Latest Blog Posts

Are you a Skilled Minute Taker?
This is a task most of you groan loudly about - it's so labour intensive, requires a huge amount of concentration if you're going to do it correctly, and how on earth do you know if you are actually doing it correctly??
Published on 3rd of Apr 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Have you Considered these Coronavirus Measures?
I firmly believe that we are doing the right thing as a country by isolating and cutting down on major events and gatherings. Keep on with the hygiene, avoid touching your face and be aware at all times of your proximity to others. If you are high risk and have come into contact with someone who is high risk, do the right thing and self-isolate until you have been tested. BUT none of this is new to you at this stage.
Published on 17th of Mar 2020 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

How to help your Employees understand the value of Training
As trainers we are often faced with delegates who view the training as a punitive event, rather than the reward it actually is.
Published on 13th of Mar 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Exceeding Expectations...
Exceeding expectations is what we do when we go above and beyond our job spec. It's what turns average or 'good enough' into excellent
Published on 6th of Mar 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Critical Thinking is a Skill and it can be Taught!
Most of us, when faced with a problem, do our best analyse what went wrong and how to fix it. What we don’t often do, is structure our though processes to ensure we work through it systematically and in depth.
Published on 26th of Feb 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Yes, Minute Taking is a Skill!
Today we've chosen to highlight our Minute Taking workshop, not just because it's so popular and so effective, but also because we feel that Minute Taking is a skill that is so often overlooked. Yes, Minute Taking is a skill...
Published on 20th of Feb 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Are you sinking?
I am encountering more and more people who are feeling overwhelmed and ineffective in their jobs. Virtually all the discussions I have had with them revolve around, in a large part, the feeling that they're simply overwhelmed.
Published on 14th of Feb 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Change Must be Managed!
Growth equals change and rapid growth necessitates rapid change. This is fine for those who are newcomers to an organisation which has already undergone a steep growth curve. These new employees haven’t been around to experience or understand the insecurity that accompanies major restructuring and formalisation of processes.
Published on 7th of Feb 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

People and Relationships are Complicated and Messy!
At the start of most workshops, I ask delegates to tell me what they enjoy about their job as well as what makes it hard for them to be effective. Then I ask them and what they downright hate, and why?
Published on 31st of Jan 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

The Least Productive Months in the Year
I listened to an interesting panel discussion where a mental health professional who works as an organisational psychologist for a large corporate company, explained the findings of a study looking at employee productivity, in which he’d participated.
Published on 24th of Jan 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

2020-New Year, New Goals
We tend to set ourselves up for failure each time a new year rolls around. We form unachievable goals and rush at them full of desperation and zeal, but totally lacking in any kind of critical thinking around whether or not they're possible.
Published on 15th of Jan 2020 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Thank You for a Wonderful Year!
I never grow tired of the fact that I get to work in a profession, with subject matter which really speaks to me, and thoroughly enjoy my job.
Published on 11th of Dec 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Are you Being Bullied at Work?
Most of us think that bullying is confined to the playground. Unfortunately, it’s alive and flourishing in countless workplaces around the country.
Published on 28th of Nov 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Imposter Syndrome!
I have worked with a number of delegates who have proven their effectiveness in their jobs over the course of many years, yet they still feel like they’re frauds because they don’t have an official degree/diploma behind them.
Published on 22nd of Nov 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Do you understand YOU?
Your immediate response is likely to be: "Absolutely- I just don't understand other people!" Anyone relate?
Published on 12th of Nov 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Hello November! Here so Soon?
Wow- Time flies! We're fast approaching the end of 2019 and I'm sure like us, you are busy gearing up for the new year.
Published on 8th of Nov 2019 by Shona Potgieter [ read more ]

Top 10 Time Wasters at Work
Virtually everyone to whom I've spoken recently has commented on how fast 2019 has gone. I feel the same way, although logic tells me that it's impossible for time to speed up or slow down - time is a pretty finite concept.
Published on 31st of Oct 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

The Buck Stops Here!!
I recently called a huge company which boasts an equally huge call-centre. It was my sixth call to them in the vain glorious hope of rectifying a mistake which they had made on my account.
Published on 24th of Oct 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

I Hated School!
Having questioned lots of delegates on their school experiences, I have found that I'm not alone in viewing my school days through a somewhat darkened lens.
Published on 18th of Oct 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Why am I so Angry?
This is a question many of us ask ourselves regularly. We overreact on the road all the time, we snap at our spouses and family, our colleague does something pretty innocuous and we lose our cool in a split second. It's exhausting.
Published on 9th of Oct 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

How Important is Presentation?
Does the way you look make a difference to how people receive the information you’re wanting them to take on board?
Published on 3rd of Oct 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Change is Inevitable!
I'm pretty sure most of you are familiar with the following adage: Mr Frog had hopped into a nice roomy-sized pot of cold water. It seemed the perfect habitat in which to live and included baby insects floating around on the surface of the water - yummy, dinner on tap!
Published on 26th of Sep 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Induction Programmes and Sexual Harassment Awareness
At Staff Training we have always been of the opinion that any company with a good induction/on boarding programme will include Sexual Harassment Awareness as part of such a programme. In the process of welcoming new employees into your company it is essential that they become aware of the company culture as well as the policies and procedures.
Published on 20th of Sep 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

Let the True Leaders Please Stand up
In view of the current climate of unrest in South Africa and the spotlight currently being on gender based violence, I could not help but gain respect for our SARS commissioner, Edward Kieswetter...
Published on 18th of Sep 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

Step Up or Step Out!
The sentiment in the country is negative. It’s time for all leaders to step up. The issues of Xenophobia, Femicide and a depressed economy are taking their toll. Wherever you turn women are mentioning their fears, commuters are mentioning their frustrations with inefficient systems and South Africans are simply tired of the huge financial burdens they carry.
Published on 10th of Sep 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

Article: Simplifying Learnerships, SETA, SARS and Employers
We are finding that there is still too little clarity around the subject of vocational Learnerships. Learnerships are indeed a win-win for all parties involved.
Published on 5th of Sep 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

Listen so Others Will Speak
A huge part of soft skills is communication. Both between you and other people and the 'voice in your head' communication, which helps you regulate your own behaviour.
Published on 29th of Aug 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Is Diversity and Etiquette an Issue in your Workplace?
Diversity and etiquette in the workplace are hot topics... They're concepts which we have a great deal of interest in and our courses often include both together for the following reasons.
Published on 23rd of Aug 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Just a Receptionist?
I always think twice before I label the 'face of the company' as a receptionist. Not because I think it's an inaccurate label, nor should it carry any negative connotations. But it can conjure the picture of someone filing their nails...and I just hate that!
Published on 13th of Aug 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Do You Only Work for the Money?
Gosh - I hope most of you answered that in the negative. The thought of spending 8 hours a day doing something we hate, having to be somewhere we hate, with colleagues we can't stand - well, it's quite frankly terrifying!
Published on 5th of Aug 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

5 Tips for Dealing with Conflict
How do you feel when you hear the word conflict? If you were to write down ten words right now, without analysing the concept, what comes to mind?
Published on 26th of Jul 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Both These Management Styles Lead to Serious Issues...
Many managers tend to view their role in one of two ways, namely: "I'm going to make sure no one gets one over on me - my staff are going to work hard cos they're scared of me", and the other totally opposite approach: "I am going to make my staff happy in all areas of their work life".
Published on 23rd of Jul 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

4 Ways to Stay Motivated...
Let's talk about that M word... Motivation. Unfortunately, motivation is not always easy to find. The thing you need to remember is that motivation won't always be there, sometimes it comes down to discipline. There are, however, a few things you can do to go from "No Motivation Nelly" to "Super Motivated Sandy"...
Published on 19th of Jul 2019 by Shona Potgieter [ read more ]

4 Ways to Stay Positive
We've all been there, faced with what feels like an impossible task. What follows are feelings of stress, irritability and perhaps even despair. Whether you've been asked to do something at work that you a) don't like doing or b) don't really know how to do, or whether you are facing a challenging time in your personal life, here are a few ways to stay positive...
Published on 12th of Jul 2019 by Shona Potgieter [ read more ]

How do I Learn to Sell Effectively?
Companies are becoming more and more aware that an untrained sales person is a serious liability. The ability to sell is a learnt and extremely valuable skill. No matter how personable your representative comes across as being, if they don’t understand the process, they are doomed to be mediocre or fail completely.
Published on 4th of Jul 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Business Writing Skills: Producing Professional Written Documents
Our Business Writing, Report Writing and Minute Taking courses have proven to be up there with our most popular workshops over the 19 years Staff Training has been operating. For a number of very good reasons, namely it's very difficult to compile a cogent letter or written document in your second or, very often, third language.
Published on 26th of Jun 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Training: Intervention or Investment?
Do companies see training as an intervention or as an investment into their staff? In my experience, both of these options can apply. However, the ratio of intervention to investment is vastly skewed on favour of investment.
Published on 20th of Jun 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Are the Generations That Much Different from Each Other?
I recently worked with a group that comprised largely Millennials. When I mentioned this to a friend, she made the 'poor you' face. I understood where she was coming from, because very few people miss out on the opportunity of bashing this generation - it's almost become an international sport!
Published on 14th of Jun 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Identifying and Resolving Conflict
Without a doubt, conflict is part of our everyday lives. There's no way to avoid it, and nor should you. Sounds counter-intuitive doesn't it?
Published on 10th of Jun 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

I Know You Do Not Want to Take My Call...
Have you ever been speaking to someone on the phone and your instinctive feeling is the other person isn't giving you their full attention? You just kind of know they are only half focused on what you have to say?
Published on 5th of Jun 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

How Can We Keep Our Emotions In Check?
For those amongst us, who are not particularly emotional beings, life is definitely less complicated. However, the downside of being strongly task-orientated could manifest in our missing emotional cues and misreading situations. For the rest of us mere mortals, who feel strongly about everything, life can certainly be a minefield where we're spending much of our time apologising for outbursts and/or seemingly irrational behaviour!
Published on 27th of May 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Twitter, Diversity and Emotional Intelligence
It is late on a Friday afternoon and I am sitting pondering the effect of Twitter on the world. Okay not the everyday stuff, but the sports stars, celebrities, influencers and politicians using the medium to air their views.
Published on 22nd of May 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

How Much Less Is More?
In an age of information overload, it makes sense that the only way to counter overload is with focus. Information competes for attention. Focus hones the attention on what is important.
Published on 20th of May 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

A Beautiful Story About an Everyday Leader!
We spend a lot of time dissecting what attributes a leader must possess to be effective. In fact we speak about it so frequently, the discussion can easily devolve into the recitation of a trite list of attributes which loses meaning.
Published on 15th of May 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

5 Tips on How to Handle Angry Customers
I’ll bet every one of us has been in the situation where we were faced with an angry customer. It’s not pleasant - for so many reasons, particularly given the very wise adage: The customer is always right!
Published on 6th of May 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Disengaged Managers Create Disengaged Employees
I expected two diametrically opposed view-points when I discussed the prospect of four weeks of public holidays with delegates who had been attending recent workshops with Staff Training. My understanding was that the ‘worker bees’ would relish the time off, whilst management would panic, given the resultant loss in productivity.
Published on 25th of Apr 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

Article: Job Sharing- An Uncommon Practice
One of the challenges we face from an HR perspective is how to empower women in the workplace. After all it is not uncommon for a female graduate to be placed in a new job, work hard and fast, be promoted, meet a partner, start a family and go on maternity leave. Returning a few months later, repeat the hard work, just a bit more stressed as her home duties have increased and two years later continuing to add another blessing to the family unit.
Published on 23rd of Apr 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

Pressure – Good or Bad?
Delegates often say they work best under pressure; many of them maintain this is their most productive zone.
Published on 17th of Apr 2019 by Carolyn Kessler [ read more ]

People at Work
I was recently approached by a young man who posed the following scenario. He works at a youngish tech company and they employ a programmer, who also happens to be a quadraplegic. The company has a young vibe and they quite often have after work drinks. The week prior, the director, who is not always on site, breezed in with hamburgers for all to enjoy with their drinks. Sounds really good doesn’t it?
Published on 10th of Apr 2019 by Debbie Engelbrecht [ read more ]

The Number 1 Question you need to ask yourself today!
We all get stressed. Life happens and sometimes it can feel like we’re the bulls-eye for Murphy’s arrow. Constantly feeling stressed and focusing on the negative events of the day can cause additional stress and even depression. It’s a vicious cycle…
Published on 5th of Apr 2019 by Shona Potgieter [ read more ]

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