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  1. 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.

  2. How to develop your influencing skills

    Being able to influence others is a crucial skill in life today. Particularly in the context of a career, influencing and negotiation skills come in to play at almost every level, from promotions to getting the hang of management. You may need to exert influence over those who are more senior in order to get ahead – or with multiple individuals at one time. Being able to do so could open doors that will take your career to new heights.

    The importance of empathy

    Asserting influence over another person is often seen as an aggressive or forceful way to behave. However, the reality of being an effective influencer is that this is much more subtle. It starts from a place of empathy and ensuring that the other person feels like you understand them. For those being influenced, it should always feel like winning, or as if an effective compromise has been reached that is mutually beneficial.

    Listen and enquire

    It’s quite difficult to exert influence if you’re not aware of who you’re dealing with and what their key concerns are in any given situation. Asking questions is crucial to being a good influencer – this is the way you’ll be able to extract the most important information to enable you to find a way forward. Listening is also essential. Most people will tell you what they’re looking for in terms of needs and outcomes, whether directly or indirectly. All you have to do to pick up on that is listen.

    Building trust

    It’s much easier to influence someone who likes you than a person who doesn’t trust you. That’s why building a rapport with others is essential if you’re looking to successfully influence them. This feeds into the idea that influencing should never need to be forceful – instead it should be a positive process that feels good for all those involved.

    Be aware of your behaviour

    There are a number of ways in which behaviour has a big impact on influencing. For example, your body language can feed into whether someone you’re communicating with feels that you’re trustworthy. If your body language is calm and open or you’re mirroring their own then it’s much easier to establish trust. Natural behaviour and easy confidence also have a lot to contribute. The more relaxed and confident you are, the more persuasive your words will be.

    Look beyond your own perspective

    You may be able to see the benefits of what you’re pushing for but if you want to be able to successfully sell this to another person you need to be able to see it through their eyes. What does your argument look like from their point of view?

    Don’t be impatient

    Influencing isn’t something that often happens over night. It can take time and patience to achieve a desired outcome. In fact, the best outcomes are often those that require the most dedication to achieve.

    Influencing is a skill that can be learned by anyone. Being a successful influencer has the potential to change your life.

    Get in touch with PTP today to book your place on our Influencing Skills course.

  3. How to train the trainer

    Unfortunately, a bad training session is something that almost everyone has experienced at one time or another. Whether the issue was a lack of engagement, poor subject knowledge or boring content, ineffective training achieves very little. However, for those responsible for delivering training of any kind to a team or group, there are ways to ensure everyone gets more from the experience.

    Start afresh every time

    Managers/trainers should begin from a blank page, assuming nothing about the recipients of the training. You might know their names and positions within the business but the more important information to establish through the session will be what they actually do day-to-day, what skills they want to acquire and what issues the training needs to address.

    Create some ground rules

    Training sessions work better when they have a structured approach so ground rules are essential. Scheduled breaks, required participation and whether mobile phones need to be switched off – this is all essential information that is better delivered before training gets under way so that everyone there knows what is expected of them.

    Focus on content that will get attention

    What this requires often depends on the time of day that you’re training people. For example, if the session takes place after lunch when everyone is experiencing a post-food slump, it may be preferable to focus on tasks that involve movement and interaction than training that is based around looking at a screen. It’s always important to consider the audience and what medium they are most likely to engage with, whether that’s group working, question and answer sessions or watching video content.

    Know the topic

    In a professional environment, gaps in the knowledge of the trainer are not only embarrassing to deal with but can demotivate the entire group – especially if you’re their manager. So, it’s crucial that the trainer has a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter before the training takes place. It’s important to be prepared for participants who might have an unexpectedly in-depth knowledge of a topic – have back up material ready in case the initial stages of the training are completed faster than expected.

    Checking in is important

    Good training is delivered responsively – are the participants engaged, are they enjoying it, or do they look ready to walk out at the next break? It’s key to check in regularly to establish whether the pacing of the session is right for the group, the level of difficulty is well suited and that what has been delivered so far has been absorbed.

    Be prepared for reluctant learners

    Especially in a professional environment, participants may often feel that they have better things to do with their time. Others may have already decided that they know everything before the session even begins. It’s a challenge to deal with reluctant learners but a little humour and helping them to identify the relevance of the training can often create that essential engagement.

    Being able to design and deliver training is an essential component in great management. Our Train the Trainer course is designed to empower managers to assist and guide their team to their stated targets and beyond.

  4. 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.

  5. Train the Trainer Unlocks Potential at Key Travel

    Train the TrainerTrain the Trainer a 1-day course has recently been delivered in-house to Key Travel.

    They are Europe’s leading travel management company dedicated to serving the travel requirements of the not-for-profit, academic and faith sectors. Their mission is to help organisations maximise the value of their travel budget and manage staff welfare through effective travel solutions.

    This Train the Trainer course has been designed to empower managers to assist and guide their team to their stated targets and beyond. Training, coaching and mentoring are all vital components in the make-up of a good manager and this course defines a structure and delivery style to a training programme which is going to be effective.

    Feedback from this Train the Trainer course from Key Travel attendees:

    I came away very positive and enthusiastic as came in feeling very under-experienced so feel I have come a long way in a day. – Ellie Lockwood, Key Travel
    This Train the Trainer course was really helpful and well delivered course. – Michaela Braddock, Key Travel
    Excellent. Enthusiastic trainer – constantly kept my attention which is a task! – Helen Shaw, Key Travel

    Train the Trainer Course Benefits:

    • Understand how successful training meets its objectives
    • Understand how learners gain from the training process
    • Enable the delegates to develop and prepare for training delivery
    • Increase the knowledge and skills of delegates
    • Practice the delivery of a programme
    • Widen their scope of knowledge of training opportunities

    More priase for PTP’s Train the Trainer course:

    Very well delivered by a very knowledgeable trainer. – Jacqueline O’Callaghan, Shell UK Cards
    Excellent training! – Hollie Lawson, ITV
    Learnt a lot of new ideas for improving my training presentations. – K Sapwell, Burberry
    Very helpful & useful. I’ve taken lots of techniques & tips away. Thank-you! – Karen Cusack, AWD Chase de Vere
    This Train the Trainer course was very useful and will improve my training abilities. – Michelle Peers, The Childrens Trust
    Really enjoyed the day – very informative & useful. – Paul Mackenzie, Sharp Interpack Ltd
    Very enjoyable. Thank-you. – Emma Coles, Space Engineering
    An excellent trainer, really enthusiastic and engaging. Perfect for this type of course. – Gemma Rice, National Friendly
    Very useful for future development of staff and my training techniques – Glyn Andrew, Arends International Ltd
    Excellent course. – Lindsay Wilson, Northern Light House Board
    Good practical examples. – Matthew Bradshaw, Catlin Underwriting
    Brilliant delivery, really enjoyed the training.– Susan Robson, Cummins Engine Company

  6. Sales Training Offer in Birmingham

    We are delighted to announce our very popular 1-day Successful Sales Presentation course running in Birmingham on 26th November has a 25% discount. Click here to view full course details.

  7. Project Management Training Offers in London from PTP

    PTP have the following project management training courses on special offer:

    Practical Project Management 2 days in London on 28th & 29th November 2013 now with 25% discount click here for more details

    Managing People on Projects in London on 28th January 2014 now with 20%  discount click here for more details

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.