South West Training Blog

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

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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Quirky Facts about the South West, UK!

Quirky Facts about the South West, UK!
To make sure we get our business offering right, it’s essential that we truly understand our South West neighbours and their potential training needs. One of the best ways to map training needs is to ensure that we stay on top of reports released from entities such as the Office for National Statistics or UK Trade and Investment. We came across some fantastically quirky facts when when reading ‘Portrait of the South West’ and thought we'd share them with you! •    Did you know over five million inhabitants reside in South West England; making the population bigger than Northern Ireland and...
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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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How Reciprocity is Effectively used in International Business

How Reciprocity is Effectively used in International Business

Reciprocity is a word many people have heard of before however few can define the mechanisms of this concept in business even though they may experience it all the time and as it happens right in front of their eyes. The purpose of this blog is to explain why one feels the need to return favours and how businesses or anyone can take advantage of the phenomenon.
 

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8 Essential Lessons the German Mannschaft Can Teach Every Business

8 Essential Lessons the German Mannschaft Can Teach Every Business
Last month we witnessed a breathtaking World Cup final which saw the Mannschaft (‘team’) win after a 24 year drought. As well as appearing in the World Cup finals eight times and having won the tournament four times, Germany is now the first European team to have won the cup on Latin American soil.  Clearly, the German Mannschaft is a fantastic team. After all, we can’t neglect the fact that they played against Argentina, a country which is - unlike Germany - not known for its team but for its star player, Messi, a.k.a “the best player in the world”.However, do...
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Our Emotional Intelligence Training Course

Our Emotional Intelligence Training Course
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a trendy concept and no wonder why - it can help anyone in achieving success both in their personal and professional lives. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with interpersonal skills as they could be key to better adaptation and performance in the workplace. Emotional Intelligence is being able to adapt to every social interaction using the right approach and also embracing a positive mindset, which helps to achieve success. This ability is crucial in order to have constructive conversations, (even difficult ones) and to lessen any negative outcomes that could come out of them. It also...
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Cultural Competency - A Military Perspective

Cultural Competency - A Military Perspective
When thinking of culture, first thing that comes to mind for most people is the culture of a certain country or ethnic group. However, working fields also have a specific culture. The military, for example, has a distinct culture that can cause problems when military staff are required to see a therapist. How can the cultural gap that arises in such a situation be bridged?Maybe you have never heard of the term “cultural competency,” i.e. the understanding, acknowledgement and appreciation of a therapist concerning the differences between his patients and the effects these differences have on the therapy itself. However, according...
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Accounting & Finance Skills

Accounting & Finance Skills
Did you know that the word accountability derives from accounting? Although finance and accounting may (for some) be quite daunting concepts to approach, it is important to understand the benefits of understanding basic financial management skills for business purposes. A recent opinion article beautifully explains the origins and deemed importance of accounting in capitalist society from a historical point of view. For example, “In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries and their families.” A basic understanding of some of the following concepts...
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Join Us for Our Open Day

Join Us for Our Open Day
You're invited to our Open Day May 6th! Come and join us to officially open our new training centre and meet with other local businesses for a bit of networking and nibbles. We welcome you to come either between 12:00-14:00 or 18:00-20:00 on Tuesday May 6th 2014. Networking Scavenger Hunt! To make this time valuable for you, we are going to hold a Scavenger Hunt! You'll find out information about other local businesses as well as spread the word about your own. The winner will win a prize, but shhhh, it's secret…come and find out what it is ;) We would...
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Managing Multicultural Teams: A Participant's Feedback

Managing Multicultural Teams: A Participant's Feedback
We ran a Managing Multicultural Teams open course on January 30th. We asked one of the participants to tell us about her experience of the open course – what was covered, what her key take-aways were, and how this experience will be applicable back into her role at a Bournemouth based, international NGO. What did the training cover? The training was nicely structured but also informal at the same time allowing us (attendees) to ask as many questions and share our own experiences as we went along throughout the day. The training started with looking at how culture affects business and leadership. ...
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Contagious Leadership – Emotional Intelligence and its impact on Team Performance

Contagious Leadership – Emotional Intelligence and its impact on Team Performance
In today’s business world, hard skills are no longer seen as the sole key to success. While in the past there was no room for emotions in the workplace and the importance of soft skills was largely underestimated, they have come to be considered as indispensable and well worth striving for – and rightly so, I believe. Just think about your own experiences. Wouldn’t you agree that your emotional state greatly influences your thoughts, attitude and behaviour and consequently, your personal wellbeing, your relationships and your performance both at work and in your private life? This is why Emotional Intelligence (EI),...
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What makes for the Perfect Training Centre?

What makes for the Perfect Training Centre?
ProximityFor a business it is good to have local facilities that avoids to go too far to find the right place. It saves time and money. This is the reason why we think that our training facilities can help regional businesses to develop. ComfortTo learn, you need to be in the right conditions. Our rooms are spacious and comfortable. We want them to be right environment for you to bring away as much as you can, in the right conditions.The training centre also includes a lounge. Perfect to have a break with some refreshments, it is also a good place to...
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Developing Soft Skills as a Manager Today

Developing Soft Skills as a Manager Today
Management and leadership as we know it have undergone a significant shift in recent years due to globalisation and the increasing need to work virtually and across time zone and cultures. Previously, a manager was seen as someone with largely specific technical/hard skills, today that perception of the role has largely developed. In last decade, and as the world is becoming an increasing ‘global marketplace’ (Lane 1997), human resource development has also taken on a more international outlook which means that the global talent search has focused increasingly on finding, developing and retaining those individuals with a specific skillset: self-efficacy, interpersonal...
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What is the Meaning behind our Body Language?

In the workplace, it is often challenging to communicate effectively and to avoid misunderstandings. Unconsciously, we interpret each other’s ‘social signals’ whilst speaking in order interpret what somebody is saying. As a matter of fact, these non-verbal ways of communicating, influence our communication to a greater extent than anything we say. Actually, more than half of our communication depends on the how you we say things, rather than what we say. This applies to all situations in our daily life, and also at the workplace. It also essentially shapes our relationships with our colleagues, managers, and subordinates, and also to clients....
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