Leadership and Management Courses Directory

Course Outcomes

This supervision skills course for new supervisors and managers will:

  • Outline what effective supervision is and is not.
  • Provide an opportunity for managers to articulate their values, management style, and expectations.
  • Allow participants time to practice such essential skills as goal setting, delegating, coaching, and counseling.
  • Introduce techniques for managing change and planning for the future.

Course Overview

Management Essentials: Skills for Supervising Others is composed of four half-day training sessions designed as standalone modules. While they work best when taught in sequence, one session is not a prerequisite for another. The course covers four distinct areas: making the transition from individual contributor to management, encouraging ownership and holding people accountable, coaching employees to reach their potential, and addressing performance problems and managing workplace change. 

This program is ideally suited for organizations that want to offer ongoing management training. The recommended time between sessions is three to four weeks.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Day One: Making the Transition and Crafting a Plan

People who are first-rate individual contributors often struggle when they are asked to supervise others. This half-day program module focuses on tactics for easing the transition and creating processes and systems for managing work.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the role of a supervisor and how it differs from an individual contributor’s responsibilities.
  • Identify the characteristics strong supervisors share.
  • Explain their expectations and management style.
  • Make time to supervise others and plan regular communication.
  • Communicate priorities to a team.
  • Perform regular self-evaluation and solicit feedback.

Apples and Oranges: What’s Different About Management

This session opens with a round-robin discussion. During this part of the program, participants will explain how a supervisor’s role differs from the job of an individual contributor and the challenges people often encounter when moving from one role to another. 

Navigating Change: Working Through Transition

In this workshop component, we’ll look at the transitions new supervisors go through and the feeling of adjustment direct reports often experience when a new supervisor assumes a management role. To reinforce learning points, participants will play a card game that explores the importance of managing transitions and what can happen when people simply make assumptions when taking on a leadership role. Following that exercise, we will address the challenges participants articulated in the previous module.

Looking and Sounding the Part: Assuming the Role

This portion of the course builds on the previous discussion. In this seminar module, we’ll consider what successful managers do and say. Working in teams, group members will create a “super supervisor” character. They will identify specific behaviors their characters exhibit and why those behaviors build credibility. Next, we will introduce the five actions we will explore during the remainder of the session: establishing a supervision philosophy, setting standards, establishing routines, communicating priorities and values, and learning from past experiences. 

You Can’t Work What You Don’t Have: Making a Plan

It’s hard to supervise others if you don’t understand what’s important to you and the organization. In this module, participants will work through a values-ranking exercise to help them identify a supervision style. The group members will then create a written supervision philosophy. The purpose of this exercise is to help participants avoid a range of common first-time supervision problems: failing to develop others, not letting go, micromanaging, and other counterproductive behaviors.

What I Expect and Won’t Accept: Setting Standards

In addition to following a supervision philosophy, it’s important to let people know what is and isn’t okay. Furthermore, it is helpful to communicate work preferences. For example, “When you come to me with problems, bring a few solutions too – even if they’re not perfect.” Working in teams and individually, participants will develop a list of expectations and guidelines.

Contact Frequency and Channels: Choosing When to Communicate

The next part of this course reviews communication tools available to supervisors: one-on-ones, staff meetings, team huddles, quarterly updates, and annual reviews. We will look at best practices for using each and the importance of deciding a schedule and sticking to it.

Priorities, Priorities: Focusing the Team

If people don’t know what’s most important and how their work fits into the bigger picture, a supervisor is bound to be frustrated that the wrong things are being done, or the right things are being done but at the wrong time. In most cases, supervisors in those situations have themselves to thank. This workshop segment reviews the importance of letting people know priorities and keeping direct reports engaged when targets move.

Everyday Learning: Growing in the Role

Strong supervisors realize they are human and make mistakes. They also systematically self-evaluate and have a plan for self-development. In this final module, we’ll talk about systems of evaluating and resources for growing as a manager.

By the conclusion of this segment, participants should feel confident in their ability to make the transition from the role of individual contributor to manager.


Day Two: Understanding Ownership, Workplace Accountability, Goal Setting, and Delegation

Successful companies are mainly composed of people with an owner’s versus a renter’s mentality. Employees are engaged, have a strong sense of responsibility, and take pride in their work. The actions direct supervisors take have an enormous influence on an employee’s decision to buy or lease. This program session focuses on ownership, accountability, goal setting, and delegation.  

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain employee engagement and strategies for managing owners, renters, and squatters.
  • Describe the importance of clarity and consistency when communicating workplace expectations.
  • Delegate the right tasks to the right people at the right level.
  • Encourage engagement.
  • Avoid common problems related to accountability, delegation, and goal setting.

Ownership Versus Accountability: Knowing the Difference

This part of the program opens with a sorting activity around accountability and ownership. Working in teams, participants will evaluate a series of behaviors and determine the extent to which a supervisor can hold an employee accountable for exhibiting each. We’ll then look at an accountability-ownership continuum. During this exercise, participants will evaluate their current work culture and where their group falls on the spectrum. The activities in the module will set the stage for the session and emphasize the importance of striving for ownership and engagement versus mere compliance.

Who Lives in the Neighborhood: Owners, Renters, and Squatters

This part of the program builds on the previous discussion. In this workshop module, we will take a closer look at three types of employees supervisors are likely to encounter: owners, renters, and squatters. Next, we will discuss ten actions supervisors can take to encourage engagement.  

The Three Cs: Clarity, Consistency, and Communication

It’s easier for people to take ownership when they understand what they are supposed to do, and they know how their work fits into the bigger picture. In this portion of the seminar, we will look at accountability conversations and what should be included when setting expectations. To reinforce the concepts discussed, participants will take part in a sequencing exercise and a juggling activity. Those challenges will illustrate the importance of explaining how tasks fit into the organization’s goal and meeting people where they are when assigning work. 

Delegation: What Needs to Be Done and How

As the juggling exercise will show, supervisors must meet people where they are if they want to encourage engagement. If they don’t, they can find themselves micromanaging, being inconsistent, not making obvious sense, or worse. This part of the program looks at when, how, what, to whom, and reasons to delegate. During this workshop segment, participants will work through a delegation worksheet and practice holding an accountability and goal-setting conversation.

Troubleshooting: Solving Problems

This session concludes with a series of case studies. Working in teams, participants will evaluate a range of scenarios and craft solutions to each.

By the end of this part of the workshop, participants should understand the importance of employee engagement and how to use accountability, delegation, and goal setting to encourage ownership.


Day Three: Leveraging Communication, Coaching, and Development

Just as flowers in a garden grow when they are planted in rich soil, watered, and fed, employees are more likely to reach their full potential when their supervisors create an environment that encourages ownership, they receive regular communication from higher-ups, and people work with them to identify and achieve career goals. This session focuses on the skills supervisors need to develop their direct reports.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the importance of encouragement and feedback in the management process.
  • Describe several popular coaching models and demonstrate their use.
  • Use questions to encourage engagement and ownership.
  • Practice active listening.
  • Describe a range of coaching options and how technology can assist in the process.
  • Explain the importance of understanding people styles and how to adjust communication to accommodate a range of preferences.

Encouragement and Feedback: Part of the Secret Sauce in Great Supervision

Beyond managing daily tasks, a big part of a supervisor’s responsibility is talent development. Successful supervisors know the importance of coaching. This session opens with four important questions: what is coaching, what’s the goal of coaching, what makes someone a good coach, and why does engagement typically increase when managers adopt a coaching approach to supervision?

Models: Choosing a Framework

CLEAR, GROW, and FUEL are among the many coaching models from which managers can choose, but more important than the framework chosen is the act of adopting a system and sticking to it. This part of the course introduces a range of options and the value of each. After reviewing various systems, participants will choose one for further exploration.

Questioning and Listening Skills: A Coach’s Top Tools

Questioning and listening skills are two essential tools supervisors must master in order to become strong coaches. This workshop segment looks at both. In this portion of the seminar, participants will practice their questioning skills and their ability to listen to what others tell them in such a way that they are able to encourage a dialog and build trust.

Solve the Case: Coaching for Growth, Coaching for Improvement

This program segment provides several opportunities for participants to practice their coaching skills. During this part of the training course, participants will plan several coaching sessions to address a series of case studies. Next, they will practice a coaching meeting.

When to Coach: Fitting It In

In an ideal world, coaching is planned, there is plenty of time to do it, and the supervisor has nothing else on his or her plate. Most workplaces are not ideal, however, and none is ideal all the time. This part of the program focuses on time management and coaching. During this module, we will look at how much time managers should devote to the coaching process, micro-coaching strategies, and technology that can assist managers in communicating with those they supervise. 

Understanding People Styles: Tailoring the Approach

Experienced managers realize that not everyone is wired the same way. For that reason, they adjust their approach to accommodate a range of people styles. In this final part of the session, participants will explore Business Training Works’ signature diagnostic tool, The Communication Jungle. During this module, participants will learn about communication preferences and how to use this information when managing others.

By the conclusion of this part of the program, participants will understand the value of coaching as a supervision tool, and they will know how to use a range of models when coaching others. They will also be able to tailor their approach to coaching depending on their direct report’s communication preferences.


Day Four: Addressing Performance Problems and Managing During Times of Change or Uncertainty 

Many new supervisors, as well as managers with years of experience, avoid having tough conversations that should have been had months or even years earlier. This session aims to make the process of confronting and correcting performance issues easier. This portion of the course also looks at scenario planning, skills for managing organizational change, and tactics for encouraging engagement when an organization goes through a period of growth or a process of right-sizing.

Session Objectives

At this session’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Get to the root cause of a performance problem.
  • Verify they aren’t contributing to a performance issue.
  • Hold a counseling conversation.
  • Reduce feelings of uncertainty in fast-moving environments.
  • Plan for the future and help their teams to do the same.

Why Performance Misses the Mark: Beyond Symptoms

This session begins with a discussion about the feedback people want from their supervisors and why employees don’t always do what they are supposed to do. We’ll also talk about the reasons managers fail to address performance problems and what can happen when people avoid holding performance-related conversations.

What Were You Measuring?: Back to the Beginning

In this workshop segment, participants will work in teams to create a lego structure.  Their creations will be judged for points based on several criteria. However, the evaluation standards may or may not be communicated before the start of the building process. After the points are awarded, we will talk about the supervisor’s role in employee performance and why poor performance can be a symptom of a management problem and not an issue created by an employee.

Counseling Conversations: Correcting Performance Problems

When a manager has done everything he or she can to create an environment that encourages strong performance but problems still exist, a counseling conversation is often the next logical step. This part of the program explores the ins and outs of correcting performance problems that do not improve with coaching alone. During this part of the program, we’ll talk about the goals of counseling, what should happen before holding a counseling conversation, the process a conversation should follow, and how to deliver feedback in such a way that the employee feels he or she is in control of future actions and responsible for making choices. Next, participants will plan and hold a counseling conversation. This exercise should give participants a basic understanding of the counseling process and some foundational experience addressing performance problems.

Uncertain Times: Being Consistent in a Sea of Moving Parts

Strong supervisors know how uncertainty and change can affect their direct reports and contribute to performance problems.  This part of the program looks at workplace change and actions those in charge can encourage engagement and reduce change-related stress those they supervise may be feeling. During this portion of the workshop, participants will take part in a storytelling challenge. The catch? The rules and players change at irregular intervals. This activity highlights the feelings people often experience during times of change and provides an opportunity for us to discuss communication strategies supervisors can adopt to better manage in a fluctuating environment.

Future Casting: Preparing for What’s Next

Rarely does the calculus of any business stay “as is” for very long. Good supervisors know the importance of preparing people for future shifts. This session ends with an exercise in future casting. During this seminar segment, participants will discuss the importance of planning for a variety of scenarios and how to encourage their direct reports to do the same.

By the end of this session, participants should know the steps they need to take to address workplace problems, stay consistent in times of change or uncertainty, and prepare for a range of possible future scenarios.

Format Key

  • H – Half-Day Onsite Training Course
  • F – Full-Day Onsite Training Course
  • M – Multi-Day Onsite Training Course

Workshop Descriptions

Management Essentials: Skills for Supervising Others

This essential management skills course comprises four half-day workshops. The program covers four topic areas: making the transition from independent contributor to management; encouraging ownership, delegating, and holding people accountable; leveraging communicating, coaching, and developing people; and addressing performance problems and managing during times of change or uncertainty. While designed as a series, each half day also works as a stand-alone workshop, and completion of one session is not a prerequisite for participation in another. This program is ideal for organizations that wish to offer a basic management development program on an ongoing basis that people can join at any point during the course.

Lessons in Leadership: Learning to Lead So Others Will Follow

This dynamic six-month leadership development program is designed for intact cohorts. The course addresses issues of central importance to leaders: what strong leaders do, how to articulate purpose, establish targets, and hold people accountable for their work, coaching skills and employee development, strategic planning and innovation, and communication skills.

Step Up to Supervisor: Making the Transition from Buddy to Boss

Give your supervisors the jumpstart they need with this onsite management training course.  Topics covered include the supervisor’s role, a skills assessment, self-sabotaging behaviors, accountability, delegation, questioning skills, reflective listening, employee motivation, feedback, difficult behavior, and conflict management. This workshop can be taught in both full-day and multi-day formats. The difference between these options is the depth in which we explore topics and the number of experiential activities included in the program.  

Supervision Skills for Managers: Coaching, Counseling, Delegating, and Developing an A+ Workgroup

Focused on helping people become better managers, this survey course covers such topics as communication skills, communication styles, goal setting, giving effective performance feedback, and coaching. During this interactive workshop, participants will have ample opportunity to practice the skills featured in this training course and work on a plan to address any real-time concerns they have regarding their direct reports.

Employee Accountability: The Nuts and Bolts of Delegation and Coaching for Better Performance

If accountability doesn’t exist, engagement and buy-in usually suffer. This half-day workshop takes a deep dive into issues around employee accountability and actions successful managers take to get the best from their direct reports.  During this program, participants will learn what to delegate and how, why good performance does or doesn’t happen, how to address shortcomings, and essential coaching skills for building trust and encouraging ownership.

Off My Plate: Effective Delegation Techniques

Few people can get everything done by themselves. For that reason, knowing how to delegate is an essential workplace skill.  This course explores the ins and outs of effective delegation and tactics for assigning the right tasks to the right people. Through a range of exercises and activities, during this interactive workshop participants will explore such topics as letting go, generating buy-in, communicating authority, monitoring tasks, using questions to coach, and monitoring delegated tasks. 

Engaging with Feedback: Win-Win Skills to Improve Employee Performance

Feedback is about guiding people to do their best work. This course explores the ins and outs of employee feedback and best practices for establishing a productive dialogue between managers and employees. During this workshop, participants will learn how to leverage both formal and informal feedback to increase employee engagement. Those participating in the program will also find out how to fit feedback into their daily routines, how to set expectations early in the process, how to manage negative reactions to feedback, and what to do when feedback about inappropriate behavior does not result in change.

Master Mentoring: Understanding Both Sides of the Employee Development Conversation

One of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to develop a workforce is through a well-run mentoring program. This workshop shares best practices for putting a strong structure in place. It also addresses the benefits of mentoring, the roles and responsibilities of mentors and protégés, and guidelines for holding mentoring meetings. During this course, mentors will complete a template in preparation for their first mentoring meeting and familiarize themselves with a framework for holding subsequent meetings. Additionally, this program explores troubleshooting strategies and ideas for handling surprises in the mentoring process.

The Total Leader: Essential Skills for Successful Management

This two-day leadership development program covers several leadership fundamentals. The course looks at multiple models and theories and is designed to familiarize participants with the foundational skills needed to successfully lead a team. The workshop explores a range of essential topics: the difference between leading and managing, what it means to be a learning organization, the importance of personal mastery, mental models, how leaders inspire a shared vision, situational leadership, leadership styles, trust, and change management. Among others, the course looks at the work of Peter Senge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, and William Bridge. In addition to exploring academics, this seminar pays special attention to translating theory into executable actions.

Coaching for Results: Skills for Managers and Leaders to Drive Behavior

Coaching is one of the most powerful skills managers can develop. Good coaching can increase engagement, encourage development, and generate organizational buy-in and ownership. This program focuses exclusively on coaching as a development tool. During this interactive workshop, participants will define coaching, explore a range of popular models, identify roadblocks that may prevent them from coaching and tactics for overcoming those obstacles, practice communication skills, and hold several coaching conversations. In addition, at the end of the course, group members will develop a coaching plan they can use back on the job.

Follow Me!: Leadership Skills for Non-Managers

You don’t have to be a manager or supervisor to be a leader within an organization, nor do you have to be in charge to successfully lead others through a large-scale project. This interactive workshop focuses on leadership skills for individual contributors. The course addresses the traits strong leaders share and actions anyone can take to enhance their leadership skills. During this program, we will explore such topics as power – where it comes from and how to leverage it, skills leaders use to leverage language, behaviors effective leaders use to influence and how to develop them, and the importance of gratitude, appreciation, and adopting a positive outlook.

Engaging Government Employees: Inspiring Great Work in the Public Sector

Public-sector employees are tasked with solving some of the most challenging problems, and they’re asked to do so in a world of increasing complexity, shrinking budgets, and greater demands on public services. To make matters worse, many public workforces are aging, and in some cases, finding top-notch replacements is a daunting task. Why? The perception is government employees have cushy jobs. The reality is the work is hard and often thankless. Morale problems can plague governments at all levels. This workshop provides tools to help managers dramatically increase engagement and nurture and sustain the kind of relationships that inspire people to bring their “A game” to work each and every day.

Management Basics: Fundamental Skills for People in Charge

Do your managers or supervisors need a refresher course or crash course in essential skills for managing people? This half-day survey course covers such topics as the manager’s role, communicating expectations, delegation, accountability, coaching, and balancing a personal workload with management tasks.  By the end of this workshop, participants should have a basic understanding of the essential skills managers should demonstrate in order to supervise others effectively.

The B2 (Belief x Believability) Advantage: Managing and Leading with Trust

Healthy teams have one thing in common, trust. Without it there is little chance that group members are fully engaged in their work. This dynamic leadership program examines trust and the importance of giving it and earning it in the workplace. Participants will learn the steps they need to take to allow themselves to believe in their people’s abilities to accomplish a task. They will also discover what being trustworthy means and the behaviors and attitudes they must display each and every day in order for others to feel confident about them and their ability to lead.

Leading with Lore: Leveraging Stories and Storytelling for Business

This storytelling course for leaders explores the value of using stories in business.  The program shares examples of successful workplace narratives, offers a method for isolating a plot and building robust characters, provides guidance for fleshing out details, and gives participants several opportunities to practice their skills throughout the day.  In addition to building their own stories, those who attend this workshop will learn the art of story spawning and the value of listening to the stories others tell.

Communicating with Influence: Communication Skills for Managers and Supervisors

Effective leaders know how to use influence to develop and empower others. They understand the importance of creating a “want to” environment instead of merely treading water in a “have-to” workplace. This communication skills workshop for managers tackles the skills managers must develop to inspire others to take actions. This program covers a host of topics: understanding influence, taking inventory of the landscape and setting communication goals, leveraging proven processes, recognizing differences in communication styles, using stories and analogies to drive people to action, and more.

Orchestrating Excellence: Understanding and Implementing a Performance Management System

A good performance management system that has the full support of management and an organization’s employees can mean the difference between ho-hum performance or whistling a happy tune. This workshop examines the elements that comprise an effective performance management system and provides a basic roadmap for building a process that correlates employees’ work with the organization’s strategic and tactical goals. The program also lays out a procedure for developing an enterprise-wide competency model, identifying essential roles and competencies needed in those roles, managing organizational changes, identifying essential formal and informal management activities, and considering interviewing and succession planning as part of performance management.

The Adaptive Advantage: Managing Nimble Teams

In a fast-paced and fluid environment, adaptability and flexibility are essential skills for teams to master. This workshop focuses on the building skills for managing nimble teams. During the program, we’ll discuss actions managers can take to enable and encourage adaptability, prepare their teams for change, sell a new direction, assign roles to team members based on their individual strengths, and address problems that pop up in organizations where targets and expectations frequently shift.

Performance Management Skills for Managers: Getting the Best from Employees

Many organizations have performance management systems, yet according to a Gallup survey, only 46% of employees surveyed felt that their performance management system was effective. Furthermore, rather than being motivated to perform well, many people felt exactly the opposite. So what went wrong? In some cases it was the process, but most systems failed because of the actions managers did or did not take. This course aims to correct that. The program covers the skills managers must master to do their part in performance management. During the workshop, participants will learn to empower employees, recognize and reward achievements and behaviors congruent with the organization’s goals, strategy, and values. They will also learn how to manage overperformers, underperformers, and the people int the middle.

Give Me an M!:The Foundations of Employee Motivation

Learn the basics of employee motivation during this half-day training session. This program discusses employee engagement and the processes, frameworks, and actions that should be in place to encourage people to take ownership of their work. This course is fully customizable and can be adapted as required to address a client’s needs.

Onsite Training Course Reminders

Our instructor-led training courses are available to private groups.  These workshops are not offered in a public seminar format.  Please contact us to speak with a facilitator about your needs and bringing training to your organization.

We offer training in the District of Columbia and the following US states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We also travel to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Central America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Please contact us about your location.

Onsite Workshops