Personal Skills - Hints & Tips

By developing your personal skills, it will improve your effectiveness.


Whether thats developing your assertiveness or the way you work with others. if you use some of these techniques, it will give you more confidence.


By adopting these techniques and developing yourself, it will improve both your personal and business life.


For a full copy of the hints and tips click on the link to download the PDF.




It is very important in business to maintain an assertive communication. This is easy when things are going well, but more difficult when under pressure or in conflict. It is at these times when we are more likely to become passive or aggressive. To ensure our communication remains assertive, we need to understand the elements of assertive communication. Assertiveness is based on personal responsibility and the rights of others

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Body Language


Understanding body language is very much an art rather than a science. If you are able to understand and read someone else’s body language, it gives you a great opportunity in the way you respond to them. When you are interpreting body language you have to consider all the signals they are sending. Taking one element in isolation, means we will misinterpret the message. A classic misinterpretation is when someone folds their arms, most people consider that the person has gone on the defensive – wrong! It could be opposite, that they are being aggressive, or relaxed, or cold, or comfortable.

body language.pdf
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Building Self Confidence


What is Self Confidence?


Self-confidence is having the belief in oneself to be able to handle most situations in your life. It is about trusting yourself and having a sense of self-reliance.  Confidence is much more than just a positive feeling - it’s an attitude and an approach to life that leads to success, motivation and new possibilities. It is about being true to yourself.


When you are confident you will think you can succeed. It gives you the ability to tackle whatever comes up and not to be put off by setbacks. If you are confident at work it will mean taking on new challenges with a sense of excitement. A lack of self-confidence will hold you back from success. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should others believe in you? Self-confidence feeds into others, if you demonstrate faith, they will have faith.

building self confidence.pdf
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Conflict and Argument




I have recently experienced working in a new situation outside the work environment. It has brought into focus skills I learnt early on in my career, about dealing with people. It has also highlighted to me, how individuals can have a range of attitudes and approaches. What can be important to one person can be totally irrelevant to another.


What I also noticed was how others perceive behaviour. How they can judge someone who is being forceful and assertive, putting an argument across, is seen as being in conflict. This perception can bring about distortion, because of the other persons values. I learnt a long time ago, how if you show confidence and capability, this can trigger subconscious behaviour stemming from the other persons own insecurity.

Conflict and Arguments.pdf
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Reaction to Criticism


Even when criticism and feedback is constructive it can be difficult to handle. We all react differently to criticism and some of these reactions can be counterproductive. We have identified some of the most common responses to criticism however it is important to remember that there is usually more than one reaction.


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Emotional Intelligence


Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to understand your own emotions and of those around you. Emotional Intelligence is a relatively recent behavioural model, rising to prominence with Daniel Goleman's 1995 book called 'Emotional Intelligence'. The early Emotional Intelligence theory was originally developed during the 1970's and 80's by the work and writings of psychologists Howard Gardner (Harvard), Peter Salovey (Yale) and John Mayer (New Hampshire). The concept of Emotional Intelligence, developed by Daniel Goleman, means you have a self-awareness that enables you to recognise feelings and helps you manage your emotions and therefore manage others more effectively.  It involves motivation and being able to focus on a goal rather than demanding instant gratification. A person with a high emotional intelligence is also capable of understanding the feelings of others.

emotional intelligence.pdf
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We all have faith in different things and that doesn’t have to be a religious faith. Faith is about having confidence in someone or something. It’s also about having belief and commitment, that could be your organisation, manager, colleague or family. It could also be about having faith in a product or an organisation that you like to buy from or use. Do you stick with the latest product from the same organisation, as it’s what you trust – how many iphones have you had for example? I know I am on my third and my last 3 cars have all been the same make.

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With all the complications in the country at the moment, I thought exploring integrity and what it is all about, would be an interesting topic.


If we look at definition of the word it means: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.


the state of being whole and undivided.


No matter what your views are, we can see that there has been an awful lack of integrity.


No matter what position you hold within an organisation, it is important that you have integrity, otherwise others loose faith in you. Integrity is what holds teams and organisations together.

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Interpersonal Skills


Who We Are


The philosophies of reap what you sow and treat people in the way that you want to be treated, reaps benefits in most relationships. However there are some individuals where our communication and relationship is more difficult. The way they behave or treat us does not seem to reflect these philosophies. It is important to understand that they are not going to change. What we need to do is to get to grips with the way they behave. We can then decide how we are going to change our communication with them. If we do this in an effective way, it will improve our confidence and working relationships.

Interpersonal skills.pdf
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Left and Right Brain Theory


For many years, the concepts of ‘intelligence’ and ‘creativity’ have been actively discussed and there have been some fairly fixed ideas of what these concepts stand for. Intelligence has normally been seen as potential.  People are IQ tested and judged idiots or geniuses in terms of the IQ scores.


In the past Intelligence was considered as something which we all have in some measure but which cannot be increased to any great extent. Creativity was perceived as something which could be developed through the application of various techniques of creating ideas and a stimulating environment.  Creativity was much more related to the environment, even though opinion said that certain creative gifted people were born with these abilities.

Left and Right Brain Theory.pdf
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We all have friends, family members, colleagues and customers who may be able to trigger or push certain buttons that cause us to lose our temper or become more irritable. Long term it is not healthy or productive to let this happen. We therefore have to learn to be more patient and tolerant. It’s important to remember the philosophy of treating people in the way you would want to be treated.

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Personal Priorities and Work Life Balance


The one thing we all have in common is the 86,400 seconds in a day.  How we use those seconds, is down to your own personal choice. What you need to decide, is what is important to you personally and to ensure that you get your work life balance right.


We often know our work objectives but do you know what it is important in terms of your personal objectives. Have you got your work life balance correct?


Personal time management is about controlling the use of your most valuable (and undervalued) resource.  You need to have a good understanding of how you spend your time and whether you are allocating the right amount to time, to your personal priorities.


Personal Priorities.pdf
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Presenting Virtually


In the past year, I am sure it seems that you have spent a lot of your working life at virtual meetings. I have found that attending so many meetings, has highlighted the varying capabilities of those presenting and their expertise at handling the situation.


Presenting is a skill that has to be learnt and it is not something that comes naturally to anyone. Not everyone gets it right, and when you get it wrong it can be a disaster for both you and your audience. If you present well you will create a positive impact for yourself and others, present badly and the impression you create can be long lasting and damaging.

Presenting Virtually.pdf
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We will explore procrastination and how it can hinder our effectiveness. Procrastination is when you carry out less important tasks in preference to the ones you should be working on, or doing jobs that you find more enjoyable in place of the ones you dislike. This often results in putting off tasks and jobs to a later time, and doing them at the last minute.

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Having respect for others in both the work place and in society as a whole, is something that we should all aspire too, but because of our nature can be difficult to achieve. Issues around respect are considered important, but do we really think about what it means.


Respect is about having esteem, its establishing a sense of worth or excellence, and these factors relate to a person, or quality or ability that person holds. You have to remember that respect is never deserved and that it can only be earned. Respect can only be given and we often have to earn it from another individual, however you can never demand respect and it is often very hard to gain, but if you do the wrong thing it is easy to lose.

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Saying No


Saying ‘NO’ can be very difficult. There are various reasons for this, often we like to please others and can feel that the ‘NO’ would be an unwelcome response.  Others individuals can be wary of the reaction that the ‘NO’ might provoke, the other person may become aggressive or emotional. When you look at the behaviour of children they are often very good at saying ‘NO’. They don’t have the inhibitions or behaviours that we learn as we grow up that can limit our communication as an adult.

Saying No.pdf
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Self Concern


To be effective and to ensure we contribute, we need to look after ourselves. If we have concern for ourselves, it means we will be more assertive, as we will express our needs as well as demonstrating that we understand others. Having self-concern, does not mean being selfish, it does mean having self-respect. If you have self-respect, others will have respect for you.


Self-concern essentially means considering your self-interest first.  Concern for oneself means giving attention and thought to your own preferences or interests.  It also means that you are concerned with your own life, and prioritising time to develop your own talents to their full potential

self concern .pdf
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Self Confidence?


Self-confidence is having the belief in oneself to be able to handle most situations in your life. It is about trusting yourself and having a sense of self-reliance.  Confidence is much more than just a positive feeling - it’s an attitude and an approach to life that leads to success, motivation and new possibilities. It is about being true to yourself.


When you are confident you will think you can succeed. It gives you the ability to tackle whatever comes up and not to be put off by setbacks. If you are confident at work, it will mean taking on new challenges with a sense of excitement.

Self Confidence.pdf
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Stress Management


It is always important to recognise our personal stress levels and how to manage stress effectively.


We need to establish how we handle pressure and stress, and to handle it as part of our daily routine rather than let it build up.


Stress is Good


Not all stress is bad; it can be a good thing. We all need pressure to ensure that we perform effectively. What we need to do however is to recognise when we are getting too little or too much stress.

Stress Management.pdf
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If we look at a definition of trust it is - reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person, having confidence in some one, belief that someone is reliable, good, honest and effective. We all know when we trust someone but how does that happen, what makes you trust somebody and can you build trust? Think about the people you trust and mistrust, what is it about their characteristic and behaviours in each instance?

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One of the most important things to remember in life is that we are all different.  At times differences can cause difficulties, but if we understand why people are different and what’s driving an individual’s behaviour, then this will make it easier for us to value the differences. This will help us avoid difficulties and adapt our behaviour and build good relationships. Just because someone is different to you or has values which are dissimilar to yours, it does not mean that you are ‘better’ than them or that your values are more important than theirs.

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Working from Home


Due to the Coronavirus situation, many of you will be working from home for the first time. This can take some getting use to and does need a different approach to working from an office. We will explore some key techniques and approaches to help you make a success of working from home.


It does take more discipline and practice, and some find it easier than others. If you are someone who enjoys working on their own it can be bliss. For others where there is a need for more interaction and social contact it can be more challenging and at times demotivating.


Working From Home.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [344.1 KB]

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