Find Out About Our Latest Training...
Communicating clearly & effectively during times of change and anxiety
Managing Change effectively
Effectively managing remote teams and home workers - setting tasks and objectives
Using coaching strategies to encourage & improve performance
Performance management & improvement strategies
Delivering employability contracts remotely
From Mate to Manager
For front line staff / learners / job-seekers:
Problem Solving / Solution Focused Thinking
Goal Setting & SMART Target Setting
Job Searching Strategies
Decoding Job Descriptions & Effective CV Strategies
Decoding Job Descriptions & Interview Techniques
Groups of any size! Online sessions run between 45 minutes and 3 hours
Discounts available for package deals - so now's the time to talk to me !
NO ONE DELIVERS TRAINING QUITE LIKE ANDY!
NO ONE DELIVERS TRAINING QUITE LIKE ANDY!
"In a nutshell, possibly the best bit of training I have had in the Job. The Trainer was fantastic, with no nonsense or waffle & straight to the point." Chris Allen L&D Manager HMP Brinsford
coaching frameworks for front-line staff
coaching frameworks for managers
preparing for management
problem solving using creative thinking
performance management tips and techniques
One Degree Difference is a Birmingham based training company offering effective and customisable training courses in management, coaching, employability, performance improvement, leadership skills, and change management - with everything in between and more. We are based in Birmingham, but we cater to the whole of the UK, offering both private in-house training at your offices, or open courses.
Delivering training across the UK!
One Degree Difference is a Birmingham based training provider that can deliver training courses within your own office, wherever you are based.
LEARN MORE ABOUT IT
ANDY IS FABULOUS
If you are looking to improve the performance of your team then Andy is your man.
He has an ability to connect and captivate audiences at all levels throughout an organisation enabling them to bring out the best in themselves and each other. His highly engaging approach is underpinned by an excellent technical knowledge and a real understanding of how to enable learning and development that delivers lasting results.
Ben Birchall: Director. Progression Consultancy
WHAT WE DO
We design and deliver bespoke practical solutions, that you can quickly learn and put into practice the very next day
We create tailored programmes to meet your requirements, with the ability to deliver training courses in Birmingham or UK wide.
We work with small to medium employers, training them to make practical improvements that make a real difference to performance
WHAT WE DON'T DO
We don’t take products off the shelf - we create tailored programmes that meet your specific training requirements.
We don’t deliver qualifications... but we can put you in touch with great organisations that do!
We don’t pretend to be something we are not - we are proud of who we are and the results we achieve.
WE CREATE A FUN AND COMFORTABLE (Online) LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF ODD THROWN IN!
Welcome to the first update of 2022 - hasn't time flown!!!
It's been a while since I've put something new on this page.
As I write - covid restrictions are about to be completely lifted and the nights are getting lighter, perhaps we are getting back to some kind of normal.
Like every other business I made massive changes due to COVID-19. I moved from face to face to short sharp online delivery - something, I never thought I'd do!
It's been great to get back out and about and deliver face to face training though, I didn't realise just how much I'd missed it!
I'm delighted to report that I've never been busier and that's down to my brilliant customers - many of which have been with me since I started ODD, I'd also like to welcome all the new organisations that have come onboard over the last 18 months - I am incredibly lucky to work with such great people!
I'm working with several faculties from Birmingham City University - delivering all sorts of training and coaching. I have to say a big thanks to Lesley, Harry and especially Jolie, (my old friend from PPDG days), for all your support and continued business. You 3 are brilliant!
I'm also been working closely with the Pathway Group and my old friends Saf and Alan. Since September 2020, I've been working with the senior leadership team around delivering excellence and management development. I was also invited to join the Exec Board, which is a great honour!
I've continued to work with Birmingham Institute for the Deaf (BID) delivering training for staff working on the new Employability contracts.
I've also completed a management programme for BID managers and team leaders - we've looked at Management styles, Coaching in the workplace and Performance Improvement strategies so far.
I'm working with Citizen's Advice on a number of projects. CA have been looking to move their training online for a while and thanks to a recommendation from the lovely Jo Galvin (another friend from PPDG) they've decided to work with me....
I've delivered over 50 workshops already including sessions on Change, Resilience and Communication Strategies. I'm delighted to confirm that the relationship will continue across the coming year with sessions already booked across March & April.
Other note-able new customers include Serco, Jobs 22, Institute of Cast Metals, Hoople (the commercial arm of Hereford Council), Clearsprings Home Ready Group and loads of new businesses through my association with The Tess Group!
I'm running an offer on all online courses - anything from from management, coaching, leadership skills, and everything in between: 25% off the cost of any training session. Just quote ODD2022 when you contact me.
All persons and organisations quoted in this section have given permission to be mentioned.
Delivering Effective Employability session for Birmingham Institute for the Deaf staff.
Career Goal Setting & Effective Working Practices session for Post Graduate students from Birmingham City University
Leadership & Management workshop for senior managers from HMP Brinsford
Latest Articles from ODD :)
Keep up to date with the latest trend in Management and Coaching
I don’t suppose your ambition was to be a bad manager?
What did you want to be when you were young?
Did you want to be a professional sports person, a famous singer, a train driver or a powerful business guru like Alan Sugar, Karren Brady or even Gordon Ramsay?
Odds on when you pictured yourself in your dream role – you were doing an amazing job and you were mega successful, course you were… no one ever dreamt of being average or mediocre or rubbish. Yet how many managers reading this are feeling average or mediocre or rubbish right now?
I’ve been working with a lot of stressed-out managers recently – I can sympathise, I’ve been a stressed-out manager myself!
These managers have been beating themselves up, questioning their decision-making and regretting how they’d interacted with members of their team.
However they’d got to be a manager, they all wanted to be good at their job and respected by their staff but that’s not what they were currently experiencing and that was affecting how they viewed themselves. That’s why some of them had engaged with me.
When I started my business, I had some great advice, lots of people were generous with their time and insights on how to be successful. I also had some advice that I chose to ignore. I had, what I call, “Super Coaches” telling me I should focus on being an expert in one specific industry – well that would have put me out of business within months. They also told me to focus on Leadership because that was where the big money was, well I didn’t want to do that either. I wanted to help managers be more effective because I knew from painful experience how difficult a role it can be.
I’ve seen some amazing and transformational leadership training delivered, I’ve also worked with a number of organisations who’ve spent tens of thousands of pounds on Leadership but don’t know how to communicate mission statements, set effective goals, have challenging conversations or manage change without upsetting the whole business.
Funnily enough these Super Coaches offered to help me develop my business, but at a massive cost; they’d have happily put me out of business with what they planned to charge me, I chose to ignore them too.
It’s all so clear… we can see the madness perfectly from here.
Asylum Satellite #1
Marillion / Hogarth
Having stepped away from a corporate job to start my own business, I’ve had chance to reflect on my own management career. I think most of the time I did a good job, I made a few mistakes, but I made sure I learned from those mistakes. I took responsibility for being better and spent lots of time and energy developing my knowledge and skills in order to help others avoid the mistakes I made.
And now it’s easy for me to coach or train managers; because I’m not dealing with the pressures and stresses they are - but I think that’s the key point. When you are stuck in the middle of a stressful situation: maybe your bosses are pressuring you to perform and your staff aren’t performing as you’d wish – then it’s easy to lose sight and to make bad decisions you end up regretting.
With a little time and distance, you can see what you could and should have done differently; maybe you were lacking knowledge or skills, maybe the need to achieve outcomes in limited time with limited resources affected your behaviour and judgment. Maybe you still feel scarred or you’ve forgotten how stressed you felt at the time. Maybe it’s time to move past what happened?
That’s why continuous development and coaching is so important for managers.
Whether you are looking to upskill or if you are stuck in your current situation and need an external perspective – I’d like to think I can help.
Get in touch to find out more…
Save Us from Another New Year New Me Post…
Or how my broken knee changed my life!
New Years resolutions don’t work – that’s what the evidence suggests. It’s certainly true if the gym I use is anything to go by; so full of new people in January who have signed up to expensive yearlong memberships that it’s difficult to get on the car-park let alone the machines. Some of them will stick it out but most will have lost the will to carry on come February.
This isn’t a post about why people sign up to gyms in January, though it does focus on committing to a fitness regime. It’s really about having a reason to change, about having something to work towards and about resilience and sticking at “it” when things get tough.
I’m sat writing this post with heavy weights hanging from my knee, which looks as strange as it sounds. Almost 12 months ago to the day I fractured my tibia and ruptured almost every muscle and ligament surrounding my left knee playing “old-man football”. It was horrible and very painful. I walked with a pronounced limp for a couple of months. Luckily, I avoided having to go into plaster, the thought terrified me especially as I work for myself, it would have meant in all probability losing my business. But not going into plaster was the only bit of luck. My knee was shot to bits, it was swollen to twice its normal size, my leg couldn’t straighten and it caused havoc with my back.
It was during a coaching session with a manager who needed help deciding whether to stay or leave her job when it struck me that I needed to follow my own advice. We were talking about Goal Setting and Coaching models, in particular ILED: Ideal – Locate – Explore – Do. The manager asked how I use ILED and I started talking about how I’d use it as a method to get over my injury. It had been just over a month since the injury and although I was still limping I decided to go back to the gym. My Ideal goal was to be strong enough to play 60 minutes of football before my birthday on the 10th September, a little over 6 months away. I needed to find out exactly how bad the injury was (Locate), an MRI revealed a displaced stress fracture and the resulting damage to the surrounding muscles. This information allowed me to Explore exactly whet I needed to do to achieve my goal. All that was left was the Do part.
It hasn’t been easy – there’s been lots of tough times when I thought I’d never walk without limping, let alone run after a ball for an hour. I was lucky enough to find a Personal Trainer at the Gym who specialised in sports injuries, every couple of days we go through a set of stretches and strengthening training exercises that wouldn’t look out of place in a book of Medieval tortures. I also spend hours doing low impact CV workouts (something my old friend Jo would no doubt tease me about).
I achieved my goal, I played my first game in late August and each week I get fitter and stronger though my leg still won’t straighten completely hence why I’m sat with weights hanging from my knee (recommended by a proper physiotherapist).
If you are looking to set a goal or if you need to get your New Years resolution back on track, then I recommend ILED. I’ve used it with University Graduates anxious about exams and with people looking to lose weight or find a new job. Managers love ILED’s simplicity especially when it comes to Appraisals or challenging conversations about performance. But, like any model it only works if you commit and stick to the DO part. Of course, to commit to action and to make a lasting change your reason has to be strong enough in order to ensure you’ll stick at it!
If you’d like to find out more about ILED or how I can help you achieve your goals, then get in touch.
Listen Like Casanova
Keep up to date with the latest trend in Management and Coaching
Listening is an underrated yet critical skill. Sadly, I haven’t seen “Listening” covered in too many Management programmes and I’m not sure it gets the attention it requires on Coaching courses either.
You may argue that Mindfulness and The Fish Philosophy have “being in the moment” covered and that concept goes far beyond merely listening anyway but I’d suggest that not everyone is a natural listener so it’s a skill that needs to be taught and practiced continually.
Rarely will listening feature as a key skill when I ask aspiring managers to list the attributes of a great manager, yet the best managers always take the time to really listen to their staff and customers. How can you obtain leadership without listening? Conversely when I ask what makes for a bad manager or leadership figure, the attitudes and behaviours associated with not listening (or being present) always come high up the list.
So, if this is true for most people, then why aren’t we spending more time learning how to really listen?
I was fascinated by the historical Casanova who, although famous as the foremost seduction expert of his time, was also involved in setting up the first state lottery, wrote extensively about the places he visited and the food he ate. He squandered several fortunes but in the process always managed to turn the situation to his advantage, he eventually ended up as a Librarian in Bohemian castle where he wrote his life story. We only know so much about 18th century Europe because of Casanova’s life story. But what really interested me was Casanova's ability to listen, really listen to people and the opportunities they presented.
Russell T. Davies wrote this about Casanova… "When I sat down to read Casanova's autobiography, I discovered that our modern-day impression of a lascivious, misogynist man is hopelessly wrong. He's been filtered down through the centuries as a monster. I wanted to rescue him, to show what he was really like. This man genuinely loved women, and respected them with an astonishingly modern mentality. And never mind the serial philanderer - I also discovered that, outside his love life, Casanova was a wonderful, barmy, inventive man. And what a fraud! Like an 18th century Jeffrey Archer, but funny. He wasn't born an aristocrat, he lied his way into jobs and positions of power with charm and cheek and made himself a success each time. He's just irresistible." I concentrated on 3 key scenes from the miniseries the first 2 focus on Casanova’s ability to respond to the needs of the moment and his dedication to the pursuit of happiness and success. The last scene though explains how a young Casanova learned to listen. After an unsuccessful attempt to woo the youngest daughter of a notable Count, he ends up spending the time with her twin sisters instead. She explains that listening is the real route to understanding people, that listening is a seductive superpower. The older Casanova then goes on to prove the point by telling a young maid her life story even though she had no idea she’d given so much of it away. Back in training I’d demonstrate the same skills by telling each delegate all manner of things they’d revealed about themselves and then challenge them to prove that they too could be great listeners by remembering all manner of seemingly trivial yet important parts about the course. When I next met them outside of the training room I’d get them to tell me about 3 occasions where their new-found ability to really listen had been useful; the results were astounding, they’d been able to challenge with conviction and authority, they’d been able to show compassion when it was most required, they’d delivered outcomes that otherwise would have remained hidden, they’d been able to connect with customers by really understanding their requirements.
If you would like to learn about the seductive power of listening then why not book a training course with One Degree Difference: click here to contact us
If you're looking for employee or leadership training courses from a great, Birmingham based training provider (that can deliver anywhere in the UK!) Andy is your man. We provide training sessions on a number of subjects to provide effective office training in Birmingham and the UK, to help your team become more effective. Andy provides new management, performance improvement, and leadership skills training courses for your team, along with sessions for individual needs such as sessions for aspiring managers and training in coaching. Contact Andy today for a quote on 07905 274 196 or at email@example.com.