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First Line Management Training

First line management training

Training for First Line Managers

The role of the first line manager is a difficult one.

The first line managers often have to "do the front line job", as well as "lead the team".

They have to deal with problems from all directions:

  1. From the middle managers, sending paperwork problems down, to be resolved.
  2. From the customers who are unhappy about some failing of the service.
  3. From the team itself who don't like what's going on.

In addition: your First line managers may not have received the management training suitable for what they are being asked to do.

The first line managers need training that will give them a mental framework that will allow them to operate with more confidence and skill.

Specifically they need training to do the following:

  1. To set clear targets for the team
  2. To communicate with more accuracy and clarity
  3. To properly manage the person who negatively affects the atmosphere
  4. To manage the stress of change
  5. To delegate work properly

Let us start the ball rolling by making a few notes on each of these points.

1. To set clear targets for the team

The leader manager must be more goal-focused than the average person.

All organisations have the same overall goal; to succeed!

The way they succeed is to provide efficient products and services. Remaining efficient is the most important task of the team leader: he must focus on achieving his goals for the day, the week and the year.

i.e. he-she must be a PURPOSEFUL individual.

The alternative to this would be "not to be a purposeful individual", and that means either:

  1. Drifting
  2. Being at the mercy of the events in the market place

The team leader must set and achieve goals that are:

  1. Consistent with the overall strategy of the organisation
  2. Very specific
  3. Do-able

Fist line managers need training in proper goal setting.

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2. To communicate with more accuracy and clarity

In order to achieve the goal, both the goal and the plan must be communicated to everyone who needs to know.

Remember this: anything that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood, by somebody.
And misunderstandings waste time and money.
So the first line manager must refine and improve his-her communication skills.

Specifically they must:

  • Eliminate vague, open language, (open to many interpretations) and
  • Replace is with tight, specific language; reliant on objective benchmarks which are very difficult to misunderstand.

Managers need training to improve the clarity of their spoken and written communication.

3. To properly manage the person who negatively affects the atmosphere

The team is composed of individuals who vary in their character. Most are well mannered and helpful.

Some are ill mannered or obstructive.

The first line manager must be able to effectively manage the NON positive person.

To do that, here are some of the steps:

  1. Act fast, before the non-positive person infects the whole atmosphere.
  2. Tell the person that it is okay to criticise BUT ONLY if they can come up with better plan.
  3. Keep on the negative person's case and keep asking him for his positive alternative plans to go alongside his criticisms.
  4. How to manage the stress of change

Continuous improvement means continuous change.

And change means, for many people, stress and uncertainty.

The manager must make change seem more like constructive adaptation and evolution, rather than a disaster.

That includes the following skills:

  1. Keep using the words:
  • Adapt
  • Evolve
  • Improve

Which people agree is a good thing, rather than the word CHANGE, which unsettles most people.

II. Keep giving the reasons for the change, indicating the history that necessitates the change.
III. Keep giving the purpose of the change, which involves the future intention of the change.
IV. Keep giving the painful consequences of not changing, which eliminates the "Let's stay the same" argument. Doing nothing is not enough because,

  • The situation is evolving
  • AND those organisations that fail to adapt will be selected for extinction, by market forces

V. The plan for change, which involves explaining "the means by which the change may be made".

5. To properly delegate tasks

The manager must learn to delegate.

Delegation means "entrusting a task to another".

The manager must be able to give, the right job, to the right person, for the right reasons, at the right time.
The right job means: one consistent with the goal of the team.
To the right person, means: to the person with the skills knowledge and time to do the task.
For the right reasons means; so that the manager can then focus on higher value tasks.
At the right time means: so the person has sufficient time to do the task before the deadline expires.


The role of the first line manager is a not an easy one.

They have to deal with problems from all directions: The first time manager needs training that will give him-her mental frameworks that will allow them to work with more confidence.

They need first line management training suitable for what they are being asked to do.

For such training please view Corporate Coach Group First Line Mangers Training Courses here

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