Essential Leadership Skills

Do you have subject matter experts who have recently been promoted? They now deal with the people issues – gaining cooperation, motivating, maintaining performance standards and planning. At the same time there may be emerging and existing people leaders in your organisation who have not had the opportunity to think through their leadership style and learn and practise leadership behaviours according to the latest insights from leadership science.

This leadership and management course is for those emerging, new and existing leaders and builds the skills to become an effective and respected leader. Participants will discover how to create and inspire powerful teams – also when team members work remotely.

Tailored Management training program – virtual or in-house training – Melbourne – Sydney – Brisbane – Adelaide – Perth – Hobart – Darwin – Canberra – all regional areas – Asia – and anywhere else


This management course builds the essential leadership skills for new, soon to be appointed or existing team leaders, supervisors and managers and those wanting to update their leadership skills.


Participants of this management training course learn how to:

  • Set clear leadership goals, prioritise and work smartly
  • Shape and flex their leadership style
  • Delegate effectively and monitor performance
  • Build trust and psychological safety in the team
  • Manage performance of team members
  • Give feedback that motivates and conduct difficult conversations
  • Coach people to achieve top performance
  • Build a motivated and collaborating team.


Ideally, we deliver an Essential Leadership program in 2 full days, which can be divided over multiple shorter sessions and weeks. Nevertheless, we understand many organisations have less time available and therefore we are always happy to deliver shorter programs. We have delivered short management training courses of half a day and we have designed and delivered full management development programs over a combined period of 10 days, containing a multitude of shorter and longer touch points. We will discuss your needs, available budget and time and design the program that suits your needs.

Location: Management course delivered in-house at your premises or virtually

We deliver our management training programs either through:

Tailored management course

We can deliver this management training program off-the-shelf or tailor it to your needs and to your organisation. Contact us to discuss your objectives. We tailor:

  • Duration. We tailor the duration of our management courses to suit your time, budget and desired outcomes. We deliver anything from a one-hour ‘Skill Shot’ or micro leadership workshop to a program of multiple days. We’ll start and finish at your desired times.
  • Topics and outcomes. You choose the management course topics to include and exclude, so participants make full use of their precious time out of the business, learning only what is relevant. We are happy to align the management training program to your leadership framework if you have one in place. For extensive management development programs we can include further topics as listed below – and any others you can think of.
  • Organisational information. We contextualise management courses and incorporate any information you find important. You may want our facilitator to refer to your leadership framework, strategy, values, competencies, leadership imperatives etc.
  • Group size. You choose the most effective group size for your aims and budget. We deliver our management course and leadership programs one-on-one, to small groups and to large conferences with hundreds or even thousands of delegates. Generally, we prefer groups of 15 participants or smaller. In small groups we are able to create the most impact, through intimate discussions, activities, facilitator coaching, skills practice and other interactive training methods.

Some of the management course topics we can include in a tailored program are:

  • Leadership communication
  • Building psychological safety in the team
  • Building trust and rapport
  • Leading with emotional intelligence
  • Influencing skills
  • Leading without formal authority
  • Managing stakeholders
  • Listening skills for managers
  • Asking open and closed questions, probing
  • Dealing with different personality types
  • Understanding and flexing your own leadership style
  • Defining your leadership brand
  • Transitioning from friend and colleague to manager
  • Lifting out of operational work to leading
  • Giving instructions
  • Delegating skills
  • Gaining commitment
  • Situational leadership
  • Coaching as a leadership skill
  • Managing conflict
  • Mediating conflict
  • Setting own and team goals
  • Tracking progress
  • Giving motivating feedback
  • Giving negative, or constructive feedback
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Managing poor performance
  • Understanding team dynamics
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a team (or: the Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team)
  • Team roles (also: Belbin)
  • Promoting team cohesion and collaboration
  • Building motivated high-performance teams
  • Leading change
  • Building organisational resilience
  • Creating a new culture
  • Driving cultural change
  • Implementing values
  • Dealing with change
  • Managing pressure and stress: resilience
  • Managing talent
  • Succession planning
  • Managing termination and redundancy
  • Time management for leaders
  • Project Management tools and techniques for Managers
  • Planning skills
  • Defining vision of team, department or organisation
  • Inspiring leadership
  • Getting into the habit of big picture thinking
  • Introducing organisational values
  • Promoting diversity in the workplace
  • Decision making and behavioural economics
  • Critical thinking for managers
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Finance for non-finance managers
  • Financial acumen
  • DISC, MBTI, HBDI, LSI, Facet5 and many more instruments and tools.

Brief  workshop overview:Tips and formulas

Watch this video from one of our facilitators Mark Moore. He gives practical tips for leaders on how to conduct successful difficult management conversations.

Related Leadership blogs

Leadership programs and Management course testimonials

Free eCoaching: ask an ICML trainer – get leadership advice

Do you have any questions about leadership or our management course you’d like to ask? Do it here. One of our trainers will answer on the page and we’ll let you know by email when we post the response. We aim to come back to you within 2 business days. If you need more urgent advice, try our chat at the bottom of the page.

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  • Jayden L
    Posted at 09:35h, 12 September Reply

    Hello. I’ve made promotion and now I’m managing people who are my friends. How should I best handle the situation?

    • ICML
      Posted at 12:42h, 12 September Reply

      Hi Jayden – Thanks for your question.

      What to do when managing friends and former peers

      You don’t mention specifically what your challenges are in managing your friends. Nevertheless, we have a good idea what they are likely to be, because this topic comes up all the time in our management courses. Research also confirms that most people getting promoted into a leadership position cite the transition from friend to boss as the biggest hurdle in their new role.

      Leadership that balances relationships and authority
      What many participants of our management training tend to find difficult, is to strike the right balance between maintaining their friendships but also give constructive feedback and delegate tasks (‘tell ‘m what to do’). Is that your challenge, too?
      It makes sense; you have good relationships and don’t want to ruin those by saying things that make them like you less, right? You don’t want to come across as suddenly ‘bossing around’ everyone.
      Well, here is the good news; you can remain friends and be the ‘boss’. You just need to keep a few things in mind.

      Show strength
      Establish yourself firmly as the manager. Create a ‘vision’ for the team. Set goals and priorities. You may need to explain to your friends about your responsibilities. Set some guidelines about how you expect your relationship to work. Real friends will understand and respect your new situation.

      Show fairness
      Make sure you don’t show any favouritism towards your friends. Sometimes this can show in time you spend with them, opportunities for projects or promotions you allocate, resources or financial rewards. Treat everyone in the team the same, whether friends or not.

      Show humility
      Stay with both feet firmly on the ground. Be professional, but not arrogant. Listen to your team and pay everyone due respect. Your new title and having completed a supervisor course doesn’t automatically entitle you to admiration. Make sure you earn your respect.

      If you want to know more, why not sign up for our Essential Leaderships Skills course? We’ll go into more depth on managing the transition from friend or former peer to manager.

      If there are a few colleagues who are also in the same situation, ask us how we will tailor a powerful in-house management training program. We can go deeper into this issue and the many other challenges you face as a new supervisor or manager.

  • Samantha L.
    Posted at 14:36h, 27 June Reply

    Hi – I’m a supervisor. I’d like to know what questions best to ask at an interview.

    • ICML
      Posted at 11:43h, 28 June Reply

      Here’s what questions to ask when you conduct a job interview

      Hi Samantha
      Thanks for your question. It’s a big one. We often dedicate one or even two days to deliver a management course about the art of recruiting and selecting.

      In our public management course we unfortunately don’t have much time to dedicate to recruiting. However, when we deliver in-house management training we tailor the program to the needs of the client and group, so it’s easier to focus on important management course topics such as recruitment and selection.

      Nevertheless, we can give you some good quick tips:

      Have a clear Job Description
      Make sure you know what kind of person you want to recruit. Are you perfectly clear on:
       What tasks and duties they need to perform?
       What will their responsibilities be?
       What skills do they need to have?
       What kind of attitude are you looking for?
       When does someone have the right cultural fit for your team and the organisation?
      Often these things are described in a Position (or Job) Description.

      Ask behavioural interview questions
      When you know what kinds of things you’re looking for, then you can start putting together questions that recruit for those skills and characteristics. From research we know that if you ask hypothetical questions, you can get ‘wishful’ answers. That is, answers that the interviewee thinks you want to hear. For instance, ‘What would you do if…….’

      It turns out it’s much harder to ‘fake’ behavioural questions, so you’ll get much closer to the truth. Behavioural interview questions ask for a specific example of a behaviour in the past by your candidate (not by a team or ‘we’). Often these interview questions start with ‘Give me an example of….’, or ‘Tell me about a time….’

      An example is when you’re looking for teamwork qualities of a candidate, you could ask, ‘Tell me about an occasion where you had to collaborate with a colleague to accomplish something and things didn’t go well. What happened? What did you do? What was the result?’
      Behavioural questions are difficult for any candidate, so be prepared to be flexible and ask it in a slightly different way.

      Oh, and don’t forget to probe: don’t take the answer immediately and move on. Go further to explore their contribution and, importantly, the results. If they were able to achieve great outcomes in similar circumstances as your job, they may be able to do the same for you.

      I trust that gives you a good start. Good luck. Let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.

      Peter Munnik