Tony Bray’s list of topics
A – Leading and managing people
A1 Stepping into management
This three-day programme gives delegates the skills, confidence and practical experience to lead and manage their teams more effectively. The course is a rich mixture of tutor input, practical team exercises, delegate self-assessments, and coaching sessions.
- Understand personal leadership disciplines, emotional maturity, self confidence, and empowerment.
- Grow self-confidence, utilising and practising their ability to solve problems, understand team dynamics, and implement team action.
- Develop capabilities to handle conflicts, behave more assertively, and apply the principles of situational leadership.
- Have practised a rigorous coaching technique, which incorporates a five-step problem solving methodology.
- Understand the key role delegates have in encouraging and developing their staff.
A2 A manager’s first 100 days
- Cascade well-defined goals, establishing ‘line of sight’ with corporate objectives.
- Know how to recognise and harness the power of hidden motivators.
- Feel more confident to delegate tasks.
- Be able to use a variety of coaching skills.
- How to recognise, and confront in a positive-way, under-performance.
- Distinguish between coaching and mentoring.
- Identify and analyse coaching needs.
- Plan and manage effective coaching sessions.
- Explore the key inter-personal skills required for effective coaching.
- How to give effective feedback – Ask don’t tell.
- Recognise the benefits of mentoring to the individual, the line manager, the mentor and the organisation.
- Understand the skills and characteristics of an effective mentor.
- Be able to use a variety of tools and techniques to progress the mentoring relationship.
- Understand the eight stages of introducing mentoring to an organisation.
- Understand the mentoring life-cycle and how both parties contribute at different phases.
- Understand the annual appraisal system.
- How to prepare for an appraisal – employee and appraiser.
- Agreeing meaningful objectives, especially how they will be measured.
- Feeling more confident to discuss ‘unwelcome’ feedback on performance.
- Effective questioning techniques, including encouraging the ‘quiet’ person to contribute.
- Approaches to managing and resolving conflict – the continuum.
- Understand what mediation is and when it can be effective.
- Types of mediation – facilitative vs. evaluative.
- Explore in detail the five phases of the mediation process.
- The skills of an effective mediator, including techniques for breaking deadlock.
- The eight stages of a consultancy assignment.
- Understand the importance of clear objectives before you start an assignment.
- Be able to establish a good relationship with the client, using the most appropriate consultancy style.
- Know how to diagnose the problem by fact finding and analysing data.
- Know how to generate options, make decisions, and plan.
A8 Absence Management
- Giving line managers the confidence and skills to confront frequent absentees.
- Improving interviewing skills to identify the difference between short term and chronic illnesses.
- How to coach staff to reveal, then confront non-sickness related absences. E.g. Stress, finance, marital, personality clashes etc.
- Finding the underlying cause of absence. Should they be switched to another role or function?
- Giving line managers the attitude and skill to support staff with genuine problems to return to normal attendance.
B – Organisational effectiveness
B1 Customer service
- Refresh the importance of good customer service, and the key part it plays in your continued corporate survival.
- An immediate and measurable improvement in both customer and employee satisfaction.
- The importance of paying attention to what your customers think.
- How to develop and implement meaningful measures of customer satisfaction, including customer or supplier surveys.
- Managing the ‘moments of truth’ effectively.
B2 Making effective decisions
- A step-by-step practical and rational approach to making decisions.
- Remove the ‘fog factor’ from decision making.
- Proven tools and techniques for each step of the process.
- Methods for reaching consensus.
- Techniques for formulating agreed selection criteria.
B3 Accuracy – reducing errors at work
- Understand the real costs resulting from errors at work.
- Have explored their own strengths and vulnerable points relating to working error-free.
- Be aware of their own personal error patterns so they are alert to areas where they are most likely to make a mistake.
- Have an improved awareness of the customer-supplier chains within Baillie-Gifford and how they can be strengthened.
- Have increased concentration and attention to detail.
- Have found errors or inaccuracies in their own work they were previously unaware of.
B4 Time Management
- Understand the difference between urgency and importance, and the impact it has on setting priorities and scheduling tasks.
- Explore the difference between ‘progress’ and ‘maintenance’ tasks.
- Explore a variety range of time management techniques and practices.
- Learn how to set stretching goals and realistic priorities for self and team.
- Learn how to say ‘no’ without offending people.
B5 Creative thinking
- The ability to see familiar problems from a fresh perspective.
- A variety of tools and techniques which help to unblock long-standing operational issues.
- Overcoming barriers to creative thinking.
- Finding creative solutions to familiar problems.
- Using practical, easy tools and techniques on delegates’ real issues, eg ‘six thinking hats’ approach. ‘power post-it notes’ and ‘random entry’ methods.
B6 Facilitation skills
- Understand what facilitation is, and the four stages of facilitation.
- Understand the role and responsibilities of the facilitator when overcoming barriers to change.
- Develop listening, questioning and intervening skills and strategies.
- Promoting participative and analytical discussion.
- Developing a toolbox of effective tools and techniques.
B7 Root cause analysis
- Root cause analysis.
- Scoping the incident and collecting the information.
- Interviewing and witness statements.
- Mapping the information and analysis – separating relevant from non-relevant.
- Identifying improvements and root causes
B8 Investigation skills for HR teams
- Build your confidence to manage the investigation to a satisfactory conclusion.
- Have a method for evaluating different evidence types.
- Develop your interview and questioning techniques.
- Gain skills to help witnesses recall accurate testimony.
- Clarify report presentation, layout and structure.
B9 Selling skills
- How to turn initial contacts into firm appointments.
- Being able to quickly build rapport with new clients and influence them with integrity.
- How to explore needs and present solutions.
- The difference between features and benefits.
- Handling objections effectively, and closing the sale positively.
B10 Negotiating skills
- Thorough preparation, especially researching the opponent’s position.
- Use a four-step process to manage your negotiations.
- Be able to understand and anticipate other people’s reactions.
- Refresh awareness of the importance of non-verbal signals.
- Separate the people from the issues, focus on interests not positions, and understand what’s negotiable.
C – Working together
C1 Team working
- Understand the key role you have in encouraging and developing your team.
- Have explored the key elements essential for peak team performance.
- Learn how to harness the power of underlying personal motivators.
- Become more aware of the ‘informal’ roles you adopt – the Belbin team roles.
- Feel more confident to confront unhelpful behaviour in a positive way.
C2 Emotional intelligence
- A three-option method for addressing any stressful situation in Emotional Management.
- A toolbox of personal skills, including using routines, relaxation techniques, and a stress log system.
- The tools you need to be emotionally intelligent in your workplace.
- How to manage impulses, communicate with others effectively, manage change well, solve problems, and use humour to build rapport in tense situations.
- He to have empathy, remain optimistic even in the face of adversity, and be able to educate and persuade in a sales situation, and resolve customer complaints in a customer service role.
C3 Continuous improvement
- Know how to demonstrate the importance of continuous improvement for survival.
- How to perform a business skills audit of overall business operation, to broaden individual skills and enhance overall team performance.
- To show that creativity and fun can exist in a productive working situation.
- How to measure performance in areas hitherto considered incapable of being measured.
- Become an effective facilitator, using a step by step approach which can be applied in any industry or profession.
Mending a broken team
C4 Dealing with conflict
- Recognise that conflict is going to happen and deal with it when it arises – preferably sooner rather than later.
- Handling conflict in a positive and motivational manner, gaining you respect and support.
- Recognising that conflict is usually a symptom of deeper emotions – so search for the underlying causes.
- Practical steps to resolve conflict.
C5 Chairing or holding effective meetings
- More for less. Fewer meetings, shorter durations, and better outcomes.
- Become an effective chairperson – better preparation, managing the variety of inputs, to achieve focused and timely decisions.
- Enhancing personal skills – asking the right questions, encouraging others, and working through difficult conflicts.
- Using modern technology to achieve the best results.
- Greater realisation of the value of networking to you and your business.
- Ability to enter a room of strangers confidently and open a conversation.
- Understanding of the factors which can dramatically improve your success at networking.
- Ability to give a concise, focused, one-minute statement of what you can offer.
- Develop the key interpersonal skills involved, and know how to build an effective network.
- Feel confident to ask your way to success.
- Rights and responsibilities of assertive behaviour.
- Practice using skills and processes which develop assertiveness.
- Explore a four step process for taking control of your life.
- The OK corral.
- Assertiveness styles questionnaire.
D – Communication skills
D1 Influencing skills
- Enhanced confidence in all influencing situations.
- Understanding how others think, feel and behave.
- The art of getting your way and how to appeal to hearts and minds.
- Key skills and techniques revisited.
- Structuring and delivering persuasive arguments.
D2 Presentation skills
- Researching your audience and identifying a clear objective.
- More effective preparation of your presentation.
- Increased confidence, greater impact, and a better impression.
- Using visual aids that add value and create impact.
- Handling questions professionally and effectively.
D3 Holding difficult conversations
- Have a logical process for managing difficult conversations more positively.
- Know how to control a conversation more assertively.
- Feel more confident to give people answers you anticipate they won’t like.
- Have some techniques for calming people down.
- Be able to end conversations more positively.
D4 Writing reports, letters, proposals, e-mails.
- Having a structured approach and identifying a clear objective.
- Enhanced impact of the content of your written materials.
- Reduced time spent redrafting reports, proposals etc.
- Turning data into written information, and selecting and shaping material effectively.
- Creating recommendations that have impact.
D5 Minutes for meetings.
- Understanding why minutes are taken and the impact that has on the format.
- Building the relationship with the chairperson.
- Refreshing what the minute secretary does before, during and after the meeting.
- Understanding different formats and note taking techniques.
- Taking notes during a recorded meeting, writing your own summary, then receiving feedback.
D6 Eagle-eyed proof reading
- Understand the importance of good proof reading, and the barriers they need to overcome.
- Have a specific check-list of features to work through to ensure a document is fully fit for purpose.
- Have a tool kit of techniques to make proof reading easier.
- Have practised proof reading in a series of realistic and practical exercises.
D7 Effective reading
- Know how quickly and accurately you currently read.
- Have some techniques and approaches for more effective reading.
- Be more effective in isolating and noting key information.
- Have practised your skills.
E – Becoming a confident trainer
E1 Developing engaging training programmes
- Identify those problems for which training can offer a valuable solution, and those issues best tackled by other means.
- Write focused objectives which describe the task, the standard, and the setting in which the task has to be carried out.
- Design the whole programme start to finish, ensuring every element is complete and consistent.
- Use a variety of visual planning techniques to make the design phase easier.
- Build in through-out measurement and evaluation systems.
E2 Designing effective training materials
- Use planning techniques which enable training materials to be designed quickly and effectively.
- Be aware of the impact well designed materials have on the learner and their ability to absorb and retain key points.
- Be conscious of the variety of learning styles and the impact this has on training materials.
- Always bear in mind the concept of ‘show don’t tell’.
- Maximise every opportunity for delegates to touch, feel, smell and taste visual aids.
E3 Magic of learning
- Understand the concepts of accelerated learning and how they can be incorporated into any training programme.
- Constantly look for every opportunity to bring fun and excitement into the training environment.
- How to create a relaxed yet focused atmosphere so when people first arrive they feel encouraged and empowered.
- Create learning experiences that are as close to the ‘real thing’ as possible.
E4 Personal training skills
- How to prepare yourself before any live training event – the power of practice.
- Learning how to relax in front of delegates from the first moment, so engaging people immediately.
- Being confident to deliver an extended session without reference to notes.
- Using stories and experiences to illustrate theoretical concepts.
- Helping delegates to overcome their inhibitions and hang-ups so enabling them to learn.
E5 Designing and delivering Virtual training
- Mastering the technical aspects of the chosen virtual training medium.
- Designing training materials, both the display given by the presenter and workbooks used by delegates, that are engaging, fun and high impact.
- Understanding how to capture the interest of delegates working remotely, and to maintain their interest.
- Knowing how to ‘reach out’ to people remotely, recognising the wide variety of comfort delegates will have with the training medium.
E6 Prove training works
- A rugged, step by step approach, for measuring the success of training.
- Delegates work through each step, identifying the key factors for their organisation.
- Ideally the work should be done to allow ‘before’ and ‘after’ measurements.
- A great focus on the precise methods of measuring success.