Making of a manager

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Metropolitan colleague Chanelle Rowe

Metropolitan’s 18-month management training programme has given Chanelle Rowe the skills and self-belief to step up

There is no stopping Chanelle Rowe this year, now she has a new qualification to back her ambition.

The housing services officer graduated recently from Metropolitan’s 18-month Core Management Skills programme – particularly impressive since she was one of the only non-managers on the course.

“I put my hand up for everything, especially any challenges above my role,” laughs Chanelle, who joined the housing association five years ago with no experience of the sector.

Last year, for instance, she volunteered to spend two months helping the relief effort in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

Dealing with the issues and concerns of residents living in the shadow of the tower, she wondered if she would cope.

“They were on edge and, understandably, very angry,” says Chanelle. “My nerves started to get the better of me; I felt I was not experienced enough.”

But she trusted her instincts and drew on skills – particularly around difficult conversations – learnt on the Level 3-equivalent management course.

“Meeting the residents and listening to each individual’s moment touched my heart greatly,” she says. “At that point, I knew I had made the correct decision in putting myself forward.”

Chanelle – who has a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in team leading – has already taken charge of her Metropolitan office when her line manager has been away.

The flexible management programme – delivered by Metropolitan and its learning partner and endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management – was a chance to build on these kind of experiences.

Combining online, classroom and on-the-job learning, the training is tailored to Metropolitan and students are tasked with applying their new skills to real workplace situations.

Chanelle focused on the mutual exchange policy, which allows customers to swap properties. “I did my research and made some recommendations that were taken on board.”

She admits that the course has demanded a lot of her time. “You have to do your day job and meet all the course deadlines. It involves research, report writing and project work.”

She credits the support of her manager, colleagues and tutors with getting her through.

“They were always there to help if you got stuck,” says Chanelle, who chose modules ranging from presentation skills to assertiveness.

Early tests on the course identified her as a “give them want they want” kind of manager, but she is no longer a pushover. “I have the confidence to say no and I don’t feel guilty about it.

“The course has given me self-belief,” she adds. “I am 100% ready to take the next step in my career.”