Managing Designers- as uneasy as it sounds?

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Managing Designers- as uneasy as it sounds?

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
  • #152215

    I’ve been tasked by my boss to take a course or some learning seminar that will prepare me to manage other LA’s. Given the rowdiness of us designer types, I guess he thinks some extra management prep work is called for. With 10+ years in this profession I’ve tutored plenty of newbies, and managed projects, but no official people-management training.

    Does anyone know of any sort of seminar, or books, or coursework, which may be in line with this?


    I took two in-person courses 10 – 15 years ago, and have known people who took others since. Most of the course content seemed to be common sense and / or pulled from an Intro to Business Management 101 textbook at some junior college. Small sample, but I did not think them to be worth the time and effort. I tend to learn better from books, so here are my recommendations:

    • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I know, it’s cliche, and I did not care for the sequel… but the original is worthwhile, even if the language and examples are a little bit dated. Basically, if you can figure out how to manage yourself effectively, your staff will respect you as a manager, which makes your job much easier. It took me a long time to work my way through the material and assignments embedded within, and I still refer back to it.
    • Dealing with People You Can’t Stand by Brinkman and Kirschner. My wife purchased the book for me as a gag gift many years ago, probably off the shelf at a Kinko’s. I see that an updated edition is available. It’s tacky in a lot of ways, but a worthwhile read.

    I spent about three months with a professional development coach earlier this year to prepare for a managerial role, which will include some designers.  Afterwords, I have spent the past 4-5 months reading several books on interpersonal skills and taking copious notes.  Here are my recommendations: 

    Managing Difficult People: A Survival Guide for Handling Any Employee.  Marilyn Pincus
    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Boosting Employee Peformance.  Marc Dorio, Susan Shelly
    Includes a chapter in identifying leadership styles. 
    High Maintenance Employees. Katherine Leviss
    Y in the Workplace: Managing the “Me First” Generation
    I am a millenial (33 years old) but I do NOT have their work ethic.  I disagree with about 75% of this book and how to handle them.  At the same time, I recommend it so that people are not in for a surprise when working with this generation. 
    Strengths Finder 2.0.  Tom Rath

    Written Communication.  Soft Skills for a Digital Workplace…

    There are several other books from Jeff Butterfield.  The verbal communication book is pretty pointless if you have read the others I have mentioned.  I am going through the teambuilding book although not finding much.  I think his series is more of a study aide not a standalone resource.


    Wow, thank you for all the good leads. I appreciate the help.


    For what it’s worth, I have been listening to the audio version of ‘Creativity Inc.’ about the founding and management of Pixar studios. I am finding it to be entertaining and focused mainly on the interplay between creativity and process management.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password