Category Archives: Training & Development

The Magic of Mentoring


The Business Lifebelt
There are many people in business today that do not fully understand the benefits of “mentoring”; which, if delivered correctly can have a huge impact on an employee who in turn, once motivated by “the magic of mentoring” will deliver significant benefits for their business.

Business LifebeltSadly there are businesses that see ‘mentoring’ as something ‘soft and fluffy’…  a ‘nice to have’. Whereas the truth is that mentoring can be a magical ‘business lifebelt’, saving its senior managers from drowning in a sea of inexperience.

There are those who believe that ‘mentoring’ and ‘coaching’ is actually the same thing. Though related, they are not the same. A mentor may coach, but a coach does not mentor. There is a subtle difference;

Mentoring vs. Coaching
Coaching is task oriented.  The focus is on concentrated issues, such as managing more effectively, speaking more articulately, or learning how to think strategically. This requires a content expert (coach) who is capable of teaching the coachee how to develop these skills.

Mentoring is development driven. Its purpose is to develop the individual (mentee) not only for the current job, but also for the future.

Mentoring is about ensuring that the mentee becomes:
* More self aware
* Takes responsibility for their career and….
* Directs their life and career in the direction they decide….
* Rather than leaving it to chance

The mentor’s role is to:
* Ask questions and challenge, while providing guidance and encouragement
* Mentoring allows the mentee to look more closely at themselves, their issues, opportunities and what they want in life and from their career.

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Old Head vs. Young Shoulders
It is often said that you cannot buy experience; in other words you cannot put an older, wiser, more experienced head on young shoulders – you have to have been through life’s experiences to truly claim that you are ‘experienced’.

What mentoring does is utilize the experience of another to help (generally somebody younger than the mentor) to learn and develop by gaining insights from sharing the experiences of somebody more experienced, seasoned and senior…..the mentor.

Different Mentoring Profiles
There are of course many different mentoring style and types. The breakdown when it comes to age, experience and generations breaks down like this:

The ‘Traditionalist’ – The Retired Executive Mentor 
Traditionalists were born between the years 1922 – 1943.  These older and more experienced individuals have a respect for the rules, are fans of conformity and can be frugal minded. Technology for them is sometimes hard to grasp as unlike younger generations, they did not grow up with mobile devices, computers or even, in some cases, any electrical household appliances.

What they do have however is a lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience to share; and it would a foolhardy mentee that writes off the value of a traditionalist mentor. Many ‘traditionalists mentors’ go on to sit on business boards and/or come non-executives for this very reason.

generations-workplace 3

The ‘Baby Boomer’ Mentor
So called as they are regarded as the ‘post war babies’ being born between the years 1944 – 1960 these workaholics are optimistic yet silent, seeking personal gratification. Calculators and paper calendars are second nature to this age group; many of whom would never be seen without their note-filled pads.

In today’s marketplace these experienced individuals make perfect mentors because not only do they have the required life skills and experience but they are also used to managing change because they have lived and breathed it during their lifetime.

The Generation X Mentor
Generation X was born between the years 1961 – 1980This generation is seen as self-reliant and often referred to as former latch key kids who are results oriented and fun. Regarded as realists because they will have given their heart and soul to a company; seeing their job as a job for life. They too have seen and experienced much change over their careers and can offer mentees useful insights into the way businesses have evolved and changed.

Gen Pic

Which Groups Can Benefit?
The lower age groups of Generation X, and those that fall within Generation Y, are the two groups that stand to gain the most from mentoring. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that somebody that falls within the lower age bracket of Generation X straddles the boundaries of being both a mentor and a mentee; this of course would very much be dependent of the new skills and knowledge that the mentor has coupled with what the  mentee personally requires.

Generation Y
Generation Y was born between the years 1981 – 2000. These tech savvy, highly socially conscious upwardly mobile folk  now represent the majority of today’s workforce. They are competitive and confident. This group is the new gold standard when it comes to courting, recruiting and engaging the employees and future employees for tomorrows workplace.

Generation Z
Generation Z was born between 2001 to present. These future employees and mentee are digital natives a 1,000 times over. Their likely first sentence is possibly….. “Where is the iPad?”

Mentor-Follow Me

Mentoring for the future … Follow me 
How will employers grab the attention of these self-reliant and activities oriented employees and potential mentee  in the future? Hopefully by ensuring that before generations X and Y drop off the edge that these mentees in waiting will have gained experienced from some form of mentoring thus ensuring that their business is business ready to pass on all the skills and knowledge that they have learn along the way!

Mentoring – The Benefits
Mentoring is so beneficial on so many levels; not least of which:
* Businesses benefit from employees with boarder, more rounded perspectives
* Employees benefit from a unique personal 1+1 form of personal development
* Mentors benefit from  ‘giving something back’ by being able to share their wealth of knowledge and experience

Bespoke Diagnostic Toolkit 
At Partners in Solutions we mentor individuals of all ages from a broad range of businesses backgrounds; working closely with our clients we start the process using our unique bespoke diagnostic  toolkit, following this through with clear and robust mentoring methods that demonstrably produce results.

The Magic of Mentoring
If you or your team would like to learn more about “the magic of mentoring” for self development or how to introduce mentoring into your business for better business results then please contact us today either by using the comment box below or via the ‘contact page’ on our website.

Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd


Reading makes you “Smart” – Why reading is good for you!

Read More 1
Is the traditional book dead?
With the arrival and increased use of Kindles, Nook readers and ipads many argue that traditional books are dead; some people however still like the look and feel of a paper book. Whatever your preference there can be no doubt that electronic books have features that paper books don’t.

Read in sunlight and enlarge the text!
With an electronic book you can see the screen clearly even in sunlight as well as being able to enlarge the print on the screen or plug in earphones and ‘listen’ to a book, which is great if relaxing, travelling or when on holiday. This ability to be able to enlarge the typeface is also a valuable factor for the visually impaired and for the more mature generation who prefer larger font size.

10 good reasons why you should read more
Reading undoubtedly will helps make you smarter! But there are other factors about reading which are also good for you; whether you read an electronic or paper book. Here are 10 good reasons why you should read more.

1. Reading expands your vocabulary
When reading literature of different genres, it is likely that you will encounter words you don’t usually use in your regular every day conversations. The beauty of this is that there is no need to search for a definition of every single word you don’t know because in most cases your brain will automatically tell you what the word means in the context of the piece. Reading not only helps expand your vocabulary, but also improves your literacy.

2. Reading fights stress
Nowadays, fighting stress is a big concern for many people. Even though you may be manically busy at home or at work reading can help de-stress you. That is because the richness and rhythm of the language soothe the psyche and rids the body of stress. Apparently reading science fiction before bed is particularly helpful.

3. Reading develops cognitive abilities
The positive effect of reading on our cognition, the ability to acquire knowledge through reading, reasoning, intuition or perception is one of its key advantages. That is because when we read, we have more thinking processes going on to comprehend the ideas of the book.

4. Reading protects against Alzheimer’s
We are often told to keep active as we get older, both physically and mentally. According to the latest research, reading does indeed protect against brain disorders; that is because when we read, our brain activity improves.

5. Reading gives you confidence
Books not only relax us and keep us alert, but they also make us more confident in our own aptitude and knowledge. When we demonstrate deeper knowledge of a topic in a conversation, we automatically start behaving more confidently. In addition recognition of your intellectual capabilities by other people has a positive effect on our self-esteem too.

6. Reading makes us more creative
Creative people generate several great ideas at the same time. Where do they find their foundation for these ideas….. In the books! When you read, we discover lots of ideas, some of which we can use at work or in your own lives.

7. Reading improves sleep
The people, who make it a habit to read before they go to bed, find that their bodies soon gets used to it. Reading will become a signal for your body, it will automatically know about the forthcoming sleep. Not only will you have a good night’s sleep, but you will also feel positive and cheerful in the morning.

8. Reading improves brain function
When reading, we imagine many details – characters, their clothes, scenery, objects and plots. We also need to keep in mind many facts in order to understand the book as a whole; therefore by reading we are training our memory and logic.

9. Reading improves concentration
When reading we need to focus on the content of the book in order to comprehend what is going on as we turn each page, without cheating or jumping ahead to the next chapter. This skill is very useful in your other activities in life, whether at home or at work. That is because without realising it reading also helps develop objectivity and reasonable decision-making.

10. Reading helps us to be aspirational
Reading provides insights into how others live their lives and do things; it also provides fantasy and escapism. For many without the fantasy and escapism of books there is no aspiration or desire to try and do things differently. All management books, self help books and the like are based on the readers desire to be “aspirational” in their lives or roles…..and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So what “aspirational” book are you reading today?

Reading makes you smart!
When interrupted and used properly management books can be a great training aid. Put simply reading makes people “smart”! At Partners in Solutions we recommend fun and informative management books to compliment our training and coaching packages.

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Learn more
If you would like to learn more about how to use management books in training or to train your staff in strategy, business planning or general management then please contact us today either by using the comment box below or via the ‘contact page’ on our website.
Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd

Why sleep is so important

Sleeping at work
Rested – Ready for the week?

Apparently it is a little known secret that sleep is critical, not just for beauty rest, but for plenty of health reasons; not least of which is that getting enough sleep helps us perform better in our jobs!

Doing things that are not really relevant
Sadly it has become acceptable and even encouraged in business today to ‘stay busy’. Nature cycles and human beings are a part of this nature. When we disrupt our natural sleep cycles in favour of ‘getting more done,’ we actually become less effective. Typically, because we don’t take time to reflect on what is purposeful and important to us, we often find ourselves doing things that are not really relevant to our own aims, goals and desires

Are some of you thinking, ‘what aims, goals and desires?’ There are an awful lot of people out there that have lost sight of what is truly important to them.

To-do lists good or bad?
As a trainer of “time management” I advocate ‘to-do lists’ but I don’t advocate becoming addicted to them! For many they have become addicted to ‘to-do’ lists without holding a clear endgame goal in mind. This is energetically inefficient and physically draining. There’s typically no passion in this and thus it becomes no more than hard work instead of enjoyable. It can also take much longer to do, when we are not focused.

De-valuing self-nurturance
Also, because many business cultures tend to de-value self-nurturance, play, and creative relaxing pursuits, many people feel guilty or invalidated by those around them, when they attempt to live with more work vs. life balance.

Be courageous – create space
It takes courage and vision to create space in your life, so that you can stay healthy in spirit, mind and body. It takes courage to listen to your heart above the noise of the many distractions vying for your attention and money. And it will take courage and focused attention to slow down in the evening, early enough to get your mind and body prepared to go to sleep at a decent hour. On average, it is aid that we need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

What are the benefits of sleep?
1. Improved memory: sleep helps to integrate learning. Greater focus and concentration improves with a good night’s sleep.

2. Stress reduction: sleep restores the body and mind and helps to balance well-being. When we are too stressed, it may be more difficult to sleep at night and this can become a vicious cycle. When we don’t get enough sleep, it makes it more difficult to deal with stress.

3. Bodily healing and rejuvenation: sleep reduces inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is associated with heart attack, stroke, premature aging, diabetes and arthritis

Don’t be short-sighted
Life is not a sprint, it is a long-distance journey. It is short-sighted to abuse your mind and body, as in the long run. Stress and lack of sleep not only makes you less productive, it can accelerate the aging process and even contribute to other diseases. Be wise. Be courageous. Take good care of yourself and expand the vision for your life – with purpose.

Manage your time better
Sleep should not be regarded as a luxury; is a means of rejuvenating your mind and body in readiness for the workload ahead. So make sure that you get enough rest and relaxation time in order to performance your job better!

If you would like to learn more about how to manage your stress, time and workloads better then please contact us.
Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd

Emotions Matter!

Emotions 1
Are you an emotional decision maker?
All of us make decisions – everyday, whether at home, work or simply just socializing. There surely can be no doubt that this is a key skill to master.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP tells us that there are primarily four types of people:
• Kinaesthetic
• Visual
• Auditory
• Auditory Visual

The name Neuro-Linguistic Programming was invented in the early 1970’s as an attempt to describe in a succinct manner the scope of this extensive body of insights and skills:
Neuro refers to how the mind and body interact

Linguistic refers to the insights into a person’s thinking that can be obtained by careful attention to their use of language

Programming refers, not to the activity of programming, but to the study of the thinking and behavioural patterns or ‘programmes’ which people use in their daily lives.

Dependant on what NLP category you are likely, (not always) but more often likely to make decisions based on:
• What you feel and sense and can physically touch
• What you can see
• What you can hear
• What details, facts and figures there are to help support your decision

Clearly the latter category makes decisions on less ‘emotion’.

Although neuroscience has built a strong body of evidence over the years to demonstrate the inextricable link between reason, emotion and decision-making most of mainstream culture is still not on board with it.

As a management trainer I often recommend keeping emotion out of decision-making and that professionals leave their feelings at home when they are at work. There are some that still believe that women, especially, wear the mantle of emotionality in the workplace and that these women still feel the need to compensate by subduing the expression of their feelings and thoughts. This surely cannot be healthy.

Although neuroscience has built a strong body of evidence over twenty-five years to demonstrate the inextricable link between reason, emotion and decision-making most of mainstream culture still doesn’t get it.

Mainstream thinking about reason over emotion is generally based on two assumptions:
1. That we have a choice whether to feel or not
2. That emotional “suppression” works.

Hooray! – The brain does make decisions based on feeling
Research has found that there can be significant consequences when you try to push away thoughts and feelings; a ‘rebound’ effect. Simply put, these strategies often backfire and result in an increase of the intensity of the thoughts and emotions that are being suppressed.

In the book: “How we decide” by Jonah Lehrer; it the case that rationality depends on emotion. Motivation is driven by feeling, not intellect. Lehrer points out, “Emotion and motivation share the same Latin root, movere, which means to move. The world is full of things and it is our feelings that help us choose among them.”

Avoiding analysis-paralysis
Many of us try to rule out the emotional side of decision-making only to find we become stuck in so-called analysis-paralysis. We often avoid making decisions or make them hastily because we want to skip the feeling part, not only unavoidable, it’s short-sighted.

There continues to be a protracted controversy between pundits over reason and intuition, which is another version of the ancient reason over emotion battle. Lehrer makes the critical point that our emotional brains are deeply empirical and that every time you make a mistake or encounter something new, your brain cells are busy changing themselves. Emotions are profoundly smart and constantly learning, they are not simply animal instincts that must be tamed.

Balancing 7 + 2
What is known as the “7 plus or minus 2” rule is based on the research that short-term memory capacity varies from being able to hold between 4 and 9 bits of information at one time. When faced with too many variables, the brain simply makes the wrong decision because its resources are overburdened.

The Chunking Principle:• Chunking is a principle that applies to the effective communication of information between human beings.
• It is particularly useful in the domain of written communication.
• It was first put forward in the 1950s by George A. Miller.
• Miller studied the short term memory.

In 1952, George A. Miller published a paper titled:
“The Magical Number Seven; Plus or Minus Two”

Today chunking is a term used in NLP to describe the process of grouping items into larger or smaller groups (or “chunks”) Chunking helps you to organise your thinking in order to better handle information and make decisions. So you need to make sure that you can optimize your decision-making process but not taking on too much.

Left and right brains
You have to build capacity in both your left and right brains; in other words the rational and the emotional. They are magically interlinked to ensure that we maximize the understanding of the world around us and the world within ourselves.

Emotions matters!
And finally, remember……. Emotions and feelings are not a luxury; they are a means of communicating our states of mind to others. But they are also a way of guiding our own judgments and decisions. Emotions bring the body into the loop of reason. So if you make decisions ‘with emotion’ then give yourself a pat on the back!

If not and you would like to learn more then please contact us.
Trisha Proud
Partners in Solutions Ltd

Beauty of knowledge

It is said that we are all masters of our own destiny……

Knowledge is an acquired quality
How many times in your life have you regretted that you did not know enough, have not read more to show your intelligence and enhance your image and confidence in a business conversation or situation? It happens to the best of us; however how many of us become determined to educate ourselves, to be wittier, better informed, and faster thinking.

Knowledge is an acquired quality – it is not inborn.

You choose
The choice to be educated or not, to be on top of things, is always ours to create and make. Some people make it earlier, some make it later, and sadly some don’t make it at all. Yet, let us be honest about it and admit it, if only to ourselves, there is no better reason for self-content and pride, than the feeling that you can carry on an interesting or important conversation, operate and utilise the facts, understand your counterpart, and stand steadfast on your own.

The beauty of knowledge
Intelligence is a chosen path for those who appreciate the importance and beauty of this personal skill. It becomes a part of who you are, the image you project to the world, an inalienable ingredient of your own self-perception. Obtaining knowledge is a matter of choice and, in fact, a simple thing to acquire, when you have made your decision to acquire it, committed to it and, once commenced, you never abandon the process.

Here are some simple steps to you get started:

Tip 1: Have ‘vision’ and stay focused

Whatever business situation you are in have a ‘vision’ as to what you personally want to achieve from it and equally important stay focussed on that vision. Take in and absorb all the information and process it. Try to analyse it yourself and make your own decisions. When talking on a subject, do not lose the topic; rather, stay on it until you have finished or the discussion is over, or at the very least agreed an outcome. This will help you to consolidate your thoughts and allow your listeners to come up with any comments or arguments unencumbered.

A focused mind is able to expand and store new information more effectively.

Tip 2: Be mentally active
As a trainer, business coach and mentor I always encourage my mentees to have the brightest mind. This is a matter of personal choice, whether you are an avid stamp collector; love reading or are a film buff, train and exercise your brain, every day. Remember the smallest details of a conversation or task and analyse the ideas, complexity and outcomes.

Tip 3: Stimulate your brain
Load your mind with analysis and decision-making even in simple everyday situations. Take an unusual task to resolve, stay on it, and celebrate the results that will follow. The satisfaction you will experience will be very rewarding. Our mind needs a constant challenge to stay on top of the game. The routines we are accustomed to at work do not do the job. Challenge your brain with cross words, puzzles and games, like Sudoku or chess, etc.

Tip 4: Get trained, get a coach or a mentor
There comes a time in everybody’s development when they need support to improve their knowledge. This is perfectly normally and when that time arrives should not be ignored, as this is the time when many managers reach their peak and will not develop further without training or the wise advice and support of a coach or mentor. Everybody, not matter what level they are in business needs a mentor.

If this is you….seek training and support now!

Tip 5: Be your own master – make your own decisions
There is nothing wrong with seeking an advice. But doing it on a regular basis might be damaging for your mind, self-growth, and ability to make your own decisions based on your own analysis. Face the challenge by yourself and only after the decision has been made, bring it to the table for a discussion…… if you want to. Stand by your decision and defend your point of view. Even if you lost and opted for another solution, you have just acquired a priceless experience and your brain has gone through a very good and useful exercise.

Tip 6: Read, read and read
If you are reading this blog then well done! Stay informed on the latest happenings in the world, expand your vocabulary, stimulate your brain with the masterpieces of world literature, enrich your erudition, and put it to use whenever you have an opportunity. Reading good books is a rewarding way to expand your knowledge, boost your intelligence and please your heart and soul. Good books stay with you forever, and once in a while, as you go through life, you return to them. And guess what – it is amazing how your perception changes as you read the old book anew! You know why? Because you have changed, and the ways you perceive and analyse information will have been modified as well.

Positive outcomes
Last but not least. Obtaining greater knowledge helps you enjoy your times with yourself. Consequently, it boosts your self-esteem and you acquire a great new business partner …. your improved knowledgeable self. And what can be better than being content with who you are, the way you…….a more intelligent you!

Do you need help improving your knowledge?………then contact us today.
Trisha Proud
Managing Partner
Partners in Solutions Ltd

BAFTAS, Pork Pies and People

BAFTAS, Pork Pies and People

With the glitter of the Oscars looming over us and hot on the heels of the recent BAFTA Awards I was struck by the fact that, for the most part, the BAFTA Committee had clearly decided to resist being swept along with the pre-Oscar hype and glamour surrounding such films as Lincoln and Les Miserables, as wonderful as they are. Instead many of the BAFTA Awards went to little known films, such as Amour and Rust and Bones, their actors, film makers and other contributors.

I smiled at this because it reminded me of when I was asked to be head judge at a culinary competition some years ago. In comparison with some of todays larger culinary exhibitions is was a relatively small, local affair but nevertheless the participations had put their hearts and souls into their entries. As per usual at these events there were some awe inspiring dishes on display, which made me question my own worthiness of being head judge.

Once category winners had been chosen it was down to the judging panel to select a dish that would be awarded ‘best in show’. Naturally there were a number of absolutely stunning culinary pieces to choose from, the more glamorous and artist dishes of course attracting the most attention.

With my ‘head judge’ hat on I listened to the panel debate with interest and I realised that just like the Oscars my fellow judges were being influenced by the hype and glamour of it all; being swept along by the visual impact of the dish and not necessarily its culinary qualities. It was at this point I interjected and said….”What about the pork pie?”….
A stunned team looked at me with horror saying…”The pork pie”…. I went on to explain that I was deadly serious and that whilst perhaps not as glamorous as other dishes the pork pie was indeed a culinary triumphant. More importantly I wanted to explain to the team that our role was about looking at all its component parts. The quality of the meat and its perfectly cooked texture; the amount and consistency of the jelly surrounding the meat the unbelievable melt in the mouth texture and flavour of the pastry which was not too thick, nor too thin. It was in my opinion the outright winner.

The analogy I used at the time was that of an employee appraisal. Taking all the attributes of the person sitting in front of you and analyzing what you considered to be their successes, strengths, areas for improvements and development and of course their over potential.

The chef who had prepared the pork pie has taken a risk; it was a brave decision to make knowing that many of his contemporaries would aim of something more sophisticated and eye-catching. I commented at the time that if this was an appraisal how impressed I would have been because surely that’s what organisations would want from an employee, to take a risk, to be totally committed to that risk, to challenge the norm and above all to see that risk through and perform the task well.

This scenario I felt was repeated at the BAFTA Awards, they had looked beyond the hype and truly examined the quality of the actors and other contributors and their performances; a delight to see. This did however leave me wondering whether our obsession with glamour has inhibited us in the workplace.
• Do we perhaps view the performance of our colleagues and teams by the hype and glamour that surrounds them?
• Do we truly look for the hidden talents within our people and if so how we do discover those?
• Does your organisation have a tasty pork pie in its midst that has yet to be discovered?
With the Oscars just around the corner the ever loyal Americans will no doubt be backing “Lincoln”; it is after all a wonderful historical film about a great President’s battle to abolish slavery.

At this pivotal point in the film industry’s calendar let us ask ourselves have we abolished slavery to glamour in our business. Have we deep in our organization got somebody who on the outside maybe appear to be a boring pork pie and yet has something far more delicious to offer than their simple outer crust?

Tell me about your pork pie award winners in your business or who you have worked with and how you uncover their hidden talents.

P.S. The pork pie did win ‘best in show’!

Trisha Proud Partners in Solutions Ltd

“Light bulb moments” – The joy of giving

Back in December, in the heart of the festive season I was pondering the thought and purpose of it all.  The festive season, the season for giving as well as receiving; like me the joy for many, is in the former.  That is why when my family encouraged me to sell unwanted household items on ebay I wasn’t too sure about the whole process.

Was this desire to make money out of what I considered useless junk really greed in another disguise. The bidding and selling process had an air of gambling about, and I could quickly see how people could become addicted to the thrilled as bids would raised during the last dying seconds of the auction time on items placed for sale.

Having succumbed to the pressure of registering an ebay account I was constantly being asked to auction items that my husband no longer wanted in order that he could clear the garage. What I actually discovered was that as a seller you had to be creative, articulate and ruthlessly organised! All attributes that appealed to me as a trainer.

So when we had a new fireplace fitted it was an unspoken decision to auction the old Adams Fireplace surround on ebay; not really believing that anybody would want somebody else’s old mantelpiece, albeit that it was in an immaculate condition. But sure enough the bids came in.

It should be mentioned that I had set a really low ‘buy now’ price, despite being told that the old mantelpiece, even as a secondhand item, was worth a great deal more. I believed that it would encourage a quick sale and also I was still struggling with the greed verses practically issue.

The auction closed and the buyer, a young family man and his wife, duly arrived to collect the item.  I watched from my bedroom window as the buyer my husband gently position the mantelpiece into the back of the buyers car, and it was at this point that I had what we call in training circles a ‘light bulb moment’. …..I felt good about this sale.  Just as I had felt good when I gave a pine table and chairs to the Debra Charity Shop a few weeks earlier and they written to me afterwards to say that it had raised £80 for their charity. Fantastic!

The mantelpiece buyer and his wife were thrilled with the purchase and they shared with us that they could not afford to buy a new one. Yes the buyer, by his own admission had genuinely picked up a bargain, but I didn’t mind this at all. It was the fact that I felt socially good about the sale.  My old mantelpiece which I no longer liked was bringing joy to somebody else. The joy for me was truly in the giving. Just as I give of my knowledge, experiences and real life business stories whenever I am training.  Over coffee later that day I was talking with my husband comparing the feeling I had about our ebay sale with the same feeling that I get when I deliver training.

Whenever I deliver training I will of course start off in the customary way, such as clearly defining the course outcomes and noting down the delegates’ objectives etc; but I also state that we may during the course of the programme refresh previously learnt techniques that may have been laid dormant, in addition obviously to learning new tips and skills.

As a trainer you always know when delegates are hearing said new skills and techniques for the first time; these are trainers ‘light bulb moments’ as when delegates pick up new hints and tips their faces physically change, they become more relaxed and engaged in the session.  It is truly a joy to observe and be part of.  To be able to pass on your knowledge, experiences and real life business stories is indeed an honor, and one that I never take for granted and certainly one that never fails to thrill me.

The lesson in this comparison is that we all often dispose of, or disregard what we no longer think we need or have a place for in that particular moment in time. We sell items on ebay or we believe that we must discover the latest management techniques because tried and test methodologies surely cannot work, when, more often than not, they do!

My job as a trainer is to ensure that I get as many ‘light bulb moments’ as I possibly can in any one training session. As a minimum for me it has to be at least one per delegate. I personally always ask delegates at the end of each training programme to share with me what they have personally taken away for their session. This in turn helps me to measure the success of the training and ensures that the materials and content is kept up-to-date, as well as being relevant and fresh.

As I have said, as a trainer to be given the forum to be able to pass on your knowledge, experiences and real life business stories extremely gratifying and a great way of giving something back to society as well as the next generation of business managers.

Whilst the joy of giving away ones unwanted processions via ebay for little financial gain is socially rewarding, nothing compares to the thrill and satisfaction one gets from delivering an insightful training session full of ‘light bulb moments’. This I concluded you cannot buy on ebay!

Trisha Proud – Partners in Solutions Ltd