Articles | Professional Development for New Managers






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Professional Development for New Managers

Professional Development for New Managers






As a new supervisor, you often step into a new role without any formal training. You are good at what you do, a great operator, so you get promoted and then face all these issues you didn’t face as a worker. These situations are often difficult. For example, how do you deal with difficult people? How do you deal with difficult situations? How are you going to manage your mates that you previously worked alongside?

We caught up with Colin Emerson, a leading trainer in the industry through TAFE NSW and ICI. Colin has spent over a decade in the civil infrastructure industry and in that time, he has seen the industry change.

Colin highlights that “in today’s civil infrastructure industry, it is important that any professional development or training for new supervisors and managers has one simple impact – ensure it can be implemented immediately. Any learning for new managers should look at how do you take the technical skills and knowledge you have and transition them into a leadership context? How can you then apply them on a day to day basis, taking the theory and putting into practice?”

Colin went on to discuss the nature of upskilling today should be “facilitated” not “lectured” to maximise the participant’s outcomes through peer-to-peer learning as much as from the content or presenter. Professional development programs for these busy people need to “provide skills that can be applied tomorrow, not a bunch of notes that sits in a draw. They need to provide the opportunity to continue to learn and grow so that these new managers can be the future leaders of their organisations."

“This format also allows participants to draw upon the knowledge they do have, share with their peers and realise, I am actually good at what I do. Yes, I am growing, but I already do things well, something that is also very important."

Self-reflection is another concept important for new managers. “How do I become a better leader by reflecting on what I do? Every issue or every mistake or every achievement has an opportunity to learn from. These scenarios also identify skills gaps in managers and leaders for them to upskill so that their learning is a continuous process."

The civil industry is unique, so any learning and development should be specific. “The needs of any contract or project in the civil infrastructure industry are different to any other industry – that’s why specific industry related professional development providers are so important." The Institute works hand in hand with the industry to identify the key skills required in the industry and align learning courses that provide organisations in the industry the opportunity to close any skills gaps.

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