What Is Management Training?

It’s amazing to think that anybody would even need to ask the question “what is management training?”, but management is a term that gets bandied around so much that it can be easy to forget its true purpose and why on-going training is important for all and any managers in the present day.So what is management training? Put simply, it is the method of improving the skills and development of people in management and leadership roles. With management training, a manager or leader within a company should be able to make better decisions and work more effectively.Why is management training important?On-going management training is important because effective management is crucial for businesses. If an employee makes a mistake, it might be a small thing that can be rectified. However, if a manager makes a mistake, it could affect all of the employees working under him/her, which could create a greater ripple effect than the employee’s mistake, and cause more damage to the company, both in the short- and long-term.It is important that businesses invest in training for their managers on a regular basis, not just as a one-off exercise. In theory, the more training a manager receives, the better chance they have in making well-informed, confident decisions that will help a business to power through both the good and bad times. Also, they may have a competitive advantage over other businesses working in the same industry who offer the same kinds of products and services, especially if those other companies do not make the effort to invest in management and leadership training.How can management training help?Management training can help in a number of ways, including:

Time management: Helping a manager handle their time better, allowing them more time to make decisions and to concentrate on the more important factors affecting the business and their work.
People management: Helping a manager to decide how best to delegate workloads, so that the right people with the right skills are working on the right projects and getting the best results in their work.
Resource management: Helping a manager to decide how to best use a company’s resources, whether it’s people (see above), financial, goods, equipment or the help of another department within the company (e.g. IT).Management training is sometimes tailored specifically to a manager or type of manager. For example, the skills that a CEO or Director requires may be vastly different to that of a middle manager or team leader, however many of the principles will still be the same.

The Selfish Manager

Selfish managers are much more common than you might suspect. The consequences of managerial selfishness can prove costly for the organization.What is a Selfish Manager?Let’s try a little logic.Many people are selfish. Managers are people. Therefore, some managers are likely to be selfish. People are selfish because they think primarily of their own needs and not others. One definition of selfish (adj.) is “holding one’s self-interest as the standard for decision-making.”Some managerial style differences are acceptable, and should even be encouraged. The big problem is when the manager’s style or goals are at odds with the mission and goals of the organization. Selfish managers believe that their approach is right, and may be unable or unwilling to change.Conflicts with the Management RoleThe definition of a manager is someone who “gets things done through other people.”It definitely complicates this role if the manager is unconcerned about these other people. How do you motivate people if you don’t care about helping them meet their needs? The obvious answer is that it makes matters much more difficult. Need Theory postulates that people are motivated to meet their unmet needs (not necessarily the manager’s). Of course you can order and direct people to do things but you have to be prepared for resistance or rebellion. At best, you will achieve marginal results, generally begrudgingly obtained.The management tasks of Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling, all require the participation and commitment of others to be effectively accomplished. Furthermore, we all have individual strengths which can contribute greatly to the efficient and effective achievement of desired results.Organizational DifficultiesAn organization is a combination of people and other resources assembled to achieve a specified mission. Along the way there are various goals and objectives that focus energy and time on scope limited targets which support that overriding mission.If the manager’s goals are not in sync with the organization’s mission, the enterprise will suffer. Subordinates will be dissatisfied, unmotivated or disengaged, or worse yet working on activities that are not in the firm’s best interests. The end result will reflect in the “bottom line.”Interpersonal, Motivational and Inspirational SkillsIncreasingly today’s manager needs “people skills.” The days when managers could treat people like machines are long gone. Theoretically, we all know this. But in practice many do not apply these concepts. Frequently there is the difference between knowing something on an intellectual level and implementing and practicing that same philosophy on a real level. The selfish manager is quite Darwinian. His survival comes first.To be a successful manager there must be compromise. Everyone’s needs will not always be met including the boss’. The selfish manager will try to get most of his needs met without much regard to others.The unselfish manager will inspire, support and motivate subordinates. This will be done with grace and ease. The mere fact of treating people with respect, consideration, and humanity will help. The unselfish manager’s organization will obtain superior performance because the employees will experience satisfaction, recognition and accomplishment collectively and individually. They will realize that they are working for results and not just the manager’s ego, insecurities or misguided goals..RecommendationsRecruit and retain people with superior interpersonal skills. (Don’t necessarily promote the employee with the most experience or the best technical skills.)Conduct a managerial style and substance audit to ascertain what is currently going on.Recognize the connection between people skills and organization performance.Identify managers (this may be yourself) lacking in interpersonal abilities. Then, get those managers into training.Inform managers, on a regular basis, of the company’s philosophy, mission and goals. Make sure there is understanding and ACCEPTANCE.Verify that managers are consistently and wholeheartedly embracing and supporting organization goals, and not their own.Make sure that managers give appropriate “credit” to subordinates. Praise and reward those managers for their team accomplishments.Understand that unselfish managers (“I don’t care who gets credit”) generally achieve the best results.Get ongoing feedback from subordinate managers and first-line employees.Ideally, there would be complete concordance between the manager’s goals and those of the organization. However, we don’t live in an ideal world. The more selfish a manager is the less willing he will be to subordinate his own needs, goals and desires to those of the organization. To achieve your organization’s profit, growth and strategic objectives there must be alignment. The first step is to recognize there may be a problem.Copyright 2008, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA. All Rights Reserved Worldwide for all Media. 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