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First-time manager training: how to train successful leaders

By Julian Lewis October 24, 2022

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When it comes to developing leadership skills, it can be difficult to know where to begin. You might feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to lead your team effectively. Luckily, there are many resources out there that you can use to help train yourself and your new managers as successful leaders. In this article, we will explore the best ways to train your first-time managers and help them succeed in their new roles through effective management training.

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What should a first-time manager training program include?

One of the most important aspects of a first-time manager training program is setting clear expectations and goals for your group of new managers. This includes outlining each individual's responsibilities, as well as ensuring that performance metrics are aligned with business objectives. Another key element of effective management is providing your managers with the tools and resources they need to fill any skills gaps and ultimately succeed.

This might include providing them with leadership training on effective delegation, helping them develop self-awareness and communication skills, and offering them proper training around conflict resolution.

Another important aspect of new manager training is ensuring that your new managers have the support they need to develop the essential skills needed to be successful in their roles.

This might involve providing mentorship and coaching from more experienced managers or team leaders together with the necessary training materials.

The different types of leadership

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There are many different leadership styles and approaches that can be used when training a first-time manager. A common approach includes using team-building exercises to help your managers develop their emotional intelligence and communication skills.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a leadership style that works best for you and your group of new managers, so that you can create an effective leadership training program tailored to the unique needs of your emerging leaders.

How to communicate effectively

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As a first-time manager, one of the most important management skills you need to expand is effective communication.

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One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is by practicing active listening techniques, such as asking open-ended questions, paraphrasing what you hear, and summarizing key points before responding.

How to build a strong team

first time manager training - leaders

One of your most important management skills and responsibilities is to build and foster a strong culture. This can involve creating an environment where members feel valued, respected, and supported by their colleagues whether in leadership roles or not.

Some key strategies for building a strong group culture include emphasizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork, encouraging open communication, and providing leadership training to help everyone develop the necessary skills needed to become a respected leader.

How to succeed in project management

Project management can be a challenging task for new managers, but with the right new manager training and resources, it is possible to succeed in this role.

To effectively manage and meet project deadlines, emerging leaders need to learn to delegate tasks, provide constructive feedback to individual employees, and help them navigate common challenges as they present themselves. Additionally, executive time management training can be an extremely useful investment for managers who do not have prior experience with overseeing large teams or time-sensitive projects.

How to deal with conflict

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It is important for new managers to learn how to effectively handle conflict in the workplace. This can involve communicating openly and constructively with members who are experiencing difficulty or tension, as well as identifying and addressing underlying causes of conflict such as communication issues, misaligned goals and expectations, or conflicting priorities.

Strong leaders welcome different points of view offered by individual contributors and are able to take tough decisions while dealing with conflict.

How to create an inclusive workforce

One of your key responsibilities for new managers is to create an inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity and talents of your direct reports.

New managers can involve adopting practices such as fostering a culture of open communication and inclusiveness, providing training on issues such as unconscious bias, and taking steps to recruit and promote a more diverse staff.

How to spot and nurture talent

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As a first-time manager, one of your most important responsibilities is to identify and nurture the talent of your team members.

This can involve providing regular feedback and guidance on their performance, offering them a leadership pipeline to expand their skill set, and pairing new employees and managers with experienced mentors or great leaders who can provide guidance and support.

Additionally, in a world in constant change, it is important to actively seek out opportunities for professional growth, such as providing training and resources to help employees and managers expand new essential skills or take on new roles.

To delve deeper into this topic, read our detailed post on the vital role of middle managers.

Overall, by taking these steps, new managers can help to ensure that your group members have the help they need to grow and succeed in their careers.

How to develop soft skills

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As a first-time manager, one of the most important skills you need to develop is soft skills. These can include communication skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, and people management.

One of the best ways to improve your soft skills is through training programs, mentorship from experienced managers, or professional coaching. This can involve attending seminars and workshops on topics such as active listening, effective communication, and conflict resolution.

Additionally, you can seek out opportunities to gain hands-on experience by volunteering on projects or taking on additional responsibilities within your organization.

Why is leadership training important? Advantages of training first-time managers

There are a number of advantages to training new managers, including improving their skills and competencies, helping them set clear expectations and goals for their team, and fostering a positive culture.

Some specific benefits include increasing employee engagement, reducing turnover, and supporting career growth.

Additionally, by providing continuous coaching, first-time managers can build strong relationships with their team members and create a more inclusive and collaborative workplace.

New leader training: the challenges new managers face

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One of the biggest challenges facing first-time managers is navigating the transition from individual contributor to leader.

This can involve learning how to set clear expectations and goals, manage conflict effectively, and develop the soft skills needed for success in a management role.

Additionally, first-time managers may struggle with balancing their work demands and to-do list with family responsibilities or dealing with stress and anxiety in the workplace.

Despite these challenges, however, new leaders can benefit from training and guidance that helps them develop the skills and competencies needed to succeed in their new role.

Getting into the leader mindset

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As a new manager, it can be challenging to shift your mindset and approach to leadership. While you may have excelled as an individual contributor in the past, you now need to learn how to set clear expectations and goals for your group, motivate and engage them, and build strong relationships with your colleagues.

One of the best ways to develop this new mindset is through management training and mentorship. This can involve attending workshops or seminars on topics like leadership, communication, and conflict resolution.

Additionally, you can seek out opportunities to gain hands-on experience by volunteering on projects or taking on additional responsibilities within your organization.

By doing so, you can build a strong foundation for your career as a first-time leader and develop the skills you need to be successful in your new role.

Supporting the team

As a first-time leader, it is important to provide your team with the help they need to succeed. This can involve setting clear expectations and goals, providing ongoing coaching and feedback, and addressing performance issues quickly.

Additionally, you can help create a positive culture by fostering collaboration within the group, encouraging open communication, and fostering a sense of trust and mutual respect.

Managing former coworkers

Managing coworkers who you have previously worked with can be challenging. You may feel hesitant to give them feedback or address any performance issues, fearing that it will negatively impact your relationship.

However, it is important to remember that you are still responsible for creating a positive work environment and ensuring the success of your entire team.

Which management courses & solutions are right for your organization

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There are a number of different management courses and solutions that can help new leaders in their new roles. These may include programs, online training, manager-to-leader m2l training, workshops or seminars on topics like communication and conflict resolution, and one-on-one meetings or coaching sessions for a new team member with an experienced mentor.

Organizations may also consider partnering with a consulting firm and checking out our life and career coaching FAQs for the most frequently asked questions around this topic.

Management training: what our clients are saying

first time manager training - leader success

"At ABC Company, we recognize the importance of investing in our first-time managers and providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

After participating in one of your leadership development programs, I feel much more confident in my abilities as a manager and have learned new strategies for effectively managing.

The training was really helpful, and I would highly recommend it to anyone in a leadership or management role."


As a first-time manager, it is essential to develop the skills and competencies needed to succeed in your new role. This can involve attending training programs, workshops, or seminars on relevant topics like leadership development, communication, team building, and conflict resolution.

Additionally, you can seek out opportunities for hands-on experience by volunteering on projects or taking on additional responsibilities. With the right help, resources, and training, you can successfully train and lead.

When you're interested in exploring the costs of business coaching, you can check out this informative post on how much does a business coach cost.

If you find yourself experiencing signs of burnout and stress, click here to read our post on recognizing emotional signs that may indicate it's time to consider retirement.

Additional Resources

For more information, check out How to become an executive coach: the ultimate guide [2022].

The secret weapon to your organization's growth and success: a middle manager" can play a crucial role in driving the success of your organization.

Read more about: Executive Coaching

About Julian Lewis

Julian Lewis is a driven and accomplished professional with a passion for driving positive change in the business world. He is the co-founder and COO at Zella Life.

His own experience as a professional of color in a Fortune 500 company led him to discover the limitations for advancement that many professionals like himself face. Determined to reach his full potential, Julian became an established business coach and entrepreneur, committed to supporting others in their pursuit of personal and professional growth.

Today, Julian is a recognized corporate trainer, coach, and leader, known for his ability to leverage real-life experiences and evidence-based methodologies to affect positive change within individuals and organizations. As the leader of Zella Life's coaching division, he is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to achieve their full potential.

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