Follow us: 




Give your message momentum.

Invaluable Insights

Give your message momentum.

When taking time out creates more “ins”

So… this week my wife shares about her teaching experiences and the value of workshops

When you work in a fast-paced environment, taking time out with your team to collaborate and work together on the business (rather than in the business) is really important. A great workshop or training day re-fires everyone. That includes you as the business leader. Taking time out to learn and network with others in a similar situation to yourself can generate new business and create new relationships with others who ‘get’ where you are coming from.

I used to work as a secondary school teacher and this experience has helped me to pull together training courses and workshops to educate and equip our team at Cre8ion. We have also helped equip other companies to build courses and content for businesses that had not previously led with education.. and the knowledge economy just keeps growing…

Workshops became online courses during the pandemic and while we still believe learning at your own pace is a great way to invest in you, the power of a face to face workshop brings some unique benefits.

Taking time out to re-focus reminds me of being a teacher (some years ago) and how I used to look forward to our termly INSET training days! INSET training days meant lots of coffee, biscuits, chatting, bonding, free lunch and some planning too, of course! There was also a very real relief of not having to look after the varied needs of multiple teenagers for just one day and the promise of doing it all better next time, thanks to a day of learning new skills and pooling our resources. I found it really motivating to have those days together with my colleagues, with the pressure off and our focus on the future.

Regardless of the size or focus of your organisation, you need to find times like those INSET training days when you allow yourself as well as your staff to change focus in a low pressure environment and share and learn. It will benefit both you and them, professionally and emotionally, making everyone more enthusiastic and motivated. This could even lead to an increase in productivity, as everyone will feel appreciated and recognised. We actively encourage taking time out at Cre8ion, with our fortnightly R&D day and away days together.

My advice is, get yourself to a great workshop or training day as a business leader and get topped up on information, ideas and peer support. Then you are in a great place to cascade the information you have learnt to your staff and have more confidence to be able to run your own workshop.

On that note, there is a particular workshop I’d like to draw your attention to which is taking place on Friday 22nd September 2022 in the beautiful Cotswold countryside at Calcot Manor. Cre8ion’s Darrell Irwin is teaming up with Tracey Smolinski from Introbiz to help business leaders to take their businesses to the next level by discovering how to identify, locate, connect and then build with dream clients. Dream clients are the ones with whom you can make the most impact, the ones that excite and fuel your business growth. It’s going to be a special ONE day ‘on site workshop’ to discover what it means to connect with your heart, find your people and gain confidence.

So, what are the elements of a great training day/workshop and what will you be getting at Calcot Manor on the 22nd September?

1. Networking opportunities

My absolute favourite part of the INSET day was the first bit before we had to start working! INSET days wouldn’t usually commence until 9:30 which gave us a chance to ‘network’, AKA, have a good old chin-wag! Socialising and engaging in a group was a relief for me as, most of the time, I worked on my own as a classroom teacher.

When you come to Calcot Manor you’ll be spending time networking with other business leaders and Tracey will be sharing her expertise on the art of networking.

Equally, when you put together your own workshop, it’s a great idea to give the participants a relaxed opportunity to interact with one another first, before they have to listen to you.

2. Stories

Sharing a narrative holds a certain fascination for the listener so it’s an excellent way to connect with the audience. Our brains are wired to follow a story and, if it’s well told, we want to know what comes next and what the outcome is. Sharing information through a story helps to engage people, retain their attention and help them to remember what was taught. In fact, listening to to a story can be as spellbinding as watching a movie and the participants won’t feel as if they are ‘working’.

Darrell has built a successful brand marketing agency through his ability to tell stories and he can teach you how to identify and communicate the compelling story behind what you do. Darrell’s mission is to help your brand find its voice, discover purpose, build a following and establish a community. Darrell teaches brands to double down on their purpose in order to find clients who are a perfect fit. Telling the right story will always elicit the right enquiry.

3. Methodologies

Rather than simply teaching how to do a task people need to know ‘why’ you want them to do it. Teaching the task itself is not as effective as teaching the methodology. Understanding the approach helps participants to buy into what they are being asked to do and adds depth to the learning. “We all know the proverb about giving a man a fish and you feed him for a day but teaching him to fish feeds him for life.”

Tracey and Darrell are both practical people who can teach using real life examples. Tracey has been running Introbiz, a business network based in Cardiff, for thirteen years, hosting networking events, and creating powerful environments where long-lasting relationships are born. Tracey’s mission is to create a community of ‘master networkers’ so that each of their members has the ability to open doors to incredible opportunities and gain more business.

Equally, when you are running your own workshop, it’s important not to waste an opportunity when you share the latest ideas with your staff or introduce new technology to them. If the workshop is a boring or negative overall experience a learning opportunity will be wasted. If the learning experience is positive it will give confidence that the information presented is going to be useful.

4. Games

Whether it’s an ice breaker to kick off with or a game to break up the day and keep people’s interest, games always help to keep participants focussed. Those who like to compete will love you for it! I remember teaching a particular Year 8 class who struggled to focus their attention on learning French after lunch. That was until I hit their sweet spot with word games and drama skits. With sweeties as prizes they started to actually learn the vocabulary I was presenting and roared for more! It’s amazing how re-energising playing a game can be.

At Calcot we’ll be springing some surprises on you, so come expectant!

If you are running your own workshop, Google a few puzzles or memory games relevant to your subject matter and enforce a time restriction to up the excitement. Take it from me, it will add to most people’s enjoyment of the day and help them to concentrate and remember things, especially after lunch!
And don’t forget, if you are running your own workshop, you can always hire in expertise.

There are workshops out there to learn just about anything and you can use the workshop environment to hire in training companies to address any skills gaps you might be aware of in your team. One of our clients, BRAVE, teaches leaders and teams how to have constructive disagreements that lead to growth and change rather than rifts and fallouts. Don’t we all need to learn that at some point in our working lives?

So how about you as a business leader? Could you do with a low pressure day to learn something new that will help you to take your business up a level and start working with your dream clients?

Aside from an action-packed day on September 22nd, you will get also get a copy of The Crisis Catalyst by Darrell Irwin and Master Networking by Tracey Smolinski.

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today…

Share this post:

Sign up to receive insights, new podcast episodes and more

"*" indicates required fields