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Skills Training for Managers

Skills training for managers

Management skills training

For managers, what skills are the most important skills to learn?

In order to answer that question, we should first consider the role of the manager.

The role of the manager is; "to help the team to achieve its goals in the most efficient manner possible".

The manager does that by communicating, planning and organising the task and then; motivating the team.

From the above statement, we can easily see that some of the most important skills relating to the manager must be the following:

  1. Clear communication
  2. Logical planning
  3. Organisational skills
  4. Motivational skills

Let us look at each one in turn

1. Clear communication:

Clear communication is the ability to transfer information, ideas and plans without any distortion or misunderstandings, into the minds of all those people who need to know.

If the manager is unable to communicate clearly, then the other members of the team will "get the wrong end of the stick", and may misinterpret the message; they will misinterpret the plan, and end up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Therefore, conflict and errors will ensue and the whole productive potential of the team is stymied.

This is not good.

On the other hand, clear communication, by means of precise and accurate language, will mean that there is always only one possible interpretation of any particular message. Therefore, the chance of "crossed wires", and misunderstandings is diminished and therefore, the chances are higher, that the person will be in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing. Clear communication means less chance of error, less chance of conflict and thus the productive potential of the whole team is actualised.

This is good.

Everything depends on the clear use of language.

Therefore, clear, accurate language and good communication skills is high on the list of training for managers.

2. Logical planning

Since many people tend not to plan ahead, it is often the role of the manager to make the plans.

The higher managers may set the long range goal, and they leave the details of implementation, up to the middle managers and the team managers.

How the goal will be achieved, in practice, is delegated onto the "sharp end manager". It is the team manager who will figure out the practical plan of action that will drive the project forward, on the ground. Therefore, the ability to plan ahead, the ability to break a large goal into its subordinate subset goals and those subset goals into subset tasks, and those into smaller, sub-subset tasks, is also, high on the list of manager skills. This ability is called analysis.

Managers need to be able to plan by means of analysing goals into their subset tasks.

Analytical planning skills are therefore, also on your list.

3. Organisational skills

Analysis tells you what needs to be done. Organisational skills tells you the order in which those things need to be done. Organisation and planning therefore, go together.

Organisation means that the tasks are ordered in terms of their logical sequence. You must not only do the right things, you must do the right things in the right order. If you don't get things in the right order, the whole project is ruined.

If you played the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order, then the music would be ruined.

Good order is the hallmark of the good manager.

Organisational skills is high on the list for the manager training.

4. Motivational skills

Now you have the task planned and organised, you need to motivate the team to actually do the work.

  • Some people are highly motivated and want to work hard.
  • Some people are not well motivated. They don't feel like working hard.
  • Some people are actually demotivated; they want to find out how little they can "get away with".

Therefore, you cannot assume that the whole team will be highly motivated to achieve the goal, follow the plan, and turn up at the right time.

Therefore, the manager must be a motivator. You must be a motivator.

But how?

Realise the there are motivational elements already present in what we have already said; meaning: A clear goal is a motivator. A logical plan is a motivator. A good organisation is a motivator. But sometimes, you need to add some motivational attitudes.

The manager must have a motivational attitude and be able to radiate that to other members of the team. Motivation can be of two major types.

  • Positive motivators and
  • Negative motivators

Positive motivators are: rewards, recognition, praise, acceptance, appreciation and thanks.

Negative motivators are: anger, revenge, and fear, threats of punishment, loss or ridicule.

  1. Some managers motivate the staff through negative motivators
  2. Some manage through positive motivators
  3. Some manage staff by means of both sets

We recommend the use of positive motivators. We recommend that you don't use negative motivators unless it is absolutely necessary, in the sense that it is an emergency situation. Negative motivators do work but only for a short period of time. Then the person soon tires of being bullied, and will leave, or worse, will soon regard the manager as his enemy; one who must be defeated.

Managers in business should use the positive motivators.

Use only the positive motivators of rewards, recognition, praise, acceptance, appreciation and thanks.

Summary of actions

The role of the manager is; to help the team to achieve its goals in the most efficient manner possible.

The manager does that by communicating, planning and organising the task and then; motivating the team.

  1. Clear, accurate language and good communication skills is high on the list of training for managers.
  2. Managers need to be able to plan by means of analysing goals into their subset tasks.
  3. Organisational skills is high on the list for the manager training.
  4. Managers in business should use the positive motivators. Use only the positive motivators of rewards, recognition, praise, acceptance, appreciation and thanks.

Thank you.

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