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Attention to Detail Course Modules

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A wide reaching subject, our attention to detail modules look at listening skills, grammar, making assumptions, risk assessment and more.

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A Sign of the Times - Communicating Brand

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how and what they communicate to customers, using a slightly unusual perspective.
• To encourage participants to think about the language they use when communicating with customers.
• To show that all communication tells the customer something about the organisation, and that sometimes that’s not the intended message.
• To demonstrate how brand is affected by every piece of communication leaving the organisation.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 25 minutes to complete (but can be shortened if necessary). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how and what they communicate to customers, using a slightly unusual perspective.
• To encourage participants to think about the language they use when communicating with customers.
• To show that all communication tells the customer something about the organisation, and that sometimes that’s not the intended message.
• To demonstrate how brand is affected by every piece of communication leaving the organisation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size (working in small teams of ideally fewer than 6 people).

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
In addition to the Sign of the Times cards provided, each team will need sheets of flipchart paper, marker pens and blu-tak. (You'll need to be able to fix the sheets to a wall when complete too.)

Notes:
This is a powerful exercise that really gets participants to think about the way organisations communicate. It is a useful addition to any customer service training but it is of particular use with groups that are responsible for brand and the way the organisation portrays itself to the outside world. This could be managers within the marketing department, branch managers, recruitment managers etc.

It is suitable for all types of organisation, including public and charitable bodies.

Please Note:
The Sign of the Times cards are a particularly large file (10mb) and may take a few minutes to download.

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A Welsh Holiday - Testing Communication Between Teams

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their communication skills and in particular their listening skills, their ability to share information effectively and their ability to explore problems objectively.
• To illustrate the importance of teamwork and develop the skills needed to work effectively with other teams – particularly where teams are small and geographically diverse.
• To understand that effective teamwork involves identifying and capitalising on all of the unique skills and talents of individuals within the team.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their communication skills and in particular their listening skills, their ability to share information effectively and their ability to explore problems objectively.
• To illustrate the importance of teamwork and develop the skills needed to work effectively with other teams – particularly where teams are small and geographically diverse.
• To understand that effective teamwork involves identifying and capitalising on all of the unique skills and talents of individuals within the team.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Communication skills, teamwork, collaboration, information sharing, information gathering, listening, questioning, attention to detail and problem solving.

Group Size:
A minimum of 2 participants are required for this exercise.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• At least two rooms or separate work areas, ideally one for each team.
• A mobile phone for each team (they can use one of their own, if willing).
• One OS Landranger map 125 and one OS Landranger map 124 for every two teams participating. (Available to buy from Trainers' Market.)
• A brief for each team (Brief 1 for Team 1 and Brief 2 for Team 2).
• A length of string (at least 1 metre long) for each team.

Notes:
Each team will work with 1 other team (the partner team) in a separate location, who they should be able to contact by phone. (If there are only 2 participants involved, each team will consist of 1 person!)

If it’s a nice day, the exercise can be very successfully run outside. Position teams as far apart from each other as you can.

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Apostrophes

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of where apostrophes are required and where they are not.
• To build an understanding of where to place the apostrophe when the possessive noun is a plural.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of where apostrophes are required and where they are not.
• To build an understanding of where to place the apostrophe when the possessive noun is a plural.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module is suitable for staff at all levels. Misuse of apostrophes is one of the most common errors in business writing. This module makes apostrophe use clear and simple to understand.

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Bringing the Cows Home - Testing Analytical Thinking

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• Test analytical skills and encourage clear thinking.
• Test participants’ attention to detail, individually or collectively, and to test levels of accuracy under pressure.
• Allow participants to work together to solve a specific problem.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 75 minutes.

Aims:
• Test analytical skills and encourage clear thinking.
• Test participants’ attention to detail, individually or collectively, and to test levels of accuracy under pressure.
• Allow participants to work together to solve a specific problem.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Analytical skills, attention to detail, problem solving, teamwork.

Group Size:
We recommend placing participants into teams of 2–4 for this exercise. However, strictly speaking there is no minimum number of participants – this exercise can even be used to test individual skills.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• At least one Farm Map for each team; if teams have more than three people in them, you might prefer to provide teams with two copies of the map.
• One copy of the Team Brief for each team.

Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
In this exercise participants are presented with a lot of information and success will depend on their ability to approach the problem in a structured, methodical way and work effectively under pressure.

This exercise can also be used to examine the role of leaders within teams. If you wish to use the exercise in this way, you might want to pre-assign the role of leader to someone from each team.

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Changing Partners - Feelings Towards Change

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 35 minutes.

Aims:
• To recognise the impact of imposed change on people.
• To remind participants how easy it is for progress to be lost and for things to slip back to the way they were before.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To recognise the impact of imposed change on people.
• To remind participants how easy it is for progress to be lost and for things to slip back to the way they were before.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of almost any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
You may want to read the article ‘When Change Really Hurts’ by Sheila Williams, which is available in Trainers’ Library. This provides background information about the change curve, which you may want to reference in your discussion.

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Filing Frenzy!

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants’ attention to detail, individually, or collectively.
• To test participants’ levels of accuracy under pressure.
• To show how tasks can be broken down into achievable goals, and how teams can use short term goals to improve performance.
• To test participants’ abilities to work together effectively.
• To examine the impact of change on comfort zones and confidence.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants’ attention to detail, individually, or collectively.
• To test participants’ levels of accuracy under pressure.
• To show how tasks can be broken down into achievable goals, and how teams can use short term goals to improve performance.
• To test participants’ abilities to work together effectively.
• To examine the impact of change on comfort zones and confidence.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Accuracy and attention to detail, teamwork, goal setting, managing change and leadership.

Group Size:
There is no minimum number of participants – this exercise can even be used to test individual skills.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• One set of Filing Frenzy and instruction cards for each individual or team (see notes).
• A stopwatch or watch.
• A whistle or bell (optional).
(Stopwatches, Whistles and Desktop Bells are available to purchase from Trainers' Market.)

New: Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market too.

Notes:
This exercise is normally run as a series of short 10-minute activities (with discussion at various points). These activities can be run back to back, but are perhaps more effective when used as an intermittent energiser during a training day/course and used to illustrate or highlight learning points covered in detail elsewhere in the training programme.

You will need one set of Filing Frenzy cards for each individual or team. (We recommend a set of 180 cards for each individual or team, i.e., 10 copies of the ‘Filing Frenzy Cards’ document if running the exercises on the following pages.)

However, for a simple ‘accuracy test’ you could use fewer cards. For example:
• Individuals – 36 cards (2 copies of the ‘Filing Frenzy Cards’ document).
• Teams of 2-3 – 90 cards (5 copies of the ‘Filing Frenzy Cards’ document).
• Teams of 4-6 – 126 cards (7 copies of the ‘Filing Frenzy Cards’ document).

Note of Caution:
This exercise may not be suitable for participants who are colour blind or visually impaired. However, in most cases anyone who falls into this category can still be involved. Ask them to observe/listen to the teams during the exercise, identifying effective and less effective behaviours in order to provide constructive feedback afterwards.

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Glasstap Sheep Trials - An Exercise in Communication and Continuous Improvement

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Whistles.
• A stopwatch.
• Blindfolds.
• Skittles and hoops (or similar-see note).
• Prizes.
Many of the items needed to run this exercise are available from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
We don't often develop exercises specifically for the outdoors, but this is a simple exercise that can be used by anyone with access to a park, lawn or yard. A great energiser for sunny days and one which really does contain some important lessons about communication and the importance of checking understanding.

This exercise does require some preparation as you'll need to devise a 'course' for your participants to follow. Preparation will take about 5 minutes once you have the items you'll need. The course maps show three different routes through the same course, which means you won't have to change the course itself if playing more than one round.

We suggest using hula-hoops for your 'pens'. If not, you can mark the 'pens' out using other things like rope or giant pick-up sticks. Skittles, cones or balls can be used to mark out the rest of the course.

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Gossip! - An Exercise in Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

Group Size:
The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8, however it can be used with fewer. If you have more than 15 in your group, split them into teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This communication exercise is based on a logic puzzle.

The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8. However, we have included additional ‘gossip sheets’ which enable the exercise to be used in groups of up to 15. (If you have more than 15 in your group, split the group in to teams of 8 or more and get each team to complete the exercise separately.) Please note that where there are more than 8 participants in a team some of the ‘gossip’ will be duplicated.

It is possible to use this exercise with groups of fewer than 8 participants, but as all 8 Gossip Sheets must be used it means that some participants would need to be given more than one sheet each.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 1 - Where Are We Now?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the key steps in strategic planning.
• To encourage participants to analyse financial and other data using a SWOT analysis.
• To encourage participants to think about where they are now, before moving on in the next module to consider where they want to be.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 75 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 120 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

It is strongly recommended that, for maximum impact and best overall use of time, this module is run in conjunction with the other modules from the Hotel Doldrums series.

Aims:
• To build an understanding of the key steps in strategic planning.
• To encourage participants to analyse financial and other data using a SWOT analysis.
• To encourage participants to think about where they are now, before moving on in the next module to consider where they want to be.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will need a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

Hotel Doldrums can also be run as a teambuilding game, where teams are left to compete with less facilitator involvement during the exercise, but a thorough review at the end. This takes about 3.5 hours to run.

If you prefer to use the teambuilding version of Hotel Doldrums, please download the trainer’s notes from the teambuilding games section of Trainers’ Library.

This series of modules is set in the context of the hotel industry but requires no specialist knowledge of it.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 2 - Where Do We Want to Be?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to identify and explore options and appraise these.
• For participants to create a 3-5 year outline strategic plan based on the fictional case study they’ve been given.

About

This module follows on from Hotel Doldrums, part 1, and is not designed to be used as a stand-alone module.

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 135 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 180 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

Aims:
• To give participants the opportunity to identify and explore options and appraise these.
• For participants to create a 3-5 year outline strategic plan based on the fictional case study they’ve been given.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Hotel Doldrums Part 3 - How Will We Get There?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 240 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to develop a strategy from the options generated in previous sessions.
• To encourage participants to prepare and give a persuasive presentation outlining their strategy and the work they have done.
• To reflect on the learning from the Hotel Doldrums series of modules.

About

This module follows on from Hotel Doldrums, parts 1 and 2, and is not designed to be used as a stand-alone module.

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 140 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 240 minutes for this module if working with 10-12 participants.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to develop a strategy from the options generated in previous sessions.
• To encourage participants to prepare and give a persuasive presentation outlining their strategy and the work they have done.
• To reflect on the learning from the Hotel Doldrums series of modules.

Group Size:
An ideal group size for this module is 12, with participants working in 3 teams of 4. If you have more than 15 participants in your group, you may want to consider ‘doubling up’ on some of the briefs with more than one team using the same scenario. This doesn’t detract from the learning; in fact it can be interesting to see how different teams approach the same problem and task.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels including individuals, groups and teams that need to use strategic planning and analysis skills in the workplace.

You'll Need:
Each team will a hotel data pack (provided) and a syndicate room or area.

Notes:
Hotel Doldrums is a series of modules that are designed to be run in sequence.

Together they form a complete 1.5 day workshop, which can be run as a single workshop, or as three independent sessions, each lasting between 2 and 4 hours. We’ve also suggested other modules you could add to the programme, if you have more time available.

The modules, when used together, also draw out skills relating to business planning, problem solving, influencing, team working and making presentations.

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Introducing Leadership - A Logical Puzzle Based Exercise

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To understand the difference between leadership and management and the importance of both.
• To identify ways that participants can lead and manage their most important team members.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To understand the difference between leadership and management and the importance of both.
• To identify ways that participants can lead and manage their most important team members.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Participants with current (or imminent) managerial responsibility.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise is a great way to open up a workshop about leadership. It removes the need for the more traditional participant introductions and enables you to observe the participants in action and explore their priorities and attitudes to managing people.

You can run this exercise with a range of team sizes, with between 4 and 8 players in each team. Please select the correct Clue Card pack based on the number in the team. Choose the team sizes that work for you. For example, with a group of 15, the exercise can be run with 3 teams of 5 or 2 teams, one of 7 and the other 8.

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Job Application 2 – Understanding Job Adverts

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To assist job applicants in understanding what the employer is looking for when advertising a job.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To assist job applicants in understanding what the employer is looking for when advertising a job.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those returning to work after a career break or job seekers. This module may also be used as a framework for 1:1 coaching sessions.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the second module in the Job Application series of short workshops taking participants through the whole job application process – from selecting the most appropriate jobs to preparing for interview. Alternatively it can be run as a stand-alone exercise.

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Job Application 3 - Completing a Job Application

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide good practice advice in completing applications for employment.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To provide good practice advice in completing applications for employment.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those returning to work after a career break or job seekers. This module may also be used as a framework for 1:1 coaching sessions.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the third module in the Job Application series of short workshops taking participants through the whole job application process – from selecting the most appropriate jobs to preparing for interview. We recommend at least running the second module of this series (Job Application 2 – Understanding Job Adverts) prior to this one.

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Job Application 4 – The Gentle Art of Writing a CV

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 70 minutes.

Aims:
• To help job applicants write a compelling CV.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 70 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help job applicants write a compelling CV.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those returning to work after a career break or job seekers. This module may also be used as a framework for 1:1 coaching sessions.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the fourth module in the Job Application series of short workshops taking participants through the whole job application process – from selecting the most appropriate jobs to preparing for interview. It may also be used as a short, stand-alone session.

We’ve provided two alternative briefs for Exercise 1, one for more senior, experienced groups and one for less experienced candidates.

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Letters Solve a Problem

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 6 and 12 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

Useful For:
Anyone who is looking to develop their problem solving skills.

You'll Need:
• A set of prepared puzzle cards.
• A stopwatch (available to buy from Trainers' Market).

Notes:
This exercise requires a minimum of 6 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

It is important that all of the cards are distributed and that every participant has a card but some participants can receive more cards than others – in fact it’s better if they do.

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One Hump Or Two? - An Introduction to Continuous Improvement

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide a basic understanding of continuous improvement as a process and management tool.
• To place continuous improvement in context through a participatory exercise.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide a basic understanding of continuous improvement as a process and management tool.
• To place continuous improvement in context through a participatory exercise.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Old newspapers and sticky tape.

Notes:
You will need a large pile of old newspapers and some reels of sticky tape for this exercise.

You will also need to have made one "standard design" camel from folding or scrunching newspaper and using sticky tape.

This camel should have discernible legs, a head and a hump; but does not have to be a work of art! The participants need to be able to roughly copy it (note - the exercise is about improving upon the original). Finally you need to make a baton from newspaper, which will be used to bat the camel along in the camel races.

You will also require space to set up a track - this can usually be achieved by safely moving tables and chairs to the sides of the room.

You may wish to have a supply of small prizes available for the camel race winners.

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Project Planning Part 1 - Introducing a 5-stage Process for Planning a Project

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 155 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a simple but effective five stage method for planning a project or complex task.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 100 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 155 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a simple but effective five stage method for planning a project or complex task.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 24 participants. Ideally, you'll have an even number of participants so they can work in pairs.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to set up and/or commission and/or manage projects.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes.

Notes:
There is nothing particularly complex or difficult about project planning; it simply requires a logical approach. If you are new to the topic, we suggest you take time to read and digest the pre-module reading. You might find it helpful to work through each of the stages yourself, using a project of your own - perhaps planning a course.

Although you will have asked participants to bring the pre-module reading with them, in practice some will forget. It’s a good idea to have spare copies ready in case this happens.

It’s a good idea to print more copies of the handouts than there are participants because these may be needed if someone has a particularly complex project to plan.

We have suggested that you ask participants to work in pairs. However, this module could easily be adapted and used by a complete project team to plan one project.

It is helpful if each pair has a table of their own where they can carry out the practical exercises. If you have a large group you will probably need a breakout room.

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Project Planning Part 2 - Risk Analysis and Contingency

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 80 minutes.

Aims:
• To minimise the likelihood of crises and project failure through a simple risk analysis and contingency planning process.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 80 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To minimise the likelihood of crises and project failure through a simple risk analysis and contingency planning process.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 24 participants. Ideally, you'll have an even number of participants so they can work in pairs.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to set up and/or commission and/or manage projects.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes.

Notes:
This is the second module in the Project Planning series, covering Risk Analysis and Contingency Planning. The first module, Project Planning – Part 1, must be run before this one.

If you are running this module on a different date from the first module it would be sensible to remind participants to bring their completed project plan from the previous session to this one.

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Snakes and Ladders - An Introduction to Risk

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 80 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the nature of risk.
• To encourage participants to think about risk in relation to project management.
• To provide participants with an understanding of basic risk management strategies.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 80 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about the nature of risk.
• To encourage participants to think about risk in relation to project management.
• To provide participants with an understanding of basic risk management strategies.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Team leaders and junior management.

You'll Need:
Coloured pens and sticky labels.

Notes:
This module can be used as a follow on from "The Wedding Planner", and "The Runaway Bride" to create a half day training programme. You will need a large supply of sticky labels that participants can write on. (Ideally these should be in a variety of colours). In addition you'll need plenty of coloured pens.

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Special Offer - The Importance of Summary and Clarification

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.
• To test participants' ability to listen effectively, check understanding and summarise key points back to the person delivering information to them.
• To briefly consider some of the barriers to effective listening and techniques for minimising these.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.
• To test participants' ability to listen effectively, check understanding and summarise key points back to the person delivering information to them.
• To briefly consider some of the barriers to effective listening and techniques for minimising these.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisory level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can be used as an effective icebreaker to training where listening skills are covered or are particularly important.

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Summary and Clarification

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.

Group Sizes:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to Team Leaders/Supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Summary and clarification are important in all forms of communication and this module is relevant to courses covering topics as diverse as interviewing (particularly behaviour based selection interviewing), counselling skills, negotiation skills, performance management, customer service etc. This exercise can be used as a short and snappy icebreaker to communication skills training.

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Tapping it Out - Misinterpretations in Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate how our perspective of a situation will affect our expectations of others.
• To illustrate one reason why communication isn't always received in the way we intended.
• To demonstrate the dangers of making assumptions about others' knowledge when communicating.
• To recognise situations where the recipient might not interpret our message in the way we intended.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate how our perspective of a situation will affect our expectations of others.
• To illustrate one reason why communication isn't always received in the way we intended.
• To demonstrate the dangers of making assumptions about others' knowledge when communicating.
• To recognise situations where the recipient might not interpret our message in the way we intended.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise works well in a conference setting or with larger groups.

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Trouble at the Inn - Managing Poor Performance

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider different approaches to improving poor performance, and the relative merits of those different approaches.
• To encourage participants to think about appropriate timescales over which they might expect to improve performance and standards.
• To consider the implications of not taking action to improve poor performance.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 80 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 180 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider different approaches to improving poor performance, and the relative merits of those different approaches.
• To encourage participants to think about appropriate timescales over which they might expect to improve performance and standards.
• To consider the implications of not taking action to improve poor performance.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
There are two different versions of the team brief for this exercise.

For junior managers we recommend using version 1, which contains a list of actions that the managers could consider when dealing with the issues of poor performance.

For more experienced managers, we recommend using version 2, which does not provide any clues about the type of action they could take and encourages them to come up with their own solutions.

This module is ideally suited for inclusion in training around managing change.

You can reduce the amount of time needed for this module by approximately 30 minutes by not requesting a formal presentation and simply asking each team instead to talk through its proposed actions.

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Wrong Message, Poorly Written

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants identify what is wrong with a real example of a 'customer service' email.
• To encourage participants to think about the key messages the company intended to deliver to its customers.
• To recognise the impact that poor grammar and punctuation has on a writer's credibility.
• To rewrite the email, delivering the key messages in an appropriate, effective manner.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 60 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 105 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To help participants identify what is wrong with a real example of a 'customer service' email.
• To encourage participants to think about the key messages the company intended to deliver to its customers.
• To recognise the impact that poor grammar and punctuation has on a writer's credibility.
• To rewrite the email, delivering the key messages in an appropriate, effective manner.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and above.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module is particularly valuable because it is based upon a genuine email which was distributed to an internet hosting company's customers. It contains important lessons about culture, customer service, and writing skills. It can also be used to prompt discussion about the damaging effects of poor communication.

For the purposes of this exercise we've shortened the original email by removing a few of the more technical paragraphs.

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Wrong Standard - Examination of a Real 'Standard Letter'

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants identify what is wrong with a (real example) of a 'customer service' letter.
• To encourage participants to think about the key messages the company intended to deliver to its customers.
• To recognise how one badly constructed letter can lose a customer.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To help participants identify what is wrong with a (real example) of a 'customer service' letter.
• To encourage participants to think about the key messages the company intended to deliver to its customers.
• To recognise how one badly constructed letter can lose a customer.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels, and especially people working in finance and/or customer services.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module is suitable for staff at all levels; especially those involved in financial and/or customer services. The example shows a letter that is confusing and pretentious, both in its layout and in its content. The writer of this letter should be aiming to regain - even increase - business from this customer. In the letter's current format it is highly unlikely that this will be achieved.

This exercise would also be useful to develop a conversation in an organisation about its standard letters, which are often carelessly written and should be regularly examined and revised.

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