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What are the most essential and valued subject areas within management development training?

Management Development Training

Every organisation needs managers who can perform effectively in their job and have therefore benefited from good management development training. Research carried out by The Development Company indicates that managers are still promoted because they are good at the task and not because they have the competence to be a good manager. Therefore the best sales person becomes the sales manager, which is a completely different role.

Here are the top 8 subject areas within management development training:


A manager needs to have self awareness. If a person is managing others and they have no idea of their impact on others, this can have negative results.

Feedback skills

Feedback is essential for growth and development. A good manager will ask for feedback on their management style and provide timely and constructive feedback to their staff.

Be a good listener

Time and time again when we research what is considered to be the most effective communication skill, listening comes up top of the list. All human beings like attention and being a good listener means you will be one of those people we like being around. Good listeners are trusted and they often find out valuable information. Learning to use active listening is a valuable management skill.

Use influencing skills

A good manager will know how and when to use the push and pull style of influencing. They will not have a one size fits all approach to every person or every situation and they will always aim for an agreeable solution.

Be emotionally intelligent

Having awareness of your emotional state is essential to be an effective manager. You are a role model and so if you lose control in a situation, your staff will do the same perhaps by shouting at a supplier or client. Learning to embrace our emotions, yet work positively with them, is a skill that can be developed.

Know how to set meaningful goals

Every manager has to be able to direct their own workload, which means setting goals and making them happen by managing their time effectively. Once the skill of goal setting has been developed, the manager can then enable their staff to manage their workload effectively.

Develop their staff

One of the best pieces of feedback I have had is that I develop my staff to go on to do different things ┬ásometimes bigger and better and sometimes a change of direction. Every manager I come across agrees that their people are their biggest asset I know, that often used cliche. Yet our research show that when those same managers analyse their time spent with their staff, a whopping 97% of their time is spent talking about the task and not developing their staff’s potential. Appraising, feedback, monitoring, mentoring and coaching are essential management skills.

Having a sense of fun

I am not what I consider to be old. When I started work in the 1980’s we used to have fun. Fun helps us relax and be more creative. Fun helps relationships and lifts the soul. Most organisations nowadays seem to have lost their sense of fun, yet if we build in fun to our day, you will reap the benefits. Think about how you can do this in meetings, brainstorms, lunches and off the cuff.


Being a manager is like being a parent, it is a skill that practise and review helps us to improve. There is no one right management style, however the above are what I value when designing and delivering management development training.