Manager's Training Manual

Dear Management Doctor:

Can you recommend a Manager's Training Manual? I figured that in your many encounters with other Planning Departments you may have run across a training manual of merit.

Thanks for your help.

Betty Allen
Douglas County, CO

Dear Betty,
A good question and one I get all the time. However, it is a difficult one to answer. I am tempted to say, pick up almost any management book and get your managers reading, since in my experience most managers are not doing anything for self improvement.

Management training is extremely difficult. As such, I suggest first you decide the topic areas that you or your managers are having the most difficulty with. Is it hiring, motivating employees, delegation, personal management, mission, customer service or ? Once you decide on the topic area you should select books specifically directed at that topic. Having said that, here are some additional suggestions:

  1. My first suggestion is, or course, my own book, The ABZs of Planning Management, Second Edition. This Second Edition is now available. It is substantially expanded from the first edition and is 506 pages with a variety of new topics. As a training manual, you could focus on the chapters that address your highest priority needs. This book also includes a bibliography of some 121 books that are annotated to help you in your selection. The book is available for purchase through our web site at
  2. In addition to reading, I suggest you send your managers to my course, The Complete Management Course for Planning Directors. I just completed a ten city tour of this two-day course. Although the next courses will not be given until the fall of 2008, I am available to conduct this course internally for large departments or ones that may want to sponsor and advertise a course for their department and surrounding cities or counties.

    Since some students have found the 121 books in the larger bibliography too much to handle, I included my starter dozen in the course book. Click here to see the list. I am particularly fond of Good to Great, Winning, First Break All the Rules and How to Be a Star at Work.

  3. Often, when I am asked about management training, what people are really after is supervisor training. While there are many similarities (I cover both in my book and the course), it is particularly critical in supervisor training that you try not to accomplish too much and focus tightly on specific topics. Several publishers are now issuing easy to read books on specific topics. You can find these at book stores and in most major airports. For example:

    Collins Publishers has these topics:
    · Achieving Goals
    · Communicating Effectively
    · Difficult People
    · Evaluating Performance
    · Hiring People
    · Managing People
    · Motivating Employees
    · Time Management

    Harvard Business School Press has these topics:
    · Dealing With Difficult People
    · Face-to-Face Communications for Clarity and Impact
    · Getting People on Board
    · Managing Yourself for the Career You Want
    · Presentations That Persuade and Motivate
    · Taking Control of Your Time
    · Teams That Click
    · Winning Negotiations That Preserve Relationships

Hopefully, our readers will come up with some additional suggestions.

For good training and better management,

The Management Doctor
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