How to learn management skills
Learning management skills can be a great way to advance your career.
Learning management skills can be an excellent way to:
- become better at your job
- advance your career.
They’re valued by employers, colleagues and people you may already manage.
Management skills are a mix of business and personal skills, and include:
- leadership and team building
- planning and strategy
- problem solving and decision making
- the ability to accept feedback and advice.
Before you start any work-related study, tell your employer because they might want to:
- let you study during work time
- pay for your course.
Think about what kind of course you need
There are many management skills courses, so before you choose one, ask yourself:
- What do I want to learn?
- How much time do I have?
You may not want to commit to full-time, multi-year study, so you can improve your skills at:
- a one-day course
- a short course spread over a few months
- an organisation with a good reputation, such as the not-for-profit Institute of Management New Zealand
- Institute of Management New Zealand website - management training for professional development.
Many courses are delivered online, so you can study while you work.
Explore training options at work and online
Employers often support professional development, so if you’re keen to do some work-related study, talk to your manager or human resources (HR) team.
Many employers put aside money for employee training, because they understand the importance of a skilled workforce. Ask your manager if there is a training budget.
Large employers may run their own in-house courses, or offer secondments and job shadowing.
In recent years, there has been huge growth in international online course providers. They offer world-class training from respected organisations including the University of London and Stanford University.
These online courses are good places to start your study because they’re often free.
- Coursera website - founded by Stanford University professors
- edX website - created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University
- Lynda website - social media giant LinkedIn’s learning platform
- Futurelearn website - a partnership of international universities and specialist organisations
Focus on a few management skills
Everybody has strengths and weaknesses at work. So you may want to work on some specific management skills, rather than spreading your time across several skills.
Look for a course that focuses on what you want to improve, such as:
- public speaking
Practice management skills at work or in your spare time
Remember to practice and build on your management skills. Look for opportunities to use them at work, or join a community group and practice them there. For example, you can:
- join a school Board of Trustees
- present at a work meeting
- organise a team event
- join Toastmasters
- Toastmasters website - programme to help you improve your leadership and communication skills
Find out more
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- Careerbuilder, ‘What are management skills and why are they important’, 14 March 2017, (www.careerbuilder.com).
- Corporate Finance Institute, ‘Management Skills’, accessed September 2019, (www.corporatefinanceinstitute.com).
- Coursera website, accessed September 2019, (www.coursera.org).
- edX website, accessed September 2019, (www.edx.org).
- Lynda website, accessed September 2019, (www.lynda.com).
- The Balance Careers, ‘Top Management Skills Employers Value: With Examples’, 24 August 2019, (www.thebalancecareers.com).
- The Institute of Management New Zealand website, accessed September 2019, (www.imnz.co.nz).
Updated 3 Nov 2020