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Management development – a training manager’s view


Training manager Janis Cording offers her views on management development.

This is an area that I am looking at within my own organisation. I don't pretend to have all the answers as I believe this to be a very complex subject, however, I have some comments from my activities so far.

Firstly, I have found that many managers have been promoted into the position based mainly upon their expertise in their previous role or function. This may not have been a management role. Therefore, being a manager has been a learning curve for them and as such they are exposed to situations that they have not experienced previously, particularly on the people management issues. Some of these people have since attended management development training and have found benefits from a structured way of understanding and building knowledge around soft skills and how to support, direct and coach their staff in an effective manner.

On the subject of training I do believe that a manager isn't born but needs to develop certain skills to operate effectively. Formal training as well as coaching/mentoring and experience are the ingredients to developing the manager. However, before attending any training session the individual needs to have an understanding of what their needs are and therefore what benefits the training will provide. I don't see the value in sending everyone onto training courses without building an appreciation of what the benefits will be. This in my experience means that they are not committed to this as a learning experience and do not gain as much from the activity.

Evaluation is key to establishing what has been gained and how this is implemented. I encourage those who attend management development training courses to implement a work-based activity following the training course on the aspect that they feel is most relevant in their team. This should then ensure that the gains are worth the focus and commitment that they give to this and also provide evaluation of applied learning.

As for the difference between leaders and managers, my own definition is that leaders have a vision and will share this with their staff to enable this to be achieved through team effort and commitment. Managers will ensure that the goals are met through organising and implementing actions.

I am interested to find out the views of others, as sharing and exchanging views and opinions opens the mind to the variety of perspectives to be considered.

Alexandra Sneyd

Steve Mosley

What is your experience of management development? Post your comments below, or email us.


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