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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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Tackling fear of change

Launching out onto the deep… Tackling fear of change Whether in our personal or our work lives, change can be at best unsettling, and at worst, terrifying. In a business environment change is inevitable. Markets change, staff come and go, technology makes systems and products obsolete, businesses grow and need new structures to remain effective. […]

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Are you a ‘speedy reader’?

The demands of life today mean that our time is at a premium. And although technology can help us with many tasks, fast and efficient reading skills remain essential for success. We live in an information age, with seemingly limitless amounts of new information – whether relevant or not. We need to ‘digest’ this information […]

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The five-minute meeting

Why formal meetings are not always the answer Many of us feel we spend more time in meetings than in doing our job. In some companies lengthy meetings are the norm, complete with a formal agenda, and detailed minutes which are then circulated with Action Points. Recent blogs have discussed the increasing use of brevity […]

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How to think clearly and speak concisely

Under pressure in a meeting? Fielding a difficult phone call? Having to discuss a complex business proposal with little time to prepare? Facing a difficult interview, with unknown questions? Ever have your mind ‘go blank’ when asked something unexpected? In business, clear thinking and concise speaking are essential skills for success. We all want to […]

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Emotional intelligence – is it still relevant?

Success in life: IQ vs EQ Ever since the first IQ tests were devised by the Frenchman, Alfred Binet, in the 1900s, there has been a fascination with the measurement of ‘innate ability’.  Schools soon began to test their pupils’ IQ, and in the United States the university entrance system came to be dominated by […]

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Why invest in training?

Investing in training The economic recovery seems at last to be with us. But after so many years of very tough trading conditions, companies have become accustomed to looking closely at their balance sheets and making economies where at all possible. This may mean that training budgets have less priority than in ‘times of plenty’. […]

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Is ‘shortened’ business communication now the way?

New trends in ‘shortened’ written business communications: the ‘thumb tribe’ and ‘txtese’ Business communications are constantly evolving. From the handwritten formal letters of the 19th century, to secretaries (and later, audio typists) typing their boss’s letters, to emails, the trend has been towards more immediacy and informality in our business interactions. Whether this is because […]

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Is it important to teach managers to coach?

An organisation’s future is only as good as its talent pipeline. Traditionally managers have always been in charge of training young executives and making sure that they perform according to the organisations expectations and their long-term business goals. Managers are now a part of ‘train the trainer’ models where they are taught how to coach […]

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Digital or face-to-face learning?

The pros and cons of e-learning: For adults returning to study, learning to learn again can seem a frightening prospect. For these people e-learning has some advantages: Working with a computer rather than a person can reduce the fear of making mistakes Material can easily be repeated if not understood Learning can be accessible at […]

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