More and more organisations are looking to bring training back in house – it’s potentially a major “money saver” when finance is tight and budgets are trimmed back. If this is a move your own organisation is considering, you’ll want to be sure your internal trainers have all the skills and confidence to do a great job!
This is the most frequent request of learners on Presentation Skills courses and Trainer Training courses – and on plenty of other interpersonal skills programmes as well. Sometimes people call it “presence” or “self assurance”. Basically, it’s “when I stand up in front of others, can you teach me how to feel and how to project confidence?”
The purpose of a meeting will always be to arrive at some mutual conclusion which can be most efficiently achieved by discussing, debating and deciding the outcome together. Otherwise, why have a meeting?
It follows then, that whoever is leading the discussion, debate and decision-making has a responsibility for ensuring fair and open coverage of everyone’s views and all available information. This means the leader must certainly behave impartially, whatever his/her personal opinions are on the subject.
Not always easy. And it can be tempting for a senior, influential Chair to allow their own views (consciously or unconsciously) to dominate. In some situations, you might genuinely believe this is the “right” thing to do. How do I fairly chair a balanced discussion when I already have a strong preconceived commitment to a definite outcome?
A meeting is more like a racing yacht than a cruise ship. Every crew member has a critical part to play, and there are no passengers
Do you find yourself spending a lot of time in meetings? Do you want to make all your meetings tight, timely and cost effective? If the answer to either of these is ‘yes’, then follow the tips below!
1. Get together a useful agenda
- State the start and finish time of the meeting
- Write a sentence for each item stating the intended outcome of the discussion, e.g. Cost of Sales: following Nick’s presentation of the third quarter’s figures, we will agree plans and actions to reduce cost of sales by 5% in Q4
- Allocate and publish timeslot for each agenda item
- Avoid churning out a “standard” agenda, and ban “a.o.b.”
- Issue the agenda (if you are not the chair, ask for it) 3-5 days before the meeting, along with any other documents you want people to study in advance
“Managing Time Effectively” is one of our most popular programmes. In only a single day, you can learn and practise techniques for streamlining work for yourself and others, for making every minute count, for stripping out unnecessary activities and cutting down the time you spend on low priority tasks.
Managing time poorly can be a major cause of stress, and many organisations choose to combine our “Managing Time Effectively” day with a second day on “Managing Stress Effectively” – the two go hand in hand!
If your training finances are squeezed, and you want to be sure you are making the best use of the budget you have, investing in either or both of these one day programmes can give your people invaluable self-management skills, and make an immediate positive impact on your bottom line.
The major predictor of how well learning gets transferred into the workplace is the attitude of the learner’s boss” (T.T. Baldwin and J.K. Ford, Personnel Psychology)
However good the course, however effective the trainer, however keen the learner, if the boss is not ACTIVELY supporting both the learning and the transfer, then getting new skills applied in practice will be an uphill struggle.
So what can or should the line manager be doing – before, during, and after the course – to make the most of the training “spend”, and promote transfer of learning to the workplace, which is where it starts to pay back dividends?
What does “Customer Service” mean? How is it different if you are not a hotel, a restaurant, a department store, or a travel agent, airline, or railway company?
We are all familiar with the term where we, as customers, expect (indeed we purchase!) services from these typical “service industries”. But do the principles of customer service apply just as much to other organisations, although perhaps less obviously? Specifically, are there customer service principles which apply in the emergency services, including of course the Fire & Rescue Service?
Below we take a look at the 4 principles of good customer service: