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We share our latest insights and advice on learning and development.
July 4, 2022

Presentation Structure – what to consider for maximum impact

In the last blog, (click link – Preparing Perfect Presentations) we discussed presentations: the importance of preparation and how understanding your audience’s needs positively supports their engagement.   The next step to delivering a great presentation is to consider how to structure it to achieve maximum impact.   Telling the story  Think about the structure of a simple story – one you might have been read at primary school. All the best presentations, like the best stories, should have a beginning, a middle and an end. Considering and constructing each of […]
June 6, 2022

Preparing Perfect Presentations

You’ve been asked to do a presentation, so striking while the iron’s hot, you settle down with your laptop, or a notebook and pen and get to work. But before you launch into creating content or designing attractive slides – stop.   There’s no denying that for many business professionals, being able to deliver a great presentation is seen as a key skill. Nearly 70 per cent of people surveyed by a Prezi and Harris Poll agreed that presentations are critical to success at work. But while the focus of presenters […]
May 9, 2022

The Thomas-Kilmann model for managing conflict – choosing the right conflict response

In the last blog, we discussed how conflict, if carefully handled in a timely manner, can actually be beneficial to businesses. (link – conflict is good) This time, we’ll focus on the Thomas-Kilmann model, which outlines a range of responses conflict can elicit in people and how managers can actively tailor their responses to be more appropriate – and ultimately more successful – in resolving the issue.   If you’re dealing with conflict, you’re bound to have your own personal preferences for how you approach the situation. It’s important, though, to make […]
April 18, 2022

Conflict is Good

Conflict: how can it be a good thing? In May 2021, workplace expert Acas published a report which showed nearly half a million employees resign every year as a result of workplace conflict. It also revealed the potential for increased conflict as organisations try to adapt to changes after COVID-19. There’s a clear benefit to handling conflict early. Not least avoiding stress and impact on team morale. But unpick the problem, and you might find it’s productive and leads to positive change. Here’s why. How can conflict be a positive thing? Many […]
April 1, 2022

Strategic Leadership

How to become a strategic leader As you progress in your career you often need to move from being an operational leader to a strategic leader. But the word ‘strategy’ can instil a feeling of fear into many managers. It may be because it sounds grander than it actually is, so we thought we’d ask Brenda Etchells, our associate and specialist in strategic planning, to help us de-mystify strategy. So what is strategy? In essence, a strategy is having a plan of how you will achieve your goals, objectives, and […]
March 18, 2022

Difficult Conversations

How to handle difficult conversations Throughout our careers, we all experience those moments when we’re not happy with someone’s behaviour or performance. It’s easy to put off a difficult conversation. You could be worried about the other person’s reaction and how you might handle it. Or worse, you might convince yourself that ignoring it will mean the matter goes away. But if they aren’t nipped in the bud, issues can escalate, impacting others in the team or customers. How you have a difficult conversation can affect the outcome. So how […]
February 19, 2022

Feeding Back Effectively: tips to help keep feedback helpful and constructive

In the last blog, we discussed how facilitating good feedback should be a priority for leaders. It’s critical for improving the performance of your team. But what is best practice when it comes to delivering that feedback? To be truly effective, feedback needs to fulfil these criteria: Timely If you had to pick one vital component to make feedback effective, it’s timing. Feedback conversations – whether positive or negative in nature – are most effective when they’re held as soon as possible after the event. Relevance wanes after a while – […]
January 19, 2022

Performance Management – how to make it work for everyone

Hybrid working arrangements are fast becoming the norm for a great many businesses which would normally have people working in an office. But a blend of people home-working alongside dedicated time in the office can throw up as many issues for leaders as it solves – including that of performance management. How can leaders effectively manage their team’s performance in a post-pandemic world? Performance management might traditionally be framed as a formal meeting between leadership and team member, blocked out in the diary a couple of times a year. But […]
November 24, 2021

Reflective Questioning – what leaders should be asking themselves now

The pandemic has changed our working practices – perhaps forever. While some people have returned to the office full-time, many are continuing to work entirely from home, with others developing a hybrid arrangement of home and workplace. It’s a period of flux, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to reflect – not least about what we want from leadership. Sharing expectations Your organisation’s situation may be different now – the world around it has changed immeasurably. Objectives and goals may have shifted – and it’s also possible that your team […]