Olive Strachan North West Export Champion 2016
Inspiring Business North West
phone +44 (0) 161 209 3950

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Part of my weekend I spent reflecting about my company - Olive Strachan Resources. As of this year, we have been established for over 16 years, and we have gone through many changes in that time. We have had ups and downs but at OSR we are proud of our achievements and being associated with providing learning solutions to organisations worldwide, offering tailored solutions that fit their needs. We are continually branching out, and our training courses in Europe are becoming more prominent and enhancing business skills all over the world.

During the last 10 years, OSR have empowered people with the knowledge they need to drive their organisations, providing first class Business Skills training in Bosnia, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, France, Switzerland and the Ukraine. It is always thrilling to know that you have successfully delivered training that others have benefited from and enjoyed.

Developing long term relationships

I truly believe that working in partnership with our customers helps to develop long-term relationships based on an understanding of requirements, culture, and business needs. The approach is simple: you need to be trustworthy, committed, and able to demonstrate an understanding of the business and organisational culture. Our participants in Europe are required to develop their ability to act with greater precision and credibility when communicating with other people and to develop powerful techniques that put ideas across in a dynamic, winning way.

Over the years, OSR has helped to identify with each business their organisational requirements to meet their goals and ultimately achieve their visions. Every individual has different situational needs but with one aim. At OSR, we recognised the need and developed modular, bite-size programmes that cover a variety of multi-session workshops, enabling individuals to pick and mix to meet their own personal and organisational goals. For example, in Herzegovina we delivered multi-session workshops including: Time Management, Change Management, Effective Writing Skills, Presentation Skills, and Diversity.


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Effective communication is a fundamental element of organisational success at all levels.

To achieve the most favourable results from situations that include other people by enhancing your communication skills to inspire and generate effective business liaisons, there are 5 simple steps to maintaining effective communications:

  1. Understand your own personal communication style and how it impacts on those you are communicating with
  2. Identify the behaviours associated with good working relationships
  3. Use your communication style to influence others and develop effective relationships
  4. Understand the impact of relationships on personal performance, on colleagues and on clients
  5. Communicate effectively to 'gain the edge' and achieve your objectives

These 5 steps will enable the individual to consider possible motivators and can provide a simple framework for dealing with and managing people.

To achieve these simple steps...register now for The Effective Communicator programme. Workshop commences 14 October 2014 at:

OSR Office
Peter House, Manchester.


The Effective People Manager

In the management of a team, the human factor is crucial to success!

Once again, employee communications have made global headlines. Helping entreprenurial employees improves engagement and retention of top staff, according to L'Oreal HR Director Isabelle Minneci:

"All the best leaders I know have failed a lot in their career. If we encourage an environment where people are not afraid to try and fail, we will definitely reap the benefits in innovation and unlock worker's potential."

Did You Know...

Previous Effective Communicator workshops (delivered by OSR) enabled 88% of delegates to manage people effectively and to use their management styles to influence others.

OSR can support managers to feel more confident and get back in the fast lane with our Effective People Manager programme course, delivered at the:

OSR Office
REGUS, Peter House, Manchester
29th May 2014

We help your managers to hone their management and leadership skills to achieve optimum results from work situations.

The Effective People Manager programme will help managers to achieve optimum results from work situations that involve other people and create effective business relationships.

For further information, contact Olive Strachan on 0161 209 3949 or email olive@olivestrachan.com

Management and leadership are often used interchangeably, but while they are related, they are far from the same thing. If you're in charge of a company, it's important to have a firm grasp of both concepts, and if you don't know the difference between leadership and management then it's high time you learned.

So let's imagine two people: one is a manager, the other is a leader. Both are responsible for a team of employees, but that's where the similarities end.

Okay, so they look kind of similar too.

The manager has a specific goal to meet. He or she must work out what needs to be done, give each of their employees a set of tasks, and make sure everyone is working hard to meet the goal. The big challenges for a manager are staying on top of everything, keeping everyone motivated, and tackling any obstacles that might prevent the team from achieving its goal.

The leader has a slightly more open-ended task to deal with. Where managers give commands and make sure they are being followed, leaders have to give their followers inspiration - arguably an even tougher job. The leader has to create a positive atmosphere that's conducive to good ideas; they must enable their employees to be a little more independent and, yes, lead them towards bright, innovative new horizons.

Good management is key to getting the job done efficiently and effectively; outstanding leadership is what you'll need if you want your business to break the mould and push the boundaries. Of course, both skills are crucial to a company's success, and so the best company directors will have a good blend of both qualities.

Want to take your leadership skills to the next level? Book a place on OSR's Essentials for Managers with Experience training course. The next course will take place in Manchester on the 3rd of October, 2013 - call 0161 838 5692 or email info@olivestrachan.com to book your place.

Everybody has an ego, and egos often lead to arguments. When a problem arises - in the workplace or anywhere else - it's often caused by a clash of egos. Person A has one way of doing things, Person B thinks their way is better, and the ensuing dispute means that things don't get done at all.

Mocking Bird Argument

Photograph by Chiltepinster

The main causes of conflict are poor communication and personal differences. OSR's Managing Workplace Problems training course is largely based around this maxim. Here are some tips to bear in mind next time you're trying to tackle a problem in your place of work:

  • Stay positive
    Remember, you're trying to solve the problem and make things better. Getting angry or being negative will most likely worsen the situation. and the relationship between you and the problem person will grow even tenser.

  • Remember, they're human too
    People have feelings, opinions, and - as we've already discussed - egos. When you're addressing a problem, you must do your best not to hurt feelings, bruise egos, or insult anyone's intelligence. Whether they're your employee, your colleague, or your boss, they're only human, and it's good to look at things from their point of view before you take action. Belittling the problem person or ignoring their views will only give them a reason to dislike you, and what might have been a simple difference of opinion will devolve into an unpleasant personal battle. Speaking of which...

  • Don't make a fight out of it
    If you can possibly avoid it, you should never let the dispute become a fightbetween one side and another. There isn't always a right or wrong answer, and if you can find some common ground, you're far more likely to arrive at a solution that makes everyone happy.

Essentially, the best approach is to address the problem directly, acknowledge that everyone's opinion is valid (even if you don't personally agree with it), and work together to resolve the issue. Don't fight tooth and nail to prove that you're right, and don't start thinking that the other person is working against you. In most cases, both parties will want the same outcome - that is, a peaceful, productive work environment - so try to look at the issue from both sides and remember that no problem was ever made worse by communication.

if you'd like to learn more about the effective handling of problems in the workplace, why not book a place on our Managing Workplace Problems course? The next course will take place on Tuesday the 22nd of October, 2013, so call 0161 838 5692 or email info@olivestrachan.com to book your place.

As a business manager, you've almost certainly done your fair share of training. Training comes in all shapes and sizes; you might be getting a new recruit up to speed, or helping your more experienced employees to do something a little more advanced, or taking your entire staff out into the wilderness for a full-blown teambuilding weekend. No matter what form it takes, training is pretty much unavoidable. If you want your business to prosper, you're going to have to train somebody, in some way, at some point.

But what of your own training? Being at the top of the corporate heap doesn’t necessarily mean that you know everything there is to know; as Sherlock Holmes once said, “education never ends”. Regardless of what business you’re in, there’s always something else you can learn, and another set of skills you can master. Why rest on your laurels when you can continuously improve your abilities and boost your company’s success?

And it’s not just a matter of moving onwards and upwards. The world of business is always changing, and skills that were highly marketable yesterday could become obsolete by tomorrow. The digital age has shaken everything up, and if you want to make your mark as a business, it’s now nigh-on impossible to do so without mastering the mysterious art of social media. Nobody knew what Twitter was ten years ago, and look at us now.

So by all means train your workers, but don’t forget to train yourself, too! The new skills you’ll acquire could do wonders for your business, and self-improvement always feels good. Give OSR a call on 0161 838 5692 and discuss management training options today – who knows what you might learn?

We run so many courses here at OSR, it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them all! If you feel like trying a little training this month, here's a handy list of the courses we'll be delivering in Manchester this month. If you see something you like on this at-a-glance guide, click the course title for more information - or just ring 0161 838 5692 to book your place!

11th June – Interviewing Skills
A good employer-employee relationship starts with the interview. Develop your communication skills and learn how to ask the right questions!

11th June – Managing Workplace Problems
Problem solving is a crucial management skil. Improve your ability to tackle problems and conflicts as soon as they emerge.

12th June – Sales Skills
Selling something over the phone is harder than doing so in person. This course will help to make you a better salesperson!

13th June – Essentials for Managers with Experience
Management and leadership are two different things. This course covers a variety of skills that are central to both.

18th June – Managing Teams
Work together with your team members, and encourage them to work together with each other!

19th June – Performance Management
It’s not the work you’re doing, it’s how well you’re doing it. Boost your employees’ (and your own) performance with this course.

20th June – Influencing and Persuading Skills
The ability to influence other people is a great skill to have in your arsenal. Increase your powers of persuasion and build better working relationships.

25th June – Managing Effective Appraisal
The annual performance review doesn’t have to be tedious and unpleasant. With the skills you’ll learn on this course, you can ensure that your appraisals are geared towards development and improvement.

25th June – Time Management
No matter what your job is, good time management is essential. Learn to prioritise and avoid those last-minute panics!

26th June – Assertiveness
Being assertive doesn’t mean being nasty. There’s a big difference between assertiveness and aggression, and this training day will help you to assert yourself in all the right ways.

27th June – Handling Difficult Situations
Empathy is key if you’re managing a business. This course will help you to understand the people who work for you and resolve any problems you might be having.

If any of that sounded interesting to you, don’t waste any time – course places are limited, and it’s first come, first served! Ring 0161 838 5692 today, or email info@olivestrachan.com.

Managing people effectively is no mean feat. The job of a line manager is to keep everything running smoothly, and if you’re employed as a line manager then you already know how difficult this can be at times. Managing everyone else’s work as well as your own...it can often feel like spinning plates!

Our Effective People Management course (next date: May 29, 2013) is especially designed to cater to the needs of the line manager. If your work revolves around managing other people, this training course is perfect for you! This management training programme is one day long, and the training consultant leading the course will focus on the following topics:

  • Understanding your role as a line manager
  • Working within the rules
  • Developing your staff members
  • Setting high standards
  • Maximising resources
  • Establishing good working relationships with staff
  • Managing your time more productively

The most important thing to remember when managing people is that they’re only human. Our Effective People Management training course places a lot of emphasis on what we call ‘The Human Factor’, and over the course of the day, you and the other line managers on the course will learn a variety of new ways to make life easier for both you and your staff.

The next Effective People Management course will take place on the 29th of May in our Manchester training centre. The cost is £350 per person; our courses are always enjoyable and informative, so your money will absolutely not be going to waste! If you’d like to book a place on this course, you can download an OSR Booking Form from the Effective People Manager course page. Alternatively, you can book your place over the phone – just give us a call today on 0161 838 5692.

No matter how prosperous your company is, there’s always room for improvement! The best companies aren’t the ones who rest on their laurels; they’re the ones who constantly press towards bigger and better things. We’re all about improvement here at OSR, and the training and development courses that we provide represent a fantastic means of growing your business even further.

Training and development could mean encouraging your staff to be more productive, but it could just as easily entail a spot of self-improvement; developing your managerial skills is a fantastic way to get more from your employees! Our training courses are open to anyone, so regardless of which field you work in, training and development advice from OSR is only a click away!

We offer a wide range of courses to assist with your company’s development. Our Leadership & Management training courses are ideal for managers who wish to improve their management techniques and develop their working relationship with employees, whereas our Personal Development training courses are, as the name suggests, intended to improve your own abilities, such as assertiveness and problem solving.

No matter what area of your business you wish to improve upon, Olive Strachan Resources are the company to call. Training and development should be an ongoing practice, so if you want to bring further success to your business, why not book a place on one of our training courses today? Email info@olivestrachan.com for more details!

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