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  • Personal Development Club User Guide

Personal Development Club User Guide

How to get the best out of your membership

The more you put into this club, the more you will get out.

Like anything else you practice regularly, if you invest in yourself on a ‘little and often’ basis, you will reap the benefit over the course of time. The following are some suggestions on how to do just that.


The Video Tutorials

For the video tutorials we have selected 12 key skills which if mastered, allow you to excel in and out of the workplace. The tools and methodologies demonstrated are well established and have stood the test of time. You may well recognise some of them from previous training courses or development programmes you have attended, or they will remind you of the plain common sense words your Grandmother would use.

Each tutorial is a reconstruction of a real life scenario, and the characters of Helen (Jeannie McGinnis) Andy (Simon Smithies) Steve (Mark Prentice) and Jayne (Sarah-Jane Lee) are modelled on real business people.

The actors have all been in main-stream UK dramas like Coronation Street, DCI Banks, or Emmerdale and some of them present their own TV shows. They are seasoned professionals which means that they have been in many of the scenarios personally during the course of their careers. Their experience in the day-to-day ‘business of performing’, plus their considerable acting skills, means that you will find the scenarios very life-like.

The topics covered are;

1. Empowering and Delegating Effectively

Bringing the best out of the people you work alongside by empowering and trusting them to achieve.

2. Do you Really Listen?

The art of listening and focusing to ensure you don’t miss anything and that you motivate and empower the people around you.

3. Holding People Accountable

Keeping yourself, your colleagues and your team accountable to agreed levels of performance is not easy. This tutorial shows you the way to do it.

4. Getting Alignment in Meetings

Making sure your ideas are discussed and heard by all people in the meeting so everyone’s view is considered before deciding.

5. Embracing and Handling Conflict

Helping to make sure you don’t avoid conflict, but embrace and resolve it in a good way for the benefit of all concerned.

6. Giving Empowering Feedback

Having the skill and courage to share your thoughts, feelings and advice on how people can change and grow.

7. Being Open to Feedback

This short film explores how you can really take feedback on board, and make changes in yourself as a result.

8. Giving Effective Praise

Ensuring all the people around you are motivated by telling them, in an effective way, when they have done well and why.

9. Saying No Effectively

This will help you with being able to say no (for the right reasons) in a way that protects your time, the relationship, and still gets things done.

10. Handling Criticism

Taking feedback personally inhibits personal growth, damages relationships and restricts progress at work. This tutorial challenges you to think differently, and provides a tool to help.

11. Getting to the Point

No more waffle! Let the people around you know what your decision or your point of view is and why, in a structured yet personable way. They will know where they stand and respect you more as a result.

12.  Holding a Performance Review

Bring the best out of your team with a simple tool that ensures that the review of any piece of work or period of time is a mutually motivating and stretching experience.


How to use the Video Tutorials

Each one lasts between 10 and 12 minutes so we suggest you watch the film you want to work on from start to finish. In most cases the scenario will play out a less than optimal version of the tool or methodology, or it will explore through interviews with the characters why they do or don’t do certain things. You will then see them given a chance to ‘put things right’ using one of the tools / methodologies.

Firstly, watch and listen to the verbal and non-verbal reactions of the characters: Facial expressions, body language, voice tone and posture. Observe how people’s reactions change based upon what is being said to them and how it is being delivered.

Ask yourself questions. Do you like what you see? Do you recognise what you see (in yourself or others)? How closely can you identify with the good or bad of the situation? What would you do differently?

For example, in “Do You Really Listen?” Helen is holding an important telephone call on speaker phone. Because she is busy, (and can’t be seen) she spends most of the call checking her blackberry and packing her bag to rush to her next meeting. She not only frustrates her colleague on the other end of the phone but she misunderstands the issue which is business critical.

Do you recognise that behaviour?

Secondly, during the optimal version notice again the verbal and nonverbal reactions as the scene plays out. We know that this is not real life, but if you deliver your messages and communications using the tools as demonstrated you will achieve similar results to the characters in the films.

Lastly, prepare and practice, over and over again. If you like taking notes then take notes, if you learn by watching then watch the film again. Our advice is to role play the scenario either on your own or with a colleague before you try it in the real world.

It is important to follow the steps of each tool, but with your own words and personality. Don’t try to be a carbon copy of the characters in the tutorials. Be yourself whilst using the structure provided.

How often should I practice with each tutorial?

This is completely up to you depending on your personal strenghts and improvement points not to mention what stage of your career you are at.

Some people focus on one tutorial a month, others move around the menu depending on their situational needs. It’s your choice. We know that some of our members enter a study plan into their diary to remind and commit them to a learning session lasting no more than 20/30 minutes every month - on going.

It might also be useful to enter reminders on the same day of other work related appointments. Have a look at the tutorial called ‘Getting Alignment in Meetings’ on the morning of a team meeting, or ‘Getting to the Point’ the day before an important announcement for example.

And the key to mastery is practice. Practice not only with the tutorial, or in a role play with a colleague, but practice in the real world. To that end, make yourself some promises to take action. Identify who you are going to say no to, or give feedback to (for example), brush up your skills with the tutorial, and then go and give it a try (making sure you are not discouraged if you make a mistake at first).

The Recommended Reads

Between us at NGA we have read almost all of the sixty books on offer.

They are segmented into five categories;

Leadership and Management; Wellness and Mindfulness; Managing Change; Personal Development and Working in Teams.

The Inspirational Jim Rohn said “Miss a meal, but don’t miss your reading” so when you find one you like the look of, click through to Amazon and buy it there and then for you or a team member.

We recommend you read one business or personal development book each month to stay on top of ideas, thinking, philosophy and practice. It will serve to make you an all-round better and more fulfilled business person and human being.

Try it! You really can fit it in if you make the time.


The Recommended Video Clips

We have segmented these into five categories as well, and all of the clips are available on the internet somewhere. We just wanted to narrow your search down to save you time.

They are Inspiration/motivation, Communication, Leadership, Heart-warming, and Humour.

Members use them in team meetings, conferences and trainings as well as for personal learning and one to one coaching. It really is up to you, but please do share your thoughts and comments on how you used a particular film so others can learn from your experience.