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Introduction to Management Training CourseIntroduction to Management Training Course

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Below are some extracts from our Introduction to Management manual.

Introduction to Management

Leadership

Leaders do more than issue orders, they must provide answers to difficult questions and create the culture of their teams. Effective managers are good leaders.

In summary, the role of a leader is to:

  • Determine a vision
  • Communicate that vision effectively
  • Provide the team with all the necessary resources to achieve this vision
  • Balance the interests of the team and the organisation

 

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership is the ability to see the big picture and forecast the future of the team or organisation. This type of leader creates plans that consider the growth and direction of the business as well as the people within the organisation. Strategic leaders effectively prepare themselves and their teams for the future that they see.

 

Delegation

Why Delegate?

Benefits/Advantages:

  • Allows you as a manager to achieve more
  • Allows time for managerial duties
  • Increases your own promotion potential
  • Develops skills of team members
  • Increases team involvement
  • Maximises efficient output
  • Produces faster, more effective decisions
  • Increases flexibility of operations

Potential Disadvantages:

  • Not sure enough of your position
  • May diminish your authority
  • Fearful of the risk involved
  • Don't want to seem bossy
  • May fear others doing a task better
  • Takes too much time
  • Employees aren't experienced/skilled
  • Feel like you have lost control
  • You do it better

Many people dislike delegating because of what they see as the potential disadvantages. However, delegation is an important tool for a successful manager and comes with many benefits.

Delegation Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s
  • Specify the results expected.
  • Explain why you are delegating.
  • Give the necessary authority to carry out the tasks.
  • Let others know of the delegation.
  • Have confidence in employees.
Don’ts
  • Delegate just trivial tasks.
  • Expect others to do the job as well as you can.
  • Delegate haphazardly.
  • Be an autocratic delegate.
  • Check constantly to see how things are going.
  • Take credit for results achieved by staff.
  • Overload employees.

 

Feedback and Appraisal

There are many types of feedback that managers can deliver and delivering the appropriate type of feedback increases the chance that the receiver will hear, understand, accept, and act on that feedback.

Characteristics of Good Feedback

The following acronym provides a good basis for delivering feedback that will be well received and acted upon:

Specific: Be exact about what behaviour you want the person to change

Timely: The feedback should be delivered as soon as possible for maximum effectiveness

Expressed Directly: The feedback should be delivered in a direct manner to the person whose behaviour needs to change

Behaviour Focused: The feedback should focus on the behaviour that should be changed, not the person or their personality

Actionable: The feedback must be about something the person can change

Helpful: Deliver the feedback in a manner that shows that you want to help the individual with this problem. Key attitudes include respectfulness, honesty, open-mindedness, and empathy.

When giving feedback, be sensitive to the message that you are sending and to the other people present. Criticising a team member in front of the entire team will not be well received. Perhaps surprisingly, being praised in front of a group can make some people feel uncomfortable too.

Direct Praise or Criticism

This is often used in informal feedback situations but can also be used as part of formal feedback. Remember the characteristics of good feedback even when delivering these short items. Note that direct criticism should be used very rarely – typically only when safety is the issue.

Examples:

“That report that you sent out today looked great, Jamie.”

“You need to put your hard hat on, Aaron.”

The Feedback Sandwich

This is where you simply sandwich the negative between two positives. This approach has been criticised because it trains the employee to always expect a negative when they hear a positive, and it takes the focus away from the actual problem. However, it is especially useful for new or sensitive employees or in situations where the job is well done overall.

Example:

“Susan, your report had all the right statistics in it, and I really appreciate that. However, we need you to use the company template. I’ve e-mailed it to you so that you can use it the next time. Good job getting it in on time, too!”

The Open Sandwich

The Open Sandwich is a modified version of the Feedback Sandwich described above. You give the person some praise, give the feedback, and then give constructive help on modifying the behaviour. This places more focus on the problem at hand, but still gives the employee something positive to focus on.

Example:

“Susan, your report had all the right statistics in it, and I really appreciate that. However, we need you to use the company template. I’ve e-mailed it to you so that you can use it the next time.”

 

Working with Teams

What is a Team?

A team is a group of people formed to achieve a goal. With individuals sharing responsibility, the group can take advantage of all the collective talent, knowledge, and experience of each individual team member.

Teams require mutually agreed-upon operating principles such as agendas, procedures and decision-making processes. A team is interdependent; everyone works for the good of the team, not for oneself. How they do things (the process) is just as important, if not more important, than what they do (the task).

The Four Stages of Team Development

Defined by Bruce Wayne Tuckman, PhD in 1965.

Forming: Groups initially concern themselves with orientation, getting to know one another and their roles and responsibilities. Team members will test the boundaries but will depend on the leader for direction and guidance.

Storming: The second phase is characterised by conflict and polarisation around interpersonal issues, sometimes with emotional responses. These behaviours serve as resistance to group influence and task requirements. The leader must remain calm and focus on conflict-resolution during this phase.

Norming: In-group feeling and cohesiveness develops, new standards evolve, and new roles are adopted. The team works towards a common goal, and the leader provides support to the group.

Performing: Finally, the group attains the fourth stage where they can work independently and achieve their goals. Roles become flexible and functional, and group energy is channelled into the task. The leader delegates tasks easily and there is a high level of autonomy.

 

Effective Communication

Listening

Good listening helps to foster a stronger relationship between manager and team member:

  • Demonstrate interest by listening for issues that are not readily disclosed to you. Perhaps you overhear a conversation where your team member is struggling with something. Show your commitment to that person by encouraging them to discuss it with you.
  • Demonstrate listening by giving your undivided attention and avoid interruptions like answering the telephone or looking at emails.
  • Demonstrate respect by always keeping the relationship professional. Avoid putting your team member down, even in a joking manner.

Building Rapport

Rapport is how you relate and connect to others. You can tell when you have good rapport because it will feel like you’re ‘on the same wavelength’. Achieving rapport with your colleagues is important as it leads to more effective communication.

Voice tone or tempo

Tone can be high, low, loud or soft. Tempo can be fast, slow, and with or without pauses. Voice tone or tempo matching is useful for the telephone.

Matching movement rhythms

Each time the other person displays a movement, you match it with a different movement of your own. For example, if the other person scratches his or her nose, you tap your pen or drum your finger. Also known as crossover mirroring, matching movement rhythms takes a little practice, but can help you achieve rapport.

Matching body postures

This is the easiest of the techniques; however, you must use it in a subtle way, so it is not embarrassing. Practice mirroring in a non-critical situation. Simple examples of matching body postures include crossing your legs or leaning on one elbow.

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