10 Best Online Courses to Improve Your People Management Skills


From CEOs to HR, people skills are crucial. You must be able to communicate, cultivate talents, engage employees, and foster growth in their careers. You’ll also need to help settle disputes, convince others to follow your lead while listening to and valuing their input, and so much more.

If that sounds like a tall order, you’re right. Even the most successful business owners and thought leaders today struggle when it comes to managing and communicating with people. Thankfully, these are skills you can cultivate. And with access to online courses, it’s easier than ever to do that.

Not sure which online courses you should investigate? We’ve got you covered. Our list below includes the 10 best online sources to improve your people management skills, whether you’re interested in a career in HR, want to become a better manager, or have your eye on the CEO’s spot.

1. Grow Your Training Skills – HubSpot Academy

HubSpot is quickly becoming one of the best places to learn and grow. They have their own free course that’s all about helping managers learn to improve their training abilities and communication skills. It teaches adult learning theories and how to build effective training modules for your business. It’s also less than two hours’ worth of work, so that is appealing to a lot of people. 

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

Designed for leaders of all experience levels, this course provides a practical guide to managing people at work. It offers an in-depth introduction to practical skills related to communication, interviews, leadership, decision-making, performance management, motivation, and a great deal more. All six modules are taught by Dr. Chris Dewberry of the University of London and the course is easily accessible through Coursera.

3. The Wharton Online Leadership & Management Certificate Program

Few business schools command the respect and name recognition that Wharton does. And there’s good reason for that. The school is a leader and innovator, and that’s clear in the courses offered. The Leadership & Management Certificate Program is a great fit for those looking to build the skills necessary to enter the C suite. It includes four modules – Leadership in the 21st Century, Managing and Motivating Talent, Managing the Global Firm, and Strategic Management. Note that this course requires a six-week commitment and costs $3,600.

4. How to be a Great Manager and Strong Leader – Masterclass Management

This is a free 10-lesson course that does have a lot of valuable content. The user experience is a little less appealing than the rest, but you can use your phone, tablet, or even desktop to do the training. It includes managerial skills, insights on hiring and retention, team building, business basics, and more. It’s free but you’ll have to pay to upgrade to the certificate-earning version of the course. 

5. MicroMasters Program in Business Leadership – edX

This is another edX program that ranks high on several lists. The course is run by the University of Queensland, Australia, and includes 11 months of self-paced intensive training. This program consists of five courses that are at the graduate level of education. It is one of the most intensive and expensive programs on this list, but for those who want to master the art of people management, it’s a great choice. 

6. Building Your Leadership Skills – Coursera

Coursera is another popular online learning platform, and this leadership skills course is one prime example of why. The course includes all kinds of great practical application examples and tips for success in leadership and people management. It takes about 15 hours to complete and it’s the first in a four-part series that is focused on leadership at the individual level. Financial aid is available for those who need it, too. 

7. People Management – edX and IIMB

This unique course offers a free chance for people to boost their management skills and learn more about leadership. It’s designed for those in first-time management roles, but every type of leader will find the course effective. It teaches important concepts like networking, delegating, self-management, and more. This course is part of the Business Management and Entrepreneurship MicroMasters programs, too. 

8. Becoming a Successful Leader (Inclusive Training) – edX 

This inclusive leadership course is all about making sure that leaders are ready to handle inclusive, sustainable teams and a solid company culture. There are quizzes, hands-on activities, and case studies to help leaders become their best. It’s free to audit the course or you can pay for certification, and it will take about two hours a week for a month. 

9. Coaching Skills for Leaders and Managers – LinkedIn Learning

Here we’ve got another great course from LinkedIn Learning. The coaching skills course is focused on helping managers and leaders develop their abilities to coach and train other employees on the job. This course can be completed in just over 30 minutes, which means it’s quick and simple, and still delivers plenty of learning. And again, since it’s from LinkedIn, you can add a completion badge to your profile and list it in your completed courses. 

10. Middle Manager – Alison 

Alison is known for being the first massive online open course platform. It’s still a popular choice for anyone in need of a few new skills. All kinds of free courses are self-paced and verification reports are available to everyone who finishes a course. There is also the choice to pay for an actual certificate of completion. You’ll learn about organizational strategy, ethics and social responsibility, driving innovation and change, motivation and leadership, and more. 

Bonus: Conflict and Resolution Management

11. Develop Conflict Management and Resolution Skills – LinkedIn Learning

All leaders need to know how to handle conflict resolution in the workplace. This is perhaps one of the most invaluable people management skills on this list. LinkedIn has a great course that covers all kinds of conflict management and resolution topics, including valuable insights from eight industry leaders. This course takes about eight hours to complete and those who finish it can add a badge to their LinkedIn profile. 

While you’re learning, who’s fielding the leads?

It’s never been easier to learn the skills you need to successfully lead your team, manage people across organizations, instill confidence, and motivate them to greater success. Of course, while you’re learning those skills someone must handle communications and lead intake. Smith.ai’s team of experienced virtual receptionists can help.

We can provide a wide range of critical services to help take the load off your shoulders while you’re mastering people management and even afterward. Those include acting as your 24/7 answering service, providing expert lead intake, handling appointment scheduling, and even managing and administering outreach campaigns. 

Ready to take the next step? Go ahead and schedule a consultation. You can also email us at hello@smith.ai or get in touch by phone at (650)709-2947.


Business Education
People and Project Management

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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