People Management Training for Diplomats

Diplomats are not typically taught people management skills even though every office needs a leader at the helm. Being a first-class diplomat is not just about being in the same field for a certain number of years or knowing the ins and outs of your specific area of expertise. Thinking that you can rely on your technical abilities is not always enough and you will inevitably need to master good people management and team leading skills to level up. By knowing how to effectively manage people, you will be able to create a positive working environment and increase performance and productivity to smoothly advance smoothly and guide your team. 

So what is the best way to acquire and develop people management skills?  

There are a series of different steps you can take, depending on your current set of core skills. Studies conducted by the Harvard Business School suggest that the best way to develop proficiency in leadership is not only through reading books and going to training courses, but also through real experience and continual practice. We have selected several resources that range from basic introductory to more in-depth specialization courses for those wanting a deep dive into the subject. Many of our suggested training starts are zero cost, including all the studying material. You have the option to upgrade to a premium service if you wish to have a certificate of achievement after completion. 

Here is our top five people management training for diplomats looking to upgrade their soft skill.

1. Leading Teams

Designed by the University of Michigan and hosted by the Coursera platform, this course will teach you some basic principles such as how to build your team, improve teamwork and collaboration and sustain team performance through continuous learning and improvement. Specifically, you will learn best practices for composing a team and aligning individual and team goals. You will also learn how to establish roles, build structures, and manage decision making so that your team excels.

After completing this course, you will have acquired a set of fundamental tools and practices that will enable you to effectively set up, run, evaluate and continuously improve your team. Such insights will both make you a more effective team leader but also a standout contributor in team settings.

The course is self-paced and is scheduled to last 4 weeks with an estimated effort of 1-2 hours per week, which means that you could even complete it in just a day.

Available: website, iOS App, Android App

Price: Free – Certificate $49



2. The Manager's Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Managing People at Work

This course has been developed by the University of London and is offered through the Coursera platform. Its aim is to give you a very practical and simple guide to managing people at work. It does not matter whether you are a first time manager working at an NGO or aspiring to become the Head of Mission for your country. The same skills apply to every work place. In the course, you will engage with some human resource theories and see how they translate into every day working life.

At the end of the course, you will be better equipped to choosing the right team members, how to motivate and appraise a group of people, manage conflict in the work place, and lead decision on a day-to-day basis.

The whole course is self-paced, divided into 6 weeks and lasts less than 10 hours in total. Theoretically, you can complete the course in a day or two.

Available: website, iOS App, Android App

Price: Free – Certificate $49


3. People management

The journey from being an individual contributor to a people manager requires significant personal development and growth. The objective of this course is to smoothen the transition for newly appointed team managers, motivate and guide people aspiring to become managers, and allowing moments of reflection for seasoned managers.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Management of Bangalore and hosted by the edX platform, this course is designed to turn aspiring or first time managers into great team leaders by providing you with essential skills designed for professionals.

The course duration is 6 weeks with an estimated effort of 2-4 hours a week. This means that you could possibly finish the course in just a couple of days.

Available: website, iOS App, Android App

Price: Free – Certificate $150

4. Leading High-Performing Teams


Designed by the University of Queensland and offered through the edX platform, this course blends theory and real-world insights with the objective of teaching skills you need to better lead people and teams within your organization. Key topics include: motivation, communication, conflict management and other typical team dynamics.

This course will help you develop more people leading skills by teaching you how to understand your teammates on a deeper level, as well as improving your own leadership practice through a series of engaging videos, interviews, written reflections, peer feedback, self-insight activities and simulations.

The course is divided in 10 weeks with an estimated effort of 8-10 hours per week. As a time intensive course, this option is recommended to those who wish to take a deep dive into the subject.

Available: website, iOS App, Android App

Price: Free – Certificate $325


5. Stop Managing, Start Leading

Stop Managing, Start Leading is an inspirational and educative YouTube video of a speech delivered by the world-renowned entrepreneur Hamza Khan during a TEDx event hosted at the Ryerson University in Toronto. This learning resource is a great short lecture that shares the best solution for managers in various situations. Click below is view the video to gain a basic understanding of the core concepts of leadership.


 No matter where you are in your career, you can find countless opportunities to practice management skills. Don’t wait for learning opportunities to be handed to you. Seek them out and volunteer to take them on. If you don’t see the opportunities in your own organization, find them outside your professional work in a community group, a local sports, charity or even religious organization, which are often in need and looking for leaders to step in and step up. Before you even notice, you will have become a diplomatic leader capable of rallying an organization of people around a meaningful collective goal and delivering the results to reach it.