What is Management Skills Training?

The phrase management training is one of those “management speak” phrases that seems to make sense to some of us, but can mean lots of different things to many of us!

Management training is generally defined as training that helps people who are in a management position become better at what they do.  It rarely includes references to technical training, and usually means non-technical or soft skills, as those in technical professions or roles often refer to it as.

The word management can also mean many things, as one is tempted to ask: “managing who or what?”  It could be people, projects, customers or suppliers, for instance.  And depending on which one applies most to your role, will dictate some of the competencies (skills, knowledge and behaviours) you most need to be effective.

If the manager’s job is about dealing with people - and let’s be honest, most will be to some extent - then people skills and behaviours will need to be an essential part of a management training programme.

So, management training tends to be a generic view of the less technical aspects of what managers do in their role, and the word training implies it is about improving and building competency and confidence across the board.


What Are the Benefits of Management Training?

Many of our delegates tell us one of the most helpful aspects of management training is improving a person’s self-awareness.  If delegates achieve this, then so much of what they then project to others can be more purposeful, and less accidental.

Ultimately, a good management training programme will be the catalyst for a person being able to ‘master’ better behaviours and skills that are people related. It will improve the confidence of the person so they are more convincing and authentic in the management aspects of their job, whatever that looks like.

It will also improve their motivation as they feel more effective at specific management tasks and can see the more positive impact they make on people’s engagement, performance and career development.

The upshot of all of this is that managers will be more likely to do demonstrate higher skills levels and behaviours habitually. This means things takes less time, take less preparation, are less pressured and deliver better outcomes.

So good management training over time will mean happier employees, happier customers, happier suppliers and more efficiently delivered projects.

What to Expect From a Management Training Programme

Good management training programmes will usually start with a focus on self, before a focus on applying knowledge or behaviours to external applications such as projects, team members or customers.

If effectively designed and facilitated, management training will focus on how the manager’s behaviours are driven by their mindset and perception of themselves, and then help them with core behavioural principles which transcend to a specific job type.

After this, there’s likely to be some semi-technical or technical aspects of the learning process, relating to a specific type of management role.  This could be a robust project management process for those who manage key projects, or it could be related to performance, for those who manage people. Alternatively, it could even focus on customer management skills.

Either way, a good management training programme will focus on self-awareness of behaviour and mindset; enabling the manager to apply more purposeful behaviour to typical scenarios they will find themselves in.

Good quality management training won’t take a one size fits all approach; instead tailoring to the specific area that each delegate is lacking.

It will also feature a 360º feedback assessment at the start of the programme to get a robust view of how the manager is viewed by others. This is likely to be repeated 6-12 months later, to measure how well the training helped them to develop.

Whilst this is what’s supposed to happen (and in most cases it does); unfortunately, management training isn’t always conducted in this way. The reality is, in our experience, most management training doesn’t actually work at all.

But what do we mean by “work”?

Training that works, is all about the long-term sustainable impact it has, leading to a manager’s improved performance and better results.

Why is it that a lot of management training doesn’t work?

Why is it that investment in this is often not just ineffective, but wasted? There are several reasons for this, falling under three sections: before, during and after.


  • This is all about which delegates are being trained, why they need the training, how committed they are, and how clear they are on their strengths and development needs.
  • It’s also about how targeted the training is, and how much delegates feel they actually need to work on specific areas.
  • The need for training should be put into context for the delegate, so they can see how their competence is connected to their performance, and the overall results of their team, department or business.
  • In short, how likely is it that the delegates are on the start line, raring to go?


  • Almost all management training is fairly traditional by nature. Right now, you can guarantee there will be 12 delegates sat in a U-shape table layout in a hotel conference room somewhere.
  • There’s likely to be one trainer who talks a lot, and shows endless PowerPoint slides that contain theory – most of which you can find on Google!
  • There’s a set of bound delegate notes or a workbook that needs “filling in”. You’ll have some discussion before delegates talk through their findings using a flip chart.
  • You might even have delegates role-playing in different corners of the room.


  • Very little happens on the training organisation’s side, or from anyone within the business.
  • As a result, no behaviours are actually changed, or new habits formed, so everything stays the same.

The result? Time and financial investment are almost certainly wasted.

Whilst the above paints a pretty bleak picture, and not all management training will have all the above features, unfortunately, most management training will feature some, most or all of them.

The problem is, that whilst most management training courses or programmes can look good on paper when you dig a little under the surface, it can be very different.

To summarise, if you want to make sure your business doesn’t fall into the traps outlined, then you need to ensure you book good quality management training.

Our management training courses and programmes are uniquely designed and delivered, to transform the performance of your people. Want to find out more? Get in touch with us, and we’d be happy to have a chat, to find out how we can help you.

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