Monday, 17 June 2013

Mentors Me and the SCT

Isla has been involved in the progress of the MentorsMe initiative at The Department of Business Innovation and Skills for over a year now, with her Young Entrepreneurs Success hat on, sitting on Task & Finish Committees to ensure best practice and evidence and data evaluation.  As the project draws to a close its legacy is a considerable contribution to the world of business support. The MentorsMe portal is an on-line gateway to access mentoring support, and the SCT are proud to be one of the providers.   The portal has a wealth of useful information for companies seeking mentoring support and guidance, informed a great deal by the robust and thorough materials and standards of SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative). Both David and Isla are registered with SFEDI and if you would like any more information on mentoring please get in touch with us.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Swindon Coaching Team is changing. We are becoming Smart Coaching & Training Ltd to reflect the expansion of our activities beyond coaching and beyond Swindon. You can find our new website here:

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Redundancy Support

One of the services we supply is support for people whose jobs have been made redundant: particularly in situations where people are looking not just to find a similar job to their previous one, but want to review their career direction in the light of their strengths and interests.

Richard Hovey, one of our coaches, has been asked to join the Redundancy Support Service provided by the Chartered Management Institute for their members.The CMI seek to develop leadership excellence among their 90,000 members and this extended service provides support for members facing redundancy.

We're pleased that this appointment recognises the quality of service we provide, and presents new opportunities to support people in developing their careers.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Coaching for High Growth government grant

Our most popular grant scheme (the Leadership and Management Advisory Service) ended in April and the new batch of grants focus on businesses that want help to grow fast - whether they are established businesses or start-ups. Three of our coaches are specially authorised to deliver coaching under the new schemes.

This grant programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) supports coaching for leaders in businesses seeking high growth. Key extra criteria are that turnover is more than £1 million and there are not more than 250 staff. (A similar grant is available for new businesses with no turnover!)

These funds can be used to support individuals or management teams to help them in a targeted way to realize the ambitions of the business, for example through support in formulating strategies, identifying options, and developing leadership and delegation skills of key staff.

Stage 1 – first three months 
A grant of £1100 including VAT is available to help fund twelve hours coaching (£76.39+VAT per hour). The grant is paid to the coach, reducing the amount that the coach invoices you. This must be completed within three months (e.g. four hours per month). To apply, request and complete an application form. This may be followed by an informal telephone interview. The process takes about one week.

Stage 2 – further six months
A grant of up to £2000 is available for up to 48 hours (8 days) of coaching (£41.67 per hour), up to half the cost of the coaching. Being a grant, this does not attract VAT, so if the amount invoiced by the coach is £4000+VAT, you can reclaim £2000. The amount of coaching is flexible, however the first (up to) 24 hours of coaching have to be completed within three months (e.g. eight hours per month). All the coaching has to be completed within six months. Stage 2 requires the completion of a further short application form, and payment is made to you after you have paid your coach.

Contact me for more information or for an application form.

Swindon Coaching Team on Swindon Radio again

Next Monday 2nd July between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. David and I will be chatting with Gerry and Peter on Swindon Radio. We'll be answering questions to help people with business growth, career development, and handling stress. The conversation is fluid, affected by any phone calls you make!

This is Swindon Radio's show "Mind your own business" - the show that looks at issues of concern to local businesses. You can listen - anywhere - on the internet at Swindon Radio 105.5 (click on Listen Live) or on a real radio in the Swindon area at 105.5 FM.

We look forward to talking to you!

Business Scene Swindon

Isla and I visited Swindon Connections last night to meet with existing and potential clients. The speaker was Nikki Owen who talked about developing charisma in corporate life. One of the things that fascinated me most was her "Rotten Apple" experiment to show the difference it makes if you have love in your heart when communicating at work or at home.

Friday, 4 May 2012

May latest

Swindon Connections:
Diane Morgan was our rep at last week's Swindon Connections meeting at Swindon's Jury's Inn. "I made several new contacts and bumped into an old friend who I hadn't seen for nearly four years. I was also introduced to Dave Plunkett who's recently taken over the running of Swindon Connections - he's got some interesting and innovative ideas for future meetings."  The guest speaker was Ben Kench whose unlimited enthusiasm for seeing small businesses develop caused quite a stir. Amongst his 7 tips for business growth is the importance of getting a really good business coach. In fact he recommends it as His Most Important Tip.

The next Connections meeting will be on Thursday 24th May at the Menzies Hotel in Swindon from 6pm until 8.30 and will include the new facilitated connections event which has proved successful in the past.
More details and to see Dave's plans visit Swindon Connections

Define your Destiny:
Isla and Ann-Marie are hosting their popular Define your Destiny workshop on Saturday 19th May especially for women who'd like to feel more positive about themselves and their future. Further details from the Health and Wellbeing Clinic in Marlborough on 01672 513583 or have a look at our Future Events page.

Slow, steady growth?
By the way, did you catch Sir Mervyn King on the radio the other day? The Governor of the Bank of England  was giving the annual BBC lecture during which he predicts "slow, steady growth for the UK economy in 2012". However, he admitted that the Bank of England must take "a share of the responsibility" for the financial crisis.
Let's hope he's got it right this time.
More information Telegraph Financial news

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Build your business with NRG

NRG Networks offer free training days.

Everyone wants more business through Word of Mouth: generate results not just activity by
Turning Networking into Business and

Move your business forward, clarify your objectives, and achieve your short term goals by
Developing effective 90-day action plans

NRG run networking lunches to help people to grow their business: at selected venues over the next few months they have extended this to a whole day event to provide training on these topics. This will take place in the morning and afternoon, around the usual networking lunch. You just pay for the lunch.

There's lots more information if you click on the links above, and you can book online too.

See you there!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Leadership Grant deadline

The application deadline for the £1000 Leadership and Management Advisory Service grant for businesses and social enterprises that want to grow is fast approaching.

Although the scheme is due to end at the end of March, Skills South East (who oversee the scheme in SW and SE England) have announced an application deadline of this Friday 17th February. This is to give them time to process applications.

You do not need to have worked out exactly what you want to do with the funds in order to apply, so I suggest that you consider applying before the deadline and then chat with the Swindon Coaching Team or with staff from Skills South East to see how you can use this grant to develop the leadership skills of your top team and thus your business.

Find out more here:

Monday, 13 February 2012

Seeing Eye to Eye or Seeing Red

I've been asked to do a series of talks as part of NRG networking lunches (12:30-2:30 p.m.)

Details of the talk are below, with upcoming dates. I look forward to seeing you there.
The talk is free, however there is a charge for the excellent lunch!
For venues and pricing, and to book, go to the NRG events page.

Upcoming dates in 2012.
Thursday 16th February, Bristol
Thursday 5th April, North Somerset

Seeing Eye to Eye or Seeing Red
Do you know how other people see you, and what effect this has on your relationships? Have you ever found that you just can’t see eye to eye with a colleague, or been at a meeting where one person seems always determined to contradict what you say? At work and at home, we tend to value the qualities of people with similar personalities to us, and struggle to value those who are opposite to us. How can we quickly recognise these influences and leant to build effective relationships, communication, and team work?

In an insightful and colourful way Richard Hovey will open our eyes to the way our personalities affect the way we see other people and communicate, and show us ways to instantly transform the effectiveness of the way that we relate to other people at work – and even at home. This is fun, and also important: research for the Harvard Business Review in 2002 found that 87% of the issues that business leaders face are to do with inter-personal skills, as distinct from technical competence.

Participants will
See a way to recognise different personalities and how these affect communication, relationships and team work
Discover more about their own personality and how people see them on a “good day” and on a “bad day”
Experience a model which will help them to quickly increase the effectiveness of their rapport-building and communications, which they can apply right away.

Previous participants enjoyed the presentation because it is interactive, relevant, and well-delivered. They have commented that they enjoyed discovering how others see them, about the “good day” and “bad day” behaviour associated with people’s behaviour, and how to use their learning to build teams.

Melissa Neil, Group Leader of an NRG Group in Bristol at which Richard spoke commented: "Richard Hovey delivered a fantastic talk to business group that I lead in November 2011. We have had many speakers, but I have to say Richard’s session on 'seeing eye to eye or seeing red’, was the best we have had.

"Richard gave an interactive session where we played a game to understand our personality types and leadership styles. It was clear that Richard had prepared well and the group were very engaged and animated about the session. In addition to the game he gave some excellent background information about what to do once you have learned of your and colleagues style of behaviour, which everyone found very useful.

"I would highly recommend Richard as a professional coach and also for any talks and training sessions for businesses."

To book, go to the NRG events page.