There are a number of ways to improve your management skills. Because managers come from a variety of backgrounds they will often come into a position with many strengths in one area, but they may be lacking skills in other areas. Sometimes a manager has been promoted from within; other times managers are hired from outside the company. In either situation, managers can benefit from completing a management certificate or taking management training courses.
Management training courses should include hands-on activities and provide access to resources that will help you develop a strategy for encouraging the best performance possible from the people and teams you manage. You should be able to use the information learned from completing a management certificate to enhance your management techniques and increase productivity in the workplace (these skills usually are valuable outside of the workplace as well!).
A basic management certificate should include management training courses that cover the following topics: what workplace paradigms are (these are different for every company) and how they affect the success of a work group; what barriers managers face that can impeded successful management; how to improve your communication skills so you are more effective; how to develop listening skills; and how to use terminology that will facilitate better communication.
Management training can take different forms. Courses should include both conceptual frameworks and "big picture" structures, as well as practical, applicable advice. There should be takeaways that managers can begin implementing immediately. Exercises should be interactive so that managers taking the courses can practice the skills they are learning and discuss any issues or questions that arise.
Some takeaway skills from a management certificate include being able to: identify difficulties a supervisor will encounter in the workplace (daily or less frequently); explore the paradigms in your particular role and workplace and understand how they affect performance (for both the individual as well as the team); describe the paradigms in your job and learn to challenge them to achieve more profitability; understand paradigm paralysis and the problems associated with it; recognize change and be able to determine if it is a good change or a change that will have negative consequences; analyze the relationship between paradigms and change; and recognize assumptions that have become commonplace in your workplace. Workplace paradigms can arise in communications, brainstorming sessions, problem solving situations, and more. It is important to recognize these paradigms and understand what affect they have on a situation.
Finally, part of being a successful manager is being able to set goals - for yourself, for those you manage, and for the organization. You also have to meet the expectations of your peers and those above you. A successful manger will be able to recognize the importance and the power of getting your employees involved and excited in the work you do. Employees should understand the big picture and the overarching goals of the company and not remain focused solely on their own tasks. All of the skills outlined here can be improved and refined with management training courses via a management certificate.