Keeping Your Skills Top-Notch

Good skills training is provided by many organizations. Usually, training is in the form of courses presented over several days, in-depth online courses or in-house training. Keeping your skills up with the training your organization provides or training that you seek out as an entrepreneur advances your career.

There is another level to this, however. Efficient, self-directed training enhances your skills and keeps them top-notch. I take training courses offered by thought leaders I resonate, with, organizations that are expert in marketing services and coaching and customer service organizations. I know where my skills need polishing and keep an eye out for courses that will help me do so. Have you heard of Skillshare? They offer over 15,000 free and low-cost classes in a variety of topics including business, technology and design. I like their approach. They are creative, efficient and expansive. Lynda.com is another site that you may already know of. This site offers over 5,000 courses in software, business, design, technology and other areas. If you want to learn or advance in using a certain software, they are particularly good for that.

It’s not just about keeping up the skills you need in your current job. Allow yourself to take some training courses relating to your interests and passions. They spark ideas, develop new skills and can advance your career in ways you may not now imagine.

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Starting Out As A Manager

Last week I had a conversation with a person who was starting out as a manager. He was a high performer brought in to lift performance in an organization. We talked about the challenges he faced and developing his skills. I told him my perspective that people are not born managers. All of us have to develop skills, even as we bring our innate talents to our work as managers.

I think the two biggest challenges a new manager faces are dealing with the emotions and personalities of your team and having to get your own work done, while managing the work of others. When I began my management career at the US Environmental Protection Agency, all new managers took a mandatory training class. The class helped us with the basics and gave us a good start.

The idea that people will walk into their first management position ready to go, with no learning curve, is a fallacy.

If you are starting out as a manager, or have new managers on your team, make sure that you recognize that the transition to being a manager needs time and attention. There is no better investment an organization can make.

photo: Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos.net