Michelle Pickles

Media Personnel Manager, New Zealand Racing Board


Understanding yourself and how your actions impact others is the key to being a good manager .

As an inexperienced Manager, Michelle looked to IMNZ’s Elevate (Leadership Essentials) programme to up-skill and gain the confidence she needed to succeed.

Why did you seek out training with IMNZ?

In her busy role as Media Personal Manager, Michelle looks after a large team of broadcasters. A prior sports presenter and reporter with no experience in leading staff, the shift to management was challenging for Michelle. When she started in her new role she informed her employer that she would like to do a management course to up-skill herself in that area.

“I think it’s really important to up-skill yourself, particularly when you are managing people because it’s their lives and it’s their careers and I feel a responsibility to be a good manager to them.”

Why did you choose to partner with IMNZ for your training?

After researching online, Michelle came across IMNZ and asked others about their experiences. Receiving good feedback and encouragement from people who had already trained with IMNZ, Michelle enrolled in the Elevate (Leadership Essentials) course for managers.

“I enjoyed the structure of the course. The day-and-a-half, times three was really good as far as fitting in with my work schedule,” explains Michelle. Of the three modules covered by the Elevate course – Leading Self, Leading Others and Leading Business Performance – Michelle found the first particularly useful in improving her conflict resolution skills.

“I really enjoyed the Leading Self module. Self-awareness is one of the most important things that we can have, especially as managers. It’s really important to be aware of how you interact with people, and especially how you deal with conflict,” she says. “That was one of the things I wanted to learn about because I don’t think anyone’s really good at dealing with conflict, but it’s important that you can do that in a constructive manner.”

What impact has training with IMNZ had on you as a manager?

Michelle felt very green to management, having been in her new role for only two years. The IMNZ course gave her the boost she needed to feel competent and confident moving forward.

“I still feel like I’m really new in this job,” she says. “But what I’ve done and what I’ve learnt will set me up really well to manage people.”

“I feel that I’m a better person and a better manager now for having done this course.”

“This has given me extra tools to be aware of how I deal with people. I think it’s really important to be constructive and not to be on the defensive. To make [your team] feel comfortable chatting about things that can sometimes be difficult,” says Michelle. “It’s important to learn more about yourself and how you treat other people and deal with situations. I think it comes back to self- awareness and how your actions impact other people.”

“I definitely would recommend the course. And I already have done!” she says