Non-traditional approaches to learning

Traditionally, teaching – as well as many organisational initiatives in training and development – is classroom-based. Is it time to change the basic approach? Many companies are already placing more emphasis on distance learning or blended courses where a physical on-site presence may be required for only part of the time. Providing access to information and education when the learners are separated by time or distance or both is perhaps a natural focus in an increasingly virtual world and of course, may also be more cost-effective. Now comes “flipped” learning, crossing from the education sector  and bringing with it an adaptation of traditional training techniques. The principle is to provide training content upfront, allowing instructor-led sessions to focus on specific requirements of trainees, replacing generic content on a given subject. We will be investigating to find out more. Why not tell us what you think…...

Performance coaching: shine at interview

Reports in the news show that unemployment in the Eurozone has edged up to its highest level since 1999. Fewer jobs with more people chasing them means that there is tough competition for every vacant position.  It is no longer enough to just have a CV, you need a well-crafted CV that sells you and your skills and competencies; you need to invest time in writing a cover letter for your application that states clearly why you are the best person for the job; last but by no means least, you need to prepare for that all important interview when you get the call and ensure that you shine in your handling of questions and in the way in which you present yourself. Working with one of our expert coaches can help you enhance your interview technique....

An instant way to start coaching

Coaching is a much-discussed topic in the workplace these days. Many managers and team leaders are expected to coach and yet there is still much uncertainty about what excatly coaching is, what a coach does, who can be coached and how. At The Training Box we welcome all contributions to the debate that demystifies coaching and makes it as accessible as possible to the broadest audience. We recommend “Instant Coaching” by Paul Birch (Kogan Page, 2001) for a very practical approach. Light on theory, there are lots of exercises for you to try out and build your coaching muscles.  ...

Why men and women network differently

For both men and women, networking is an integral part of furthering career plans. With a wide focus on getting more women into senior positions, it seems men may nonetheless have an advantage in the way in which they use networking and conduct their networking conversations. The difference in some aspects of male/female behaviour leads to different communication and conversational patterns when there are newtworking opportunities. The conclusion? Women need to work the room more and with a stronger focus on marketing themselves. This article from Personnel Today offers insight into the different approaches and some great tips for women who would like to improve their networking style....

The “low-pitched” voice

A recent post on the BBC website caught our attention (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-1571896). Entitled “Voters like low-pitched voices”, the article quotes research evidence and comments from psychologists. Apparently we are more likely to vote for candidates who have a lower voice. Both men and women find lower-pitched voices more attractive and tend to invest the speaker with higher perceived levels of attractiveness, leadership potential, honesty, intelligence and dominance. In our everyday and business life, undoubtedly listening to someone with a pleasant, expressive voice can be so much more interesting and motivating as well. So maybe it’s not only the politicians who should be investing in voice training when the goal is to be persuasive and influential? Let us know which voices impress you…...

Give yourself a gift: invest in YOU

“If you can dream it, you can do it” Walt Disney Choose the festive season and the approach of another year to draw up your personal balance sheet and plan to invest in yourself in the year ahead with some self-coaching. Self-coaching means you take the initiative in creating positive changes in your life without professional help. There are the many benefits to this empowering process of realising your own capabilities and setting your own goals (not the least of which is that you won’t have to pay anyone). Like any new skill, self-coaching needs to be learned and practised for it to be effective. 1.    List the highlights of the past year in all aspects of your life ( work, home, relationships… ) 2.   Write down your successes and identify areas that could benefit from some improvement. 3.   Be honest and admit where you are going wrong. 4.   Ask questions that help identify positive solutions e.g. what could you have do differently. 5.   Decide what your goals will be for the next year and break them down into realistically achievable chunks. 6.   Focus your attention on the things you really want to achieve and commit to them. 7.   Identify / use outside resources such as supportive friends or read up on coaching techniques that can help you. 8.   Track your progress consistently with a diary or a worksheet. 9.   Revisit and revise your goals but keep your eye on the prize, especially with long-term goals. 10. Celebrate your successes and think positive thoughts. Self-coaching techniques form part of our Focus Area “Personal Mastery” The following posts in our Treasure...