Using Psychology in Management Training: The Psychological Foundations of Management Skills

Using Psychology in Management Training: The Psychological Foundations of Management Skills

Using Psychology in Management Training: The Psychological Foundations of Management Skills

Using Psychology in Management Training: The Psychological Foundations of Management Skills

Synopsis

Many of the fundamental principles of psychology form the basis for management training. Using Psychology in Management Training aims to give trainers and student trainers a grounding in the ideas and research findings which are most relevant to their work.

Three major areas are explored from a management training perspective and illustrated with case studies:

-- The individual psychological processes of learning, personality and motivation which are at the heart of most management training courses

-- The social psychological processes of group dynamics, leadership and stress which all arise from the interaction of people at work

-- The psychology of the actual training experience including the crucial training skill of communication and what is needed to meet organisational training needs.

Using Psychology in Management Training has a clear and accessible format with a comprehensive glossary of unfamiliar terms and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter.

Excerpt

Let’s start with a definition. Training, most people in the field would agree, can be described as:

a planned process to modify attitude, knowledge or skill behaviour through learning experience to achieve effective performance in an activity or range of activities. Its purpose, in the work situation, is to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy the current and future needs of the organisation.

(Reid and Barrington, 1997, p. 7; italics added)

This is, of course, a definition of an ideal situation. I have italicized two of the words in it to point up the difference between the ideal and the actual situation that trainers have to deal with. We will note at various points in this book how little planning goes into much of the training that is offered in the workplace, and how developing individual abilities usually comes a very poor second to satisfying organizational needs. However, the implications of both of these goals are very much at the heart of this book and both are firmly grounded in the concepts and research findings of psychology. Part I is concerned with individual psychological processes and Part II with social psychological processes.

It may be as well at this stage to point out that the use of psychology by trainers also represents an ideal situation. I think the actual situation here is nicely captured by an experienced and perceptive trainer:

Applying psychology to training is not like applying the principles of aerodynamics to aeroplane design. It is more like using a schoolboy knowledge of Latin to begin a relationship with an Italian lover; much better than nothing, but of necessity basic, tentative, experimental, and open to constant modification and learning.

(Hardingham, 1998, p. 5)

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