Engineering Management Academy

Why a Management Academy? Why should you be interested in this Engineering Management Academy from SAE? The answer to these questions lies in the statistics highlighted by surveys of hiring managers. For example, are you aware that:

  • 28% of internal leadership promotions fail

  • On average, it takes six years before an individual receives any formal training after being promoted to a management position

  • Individual contributors, who are technical experts, are usually natural
    candidates for promotions to management positions. However, without proper training in topics such as coaching, mentoring, team building, conflict resolution, decision making, and communication skills, these technical experts may not be operating at their maximum potential.

  • The academy is designed to initiate and/or accelerate the development process for attendees by focusing on specific content and techniques throughout the week. Such an approach is intended to eliminate micro-managing, improve employee engagement, improve morale, reduce employee turnover, improve productivity and ensure a great ROI. The attendees are likely to start using these methods at their workplace as soon as the week after the academy. Their departments, colleagues, superiors, juniors and in fact the whole organization is expected to benefit as a result of the improved skills of the attendees.

SAE convened an Advisory Panel of Mobility industry representatives who identified the key topics to be covered in the Academy. We then gathered an outstanding team of coaches who have personally undergone this entire phase from being individual contributors, to being in engineering management positions, to being transformational leaders. These coaches will address the topics being offered by the Academy from their personal and first-hand accounts. The freshness and authenticity of their approach lies in the fact that they don"t want to be called "experts". Nor are they "Instructors". They are coaches who bring a combined experience of over 90 years to the academy, and are willing to share their experiences with others.

Attend this academy and:

  • Improve your communication and decision making skills
  • Manage challenging situations without getting emotionally hooked
  • Optimize your team"s output, quality of throughput, commitment and engagement
  • Improve your ability to give and receive positive and constructive feedback
  • Begin a journey of growth and self-awareness for yourself to continually improve your leadership skills

Special Features

  • You will be assigned a coach who will work with you one-on-one to identify new opportunities for enhancing your management skills and develop an action plan that will help you move forward towards your goals and success as a manager.
  • Throughout the academy you will practice your newly learned skills so you are ready to implement them when you return to work.
  • Invited experienced engineering managers will be on-site to share their perspectives and lessons learned.

What Will You Learn

By attending this academy, you will be able to:
  • Assess your own management style and develop an action plan for continued growth
  • Select communication behaviors which enhance performance and team interactions
  • Identify traits that are important for managers to be effective coaches
  • Identify keys to successful decisions
  • Assess your individual behavioral style in conflict situations and identify best practices for dealing with conflict
  • Select positive strategies for dealing with employee performance issues
  • Identify specific types of interview questions which provide you with the most valuable information for the selection process
  • Identify important attributes, as well as impediments, of high performing teams

Is This Course For You

This academy is designed for engineers in transition to management, new managers as well as existing Supervisors, Managers, and Directors who may have been in managerial roles for a while but never had a chance to attend formal workshops. Other personnel working in purchasing, information technology, manufacturing, quality, sales and marketing functions for OEM's and suppliers who want to improve their skills and provide greater value to their organizations, will benefit from the academy as well.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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    Introduction, Welcome and Overview - Atul Kalia
    DiSC Survey Results - Atul Kalia and Greg Moss
  • Interpersonal Communication Skills - Greg Moss

    As we gain experience and grow in our professional careers, we each develop our own communication style, and we tend to operate within that style with great comfort. However, in higher leadership roles, we must recognize that we need to raise our communication effectiveness in many more situations and with a much wider variety of people. In this section, you will learn skills that will allow you to communicate effectively with direct reports, co-workers, management and suppliers. Successful completion of technical projects, engineering research and analysis is only a fraction of an engineering manager's job. An equally important portion involves communicating the results of these technical projects effectively to gain acceptance for the next stage of implementation. Effective communications, both written and verbal are paramount to our success.

    Foundations of Communication
    The Five Foundations

    • Monitor Your Behavior
    • Remain Assertive in Your Behavior
    • Develop Reciprocal Relationships
    • Stay Focused on What You Can Control and Influence
    • Take on Personal Accountability
    Communicating Effectively
    • Communication Behaviors
    • Effective Listening Skills
    • Asserting Your Ideas
    • Handling Responses to your Message

    Overcoming Your Own Defensiveness
    • Hot Buttons / Hooks
    • Situations
    • Responding Effectively
    Additional Skills
    • Saying "No," sidetracked, disengaging, etc.
    Summary and Action Planning

    Decision Making - Atul Kalia
    We know people who regularly make good decisions - and some who routinely find decision making to be a challenge. When we"re in our business environment and we want to improve decision making (either our own or by developing subordinates), we have several widely available and accepted tools. But do the tools solve the issue? Not necessarily. That"s because, behind the tools, we make many judgments. In other words, people who make flawed judgments can make perfect use of the tools and still end up with less than optimal decisions. So this module focuses on improving our judgments, which, when applied to the tools, can produce dramatically better results.


    • Past and Current Decisions
    • How Problem Solving and Decision Making Intertwine
    • Ways of Thinking

    How Decisions are Made
    • Change Process
    • Biases That Affect Our Judgment
      •  The Big Dozen
    Tools for Decision Making
    • Is/Is Not Matrix
    • Results Framework
    • Decision Matrix
    Summary and Action Planning


    One2One: Giving Positive and Constructive Feedback - Greg Moss

     One2One is a series of skill development modules focused on successful conversations between a supervisor and a direct report - from "Good work" to "What happened?"; from performance reviews to salary discussions. There is a way to do it easier and get better results. This session will concentrate on the three elements that are essential to every feedback discussion and the steps for two key topics: Giving Positive Feedback and Giving Constructive Feedback. By practicing these steps using your own real-life situations, you will develop skills that you can use frequently and immediately.


    • Feedback that Made a Difference
    • Our Approach
    • Elements of Mutual Respect
    Your Role
    • Types of Feedback
    • Guidelines for Effective Feedback
    • Preparing for Feedback Sessions
    Giving Positive Feedback
    • Characteristics of Positive Feedback
    • Opportunities for Giving Positive Feedback
    • Discussion Points for Giving Positive Feedback
    • Demonstration and Practice
    Giving Constructive Feedback
    • Characteristics of Constructive Feedback
    • Opportunities for Giving Constructive Feedback
    • Discussion Points for Giving Constructive Feedback
    • Balancing Positive and Constructive Feedback
    • Demonstration and Practice
    Summary and Action Planning

    Selection Interviewing - Greg Moss
    Organizations are only as successful as the people they hire. The process should be an opportunity for two-way communication and interaction to determine the fit between the candidate and the employer. Unfortunately numerous hiring mistakes take place during the interview process. This section will focus on a behavioral interviewing system to help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the hiring process in your organization.


    • What are your Challenges?
    • Working with that "Gut" Feeling
    • Keys to Interviewing - Behavioral Examples
    • Identifying the Skills Needed
    • Designing an Efficient System
    • Using an Interview Guide
    The Interview
    • Legal (and Illegal) Questions
    • Looking for ACEs
    • Asking the Right Questions
    • Asking Follow-up Questions
    • Controlling the Interview
    Now what?
    • Interpreting the Interview
    • Making a Decision
    Summary and Action Planning


    Coaching and Mentoring - Jaspreet Singh

    Coaching is a highly effective teaching, training, and development process in which an individual gets support while learning to achieve a specific personal or professional result or goal. Good managers are excellent coaches. They know how to stretch their team members by giving them responsibility and supporting them in their endeavors. Engineering Management professionals are very analytically driven and thus often overlook some key pieces of how to coach and develop their team members to build a culture of high performance and sustainable execution. In this section you will learn specific techniques for coaching and mentoring your staff. Attendees are given ample opportunities to practice these skills, receive feedback, and evaluate their coaching and mentoring experience.

    How to Connect Your Team to Their Jobs

    • What Makes a Job Miserable
    • How to Help Everyone Draw Their Connection to the Job/Company - Your Role as a Leader
    • How Does the Performance Management Work? Why is it Losing its Effectiveness?
    • Learning and Fear Zones

    What Good Coaches do and the Key Elements of Coaching
    • Do the Basics Right
    • Strengths Based Coaching
    • Employee Engagement and Ability to Relate
    • Building a Learner Mentality is Critical
    • Providing Feedback and Effective Ways to do it
    • Coaching and Ego
    • Questioning Attitude and Listening Skills
    • Self-assuredness and Coaching - Some Risk-taking is Critical
    • Coaching in Times of Change and Understanding Your Own Power
    • Rewarding Behaviors

    Elements of Leadership
    • Why and Context
    • Is there an Elephant in the Room?
    • Team Norms
    • Shadow of a Leader
    • Setting Priorities

    Elements of Mentoring
    • Mentoring as a Competitive Advantage
    • Why and When Mentoring Programs are Useful
    • Mentoring Strategies and Skills
    • Peer to Peer Mentoring and 360 Feedback

    Summary and Action Planning


    Guest Speaker Panel and Networking Event
    Note: The Guest Speaker Panel and Networking Event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the SAE Troy Office immediately following the Summary and Action Planning for the day.


    Conflict Resolution and Negotiation - Atul Kalia

    Employees at all levels in an organization have to deal with conflict on a daily basis. Whether it"s an internal conflict between team members, between management and employees, or an external conflict between employees and customers or employees and suppliers; improper handling of a conflict, can lead to a dysfunctional workplace and lowered productivity. Yet, very few employees are properly trained in how to handle conflicts effectively. This section will equip you with influencing techniques to achieve acceptance for your solutions to workplace conflicts. In contrast to many conflict/negotiation courses that focus on winning and gaining maximum advantage, this section first seeks to understand all parties" interests and then proceeds to achieve mutually beneficial solutions. Attendees are given ample opportunities to practice these skills, receive feedback, and evaluate their conflict resolution and negotiation experience.

    Introduction to Conflict

    • Typical Reactions to a Conflict
    • When is it a Conflict?
    • Stages of Conflict

    Basics of Conflict
    • Conflict Exercises
    • Key Causes of Conflict
    • Typical Workplace Conflicts
    • How to Break an Impasse
    • Reading non-Verbal Signals

    Influencing/Negotiation Basics
    • Negotiation Exercise
    • Persuasion vs. Negotiation
    • Types of Negotiation
    • Stages of Negotiation Process
    • What to Reveal
    • Sources of Power and Strategies of Influence
    • Understanding Your Negotiation Style
    • Skills for Successful Negotiation
    • Win-win
    • Ethics

    Reframing Conflict
    • Converting the Conflict into an Opportunity
    • Visualize the Optimal Situation
    • Win-win Resolution
    • Conflict Exercise and Class Discussion

    Sustainable Resolution
    • Conciliatory Gestures
    • Building Trust
    • Nurturing the Relationship

    Summary and Action Planning



    Building High Performance Teams - Atul Kalia

    Engineering supervisors and managers in today"s organizations have to work in cross-functional teams consisting of personnel from Manufacturing, Purchasing, Sales, Quality and Program Management. In addition, such engineering management professionals are often responsible for leading technical engineering teams in their workplace. Whether working as a team member on a cross-functional team or as a team leader for technical teams, engineering professionals need specific training and skills to ensure that the team functions at its optimal best. In this section you will learn appropriate skills that allow team leaders to optimize their team"s output, and highlight key characteristics of high-performance teams. Team building exercises and activities will be used to enhance learning of these concepts.

    Team Experience

    • Case Studies of Great Teams
    • Charting Individual and Team Personalities
    • Group Experiences - Good and Bad Teams

    Skills for Leading Teams
    • Providing the "Big-picture" Framework
    • Asking the Right Questions
    • Dreaming the Ideal State
    • Team Building Exercise

    Dealing with "Gray" Situations
    • Conflict Resolution, Tough Choices, Individual vs. Team
    • Constructive Feedback and Problem Solving
    • Exercise

    Team Building
    • Myths about "Dream Team"
    • Selection Practices
    • Roles and Purpose Definition
    • Engagement Factor
    • Exercise

    Best Practices
    • Exercise
    • Developing Trust and Collaboration
    • Feel included - Avoid Omissions
    • Authentic Appreciation
    • Celebrate Small Victories
    • Social Norms and Culture - Rituals, Protocols

    • Personas
    • 100% Commitment

    Summary and Action Planning 

    Academy Wrap-up

    For individuals interested in completing the SAE General Management and Leadership Certificate Program, this academy may be substituted for the Managing Engineering and Technical Professionals and Leading High Performance Teams requirements.

    SAE offers a number of other courses to prepare engineers for the challenging roles of managers and leaders.  Please visit for a complete list.