. With advanced psychology training, organizational leaders overcome the innate flight-or-fight response that is a normal part of being human, but not necessarily conducive to good business.

Reason 5: Improved Ability to Work Under Pressure

In the United States, some executives have brought businesses back from the brink of failure, while others have not fared as well. The successful executives made wise financial and operational decisions during a challenging ordeal. In addition to restoring their enterprises, the successful leaders also had to restore the faith of stakeholders, such as staff members, investors and consumers. The leaders inspired team members to work together and put their organizations back on the road toward profitability and triumph. These transformations require a deep understanding of the human mind, a skill that modern leaders can learn with advanced psychology training.

Highly effective leaders manage human behaviors, as well as the events that lead to actions. Advanced training in psychology lays a strong foundation for dealing with this very important element of business. By understanding the motivations behind individual perceptions and actions, innovative executive leaders attack the root of problems, rather than enacting long strings of ineffective, temporary solutions.

For executive leaders, advanced psychology training teaches the understanding of others and one’s self. In time, this kind of mastery helps leaders and stakeholders to build off each other strengths of self-awareness and forward-thinking insight.

References:

Fast Company – 3 Psychological Traits Effective Leaders Know How To Manage

Harvard Business Review – Leadership and the Psychology of Turnarounds

Maryville University Online – Going Back to School for Psychology

University of San Francisco Online – The Importance of Social Equity in Public Administration

Virgin – The Psychology of Leadership