3110, 2018

8 Quick Tips for training your staff on a Budget.

In line with the Government’s end of year Budget, and knowing that training (and marketing) budgets are the first to be reduced when financial decisions are being made, here are my 8 Quick Tips for saving money and training your staff on a Budget.

Before you spend any of your training budget, carry out an internal Skills Gap Analysis and/or Training Needs Analysis to assess the skills gap in your business – some training is superfluous and/or is not being correctly thought through
Ask your staff – they are best to tell you what training they need for the job they are currently doing (or being promoted to do)
Determine what training is beneficial to the business immediately and what other training is needed, but is not so important right now, but that can be budgeted for next year – perhaps some areas of your business need more attention than others
Set out your training objectives in line with the business plan, what do you want the training to achieve for the business, department, team, employee – make sure your objectives/decisions are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based
Consider cutting costs by focusing your training on key individuals – for example, senior staff […]

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609, 2018

STOP holding back the tears, a warning signal

Shedding tears can be seen as a sign of weakness. And even though crying is natural, it is unfortunately seen as weakness and cant cope in the workplace. But crying is a natural response to stress, frustration, or sadness. So if you break down in the office, at your desk, don’t apologize or allow others to accuse you of being unprofessional.

For many of us, getting frustrated, flustered or just plain emotional can have us end up in tears. And it happens more often than you may think in the one place you hope it doesn’t: the workplace. Turns out, 41 per cent of women and 9 percent of men cry in the workplace and at some point in your career you will probably end up in tears in front of your boss, client or colleagues. It happens to most of us, and it is usually when we don’t see it coming.

But today, with workplaces valuing emotional intelligence more and more, someone who cries at work can now be seen as a person who is very passionate. And with power players like Sheryl Sandberg and Tina Fey telling us that crying at work is acceptable, we may be changing our views […]

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808, 2018

Got a problem? Just focus on finding the solution

Too many CEOS approach difficult problems with either or thinking: The answer is right or wrong, good or bad, win or lose.

To cultivate a nuanced perspective, challenge your understanding of the problem. Ask yourself, “What am I not seeing here?” and “What else might be true?” Don’t seek out answers that just confirm what you already know.

It’s also best practice to tackle this kind of challenge first thing in the morning, when your mind is fresh.

Spend at least an hour on it without interruption.

This dedicated time ensures that you give a complex issue the attention it needs — attention that might otherwise be consumed by less intellectually demanding tasks.

And as you work, pay attention to how you’re feeling. Embracing complexity is an emotional challenge in addition to a cognitive one. You’ll need to manage tough emotions like fear and anger and get yourself out of flight-or-fight mode so that you can think more expansively.

Words of Wisdom from HBR


About the Author


Jannette Brimm specialises in corporate business skills (aka soft skills).

Working in the legal sector for 27 years, Jannette Brimm has provided support to solicitors at law firms 大成Dentons, Maples and Calder (Cayman Islands), Watson Farley and […]

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1502, 2018

Events Management…..the good, the bad and The Presidents Club

Event management is a team effort but is generally tied to one individual, the team leader, final decision maker. It is the coordinated skills effort of planning, organizing, time managing, logistics, communication with internal/external suppliers to name a few skills. Events management takes in corporate events, office parties, client entertaining, fundraising, sporting events, fashion shows, and much more.

Every client is different, of course, and therefore every event has to be different. You have to look at practical things such as venue finding, on-site event management, accommodation organisation and AV technical support together with creative thinking in terms of choosing the right colours, sounds and smells to ensure everyone’s enjoyment.



Some of the key skills needed are:

excellent organisation skills.
the ability to carry out a number of tasks at the same time.
good communication skills.
people skills.
a creative approach to problem-solving.
a high level of attention to detail.
the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
good negotiation skills
sales skills; and
marketing skills (online and offline).

Get the event right and what a buzz get it wrong and what a living nightmare.

The Presidents Club – Good event gone wrong

Being involved in organising such an event and/or inviting clients to attend could have resulted in a major embarrassment from the […]

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3001, 2018

Anger Management….because not all of us have a tiny temper

Having good anger management skills are invaluable, especially when it comes to the workplace. Nobody wants to work in an environment where people are at each other’s throats all the time, or where people are treading on eggshells because they don’t want upset a certain somebody. Yes, you will get annoyed with the people you work with and yes there will be times when you disagree. But the way you handle yourself is crucial. Keeping a calm and collected mind while at work will allow others to listen to you and take you more seriously, and will let your boss see that you’re someone who can keep calm under pressure. When looking at who to promote, do you think your boss is going to choose someone who can’t keep their temper under control? Being able to deal with your anger effectively at work will make you more likeable, more productive and more likely to succeed.

Everyone gets angry – it is one of the emotions that make us human. Anger is a natural emotion and there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it from time to time. However, there are times when our anger gets the best of us and we end up […]

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1512, 2017

Because you cannot drive a Fiesta like a Ferrari!

Working Weekends – the 9 to 5 is not for the self employed

Running a business takes horse power like that of a Ferrari – it takes 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 24 hours day – it cannot be run like a 9-5, open Monday to Friday with weekends off!

Having been an employee of law firms for many years, there is something to be said (and which I am about to say in this blog!) about having a job and enjoying that Friday feeling when you know you will have two days off (and still get paid!).

Sadly this is weekend feeling is not a luxury for the self-employed especially if it is a service business like mine, no invoice, no paying clients, no money is my very harsh reality but I love it really; working weekends keeps me on my business toes and ahead of the curve, there is something pleasurable about sending an email on the weekend, knowing it will not be picked up until Monday, this cleverly frees up my Monday morning to be my weekend feeling when everyone else is rushing to work after a non working weekend.

As many know running your own business means […]

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512, 2017

Driving leadership for today’s lawyers

Being a good leader is not an easy job. Yet it is something many of us aspire to be – whether it at our jobs, at home or amongst friends. Everyone wants to be someone that can lead and commands the respect of others. Although many people are natural-born leaders, there are things that you can do to help you become a better leader.

Elon Musk of Tesla Motors displays these leadership skills, and more, every day. Many people who have worked with Musk have said that he possesses an extraordinary ability to make people see his vision. This is the mark of a true leader because it shows that not only does he have passion for his subject, but he is able to communicate clearly in a way that shows others what he means. Although Musk has faced several difficulties and obstacles throughout his illustrious career, he has persevered. He has shown courage, passion and humility and as such has co-founded and developed some of the greatest technological advances of our time.

The hard work and great leadership skills of Elon Musk show in his net worth. Currently estimated to be around the $11.5bn mark, Musk is one of the wealthiest […]

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410, 2017

The Art of Effective Communication for the Family Lawyer

This article was first published on the Law Society’s Family Section on 13 March 2017
Jannette Brimm, training director at Skillssanctuary Ltd (formerly Skillsology Ltd), offers insight into the value of effective communication within a family law practice.

Effective communication with colleagues is a valuable skillset to develop, and while it will not produce a utopic family law firm, it enables us to better relate to our clients, both internally and externally, by helping to build valuable relationships that will support us in reaching our professional and personal goals.

Are you working on your working relationships?

As a lawyer, it’s strange to think of your colleagues as clients; they don’t pour out their emotional hearts to you like your external clients, or come to you for legal advice on domestic abuse, or talk about their matrimonial meltdown. But your colleagues (your internal clients) are those you work with every day and they are equally fundamental to your firm’s success.

Your internal client is every single colleague who assists you to serve your external clients. They are integral to your firm’s value chain, revenue, billable targets and meeting the emotional needs of your external clients. This requires partners, lawyers and support staff to proactively talk to […]

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2909, 2017

Global Leader – Trump Tower, Trump Power

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is a successful businessman with strong leadership skills. Regardless of your political viewpoint, Donald has been successful in business and real estate for the many years. The business world has known him for his real estate successes and mainstream America recognises him for The Apprentice television series. Even more recently, with his decision to run for President (and win), he is a part of popular American culture and now many a great dinner party discussion.

You might argue that Donald Trump is arrogant and could, perhaps, even be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. Regardless of the viewpoint, it takes a confident person to be able to lead others effectively (or ineffectively). Can you remember the last time you were influenced by someone who lacked confidence but had a loud voice and intimidating style? Being confident is a critical part of business, particularly when you are regularly involved in complex negotiations.

Donald Trump is not that much different than many of the effective leaders in the world. The amount of wealth he has and his personality are definitely differentiators, though. His “in your face” style is off-putting to some but refreshing to others. No matter what […]

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2702, 2017

Name it to Claim it

What’s in a name? “…that which we call a rose – by any other name would smell as sweet; [famous words from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 1600]

Naming things is hard. When you name something, you want it to anchor itself in people’s minds; the name and the thing are then forever connected. It creates brand recognition and builds a strong business. Names and words don’t exist in a solo vacuum. People often have history with them or create associations.
But how do you tell if the company name you have in mind is a good one? Just going with it might be the easiest route, but you’ll kick yourself if a much better company name comes along or a problem emerges with the name you’ve chosen especially if you find yourself going through a long and costly process to change the company name to something else (our lesson learnt). Much better to reject the wrong name now and choose a name that’s going to be an asset to your business.
is our new company name
We must remember a business needs a lot of different things in order to succeed. Smart leadership, good marketing, and a sound business strategy are by far the […]

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1902, 2017

Happy New Year 2018

And no this is not a typo!
Happy New Year to you all for 2017 but least none of us be surprised that the words “I can’t believe it’s 2018” will soon be echoing across the workplace water stations as once again 12 months will fly by and we look back with disbelief on “how on earth” did yet another year pass so quickly, as we are left still recounting the same old words of we are getting older, I am not where I want it to be, I need to leave this place, I need to spend more time with my children – each New Year we make heady new year resolutions and before you know it, it is Happy New Year 2019!

I have always said ‘The end dictates the beginning’, knowing where you want to go allows you to start mapping out the journey so by the end of 2017 you have to start the journey this January 2017.  The big question therefore is what are you going to do this new year? What plans and projects have you put in place to focus your day and time?  Yes the year will be busy, nothing new there, but unfortunately as we know busy does […]

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303, 2016

Women More Than Men to Be Impoverished in Retirement

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A new analysis finds that women are far more likely than men to face financial hardship in retirement. A report released today by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds that across all age groups, women have substantially less income in retirement than men. For women age 65 and older, the data indicate that their typical income is 25 percent lower than men. As men and women age, men’s income advantage widens to 44 percent by age 80 and older. Consequently, women were 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older, while women age 75 to 79 were three times more likely to fall below the poverty level as compared to their male counterparts.

These findings are contained in a new report, Shortchanged in Retirement, The Continuing Challenges to Women’s Financial Future. The report is availablehere.

A live webcast of the report findings will occur during the NIRS retirement policy conference, Retirement Realities, scheduled for March 1, 2016. Watch the conference proceedings here. The conference agenda is available here, which includes opening remarks from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and expert discussions of women’s issues, retirement investing and behavioral finance.

“It is well documented that the […]

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1401, 2016

What is your New Year’s Revenue Resolution?

Happy New Year to each and every one and may 2016 bring you all plenty of work, wealth and great health.
A New Year generally lends itself to a time of reflection, it’s a new time to start all over again, it’s a time to bury the past, change old non-productive habits, learn new things so that we can do things differently. Some of us like the feeling of getting a fresh start and forgetting the past. We like to believe that, during the next 365 days, things will be better and they can be!
Sadly human routines are stubborn things, which helps explain why 88% of all resolutions end in failure, according to a 2007 survey of over 3,000 people conducted by the British psychologist Richard Wiseman. Bad habits are hard to break—and they’re impossible to break if we try to break them all at once (the adage therefore being “less is more”).
Here are the Top 10 Made (and quickly broken) New Year Resolutions:
 Spend More Time with Family and Friends
 Learn Something New
 Save money and get out of debt
 Lose Weight and Get Fit
 Quit Smoking
 Diet and eat healthier
 Travel to New Places
 Be Less Stressed
 Volunteer
 Drink […]

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211, 2015

Climb the corporate ladder faster! Get along (with people) to move along (in business)

While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, but its your people skills that keeps the doors wide open. Your work ethic, your attitude, your communication skills, your emotional intelligence and a whole host of other personal attributes are the business skills that are crucial for career success.

With business skills you can excel as a leader; problem solving, delegating, motivating, and team building are all much easier if you have good business skills. Assuming that soft skills are universal leads to much frustration. That’s why it’s so important to focus as much on soft skills training and development as you do on traditional hard skills.

The problem is, the importance of these “soft” skills is often undervalued, and there is far less training provided for them than hard skills. For some reason, organisations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job. They tend to assume that everyone knows and understands the importance of being on time, taking initiative, being friendly, and producing high quality work.

A firm that makes client service a priority will remain successful. How to accomplish this? It should be innate, and yet, as mentioned, communication is still the number one complaint. […]

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211, 2015

Importance of Soft Skills During Hard Times

With many businesses and practices downsizing their learning and development provision for staff, it has become increasingly important for individuals to take matters into their own hands. Whilst technical knowhow may get you a certain job in the first place, it’s those soft skills that you’ve built up over the years that help maintain your position and provide value added extra to both your company, clients and colleagues.

Solicitors soft skills include those skills such as leadership, team building and negotiation and are the value added traits that can mark you out as exceptional in an increasingly competitive and crowded employment marketplace. Being an expert in conveyancing or corporate law may well make you indispensable to some practices but possessing the transferable skills which take you that step further are what many organisations are now looking for.

Taking Responsibility for Your Own Learning

By developing your business skills alongside your other expertise, you become a greater asset to both your clients and customers. If the worse does come to the worse, and your practice begins downsizing, or you think it is time to move on, having a strong portfolio of transferrable skills will make you more appealing and give you a wider range […]

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1709, 2015

from seed to succeed…..the coming of Skillsology

Never ever in our wildest dreams, had we expected our business support skills to take us to the dizzy heights, to be the CEO of our own successful business!

Trust me, this road was not easy with many a missed (to downright did not see) opportunity!  We had all dabbled in businesses (well, what we thought were businesses), but looking back we had all at different times failed to join up the business dots of marketing, sales, planning, and the many, many other skills it takes to run a business.

My skills journey starts like this – with my love of reading I decided one light bulb day to sell books to children so that they could see and share the great job of reading paper books (my head could not comprehend that children were happy reading cold hard ebooks devoid of colour and feeling) – I wanted them to experience the joy of turning pages, see the beautiful colours on the front cover illustrations that brings a book and its story alive, so in the summer of 2006 I started an outdoor book business in Brixton Station Road market. The summer was lovely and just as I thought, children (and adults) […]

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