For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
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eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
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Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
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Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Seven things to avoid when writing at work

When it comes to writing, there are a few pitfalls and common mistakes that can easily trip up your reader. Taken from Ann Handley’s brilliant writing guide Everbody Writes — here’s a handful of such things to watch out for when writing whatever's next.

Wall Street Journal bestselling author and marketing extraordinaire Ann Handley is a content-writing-wizard. Her best-selling how-to guide, Everybody Writes, offers a practical handbook for writing in each and every context; emails, texts, social media, reports — you name it.

Drawn from its persuasive pages — here are seven things to avoid when you next sit down and put pen to paper (or fingertips to keys).

Don’t use jargon

As Anne says in her book, “better writing comes from a place of goodness. It means using the right words, choosing real words, and avoiding the temptation of buzzwords.” Your goal, as a writer, is to connect with an audience. Jargon — for example ‘revolutionary’, ‘value-added’ or ‘best-of-breed’ — can often alienate the reader and muddy your message.

👉What business speak or jargon words can you think of? What more natural sounding words can you swap them out for?

Don’t use ‘frankenwords’

Bizarre blends of words, or Frankenwords as Anne calls them like ‘amazeballs,’ ‘clickability,’ or ‘solopreneur,’ make your writing much less persuasive. Avoid nouns that ‘masquerade,’ as verbs too, words like ‘bucketize’ or ‘incentivize’. Stick, instead, with their more powerful active verb form.

👉 What ‘frankenwords’ do you notice in the writing you receive. And what can you cut from your own writing?

Don’t use ‘weblish’

As Handley asks — “Would you tell your love that you “don’t have the bandwidth” for something, or would you tell them that you “don’t have the time”? Would you say “Let me ping you in that,” or would you say, “I’ll get back to you”?” Writing needs to feel like it’s come from a real person, and not from a robot. Cut weblish words - words that have sprouted from technology - from your vocabulary entirely.

👉 What ‘weblish’ words can you remove from a recent writing project?

Don’t use the passive voice (unless you absolutely need to)

The passive voice doesn’t mean the past tense. Instead, it means something that is happening to the subject of the sentence, rather than something that the subject is doing (or the active voice). Here’s an example from Handley -

Passive voice: On Instagram, pictures of people eating pizza are being posted.

Active voice: On Instagram, people are posting pictures of themselves eating pizza.

The passive voice isn’t wrong, but the active voice makes your writing feel…well….active. It’s more alive, more attention grabbing, and (whenever possible) you should use it.

👉 Look at a recent email you sent, or newsletter you wrote. Can you spot an opportunity to swap the passive voice for the active?

Don’t use ‘weak’ verbs

Why use ‘cut,’ when you could use ‘slash’? Why use ‘hit,’ when you could use ‘punched’ or ‘whalloped’? Take it from Hemmingway, who discovered this technique, bold action words breathe life into your writing.

“You should strike a balance,” Handley says. “The trick is to avoid overdoing it with so many action verbs that you give the reader whiplash. That’s overwriting.” But if you feel your writing lacks some oomph, a great place to start animating it is with your choice of verbs.

👉 What action verbs could you use instead of ‘sending an email,’ or ‘sitting in a chair,’?

Don’t use clichés (too often)

Most of the time, and particularly in marketing, clichés like ‘_____ is the new black,’ or ‘_____ is dead, long live _____’ water down your message, and make your writing feel lazy.

Handley is quick to point out however that “not all clichés are created equal. Sometimes a well-worn phrase can add some meaning and succinct, colourful wisdom.” If the cliché you’re using explains something concisely, like describing resetting as going ‘back to square one,’ then it’s absolutely fine. Just be sure to use clichés ‘once in a blue moon.’

👉 What clichés do you use a little too often? What could you swap them out for?

Don’t be afraid to break with convention

It’s absolutely fine to begin a sentence with ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘because.’ For your reader, they actually add momentum to a paragraph.

It’s okay to use sentence fragments, for example “she opened the door. Slowly.” If used sparingly they can add dramatic emphasis to your writing.

And, lastly, it’s perfectly acceptable to write a paragraph that’s one sentence long.

👉 Look back over a piece of writing you’ve done recently. Are you using any of these debunked rules? Could any be broken to create some flow to your writing?

Hungry for more?

— For more Ann Handley, be sure to grab a copy of Everybody Writes.

— Learn more about the nuts and bolts of great, and simple, writing at copywriting maestro Vikki Ross’ Writing Well workshop.

— Enrol in our Writing Well micro-learning course; five writing exercises delivered directly to your inbox each morning of the working week.

— Identify, and gather, great stories by doing your Homework for Life.

More Resources