5 reasons to build your EQ

In today’s world, as our focus on what a true leader looks like continues to shift, one thing is for sure. They need to be emotionally intelligent. But why?

Well, those leaders who have emotional intelligence are generally easily able to build relationships, have personal integrity and excellent communication skills, along with the power to be inspiring to those around them. It’s surely a no brainer.

Who doesn’t want that in their leadership team?

Emotionally intelligent leaders are usually able to rally the troops and encourage more efficient and productive teams, regardless of pace, economic upheavals and periods of change and growth.

Here’s 5 reasons for anyone to build their emotional intelligence

Improved Relationships: Emotional intelligence helps individuals to better understand their own emotions and those of others. As a result, it can lead to stronger and more meaningful relationships with friends, family, and colleagues.

Effective Communication: People with high emotional intelligence are better able to communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. They can express themselves in a way that is clear, concise, and respectful, which can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

Better Decision-Making: Emotional intelligence allows individuals to make better decisions based on their emotions and intuition, in addition to logic and reason. This can lead to more thoughtful and effective decision-making, especially in complex or ambiguous situations. Our DECIDE modules help you do this.

Increased Resilience: Emotional intelligence helps individuals to cope with stress, setbacks, and adversity. They are better able to regulate their emotions and maintain a positive outlook, even in difficult circumstances.

Professional Success: Emotional intelligence is highly valued in the workplace, as it is often associated with effective leadership, teamwork, and communication skills. People with high emotional intelligence are more likely to succeed in their careers and be seen as valuable assets to their organisations

Talk to us if you’d welcome our help in growing this skill in your teams.


Ready to start journaling?

It’s reported to be one of the most powerful self-improvement activities you can do, and yet for many, it’s still not on their radar. It’s a simple one. Journaling.

Even though this practice it’s been around for hundreds (well, actually, thousands of years), journaling is currently having it’s celebrity moment.

In fairness, journaling isn’t a new thing or a fad, and countless studies have shown that if done regularly it can help you access a whole host of benefits for your emotional, and physical self.

So, what is journaling?

In short, journaling is simply you keeping a written account of your experiences, feelings and thoughts as you go through your daily life. What we like about this practice is that there’s no perfect way to do it. Every person who journals does it their way, and if it’s right for them, then it’s working.

No rules. No trends. Just journal your way.”

If we peeked inside a few journals (which of course is not the done thing!) we’d see so many different versions. It could look like a to-do list, or a quote, or even something you did that day that brought you or someone else joy. You get the point. It’s personal. To you.

They key here is to develop this habit until it’s a part of every day and then you can reap the benefits helping you to spot patterns, trends & insights and track your emotions.

The benefits

There are many benefits of journaling so we’re just going to focus on four to get you started.

  1. Improves mental well-being by being able to spot insights and patterns
  2. Helps you set goals and keep a record of your progress and achievements
  3. Can help you overcome challenging situations by recording thoughts and feelings and allowing time to reflect
  4. Gives you a place to record things that are important to you, whether it’s gratitude, feelings, or positive emotions

At We Are BRAVE we use our own journals which are designed around the BRAVE principles.
This allows the user to reap the benefits or journaling with a nod towards keeping the BRAVE methodology alive at the same time. We help by including some insightful questions to prompt reflection and the capture of key thoughts.

So, will you bite the bullet and begin to journal?


Boosting performance with Micro-Breaks

If you, or your team are struggling with tough workloads, never-ending to-do lists and the beginning of the dreaded burn out then we might have a (micro) solution for you. Try a Micro-Break.

When you hear about resilience, most content and advice will suggest taking regular breaks, but has anyone clarified how long a break needs to be?

Clearly a fortnight in the Maldives would most likely be the best solution, but being a little more practical we were really interested in some recent research by a University in Romania we came across.

‘Romanian researchers looked at the effect and efficiency of microbreaks on 2,000 people

The study has provoked some interesting discussions, mainly because what they found was that taking short microbreaks, as short as ten minutes, during a working day could boost team wellbeing and prevent burnout.

So, what are microbreaks?

What exactly is a microbreak? We were not sure either but according to this interesting research, it’s some dedicated time away from the task you are working on, that lasts ten minutes (or less). One thing the study did find, was that “the longer the break that was taken, the better the performance of the individual”.

10 Micro minutes, dedicated to time out, can have a BIG impact

While the research points at the importance of taking these micro-breaks throughout the day, separate stats show a worrying trend, that some employees just don’t take any breaks at all in an attempt to power through and just get their work done.

In fact, a study back in 2019 from Quantum Workplace said that 22% of team said they took no breaks at all (you’ll be pleased to know they did at least take lunch and toilet breaks!)

A powerful snippet of data from the study in Romania showed that those microbreaks we talked about are great for a boost to your energy levels and brilliant for batting away tiredness. They even showed that they can boost performance, mainly when the task the person was doing was repetitive, or alternatively, a creative one.

OK, how do we get the best from a Micro Break?

We’ve found that when you need a break, and need re-energise, for a performance boost, there are a few things you can try.

  • Move your body – try a walk round the garden or round the block.
  • Read a chapter of a book to break the focus on your screen
  • Power nap (set an alarm!)
  • Make a drink
  • Eat a snack
  • Meditate
  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet
  • Doodle, draw or sketch
  • Crosswords or puzzles

Which of these do you think you or your team could try today?

Love this blog post?

Share it with the team and use it as a discussion point at your next team meeting!

How to create better allies.

Every company talks about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, it’s come a long way and is finally an important part of most companies values, missions and visions.

“We’re working on this internally at We Are Brave and these are some of the approaches we’ve had to learn and unlearn ourselves. It’s an ongoing process of learning.”

One thing we’d love to hear more about in company welcome packs and inductions is how to become a great ally. To any group of people that might be excluded in some way.

We think learning about how you can use your own power to help others, by being an ally when someone needs it most is a skill that all businesses should focus on.

What is an ally?

An ally is someone who supports people who are in a minority group or who are discriminated against, even though they may not belong to that group themselves.

As businesses grow, so does the width and breadth of the diversity of its people (hopefully!)

We think that starting to think about allies and how to develop them is such a positive step to help all your teams feel safe, to encourage recruitment and retention and ultimately help your business be a great place to work.

Business leaders of all levels can help people to develop their skills and compassion by helping them to see what it takes to become a strong ally and help create positive change. We think the below tips can help a business to create a team of powerful allies across your people.

Provide the best education.

By helping your people to learn, (or maybe even to unlearn) helps them to open their minds and discover topics which will help them develop compassion and get a deeper understanding of what goes on in the world around them.

Provide access to books, podcasts & TED Talks. Encourage working groups and focus sessions. Create Networks and help people to immerse themselves in stories of people who have different backgrounds and lived experiences than they do.  

Remember one size does not fit all.

It is easy to assume that we know what people want. I can fix that! Let’s create this!

Woah. Stop. Let’s just slow it down a little and what one person, or group needs from a supportive ally can be wildly different from another.

Asking, listening, summarising and idea creation sessions is what you need.

There is not a downloadable module, there’s no SCORM package to share. It takes time to create something that’s as unique as the people in your business. Let them play a main character role, let them lead and let them share with you what they want.

Create a listening superpower.

Being an ally means you must be able to listen. Really listen. With intent to understand and feel empathy for the experiences and stories you will hear.

Teaching this skill, and making it a superpower will reap rewards across the whole business, in every area, so a Win-Win all round. We deliver engaging and powerful communication and presentation programmes, which always include listening content in a variety of formats to match your needs.

Don’t put people into boxes.

The human race is a rich and diverse one, comprised of billions of people each with their own unique set of experiences that makes them who they are. Understanding this is extremely important for encouraging effective allyship, and can also provide a big boost for your company culture too.

It’s not an allies role to put people into boxes that define them just so it’s easier to help them. The ally should be helping them to get out of the boxes someone else has already put them in.

Most people don’t ‘identify’ as just one thing, and that’s how it should be because we are not defined by one thing, whether it be a different ability, a sexual preference, a neurodiversity, a skin colour or even a nationality. We are all made up of hundreds of experiences that shape us into who we are and each individual is incredibly complex. That requires understanding and tolerance.

Spot your own privilege benefits package.

Using the word “privilege” can sometimes be shocking to others, but it is essential to spot the privileges people have in order to deliver as an ally for others.

Privilege doesn’t mean that you haven’t worked hard, or that you have just had an easy life. It does mean that you had power that you didn’t even know you had.

Every person has experienced some form of privilege, whether that is being able-bodied, or having a robust education or even that your brain just works in a more typical way than others.

Your privilege could be described as the invisible benefits package you get as you move through life.

Everyone’s is different, and spotting them and identifying how they helped you and how the lack of them disadvantaged someone else helps you to become a better ally.

At We Ae BRAVE we pride ourselves on being listeners that truly listen and always using our rebellious skills to help others.

We know just by talking about this topic will help it get into conversations where it might not usually appear and that’s a brilliant start.

If you want to talk to us about helping you tackle your business needs then get in touch and start the conversation.

Rhi x

How the FuelX Conference inspired us.

Now, before we start…don’t judge me but I have realised how much I miss attending conferences! 

I was invited to attend #FuelX as the guest of the speaker and panel expert Robin Erickson.  The event was hosted by Fuel50, a purpose-driven and progressive talent platform founded by Anna Fulton.

All things talent, engagement, learning and retention were discussed and in particular how current challenges could be addressed with more forward-thinking ideas and practical solutions.  We were treated to case studies from giant corporates such as Johnson & Johnson to the world-changing United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  Who, as a side-note, have an internal learning & HR team of just three people.  Three! 

I’ve distilled what I heard and what I found insightful in this article.  I will say up front, I was really impressed with how each case study showed how they had shifted not only the approach to talent & learning but also their culture and mindset by engaging a purpose-driven platform (and no, this is not a #ad for Fuel50!).

The key discussion areas of the day

  • Talent:  great resignation, attracting & retaining, encouraging & growing the right peole AND the right careers
  • Skills:  what do employees, what do organisations need and how do you get those two things aligned
  • Culture, culture, culture:  organisations can make or break any of the above if the culture works in direct opposition to progress. Bias-breaking culture is what’s needed

Here are my top take-aways:

Talent:  gaining it, retaining it, inspiring it

Robin Erickson spoke brilliantly about an organisational ‘talent mindset’ and about how you may be unaware of how your systems ‘filter’ talent before it even gets to you.  For example, do you know for certain how any talent recruitment process (internal or external) filters for education and gaps in employments? 

She challenged the room to be conscious and deliberate with thinking about your talent pool and challenging mind-sets around the more traditional CV expectations.  It is limiting to think about the best candidate being the most educated.  What is wrong with someone taking an employment break? 

Our focus over the past few years on well-being, breaking bias and focussing on the individual means organisations (and their processes) need to shift to reflect this. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What comes to mind when you think of the talent you want to attract? 
  • Who are you ignoring based on out-dated modes of thinking?
  • How is your platform & process supporting or hindering the scope of the talent pool you can accesss?

Robin gave an inspirational example of how the formerly incarcerated have been given work-opportunities in the US (Robin is from Chicago) and have proven over and over how their attitude and motivation often outstrips those from other traditional routes.

Finally and most importantly, think about your bias-driven language when you want to attract (and retain) people.  How well are you speaking to your audience or is it also limiting your reach?

Skills – the ones you want to acquire, retire and inspire

(that phrase is unashamedly stolen from Nick Holmes @ Fishawack Health)

From the different case studies and the panel-expert discussions one theme came through loud and clear:  we need robot-proof skills!  Which skills do people want to grow (acquire), recognise can be left behind (retire) and are not even aware of yet (inspire)

Once those are defined, how do people get hold of the skills and shout about them to enable their career development?

This was an interesting discussion:  getting an organisation to shift from experience-led (eg: roles) career development to skills-led career development.  That’s quite an organisational mind-set shift but no different or less important than the shift needed for acquiring or retaining talent, as mentioned above. 

The shift is to no longer place absolute priority on ‘have you done the JOB’ and to move to ‘have you got the transferrable SKILLS?’.  There is always the argument for technically specific role experience (think doctors, scientific roles) but that argument is too often used across other parts of an organisation where it’s less necessary.

Again, this means a shift in organisational mind-set eg: culture.  I’m coming to that one next.

What are those all important robot-proof skills that will help growth, career development and organisational innovation. This is not a definitive list but the themes that were mentioned more than three times:

  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Intellectual curiosity

What are some of the ideas around developing these skills.  What I heard as the most exciting part of the case studies was the ‘gig assignments’ – essentially setting up the opportunities for people to work on a project, in another department, to develop specific skills.  Amazing collaboration and idea-sharing not to mention the innovation and creativitiy that came from some of the unlikely partnerships across an organisation.

Culture, culture, culture – is it eating itself?

This topic is bigger than 15 lines in a blog but here is what I heard and what I can definitely identify with, in my experience.

  1. Compassionate, curious, forward-thinking:  this is the culture that supports people and grows an organisation and yet we know processes and attitudes can drive the very opposite outcomes.
  • Leadership play a critical role and the focus on recognising and rewarding leaders who grow and ecourage high-performing talent not just high-performing teams.  Having leaders that are expected to show how and where they have grown talent not how they have protected and retained (at worst, stifled) their team’s talent & career. 
  • Platforms and systems that remove bias, show skills gaps and talent pools, internally.  So the challenge can be laid at decision-makers and those who influence the culture at all levels.

One speaker challenges his leadership team to think continually about their organisational mind-set by asking three questions;

“With this approach can our employees say

  • Can I trust you?
  • Do you care?
  • Are you committed to me as a person?”

It’s not so much that the answers always need to be ‘yes’ to those questions but have you paused and checked on the culture you’re driving with your actions.

And finally, the ‘Great Resignation’ needs to be seen as a cultural opportunity to offer a ‘Great Renegotiation’.  What does this organisation need to offer and renegotiate to ensure they are future-proofed for their people.

Thankyou again to Anne Fulton and the team at FuelX – it was a great day and I have two books to read along with trend reports.   I’ll finish as I started:  don’t judge me, I’ve missed conferences!

You can learn more about the conference by clicking the link below.


We’re so excited to have been invited to talk about BRAVE and the power of having difficult conversations by the London Institute of Banking & Finance. 👍🏻

It was a brilliant experience and we hope you love it. You can listen by clicking here.

We’ve also created a BRAVE Podcast Download that you can download & keep giving you an insight into what a BRAVE programme can do for you.

Get your copy here.

Bringing Reward into 2022, one baby step at a time. 

A Reward department often covers more than you think, and it’s the department everyone benefits from, even if sometimes they don’t realise it.

What I’ve seen is that the reward options can usually be pretty standard and similar across many organisations. You know the usuals! Competitive pay – check! Pension – check! Holidays – check! Healthcare check! You get the point.  

While this is fantastic, and all of these are great benefits for your team, the approach to reward can often be slowed down by process, implementation, and a little red tape.  

So, how do you modernise and simplify the approach? 

In an ‘ideal world,’ where unlimited budgets, innovative technology and workforce devices are the norm you can do a lot. Some start-ups and cash rich businesses are now issuing credits for reward, so you flexibly create your package, choosing what matters for you. Bike for Work Scheme…but not interested? Then don’t choose that option! Sadly, we don’t live in the ‘ideal world’ and this approach is still new, but some evidence is showing very few schemes can truly be that flexible as it’s difficult to make every benefit optional, so core benefits have to be included. That said, we’re keeping our eyes peeled on how that works out and storing ideas for the future. 

For now, we need to work with what we have, and some smart baby steps is enough to get our ball rolling. 

Some steps to get your reward ball rolling. 

  • You must ensure you have a real, in depth understanding of the business from all perspectives.  
  • Rewards and benefits look vastly different from an office to a sales floor and it’s essential to talk to your people, in whichever way works best, to get to the real insight. 
  • Taking the time to understand what is important to colleagues and the profile of your workforce is also really important.  
  • Make sure you have considered diversity, age profiles and generations when considering reward solutions.  

Considering Multi-Generational Workforces 

As we enter 2022, we will see more of the five generations in the workplace than ever before. 

If you’re unsure where you fit, I’ve included the years of birth.  

  • Traditionalists – born 1927–to-1946 
  • Baby Boomers – born 1947-to-1964 
  • Generation X – born 1965-to-1980 
  • Generation Y (Millennials) – born 1981-to-2000 
  • Generation Z – born 2001-to-2020 

The amount of technological advancement that has occurred between the birth of the very first traditionalists and Gen Z is so vast it’s created two completely different life experiences. When a Baby Boomer got their first job, arriving to see a computer at each desk wasn’t the norm, whereas a Millennial and Gen Z have never known a world without a computer, a phone, mobile and probably a laptop. 

In our business, 59% of our workforce is currently either Generation “Y” and “Z”, 23% Generation X and 18% Boomers. 

Imagine the implications on reward when you are trying to engage five different generations at once?  

Another crucial factor to consider is your colleague profile mix.  

Here’s what I mean in real terms. If we did bite the bullet and jumped straight to a credit scheme where you pick your own benefits the colleague mix can cause issues. 

If your business has a substantial number of colleagues who are part time this means that they might not have enough credits to choose anything over and above the basic, expected reward benefits and this could mean that they miss out on some of the benefits that they would ordinarily have been available to all. It’s something that we have to consider with a workforce of our size. It must be fair.  

Based on my experience I totally agree that one size certainly does not fit all anymore but using the data available to support key decisions will certainly help!  

What did we do at The Midcounties Co-operative to modernise and simplify? 

Our first steps were to look to modernise how we issue colleague thank you vouchers. A fantastic way to reward our teams, loved by everyone, but they had a historic flaw.  

Previously the vouchers were printed on paper, posted out to stores and often had to be replaced when colleagues misplaced them, damaged them or they fell subject to many other mysterious fates! 

After plenty of research, looking at data, and of course, talking to the very people who were due to be in receipt of them we hatched a digital revolution plan. We launched a new digital solution via our app where colleagues would instantly see their reward vouchers on a mobile or desktop device. This is one step for Claire Foster and the Reward Team, and a giant leap for the Midcounties Co-opeartive teams! 

We of course considered our colleague mix and spotted that some people might struggle because they don’t have a smart phone or laptop at home.  

We made sure we supported those colleagues by allowing access via the store computer and if nothing else worked, we could still arrange for a paper voucher to be sent to them and are working with our Utilities team to think about how we can provide affordable smart phones and tech support for our colleagues who do not currently have a device. 

Interestingly, several months after a successful and well received launch, only 1.9% of eligible colleagues have requested paper vouchers. Result! 

Is this solution I’m sharing with you perfect? Of course not!  

But what is important is that we have already held a lesson learned session for improvements/changes we want to make. We’re talking to our people. We’re reviewing what we have done and how we could improve it. And that’s real progress towards modernising and simplifying the reward offer we have right now. 

So, in summary.  

Work with what you have got.  

Look at the data.  

Talk to all the people.  

Take an educated risk.  

Make a reward baby step.  

Keep an eye on the rest of the world as they change reward and learn from their lessons.

Claire Foster​ | Head of HR and Reward | The Midcounties Co-operative

So, we’ve changed, and we’d love to tell you why.

Well Prepared Training was born 6 years ago and over that time has successfully designed and delivered incredible learning & development, coaching and bespoke solutions for our clients. Our ethos has always been BRAVE and to ensure people feel that way after working with us.

Everything we did helped us realise we had something really unique when it came to our BRAVE programme. We knew that the beating heart of our business was bringing back the ‘art of disagreement’.

We spent the last couple of years paying close attention to the shifting dynamics in the wider world including social, economical, cultural and political changes. We started to see recurring themes and patterns which reinforced our belief. Now was the time to change.

We listened closely to our clients & our delegates for their feedback and they also told us loud & clear that it was increasingly hard to get people to discuss different opinions, without falling out. Our offer couldn’t just be about resolving conflict, it had to offer more, be wider, be broader and all encompassing for a business.

We evolved. We embraced our core principles and reinvented our mission, vision and values.

We have become We Are BRAVE

What was always our ethos has quite simply become our company name, influencing everything that we do.

We’ve reshaped our business around the 4 key principles of BRAVE. Our offer is enhanced, refocused and ready to help you and your people say ‘we can do the hard things’. You’ll learn about THINK, SPEAK, DECIDE and DISAGREE along with BRAVE and KIND.

We hope you love what we’ve worked on, we’re very proud to invite you to learn more at www.wearebrave.co.uk

Sara & Rhi.

What does a post pandemic L&D landscape look like?

The last 18 months has impacted L&D in many ways with likely more positives than negatives but the one shining light is that learning has finally become a major focus.  People have had to adapt to situations and events they weren’t ready for and that’s helped shaped the post pandemic landscape for the future of L&D.

What we’re starting to see now, as we begin to live and work with COVID, is some distinct changes in L&D that don’t look like they’re going anywhere fast. The three areas we’re highlighting in this post are the long-awaited Digital L&D Evolution, Hybrid Working and the re-emergence of Life Skills.

The digital L&D revolution…is it still coming…or is it already here?

Depending on the business you were in a digital L&D revolution was already starting or it may have been a long talked about promise that had stayed on the horizon for too long. The pandemic brought it forward for almost everyone as to survive, they had to adapt and embrace a new way to talk to their teams.

For many organisations, this meant throwing up in the air L&D materials, trainers’ skills & styles, and learning design principles. Most businesses, to varying degrees of success, transitioned to webinars using Skype, Zoom and Teams. Content had to change and be reduced, trainers delivery style and skills had to move with the times and the user experience was suddenly brought to the forefront.

From a commercial perspective, something big happened. Travel costs disappeared, hotel stays evaporated, petrol expenses dwindled and long travel days with people sat on motorways came to a halt. The reams of paper were replaced with PDFs and tons more efficiencies started appearing from every corner.  Added to all this is the very real fact that when delivered properly, the impact of a webinar is easily as effective as that of a full day of 9-5 training. 

So the question is, where next?  Do businesses stay virtual and keep going, or is there a very real, well-considered need to bring people together in real life? 

What we’re spotting right now is a split, across different organisation types. There are those who are never going back to face to face unless it’s really needed and are fully embracing this new, more cost effective and engaging way of learning. There are some industries where the change is being embraced but at a speed that is right for their teams and their technology needs.  What we do know is that you can no longer default to saying virtual ‘just doesn’t work’.

In our world of sharing everyone knows that the jobs market, learning, perks that hybrid is coming.

Our take?

We think that unless the digital evolution is embraced, even if it’s just initial baby steps, that an organisation may be left behind and the team will move on. More than ever, we’re hearing that people want development and if you can’t offer it in a way that feels modern, quick, and effective, and impactful, you might just lose your talent.

Hybrid working means Hybrid L&D

Let’s face it, we all worked at home whether we liked it or not for the most part and now as we adapt and find our way from fully remote to hybrid, we need to accept that the L&D landscape needs to move with us. Once again, L&D needs to consider how those with hybrid working roles can access training and development. Of course, this only really works if you are embracing the digital evolution but it’s more complicated than that.

We’re currently training existing trainers who have 50/50 splits between real life delegates and those on screen; helping them understand how that impacts learning, retention & recall, and engagement.   

Most businesses are hurriedly upgrading training and meeting rooms with Wi-Fi and speakers to try and enable the best fit for all. For those with planning teams training calendars are being furiously revisited as businesses work out how to make access to L&D fair and consistent, and available to everyone in the same way.  Improvements in technology keep coming:  Microsoft’s new ‘content from camera’ feature for example (other platforms are available ?).

This means many businesses are looking at the way training is delivered, by who, who to and the best and most effective ways to do it. This is a level of detail some will never have considered before and is an important addition when planning your L&D strategy. We urge those in the L&D teams to be part of these discussions now, as they often drift quickly back to costs, which always needs to be balanced with effectiveness of the learning.

Our take?

We think that just like how we work, a hybrid learning shift is coming. Not everyone might be taught the same way or in the same style but blended solutions, which suit the learner’s style and working arrangements, will be able to provide what people need and in turn change the way they receive it. It’s complicated and in some cases will mean similar content being created and repeated in a variety of diverse ways to ensure fair access but the scope of this means the breadth and availability of the learning offer will be maximised too.  Plus it all needs to live somewhere that can be accessed by everyone in a hybrid team; and that’s no small request.  Get on good terms with your IT team to figure out what’s possible.

The re-emergence of Life Skills

One thing the pandemic taught us was that while we’ve been busy delivering qualifications with strict curriculums, management, and leadership programmes to our future leaders and factual ‘how to do this’ type training we might have missed a trick.  When our managers needed empathy, compassion, listening skills, wellbeing conversations and how to just deal with some life situations, for many, those hadn’t been covered.

Requests for remote team management went through the roof, mental health first aid courses were booked solid for months, how to have a great conversation skills and listening with empathy became hot topics.  For some businesses these had always been part of the story but for many, especially those who had made the tough decision on budgets between life skills and qualifications, they came up short.

We’ve always known the importance of life skills and have embedded these into all levels of our content, so that they become essentials and not nice to haves but the landscape is now shifting further.  Businesses are still restructuring, adapting, and reshaping due to COVID and need those skills more than ever.  It might have once been assumed that those life skills were a little bit fluffy and surely everyone knew how to do them anyway but what we saw during a pandemic was that for many these skills were very much needed.

Our take?

We think that the landscape has changed enough for life skills to finally become as important as induction, management and ‘how to do your day job’ programmes. By focusing on skills like empathy, listening, emotional intelligence and resilience (there’s so many to choose from) we might find we are growing a whole new breed of all-rounders who can cope with more, engage more and truly nurture their teams.

We’ll be offering our clients access to our wealth of content to update and refresh their materials to help their managers be great managers, leaders, and fantastic life-skillers who embrace their hybrid, digital world. 


People are working hard and times feel tough. Surely it’s time for a break? And yet, for a lot of people they’re just not booking any annual leave?

Of course, there could be reasons for this, (cost of living crisis anyone?) It can also be that teams who love what they do, work hard and are passionate about the mission you’ve created might just feel a little too committed to work.

Your job as a manager or leader? To get them out the door and on a break.

Woah! Surely if they don’t want to go, and they’re happy at work then we should just let them continue to be amazing and help the business, right? Wrong.

Read on to find the 5 reason you really should be making sure everyone gets a decent holiday, and you might be surprised at the payback it gets you.


When team take regular holidays, they generally come home more motivated about their work and go on to perform better than those who don’t take as much holiday. They’re also less likely to have an accident in the work environment. Who knew? Guess what? They’re also likely to have lower stress levels too which can in turn help levels of sickness and absence.


A holiday can provide the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep. We all need a few extra ZZ’s, but the brain needs a time out too. Life is full on, and we forget that our brains are on, almost all the time even when we’re not aware of it. A holiday can lighten the load. A lack of sleep and stressed our brain are big contributing factors to decreased performance at work, and potentially, if not addressed could affect a team members mental health further down the road.


When the team book, and then get their annual leave approved it gives them a sense of achievement that they have worked hard to be given the time off. Yes, we know they’re entitled to it, but there’s that strange satisfaction to knowing you earned that break, and it is yours to take. Anything that helps your team feel valued works in your business’s favour as they will feel motivated to come back to work and perform effectively.


When you practically encourage your team to take holiday, perhaps even by doing so yourself, it shows them its ok to do so, and releases the pressure for those most committed to work. It’s important to help show them the benefits of taking a break, and why you want them to do it, in whichever way suits them. Great practice here is ensuring they know a break means a break and no emails on the beach or calls in the hotel room are allowed. Empower them to ‘switch off’ and reap the rewards or working hard.


When you create a work environment where your team work hard, and play hard, it means you have the luxury of bringing back that passion, energy and enthusiasm that a refreshed, well rested team member brings back to the workplace. Remember, behaviour is contagious, so having that kind of energy bouncing around is priceless. Happy teams work harder, better and faster so why would you not want to help create that?


Check those annual leave spreadsheets and see who is holding back. It’s perfect holiday season so see who you can actively encourage to take a break first.