Bridging the Leadership Gap: The Power of Facilitated Learning in Evolving Expertise

Mar 11, 2024 | Training and Development

“In your career, the most valuable currency is not how much you know. It’s how well you learn. In a stable world, success depended on building expertise. In a changing world, it hinges on evolving expertise. Potential is no longer defined by ability. It’s a function of agility” ~Adam Grant


My first corporate job required me to use Excel. Just basic Excel, but the problem was I didn’t even know how to use the SUM function.


Fast-forward to my first leadership role required me to, you guessed it, lead people. But just like Excel, this was new territory.


Chances are, you’ve experienced something similar. You were thrown into the deep end, asked to perform tasks or roles you weren’t familiar with. And, to make things more challenging, your performance was being assessed based on how quickly you could adapt and master these new skills. I know I was.


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So what do you do to close the learning and skill gap?


For Excel, I spent a lot of time on YouTube (yup, I’m ‘barely’ from that generation), bugged my co-workers, and used some good ol fashioned trial and error. From a technical perspective – this got me relatively far.


But where was the YouTube channel for guiding humans? When I reached out to seasoned leaders, the spectrum of advice I encountered was wider than the Grand Canyon. It was a mishmash of insights, often contradicting one another, leaving me to figure it out on my own.


When bad leaders are the biggest risk to organizations, why is it that we’re quick to download the latest software tutorial but often slow to invest in the people leading the charge.


Because “leadership is about courage. It’s about finding the courage to show up and have difficult conversations, to take risks, and embrace change” ~ Brené Brown


And you don’t learn that in a straight-forward 6-module online course.


So how do you mitigate the biggest risk of bad leaders, and nurture not only good leaders but also competent, well-rounded professionals?


You invest in their growth, not just in the capacity to crunch numbers or code, but in their ability to navigate the complex human dimensions of leadership. And this investment isn’t a cost; it’s capital that appreciates over time, with returns not just in enhanced productivity, but in a more adaptable, resilient, and cohesive team culture.


In the realm of ‘human skills’ as Simon Sinek calls them, or “power skills” as Upskill Consulting calls them, the learning curve is less about memorizing and more about experiencing, reflecting, and adapting. These skills require interaction, practice, and, most importantly, facilitation by experts who can guide, challenge, and support in a structured environment.


Here’s how you can ensure that your team members are equipped to thrive:


Recognize the Value of Facilitated Learning

While self-directed learning has its place, the depth and application of power skills are best explored through facilitated training. An expert facilitator not only brings a wealth of experience, insights, and methodologies but also possesses the unique ability to amplify learnings in real-time. They can draw out key insights and lessons in the moment, transforming abstract concepts into tangible, actionable skills.


Choose the Right Programs

Not all training programs are created equal. Look for those that emphasize practical application, offer personalized feedback, and encourage reflection and peer learning. The goal is to find programs that resonate with the real-world challenges your team faces, making the learning relevant and immediately applicable.


Build Agility and Resilience

Adam Grant is right, “In a changing world, [success] hinges on evolving expertise” and facilitated learning is key to developing the agility and resilience required in today’s ever changing landscape. It’s not about memorizing steps, it’s about understanding the nuance and flexibility needed to navigate shifts effectively.


Commit to Continuity

Learning is not a one-off event but a continuous journey. Encourage ongoing development through follow-up sessions, mentoring, coaching, and by fostering a culture that values and rewards continuous improvement. This ensures that the learning sticks and evolves into lasting behavioral change.


Transfer Learning to the Job

The true test of any training program’s effectiveness is its impact on the job. Facilitate the transfer of learning by setting clear expectations, providing opportunities to apply new skills, and integrating these skills into performance metrics. This not only reinforces learning but also demonstrates your organization’s commitment to professional growth.


Let’s flip the script. Imagine what might happen if we prioritized people skills as the foundational learning in any role, moving beyond just the technical know-how

  • What if we offered power-skill training to all employees, not just managers?
  • What if our employees developed strong relationships with learning and development professionals because they saw them regularly in courses focused on growth and learning?


If we turned these if’s into reality, I think Warren Buffet might be able to write an entirely different article…


This blog was developed by Tiffany Baker. To learn more about our Upskill Consulting team, visit:

Tiffany Baker

Tiffany Baker, ACC, CLC, CPHR



At Upskill Consulting, our commitment to facilitating learning and ensuring its practical application on the job is unwavering. Retention and application of learning stand as our top priorities, driving our tailored, engaging, and personalized training programs designed specifically for growing companies.


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Sofia Arisheh, Principal, Facilitator, Coach


We believe that investing in effective training transforms your people into the growth engine of your company. From coaching to reinforce training initiatives to equipping all levels within your organization with essential “power skills,” such as effective communication, performance feedback, mentoring, conflict resolution, change leadership, and team building, we empower your team to thrive. We recognize that interpersonal skills are the cornerstone of a powerful team, enabling them to navigate challenges and foster a culture of respect and inclusion.


At Upskill Consulting, we’re dedicated to empowering your team with the skills they need to succeed in today’s dynamic workplace.


Contact us today to get everything you need to grow a high-performing team and thrive as a company.

Sofia Arisheh

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