Archnahr
Consultant, Writer And Trainer
Jeroo Chandiok
Management Consultancy & Training &
Bus2perf
Director
Senthil Raj
Officer In University
Alokgoel
Govt. Service

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Managers today are on a perpetual race against time. It's not surprising that most of them consider training programmes a waste of time. Nevertheless, training is needed, as not all managers are leaders and neither do all of them possess excellent interpersonal skills.

A few pointers on making training programmes for managers effective and brief.

1. Dump outdated training design methods

Conventional training programmes begin with an icebreaker, move on to introductions, build the environment and then discuss the agenda and objectives. Managers have no patience with time-consuming activities that serve little purpose. The conventional training approach should be replaced with one that addresses the following:

# Why are they attending the programme?

# What value can they derive from the session and where can they apply it immediately?

# What will they specifically learn from the session and how will the session help them apply it?

2. Avoid meaningless charts

Most trainers write almost everything anyone says on a flipchart, with the intention of referring to it later. This is a time consuming and pointless exercise. Discussing the ideas with the group is a better option.

Activities should not be included just for the sake of variety; they must add some value to the training. Discussing real-world case studies is better than 'pairing with a partner' games. Flip charts and such games are passé.

3. Make it fast-paced

Time is revenue for most companies. Discussing the same point for two-hours can be very frustrating. Monitor discussions to ensure they don't deviate from the point. Also, omit activities that do not add value.

4. Understand business

The trainer must know and understand business. Trainers must read business magazines to keep abreast of current trends in business. They must be informed about innovative practices being employed successfully by other companies. Using real business examples in sessions greatly enhances the credibility of the trainer.

5. Consider business as top priority

For busy managers, training is just one of the many things done in a day. Therefore, trainers must not be defensive when managers talk about their frustration about being in training programmes. Instead, they could make the sessions worthwhile and relate the training needs to business demands. Rather than ridiculing them for not being committed, trainers need to demonstrate how their training can affect their business positively. Trainers must assume that managers are committed, despite being overworked.

Hi!
whatever mentioned above is just a thing of the past.
Now a days every busy manager knows the value of TRAINING.
that is why the Cos. Budget on training is increasing day by day as training is the area through which productivity and competence of any process/person/institution can be greatly enhanced.
In todays corporate World training prg. like :
- how to craft a team
- how to lead a team
- Creating a great Institution etc.
are organised especially for busy managers. these prg. r very interactive in nature and trainer plays the role of facilitator and busy managers hone their competence in the fields of Leadership, team building, delegation, innovation etc.
with best regards
alokgoel

There are points I agree with in archnahr’s post. Some points, though, are too general to apply to all management programs. In particular, instead of speeding things up (“Make it fast-paced”), I would say we need to slow the pace down. For effective learning, managers will need to progress through all four phases of the learning cycle: test, experience, reflect, abstract. This takes time. Rushing through a four hour program will see little behavior change in managers back on the job.

Some things that will improve the effectiveness of management training are:

1. chunk the program into weekly sessions, e.g., one four hour session per week for 10 weeks

2. prompt participants to use skills learned back in their workplace between sessions

3. allow time for participants to feedback to the group their experiences and allow lots of time for discussion and reflection

4. after the program, assign each participant a coach to work with to further develop their skills

Vicki Heath

Human Resources Software and Resources

http://www.businessperform.com

Hi! ya, i do agree that mentoring is a widely used option to enhance the competence of managers. By the way Vicki, topic is "How to train BUSY MANAGERS". with best regards alokgoel
Thanks Alok & Vicki,
The points summarised here are basically to train very busy managers, so they cannot be applied for general trainings.
Thanks for sharing your opinion on this topic.
Cheers
Archna

Alokgoel, in my country, US and UK, mentoring is *not* a widely used option for management raining. I would be very pleased to hear that the situation is different in India.
Re busy managers, I find that the principles of effective training do not change according to how *busy* a person is. Shortening a seventeen day training program to seven days, no matter how skillfully, just because managers are “busy”, will not create a more effective program. It will just mean that seven days of a manager’s time are wasted on ineffective training.
We seem to think that because we do not professionally train managers and supervisors before they take on a manager/supervisory role, as we do with other professions, that we can somehow create competent managers/supervisors on the cheap and in an instant.
Vicki Heath
Human Resources Software and Resources
http://www.businessperform.com

Hi!
Vicki i fully agree with your point of view and points stated above now. Inadvertantly the word mentoring was used, it has no relevance in the present context. i take back that statement.
:oops:
In Archana's initial post i do not agree with certain points as per my knowledge and experience.
want to add more later....
regards
alok

Busy managers need training as much as anyone else, simply because they need to be thoroughly equipped to perform at optimal levels.

However, what is needed is a thorough analysis of training needs, based on discussions with each of them. One or more may need specialised training in specific areas, while others may not. In such cases, it would be preferable to select intensive external training courses which would be needbased and effective and send those in need of such training to them.

Where there are new applications, or new insights, or where it is felt that a number of managers need to refresh their skills on a particular area, then have internal training programs conducted by external trainers; these must be effectively crafted to meet specific requirements; practical solutions based on theoretical truisms are the need of the hour.

For instance, a number of trainers conduct set courses on Time Management Skills; others provide set courses on Stress Management. In my own case, I never conduct these separately, nor am I complacent enough to use the same training material for evey level of participant.

Instead, I give a combined Time & Stress Management Course, because a deficiency in any one is bound to lead to deficiency in the other. Also, I am constantly changing the matter to meet the requirements of specific levels of management, and provide different specially designed case studies which relate to the participants' seniority/function.

It helps, and my participants are optimally satisfied.

Jeroo

Hi!

well said Jeroo, i add the following as my point of view :

a manager of a rock-n-roll band needs different capabilities from a supervisor in a hospiece. managing in Johannesburg is different from managing in silicon valley. controlling a water treatment plant in Chennai poses different problems from steering Genaral Motors through the twenty-first century.

thus the purpose of TNA for busy managers is to gather information re. training gaps (which includes all level of analysis org., operational and especially people analysis in case of busy managers) to improve the org. performance & effectiveness. the essence of the system is to ensure that assets are enriched in a measurable manner.

just to reinforce : if a manager is a great team builder but a poor problem solver, i argue that he/she should concentrate his problem solving skills rather than hone an already sharp skill as a team builder. for many years educators have not followed this philosophy rather they believed in building on strengths. my philosophy (plumber) can be best understood by imagining a plumbing system. suppose water bubbling up through your floorboards. there could be several reasons - a leak, fracture, overflow etc. your plumber's task is to ignore those parts of the system, which are working, find the blockage / leakage and put it right.

it makes sens to focus attention on factors that are inhibiting the full achievement of potential of a busy manager. i m practicing this HIGH IMPACT training model to train busy managers in my org.

with best regards

alok goel

hello,
The post has very good points.
Undoubtedly, the training is necessary for all, whether the person is manager or 'busy manager'.
As suggested by the Archana, the methodologies needs to be changed in order to suit the present requirements keeping in view the time. Not only the individual, but organisation may also not like to spend more time on this. What the organisation may be interested is good training in short period, so that the 'time' of the busy managers are not wasted. But the training will become success only when the whatever the input received is practiced religously. so the busy managers must implement the things in a phased manner and not at one stroke.
wishes
senthil raj

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