If your company is big enough to have an HR department, chances are you have access to some kind of manager training.
Whether it’s worth your while to take it up is another story.
From my own experience, I’ve found corporate manager training a little off the mark for my needs.
Corporate manager training comes in 3 flavors:
Flavor 1: Overly Spirited Leadership Training
Examples of concepts: Lead by vision, be a servant leader, change agent, team building exercises, driving engagement
Delivered by: Keynote speakers and consultants like ex-CEOs
Why it falls short: Not concrete enough for managers operating in the front-lines. You’ll get fired up by it at conferences, but that energy wears off fast once you’re back in the day-to-day. More useful for C-Level execs.
Flavor 2: Theory of Management Constructs
Examples of concepts: Theory of X&Y, Kepner-Tredoe Matrix, Fiedler’s Contingency model, Benne and Sheats’ Group Roles
Delivered by: University professors, management consultants and corporate learning & development courses
Why it falls short: Often so abstract, they can bog simple problems down into semantics. Some theories are heavy on psychology. You risk turning into an amateur psychologist, seeing things for more than they are.
Flavor 3: Industrial Relations Compliance
Examples of concepts: OSHA compliance, conflict management, workers compensation, dealing with unions
Delivered by: Industrial Relations experts, HR bulletins, corporate learning & development courses
Why it falls short: More focused on legal compliance than helping you building and manage a team that can crush goals. Still, it’s good to get an overview of industrial relations issues.
Bringing it together
Chances are you care more about crushing goals than being seen as a visionary leader who can interpret people’s inner thoughts.
Sure, you need to know workplace laws, but your job doesn’t end at covering your (and your boss’s) behind.
What you need (and want) are actionable tools and thinking for building and coaching a team that will get results.