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Here’s a list of everything we’ve added to Trainers’ Library® recently. We’re constantly at work developing and testing new innovative training materials and activities for the library. If you've a particular topic you'd like more materials on, or have an idea for a new exercise, let us know by clicking here.


 

Transforming Teams - Why Bother?

Article Overview:
Alison looks at the difference between 'teams' where individuals are focused on achieving their personal goal and ‘high performing teams’ where there is trust, and understanding and a genuine desire to achieve a shared goal.

About

Article Overview:
Alison looks at the difference between 'teams' where individuals are focused on achieving their personal goal and ‘high performing teams’ where there is trust, and understanding and a genuine desire to achieve a shared goal.

Opening Words:
It's that time of year again, we are heading for another series of the 'Apprentice' and love it or loathe it, in my opinion it is a great opportunity to observe teamwork in it's dysfunctional state.

The very definition of a team, i.e. A group of individuals working for a common purpose...is missing. The apprentice candidates demonstrate a group of individuals working for themselves who believe that having a team 'name' automatically gives them the status of a 'Team'.

Useful Reading For:
Everyone. Especially those who manage a team.

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The Shopping List - An Exercise in Unconscious Bias

Aims:
• To demonstrate how our own beliefs, values and past experiences affect how we perceive people and situations.
• To raise awareness of how often unconscious bias impacts upon our perceptions of others.
• To understand the impact of unconscious bias on our interactions with others and the decisions we take.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate how our own beliefs, values and past experiences affect how we perceive people and situations.
• To raise awareness of how often unconscious bias impacts upon our perceptions of others.
• To understand the impact of unconscious bias on our interactions with others and the decisions we take.

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:
If using this exercise with very large groups, place participants into pairs.

Unconscious bias can apply to a range of topics and can be included in training on Recruitment, Equal Opportunities, Customer Service and Performance Management, etc.

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Using SMART Objectives

Aims:
• To discover how to apply SMART when agreeing objectives for team members.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To discover how to apply SMART when agreeing objectives for team members.

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

Useful For:
Participants with managerial responsibility, or those who will have imminently.

You'll Need:
• You may wish to have some spare copies of the Action Plan sheets included in the handout, in case participants have lots of ideas they wish to document.

Notes:
This exercise follows on from Objectives – The SMART Way and is designed for managers who need to set objectives for team members.

If you’re confident that participants already know SMART it can be run as a standalone exercise. However, we’d always recommend recapping on the five elements of SMART before beginning this module.

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Objectives – The SMART Way

Aims:
• To understand the importance of setting clear performance objectives for team members.
• To understand what makes an objective SMART.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 35 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To understand the importance of setting clear performance objectives for team members.
• To understand what makes an objective SMART.

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

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• 2 clipboards with pens for the assessors.
• 2 copies of the Assessor’s Brief, each sealed in a separate envelope.
• A copy of the handout for every participant.
• A stopwatch.

Notes:
For managers, we strongly recommend following this module with Using SMART Objectives, which will give participants an opportunity to create SMART objectives for specific members of their team.

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AIDing Feedback (Why Do I Always Get Them?)

Aims:
• To define what effective feedback is.
• To introduce participants to the AID model for giving feedback.
• To give participants an opportunity to practise giving feedback using the AID model.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To define what effective feedback is.
• To introduce participants to the AID model for giving feedback.
• To give participants an opportunity to practise giving feedback using the AID model.

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

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• The film: ‘Why Do I Always Get Them?’. (Our Full and Pro customers have access to this as part of their membership; alternatively anybody can purchase an MP4 download of the film from Trainers’ Market.)
• Plenty of AIDing Feedback Cards and Blu Tack.

Notes:
The video used in this exercise can also be used for customer services training using our module Why Do I Always Get Them?.

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Feeling Persuasive? - The Benefits of Positive Thinking

Aims:
• To allow participants to explore how they feel about their ability to persuade and influence others, and how they'd like to feel at the end of the training.

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

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To allow participants to explore how they feel about their ability to persuade and influence others, and how they'd like to feel at the end of the training.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of up to 20 participants.

You'll Need:
• Blank sheets of A4 paper.
• Pens/pencils with which to draw.

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My Role in the Team - Work v Home

Aims:
• To explore how participants perceive their role in the team and if they adopt a similar approach away from work.
• To explore how their colleagues perceive their own roles in the team and if this differs away from work.
• To understand the importance of diversity of skills and abilities within a successful team.

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

Time:
This exercise will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore how participants perceive their role in the team and if they adopt a similar approach away from work.
• To explore how their colleagues perceive their own roles in the team and if this differs away from work.
• To understand the importance of diversity of skills and abilities within a successful team.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with pre-existing teams of up to 15 team members.

You'll Need:
• One set of My Role Cards per 8 participants, blu tack and flipchart.

Notes:
This exercise is designed for pre-existing teams, especially if they need to work more effectively together.

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My Role Cards

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Seven Copyright Myths Exploded

Article Overview:
In this informative article, Rod sets out to clear up seven common copyright myths.

About

Article Overview:
In this informative article, Rod sets out to clear up seven common copyright myths.

Opening Words:
Oh dear. Before I even start I feel the need to warn you that this is going to be really dull. In fact, to be on the safe side, and bearing in mind Health and Safety, I’d better state here and now that this blog may cause drowsiness – so please do not read it whilst driving or operating machinery.

I didn’t even want to write it really; researching legal guff really isn’t my thing at all. So, why did I? Well, I did it because I’m constantly astonished at the number of professional trainers who are, presumably unwittingly, regularly breaching copyright law. Given the penalties that exist for copyright infringement, I felt that this stuff, boring though it is, is important.

Useful Reading For:
Everyone.

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Clear Communication? - When Messages get Lost in Translation

Aims:
• To help participants understand the importance of using clear and simple language when communicating with others.

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 15 minutes.
About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 15 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To help participants understand the importance of using clear and simple language when communicating with others.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• A prize is a nice touch for the winning team, but is not essential.
• A stopwatch or timer.

Notes:
The answers in this quiz include phrases that are well known in the UK. Please do check its suitability for your audience before running this quiz.

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Thinking Outside the Box - Demonstrating Agile Thinking

Aims:
• To see how creatively participants are able to address a simple challenge.
• Understand the importance of ‘thinking outside the box’ to achieve even better results.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To see how creatively participants are able to address a simple challenge.
• Understand the importance of ‘thinking outside the box’ to achieve even better results.

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

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• An empty box for each team.
• Building materials such as pipe cleaners, newspaper, paper clips, lollypop sticks, string, glue dots, paper straws and dried spaghetti.
• 1 golf ball or hard-boiled egg per team, with an additional 6 to use for testing the bridges.
• A separate room for each team. (If that is not possible, we encourage you to look for ways for the teams to shield their activities from the other participants.)
• Post-it notes.
• Flipchart paper and pens.
• Several small prizes for the winning teams (optional).

Notes:
You will need to prepare a box for each team containing an identical selection of the building materials of your choice. Each team will also need at least one golf ball or egg.

A selection of the building materials can be purchased from Trainers’ Market.

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Filing Frenzy - High Speed Accuracy

Aims:
• To provide participants the opportunity to practice their attention to detail and accuracy skills when under ever increasing pressure.

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

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To provide participants the opportunity to practice their attention to detail and accuracy skills when under ever increasing pressure.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

You'll Need:
• One set of 180 Filing Frenzy shape cards and instruction cards 1 and 4 for each team (see set up notes).
• A stopwatch or timer.
• A whistle or bell (optional).
• A prize for the winning team (optional).

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Changing Behaviours - Responding to Change

Aims:
• To explore how different participants feel about and respond to change at work.
• To help participants understand why they may react differently to change outside of the workplace.

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

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes for completion.

Aims:
• To explore how different participants feel about and respond to change at work.
• To help participants understand why they may react differently to change outside of the workplace.

Group Size:
Suitable for use with groups of up to 20 participants.

You'll Need:
• One set of Changing Behaviours Cards for each participant (provided).

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Doctor in the House - Building Engagement in Sales

Aims:
• To help sales professionals recognise and understand the barriers they must overcome.
• To help participants plan a sales approach that is empathetic and engaging.
• To help participants plan a strategy that addresses customers concerns and quickly lets the customer know what’s in it for them.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 55 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help sales professionals recognise and understand the barriers they must overcome.
• To help participants plan a sales approach that is empathetic and engaging.
• To help participants plan a strategy that addresses customers concerns and quickly lets the customer know what’s in it for them.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 14 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone involved in sales, particularly telephone-based sales.

You'll Need:
• A flipchart and pens for each team.

Notes:
We’d like to thank Giles Smith of PGL Travel for his help developing this exercise, which was born on a Trainers’ Library Masterclass.

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Team Briefs
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Passengers - A Change Journey

Aims:
• To help participants consider the extent to which they engage in change.
• To help those involved in change consider how they could make the change journey easier for themselves, and others.
• To help those involved in a change plan.

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

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants consider the extent to which they engage in change.
• To help those involved in change consider how they could make the change journey easier for themselves, and others.
• To help those involved in a change plan.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 16 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone involved in change, either as a leader, or a follower.

You'll Need:
• A toy steering wheel for the ‘driver’ would be a fun prop, but is not essential.
• A clipboard (or A4 piece of thick card) for each participant would be useful.
• Flipchart paper and pens.

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GamePlay - The Business Simulation Game

Aims:
• To test participants’ creative thinking and innovation skills.
• To test participants’ business acumen and marketing skills.
• To develop team and leadership skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to work creatively under pressure.
• To think about and practise skills covered in the training programme.

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

Time:
This game can be played in about 120 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants’ creative thinking and innovation skills.
• To test participants’ business acumen and marketing skills.
• To develop team and leadership skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to work creatively under pressure.
• To think about and practise skills covered in the training programme.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Creativity and innovation, leadership, teamwork, time management, marketing and business acumen.

Group Size:
You’ll need a minimum of 3 teams for this exercise with a minimum of 3 participants in each team. This is the minimum and the ideal is 4 or 5 teams, with 4-5 participants in each team.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels, including those in senior roles.

You'll Need:
• 1 set of 16 game components for every 4 teams.
• A Team Pack for each team (including the team brief).
• A set of ‘Lot’ cards for every set of 16 components.
• Plenty of space - ideally each team will have a separate room in which to work.

GamePlay Game Packs can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
In this exercise, teams create a new game, which can be linked to the key skills you’re looking to develop. It is ideally suited to residential courses, where participants can continue to refine their product during the evening, ready to make their ‘sales pitch’ the following morning. Or, you can allow them the usual two hours, then provide an opportunity for players to play all the games in the evening before voting for their favourite the next morning.

Having a co-facilitator for this exercise will really help, as it will give you more opportunity to observe interactions within the teams that you can use in feedback later.

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