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How to be a great mentor

Developing and supporting each individual in your team is both a challenging responsibility and an enormous privilege, and expert workplace coaching and mentoring can help establish brilliant careers. But in reality, not all managers know how to make coaching work for their employees. Coaching your team involves uncovering the individual potential of each personality to allow each individual to fulfil their potential. Put simply,
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How to deal with angry parents

Published in The Educator, 4 November 2015. By Darren Stevenson. Dealing with angry parents in a compassionate and professional manner is a necessary skill for educators and childcare workers. It could be a misunderstanding or something that has never before been brought to your attention. You may not feel directly responsible, but if the parent has a concern about their child during the time
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The Gift of Giving

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And that’s all good and well from Ghandi, right? It’s the sort of quote we’ve come to expect from someone who holds such a position of esteem. But all of us can’t be Ghandi. And do we even want to be? Most of us are
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The Five Stages of Teams

Humans are social animals. We flourish in groups, teams or tribes. These groups can include family and friends as well as professional, educational, religious, geographical and sporting groups, just to name a few. You may notice across the different tribes to which you belong, that some function far more effectively than others. Why is that? David Logan is a business professor at The University
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Performance management in a nutshell

As people managers, humans are our greatest resource. There are times when we celebrate success, times for constructive feedback, and times for management of staff who have lost their way. This last management responsibility is sometimes referred to as Performance Management, and for even the most senior manager it can be a stressful and disappointing process. There are five key steps to valuable performance
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Email Communication Guidelines within the Workplace

Have you noticed that most disharmony in the workplace stems from communication issues? How many issues may have been avoided in your school so far this term if everyone had just paid attention to a few basic guidelines for written communication?   Electronic communication systems, such as email, instant messaging, texting, and social networking have both revolutionised and complicated the modern world. The ability
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Giving Feedback That Results in Change

By Darren Stevenson, Extend Director. Published in Education HQ, April 2015. Whether you are a principal or parent, giving feedback can feel like a perilous task. Sometimes it completely misses the mark and the result is negative rather than positive. This article provide some clues to delivering constructive and valuable feedback with meaning for both parties and which results in real change. The purpose
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Managing a remote workforce

By Darren Stevenson, Extend Director. Published in Business First Magazine, June/July 2015 edition. Some companies choose to allow their workforce to work remotely for cost reduction or commuter convenience. For other businesses, such as ours, it’s an unavoidable necessity. We are Extend After School Care and we operate around 100 out of school hours care services on site at schools across Australia. Our business
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6 steps to effective communication

Effective communication is more than just the exchange of information from sender to receiver. Communication is a complex two way process. Thoughts and feelings need to be clearly articulated and shared for mutual understanding to be achieved. It seems simple. Speak, be heard, and be understood. But ensuring that understanding is achieved is actually an art. Here are the six steps to achieving productive
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Beating Bullying – Part 4

By Darren Stevenson, Extend Director. Published in The Educator, May 2015. In this final of the four part bullying series, Darren Stevenson outlines practical strategies for the targets of bullying. It’s important to remember that the behaviour is not considered bullying if it’s an isolated incident. Bullying behaviour involves repeated attempts to cause distress, humiliation or isolation. The distress and humiliation caused can be
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