Staff development is an important leadership responsibility. As leaders, laboratory managers must plan for the training and development of laboratory staff. But how often do you include training for yourself in those plans? The challenges lab managers face are complex, and you can benefit from continuously improving your skills to meet them effectively.
Richard Branson said, “Learning and leadership go hand in hand”. Being an effective leader for the lab means having a desire to learn throughout life. Here are five reasons why training and development is important for lab managers.
#1 – Develop your curiosity
Much of leading and performing science requires an appreciation for exploring the unknown and learning along the way. It doesn’t stop at the lab manager’s office. All the curiosity and the ability to probe the details of science are also valuable traits in laboratory management. Allow your curiosity to lead you to new aspects of leadership and management that you can explore and master.
#2 — Establish a growth mindset
Learning is a permanent quest. There are always new problems to solve, new situations to solve and new challenges to overcome. Investing the time and money to attend training and development sessions will allow you to grow and develop in your role, so you can better execute it for yourself, your people and your organization.
#3 – Improve your skills
Regardless of your experience as a lab manager, it is important to improve your leadership and management skills. Some lab managers are new to this role and receive training to acquire the new skills required. Experienced lab managers can also find situations that make them uncomfortable and improve their skills in specific ways to meet persistent or significant challenges.
#4 — Boost your confidence
Lab managers have to make tough decisions and manage difficult situations in the lab. Further training in leadership and management skills will provide a broader basis for addressing these challenges. One of the benefits of training is the ability to think through different scenarios and practice using new skills before they are needed in the lab.
#5 – Create an opportunity
One of the many benefits of training and development is creating new opportunities. Lab management doesn’t have to be the last step in career progression. The leadership and management skills developed in this role are highly transferable and can be extremely valuable in many other leadership roles, including line management of the organization.
Training and development aren’t just things you do for others. Lab managers also need continuous development. It is not selfish to share the same aspirations around self-improvement that are expected of the rest of the staff. Everyone needs to thrive in their role and develop it for the next opportunity.