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Category Archive: Personal Development

  1. How to get yourself interview-ready

    If you’re looking for a job – or facing the necessity of finding a new role – the interview stage of the recruitment process can be the most essential. Your CV and references have brought you this far but the pressure is on to ensure that you make a good impression and stand out from the crowd on the day. Preparation is essential for interviews. With preparation and practice you can get yourself ready for any face-to-face challenge.

    Find out where you’re going

    Start with the simplest piece of preparation – the logistics. Make sure you know where you’re going before the morning of the interview arrives and work out the fastest and easiest transport route for getting there. Time the route so that you know exactly how long you’ll need for travel and try to arrive 15 minutes early so you have time to gather your thoughts. The easiest way to make a bad first impression at interview is to be late and this can set the tone for the entire conversation so it’s crucial to avoid it.

    Make all your practical decisions now

    What to wear to an interview can be difficult if you leave it until the last minute. Find out what the dress code for the business is and try to match your clothes to that – if you can’t get any information on this then business casual is a good fallback. Consider everything, from what shoes to wear to how to style your hair and what bag to carry. Lay everything out the night before – along with any documents you need to take – so that you don’t have to make these decisions on the day.

    Do your research

    It’s crucial to ensure you stand out as someone who has taken the time to prepare properly for the interview.

    • Make sure you understand the job. What are the skills and experience they’re looking for, do they mention personal qualities, and what exactly does the day-to-day of the role entail?
    • Match your profile to the job requirements. Once you have a list of everything the job requires, start matching this up to your own skills, experience and attributes so that you can talk about this effortlessly in the interview.
    • Research the business. Read the website, company profiles, blogs and LinkedIn posts to see what information the company has made available about its operations, values and goals. Look for mentions on social media and in the press so that you’re as well informed as possible before you walk through the door.

    Practice for the interview

    Get a friend or colleague to run you through a practice interview so that you’re used to answering questions about your CV, skills and experience. Think about how you’re going to greet the interviewer and what kind of body language would convey a positive impression during the interview itself. Ask your practice interviewer to give you some feedback on factors such as confidence, clarity of answers and how you come across. When you’re practicing your interview technique remember:

    • Calm and open body language and maintaining eye contact will make you seem interested and engaged
    • A good interviewee listens, as well as talks
    • You’ll need to prepare some intelligent questions that incorporate the in-depth research you’ve done
    • Being open and enthusiastic about being interested in the job is often a plus – this is not the place to play hard to get

    Our CV Writing and Interview Confidence Building course is an excellent way to prepare for the challenge of taking the next step in your career.

  2. How to create a strong mentoring scheme in your workplace

    Every organisation faces the challenge of staff development and providing a range of opportunities for employees to learn and grow. A mentoring scheme is a very simple but effective tool that makes use of the attitudes and experience of more senior members of staff to help shape the development of others. Creating a strong mentoring scheme in your workplace has many benefits – using informal structures to pass on skills, knowledge and support is often more effective and brings people together.

    Tips for creating a strong mentoring scheme

    Structure mentoring around mentee need

    A strong mentoring programme is not about creating a scheme based on the skills of the mentor and then finding a mentee to fit. In order to be successful the starting point is always the mentee. What is it that the mentee needs to acquire in order to progress? This could be anything, from technical skill and knowledge, to social or political insights. When you focus on establishing a scheme that is designed with what less experienced members of staff need to progress in mind then you are laying the foundations for real success.

    Be cautious when choosing the mentors

    Not everyone is suited to being a mentor, no matter how much skill or experience they have. Initially, it’s important to identify those who actually want to be involved in a mentoring scheme, as the willingness to apply time and effort to helping someone else progress will be fundamental to whether results are achieved. It’s also important to look for mentors who have the right skill set and experience – people who are going to pass on useful insights and help others achieve more in the right way. Mentors should also be those who understand the business’ culture and concerns and apply this to their own roles every day. Otherwise you may have a mentor who is passing on fantastic advice, none of which is being given in the context of business.

    Create mentor schemes with business goals

    Mentoring has a very positive impact on staff and can help to improve performance and relationships between individuals in the organisation who may otherwise have had little or no contact. However, it’s important not to forget that mentoring always has one crucial goal for employers: identifying stand out talent within the business. This is a great opportunity to find your star performers of the future to support internal promotion and avoid costly external recruitment.

    Focus on mutually beneficial relationships

    Very hierarchical mentoring structures often run into issues. Although a mentor may be a senior member of staff, they should not be senior by virtue of being a mentor. Mentoring schemes work better without workplace hierarchies and a focus on winning or losing, success or failure or scoring points. Mentoring schemes should sit slightly outside of the business structure and give something to both parties taking part.

    Coaching and mentoring has an important role to play in modern business. Our Coaching and Mentoring training course gives coaches and mentors the opportunity to develop the high levels of skill required to be able to work both quickly and well with mentees.

  3. 8 ways to improve your time management at work?

    Positive time management is essential to career progress. Time is a limited resource and one that we cannot get back if it is wasted. We all work within the same time limits – only 24 hours in a day – so what can you do to improve your time management at work and make sure you’re getting the most from the hours that you have?

    1. Learn to self-care

    There is nothing more important than learning how to look after your body and mind so that you can perform at your best. No amount of goal setting or efficiency training will work if you’re sleep deprived and living off a diet of refined sugar. Regular exercise, nutrient-rich food and positive sleep patterns provide an essential foundation for positive time management.

    2. Set your goals

    If you want to make the most of every minute then you need to have objectives that you’re working towards. Without defined goals, both short and long-term, we can waste a lot of time going around in circles. Define your goals and then identify the activities in each day that will drive you towards them.

    3. You don’t always need to say “yes.”

    Being available to others in your team or office is going to be an essential part of your progress. But you also need to learn when to say no to tasks or requests that are either not essential to what you’re trying to do, or are just someone else passing on work they should be doing themselves. If you want to climb up the ladder to management level then the ability to say no is going to be even more important.

    4. Master the art of delegation

    Delegation is not about handing off the work that you don’t want to do to someone else. It’s ensuring that you have enough support so that a project or job is successfully concluded without you being overburdened in an unconstructive way. If you’re a manager or a boss then delegation will be a crucial part of effective team management – if you’re micro managing everything then little will get done and others will feel redundant.

    5. Measure your minutes

    How much of your time is spent productively each week and how much is wasted? It can be useful to audit the way you currently managing your time to see where improvements could be made.

    6. Are you prioritising?

    Effective time management depends on ensuring that you’re completing the most important tasks first. Structure your tasks based on urgency and importance, starting with important and urgent, followed by important and non-urgent and ending with less important and not urgent tasks.

    7. Make the most of planning

    A well-structured working day makes it much easier to use your time more effectively. Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to write your goals for the following morning and clear up any chaos on your desk. The next morning, spend 15 minutes creating a clear plan for the best way to use the time you have to achieve your goals.

    8. Minimise your distractions

    If you want to get the most out of your time then reduce the number of potential distractions around you. Put your smart phone aside, close your office door and redirect your phone. You’ll find you work much smarter and harder if you’re not constantly getting interrupted.

    Our Time Management course provides a practical approach to developing time management skills and organising your time to achieve desired results.

  4. How to spot stressed employees and the benefit of stress training

    Stress is inevitable in a busy workplace. However, the negative impact of stress can be mitigated by management committed to spotting those employees who are struggling and by the implementation of stress training. According to the Health and Safety Executive, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17. So, this is an issue that could have very tangible disadvantages if not handled well.

    What does a stressed employee look like?

    Although all of us have experienced stress at work at some point, we still tend to find it difficult to spot the indications of stress in other people. These are just some of the telltale signs of an employee who is seriously stressed.

    • Problems when it comes to decision making
    • Physical symptoms, such as headaches and neck and back pain
    • Often frustrated at work
    • Less productive and efficient
    • A more defensive demeanour and issues with communication
    • Someone who is often tired and seems constantly physically run down
    • Obvious anxiety, worry or nervousness, as well as signs of depression

    How does stress training benefit businesses?

    Strengthening the bond between business and employee

    Providing stress training is a sign to employees that the business understands the stresses of working life and the potential impact on health and happiness – and is proactively doing something about it.

    Reducing sick days and absences

    If your business is one of those affected by the 12.5 million working days lost due to stress related illnesses then implementing stress training could have a very positive impact on the bottom line. Stress training gives employees the tools to manage the pressure they are under without having to take days off to do it. Better stress management also leads to healthier staff who are much less likely to be absent as a result of illnesses where stress could have had a role to play.

    Retaining your talent

    Most employees will reach a point where they can no longer tolerate a high stress environment and will decide to move on. If you’re providing tools to everyone in the workplace to mitigate the factors that cause stress then the overall impact is that stress levels drop. The end result will be a business in which employees are happy to envision a long-term future for themselves because the day-to-day experience is one of growth and contentment not stress and anxiety.

    Creating a positive company culture

    It doesn’t matter what your brand values are or how you’ve defined your strategic vision, if your employees are experiencing stress on a daily basis then this will damage your company culture. Stress training gives everyone in the business the opportunity to better understand what causes stress and how to manage it to preserve crucial relationships and a positive atmosphere at work.

    PTP Stress Management training is a practical course that is designed to provide individuals throughout the business with key tools to reduce stress by managing pressure better. Get in touch today to find out more.

  5. What role does body language play in business?

    Whether you’re interacting with clients, or having a catch up with your team, your body language will say a lot about your thoughts and intentions. Many of us assume that the most powerful communication tool is the voice. However, repeated studies have shown that, in any kind of interaction, between 50% and 90% of the communication is actually non-verbal. So, while you might be saying all the right things, if your body language doesn’t support that you could be missing a valuable opportunity to communicate better.

    Body language can help to establish credibility

    Eye contact, for example, is one way that we often judge whether someone is honest and credible. Being able to hold eye contact is taken to indicate genuineness and trustworthiness whereas constantly looking away will create doubts in the mind of the other person about your intentions. The most effective eye contact is gentle – held, rather than staring – as this is viewed as a non-aggressive, genuine desire to connect.

    Mirroring can put others at ease

    We often mirror others’ postures or gestures when we like, or have connected with, them. And when someone does this to us it creates an instant sense of ease and openness. For example, sitting at the same level as someone you are about to have a difficult discussion with when you need their cooperation can create instant rapport.

    First impressions count

    The first time body language comes into play is when you’re face to face with someone at an initial meeting. Standing tall with shoulders back demonstrates confidence and ease whereas slumped posture could deliver the message that you’re uncomfortable or insecure. The handshake too is often a crucial piece of body language that can be used to make a great first impression. A firm handshake communicates sincerity but also the intention to step up and stand strong.

    Filling a space

    The way you position your body in a business meeting or interview could communicate a lot to the other people in the room. We are often encouraged to “take up space” but this should be cautiously done. If your body language indicates shrinking – for example, shoulders hunched, neck bent and arms tucked in – then you will certainly come across as lacking in confidence. However, resist the urge to get up and walk around or stretch out and take up room that could impede on others’ personal space. This rarely works as a negotiating tactic (it’s not the 1980s anymore) – it just conveys a lack of awareness and often-unwelcome aggressiveness.

    A hostile approach?

    Crossing arms or legs is often interpreted as a sign of hostility or defensiveness – or perhaps a lack of interest. This kind of body language can be a useful tool to indicate initial indifference – and later interest in – a topic if you change from crossed arms and legs to more open – but only if this is done consciously. If you just enjoy sitting with crossed legs but you don’t want to convey a negative message overall then you can balance the posture with openness in chest and arms.

    Excellent communicators know how to use non-verbal cues to their advantage in business. Our Body Language – The Hidden Secret of Communicating Successfully training course will enable you to learn how to improve the way you communicate without saying a word.

  6. The importance of assertiveness in the work place

    No matter where you work – or what sector you are employed in – there are some fairly similar themes that tend to persist. For example, you’re highly likely to come across the boss who won’t take “no” for an answer or the team members who like to lead from the front (without listening to anyone behind). A work environment can be a difficult place to thrive with all these characters competing. If you’re not equipped to be assertive then you could find yourself getting frustrated, depressed and suffering a drop in self-esteem.

    Are you an assertive personality?

    In terms of behaviour types if you are an assertive type then you will often find it easier to thrive. Assertiveness is not about shouting the loudest but involves clear and honest communication that allows others to understand who you are and what you want. You’re able to stand up for yourself without straying into damaging behaviours that hurt other’s feelings. And you’re able to generate respect by the way you deal with situations and other people. If you’re not assertive you may find that you fit into one of the other personality types, such as:

    Passive-aggressive. You probably don’t vocalise your feelings but are more likely to try to express them through actions, such as being late for work or not delivering something on time.

    Passive. You’re more likely to let something go, not because it doesn’t bother you but because you just don’t want to deal with it.

    Aggressive. An aggressive type always shouts the loudest but tends not to be viewed as a constructive presence in the working environment. Aggressive personality types often come across as rude, hostile, bullying and lacking in the ability to work with anyone else.

    Of course, many workplaces are not set up to foster the best qualities, particularly those where a macho, overly competitive or individualistic culture has been established. However, learning to be more assertive can help you to cope with even the most difficult of working environments.

    Why being more assertive could help you at work

    • You’ll be more confident. This will be reflected in everything, from the way you shake hands to being able to ask for a promotion when you feel the time is right.

    • You’ll have more of a handle on your emotions. The only way to “process” emotions is to feel them – blocking or ignoring them can lead to an out of control explosion further down the line. If you’re more assertive then you’ll have the confidence to feel your emotions and the awareness to identify what you’re really feeling. This will make finding solutions to difficulties or conflicts much simpler and less loaded with volatility.

    • Boundary setting becomes easier. When you become more assertive you know where your boundaries lie and you’re much more able to calmly, quietly and effectively ensure that they are not crossed.

    • You’ll have the respect of your colleagues. Honesty and the ability to communicate, standing your ground but being fair and open – these are some of the qualities most respected by others.

    • In the process of becoming more assertive you’ll learn more about yourself and those around you. This helps to build awareness to make better judgments, such as which battles to pick and which to leave.

    Assertiveness training is something that we can help you with – to find out more about our Masterclass in Being More Assertive and Confident in the Workplace Half Day Course, and what it could do for you, please get in touch.

  7. How could encouraging the personal development of staff through training reduce your business costs?

    It may seem overwhelming investing both time and money into professional development and training, however, your investing will ultimately save your business money in the long run. When you provide your employees with opportunities to excel and further the development of their professional skills, what you are creating is a positive company culture. Business’ are more likely to thrive when employees feel valued, as they feel more confident in their career and the skills that they have to offer.

    Retaining employees

    Many companies today foster a culture of high turnover, recruiting employees for short periods. According to research the average cost of each new employee costs 30-50% of their salary[1]. When you have a business with a high turnover with employees seeking new jobs as they feel their career is stagnant, this can lead to high ongoing recruitment costs.

    Many employees desire to develop their skills, but fail to cope with the costs and sourcing of training independently. When employers take the cost and responsibility on themselves, employees feel happier and are encouraged to collaborate more to see the business grow.

    Fostering leadership skills

    It is easier to identify strong leadership skills in some employees over others, but when your staff are doing small jobs on a day to day basis, you can sometimes fail to see their potential, as they haven’t been given opportunities to excel. Investing into professional training, you offer your employees the opportunities they’re seeking to best utilize the skills they have. This brings value internally to your business, which can then be rewarded to promote greater employee satisfaction.

    When your employees feel they have opportunities to prosper and move up the career ladder, they’re more likely to stay long term, whilst developing their skills will also bring greater capabilities into your company.


    It is also likely that employees have ideas for making processes more efficient and other creative ideas that need nurturing. If an employee was to share these insights, they would have to feel valued and invested in by the company, and secure in knowing they’ll be with the business long enough the see their ideas come to fruition. Innovation is realised the most when employees are confidently collaborating together. Professional training can introduce a philosophy of teamwork and collaboration that, when supported, becomes a natural component of an organisation.

    To find out more about the training programmes we offer, and which may benefit your staff and meet your current requirements, get in touch with one of our team today on 01509 889632.

    [1] Source:

  8. What role does Emotional Intelligence play in the workplace?

    We’ve all heard of different areas of training, from managerial training to personal development training… but something that is less frequently discussed is the need for emotional intelligence training. Emotional intelligence involves monitoring personal emotions as well as the emotions of others, being able to differentiate between these different emotions, and utilising this information to guide thinking and behaviour. In the workplace, this can lead to many benefits:

    Develops communication skills

    Communication depends on a number of factors, including natural talent and experience and personality type. Emotional intelligence is however something that can be developed to improve your communication skills within the workplace, helping you to relate better to those around you and in your team, as well as improving customer relations.

    Makes collaboration easier

    All of us will find that we have some people who we naturally work well with and others that we find more difficult. Undertaking emotional intelligence training can make it easier to collaborate professionally with others by presenting yourself in a friendly way that helps to build rapport. Emotional intelligence teaches us to tailor our approach to different personality types by being sensitive to their emotions and more. In this way, emotional intelligence promotes teamwork and increased productivity as working efficiency improves.

    Self-awareness encourages leadership

    Emotional intelligence can also develop self-awareness that highlights strengths and weaknesses and how you can improve. This is something that allows each employee to develop personally within their role, but also is a characteristic of those who could be strong in more leadership positions within the company. Identifying these people can help to improve the overall balance within the team and help individuals to utilise their own skills.

    Understanding key motivators

    Another thing that emotional intelligence can help with is understanding key motivators for your team. If you’re managing a team, undertaking emotional intelligence training could really help you to work out what motivates your different team members, and collectively as a team. Determining their needs, goals and providing them with what they need could boost morale as well as productivity.
    For more information about Emotional Intelligence training and how it could benefit yourself or your team, give PTP a call today on 01509 889 632.

  9. PA Training Courses – Behind Every Boss Is A Great Assistant

    PA Training CoursesSunday Times,  22nd February 2015

    “Senior executives should do more to develop the careers of those below them. If nothing else , it will allow greater delegation.”

    The article argues that an insufficient number of senior executives are investing in training for  their PAs and Assistants.  A well trained assistant can help a boss’s own career prospects by allowing them more time to focus on their own goals and objectives. The range of skills required for a top assistant might range from interpreting financial statements to presentation skills and people management.

    “…the more you help people to develop, the better they will do their job for you.” Rosemary Parr, founder of the Global PA Association

    PA Training Courses By PTP

    Since 1991 PTP’s personal development training has been used by over 40% of the FTSE 100 and small group training (average class-size just 6 delegates) ensuring  that individuals training needs are met. Wherever possible the course will be tailored to the individual needs of the delegate’s business.  In addition, all of PTP’s training is highly practical and hands-on ensuring everyone is fully engaged and can deploy the skills learned back in the workplace immediately. All PTP PA training courses meet Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Guidelines.

    Most Popular PA Training Courses by PTP

    PTP – Practical Training for Professionals runs nearly 200 short PA training courses. Here is a few of the most popular ones. Click the course titles to view full timetables and course benefits:

    All courses come with training notes, executive folder and framed certificate of attendance.
    To make an enquiry, please call 01509 889632 or email If you book online, you can save 5%.  See


  10. Personal Development Training – UK Companies Urged to Invest More

    Personal Development TrainingMore Training Investment by UK Companies urged

    Financial Times 25th November 2014

    “Business and union leaders have urged corporate Britain to spend more on staff training and create better apprenticeships, rather than leaving the UK’s skills and productivity problems for the government to fix. They warned the price of inaction would be a “fundamentally unhealthy” and fractured economy.”

    The article goes on to say how British employers are complaining about finding workers with appropriate skills and trade union leaders stating that many employees are stuck in low paid jobs with little chance of promotion.

    Now is the time to invest in training your people.

    Personal Development Training By PTP

    Since 1991 PTP’s personal development training has been used by over 40% of the FTSE 100 and small group training (average class-size just 6 delegates) ensuring  that individuals training needs are met. Wherever possible the course will be tailored to the individual needs of the delegate’s business.  In addition, all of PTP’s training is highly practical and hands-on ensuring everyone is fully engaged and can deploy the skills learned back in the workplace immediately. All PTP courses meet Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Guidelines.

    Most Popular Personal Development Training Courses by PTP

    PTP – Practical Training for Professionals runs nearly 200 short personal development training courses. Here is a few of the most popular ones. Click the course titles to view full timetables and course benefits:

    All courses come with training notes, executive folder and framed certificate of attendance.
    To make an enquiry, please call 01509 889632 or email If you book online, you can save 5%.  See

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.