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Are you ever put on the spot?

On the spot training: a trainer’s view However well prepared we are for a meeting, a presentation, an interview or a training session, none of us can predict what will happen when we are placed ‘on the spot’ with an unexpected question or comment. Group dynamics Everyone involved in management training knows that each group […]

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Do you have group working challenges?

Meeting the challenges of group working How many meetings do you attend each week? Working collaboratively is an essential skill in the 21st century workplace.  This means that for most of us, a significant part of our working life is spent in group meetings of one sort or another. In an ideal world… In an […]

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Five tips for editing effectively

Business writing is an important skill for managers. However, after that all-important first draft, there is still much to do to create a polished end result. Whether editing your own writing or that of a colleague, here are five tips for effective editing. Tip #1: Proofreading the text Accuracy is an essential element in any […]

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Slow versus speed reading: which is best?

Recently the BBC featured a new fad called ‘slow reading’. Apparently this new movement involves groups of people getting together to read things slowly, rather than rushing through. Since my own focus is on devouring written material as quickly and effectively as possible, I was intrigued. I decided to investigate ‘slow reading’ to see if […]

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Is effective communication the key to leadership?

Communication is central to our lives as human beings. Whether through body language or through the written and spoken word, effective communication is the key to outstanding leadership. Humans are essentially pack animals. Anyone who has ever owned a dog will know that in any group of dogs, the individuals in the pack seem instinctively […]

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Tips for dealing with the media

Journalists from the TV, radio and the newspapers regularly contact businesses and individuals for information and opinions on current issues. If someone from the media rings, are you ready? Reputation management We live in an age of communication, and reputation management is an important element in business success. Feeling comfortable in dealing with the media […]

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3 Examples of Innovation in IT

Innovation in IT Innovation is a topic I enjoy returning to again and again. Why? It’s partly personal fascination with the new, and partly it’s because I feel that living as we do in an age of constant change, it’s important to try to keep abreast of new developments. Information Technology is an area where […]

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Coaching vs mentoring: 3 important differences

A vital part of our role as managers is to help our staff to develop their skills and attributes to the full. Research shows that the most effective managers are those who put a significant amount of their energy and time into encouraging and training their work force. Mentoring Since the beginnings of human society, […]

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Are good grammar and spelling things of the past?

“Are good grammar and spelling things of the past?” Or we could say: “Is using good grammar and spelling a thing of the past?” (Both are correct!) For some of us, grammar and spelling are a nightmare of complexity. With the advent of social media and texting, it seems at times like the end of […]

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Do you find report writing challenging?

Planning: the key to effective writing Do you find report writing challenging? Do you feel pressured when you have to write an important email or letter? The key to effective business writing is not some ‘gift from above’. Writing persuasively, clearly and effectively is a skill which can be learned. A few simple approaches can […]

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What is Mind Mapping?

An effective tool for your business Most of us have heard of the term Mind Mapping, and many of us will have attended training days where a Mind Map® has been used as a visual aid. Yet there is far more to the concept of Mind Mapping than just a diagram in a PowerPoint presentation. […]

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Tips for working more productively

How to work more productively Do you seem to be working constantly, but the ‘to do’ list just seems to get longer and longer? A 2013 book by Mason Currey might give you some ideas about how to structure your time to achieve maximum results. ‘Daily Rituals: How Great Minds Make Time, Find Inspiration, and […]

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Do you have a growth mindset?

Do you have a ‘growth mindset’? Influential American academic Carol Dweck feels that having a ‘growth mindset’ is the key to long term success in business. In her book Mindset: the New Psychology of Success, Dweck describes two kinds of personalities. Those with a ‘fixed mindset’ find it difficult to adapt to new situations and […]

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Need to feel creative? Take a walk!

Having trouble generating ideas? Needing to get a different perspective on an issue? Then you might consider incorporating a walk into your daily routine. Called ‘reflective walking’, this technique is becoming increasingly popular as an aid to problem solving, to stimulate creativity, and as an innovative way to develop skills in leadership and management.   […]

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Do We Need To Shout? (BBC Radio Debate)

One of the fun things about being in the training business for so long (18 years and counting) is that from time to time I get asked onto radio and television shows. Earlier this year I was talking to Jo Good on BBC London about Memory and Mind Mapping, which was fun. And yesterday I […]

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Developing Human Capital

Gary Becker and developing your ‘Human Capital’ This year saw the passing of one of the most influential figures in 20th century economics. Economics Nobel Laureate (1992) and Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Gary Becker passed away in May of 2014 at the age of 83. Although few of us are familiar […]

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Are you thinking outside the box?

Thinking ‘outside the box’: Edward de Bono and Lateral Thinking Nowadays the term ‘lateral thinking’ has become an integral part of the English language. We often say we need to ‘think outside the box’ to come up with new solutions for difficult problems. Yet lateral thinking is not just a different approach to brainstorming, or […]

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Are you a potential leader?

Spotting – and nurturing – potential leaders Identifying and nurturing potential leaders is vital to the future of British business. Someone once said: “Leadership is hard to define, but easy to recognise.” Once a person is in a leadership role, this may be true. But how do we look at the current crop of middle […]

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How do you develop your charisma when speaking?

What makes a speech or presentation particularly effective? Is it content, i.e. clear and memorable ideas presented in a concise fashion? Or presentation skills, i.e. the ability to ‘connect’ with the audience – to get their attention and keep it? First-rate, well-structured content is vital in making a presentation memorable, impactful and meaningful. But confidence […]

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Powerful presentations: is software the answer?

Delivering presentations is an integral part of business life. Whether it’s an interview, a sales presentation, or a report in a meeting, digital presentation software is very much the order of the day. These days we take this type of software for granted. Youngsters in primary schools learn how to use presentation software, complete with […]

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