South West Training Blog

Articles, tips, guides and blogs around business skills, training, professional courses and development in addition to South West relevant news.

Nikki has spent her early career in Change Management and Localisation.  She now works in the training industry overseeing training events within the South West and managing a global Cross Cultural Training business.

Mindfullness and Training

Mindfullness and Training
Janet Street-Porter gave her views on ‘Mindfulness’ meditation in the Daily Mail this week. At the risk of ‘outing’ my love of a good trashy read when I’m drinking my coffee first thing in the morning, I was caught by the title: ‘Can Mindfulness really make you Live longer’? It caught my eye as ‘mindfulness’ is a term which is increasingly quoted on public forums. As a concept, it’s taken on a life of its own and it’s bandied about by psychologist, therapists, government bodies, NHS and celebrities alike. From a training perspective, mindfulness as a subject has started to dominate the training...
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Hero or Villain? How would you be Portrayed in an Online Customer Care Story?

Hero or Villain? How would you be Portrayed in an Online Customer Care Story?
The Somerset County Gazette featured an article on 24th September outlining a family's disgust at the accommodation they were placed in when visiting a holiday site in Burnham on Sea (a seaside resort in Somerset). The family report what can only be described as a nightmare for any family who has spent money in the anticipation of a relaxing holiday.  Stomach turning photographs and the family's account of cigarette ends under the bed, an ants' nest, filthy hob,insect clad skylight and a lack of safety equipment all add to the horror of the story. To add further damage, the report outlines...
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Youth Theatre - Helping Kids to Perform Better

Youth Theatre - Helping Kids to Perform Better
The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, Somerset will soon be entertaining families from across the South West with their festive production of Sleeping Beauty. I can't wait!! I love the pantomime and take the children every year without fail.  The cast are always fantastic and the kids always leave having had a great time.I love the theatre.  Not only does it bond and entertain the local community but it also contributes to the economy and provides local dancing / acting schools with opportunities to include talented youngsters in productions. No doubt local children will be included in the Octagon Theatre production of...
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Are Written Skills really so Important?

Are Written Skills really so Important?
Growing up as a child in the 70’s, grammar and punctuation were instilled in lessons and, along with my classmates, errors were not acceptable and we would be penalised for making them. We were repeatedly told that our written work represented us as individuals and that it should be as well presented as our physical selves. When I became responsible for recruiting teams however, it quickly became apparent that these standards no longer hold the same weight that they did when I was a child.  Following my recruitment of my first few employees, one of whom was degree qualified, it became...
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Calling on South West Businesses to Accommodate Remote Working during the Winter Months

Calling on South West Businesses to Accommodate Remote Working during the Winter Months
I am fortunate enough to be abroad and working at the moment and I am not looking forward to coming back to Dorset, which my family have written to say is already becoming rather cold. I wrote an article recently on behalf of Training South West which urges businesses in the region to allow more people to avoid the nightmare of commuting during winter months and accommodate remote working arrangements.  For some people it's essential that they attend the work place but for many others it's not critical to their role at all.  They can probably get a far better job...
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Our Dedicated Somerset Training Venue

Our Dedicated Somerset Training Venue
Training South West has traditionally delivered its training from a dedicated training venue in Crewkerne, Somerset with beautiful, light airy training suites and great facilities. Delegates have always commented on the rooms as allowing a pleasurable space in which to learn. Due to the way in which we work with our clients and the broad area covered across the South West, we have decided that dedicated training venues have value but that they are not always the right solution for our clients.  Why?Our clients do not necessarily have the luxury of time to enable them to travel to a training destination...
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How well do you Performance Manage your Team?

How well do you Performance Manage your Team?
For those of us, fortunate enough to have worked under great managers early in our career, we rarely forget them and aspire towards their management attributes as we progress within our careers. I recall a conversation not too long ago with members of the team in which we discussed the ‘best managers’ for whom we’d worked and one colleague in particular was adamant that all her management skills were learnt from the manager that she held in such high esteem. She remained connected with him and would often approach him if in need of management advice or mentoring. As such, he...
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Do Blanket Training Policies Work?

Do Blanket Training Policies Work?
Training approaches differ greatly across companies and with experience working across large corporates through to small privately owned companies, I’ve found that the value and nature of the respective policies vary greatly in tandem. Within the corporate world, my experience has been that there is a tendency to ‘pin everything down’ – if it can’t be measured, quantified and reported on, then the attitude is that efficiencies are lacking.  With the luxury of ample training budgets, the corporate world has the ability to arrange regular training courses which are delivered by fantastic trainers.  One would assume that the courses would be...
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