People management

Essential people management skills – overview

This practical workshop has been designed to help people managers develop their skills to enable them to get the best out of their team members. Its aim is to build confidence to try out new techniques to develop the team and boost overall effectiveness.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

By the end of the workshop participants will be better able to:

  • Recognise the benefits of effective team working and be able to demand more of their team
  • State the roles and responsibilities of the team leader
  • Recognise their personal style and how to maximise their own effectiveness
  • Understand the Performance Management Cycle and be able to employ each element
Who should attend?

Line managers, team leaders and supervisors.

Course format

This is a highly participative two- or three-day workshop in which participants will be expected to share issues that they currently see as being key to their team. Much of the programme will involve practical activities and discussion and participants will receive feedback on their contribution and how they work with others.

At the end of the workshop participants will be required to complete an individual action plan and asked to share this with a colleague to gain support and commitment to its implementation.

Special features

The optional third day of the workshop can be customised to meet the specific needs of the organisation (see course outline, below). Depending upon the options chosen, participants will leave the programme with additional insights into how to:

  • Coach and develop team members to help them reach peak performance
  • Manage under-performance in team members
  • Deal with change effectively
Expert trainer

Nick is an outstanding trainer with over 15 years’ experience in major ‘blue chip’ organisations. He worked in HR, training and sales management for such organisations as Honda, Raychem, W H Smith and Filofax before starting his own consultancy and training business in 1999. He now works in partnership with organisations of all sizes and runs both in-company courses / workshops and public / open programmes nationwide. His clients include BT, RBS, Taylor Woodrow, Hawksmere, Capita, Teacher Training Agency, The Duchy of Cornwall, Hampshire Police and a host of others. A very popular trainer, continually following and embracing new ideas and best practice, he is also a very experienced and successful people manager himself and thus perfectly qualified to train other managers and supervisors in the skills of people management. See what course participants and learning and development managers say about him:

‘A big, big thanks for your two sessions today – they went down a storm!’

Oxford Magnet Technology

‘Nick was a brilliant trainer and got our most reluctant employees to participate and enjoy the day.’

Orion Cleaning Group

‘Of all the training courses I have attended over the years (and there have been a few), this was the most consistently relevant.’


‘Nick was excellent; challenging, risk-taking, thought-provoking!’

Peugeot Motor Company

Essential people management skills – course outline


1 Introductions and energisers

A gentle introduction to the workshop and an opportunity to express individual expectations and wants from the programme. This will be done using the shield icebreaker as well as covering basic health and safety points and introductions.

Outcomes from this session:

  • Individual learning objectives for the event

2 Effective team-working

This session will last until lunch-time and will include exercises to examine the benefits of team working, the components of an effective team and the role and responsibilities of the team manager.

The session will use the ‘lowering the stick’ exercise to demonstrate the need for effective communication, feedback and direction when working as a team. Delegates will be asked to share how effective they feel their current team is and identify some specific activities for improvement.

Outcomes from this session:

  • A list of elements that make a team effective
  • An indication of where the participant’s team currently is
  • Practical actions to use in the workplace to improve team effectiveness

3 Performance management

The majority of the afternoon will be spent examining performance management, including the Performance Management Cycle, how to set objectives, measuring the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, undertaking performance reviews and developing the team.

The group will undertake a syndicate exercise to explore the benefits of effective performance management to the organisation, managers and individuals. They will also take part in an exercise to demonstrate how to give effective feedback and use the iceberg model to demonstrate behavioural feedback.

Outcomes from this session:

  • A list of the benefits of performance management
  • Criteria for setting objectives
  • Guidelines for giving effective feedback
  • A list of areas for improvement and some actions to improve skills in performance management


4 The manager as leader

This session will explore the differences between leaders and managers and encourage participants to think about their own leadership styles. What are the benefits and disadvantages to their current style?
The John Adair model of centred leadership will be used to illustrate the need for balance as a leader. The session will also examine how leaders define and communicate their vision as well as leading by example.
The Henry V model of inspirational leadership will be used as a discussion framework and to encourage self-development activity by the group.

Outcomes from this session:

  • A definition of leadership and management
  • Identification of leadership styles and the benefits
  • A vision for team success, together with a communication and implementation plan
  • A leadership self-development plan

5 Understanding people types and how to work with, and get the best from, different personalities

The afternoon session will use either MBTI or the SDI personality inventories and will give an in-depth insight into the nature of people and how to manage them.

Outcomes from this session:

  • A clear understanding of participant’s own personality type
  • An appreciation of other personality types
  • Clear guidance on how to manage other people

6 Review, action planning and evaluation

(For the three-day version of the course, this session is omitted here and replaced by the extended action planning session on the final afternoon.)


6 Optional session

Depending on organisational needs or participants’ choices, the morning of the optional third day can comprise any one of the following three sessions:

A – Leading change

This session explores the need for change using the LEPEST model, our reactions to change using the change curve and how and why people resist change. It will then look at how to implement change effectively using correct processes and leading by example.

B – Dealing with difficult people

This session will look at why people are difficult. It will use the iceberg model to demonstrate the internal and external factors that affect behaviour. The session will then consider whether people are intentionally difficult or is it just how we behave towards them? The session will examine some assertive behaviour techniques before asking participants to complete a case study based on team under-performance.

C – Developing others through coaching

This session uses the GROW model of coaching to help team members to develop solutions to problems. The session allows participants to practice the technique in a safe environment and with real life issues, as opposed to standard role play.

(Depending upon the size of the group, it is possible to bring in another expert trainer so that participants can be offered a choice between two of these optional sessions, in which case the morning would end with a brief presentation of key points to the other group.)

7 Detailed action planning

During the afternoon, participants work in pairs to generate a detailed action plan to include their key learning points and the actions that they will take on their return to the work place.

Participants will present their action plans to each other and agree support mechanisms.

Outcomes from this session:

  • Consolidated leaning summaries
  • Action plans
  • Commitments to action

8 Review and evaluation