Tag: Essex

Induction: Ditch the PowerPoint!

Think about the best and worst induction training you’ve attended. What stuck with you? Do you remember it as a brilliant experience, or as one long PowerPoint presentation? Nobody sets out to design a dreadful induction course; but perhaps the

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Help! I’m frightened to make that call!

Ever get this? You have a list of people you need to call, but somehow everything else is more appealing. Filing, checking the database (again), making a coffee … somehow you can’t find your mojo when it comes to picking

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Every Little Helps

The trust our customers place in us is hard won, and we play fast and loose with it at our peril.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Has it become counter-productive to talk about ‘women’s issues’?

The contention goes that, by constantly ‘bleating on’ about women’s rights, we’re drawing attention to difference rather than similarity. It keeps women stuck in the role of the weakest link, constantly needing support and special privileges instead of naturally rising to the top through talent and hard work. Surely we’ve moved beyond all that now, haven’t we…?

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Selling without being sales-y

You know how it starts. (“Hello, am I speaking to…? Great! How are you today?”).
You know the type. (Pushy. Talks too fast, listens too little).
You know the tactic. (“A special deal, just for you, but only if you buy it TODAY…”).
You know the feeling. (Oh dear, here we go…).
For a nation that loves to buy stuff, the word ‘sales’ has a heap of negative connotations.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Landing the aeroplane

Imagine the scene: Your aeroplane is three hours into a three-and-a-quarter hour flight when your pilot comes on the intercom and says: “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, I’m going to try and land this aeroplane shortly.” What?! You’re

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Art of Apologising

‘Sorry’ is a word that’s very much over-used these days. So when you really need it to count, exactly how do you offer an unhappy customer a really great verbal apology? Here’s how…

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

We Who Must Be Named (with care)

Names have power. Names have magic in them. Names wrap up all our expectations and emotional baggage into a neatly labelled parcel, whether we like it or not. Think carefully before you apply a label your customers…

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Service Strategies to Grow Your Small Business – 30 July

Customer Service Strategy to Grow Your Small Business: Because happy customers make Repeat Business, Referrals and Recommendations…

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Delivering Top Notch Customer Service by Phone – 23 July

Delivering Top Notch Customer Service by Phone – a workshop for small businesses with a BIG customer service focus!

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

New! Workshops for small businesses

You asked, we’ve responded! Coming soon… our brand new open workshops designed specifically for small businesses and sole traders. It means everyone can access our expertise and know-how on a range of customer service related topics, including: Customer Service Strategies

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Five ways to spot opportunist complainers

The customer is always the customer – but what if we suspect he or she is trying it on? Here are five ways you might spot those Opportunist Complainers.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Moving Tales: Customer Service A to B

As some of you will know, I’ve had a busy March and April completing the sale of one house, purchasing another, packing, moving and getting unpacked at the other end. After 21 years in our last home you can possibly

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Springboard Women’s Development Programme: Colchester 2015

GREAT NEWS! We are pleased to announce that Rebecca will be running a Springboard Women’s Development Programme in Colchester this spring. It’s a rare opportunity – here in the UK the vast majority of programmes are run for large organisations

Share
Tagged with: , , , , ,

Introducing our fresh new look!

You said, we listened! Welcome to the refocused, refreshed Winnthinking People Development, spruced up and pumped up, ready to bring the very best in training and coaching to your organisation! What’s different? This year we’ve talked to our customers, reviewed

Share
Tagged with: , , , ,

Customers In Disguise

I’ve worked with some interesting organisations recently, some of which are really not part of the traditional market for ‘customer service training’. And it’s brought about some fascinating conversations. Take, for example, the secondary school where I was asked to

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

High Hopes

I just rattled off a friendly email to a fellow coach, and as I’m a bit of a fusspot about grammar, spelling etc., I naturally proofread it before hitting ‘send’. Imagine my dismay when I counted – in a very

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I don’t hug trees and I don’t knit my own yogurt…”

How does coaching fit in to the development strategy in your organisation? Perceptions of coaching (and coaches) vary greatly, and that’s hardly surprising. There are some excellent professional bodies out there laying down rigorous standards and CPD (continuous professional development)

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Law of Harvest

September means lots of things: going back to school, nights drawing in, the start of that hurtle towards Christmas. It’s also harvesting time, which has been very much in evidence in my rural community. It got me thinking… if we’re

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch out for our new branding!

Great excitement here at Winnthinking as we put the final touches to our new-look branding and upgraded website! It will all add up to a clearer message about how we help our customers achieve more of what they want, and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

We’re all in this together

As I work with organisations up and down the UK on their customer service delivery, I get very used to hearing one particular comment. Here it is: “I would love to promise my customers what they want (a response, a

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Behold the hands…”

“Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.” Michel de Montaigne (1533

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Firestarters (or things that wind up your customers)

“I’m a Firestarter…twisted Firestarter (whoooooooo!) HEY! HEY! HEY!” Firestarters. It’s the name I give to those gestures, sounds and phrases that can turn a perfectly reasonable customer conversation into a raging torrent of accusations, or a slamming down of the

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whether the weather be fine…

Whether the weather be fine Or whether the weather be not Whether the weather be cold Or whether the weather be hot We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not!   This catchy little poem

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How changing your jacket can help you deal with difficult customers

One of the subjects I am most often asked to train out is how to handle difficult people – particularly customers who are angry or upset. There are lots of ways our customers can make themselves a challenge, and sometimes

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons in Customer Service from Doctor Who

Last weekend was all about Doctor Who. Hard to believe it’s been going 50 years – and don’t those early episodes look OLD! How times have changed and how technology has moved on since those scratchy black and white days.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

The Customer Service Magic Ingredient

If you were to ask most customers what they’re looking for in a transaction, they will probably tell you they want the right product or service, at the right price, delivered at the right time and to the right quality.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Experiential Learning: Not Just for Newbies

There’s a truly profound Chinese proverb that is often quoted by trainers, and it goes like this: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember, I do and I understand.” It’s the powerful principle behind pretty much every

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

How to get more bang for your training buck

There are, it is said, three types of training course participant:   Holidaymakers Prisoners Learners Holidaymakers are those who put themselves on a course – usually an in-house one – because they see it as an easy day’s work and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winnthinking partners with Hoskin Educational

Winnthinking is proud to have become a partner with Hoskin Educational, and as such Rebecca will be contributing learning slots to future Hoskin Educational Workshops in the Essex and Suffolk (UK) area. These monthly events are ‘networking with a twist’.

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Self Determination and Building a Narrative

Rebecca and fellow coach Pavlenka Small of Suffolk-based Smallsteps Coaching (www.smallstepscoaching.co.uk) are delighted to be co-delivering a one-day workshop to members of the Colchester Executive Job Club (CEJC) tomorrow, 17 July. The workshop will explore key areas for those undergoing

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

“We Never Sell a Stale Cake”

Think about that for a moment.   This, a coaching colleague tells me, is the actual advertising slogan used by her local bakery, deep in darkest Nottinghamshire. I have looked at their website and it all looks just delectable –

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Biz’ee Mums / Biz’ee Women Summer Networking Event

Really looking forward to the Biz’ee Mums / Biz’ee Women Summer Networking Event in Brentwood, Essex, UK on 01 July. I shall be one of two speakers aiming to put the Buzz into your Business! Do book a place and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Putting a spout on it

When my now grown up son was about four years old, we had those magnetic letters on the ‘fridge and used them to play simple spelling games with him. So, he would read out a word like ‘hat’, and then

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Clarity4D profiling now available from Winnthinking

Clarity4D is a powerful profiling tool, ideal for individuals who want to understand their own strengths and development points better. It is also for organisations who want more insight into what makes their people ‘tick’ and how to bring about

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fifty is the New Twelve

Something strange is happening to me this weekend. I’m going to become a fifty year old. I’ve never been one of those before, so it will be an interesting experience. Happily this momentous occasion will be shared with a number

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guerrilla Gardening for Managers

Did you know that 1st May is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day? It’s ‘an annual event of optimistic seed growing’. If you want to find out more, go take a look at www.guerrillagardening.org – or better still, grab that trowel

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way…”

Hard to believe that Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ has just turned 40 years old. It’s one of those albums that seems always to have been there for me – first heard on LP through my brother’s bedroom

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Forgotten Middle

I want to put in a word for the forgotten Middle. Everywhere I look, in the professional journals, online forums and on the business bookshelves, there’s heaps of opinion and commentary about Leadership; who our great leaders are, the qualities

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why the Gift of the Gab is not always a winner in sales

A best-seller for me at the moment is sales training. That’s certainly a sign of the times, when businesses are pushing harder and harder for every scrap of custom they can get in a marketplace where people are really only

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Listen up, Greater Anglia!

Yesterday I had a day out in London with a good friend of mine. It should be a simple enough train journey home (I live 45 minutes away from London on the mainline), but as anyone who goes into London

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In which Winnie-the-Pooh Introduces the Value of Coaching

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating the International Day for People with Disabilities on December 1

Winnthinking Ltd is proud to be a sponsor of Dancing Giraffe CIC (www.dancinggiraffe.com), an Essex based organisation that supports people with disabilities and their care network in Essex and beyond. 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the International Day for

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Top Tips for Taming Email

As a coach it seems that increasingly I am working with people who are fighting a malignant force in their place of work. You may well recognise it. It’s…email. Yes, email. It’s a blessing and a curse. On the one

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Designing and Delivering Training that Sticks

If you attend training regularly you may have found that some sessions are forgotten almost the minute you step out of the door. Others will have you so crackling with new ideas and insights that you are still returning mentally

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

It’s a well known and well respected quotation from the eminent management expert, Peter Drucker. I use it all the time when working with organisations looking to improve their service delivery or the effectiveness of their managers, and there won’t

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cockle-Warming Customer Service in Cold Hard Times

Customer service is a funny thing. We all know when we’ve received a poor version of it, and indeed, when that happens, we tend to go away and tell everyone we know all about it. Oh, and lots of strangers

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Coaching Skills for Line Managers

Every manager wants to get the best performance out of their team members, but some seem to bring about better results than others. What’s their secret? Once you have sound coaching and feedback skills, you’ll wonder how you ever managed

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Help! The bounce has gone from my bungee!

This morning it is the morning after the night before. Or rather, it’s the beginning of the autumn after the summer before. Yesterday was the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes’ Parade in London, and I also woke up to the news

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

“Being English I crave disappointment…” (Bill Bailey)

Go on, if you’re English, admit it. You know exactly what he means. We could even widen it out to the rest of the UK, I reckon… self-deprecation and false modesty are peculiarly British traits and Bill Bailey nailed it

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Business Coaching is for Winners

Who do you think is most likely to use the services of a business coach? Would you? Watching London 2012, from the comfort of my sofa, it’s crystal clear how integral coaching is to the success of our athletes. Tribute

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer Service Room 101

Customer service is a funny thing. We all know when we’ve received a poor version of it, and we tend to tell everyone we know about it too, including lots of strangers in cyberspace as well as our family, colleagues

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Find Your Inner Creative Thinker

“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.” (Edward de Bono, father of lateral thinking). At a time when every penny has to go further and knotty problems and projects require increasingly imaginative solutions,

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

“We have a plan, therefore nothing can go wrong…” (Spike Milligan)

This time last year I was just about to plunge into something entirely new. For the first time in my professional life, I was about to walk away from a regular monthly salary and strike out on my own as

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

No time to train your customer service staff? Try this…

It’s the age-old problem for phone based customer service teams… they’re missing their targets, but you can’t take the team out for training because your customers are going to keep on calling in and the phones need answering. Here’s the

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Brand YOU!

So there you are, strolling up and down the aisle at your favourite supermarket, and you reach the coffee section. What drives you to select one product over another? Maybe you believe that ‘you get what you pay for’ and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

How to create your own luck

Someone very smart once said to me that “people will only ever treat you as well as you let them.” What wise words! We all, to a very large degree, create our own ‘luck’ when dealing with other people, and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Small is Beautiful

I’ve just enjoyed reading ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a book about epidemics, and explores the factors that combine to make something go viral – be it a disease, or a social movement, or a fashion craze –

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Even more Springboard for your money this autumn!

“A must-do event, enlightening for women everywhere of all ages, at any stage in their personal and professional life.” I have received considerable interest in the Springboard Women’s Development Programme I am running this autumn in Chelmsford, Essex. Thank you

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Written in pencil or pen?

Last week I really enjoyed some performers that came all the way from Los Angeles to play at my local live music event, Live at The Institute. They’re called Sweet Talk Radio, and if you enjoy laid back harmonies and

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Calling all Line Managers!

Have you been promoted into a management role, but feel that you have yet to discover all you are capable of? Maybe you are an experienced manager, but want some fresh ideas about how to support and motivate your staff

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A World of Winnthinking direct to your Inbox!

Frequent visitors to this website will have noticed the arrival of something new – just over there, on the right. It’s our new Sign Me Up! box, giving you the opportunity to get a little bit of Winnthinking delivered to

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lessons from the World’s Fastest Blind Man

Last week I met a truly extraordinary man. His name is Steve Cunningham, and he heads up an organisation called Blindvision (www.blindvision.tv). I strongly urge you to hit the website and read his story. Steve lost his sight at the

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

What makes customers behave badly?

In a previous life I spent six and a half years as a complaint handler on behalf of an investment company. People get very emotional about their money, and rightly so, and during the course of what must have been

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NEW! Springboard Women’s Development Programme in Essex, Autumn 2012

I am very excited to announce that Winnthinking is bringing Springboard to Chelmsford, Essex this autumn! Springboard is often only available to women lucky enough to have an employer who organises a delivery in-house, so don’t let this rare opportunity

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

The Winnthinking view of Business East 2012

I was very pleased to be asked by Melanie Shoesmith of Jobserve Events to write about my experiences at Business East 2012, the highly popular business expo held in Colchester earlier this month. “Delighted to!” I said, and you can

Share
Tagged with: , , , ,

Giraffes CAN dance – they just need the right music!

Winnthinking is proud to support Dancing Giraffe, a fresh, brilliant initiative working to provide a one-stop-shop for information, guidance, discussion and challenge for people with disabilities, their families, friends and carers. The website is still in its early stages, but

Share
Tagged with: , , , ,

Lessons from Pantomime

I have been having such fun in the past few weeks. It’s the pantomime season (oh yes it is!) and my local drama group is putting on a really good quality show. This year’s production, Old Mother Hubbard, is sold

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Motivation without money: Can it be done?

A very timely item cropped up in Call Centre Focus this week, and although it concentrated on the situation in contact centres across the UK, it reflects all too starkly what is happening across most sectors right now. This is

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Intense simplicities

I was reminded of a fabulous concept yesterday, when sorting through some old creative thinking course outlines. Like so many great quotes it originated with Sir Winston Churchill, and what he said was this: “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wii wish you a Thinking Christmas

It’s a piece of text I’ve commented on before but it continues to fascinate me. I was reminded of it again on Sunday night when watching that nice Professor Brian Cox on TV deliver a lecture on quantum physics. (First

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Everyone lives by selling something”

“Everyone lives by selling something.” So said Robert Louis Stevenson, who was probably better known for writing tales of ‘derring-do’ on the High Seas than for giving business advice to the High Street. But the author of Kidnapped and Treasure

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Short Guide to Brilliant Customer Service

As regular visitors to Winnthinking will know, great customer service begins with enjoying your customers and truly appreciating them as the beating heart of your organisation. As with any heart, you need to keep them happy and active in order

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s your Alternative Job Title?

Last time I promised you a fun exercise you can run with your customer service people, to get them thinking differently about the day job. The following works well within a team meeting or as part of a broader development

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer service happens head first

Following my last Winnthink someone asked me to post up a few thoughts about this knotty problem: How do you get your customer service people to do it better – particularly when you can’t promise them any more money or

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Customer service: who gives a monkeys?

Last year, as often happens, I designed a course about delivering outstanding customer service. Not just good customer service. Not even great customer service – but how do you make an utterly, fantastically OUTSTANDING experience for every customer, every time?

Share
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,