How to learn management skills

A woman uses her communication management skills when talking to co-workers

Management skills courses are easy to find - choose one that suits you and practice what you’ve learned.

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:

  • communication
  • leadership and team building
  • organisation
  • 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:

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.

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
  • communication
  • organisation.

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:

Find out more

Sources

  • 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 Oct 2019