ActionCOACH Southern Indiana

Why Management Training Works

There are numerous academic reasons for management training. However, real life examples are better illustrations of the effectiveness of being a better manager. These examples have been pulled from recent participants in our 12-Week Management Masterclass.


The first example of this was the new manager who had inherited a team of low performers. They had been in their jobs for several months with no one addressing the lack of productivity, so why should they change now? The manager learned tools to bring structure to each person’s workday and week. It created an accountability system for the individuals and the team. One person stated quite plainly, “No one ever told me I was supposed to do that task.”

Next, the manager used these same tools for herself, carving out focus time to get things done. She set up one-to-one meetings with each team member so they had a dedicated time to work with her. This ended the constant interruptions in her day.

Hang Up the Superhero Cape

Many people struggle with this one. It seems faster to just fix it yourself rather than take the time to teach someone else how to do something. That may be true the first time, but not for the next 10 times you have to do it. It also teaches your team that they do not have to think or to know how to do things because you will come and do it for them.

The manager of a team of developers had one person who regularly “just couldn’t figure this out.” The manager, who enjoyed solving puzzles, would end up writing the code with the developer watching. The manager then had to work late to finish his own tasks. The manager was taught how to ask questions and help lead the developer to figure out the problems himself. The manager reinforced that he believed the developer was capable of writing the code. Eventually, the developer was writing the code by himself and only utilizing the manager as a sounding board for occasional problems.  

Delegating can be a challenge for a manager, or it can be a growth opportunity for a team member. One manager followed the guidance of “What, Why, How, and Agreement” to hand off a monthly report. Her team member embraced the new responsibility. The manager admitted that the employee’s report was done better than hers, and she was relieved to no longer have to do it.  

Systematize the Routine

One of the management lessons is on how to be a proactive rather than a reactive manager. Putting systems in place improves productivity and quality. When there is a clear, documented process there is consistency and allows for cross training. One manager learned the value of this when she had an unexpected resignation. The former employee had duties specific to her role. Since the manager had been working with her to document the processes, another person was able to step into the role without a significant loss in service.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Effective managers are excellent communicators. This means establishing regular and clear communications with their team. One manager had a monthly, lengthy, loosely-organized team meeting that everyone dreaded. Instead, she set up weekly meetings with an agenda.  The result was her team came to the meetings prepared and got to know each other and what each person does. They became more supportive of each other and accomplished more because they understood the goals of the team and their role in achieving them. The manager learned how to curtail side conversations and when to suggest further discussion be held outside the meeting to use the meeting time effectively.

Communication is measured by the response received. Management Training teaches you how to recognize different communication styles and adapt your style for each team member. This has been one of the most widely used and beneficial topics for everyone who has been through the training. Taking the time to communicate to individuals actually saves time because there are fewer questions or misunderstandings.

Crucial Conversations

Learning to address problems in the moment is vital to being an effective manager. Waiting for an annual performance review does nothing to help the employee or the team. One manager needed to address inappropriate behavior. The employee was very sensitive and the manager knew they would cry during the conversation. We worked on ways to take emotion out of the conversation, to make the employee feel comfortable and not judged. The needed change was made clear, along with the expectation that the employee was capable of making the change and doing great work going forward.

We do train on how to do a useful annual review by preparing all year and then listening to the employee. Putting the focus on strengths as well as areas to improve allows for a conversation about growth. Plus, when you do address problems when they happen, the annual review includes how the employee improved.

Do you have the tools you need to be a great manager?

If you are a new manager, or someone who needs to be more effective with less effort, our 12-Week Management Masterclass is an affordable and proven solution. Reach out to me to get started.

Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach