The Management Centre
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For Learning & Development: yvette@managementcentre.co.uk
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Blogs

Safe space logo

Safe Space #8 – what can a manager do about racism at work?

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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4 lightbulbs hanging and 1 swinging

Why we need Project results: Demystifying outputs and outcomes

Project management is an essential skillset, helping people to scope, plan, deliver and evaluate their projects. Core to great project management is having well defined project results. On our popular Project Management programme we get a lot of questions about results, especially when scoping a project. These questions tend to focus specifically how to separate […]

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Person working at laptop

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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Woman celebrating with fist in the air

The Essential Guide for New Managers

7 Common problems for emerging managers – and how to overcome them Stepping into management is fantastic – sort of. A huge achievement and a massive career change, yes – but which for most of us is also pretty daunting. You’ll find plenty of blogs and articles online to help with the change, but where […]

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Safe Space #8: Poor performance and personal problems – what should I do?

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 #7: I’m managing my best friend

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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Three ducklings in grass

4 Ways to put a Spring in your Step at work

Winter is finally over. The days are getting longer. The UK lockdown may be ending. The trees are blossoming, bulbs are flowering and all around us birds sing hallelujah. …Not quite accurate? Are you struggling to find the joys of spring at work? Feeling a bit flat or stagnant? The last 12 months have been […]

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Gold five

Five characteristics of great managers

On our management programmes we regularly discuss what it means to be a great manager. When we ask people what they themselves want from their managers we continually hear the five key themes: direction, openness, modelling, trust and challenge. Direction We want our managers to provide us with a sense of direction. In order to […]

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seedling

Five top tips for planning your team’s development

Development enables your team members to grow in their role, to feel stretched and supported, and to stay motivated and engaged. One of the main benefits people value in their role is the opportunity to increase and refine their skills. Indeed, one of the main reasons people cite when leaving an organisation is the need […]

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Appraisal

The appraisal is dead. Long live the appraisal.

=mc Director and L&D specialist Yvette Gyles blogs on the pros and cons of appraisals… Tis the season for performance reviews – well, it seems that way to me. But with a global pandemic disrupting our working patterns and processes, I’ve been taking the opportunity to ask charities, non-profits and public sector HR teams if […]

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Safe Space #6: I’m managing people I’ve never met… 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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Safe Space #5 – I don’t love my job anymore

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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pencils in a heart shape

Love your stakeholders: four strategies to handle your 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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man smiling at laptop

Make your team meetings fun again!

Fun activities to include in your online team meetings We all know how enjoyable it is when we work within a close and supportive team. A team where people know and trust each other, where energy is high and the team solves problems together, spots opportunities together and creates new approaches together. Over the last […]

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flowers in a heart shape

Motivating others: how to be an encouraging leader

In this blog Charlie Scott outlines why motivation is important, and how leaders can encourage others Motivation is energy People who are motivated perform their jobs more effectively. They are more creative, flexible, and healthy. They have the energy and commitment to do what is needed today and to welcome what might be needed tomorrow. […]

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blank faced mannequin

Help! I need to have a difficult conversation and I’m worried about a bad reaction.

As we look back at 2020, we have had to handle some tough situations over the last year. A pandemic will do that to you. No doubt lots of managers in charities and not-for-profit organisations have had to have some tricky conversations in recent months, and for some managers there are more to come. Getting […]

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The Safe Space #4 – living with ambiguity

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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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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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 recently has been dramatically different. Covid-19 […]

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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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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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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. This time last year the CIPD released their latest learning report[1], and whilst not entirely surprising, it highlighted that charities and non-profit organisations have very tight training budgets. The Covid-19 pandemic has meant shifting resource and […]

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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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The Management Centre

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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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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