in Communication, Improvement & Development, Leadership, Leading People, Leading Projects, Process Improvement

Training Middle Managers On People Management Basics

Here is a simple idea: Whenever you have a new manager (project manager/departmental leader) joining in your organization, put him/her through a simple  training program on how to manage people. Train existing managers as well.

The premise: Most project managers/team leaders get work done through team. I have also seen that a lot of people become managers because of their seniority in technical positions. But we know that managing people is far more than just technical skills. Most managers fail because they don’t know how people are managed.

Here are a few things (bare minimum) that MUST be included in the training:

  1. Leadership basics, traits and core expectations from a leader
  2. Setting a vision (for their projects/initiatives) and long-term thinking
  3. Fundamentals of dealing with people (and best practices therein)
  4. The art of effective delegation and empowerment
  5. Communication skills (oral and written), listening and non-verbal communication
  6. How to connect with people (team members, peers and clients)
  7. Leading with confidence
  8. Presentation skills
  9. Awareness about identifying and influencing impact of their actions on others
  10. How to coach and mentor people
  11. Kindness, care, humility and compassion at workplace
  12. A primer on vision and values of the organization and how it translates into real actions.
  13. Personal effectiveness and self-management
  14. Managing conflicts and understanding differences in personality types
  15. Basic fact finding and interviewing skills
  16. Expectations Management at all levels
  17. (You can add more depending on your organization’s context)

Two critical points:

  • Include a lot of real-life examples/stories for each of the above to make it interesting. To complement this effort, give them the URL’s of some of the best leadership blogs out there. Share other useful resources like free presentations, eBooks, podcasts and videos that would help them get into a leadership mindset.
  • To ensure that this training translates into meaningful actions, it is crucial to have a ‘leadership development program’ that continuously organizes trainings, inducts new people/aspiring leaders, conduct brainstorming and discussion sessions, seek feedbacks from people periodically to maintain the momentum and mature over a period of time.

I wrote in my book #QUALITYtweet that middle managers are the glue that joins the strategies at the top with actions at the bottom. Induction training like these are a small investment that go a long way in setting the precedence and ensuring that you find right channels to effectively transfer your strategy/values to all layers within the organization. It has a direct impact on overall employee morale’ and your effectiveness as an organization.

Have a Fantastic Friday!

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  1. One more interesting post Tanmay. You have clearly defines very useful and must follow points for new manager. I would add “being humble in my view is very important, and having the courage to accept that as a manager he would not necessarily know everything and would have to learn continuously” to be a good manager or a leader. Thanks again for sharing the nice post.

    • @Anand – I agree. Humility is the most important leadership trait. It takes more strength to accept what you don’t know.

      Thanks for adding that.


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