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The latest from the team at MLP Training

Are Your Best People Too Good For Your Training Budget?

13/11/2014

Whether your company recruits school leavers, graduates, or only those with relevant workplace experience, the chances are that most of your training budget is focused on ensuring those on the lower rungs of the career ladder have the skills they need to climb it.

A clear development path has become an important part of attracting and retaining the best candidates, which makes it an important part of any company’s HR strategy. But what about the talented people that have already proved their value to your organisation? Shouldn’t you be investing in ensuring that you maximise their value with courses that focus on leadership, time management and mentoring?

Many companies have a policy of promoting from within, which can have significant commercial advantages.  However, promotion from a ‘doing’ role to a managerial role is often awarded without any investment in management training – which means that the individual may not have the skills they need to adjust to their new responsibilities and the company may not benefit from their full potential.

Even the most talented and experienced people in an organisation sometimes need to take a step back and examine how they can do things better. Just one behaviour change as a result of training can have a significant impact on productivity and the ability to add value.

There may be barriers to this, not least in a reluctance from busy senior people to take time out of their schedule to spend on training.  However, by selecting an outcomes-based training model with clear goals and a defined follow up process, any objections can be overcome and any time invested will be more than recouped in greater efficiency and productivity day-to-day.

Many of MLP’s training courses have been designed with these goals in mind, including our Leadership Skills and Coaching & Mentoring one-day programmes.

A culture of continuous improvement can only thrive in any organisation if there is a commitment to developing the skills of those who run it.  If UK companies are serious about building on their success in post-recession Britain, training needs to be high on the agenda at the highest levels of the career ladder.

The importance of being assertive by Emma Brereton, account manager at The Write Angle

24/10/2014

When I was offered a place on an assertiveness course with MLP Training I thought the room would be full of the meek and mild.

How wrong I was. Developing assertiveness skills is not just for those who have trouble standing up for themselves, it's also important for people who come across as aggressive – both of which can be extremely detrimental in the workplace.

Assertiveness is about looking at ways of dealing with certain situations and different people whilst remaining firm but fair.

During the day's course we analysed what aggressive, passive and assertive behaviours look like. For example,

Aggressive behaviour:

  • Getting your own way no matter what and winning at all costs
  • Getting your point across at another person's expense
  • Making people do things they don't want to do
  • Being loud threatening and violent

Passive behaviour:

  • Keeping quiet and avoiding conflict for fear of upsetting people
  • Always saying yes
  • Not expressing your true feelings
  • Apologising excessively

Assertive behaviour:

  • Listening and showing an understanding to other people's point of view
  • Being able to reach workable compromise solutions
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Being able to recognise your mistakes and recognise your limitations

Analysing these behaviours really helped the group to understand what it is they need to do to change the way we are in the workplace. To achieve the optimum level of assertiveness, we were told, there are a number of things you need to think about; as maintaining good posture, making good eye contact, having a balanced tone of voice and controlling gestures that we do subconsciously like twiddling hair or clasping hands. These subconscious actions are often very revealing and are things that need to be controlled.

Developing good assertiveness skills leads into the ability of being able to say no, dealing with criticism and confrontation. Essentially it's about keeping a level head, being confident in what you're saying and calmly standing your ground.

I learnt a lot about myself on the day and I think I definitely have a good foundation for becoming an assertive person in the workplace. There are 10 rules I now try to abide by to make sure I'm keeping on top of what we learnt.

1. Respect myself and the choices I make

2. Take responsibility for my actions

3. Recognise my own needs and wants independently of others

4. Make clear statements about how I feel and what I want to do

5. Enjoy your successes

6. Ask for time to think things over if needed

7. Set clear boundaries

8. Don't worry about the mistakes I make

9. Be clear in asking for what I want

10. Respect others and their right to be assertive.
 
Click on Assertiveness Skills for more information.  

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