The Spark - action learning, business coaching and effective marketing in Devon

People Skills for New Managers

Moving from being a team player to a line manager is a big step. Or maybe you are a sole trader who needs to take on people and build your team? Either way, you need to learn new skills to succeed.
This course will help you discover your own personality type and preferred management style. Essential skills of communication and motivation will be outlined, together with coaching techniques to get the best from your team. Effective delegation and leadership qualities will also be covered.
You will leave with some tools to use to understand different team roles and have a self-development plan to improve your management skills.
By the end of the day you will

  • Know your own personality type
  • Understand the different management styles
  • Have improved your listening skills
  • Know basic coaching techniques
  • Be able to delegate effectively
  • Know how to be an effective leader

    How to book:
    Click here to email me



  • Motivating Staff to Improve Performance

    No matter how good you are, there's only so much that you can do on your own. Motivating your team will bring out the best in them, and ensure that they will go the extra mile. The key is to build on each person’s strengths and minimise their weaknesses. By understanding the various theories of motivation you will be able to adapt your style to suit the people who work for you.
    With your staff working effectively, you can achieve more. Being able to delegate effectively will improve your own productivity and reduce your stress levels, as well as improving the performance of your staff.
    If you are finding that you have too many tasks to do in your working day, whilst your team members seem to be underperforming, improving your motivating and delegating skills will help. This course is suitable both for new managers, and for experienced managers who would like a refresher in this area and some new ideas on how to improve team performance.
    By the end of the day you will:

  • Understand different motivational theories and which ones may work for you
  • Know how to set effective goals for your team
  • Be able to assess whether tasks can be delegated
  • Know how to match the right person to the delegated task

    How to book:
    Click here to email me



  • Assertiveness Skills

    We have all encountered situations where we found it difficult to make ourselves heard or get our point across. We may get side tracked by another person, rather than being able to put our requests simply and clearly. Whilst in some situations we feel confident and relaxed, in others we can feel frustrated or angry. This may be down to the response style of the person we are trying to communicate with. By recognising the main response styles that we all use, we can take control of the conversation.

    In this session you will discover some of the things that hold us back from being assertive and learn techniques for being heard when:

  • Asking your bank manager for a loan
  • Negotiating with suppliers
  • Giving clients advice

    You will learn
  • The different response styles we use every day
  • Why we are not more assertive
  • Some self-affirmation exercises to increase confidence
  • Techniques for getting your point across
  • The secrets of OOF and DESC – how to change longstanding situations where we feel we are not heard.


    How to book:
    Click here to email me



  • Writing for Business

    Good writing skills are key to effective communication with your staff, customers and other managers. But different communications need different approaches. Being aware of your audience will help you achieve your objectives and produce well crafted

    If your work involves writing (reports; memos; articles; marketing copy; media information; speeches; brochures), this course will give you some information about how to make sure you get your point across successfully. Bring along some writing tasks that you need input on and I will endeavour to build in feedback time during the day.
    By the end of the day you will:

  • Have a planning template to analyse your target audience
  • Know the essentials of good writing style
  • Have considered tone and language choice for different media
  • Understand the differences between different channels of written communication
  • Have practised how to put the principles in practice on your own projects
  • Have thought about how to present basic statistics in visual forms to aid impact.

    How to book:
    Click here to email me



  • Workshops and Training #01

    Getting your way with journalists

    Even Henry Ford said, "half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half!" By targeting news about your business to the right media, you can get coverage for your business for free. Editorial is more credible than advertising, so your target customers will notice this much more.
    By the end of the day you will

  • Understand what journalists want
  • How you can make your own news fit their agenda
  • Have a clear idea of the format of press releases
  • Have drafted your own releases and know who to send them to

    Next course:
    Click here to email me



  • Think your way out of it!

    Using Action Learning to manage change
    How would you like to cut your travel costs by 10%? Or improve your productivity by 30%? Or deal with change, engage staff, improve team building, and develop solutions to organisational issues, all by using one powerful technique using only 5% of your time? Action learning is used widely in the public and private sector - Cornwall County Council used it to devise ways to reduce their mileage by 10% and created a substantial saving. It is very quick and productive, with its emphasis on the non-expert expert, enabling people to access their own knowledge to come up with creative solutions. If your business involves people and you want to get the best from them, Action Learning could save you time and money as well as making your staff more effective and enthusiastic.

    Action learning “sets” consist of between 5- 8 people who agree to meet on a regular basis. Issues dealt with could be a shared objective, such as how to manage cuts and redundancies, or individual work problems. Working within strict guidelines with a trained facilitator, the set gets to the heart of the problem quickly. The individual commits to actions they will take before the next meeting.
    At the end of an introductory session you will:

  • Know the background to this effective technique
  • Have a clear idea of the Action Learning framework
  • Experienced active listening and open questioning
  • Have participated in an Action Learning “set”
  • Assessed how Action Learning could help your organisation save time and money

    I am an accredited Action Learning facilitator with the Institute of Leadership and Management.
    "Action learning with Alison represented a real turning point both personally and professionally. I am far more confident and feel more in control of my business and its success. Thank you so much, Alison." Lara Lewis, Lara Lewis Hypnotherapy

    How to book
    Click here to email me



  • Workshops and Training #02

    How to do more with less - cost effective austerity marketing

    Do you find your marketing budget spiralling upwards and are not sure what’s working and what’s not? Is there never enough time to do all the marketing you think you should be doing? Whilst there are now many more channels to reach your customers, trying to use them all can leave you without much time to actually run your business. It’s more important than ever to know which of your marketing efforts are giving you value for money. This workshop will give you the opportunity to focus on what methods are the most cost effective specifically for your business.
    You will discover the top three mistakes that businesses make that waste time and money and how to stop making them!.
    By the end of the day you will have

  • Discovered the vital difference between your business and your product
  • Defined the characteristics of your prime target customers
  • Reviewed the marketing methods available and found which ones would work best for your business
  • Planned ways to monitor how your marketing is working

    You can get started by using my Effective Marketing techniques, Theaker's Rule of Three, which gives you three questions to focus on your business. Here is the first one!


    How to book
    Click here to email me



  • Moving Forward

    Coping with change and creating positive outcomes

    You may be dealing with major life changes and need some simple techniques to create the life you want. You may have heard of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and the Law of Attraction (LOA) but not know how to put them into action. By creating a positive mind set, you can become open to take advantage of opportunities that are available to you. NLP can also give you more confidence in dealing with situations where you want to take control. Some simple techniques and visualisations can be practised on an everyday basis to manifest the kind of life that you want. This workshop will help you use these powerful tools to make immediate improvements to your life.
    By the end of the day you will have:

  • Explored what kind of life you want to create
  • Set out your most important life goals
  • Defined what you want in positive terms that will begin the LOA process
  • Built a vision board to continue the process after the course
  • Created your own Circle of Excellence to take with you to use whenever you need it
  • Made a commitment to take achievable first steps

    For more information Click here to email me



  • Be Creative

    Jump start your creativity at a special writing retreat
    Whether you are a new writer, wanting to develop your creative practice or an experienced writer wanting to spend a few days with likeminded people, this course will inspire you. Poet Ellen Phethean and myself will guide you with exercises designed to get your creative juices flowing, using the landscape to spark your ideas.

    For more information Click here to email me



    Targetted management training

  • Get Your Business in the Media - how to get the word out for free
  • Marketing Magic - find the most cost effective methods for your business
  • Effective Selling - how to sell without selling!
  • Caring for your Customers - how to keep your clients happy.
    Training programmes can be designed to suit your business.
    Rates
    £700 per day,including half day preparation and briefing. Includes travel as far as Plymouth and Exeter.

    For more information Click here to email me



  • Workshops and Training #03

    Personal Effectiveness through Bellydance

    Bellydance is a creative, fun activity for both men and women. Sessions will incorporate both input on skills and learning choreography. You and your team can become more assertive,improve your presentation skills and increase team effectiveness. Especially good for an away day or team building event.
    Rates
    £70 per hour plus travel outside the South Hams

    For more information Click here to email me

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