The Management Centre
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Blogs

Collaboration

Solving problems, creating ideas, building consensus

A crucial skill we all need at work is the ability to facilitate high quality discussions and gain agreement about the way forward. Whenever you run a meeting, you can use effective facilitation to assess opportunities, solve problems, create new ideas and action plan. With a huge increase in on-line meetings, great facilitation skills are […]

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colour-pencils

7 ways to be an ethical leader

Leading in the not-for-profit sector can be tough. Most of us hold these leaders to higher ethical standards than those in the commercial sector. We expect them to be principled. We need them to do the right thing and encourage trust. In short, we need these leaders to model the values that their organisations promote. Thankfully, […]

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Safe space logo

The Safe Space #3 – 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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mouse trap

Risk management for projects in uncertain times

What could possibly go wrong? We all know that risk management is an important part of project planning. But for many people it was seen as a useful add-on to consider when planning rather than an essential skill we all need to master. For all of us, project planning in 2020 has been dramatically different. […]

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Management for softies

Why are some work conversations so uncomfortable?

We all know that effective communication is crucial at work. When conversations are easy and free flowing, we work easily with others, solve problems and have fun. But some conversations are less straight-forward. These conversations can make us uncomfortable and put us on edge. They make us worry about what the other person really thinks […]

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Safe space logo

The Safe Space #2 – giving bad news

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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Back to work

Marie Curie L&D Podcast – returning from furlough

We’re delighted to share with you episode 6 from Marie Curie’s internal podcast series aptly named The L&D Podcast. In this episode, Madeleine White, Learning & Development Co-ordinator at Marie Curie interviews =mc Director Laura Slater on what it’s been like to be furloughed, and how it feels returning to work. The podcast series began […]

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Plea to leaders

A plea to Leaders – if you can’t manage, please make sure someone else can

In every high performing organisation you’ll find brilliant leaders, and brilliant managers. Both these roles are needed for very different reasons. Why do we need brilliant leaders? Great leaders provide us with a vision we can get behind and believe in. This whole-hearted belief is necessary for us to overcome the obstacles that will inevitably […]

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Handshake at an interview

Making an impact at interviews

In our coaching practice and on our personal effectiveness programmes we often help people who are getting ready for interviews. These could be interviews for new jobs, or meetings with new supporters, or pitches. Here, Yvette Gyles, =mc Director and coach explains how to prepare for such meetings with confidence. Why we need to make […]

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vanilla ice cream

Stop, Collaborate and Listen – 3 steps to start building an inclusive culture

Have you been keeping an eye on culture in your team or organisation lately? Admittedly for managers and leaders, there has been a lot to think about in the past three months. Shifting to home working, locking down, unlocking, risk assessments, reallocating budgets, planning ahead, supporting wellbeing, making changes. All important stuff of course. However, […]

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Safe space logo

The Safe Space #1 – communication challenges

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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Connection web

How to be Strategic – use a Golden Thread

In this article, Charlie Scott breaks down the mystery of strategy, and how to ensure your strategy is a living reality. A common mystery Chief Executives rely on their management teams to make strategy happen, from Deputy Directors, to Heads of Departments, to functional Managers, to Team Leaders. Managers need to support their teams to […]

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Sign saying learn to say no

Use your superpower – say NO

Last week, Matthew Sherrington wrote that managers and leaders are gaslighting their staff in the charity and not-for-profit sector by creating toxic work cultures (see Matthew’s blog here). The drive to do more, more, more – and yet never doing enough can be overwhelming as demand for services and support is endless. This is then […]

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smashing a piggy bank

Tight training budget? Then focus on learning

How to ensure people learn, develop and feel invested in – no matter how small your training budget is. The CIPD have released their latest learning report[1], and whilst not entirely surprising, it highlights that charities and non-profit organisations have very tight training budgets. These will continue to shrink. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant shifting […]

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Monopoly car on Chance

Find your purpose – reassess what matters most and regain your motivation

The challenge: The world is a mess, or rather the world feels a lot messier than it did in 2019 – largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has been tough to deal with and yet deal with it still we must. It has been challenging in different ways. For some of us, working […]

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Flexible working

Avoiding the parenting penalty

Avoiding the parenting penalty – take a flexible approach to ensure working parents and carers can be at their best. Charity and non-profit managers know that supporting working parents and carers makes sense. The majority of people walking in the voluntary sector are women[1] and being a working parent or carer is on the rise […]

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Leadership strategies

Leaders – your teams need you!

Covid-19 has presented leaders with a huge amount of challenge and organisational change. Getting your teams and services functioning during lockdown alongside handling the related upheaval has not been easy or straightforward. However, as we move through June and restrictions start to ease across the UK and Europe, it would be tempting to think the […]

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Uncertainty

Redeployed, restructured, returning – how to manage in times of uncertainty

Accelerate learning to help your team through the challenges Lockdown may be easing here in the UK, but things are going to be tough for a while for charities and non-profits. Some organisations have restructured their teams and services to meet emerging and emergency needs. Some people are returning from a period of furlough, into […]

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Sign saying what you do matters

5 steps to keep your fundraising team motivated

Fundraising at the moment is hard but has never been more essential. Your fundraising team might be feeling anxious, discouraged or isolated. You can help them stay engaged and motivated by taking these five steps: 1. Be available: Establish regular check-in calls to ensure your team members don’t feel isolated. Use video calls and virtual […]

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Building Resilience

Building resilience – it’s a journey

It’s a strange new reality that we’ve all been plunged into since Covid-19 reached our shores. With 14 weeks of lockdown under their belts in the UK people are starting to discover how resilient they feel. And let’s be clear about that: resilience is not something absolute, that you either are, or are not. Resilience […]

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One-to-ones at a distance

4 Steps to effective one-to-ones at a distance

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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GROW Big Idea

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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online learning - thinking

Online learning – make it work for you

Learning is important because it keeps us motivated, keeps our minds active and means we are more able to manage change. Change is a constant and therefore so must be learning. And during this time of upheaval, we are needing to adapt to change quicker than ever. Suddenly there seems to be a plethora of […]

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distance manager

8 Top tips for managing at a distance

Managing a remote team of people – who are not sitting anywhere near you and may not even be in the same time zone – can be a huge challenge. How do you make sure out of sight isn’t out of mind, especially when you might have been used to seeing at least some of […]

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Relax

Handling Pressure – top tips for when things heat up

We all have busy days at work. We all have bad days at work. And sometimes the pressure can be a bit too much. We asked participants at our last Managing Multiple Priorities course what they did to handle pressure and stay productive. Here are their top ten tips: 1. Be prepared Recognising that we […]

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Shouting

New managers – watch out for these common mistakes!

In this video we introduce two of the common mistakes made by new managers, and how to avoid them. For further information on management skills and tools, take a look at the Emerging Managers Programme.

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5 ways to say no

For every yes there is a no

Sound confusing?! In this short video, =mc consultant Georgina Wright explains why saying yes to everything at work doesn’t actually pay off in the long run. Consider the options, and make a conscious decision. For further tips, tools and models to help you make the most of your time, take a look at the related […]

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Fight or flight

Difficult conversations – facing them, not reacting to them

It is a universal truth that during our working lives, we will not always agree with our colleagues. There are always going to be times when we need to have difficult conversations or overcome tricky differences. Here is an example: Recently I had a catch up meeting for a project I’m working on. There was […]

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Yvette Gyles

I’m the boss now! Top tips for new managers to make a successful transition into management

Moving into your first role as a new manager is a big deal. In fact, it’s probably the biggest step you can take in your career. Once you’re on the management ladder, climbing it gets easier with time and practice. But the first step is fraught with challenges and difficulty. Building on last year’s Emerging thoughts […]

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Video graphic

Match your body language and tone of voice to your words for more impact

This video explains how the three elements of face to face communications (as researched by Albert Mehrabian) work together to deliver your message. Using a mismatch of body language and tone compared to your words can lead to your message being lost or misconstrued. Match all three to have the biggest impact. Laura Slater, =mc […]

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Leaders - what is your style?

Leaders – who do you think you are?

In this blog, =mc Director Charlotte Scott asks leaders to take a look under the rock… Leaders who want to do the very best for their team and organisation tend to have some awareness of their impact on their teams already. Especially in the charity, social and public sectors. We like to think that we […]

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build confidence

2020: forget the resolutions, build your confidence instead

January is traditionally a time of looking forward and looking back. A time to consider the challenges – and failures – of the year before. To set resolutions and plan for a better year ahead. Full of good intentions, these resolutions are usually broken by the end of the month.I have never been a fan […]

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Ethical Leadership lightbulb

A conversation on ethical leadership – with Cassie Edmiston

Leadership in fundraising organisations Leadership. It’s a big word and covers so many things. And it feels like the very notion of leadership is changing, morphing and growing. Being a charity leader means much more than simply being the boss, holding a senior position in an organisation, and calling all the shots. And there are […]

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Phone notifications

Wasting time – it’s such a waste of your brain!

Time management. It’s a popular topic in management training. Whichever way you look there is something else demanding your attention and therefore your time – and it can feel like drowning. To compensate we set up many systems to do the time management for us: email, diaries, shared calendars, spreadsheets, trackers, applications, phone alarms, meeting […]

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Ruby Bayley-Pratt

The Assertive Fundraiser – an interview with Ruby Bayley-Pratt

It’s an interesting and challenging time in the world of Fundraising. Never before has there been such intense scrutiny on equality, fairness and safeguarding. In the wake of the #metoo movement people are speaking up and asserting their rights. Diversity is being recognised for its importance. However, making yourself heard and recognised is not always […]

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When training is not the right answer

Fresh from her session on assertiveness with Ruby Bayley-Pratt at this years Institute of Fundraising Convention, =mc Director Yvette Gyles offers insight into why training is not always the solution. When we get calls asking us to come in and provide mandatory training for all staff / managers / leaders in order to ‘fix’ them, […]

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Lead without answers

How to lead without having all the answers

In this blog, =mc Director Yvette Gyles shares the secrets of leading without knowing everything. Recently, I have been running a lot of training programmes for Future Leaders. These are experienced managers or experts, looking to develop their leadership capability. Sometimes they have people management responsibility, and sometimes they need to lead people through influence […]

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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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Chick

4 Ways to put a Spring in your Step at work

Winter is finally over. The days are getting longer. The trees are blossoming and all around us cute, fluffy bunnies are happily hopping about as the birds sing hallelujah and lay chocolate eggs for Easter. …Not quite accurate? Are you struggling to find the joys of spring at work? Feeling a bit flat or stagnant? […]

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Mentor

Mentoring – a gift that keeps on giving

Over the course of my career I have been very fortunate to have support from some brilliant people. I genuinely would not be where I am today without the input, insight and inspiration from my mentors – and indeed, my mentees. A mentor can be defined as simply as ‘an experienced and trusted advisor’. But […]

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