Crafting compelling presentations

You may feel challenged by having to present to groups; yet crafting compelling presentations can be vital in achieving workplace results. Here are some ideas for having a positive impact, getting your message across, engaging people in your ideas and moving folks to action. This week I asked on Twitter for top tips and then added to this by going along to an event at PSA (Yorkshire). So, here is what I have heard, plus my own top tips.

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personal, team and business reslience are inter-related

Winter warmers – top tips for keeping positive

As this is our Winter update we are taking the opportunity to offer you 3 tips for keeping strong through the winter pressures that we all experience. Winter warmers are like toasty toes – comforting and soothing. Also, we offer you a brief overview of our major projects over the coming months.

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Talking for charity

Those of you who know me, know talking is one of my strengths! This year I will be talking for charity. In memory of a young friend who was starting out on research into dementia, I aim to raise money for two Alzheimers & dementia charities. I need your help; please invite me as a speaker to your network groups (social, coaching or business). All I ask is that people can make a small donation if they wish.

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workplace strengths of Rudolph and Santa

Workplace Strengths of Rudolph & Santa

Hi folks, Rudolph here – your friendly red-nosed reindeer.

It’s a busy time of the year here in Lapland, But never too busy to write a newsletter at this festive time for Mary & John @ Development Solutions.

As part of our on-going personal development, Santa and I have recently had our Strengthscope feedback and we are happy to share with you our top 3 stand-out strengths. If you don’t know – Strengthscope is a great way to identify workplace strengths. So, what do you think ours are?

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Valuing diversity in teams

My recent guest blogger (Jasper, the dog) has encouraged more contributions from four-legged friends wanting to share their views on teamwork in the workplace – enjoy! Read more

Appreciative inquiry and action learning

Appreciative inquiry and action learning

The recent International Action Learning conference, held at Ashridge Business School (UK), was a truly international affair that had a real buzz; in addition to the stimulating sessions the Ashridge gardens, looking beautiful, provided a grand setting for a relaxing walk.

I was particularly interested in the shift to embrace appreciative inquiry (AI) into the field of action learning. Action learning is often associated with sticky, wicked problems. So, what’s this – two papers (one practitioner and one peer-reviewed) on AI and strengths-focus in action learning. Read more

Strength in action learning

Six months ago I launched ‘Strengths in Action’; a programme co-designed with the senior team of a medium sized young social enterprise. It weaves together action learning and strengths to create new ways of working for the team.

By working with strengths[1] they can address the action learning issues through the lense of what motivates and maximises their potential, both individually and as a team. The issues are drawn directly from those challenges they are facing in the delivering services and growing the business. Read more

Learning begins at the end of my comfort zone

As I endeavour to become more engaged with social media I definitely feel as if I am at the end of my comfort zone. This may not be where life starts but it certainly is where learning starts for me – are they the same?

At the end of my comfort zone what do I find?  I am reminded of the strong link between learning and emotion. My strongest emotions are feeling excited and nervous. How will these help and hinder my learning? Will nervousness make me overly cautious, not prepared to take a risk and so stop me taking action? Is my fear of making a mistake too great? It’s enough to make me run for my comfort blanket never mind my comfort zone!

Then there is the critical voice we all have. Mine is quick to step in: ‘you can’t manage this, you can barely send an email’ (that is NOT true!) ‘You’re told old for this’ (rubbish I scream). Read more

Action learning by Development Solutions

Action learning sets – benefits and challenges of size!

It is always exciting to start new action learning sets and this month I have started two new ones. Although different in many ways, the obvious similarity is the set size – both have 12 members. This raises some interesting questions, as many practitioners hold the view that 9 is the optimum size.

I am keen to test out this view as previous experience suggests to me that, so long as all members are engaged, the larger number will offer a richer picture and many different perspectives. As organisations face ever new challenges, surely different perspectives and a wide range of experience is needed to generate new solutions. Read more