Personal Development

These courses have both contributed to my personal development, and allowed me to see a range of teaching and training styles. As I speak more myself, the time available for these has dropped, but it’s always important to keep taking on new ideas from others.

April 2014 Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: Durham University
February 2014 Moving Mountains, Negotiating and Influencing Skills: Durham University
January 2014 Writing for Publication: Durham University
November Preparing for PhD Supervision: Durham University
September2013 Enhancing Communication using Emotional Intelligence: Durham University
January 2013 Changing Leaders: Durham University
July 2012 Guided Retreat: Brian Draper
April 2012 Guided Retreat: Brian Draper
April 2012 Media Training at the Open University
January 2012 Audio Feedback Training with JISC
May 2011 Overcoming Procrastination, Psychologies Magazine
March 2011 Street Photography, Frui
March 2011 Night Photography, Frui
March 2010 Publication in the 21st Century, Josie Dixon: An introduction into the world of publishing, and what we might need to take account of as we push our work towards the outside world.
January – March 2010 Blueprint “Screw Work, Let’s Play”, John Williams: 10 week teleseminar course: make a living doing work you love, accompanied by a number of Scanner’s Night events.
April – June 2009 Just 10, J John: The 10 Commandments in 10 weeks in Winchester Cathedral. See blog entries.
May 2009 Academic Consultancy, with Andrew Corcoran of Blueberry Consultancy Training: In the world of ‘knowledge transfer’, academics are increasing looking at how to ‘monetize’ their knowledge. This session gave some starting points.
January – May 2009 Out There‘ Networking Events: including: May: Mind-Stretching: Do we own our own DNA?; April: Mind-Mapping; March: Performance; January: Twitter
April 2009 An Introduction to NLP
A one-day event, which introduced a number of helpful neuro-linguistic programming techniques, provided by The Coaching Academy.
April 2009 One-to-One Session on CSS, JBCreativeAn afternoon’s speed training in CSS (web programming language) with Julia Barnickle, which I immediately put into practice by creating http://www.tobyrobinson.co.uk.
March 2009 Thinking Aloud: Budgeting Workshop
Doing the maths: Does your business have enough ‘va va voom’ to sustain you financially? With Ed Beckman
February 2009 Jesus Heals Today, Ellel Ministry
Interested in their work, as have received their Seeds of the Kingdom email for some time now. A free day to see their style – very supportive, and a lot of relevant literature for sale.
February 2009 eCommerce: Surviving the Credit Crunch with eHampshire
Day workshop, at which I realised just how valuable much of my pre-existing knowledge is. Sessions included: Search Engine Optimisation; Usability/Accessibility; Work Smarter; Email Marketing
January 2009 Winchester e-Network ‘Wet Picnic’
Interesting evening with the drama company ‘Wet Picnic‘ funded by University of Winchester business start-up funding.
December 2008 The Secrets of Free Publicity with Chantal Cooke…
Day workshop with Chantal Cooke and Nick Williams. Course content includes:

  • Get yourself booked on a radio show.
  • Get featured in newspapers and magazines.
  • Grab a journalist’s interest in a moment.
  • Avoid the basic mistakes people make when approaching the media.
  • Avoid the one deadly sin that makes journalists turn away from you.
  • The secrets of being a great interviewee.
  • Learn how to write a press release.
2007-2008 PADI ‘Open Water Diver’
An internationally-recognised course designed to equip me to dive safely to about 20 metres:

  • I was very strong on the pre-practical theory, gaining 100% (or close) in most modules.
  • The practical element was more challenging, and I didn’t complete my mask removal or my emergency ascent during the first course in Thailand.
  • I was determined to complete the qualification, did a couple of accompanied ‘fun dives’, before completing the course in New Zealand
September 2007 LICC ‘Toolbox’
A 5-day course designed to equip Christians to live for God 24-7.

  • A great chance to meet with other Christians as excited by being relevant in the contemporary world as I am, and looking to find the tools to grow towards being relevant.
  • A great variety – most unusual was a ‘theology of shopping’ in Selfridges!
  • Great chance to practice presentations skills within a group. Love the ideas stage and the finished product
  • Provided both challenges and encouragements, inspirational and humorous (sometimes together)
June 2007 Travel Writing (Travellers’ Tales)
A 5-day course based near St Ives, Cornwall, run by Jonathan Laurie (ex-editor Wexas Traveller)

  • Decided to try something different. Came to realise what a specialised field ‘travel-writing’ is, adapted my writing style well, but decided that this wasn’t what I would be travelling to do.
  • My strongest writing focused on describing people. Ensuring that you ‘show’, don’t tell.
  • Enjoyed the time-pressure to complete, but even more the breathing space to allow a piece to ‘develop’.
  • Remember to use material that you already have, but work it from new angles.
  • Gained a lot of advice on travelling in general.
  • See the piece I wrote on the final day.
June 2007 ‘MediaNet Academy’ at Churches Media Council Conference
I was awarded a place on the ‘webstream’ placement.

  • The course reconfirmed how much I already know about the web, how strongly web content has finally become a separately recognises field, and became excited by the possibilities.
  • As the most web-savvy of the group, ended up taking on an editorial-lead role for the website we built, which I really enjoyed.
  • Thought more about the process, and was given a number of tips/techniques to add to the ‘toolbox’
  • Made a number of contacts working in the media.
May 2007 ‘Level 2: Food Safety in Catering’
Training and assessment for compulsory food safety, to allow me to work as a volunteer cook for Oak Hall.
May 2007 ‘Leadership Training’, Oak Hall
A one-day training and discussion day, to allow me to work as a volunteer leader for Oak Hall.
March-June 2007 ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’, i-to-i
40-hour online TEFL, plus 20-hour specialist grammar, certification.

  • Developing techniques for teaching grammar, vocabulary and skills based lessons
  • Recognised that I already had strong skills, but that I didn’t really enjoy focusing on grammar.
April 2007 ‘Personal Effectiveness’, CIPD
Transforming behaviour through the pain/pleasure principle.

  • Thinking both short and long-term
  • To recondition habits, choose one thing at a time
March 2007 ‘Running Your Own Business’
Building on a couple of introductory sessions, this 4-day course was provided by Business Link Wessex:

  • Fun (but practical) sessions really got us thinking about how what we do affects our business.
  • Having goals for what you want to achieve in life, and how your business fits into this.
  • Don’t think that you have to do it all, e.g. buy in book-keeping expertise.
  • Fascinated by the ideas stage, and plenty of new ideas being thrown around in these sessions.
  • Really enjoyed the session on how to project yourself/your business values.
March 2007 ‘Business Start Up Programme: Awareness Event’
A one-day event provided by Business Link Wessex

  • Provided an opportunity to think out real-options in relation to starting your own business, the benefits and drawbacks, and a chance to network with others in the same boat.
February 2007 ‘Starting Your Own Business’
An afternoon course at the University of Winchester

  • Things to take into consideration if setting up your own business: purpose & goals; personality type.
May-December 2006 Active Learning Group’ (University of Manchester)
After a one-day workshop, ‘Active Learning Groups’ with cross-departmental members, were established.

  • Regular meetings with familiar faces who had signed up to an set of group-agreed rules.
  • A safe space in which to talk over issues without criticism, but with an aim to enable members of the group to move forward to self-specified goals (specific focus on one person per meeting).
  • The group enabled me to think through my role within CIDRA, to a realisation that the situation was unlikely to change, and therefore went forward for voluntary redundancy.
October 2006 Occupational Personality Questionnaire (University of Manchester)
A quick-response questionnaire, followed by a feedback session which was helpful in validating that you are as you are, work within who you are:

  • Some key findings: can take the lead when necessary; a real people person, very socially confident; sympathetic and considerate towards others, consults widely when making decisions; tries to understand motivations and behaviour (rather than facts/feelings); needs variety, has some interest in theoretical discussions, can adapt approach; can think strategically and at a level of detail, will persist to get the job done, has respect for rules & regulations; the nerves rise before important events; thrives on activity, dislikes competition – prefers taking part, takes time to make decisions.
September 2006 ‘Assertiveness and Emotional Intelligence’ (University of Manchester)
A really enjoyable 2-day internal course, which focused less on saying ‘no’, and more on establishing your bottom line, and thus being able to say ‘yes’ for your own benefit.

  • Using purposeful ‘self-talk’, owning problems, establishing the real risks at the base of fear, being positive about change, being more direct, basic rights and accompanying responsibilities, congratulating self on what have done, identifying ‘complimentary’ bullies.
  • The ‘ice bucket’ story: no need to (always) come up with reasons, state the facts
August 2006 ‘Career Focus’, LICC
A weekend course, based at Holy Trinity Platt, focusing on who God created us to be, and the kind of careers we should be therefore be engaging with, and how we can be a good witness within those situations.
June 2006 ‘Interview Skills’ (University of Manchester)
A 1-day course to prepare for being the interviewer (rather than the interviewee), content included:

  • The logistics of setting up an interview, and their first impressions of you are as important as vice versa.
  • How to manage the interview well, getting the best from candidates, active listening, top 99 interview questions, being fair to all candidates, be prepared to give feedback.
  • The importance of having the right people on the panel, appropriately trained, people who care/are involved, and who appropriately represent the organisation to avoid dangers of offering ‘the wrong job’.
January 2006 ‘Confidence Building’ (University of Manchester)
A 2-day course provided by ‘Structured Learning Ltd’ , enjoyably presented:

  • Believe that you are important, project this, others need to recognise the value of your time
  • Where possible, prepare before situations to be ready to take charge of the situation.
  • Practice and try things out – go outside your comfort zone as many innovations result from mistakes
  • Tips and techniques for dealing with spoken communication situations: e.g. remember PIE (10 % performance; 30% image; 60% exposure)
December 2005 ‘Project Management’ (University of Manchester)
A 2-day course with Alan Rousseau Training, to help project manage the ‘War and our World’ conference

  • The principles of a project model – scaleable up or down
  • Defining projects effectively
  • The roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, communicating change effectively
  • Using planning techniques to improve definitions, manage risks, control the work, monitor progress
  • Applying project management in a real-life work setting (CIDRA website)
November 2005 ‘Running a Conference’ (University of Manchester)
A session designed for postgraduates about to run their first small conference, although I was about to plan a large international conference ‘War and our World’

  • Time management and workflow. Don’t forget about the practicalities in the academic agenda. Plan budge, accommodation, food, venue, marketing.
  • Useful checklists which could be re-purposed were provided.
November 2005 ‘Stress Management Workshop’ (University of Manchester)
A compulsory day workshop for the senior administrative staff within Arts, Histories and Cultures

  • Ensure that appropriate people are on interview panels: be realistic about the realities of the job.
  • Make time for appraisals, set appropriate targets; plan but don’t overplan
  • Ensure that other departments realise that our time is valuable, take proper breaks, recognise our own achievements, blow own trumpets where necessary.
September 2005 ARMA Training for Research Administrators in their 1st Year (ARMA)
A 3-day course provided by the Association of Research Managers and Administrators

  • Unsurprisingly, found the course over-emphatic on administration, when I expected my role to be more one of intellectual engagement.
February 2005 ‘Problem-Solving’ (University of Winchester)
A 1-day course to learn how best to approach problems: how to bridge the gap between the situation as you perceive it, and how you believe it should be:

  • Conventional and creative approaches (e.g. imagine 6 characters to help you, how would each resolve the problem, how would you turn that into a real solution?)
  • Focus on the positives of each possible solution first, not ‘oh that won’t work’.
  • P(ossibility) R(result required) O(bjectives) B(arriers) L(ogic) E(valuate) M(onitor)
February 2005 ‘AssessRite’ (University of Winchester)
An online course, to assess the health and safety of my computer workstation. 95% gained.
January 2005 Motivation’ (University of Winchester)
An internal course, facilitated by the Staff Development Team. Course content included:

  • Factors that influence motivation in self and others
  • Considered ways to identify ‘rewards’ and ‘pain barriers’ which impact on our motivation
December 2004 ‘Equality and Diversity’ (University of Winchester)
An internal course, facilitated by Lenny Dalby. Course content included:

  • An introduction to the new legislation regarding discrimination
  • Encouraged us to think about how this impacted on the IT Team
November 2004 ‘Body Language and Interviews’ (University of Winchester)
An internal course, facilitated by the Careers Service. Course content included:

  • Building and projecting confidence through body language, voice, and facial expressions
  • Identifying positive and negative body language traits
March 2004 Gender and Conversational Style (University of Winchester)
An internal course, facilitated by Karyn Prentice. Course content included:

  • Identifying rituals, signals and style (differences) in communication (self/others)
  • Understanding how cultural/past factors influence how we are heard
  • Miller’s Law – assuming that conversations are ‘true’, rather than ‘reading between the lines’
March 2004 Listening Effectively (University of Winchester)
An internal course, run by Fiona Damp. Course content included:

  • The study of stepped ‘situation’ videos, with assumptions/ reactions addressed at each step
  • Discussion of more effective ways to listen, including through body language
March 2004 Mind Mapping (University of Winchester)
An internal course, run by Julia Wills. Course content included:

  • The uses and benefits of mind mapping in ‘getting started’ on projects
  • Visualising ideas, and refining the mind-map through colour-coding, etc.
  • Practically apply the mind mapping technique to a current project
January 2004 Interpersonal Communication (University of Winchester)
An internal course , provided by Quinstone Consulting. Course content included:

  • Non-verbal communication, including establishing rapport through ‘matching’
  • Objectives and outcomes of communication
  • Self-perception, and perception of others.
  • Identification of differing personal styles: conceptual, social, direct and analytical.
January 2004 Negotiation: The art of ‘win-win’ (University of Winchester)
An internal course, facilitated by Karyn Prentice. Course content included:

  • Identifying negotiation, and when it is appropriate – the process
  • Understanding the other party and identifying needs, pre-negotiating planning, and listening
  • Negotiation, influence and persuasion, and knowing when not to negotiate
September 2003 XML 2-day Course (University of Winchester)
A 2-day internal course, with an external trainer. Course content was intended to provide a basic understanding of XML, which could be applied and built upon. Unfortunately, the trainer did not take into account the starting point of those on the course, and presentation was poor. Handbooks have been retained from the course, and should prove useful.
June 2003 Time Management Course (University of Southampton)
A course at Southampton University. Course content included:

  • Identifying long-term goals and how to achieve them
  • Avoiding perfectionism, setting parameters (saying no), and delegating
  • Prioritising, juggling, and organising tasks
  • Setting goals when working individually, or with/for others
May 2003 Project Management Course (University of Winchester)
An internal course, with an external trainer, whose content included:

  • Identifying aims, scope and objectives of projects
  • Preparation, planning, control and evaluation of projects
  • Roles within the project team (manager/team member)
January 2003 Copyright Workshop (AHDS)
A one-day course, run by the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)

  • General introduction to issues of British copyright as relevant to historical projects and sources, with reference to other relevant legislation (including Data Protection)
  • Reference to useful sources (books/websites/lawyers) for further reference
November 2002 Assertive Communication (University of Southampton)
A course at Southampton University. Course content included:

  • Understanding how people communicate
  • Experimenting with different styles of communication, in different situations
  • Learning how to ‘say no’
July 2002 Good Fences Make Good Neighbours: Customer Care and Self Care (University of Winchester)
An internal course, shared with the Library staff. Course content included:

  • The three major variables in any event (You/Other person(s)/Situation)
  • Physiological and psychological effects of emotions
  • Establishing rapport through ‘matching’ (body language, tone, etc.)
  • Avoiding ambiguity in communication through simple questioning
February 2002 Access 97 Advanced (University of Winchester)
A 2-day course run by InterquadProfessional Trainers

  • Building upon past experience of Access databases, various advanced techniques
  • Time needs to be spent on follow-up exercises, but the course was fully understood
January 2002 Office XP New Features (University of Winchester)
A 1-day course run by InterquadProfessional Trainers

  • An introduction to new features throughout the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • The course was re-summarised by the College IT Trainer shortly before Office XP was introduced College-wide.
2001 Digitisation Workshop (AHDS)
A 1-day course run by the Arts and Humanities Data Service. The course included an introduction to AHDS, and:

  • Using a Project Management Approach
  • Digitisation Process and Implications
  • Metadata (cataloguing processes)
  • Preservation and Documentation
  • Depositing with AHDS, including case studies
January 2001 Dreamweaver Training (Pitman Training)
Six hours of one-to-one training at what is now Pitman Winchester, on Dreamweaver 4.0, with some reference to the use of Adobe PhotoShop 5.5.

  • This has been followed up by self-development, and the use of the Dreamweaver 4.0 for Dummies QuickRef guide.
January 2001 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (University of Winchester)
An internal course, run through the careers service.

  • The course identified different personality types, including our own types
  • The course also identified the need to recognise different approaches in others.
February 2000 Databases for Historians (IHR)
A course at the Institute of Historical Research, designed to introduce the use of databases within research projects

  • The course particularly asked us to need to consider the needs/relevance of using a database
  • The course considered possible database structures, and the implications upon research data.
September 1999 – May 1998 Lectures from ‘MA: Art and Ideology in Europe 1917-1968′ (Winchester School of Art)
Selected lectures at Winchester School of Art, addressing the theory and ideology behind many avant-garde art movements and political movements (including the Nazis).
February – June 1998 Lectures from ‘MA in Regional and Local History and Archaeology’ (University of Winchester)
‘Research Methodology’ module at King Alfred’s College, which provided preparatory skills for the research project.
September 1997 – May 2001 Postgraduate Training Course (University of Winchester)
King Alfred’s College, including time spent on:

  • Research techniques
  • Publishing your work through journals/books
  • Preparing for the viva, and identifying ‘original contributions to knowledge’
  • The purpose of lectures
  • Planning for careers
September – December 1997 Lectures from ‘MA in Propaganda, Persuasion and History’ (University of Kent)
Selected lectures at the University of Kent (at Canterbury), including identification of concepts of propaganda, techniques of propaganda, and case studies on the First and Second World War.

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