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Why being together matters! The Annual Working Voices Off-site – LONDON.

Working Voices is a geographically diverse business that is always on the go. One of the key investments I can make is to bring the team together as regularly as possible.

As CEO I am looking to build year-on-year in three clear ways:

  1. I want our team to build a spirit unique in this sector.
  2. I want the trainers to share knowledge in a profound way
  3. I want the way we communicate with each other and our clients to be as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

I think that all my objectives were met.

Here are some of the highlights…

We gathered together for coffee on the Monday morning. A feeling of anticipation hung in the air.

We kicked off by watching the talented Mr Henry Caplan deliver his new course “Having Difficult Conversations”. This course was designed for Senior Management but seemed so relevant that it could work as an interesting module for any part of an organisation. This workshop generated heaps of discussion.

In the afternoon session I delivered the Working Voices strategy for 2012 and beyond. It was extremely gratifying to see such a heightened level of engagement and buy-in. We could not do what we do to the level we do it without a strong sense of “team” – and a focused team at that. The room was buzzing for the whole afternoon (where do they find the energy?). The day was capped off by a trip to the wonderful Hakkasan restaurant in Mayfair for a celebration of what we had managed to achieve and a “thank you” for all the exceptional effort put in during 2011.

Now for the hard work…

Tuesday to Thursday were an opportunity to share knowledge of new courses and new methods. A Top Tips exchange was created so that trainers could share any powerful techniques they had been using in the field. One of the advantages of having such a diverse bunch of coaches is that they compliment each other’s teaching styles: Ex bankers learning from improvisational comedians and vice versa. We also put a morning aside to attend our effective emailing course: a wonderful reminder to all of us on how to communicate powerfully and efficiently with our clients and each other (big thanks to Paul Hill for this). John Mabberley reported back the findings from his Quality Assurance Program. This program is designed to challenge the trainers to continually improve their style and technique so that we can maintain exceptional standards as we grow. John visited every location and saw every course during 2011.

Every so often a new course comes along that grabs our clients and creates a groundswell of demand. One such course is Impact and Presence, a workshop and coaching experience that sits in the leadership space (devised by Jennifer Logue, Henry Caplan and Genevieve Grant). When this happens the only logical thing to do is get the whole company to attend and experience it for ourselves. We did. It was extremely powerful and I’m looking forward to pushing this forward over the coming months.

Friday was an informal day for mentoring, workshops, housekeeping and planning. By the end we were all exhausted but excited about the year ahead.

A big thanks to all of my team. Your excellence means I can sleep at night – I am grateful for that. Congratulations!

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