Are you interested in a leadership career in the fast-growing freight transportation sector? A good Field Management Training Program can put you solidly on that path, giving you firsthand experience with operations and team leadership. If you’re interested in a potential career in management, and want to stand out as a field management trainee:


  • See the nine skills that will serve you well, below
  • Learn how to take the next step, in the conclusion of this article
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Here are nine skills that will set you up to succeed in field management training:


1. Develop Industry Awareness

Companies are constantly seeking to hire managers and other leaders with tangible industry experience. Industry awareness ensures you can make critical decisions that help your company compete. If you don’t have a deep understanding of the industry you're working in — or want to work in — making decisions will be an ongoing challenge and will require more research than you’ll have time to do. So, it’s worth investing some time up front in developing your industry awareness.


2. Read the Room

The ability to “read a room” and react accordingly can help you navigate any business scenario. By paying attention to body language and verbal cues, you’ll adapt more quickly and communicate more effectively. Reading a room is equal parts emotional intelligence, listening to people and staying receptive to the vibes you’re getting from both individuals and groups.


3. Invest Time in People

Leaders can play a supportive role in helping employees grow in the organization. Employees need help from a person of your experience level to adapt to the challenges in the workplace. You’ll need mentorship and coaching skills to help employees to become a productive part of your organization.


4. Voice Feedback

Delivering constructive feedback as a team leader is extremely important to helping those around you grow. However, this can be easier said than done. As a field management trainee, you’ll need to have the courage to voice your opinion and help others improve their performance. But, remember, the line between constructive criticism and degrading criticism is extremely thin; stay on the right side of it, and you’ll be an effective leader.


5. Treat Others with Respect

Management jobs rely heavily on building relationships with your team members. When people are newly promoted to management positions, they sometimes fall into the trap of letting their job title go to their head. As a team leader, you’ll need to make sure you’re treating everyone fairly. If you’re able to build strong relationships with employees at all levels, you’ll be well on your way to earning their respect and creating a positive vibe in the workplace.


6. Delegate Effectively

Delegating tasks sounds simple, whereas in reality, it’s one of the hardest things to learn in a leadership role. The ability to delegate effectively is vital to a well-functioning team. Most people settling into a new managerial role are perfectionists and want things done their way. While that’s not necessarily wrong, it can be discouraging for employees and make them feel less trusted. In addition, if you fail to learn how to delegate, you may become buried in tasks, limiting your time to be a leader. Some of your team members may aspire to become managers themselves, so teach them how to delegate by example.


7. Become a Problem-Solver

Problem-solving skills are mandatory in any role, and even more crucial for leaders. Your job as a manager will be to help remove any possible obstacles that might affect the performance of your organization. You can teach yourself to work efficiently under pressure, stay calm during a crisis and properly think through decisions that have the potential to be game-changing for your organization.


8. Communicate Effectively

Communication is key to any business role. As a manager, it’s particularly important that you can clearly express what’s inside your head to other people. You‘ll be communicating verbally and in writing through letters, emails and business documents. You should convey information in a concise way that doesn’t use too much of the other person’s time, but is not so abrupt as to sound rude or impersonal. If you aren’t able to communicate effectively, you create a recurring risk of costing your company time and money.


9. Think Proactively

Proactive thinking is a great way to solve problems before they present themselves. This is true of big issues, as well as small, incidental inefficiencies that waste time. As a manager, if you can’t get a jump on an issue proactively, at least don’t delay addressing it when it arises. Proactive thinking benefits from being able to see the big picture when making important decisions. This will improve the productivity of your organization.


Now that you know what you’ll need to thrive in the managerial ecosystem, what can you do to solve any gaps in your skills? XPO has a program to help you prepare for this next career step.

XPO’s Field Management Training (FMT) Program

XPO has a 14-week FMT Program that’s tailored to help potential managers gain a comprehensive view of how the business works. The program is designed for talented individuals who have leadership potential, but need to refine the skills they already have and develop the any missing skills. Each participant will become a temporary field management trainee, oversee a team and lead a designated staff.


FMT Program participants will learn operational skills, such as dock operations, weights and inspections, linehaul operations, and sales, as well as personal skills, including conflict management, emotional intelligence, diversity, equity and inclusion practices, how to conduct effective meetings and more. The program also fosters technical skills in using data analytics, productivity tools, and applications for operations and shared content.


If you’re interested in pursuing a future as a manager or other leader in the fast-growing, important field of transportation and logistics, sign up for XPO’s 14-week program today. Learn more at