Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

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Would More Training Really Fix the Leadership Skills Gap?

Readers of this blog will recall that a few weeks ago, the Merit Systems Protection Board reported findings that many front-line supervisors lack leadership skills because those doing the hiring put greater emphasis on candidates’ technical know-how.

This week, an official with a union of very technically-minded feds—the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers—concurred with those findings. His union also backs pending bills, such as H.R. 5522, that would require agencies to provide real management training for all new supervisors.

“A lot of engineers are very comfortable when they’re at their desks solving engineering problems,” IFPTE Vice President Mark Nelson told GovCareerBlog. “But, as a supervisor, you are really using another part of your brain—the social side … It’s an entirely different game.”

“In our facility, and across the government, management is not putting enough training into these social and supervisory aspects,” he said. Nelson also noted that the military is “very good at teaching people how to be a leader”—but civilian agencies are not.

What do you think? Would more training fix the problem?

Posted by Nathan Abse on Aug 04, 2010 at 12:13 PM


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