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What do you think is needed in management training?

Let's say you're providing management training seminars to your staff.

Who do you send?

Who do you send together (i.e., managers and subordinates, peer managers, etc.)? Does it matter what type of seminar for the answer above?



David Smith
Title: Manager
Company: Private
(Manager, Private) |

I attended a lunchtime management training talk recently by a communications expert. I don't know what I expected, except maybe some blather about leadership or empowerment or agile responsibility delegation. The talk was actually quite interesting.

The presentation was mostly about listening. I found this surprising since "communication" sounds more like saying something. Anyhow, it was about management listening skills. Not listening to just make others think you're listening or listening like waiting-out a hostage taker, but really listening. She made the excellent point that most listening is waiting to speak. And, most people think they're good listeners if for no other reason that they have decent hearing.

It turns out that actual listening is more about really taking-in what someone is saying without immediately reacting or using the time to think about what you'll say next or think about how you left your desktop open in full view of your co-workers to the youtube video you were just watching.

There is an element of how listening affects others in that folks aren't idiots and can tell the difference between really listening and waiting to speak. Watch John Kasich at a Republican debate some time. He moves his mouth with his lips closed while supposedly listening. I'm fairly sure he has good hearing and considers himself an above average listener. That kind of listening comes off like "you didn't hear a word I just said." Ergo, how relevant could your response be?

The other real benefit of all that listening is, with more time to really absorb what is being said versus what one anticipates is being said, responses tend to be true responses rather than interrupted off-topic point-making. Active listening might be asking a clarifying question, to help the speaker communicate more clearly.

If anyone at Proformative is reading this, as a $99 courses subscriber who
is stuffing himself like Thanksgiving dinner at Perry Boys Smorgy (25 courses down, 250 to go), I'd like to see communication skills training. Maybe you could get this gal to teach a course. I know it isn't specifically corporate finance and accounting, but listening does relate to how well one does their corporate finance/accounting job.

Finally, I'd be really happy if everyone I work with took the course, so they'd all really listen more to what I have to say!

Gary A. Pokorn
Title: Sales Enablement Manager
Company: Oracle I NetSuite
(Sales Enablement Manager, Oracle I NetSuite) |

Stellar comments David! I'm listening (and hoping) for such a course to be added also. Thx, GAP

David Cowan
Title: Vice President
Company: Proformative, Inc.
LinkedIn Profile
(Vice President, Proformative, Inc.) |

Hi David,

Thank you very much for your suggestion. We'll contact you offline to get the name and contact details of the instructor you mentioned. We're always looking for great instructors who bring great content!

Since we continue to add about a course a day, we're always soliciting feedback from our learners on what courses they'd like to see on the platform. So, any time you have a suggestion please don't hesitate to contact us!

Karen Saunders, MBA
Title: Property Management Controller
Company: ConAm Management Corporation
(Property Management Controller, ConAm Management Corporation) |

David - Has such a class been made available through Proformative? We have a Manager's meeting in March and I would really like to incorporate the topic of listening, not just hearing, during our two days together. Thank you.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

I think we need to get more education about the impacts of being a global society and the related economics. We have so much to learn about other cultures and the impacts of doing business outside of our own borders. This goes from high level discussions about how business is conducted down to the technical aspects of hedging, taxes, etc. I would start with the high level managers and then bring in subordinates with their respective supervisors. Eventually, there would be a need to branch off into areas of specialty.

Kevin Kelso
Title: Controller
Company: The Arc of Delaware
(Controller, The Arc of Delaware) |

Depends on the type of training and the objective of the training. Are you sending managers to training just because someone in Senior management thinks it's a good idea or somebody needs CPE credits? The best management training I ever attended were those classes with focused objectives. For instance, our company decided to undergo a culture transformation that fit into the strategic direction that the entire firm was undertaking. Therefore, they worked ahead of time with a consulting firm and targeted the training to not only our company, but the specific department knowing the management structure including the reporting lines.

Another excellent training was specific to management leadership and to this day, I can recall certain aspects of those lessons that I have carried forward with me some 15 years later. That training occurred with the Center for Creative Leadership. It was well worth the cost and I believe is still thriving today with expanded locations.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

The question is company and people specific. My general guidelines are the following:
(1) It should be in line with company goals and culture.
(2) It should be what people need to accomplish company goals.
(3) After 1&2 are met, then the company can begin to entertain other training/knowledge/skill betterment of it's people.

Jan Wilson
Title: President
Company: Vital Assets LLC
(President, Vital Assets LLC) |

To build on Emerson's excellent guidelines, start with the objective, the problem or issue you need to address to improve performance. Be sure you are addressing the problem and not just the symptoms! Considering the potential time and expense involved in training, make the investment worthwhile with a plan building back from the objective, including the target audience; the expected outcome in terms of changed behavior and organizational impact; how achievement of that outcome will be measured; how best to deliver those results to the target audience and culture, within the constraints of time and budget, etc. As this demonstrates, for "training" to really be an effective, valuable ROI, it needs to be considered within the context of organizational performance expectations and culture, which probably means a whole planned training program. While this approach takes you beyond just a class chosen from a consultant's menu of standard presentations, it also takes you from the cost of a one-off class to the investment of real development of people and organization with continuously increasing returns. Isn't that the point, after all?

ArLyne Diamond
Title: Owner - President
Company: Diamond Associates
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner - President, Diamond Associates) |

One size does not fit all. The problem with so much of what we call management training is designed to be administered classroom style to hundreds of people simultaneously. While there is a certain amount of knowledge that can be gained from lectures, they are not nearly as effective as they are in combination with small group discussion, role-play and a healthy amount of question and answer.

Also, different types of managers have different needs. For example, working with entry-level personnel in a retail store requires somewhat different skills and behaviors than working with a highly educated, sophisticated and motivated team of software engineers.

Our personal styles, values, culture also effect what we will be comfortable doing - and change of style is very difficult to achieve - and almost impossible if the training is conducted only in a classroom (or on-line) manner without the opportunities to practice and get feedback.

I think management training is vital in this age of the love of the STEM - but we waste our money by not giving it the time, attention and resources it really deserves and requires.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

This is what I would love to see......

Modern/current management paradigms! A lot of management these days are still stuck in the 1900s management viewpoints. Ex. If you still primarily see/view their people as "costs". Sadly, I still see a lot of CEOs and sadly finance professionals that has this viewpoint. Most are not even aware of new paradigms being espoused by new successful companies.

Karen Saunders, MBA
Title: Property Management Controller
Company: ConAm Management Corporation
(Property Management Controller, ConAm Management Corporation) |

Does anyone know if Proformative has added this very timely (for my work environment) subject to its training? I don't see it in the Top Courses in this forum. If not, David Smith, would you share with me the women's name and contact information so I can reach out to her directly?

We have an upcoming Managers Meeting for which I would really like to add this as a topic/learning experience. Thank you!

Topic Expert
John Kogan
Title: CEO/CFO
Company: Proformative, Inc.
(CEO/CFO, Proformative, Inc.) |


As it happens we have an entire category dedicated to Leadership and Management training on the Proformative learning platform and it's one of our more popular learning categories. Among the roughly 40 courses there you will find things like, "How being a good coach makes you a better leader" (which is part leadership, part management course), "The catalyst CFO, managing change as a finance leader", "Change management, the people side", and many more. All of these courses are taught by finance practitioners who have been there, done that, and provide valuable insights.

To easily find the Leadership and Management courses on the Academy you can simply click on the "Learn" link at the top center of any page on the site, which will take you to the "front page" of the Academy. Once there, "hover" your mouse over the box with the words "All Job Titles/Categories" just below the "Learn" link you just clicked on, and a list of course titles and categories will pop up. Under the category list you will find "Leadership and Management". That's it. Happy hunting and I truly hope you find what you and your compatriots need. If not, please feel free to make recommendations in reply here and we will do our best to source the requested courses.

(Financial Analyst) |

Also please make sure that the kind of training/skills are discussed should be shown practically from the actions and attitude, not just talked about.

Just an example, in our multi-million dollars organization, we had to attend a mandatory "Hospitality" training. The training was four hours WITHOUT any break, and these four hours included the lunch time as well. We were on 13 floor of the building with nothing to eat or drink, not even water. Well, thats how you conduct "hospitality" training???

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