heliotrope learning

better skills, brighter future


Is variety the spice of life?

There’s no doubt about it – I’m an extravert. Probably in the social sense and, without a doubt, in the sense intended by Carl Jung in his research on personality. This research was built on and expanded by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, a mother and daughter, who popularised the theory by creating a […]

The personal touch

I’m beginning to think I’m seriously out of touch with the youth of today. Well, technically, in my mid-forties I am – not much thought required. But the reliance on electronic communication and social media means that the personal touch is diminishing sharply. I’m thinking particularly about thank you letters; in a previous blog entry, […]

Substance or soundbite?

So, it’s 7 May 2015: the day of the General Election in the UK – it’s finally arrived and I’m feeling virtuous that I’ve done my bit by marking a cross with a stubby pencil in my chosen boxes. But the whole election campaign has felt a bit surreal and, in the end, who I […]

You will never regret being too kind

“You will regret many things in life, but you will never regret being too kind or too fair” Brian Tracy I recently ran an Effective Business Writing course for the employees of a care home business based in the north of England, although they have homes throughout the UK. It’s a sector I didn’t know […]

Playing my part

A couple of years ago, I was asked if I’d complete a questionnaire to help a colleague with his dissertation for a Masters in Music. The title was Benefits Beyond Music: Transferable skills for adult life. He had been invited to join ‘a Conference Board webcast on “Arts Education and the Innovative Workforce”, which seemed […]

Reflection: good for the soul?

I don’t often make New Year’s resolutions – but if I decide to, and they’re realistic, I’m reasonably good at sticking to them. This year I was inspired by my Czech sister-in-law, who was thrilled to receive a new diary as a Christmas present from her husband (my brother). It was a particular brand that […]

Training versus learning

Daniel Finkelstein wrote recently in The Times “My sister found herself in an awkward conversation with her broadband services supplier to whom she was making a complaint. After a sticky exchange she finally interjected: ‘If you don’t mind me saying so, you aren’t dealing with this complaint awfully well.’ To which the woman on the […]

To share or not to share?

I continue to be fascinated by watching my young son, now 20 months old, as he learns. We were at toddler group yesterday morning – somewhere Ranulph knows well as our nanny has taken him there regularly. I hadn’t been before although I knew some of the children and their parents from other local groups. […]

The power of positive feedback

I had such a great day last Monday. I had volunteered to be a mentor at an event for sixth-form students. It’s run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) of which I’ve been a member for nearly 20 years. I felt it was time to give something back. The BASE […]

What’s your point?

I really enjoy delivering training courses; I’ve mentioned before about ‘lightbulb moments’ – those instances when the penny drops and a participant makes a connection and understands something. My favourite topic is business writing; I love helping people to improve their writing skills, as it’s an area that is often overlooked in terms of soft […]

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