I have been managing people for longer than I care to imagine. I have participated in a number of trainings, but if there was one single training I would recommend to managers, it would be the International Professional Development Programme from Professional Development International.
It runs over 4 periods, 24 days, in total, and it is not cheap, but it is worth it.
The purpose of the programme is "to develop a proficiency in understanding and working with psychodynamic processes that take place when people are engaged in meaningful issues and activities affecting their lives at work, at home, and in society."
Let me put that in layman's terms: when you interact in a group, as an individual in a group, or a group within a group, one of the keys is to understand how you as individual, interact with other people, how you interact within your group or work team and how your team interacts with the greater "group" you belong to i.e. your organisation. These are "psychodynamics". Understanding them, and your role, your team's role will help you in managing and understanding people, managing and understanding situations.
Through a number of pre-set mechanics - lectures, coaching exercises, simulations, games, discussions, peer-to-peer sessions, learning communities,..- you learn through experiencing:
- how do others see me, how do others value me, and as such learn what your strong and weak points are, as perceived by others.
- how to other groups react to my group, what is my role in this?
- how does my greater group (i.e. my organisation) influence society as a whole, the larger community.
- how can I "work" with all of this, to make a change for the better.
This is not a classical training, but an experience as a whole. Working through the very well worked out curriculum, it is more a "discovery trip". And not an easy one. In an environment where frank feedback is encouraged, you learn how others react to you, and you to others, it is probably the single most valuable way of learning yourself: looking in the mirror others are putting before you: "this is how we see you, this is how we perceive you", you learn who you are as an individual, how you react to situations, how you influence a team, a group, and how your group influence the greater group or society. And above all, how you can learn from that, and grow as a person and as a manager.
Having people put a mirror before one's self is not an easy experience. You will dive deep into your own psyche and start the ask the fundamental questions "who am I", "who do I want to be", "what is my role", "what are my core values". But understanding one's self, and the perceptions others have of you, is the key to wisdom, to change, to meaningful change.
This is not a textbook training on techniques, tricks, cheap one-off solutions, it is a trip within one's self. It will enrich you as an individual, as a member of a team, and a manager of a team.