The Building Blocks of Management: Fundamental Skills for Managers & Supervisors  (Online & In-Person, Denver Based)

Program Format:

This program is designed to support both new and experienced managers/supervisors in understanding the fundamental skills needed to be effective and successful.

The program focuses on the key “building blocks” of skill development: Managing the performance of others, managing one’s own performance, and managing resources. Throughout this program, each skill area builds upon the other to create a “toolbox” of resources that the manager can draw on as a strategy for performance excellence in their role.

The modules are designed in 2-hour blocks to alleviate time constraints that many managers face. Some modules have 2 sessions to ensure content understanding and application. All modules can be customized to meet the strategic priorities of the organization. The Building Blocks program can be implemented over a period of time, usually ranging from 4-12 months. The result is a resource workbook that managers can use time and time again to access management tools, new ideas, and to refresh learning and application techniques.
Number of participants for each module should range from 10-25 employees to maintain an environment that maximizes learning, promotes interaction, and creates the opportunity for helpful and supportive feedback.

Course Outline:

Setting Expectations, Developing Goals, and Giving Effective Feedback

The most important step in the performance management process is involving the employee in setting clear expectations and goals for performance.

Effective feedback is used as reinforcement for employees, so they are aware when they are on track or veering off course. This module will provide participants with the necessary steps to communicate clear expectations, set SMART goals, and practice feedback techniques that will contribute to employee success. Two 2-hour sessions.


  • Understand how to set performance expectations
  • Demonstrate how to develop SMART goals that are in alignment with company goals
  • Develop strategies for implementing consistent, effective feedback
  • Identify opportunities for giving positive and corrective feedback

Coaching and Mentoring to Influence Performance

Coaching and mentoring are powerful tools that every manager should use with their employees to build commitment, drive performance, develop skills and abilities, and challenge employees to reach higher. This module is designed to provide managers with coaching techniques and mentoring tools necessary to build a strong foundation for improving employee performance. Two 2-hour sessions.


  • Understand the difference between coaching and mentoring and when each is appropriate
  • Practice coaching techniques that challenge employees to reach goals
  • Identify opportunities where mentoring could improve employee skills and abilities

Powerful Motivation Techniques

Effective rewards and spontaneous recognition are powerful tools for motivating and retaining valuable employees. This module is designed to provide managers with informal ideas for developing recognition techniques to reinforce employee performance. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Develop spontaneous recognition ideas and incentive programs that motivate employees to perform at higher levels
  • Identify how to involve employees in peer-to-peer motivational techniques
  • Understand the performance impact of different reward and recognition programs

Communication and Listening Skills That Build Trust

Understanding how to be effective when communicating with others will help to improve relationships between staff and management and create an atmosphere of understanding. In this module, participants will discover their preferred listening approach by assessing their personal listening style. Participants will also understand the five listening approaches and when each can be effective in developing trust and fostering understanding.
Two 2-hour sessions


  • Discuss the importance of body language when communicating with others
  • Discover your preferred listening approach by assessing your personal listening style
  • Understand the five listening approaches and when each can be effective in developing trust and fostering understanding
  • Create a personal development plan to improve overall communications

Progressive Corrective Techniques and Documentation Methods

Managers need to know when and how to use discipline effectively as well as the resources available to them within the company. This module discusses the necessity for progressive discipline steps and the importance of effective, accurate, and honest documentation. It will also cover the appropriate steps to take during the termination process. 2-hour module


  • Understand how to utilize steps of progressive discipline to turn around poor performance
  • Practice accurate, legal documentation methods that ensure fairness
  • Identify the appropriate steps to take during the termination process
  • Understand internal policies and when to involve Human Resources

Stress-Free Performance Appraisals and Influential Follow-Up Techniques

If expectations and goals have been developed with the employee and feedback has taken place consistently, the performance appraisal becomes a stress-free meeting where the employee and manager can discuss developmental opportunities, future goals and objectives, and career growth possibilities. Follow-up techniques are recommended for further employee development and as an opportunity to demonstrate management support. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Learn how to manage information that impacts the performance appraisal
  • Develop steps to prepare for a performance appraisal
  • Practice holding a performance appraisal discussion
  • Identify when performing follow-up is necessary to keep employees on the right track
Course Outline: 

Setting Expectations, Developing Goals, and Giving Effective Feedback
Success starts with building the right team. The organization relies on managers to hire employees who agree with the mission and values of the team. This module focuses on how to recruit, interview, and select the right candidate for the job and the company and includes discussion on behavioral/situational interviewing and the legal interviewing process. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Identify the core competencies needed for the position
  • Develop legal interviewing questions that identify core competencies using behavioral and situational interviewing techniques
  • Determine an interviewing strategy and outline
  • Learn how to measure candidate responses and choose the best candidate for the position and the organization consistently and fairly

Managing Work Expectations

Employee work expectations can be spoken or unspoken and are key drivers of attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. These attitudes will significantly influence employee performance, commitment level, and job satisfaction. The Work Expectations Profile® helps to facilitate dialogue and improve understanding between managers and employees. This module is designed to help managers understand how to engage employees in discussions regarding work expectations and improve employee attitudes towards work. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Understand how to use the Work Expectations Profile to facilitate discussions with employees
  • Identify how to adjust employee work expectations if necessary
  • Discover how to use information from employees to create positive attitudes towards work and increase retention rate

Building a Smart Team

The key to getting the job done and reaching departmental goals is overall team effectiveness. A healthy team environment provides team members the opportunity to contribute their knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to reach a common goal. This module uses a Team Dimensions Profile to help team members find out what skills they bring to the group as well as areas they may to improve upon to help their team work together more effectively. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Identify individual approaches to teamwork
  • Develop a high-performance team by recognizing team strengths and limitations
  • Learn how to capitalize on team members contributions
  • Understand how to encourage team innovation and problem solving

Exploring Differences in the Workplace

Shifting demographics have changed the face of business. Given the reality of individual uniqueness in the workplace, the Discovering Diversity Profile® is designed to assess the perceptions, values, and behaviors that are embraced in work groups and individual work settings. This module will help new managers identify their own opinions and feelings about workforce diversity. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Increase awareness of individual, ethnic, and cultural differences
  • Learn how to open up communication regarding workforce diversity
  • Identify potential areas of conflict within a team
  • Understand how to achieve positive resolution for diversity conflicts in the workplace
Course Outline: 

Gaining Respect as a New Manager

Transitioning into a new management position can be a difficult task. Whether promoted from within or recruited by the company, the new manager is placed in the position of earning respect from their employees and peers. This module will discuss how new managers can gain respect by laying a foundation of consistency, fairness, professionalism, and integrity. 2-hour module


  • Identify the challenges and opportunities of the “new” manager in any organization
  • Discuss standard practices that can encourage mutual respect between the employee and manager
  • Demonstrate consistent, fair, professional management practices

Understanding Yourself and Others to Increase Effectiveness

The foundation of personal and professional success lies in understanding yourself, others, and realizing the impact of personal behavior on others. Using the DISC© Dimensions of Behavior learning approach, this module helps managers understand their behavioral profile, how it differs from other styles and the environment they can create with employees, co-workers, and customers for maximum productivity and success. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Identify your behavioral style in the workplace
  • Understand your behavioral strengths and areas for improvement
  • Increase your appreciation of different styles in the work environment and how to work together more effectively
  • Develop strategies for minimizing potential conflict with others

Mastering Your Own Time Management

Setting priorities and managing time effectively is basic to managing individual and organizational performance. The pressure to find innovative ways to achieve goals, pay attention to the competition, respond quickly to employee and customer needs, and enjoy life outside of work is even more intense in today’s workplace. This module provides a self-directed assessment of current time management effectiveness in 12 key areas and helps to develop improvement strategies for time management skills. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Discover your personal time management strengths
  • Develop new skills for improved performance
  • Learn how to focus on priorities and increase productivity
  • Reduce stress

Delivering Powerful Presentations

The ability to present ideas or information that persuade, influence, or educate others is an important management skill. This module will discuss tips for presenting effectively, including speaking for impact and how to create an engaging message and presentation. 2-hour module


  • Identify the goal of your presentation
  • Understand the steps necessary to prepare a powerful presentation
  • Identify key information and how to highlight in your presentation
  • Learn how deliver a powerful message by using your voice, body language, and vocal variety

Developing Yourself as an Effective Leader
All managers have the opportunity to become great leaders. This module will help managers discover how they want to lead and how they are likely to make use of a leadership opportunity. Managers will assess their leadership skills, learn what kinds of leaders they want to follow, and discover what kinds of leadership people will support. Managers will also determine what types of leaders are needed by the organization. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Discover how you want to lead
  • Identify the type of leader you want to follow
  • Determine the leadership characteristics needed by your organization to meet its current challenges
  • Create a development plan to learn new leadership skills and identify areas for improvement

Planning and Facilitating Effective Meetings

Most managers will agree that their number one-time waster in the workplace is unproductive meetings. Meetings can be unproductive for a variety of reasons including not having the right participants in attendance, not having the right information for discussion, digression from the issues at hand, and little or no follow-up after the meeting. This module will focus on how to plan and facilitate effective meetings that ensure key topics are discussed and action plans are developed. Two 2-hour sessions


  • Learn how to plan a meeting agenda, organize participants, and initiate an effective meeting
  • Learn techniques for keeping meetings on topic and on time
  • Utilize brainstorming techniques to generate creative ideas
  • Learn ways to help groups reach consensus during meetings
  • Practice tools to plan a successful meeting


Managers or supervisors who have not had formal management training, as well as those new to a role where they manage the performance of others.


Optional individual and/or group coaching, and feedback is available.