Archive for the ‘smarttip’ Category

Your mannerisms say more about you than you think!

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

Take a look around. How are people near you acting?

Body language and non verbal communication can tell us more about what a person is thinking and feeling than we realise. We all give away signs through our body language – as often as every 10-15 seconds – and there can be a significant difference between what we say, how we say it, how we act and our supporting gestures and mannerisms.

Our body language can be influenced by the environment, the situation or the scenario in which we are meeting people. Yet more often than not, we are completely unaware of the signs we are giving off and how they may be interpreted by others. The key is to know what to look for, to be more aware of your own actions and to control your emotions.

One of the most popular SMART training workshops we deliver is ‘Understanding body language and non verbal communication’. Business leaders want to understand their colleagues, customers and clients better and to adapt their communication accordingly. Our workshops have the perfect balance of theory and practical tasks, with lots of fun and humour along the way! With our help, many CEOs, directors, managers and sales people have been able to build much stronger, healthier working relationships and consistently achieve successful outcomes with great results.

If you and your team want to experience similar results and learn more about body language and customer behaviours, contact the SMART team on 01438 227563 or email to book your training – either as a full day, or two half days. We look forward to hearing from you.

Are you being memorable for the right reasons?

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

To a seasoned salesperson, delivering a great presentation is probably second nature. But if you or anyone in your team is new to sales, marketing or customer services, then standing up and explaining why your products and services are the perfect solution to a client’s needs, can be daunting.

Even with all the technology we now have available to help us create a presentation, content is key – it must be relevant, engaging, interactive and memorable. The perfect balance of theory, practical, visual and demonstration. The pressure is on, because your business depends on it – ‘winging it’ is definitely is not an option!

At SMART Way Forward, we have trained many people in how to design, prepare, structure and deliver professional, memorable sales presentations. Many organisations have won tenders, projects, sold more products/services and secured many more orders, simply by learning how to deliver better presentations.

If you want your team and business to experience similar results, contact us on either 01438 227563 or email and book a day of on-site ‘Presentation Skills training’ and see how we can help you stand out from your competitors.

Your ability to manage conflict effectively can help you build more open and stronger working relationships

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

When you are working with people who have different personalities, outlooks and learning styles plus varying degrees of knowledge and experience, it is inevitable that you will not always agree with one other.

Having a difference of opinion is healthy – but it stops being healthy when it creates conflict and resentment or leads to disagreement and arguments. This can then change the atmosphere and dynamic within your whole team or office.

How you communicate and respond during a difference of opinion can have a significant impact on the overall outcome as well as your working relationships moving forwards. It is not always what you say but how you say it. Not only this, but you also have to consider your motivation and intentions behind your argument. *Are you competing with your colleagues in order to gain the upper hand? Are you collaborating to find a win/win solution? Are you prepared to compromise to please the team? Will you totally avoid the subject in order to delay further discussion? Or will you try to accommodate the other person’s opinion? There is no right or wrong way, as it all depends on the situation and your stance and behaviour towards it.

At SMART Way Forward, we have helped many teams and organisations recognise the importance of good leadership, management and communication skills when dealing with conflict. Differences of opinion are always welcome, but how you react, approach and respond to them can have short and long term benefits or consequences.

*Thomas Kilmann conflict management model

To learn more about our SMART conflict management training courses, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Managing change can be straightforward and rewarding when approached in the right way

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

In order for your business to develop and consistently achieve excellent results, you need to regularly review performance and strategies. This means analysing revenue and turnover, new business development, processes and procedures, people skills and training, as well as the overall structure of your organisation.

It can be quite daunting and stressful – but it doesn’t have to be.

The team at SMART Way Forward have helped many companies manage change successfully. We take the time to understand and appreciate the challenges you face, before designing and implementing a suitable strategy that focuses on people, processes and goals.

We can help with everything from identifying and establishing your vision, to ensuring you have the right people in the right positions with the right skills.

Maintaining focus, installing confidence and keeping your staff motivated is paramount when managing change within any workplace – leading a change management strategy without giving them due consideration can lead to unnecessary stress and complications for everyone.

The next time you are reviewing your business strategy, company procedures or staff training and development skills, make sure you contact the team at SMART Way Forward to see how we can help you turn your goals into a successful reality.

To learn more about managing change, please contact SMART Way Forward on 01438 227563 or email

Knowing the learning styles and personality types of your team will make you a better leader

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

When it comes to effective leadership and management, one size does not fit all for each member of your team. Every person is unique and knowing their individual learning styles and personality types will allow you to communicate with them in the right way and ensure you can manage them effectively and get the best out of them.

Did you know that some people are visual learners, while some are aural? Some people like to read and take notes and others learn by experience – being in the moment*.

Some people are activists and confidently take action – worrying about the consequences later; pragmatists approach things logically; theorists base their judgements on available data while reflectors like to analyse and review – but can also be sensitive to being let down or hurt**.

No single learning style or personality type is better than another – the best teams are made up of people who represent a mix of all of them. Your job as director or manager is to understand this and approach each person in the way that they will respond best to.

At SMART Way Forward we can work with you to determine the learning styles and personality types of your people, help you create teams of individuals who complement each other and show you how to communicate with each to ensure you get the very best from your staff.

* VARK Learning Styles (Fleming 2005)
** Personality Types, Honey and Mumford (1992)

To learn more about how SMART Way Forward can help you determine the learning styles and personality types of your people, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Too busy, or just poor prioritisation?

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

In our experience, the most successful, profitable businesses are the ones which invest time and effort into their people as well as their products and services. They know that taking the time to upskill their staff so they become more professional, effective, efficient and productive is far more effective than just hoping that they will deal with challenging enquiries or people in the right way and not hinder any sales processes or tarnish future relationships.

Running a successful organisation is an evolving process which never stops. We all know that without successful projects being completed, new products and services being innovated and new business revenue coming in, you cannot function profitably as a business. So understandably areas such as staff training and skills development can get pushed to the back burner or delayed to a more convenient time. But often, tomorrow never comes and before you know it, no one in the team has had a review, an appraisal or a personal development plan (PDP).

So the next time you think you are too busy, ask yourself: “Am I really too busy or just not prioritising in the right area?” Only you can decide where, when and how you spend your time – but never neglect developing your staff. They need to feel valued, appreciated and developed just as much as your business. They are the ones who represent you and what you stand for. They are the people who will successfully drive your business forward.

To learn more about SMART Way Forward training programmes, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Managing your KASH effectively in 2017

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

Happy New Year to you all! A new year means a new start with plenty of opportunities to make 2017 even bigger, better and more successful than 2016.

Traditionally, the start of a new year is when any professional organisation reviews its strategy. Everything is looked at – from revenue to what worked well, what needs improving, recruitment, resources and what new and exciting projects and innovations are on the horizon.

One thing which often gets overlooked however, is staff development – learning and training.

Customers and clients always expect a level of service which makes them feel valued, appreciated and respected. It is the same for your staff. You are only as good as the team around you, so ensuring that your leaders are leading, your managers are managing and that your internal/external sales and customer service teams are dedicated, committed and 100 per cent customer focused, is key if you want to retain healthy working relationships and stay ahead of your competition.

It is all about managing KASH within your team: Knowledge, Attitude, Skills, Habits. Remember, knowledge and skills can be learned, but attitudes and habits have to come from the individual.

So please take a look at our website, brochure and the links below to see how our Leadership and Management training, Sales training, Customer Service training, Coach Development and CPD (continuing professional development) programmes can help you and your team maximise KASH in 2017.

Please take a look around our website to see how our Leadership and Management training, Sales training, Customer Service training, Coach Development and CPD (continuing professional development) programmes can help you and your team maximise KASH. Or to discuss your particular staff development requirements, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Effective leaders adapt like a chameleon

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

The key to getting the best out of your team is to communicate at the right level, in the right way at the right time. To do this effectively, you need to understand your people.

How well do you know each person in your team? Do you understand their role and their responsibilities? What motivates them? What makes them stand out? What are their training and development areas? What challenges do they face on a daily basis? What’s their preferred method of communication? Why do they respond more positively to some things than others?

Understanding all these factors will give you a distinct advantage. Not fully understanding each person’s personality or learning style could put you in danger of communicating at cross purposes.

The team and I at SMART Way Forward have helped many CEOs, Managing Directors and Managers become incredibly successful at generating better performance, results and turnover, simply by showing them how to better understand and communicate with their staff.

Understanding each person’s individual learning style and personality type instantly helps you become more aware of your communication, as well as your environment. You’ll become more engaging and supportive to your colleagues, more articulate when identifying the right person or people for a task or project and definitely more effective at maintaining a good healthy working relationship with your staff.

Like a chameleon, strong effective leaders need to be aware of their surroundings and be open to change as and when required. Only when you understand yourself and your team better can you consistently maintain a high level of performance.

To learn more about how SMART Way Forward can help you determine the learning styles and personality types of your people, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Know the person, not just their job title

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

It always amazes us at SMART Way Forward how often people make judgements on a person’s level of responsibility based purely upon their job title. Rather than taking the time to understand someone’s role, they make assumptions which are often incorrect and can lead to miscommunication, dismissive conduct, misunderstandings or undermining.

We have seen this happen numerous times – both between colleagues within the same organisation and with sales and customer service teams speaking to customers and clients – and it doesn’t build strong working relationships.

We all have different personalities, learning styles and mannerisms. So the next time you are looking for guidance, support, acknowledgement, commitment or confirmation and you are not sure whether or not you are speaking to the right person, think about your communication. Rather than making any assumptions, ask them the question and find out about their role. You will find that they appreciate your honesty and are genuinely grateful that you are taking an interest.

To learn more about how SMART Way Forward can help you determine the learning styles and personality types of your people, please contact us on 01438 227563 or email

Use the right communication, in the right way, to get the right result

Posted on: November 5th, 2017 by No Comments

Communication is everything. Often, it is not what you say, but how you say it.

Getting information across in the right way can help you build a strong working relationship. If you have rushed information across without considering how it may be interpreted, it can strain a relationship or cause negativity and concern.

We live in a world where we expect communication to be fast, easy and concise. But we can easily overlook whether the right form of communication is being used.

At SMART Way Forward our team works with many businesses and organisations, helping them improve their internal and external communication. It never ceases to amaze us how many sales and customer service teams resort to emailing customers and clients rather than picking up the phone or arranging meetings.

If this sounds like your office, then why not give us a call on 01438 227563 or email and see how a SMART communications workshop or CPD sales / customer service training programme can help you and your business become more effective and customer focused.

There is always a positive to be learnt from every negative situation