The Management Centre
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Blogs

So you want to be a manager? Questions to ask before seeking that promotion

Are you an aspiring manager? Do you feel the pull towards leadership? In this article, Petia Tzanova, =mc Learning and Development Consultant draws on her extensive career to outline key considerations when taking your first step into management.  If you’re undecided whether a management role is the right move for you, then use this guide […]

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What gives Charity Managers a leading edge? Balancing commercial management with a social heart

In this interview Chris Chadford, Learning and Development Manager at the Calico Group, shares his experience of developing managers so they have commercial, financial and innovation skills. The Calico Group is a collection of social profit-for-purpose businesses, charities and services, that exist to make a difference to people’s lives. Whilst each area of the group […]

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Safe Space – I can’t stop rescuing people, and it’s making me ineffective!

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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The Coaching Approach to Leadership

You step up – I’ll step back: the coaching approach to becoming a leader

=mc Director Laura Slater blogs on the benefits of using the ‘coach approach’ with your teams. Here at =mc we know that stepping into leadership is a big deal. As you become more senior in an organisation, an exciting aspect of moving up is being able to actually set the direction for your team or department – […]

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Assertiveness at work

I’m Ok, You’re Ok – Assertiveness at work explained

Being assertive at work can be really hard, and this is something many people struggle with. Our insecurities, perceived weaknesses, motivations and goals can all stop us from being assertive when we need to be. In this article, Charlotte Scott explains why we need assertiveness, what it actually is, and how to be assertive. Why […]

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Leadership Development – bringing the team together

In this interview, Rebecca Cooper, Head of People and Development at ACT Training shares her experience of what effective leadership development looks like in action. ACT Training provides a wide range of fully-funded training programmes for individuals and employers in Wales. Their mission to improve lives through learning stands side by side with our own […]

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4 wooden cubes in a row, the first is green with a drawing of a lightbulb on it, the other three are identical and show a white outline of a head with a question mark inside

Which is best – online or face-to-face training?

Online learning was pushed into the spotlight a few years ago out of necessity. Since then, many of our customers still choose to develop their teams via a virtual classroom. Where face to face training has all the known benefits of physically being in the same learning environment, online opens up access to those in […]

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Delegating effectively

Management essentials – how to delegate effectively

Being a manager means taking on more responsibilities and also letting go of others. However, as much as we know delegation is a good thing – we still struggle to do it well. Delegation provides your team with learning opportunities, development projects, balances workload and gives room for new insights. As a manager though you […]

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Can managers still learn from Adair fifty years on?

John Adair’s Action-Centred Leadership is a classic leadership model, first shared in 1973[i]. It’s used widely in management development to help managers get to grips with the multiple responsibilities that they need. A lot has changed over the last fifty years, and the situations we face as managers feel increasingly complex. Is this model still […]

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Safe Space – it feels like I’m running a marathon

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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Safe Space #12 How can I connect my hybrid-working team?

Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, issues, challenges, and worries. In this regular feature we share some of those challenges, and our advice, for dealing with them. […]

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Managers Toolkit: Unhelpful Management Mindsets

This video introduces 6 destructive mindsets that new managers often fall into by mistake. Each of these can have a negative impact on your success as a manager, how your team perceive you and ultimately how they perform. Explore each mindset, reflect on your own practices and work out what kind of manager you want […]

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Why doesn’t my team learn from training? What can I do about it?

Sending your team members on a training course should be a fantastic opportunity: for them to learn new things, for you to see them doing new things, for you to save some of your precious time, and ultimately to enable your organisation to do more, or do better. However, training isn’t cheap – it takes […]

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The Safe Space – pre-holiday mountain, post-holiday blues

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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Is your project a zombie, troll or unicorn? Maybe it’s just confused and needs a rationale

In this blog, Director, Laura Slater looks at common problems with projects, and gives an overview of =mc’s approach to Project Rationale. =mc’s Systems Model outlines 3 elements in getting your project rationale right. They are: Driver: what triggered this project? Why was it initiated? Was this in response to a need (various departments need […]

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Managers toolkit – coaching people using reflection techniques (Johari Window)

This video explains how you can use the Johari Window (Created by American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955) to coach your high performers to make new discoveries about their working practices. Using a coaching approach allows the coachee to take ownership of their own development, gaining confidence as they are empowered by […]

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Safe Space #19: my team are dragging me down – help!

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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How do I get that BIG thing done?

Here’s a scenario we hear regularly from participants on our training programmes, and we think many people will identify: Your big or complex task keeps getting moved from one to-do list to the next without making progress on it. It stays put for days, maybe weeks, perhaps haunting you in the back of your mind […]

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How to avoid boring team meetings

Meetings can be fun, empowering and a way to enable new thinking. They bring people together, to share information and collaborate. Sadly, they can also be the polar opposite – dull, frustrating events where nothing gets decided and everyone’s time is wasted. We often hear from participants on our training programmes that they actually dread […]

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The Management Centre

5 Ways to say No

 I find it really hard to say no to colleagues’ requests – never mind my manager – and I feel like I’m drowning at times. Help! Ah, yes – you’re not alone. One of the biggest challenges participants talk about on our management training courses is ‘I just don’t know how to say no.’ Like […]

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The secret of successful time management

Everyone I know is busy. Seemingly busier than they’ve ever been – myself included. Home life, work life, social life, they’re all competing for our time. And there comes a point when even fitting in the fun stuff can be exhausting, because we’re already worn out from trying to do all the other things, all […]

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The Management Centre

How do I find out what makes my staff tick?

In this blog, =mc Director Charlotte Scott shares practical advice on how to motivate your teams. I want my team to feel motivated in their roles – what can I do? It’s generally agreed that motivation is a good thing – and a topic all managers think about at some point. Motivated staff perform their […]

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challenging behaviour at work

7 things to think about when managing challenging behaviour at work

In this blog =mc Director Yvette Gyles looks at 7 key questions to help you work out how best to manage behaviour at work. As a manager, one of the most difficult things to deal with is managing ‘challenging’ behaviour, whether it’s because you don’t have a good personal connection with that person, or they’re […]

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Safe Space #18: can I performance manage people I don’t line manage?

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues and gain advice from top learning & development consultants Here at =mc, we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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Whose project is it anyway?

How to clarify project roles and responsibilities Three of the main problems that affect project success are unclear responsibilities, poor communication, and ill-defined decision-making. If team members are unclear about their role, tasks can get missed or there may be a duplication of efforts. When communication is poor, this can lead to misunderstandings and people […]

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Why is feedback so hard to give?

Receiving feedback is vital for all of us. It lets us know what we are doing well. It also provides us with areas of development, improvement and stretch. Everyone we meet wants feedback, but the vast majority say they don’t get enough. So, what is stopping us from sharing feedback with our colleagues? In this […]

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3 Ways to check in on your team’s wellbeing

At last, it’s becoming the norm for personal wellbeing to be considered important in the workplace. When we think about how much our personal lives can affect us at work and our ability to perform well, it seems incredulous that staff wellbeing has previously been so far down the agenda. The pandemic forced this to […]

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4 Steps to effective one-to-ones

One-to-ones are one of the most important ways managers can support their team members. They are an opportunity to step away from the to-do-list and think more strategically about what you’re trying to achieve, the impact the work is having and the priorities moving forward. One-to-ones provide a dedicated space for managers to help their […]

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The appraisal is dead. Long live the appraisal.

=mc Director and L&D specialist Yvette Gyles blogs on the pros and cons of appraisals… Many of us have had to adapt to changes to hybrid or home working in the last couple of years. Whether it’s affected you directly or indirectly, our working patterns and processes have been disrupted. Add to that an increasingly […]

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The Applicant Experience – a recruiter’s guide

Following on from our 5 Ways to Improve Your Recruitment Process, we asked our latest recruits how they found our process, and what advice they would give to recruiters. It’s really important to review your recruitment approach from the point of view of your applicants, so we asked them for their honest feedback and views. […]

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Learning without training – Books

We love learning here at =mc, as you would expect! And whilst we spend almost all of our time delivering training, we wholeheartedly believe in learning lots of things in lots of different ways. In this blog we take a look at how to learn from reading, and have book recommendations for you. There are […]

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The Safe Space – getting focused

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues and gain advice from top learning & development consultants Here at =mc, we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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failed resolutions

Failed resolutions? Here’s how to break the habit.

I’m a resolution failure. It is highly likely you have already broken your new years resolution, along with almost everyone else. And it seems to me (admittedly from chats and straw polls, this isn’t science) that almost every year resolutions tend to be about mind, body, and not drinking the good stuff. Maybe because we make these promises […]

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Safe Space #17 – How do I support my neurodivergent team member?

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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Learning without training – podcasts

We love learning here at =mc, as you would expect! And whilst we spend almost all of our time delivering training, we wholeheartedly believe in learning lots of things in lots of different ways. In this blog we take a look at how to learn from listening, and have podcast recommendations for you. There are […]

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Safe Space #16 – How do I manage my new manager?

Welcome to the Safe Space – where managers can share their issues, and gain advice from top learning & development consultants. Here at =mc we encourage every participant we meet on our programmes to get in touch if they have specific issues they want to follow up on. From this we hear some common problems, […]

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5 Ways to Improve Your Recruitment Process

We are currently recruiting for trainers here at =mcLearning, and it is a very interesting process given the current challenges with recruitment in the UK. Here, lead recruiter and =mc Director Yvette Gyles shares her thoughts on the process so far, and what can be done to make a recruitment process successful. We have been […]

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4 strategies to help manage your project stakeholders

It is a principle universally acknowledged that projects often fail because of people. If you can manage your stakeholders, you have a much greater chance of success. The life of a project manager is a tricky one. A constant balancing act – trying to keep your project on track, to time, to budget, with excellent […]

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GROW your approach to coaching

What’s the Big Idea? During the 1980’s Sir John Whitmore, Timothy Gallwey and Graham Alexander created the (now world renowned) GROW coaching model. It draws on methods developed by the trio which have since been applied in a wide range of settings around the world. In this =mc Big Idea we explore how the GROW […]

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Management or Leadership – which do I need?

Managers are often tasked with demonstrating leadership in their role. Telling someone to be more of a leader can however be confusing. What is management? What is leadership? Why do managers need to lead? Why do leaders need to also manage? Many researchers, academics and theorists have put forward a variety of definitions of management […]

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