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Archive: Feb 2019

  1. Become a better leader by using this top 10 tips

    Great leaders are made, not born. It’s not easy being a leader and there is always room for improvement. If you’d like to do more as a leader then there are some simple and effective ways that you can improve.

    1. Communicate better

    Leadership is so much more than just giving orders. It’s crucial to ensure that you’re not only heard but also understood. Listen, as well as speaking, and you’ll find it much easier to communicate with the people you’re managing.

    1. Set clear boundaries

    A leader who sets clear boundaries ensures that everyone working with them knows where they stand. If boundaries are ambiguous then you may find your limits constantly being tested and that can be stressful for leadership and for the team. Know your limits and make them very clear.

    1. Set an example

    Leading by example is the most powerful way to be effective for any leader. Whether that’s being punctual, ensuring that you always look smart and well presented or in terms of the way that you conduct meetings and deal with issues. You can set the tone with your behaviour so make sure that the example you set is what you want your employees to copy.

    1. Don’t be unreachable

    Some leaders elevate themselves to a status that means they are permanently separated from those they are leading. Unreachable leaders are driven by ego and don’t tend to inspire others. It’s far more effective to be humble, to be willing to listen and continue to learn from those around you, to share credit and be happy for others to do well too.

    1. Make your meetings productive

    If you’re going to request that others take the time to attend meetings then make sure those meetings are well structured and productive. Leaders and managers are often judged by the meetings they are responsible for – do they waste everyone’s time or do they achieve real results?

    1. Nurture emotional intelligence

    This often simply means ensuring you have an awareness of the positions of others and an empathy with where they are coming from. It’s this that enables strong relationships to be built.

    1. Don’t be lonely at the top

    Finding a mentor who can provide advice and guidance is a fast and effective way to improve the way you lead.

    1. Learn as you go

    In particular, focus on the skill sets of leaders that you admire – what made them great in your eyes and how could you apply their approach to your own situation?

    1. Treat leadership as a journey

    The best approach to leadership is to assume that it will be an ongoing journey that requires continual awareness and improvement.

    1. Learn from the mistakes of others

    Make yourself aware of the most common mistakes that leaders often make – and then avoid them.

    Leadership is a skill that can be nurtured and developed – the best leaders are those who have put the time and effort into improving what they do, and how they do it.

  2. Our top tips for retail selling

    Selling is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s arguable that we are all selling every day, from going on a date to setting ourselves up for a promotion at work. So, most of us have the basic skills – these just need to be nurtured and grown for a retail environment. If you’re looking to do better when it comes to retail selling then these are our top tips.

    Avoid over sharing

    It’s a great idea to use personal insight and experiences to establish a rapport with someone. However, avoid sharing too much personal information or using an interaction to boost your own self-esteem. The end result should always be that someone walks away from their interaction with you feeling good and with an impression of professionalism.

    Manage your own expectations

    Sometimes the issue is not a lack of ability or confidence but expectations that are just not realistic. It’s good to assume that you’ll be successful but not that every lead will be wildly enthusiastic and interested. Take some time to manage your expectations so that you’re prepared for a reaction that could be challenging. That way you’ll be ready to take it in your stride and move on.

    Look – and sound – professional

    If you’re selling in person don’t forget that consumers make a lot of judgments about trust and credibility based on appearance. An appropriate outfit, clean hair and nails as well as tidy, well looked after clothes can all make a big difference. Be clear when you speak and try not to rush what you’re saying, even if you’re nervous.

    Put the customer first

    The worst possible approach to take in retail selling is one where you act like you’re doing the customer a favour. This is off-putting, as few consumers want to be intimidated into a sale. Instead, take the view that you’re there to serve and the customer’s needs come first. You’re much more likely to get a positive reaction that way.

    Challenge yourself to sell something you don’t personally like as training

    This is a great way to expand the remit of what you’re capable of selling. If you can identify five things that you like about an item then you can sell it. Next time you’re faced with retail selling related to products you’re not keen on you won’t even hesitate to step up and succeed.

    Be open and honest – and don’t be afraid to speak up

    If you feel like the sale is just not going well then sometimes the best approach is simply to ask why. It may be that you’ve said something the customer didn’t like or that they just have to be elsewhere. Often, encouraging them to be honest with you can give you information you can use to make the sale happen.

    Keep it light

    Retail selling is important to the business and may be key for your career but it’s key to maintain perspective. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t hit your targets – what matters is that you identify what went wrong, learn from it, move on and then do better tomorrow.

    The art of retail selling involves many factors, from maintaining professionalism to learning when to quit. Mastering it is simple when you know how.

    hone your skills further by attending PTP’s The Art of Retail Selling course taking place regularly all over the UK.

  3. Become a better manager through these 7 coaching tips

    As a manager, the measure of how effective you are is shown within the ways you coach your team to encourage them to perform to their best abilities and remain engaged and motivated. A motivated team will always provide greater ROI for your company, so coaching skills are central to achieving this.

    What do employees want?

    Employees are looking for a manager who is strong at giving constructive feedback, interested in their personal development and able to provide opportunities within the company, as well as genuinely caring about each individual. With these things in mind, here are 8 coaching tips to help you to be a better manager.

    #1 – Don’t answer every question

    It can be tempting to answer every question employees ask, or demonstrate your own skills by taking care of different tasks, however a good manager will sometimes hold back knowledge and skills to allow employees to think and develop these skills too. Self-discovery is an important skill for your employees to learn, and if you can ask them questions back, or provide feedback to help them on their learning journey, this is often the best way to coach them in their role.

    #2 – Be aware of how you introduce ideas

    It’s also important to consider how you introduce ideas or encourage employees to look at different routes or options. Asking them further questions, or providing a different perspective can be really helpful, if delivered in a considered way. Avoid being harsh or critical where employees are putting in effort but may just be unaware of something. This is true for both personal behaviour and work skills.

    #3 – Learn to be flexible to benefit your team

    Flexibility is a great skill for any manager, as it requires learning to take into consideration the needs of your employees. This might mean prioritising based on helping them with different tasks, or putting your opinion aside to make suggestions, so that employees learn to form opinions and know that they count, rather than just knowing they’ll be overruled.

    #4 – Help employees to support their ideas

    Part of building trust within your team is not just encouraging ideas and perspectives, but also getting employees to learn to justify their ideas through supporting arguments. They should know why they are offering input on an idea, and as a manager, you can help them to develop skills to answer questions and create solutions in a confident but also strategic way. Asking them “why?” is the key to this.

    #5 – Take pauses

    As a manager, especially with new employees, it’s essential to take pauses at different points during discussion. This is something that can help to ensure that they are taking in everything that they’re learning, and can highlight any areas that are not clear. This can help you in your role too, as it can show you any areas that need going over again, and what each individual’s strengths and weaknesses are.

    #6 – Use brief stories

    Sometimes analogies or stories can be useful to help employees to understand situations or concepts, so if you can use this to your advantage, this is a great skill to have as a manager. It’s important to keep these as brief and clear as possible, so as not to add to any confusion.

    #7 – Think about why you are sharing things

    >When you’re sharing personal experiences or stories, it’s important to ensure that you’re telling them for the sake of your employees, and not for your own sake. There is a balance needed between personal life and business, and sharing can be useful for training or even building personal relationships with your team, but knowing when to share is essential.

    >These tips should help you to become a better manager, and with lots of things, these behaviours are often learned over time. Building respect and trust is key to this, so if you can listen to your team too, this will help you to develop your own skills.
    Get in touch today for more tips to become a better manager.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.