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'Being a people manager is an entirely different game'

As the strong IT sector in Ireland continues to grow and mature, the shortage of highly experienced and skilled IT managers becomes more acute.

We speak to Grainne Carrickford Kingston, who has developed and directs our well-established Management Development Programme, to answer some questions about the benefits of management training in IT.

To begin with, why should you bother to do a management development training course? How can a course teach you to become a good manager? You may be surprised to learn, but 58% of managers don’t receive management training, according to a study by This means that we have a large proportion of leaders who aren’t trained on how to lead.

At the same time, Leigh Branham, author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave reveals that 89% of bosses believe people quit their jobs because of money, but in actual fact 79% quit due to a lack of appreciation by supervisors. So being a better manager will ensure you can retain talent, a crucial business need during this skills shortage.

According to Grainne: “When people get promoted to management positions in their own organisations it is often due to their technical expertise. But being a people manager is an entirely different game. Being able to lead and motivate a team of individuals to perform well and achieve targets and goals requires a completely different set of skills, and an entirely different mindset. It’s not just about you anymore – it’s about them and what they can achieve.” 

That all sounds fair enough. But is management training all theory or does it have a practical application?

Grainne: “Yes of course.  While the course is underpinned with both business and management models and a psychological approach, it is practical in nature.  It has to be relevant to managers and address potential key challenges/obstacles that they face.

So… what does Grainne suggest are the important “nuggets of wisdom” for managers to look at in this training programme?

“Obviously there are lots of valuable topics in the course,” said Grainne, “but I’ll mention a few topics that people say stand out for them:

Influence versus power i.e. how to influence others

Assessing your preferred styles of leadership and the effect that has on the results you achieve, and the culture of your organisation

Learning how to give negative/constructive feedback

The various roles in a team and how to motivate and empower your team members

Looking at how you interact and communicate with others – is there a better way?

The opportunity to reflect, develop your skills, broaden your knowledge and learn more about yourself in the process

This course is about helping individuals be the best managers they can be, managers who have gained respect and are successful in achieving desired outcomes with their teams, and in creating a positive work environment."

What do course attendees say?

“I became more aware of both the areas I need to improve upon as a leader/manager and on the areas the organization I work for, needs to improve. In relation to people management I will now use a more structured, goal-orientated approach.”

“It was beneficial to learn about strengths-based leadership rather than always focusing on weaknesses. Grainne was excellent.”

“The [Coaching, mentoring and leadership skills] module helped me identify scenarios where I can apply coaching.  It made me aware of the importance of active listening and I learnt ways to evaluate my own performance as a coach.”

Interested to learn more about the course?

The ICS Management Development Programme starts on 14 October 2019. The course runs over 4 days and includes a tailored one-to-one coaching session at the end of the programme.

Learn more and book your place on our course page here.

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