The business of learning isn’t simply confined to your school-days. If you want to progress in your career – and indeed you want your company to develop as a whole – then it’s important to embrace all aspects of business training. After all, resting on your laurels could leave you seriously disadvantaged.
But signing up for any old course and hoping for the best could be a colossal waste of time and money. It’s important to approach business training in the right way.
It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” This pithy quotation goes some way to explore the delicacies of education and training. Below we take this a step further, with four tools that can set you on the right path to business training, for you and your colleagues and perhaps even employees. These cornerstones should help everyone to get the most from business training and continue where their school-days left off…
Affordable online courses
Learn Direct run some really stimulating courses covering a great many topics, including business, computing, languages, project management, sales and marketing – to name just a few.
Perhaps you work in finance and need a professional boost, customer service and need to get to grips with the intricacies of your professional sphere, or perhaps you’re being promoted into a management role and need to learn the ropes. Whatever your situation, Learn Direct probably have a course you can take in return for a relatively small fee. In some cases participation in the courses is free, depending on what level you’re working towards and your age. You can check whether you’re eligible for government funding or a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan on Learn Direct here.
Learn Direct are flexible when it comes to location too, you can either take part in their courses from home, your desk at work or at one of their dedicated centres. The time of day you choose to study is also down to you, whether you’re looking at getting a quick booster course or earning a fully-fledged qualification. Their courses can even be taken and used to help a whole team to develop. Sharing Learn Direct learning materials could be a great way to structure business training within your own company.
If you’re running a business training session for your company, where attendees are spread all over the country, then it can be prohibitively expensive to get them all in one place. In this circumstance communication tools such as Skype can be invaluable. Collaboration can take place with ease at no cost to you or your company.
Getting even more advanced is WebEx web conferencing, which has the video connection you’ll be familiar with from Skype, along with some excellent additional features. File and presentation sharing make remote training seamless, while the WebEx training centre delivers the whole package, including highly interactive classes with video, breakout sessions and hands-on learning labs.
Using the internet as a training resource is becoming more popular all the time. Part of the reason for this is websites like TED.com. The raison d’etre of this incredible organisation is to spread ideas in the form of short, easy-to-digest videos, which last 18 minutes or less.
When this non-profit started in 1984 they focused on technology, entertainment and design but today the talks on their site (which number more than 1,700) cover most topics. When browsing this enormous catalogue you can search by topic and then explore playlists that focus in on a particular theme. For example there are seven talks that touch on behavioural economics, 16 talks on marketing and 35 talks that focus on being an entrepreneur.
Whether you’re taking part in business training or running it, it’s important to give yourself time to digest the material. Small breakout sessions for socialising and relaxing can be a great way to inject energy into a training session and invigorate those involved. It’s been shown that a break lasting between 10 and 15 minutes can boost productivity, giving participants much-needed time to rest their eyes, move around, stretch their muscles and get more blood and oxygen flowing to their brains. If you’re keen to add a bit of structure to your breaks then why not try one of the following ideas…
1) A guided meditation can help to trigger creativity, release muscle tension and take your mind off the work at hand. There are plenty of these available at no cost online, which can be enjoyed via a headset for instant relaxation.
2) Take a mobile-free stroll. Whether it’s a brisk walk or a languorous stroll, getting out of the classroom can help shake off apathy and blow the cobwebs away.
Leaving your mobile behind is a must though, if you want it to be genuinely relaxed and primed for more learning.