Training South West Blog

Articles, tips, guides and all sorts of goodnes around the topics of business skills, training, professional courses and development in addition to South West relevant news. Mainly by Bob the Blogging Badger. Sometimes a human.

Essential Telephone Tips to Deliver Great Customer Service

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 In an increasingly remote world, telephone contact is the only medium for 'human' interaction offered by many companies. Getting it right gives tremendous PR points, but, getting it wrong, can lose customers and destroy a company's reputation. The image below shows real-life comments taken from the review site of a company in the Southwest. N...

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5 Stress Busting Tips

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The workplace can be a stressful environment for some staff. While a degree of ‘healthy’ stress is expected, for some people, stressful encounters and situations can be part and parcel of the working day. How we manage stress in the workplace clearly affects how we react to it and the subsequent impact that it has on us personally. Chronic stress can have a damaging physiological and mental impact, leading to long term sickness, substandard role performance, poor decision making and even role attrition. Fortunately, an increased focus on mental health and the recognition of the impact of stress on the financial...

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Essential Cross-Cultural Skills for the Dorset Tourism Industry

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Dorset is beautiful – in fact, it is so beautiful that the tourism industry attracts almost half a million foreign tourists a year and contributes just under £230 million a year to the Dorset economy. The growing attraction of Dorset as a holiday destination is clearly evident in the increasing numbers of cruise ships docking at Portland Port, with Dorset-bound tourists doubling from 30,000 to 60,000 from the previous year. With 80% of cruise ships’ passengers choosing to stay in Dorset (and hence contribute to the economy), the Dorset tourist industry has every reason to be excited. To capitalise upon the...

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How Reciprocity is Effectively used in International Business

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Reciprocity is a word many people have heard of before however few can define the mechanisms of this concept in business even though they may experience it all the time and as it happens right in front of their eyes. Let's look at what we mean by 'reciprocity' and how businesses can take advantage of the phenomenon.  In our world today, reciprocity means responding to an action made by another individual/company. The principle is quite simple - it is the experienced obligation to give back the form of behaviour that was received in the first place. Most of the time it...

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Quirky Facts about the South West, UK!

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To make sure we get our business offering right, it’s essential that we truly understand our South West neighbours and their potential training needs. One of the best ways to map training needs is to ensure that we stay on top of reports released from entities such as the Office for National Statistics or UK Trade and Investment. We came across some fantastically quirky facts when reading ‘Portrait of the South West’ and thought we'd share them with you! •    Did you know over five million inhabitants reside in South West England; making the population bigger than Northern Ireland and Wales...

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Are your Presentations Presentable?

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Did you know surveys have shown that people fear delivering a presentation more than death or divorce?  The good news for those of you who are not seasoned presenters however is that good preparation and confidence in your materials can go a long way to reducing potential presentation anxiety. Follow these simple tips and ensure that not only are your presentations of value to your audience but that you also enjoy delivering them: •    When preparing your presentation try to use a variety of different media; come equipped for example with a tangible product if possible to pass around, maybe incorporate...

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It's Essential that South West Companies Protect their Expats

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HMRC Regional Trade Statistics show that exports from companies based in the South West of England are continuing to rise. Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and Cornwall may not be obvious locations for international business activities, but the region is performing outstandingly when it comes to their exporting efforts.  When exporting, it's naturally important that companies send members of staff to target countries to manage business processes and relationships on the ground.  While some businesses are adept at preparing and training international staff in advance of their moves, unfortunately, many other companies fail dismally in this duty of care. The lack of training given to outbound staff...

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Mindfullness and Training

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Janet Street-Porter gave her views on ‘Mindfulness’ meditation in the Daily Mail this week. At the risk of ‘outing’ my love of a good trashy read when I’m drinking my coffee first thing in the morning, I was caught by the title: ‘Can Mindfulness really make you Live longer’? It caught my eye as ‘mindfulness’ is a term that is increasingly quoted on public forums. As a concept, it’s taken on a life of its own and it’s bandied about by psychologists, therapists, government bodies, NHS and celebrities alike. From a training perspective, mindfulness as a subject has started to dominate the training...

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Essential Leadership Skills for Workplace Success

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With effective leadership driving productive, engaged, and successful teams, it's no wonder that leadership skills are some of the most sought-after attributes. Although some people might be 'natural born' leaders, it's fair to say that most people have to work at these skills. With the right motivation and commitment to development, anyone can gai...

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Top Tips to Help you Become an Effective Presenter

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With increased export portfolios, relocations of large businesses to the South West region and entrepreneurs choosing the South West over other parts of the UK, business is thriving. In fact, it’s estimated that businesses in Devon and Cornwall alone, turnover in excess of £14 billion per annum. It’s a fact that strong businesses need strong presenters to ensure growth and promotion. If you work for a South West business, then the ability to present successfully is a fantastic skill to have. The guidelines below will go a long way to helping you develop the skills you need. We look at the...

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Five Super Time Management Tips!

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Time management skills are an essential attribute for successful employees across all business roles. It’s a fact, that savvy time managers are more productive, climb the career ladder more quickly, demonstrate greater professionalism and competence, have more spare time within their role to participate in training programmes and sufficient time to invest in building and maintaining strategic professional relationships.  As such, if there’s one training course that should be at the top of your list this year, then make it time management! In the meantime, the Training South West team have prepared six fundamental time management tips to get you on the...

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4 Biggest Sales Mistakes that Salespeople Make

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If you work in a sales environment, then the likelihood is that you have experienced the frustrations of feeling you’ve closed a deal, only to find out that you haven’t. Most salespeople can empathise with the disappointment of investing heart and soul into trying to sell a product or service that is clearly a great fit for the prospect, only to find out that their approach has failed.  So, if you’ve got a great service or product but you’re not selling it as well as you should, then where might you be going wrong? Below, we’ve listed the four sales mistakes that...

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Management or Leadership? What's the Difference?

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A common question asked by newly appointed managers attending our Management and Leadership training courses is, ‘What’s the difference between management and leadership?’. It’s an important question as the difference is not a mere case of pedantics. Although the two concepts work hand in hand, there are important differences between the two terms, which managers need to understand, if they are to appreciate when they should be leading and when they should be managing. Essentially, the difference between leadership and management is that leaders inspire people to follow them, whilst managers have people working for them.  To help describe this further,...

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Is Financial Illiteracy Costing you Dearly?

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According to research by the think tank ‘IPPR’, British people love going it alone. They estimate that over 14% of us now work for ourselves.  There’s clearly a huge attraction to working independently (not least being able to manage your own holidays and working times) but the realities of being a sole worker without the backing of all the functions that typically support a larger business can be tough. Not only does the individual need to excel professionally within their chosen specialism but they also need to be adept at marketing, sales, administration systems and processes, website management, IT, HR and finance....

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Hero or Villain? How would you be Portrayed in an Online Customer Care Story?

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The Somerset County Gazette featured an article on 24th September outlining a family's disgust at the accommodation they were placed in when visiting a holiday site in Burnham on Sea (a seaside resort in Somerset). The family report what can only be described as a nightmare for any family who has spent money in the anticipation of a relaxing holiday.  Stomach-turning photographs and the family's account of cigarette ends under the bed, an ants' nest, filthy hob, insect-clad skylight, and a lack of safety equipment all add to the horror of the story. To add further damage, the report outlines the...

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Youth Theatre - Helping Kids to Perform Better

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The Octagon Theatre in Yeovil, Somerset will soon be entertaining families from across the South West with their festive production of Sleeping Beauty. I can't wait!! I love the pantomime and take the children every year without fail.  The cast are always fantastic and the kids always leave having had a great time.I love the theatre.  Not only does it bond and entertain the local community but it also contributes to the economy and provides local dancing / acting schools with opportunities to include talented youngsters in productions. No doubt local children will be included in the Octagon Theatre production of...

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Are Written Skills really so Important?

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Growing up as a child in the 70’s, grammar and punctuation were instilled in lessons and, along with my classmates, errors were not acceptable and we would be penalised for making them. We were repeatedly told that our written work represented us as individuals and that it should be as well presented as our physical selves. When I became responsible for recruiting teams however, it quickly became apparent that these standards no longer hold the same weight that they did when I was a child.  Following my recruitment of my first few employees, one of whom was degree qualified, it became...

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Our Emotional Intelligence Training Course

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Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is, quite simply, the ability to manage one's emotions to achieve successful outcomes. It covers all types of areas, from mundane social interactions to complex corporate negotiations. Emotionally intelligent people can use their skills to drive constructive conversations, (even difficult ones) and to lessen any negative outcomes that might otherwise arise. Since this skill also promotes our ability to communicate effectively and respectfully, it's fair to say that emotionally intelligent people really do get the best of themselves! It should come as no surprise that employers are increasingly looking for emotionally intelligent candidates to boost workplace productivity, communication, and performance.  Our Open...

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Accounting & Finance Skills

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Did you know that the word 'accountability' derives from accounting? Although finance and accounting may (for some) be quite daunting concepts to approach, it is important to understand basic financial management skills for business purposes.   A recent opinion article beautifully explains the origins and deemed importance of accounting in capitalist society from a historical point of view. For example, “In Renaissance Italy, merchants and property owners used accounting not only for their businesses but to make a moral reckoning with God, their cities, their countries, and their families.”If your role requires you to oversee a budget, manage resource productivity, or create...

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What do we cover in our Communications Skills Training?

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Our communications skills training courses are one of our most popular training courses in the South-West. Effective communicators are essential to driving business success in businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether it's a large multinational based in Bournemouth, or a small family business on the outskirts of Yeovil, our communi...

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Training House
Sherborne
Dorset
DT9 5LN

Latest Blog

04 August 2021
Blog
 In an increasingly remote world, telephone contact is the only medium for 'human' interaction ...