Member Since: 7th Nov 2016
I've worked in training and development for more than 25 years. After 21 years with two of the 'Big Four' professional services firms, Arthur Andersen and PwC, I left to become a freelance trainer. I've worked in four continents and more than 40 countries, designing and delivering training in local and national government and nearly every industry sector in a variety of disciplines, including leadership and management development, business strategy and a range of soft skills.
My clients include the European Commission and European Parliament and their agencies, most of the major Middle Eastern oil and gas companies, the United Nations, the BBC, the Syrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Russian Federal Commission, the Chinese Ministry of Finance, the Croatian and Serbian & Montenegran Ministries of Defence and many others.
I'm the author of 15 books, the latest of which "The Smart Solution Book" (FT Pearson) was published in October 2016. Two of my books have won publishers' bestseller awards and an e-learning package which I co-designed won two international awards.
In addition to my BA degree, I am a Fellow of the British Institute for Learning and Development, a Member of the ILM, a certified NLP practitioner, and have Diplomas in Training and Development and in Hypnotherapy. I'm a certified DISC trainer and accredited ILM and CMI trainer.
When I'm not working and travelling, I play Association Croquet for a long-established club; I compose and arrange music (I've published over 800 pieces to date); I have regular columns in a specialist music magazine; my wife and I play appalling golf, but we are good long-distance walkers!
Freelance Trainer Wize-Up Ltd
My discussion replies
7th Jun 2017
I would like to know a little more about what you are looking for. Games don't build teams - that's done by good management. If you need teambuilding, then start by addressing the way the team is managed. A game for the team won't change anything.
If you simply want a game, let us know and I can suggest lots. But, as posed, the question is asking for two different things.
13th Dec 2016
Around 80% of my work is conducted outside the UK to groups speaking English as a second or third language. If I am working in a single culture, I ensure that I research that country first. If working in a multicultural group, I find I don't need to change much of what I would do for a native English-speaking audience except:
- eliminate any colloquial expressions
- speak a little slower
- reduce pure presentation and engage the groups in more activities
- don't put pressure on individuals to give plenary feedback but allow those who want to speak to represent their groups
If people are attending a course delivered in English, you have to assume that they have at least a basic working knowledge of it. Keep it simple without dumbing down the learning.
13th Dec 2016
I'm not sure why so may trainers have a desperation to get participants to talk at the outset. It can cut into valuable learning time and often serves little purpose. To me it has little more value than an 'ice-breaker' which is unrelated to the theme of the training.
I tend to set up training rooms cabaret style and I ask participants to introduce themselves to each other around their own tables so they feel more comfortable with each other. Then I ask each person who gives feedback from a small group activity to introduce themselves just before they speak.
I also get them involved in plenary discussions as early as possible, so they get a chance to talk and (if appropriate) introduce themselves as they do so.
Why embarrass people before they get settled?
14th Nov 2016
I tried for years to get people to turn off their mobiles and it didn't work. Now I make an announcement at the beginning of a course that when I was a little boy, my mother would say "Don't talk to me when I am on the phone - it's rude!" and then I tell the group that they are entitled to text and make as many calls as they wish, but that I will stop the course when their phone emerges out of due deference to them, because it would be rude for me to talk whilst they are using the phone.
The moment a phone appears, I simply stop, mid-sentene. Everyone is bewildered at first, then looks around and tells whoever is using their phone to put it away. It rarely happens a second time.
I have done this when running conferences for several hundred people. It works a treat!