Tag Archives: Training

Upskilling your way to success

I’ve just written a piece about self-development for members of Think Tree Hub Professional Association (where my online courses are hosted).

I thought it was worth sharing to a wider audience so here it is… 😊

The start of Spring is an excellent time to think about new things. As the days get longer and we enjoy more sunlight and the colour of the beautiful Spring flowers, many of us will be feeling more enthusiastic and energised.

What better time to learn something new?

Especially when the last 12 months have been such a struggle for millions of people, many of whom have been forced to adopt ways of living and working they would never have chosen.

Finding an inner strength and resilience they never knew they had might be one positive to take from these turbulent times. And another positive might be understanding that to survive we need to adapt – to learn and to change.

Change is often difficult for a whole host of reasons, especially when it is viewed negatively and this creates both fear of, and resistance to it. But if you can change your mindset to see the positives in change then it can result in an exciting, learning journey rather than a frightening threat.

On-going training and development grows in importance as changes in the world and the workplace happen increasingly quickly. And if you can’t keep up you may well find you’ve fallen too far behind whether you’re employed by a massive company or working as a sole trader or small business.

Having spent most of my career working in education my preferred description for this ongoing journey is “Lifelong Learning” and it is something which can be too easily forgotten about, undervalued or believed to be unnecessary.

In a conversation with a family member recently I explained I had missed their earlier phone call as I was “Zooming” doing some further training in NLP. “You were doing a legal updating course last time I called,” she said, “don’t you ever stop studying?” The answer to that is most definitely “No”!

Perhaps you don’t enjoy studying as I do, and you may be wondering why you should take time to develop your own learning in such a busy world?

The simple answer is because the impact can be so significant, for you, your teams and for your customers.

For YOU: Lifelong learning leads to personal fulfilment, career advancement and business success. Keeping your brain active (with positive things) boosts both mental and physical health.

It can help you stay at “the top of your game” and will certainly help you avoid boredom leading to a lack of motivation. Personal upskilling includes keeping ahead of changes in your industry of course but, perhaps more importantly, looking after and supporting your personal growth and your health and wellbeing.

Do you ever allow yourself time to think about why you actually do what you do? Why is it important? Do you enjoy your work and does it fit into the kind of life you want? Are you able to live and work your values, in fact what are your values and beliefs and how do they affect you every single day?

Do you work so many hours that you believe you have no time for learning and wonder how others manage to find the time and space in their busy schedules? Are you a martyr to your work and no longer able to identify how you could be putting your health and indeed your business at risk?

Do you ever ponder these kinds of questions or do they get lost in the “bus-i-ness” of every day?

For your TEAM: Your interest in their development and training can boost morale making them feel important and needed. Encouraging your team to value their own lifelong learning helps them understand its importance. Keeping up-to-date with the latest changes in your industry brings benefits to them and, of course, to your customers.

Investment in helping staff to understand the importance of both physical and mental wellbeing, and actually encouraging them to put this learning into practice, also reaps benefits.

Staff turnover and sickness absence are lower when staff are happy and as well as being cost-effective this can create some stability for your business in this increasingly unstable world. It also makes your company attractive as a place of work.

One of the areas where I offer training relates to ethical leadership of self and others (I’m a little bit obsessed about its importance to be honest!) and I’ve also recently been involved in delivering 1-1 coaching with employed professionals.

It has been fascinating to hear how different approaches by their bosses have such a significant effect on all aspects of their lives in the workplace. And the “feel-good” factor – created by positive experiences where line managers understand the real value of their staff teams and treat them accordingly – really is priceless.

From my experience of years of discussing with others what they need to ensure good wellbeing at work, the following key areas stand out as being vitally important:

  • Having time to do the job properly;
  • Having the correct tools/expertise/training to do a good job;
  • Consistency in “rules” and treatment of all staff;
  • Being listened to and being heard;
  • Feeling respected and valued.

So, if any of you have team members who seem to be unhappy in their role, consider how you respond to the five points above…  and whether you need to change your behaviours.

If you feel there are areas where you could benefit from upskilling, my latest online course may be of interest covering the importance of ongoing self-development to support being a great boss.

You can access “Make Self-Development Your Superpower” here – and my previous blog gives you a little more information about the course if you would like to know more.

I do hope my thoughts encourage you to ask yourself some questions about your own lifelong learning and that of your teams. I wanted to close with a quote I love which is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi. It seems to me to be solid advice:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.

What more is there to say?

To find out more about Think Tree Hub click here.

© Copyright Josie Whiteley 2021. All rights reserved.

New Year, New Superpower!

As 2020 draws to a close I thought I’d wish all of you reading this the very best for 2021 and I hope you, your family and friends are managing to keep safe and well during these worrying times.

A new year seems as good a time as any to tell you about my latest online course as so many people look around for new areas of interest to pursue at this time of year.

And it may just be of value to you 😊

“Make Self-Development Your Superpower” highlights the benefits of improving your self-development skills. It asks you to take the time for self-reflection and encourages improved self-awareness using the principles of ethical leadership which – as most of my blog readers will know – is one of my very favourite subjects!

By the time you have finished this short course you will:

  • Understand the importance of continual self-development;
  • Understand the basics of ethical leadership and how the principles provide a benchmark of behaviour;
  • Have considered your personal values – what are they, where do they come from and why do they matter?
  • Understand the kinds of personal qualities required to allow you to live and work in an ethical way becoming your “best self”;
  • Understand the impact of your behaviours on all those around you;
  • Have identified your own individual areas for development and created a personal Action Plan to help you to progress on your self-development journey.

Over the last 35 years I’ve worked as a Coach and Mentor, Educational Consultant, Journalist, Lecturer, University External Examiner, Standards Verifier, College Course Leader, Head of Department and Director of a large college faculty. I’ve also learned a lot from various charity and voluntary roles I’ve been involved in.

The course draws on what (I hope!) I’ve learned during that time and I believe would be of benefit to anyone wanting to work towards “leading their best life”.

Comments describe the course as:

“thought-provoking… encourages self-reflection… delivered in a non-judgemental manner… very easy to navigate… allowed you to work through at your own paceflowed very well and was really informative… accessible allowing easy downloading of the modules… inspiring and it encouraged me to look at small ways in which I can lead a more ethical life generally… really helpful featuring great little videos where you came across as very natural, friendly, caring, honest and knowledgeable”.

Why not have a look at it and develop a new Superpower for the New Year? Sign up with a special welcome rate of 50% discount using code TTHJAW21 – (you don’t need to be a ThinkTree member to access the course, just click this link).

Happy New Year!

Josie 😊