Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Difficult Conversations: My Advice for Tackling Taboo Discussion Topics with Ease

Jack Trethewey, Cohort 2018

Think back to the last time you had to have a difficult conversation. Perhaps you were plucking up the courage to ask for that much-needed pay-rise. Maybe you wanted to give an uncooperative group member a piece of your mind. Or perhaps you were reaching the climax of some intense negotiations. How did the conversation make you feel? Did all participants get their desired outcome? Or did you choose to avoid the conversation, convincing yourself it was something for someone else to eventually deal with? Tricky chats have always filled me with a sense of dread and have usually left all parties involved feeling slightly dissatisfied. However, thanks to the entertaining workshop facilitated by Lucy Owens from Lucy Owens Coaching, actors Jamie Cymbal, Marie Ekins and Andrew Palmer, I realised that my conversation-anxiety was misplaced and that it is, more often than not, possible for everyone to come away from tough conversations feeling satisfied. So I am here to share with you some key things I learned, in the hope that you’ll also tackle any tricky talks with confidence and positivity.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Learning to Network

Jaimini Solanki & Ben Campion, Cohort 2019

Our recent workshop with Will Kintish, business networking skills expert, provided a real insight into the importance of networking for engineering leaders.

Simply put, networking is just building relationships. This can be split into three stages: getting to know someone, liking them, and trusting them, which is the foundation for any relationship, professional or otherwise. Meeting people at networking events is fundamentally no different to meeting people at a social event and the same principles apply. This means you can forget about delivering a sales pitch to the people you meet and focus on being yourself!