I find there is a lot of advice telling you how to organise and run training courses, but not so much about what NOT to do. Here is my list of the things not to do - unless that is you want to negatively impact the effectiveness of your management training.
1. Don’t Book Mondays or Fridays
Managers are extra busy on these days. Avoid them for management training, otherwise you can expect lots of moans and groans and messages saying "Sorry, something has cropped up and I cannot make it".
2. Don’t Run 5 Day Courses
Being available for 5 straight days is hard for managers. It is hard enough for most to fit in their annual leave, so don’t put more pressure on them by booking out five straight days as they won’t thank you for it.
3. Don’t Expect Open Courses to Work
Single, one-off, 'sheep-dip' style courses are dead – they simply don't work and should be avoided. Effective learning and performance impact requires a more 'joined-up' approach which you can't get from open courses alone.
4. Don’t Isolate Managers
By all means use the old fashioned ice-breaker at the start of your courses, but also plan how to connect your managers. Find ways to encourage them to share, collaborate and exchange ideas and experiences during and after your management training.
5. Don’t Set Overnight Assignments
It is embarrassing for managers and trainers when they don’t do them (and they might have good reasons for not doing so). But they also limit socialising and informal networking activities and quite frankly after a busy day of learning, reflecting, listening, practising and assimilating new ideas and techniques, their brains deserve some down time.
6. Don’t Pack too Much into Your Course
With too many ideas and too much information comes 'information overload'. Managers suffer from tiredness and concentration drops resulting in confusion and misunderstandings. Packing too much into your management training will dramatically diminish the return on your (and their) investment in time and effort.
7. Don’t Overrun
This applies to meal and refreshment times (before and after) as well as the end of each day. It especially applies to the end of the training course. In fact, well before the break time or end of the course, managers are planning their route home, deciding whether to call the office or wondering if they can be the first to the toilet.