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Practice-based Transferable Skills Training, Not Talk

I have seen through my years in academia and training that people learn best when they are actively practise the skill. Listening to someone talk about recipes and cooking best-practice for three hours won't make the audience better cooks. So my workshops are designed and delivered with the following characteristics in mind.


Workshops are designed around a variety of exercises using participants' work-related material. Participants improve their skills by working with their material and receiving feedback.

Relevant Exercises

Let me give an example. During my presenting workshops, I often hear from participants that they've already done a half-day presenting workshop and they're not sure what they'll learn from my two-day version. When I ask them what their presentation was in this other workshop, it's invariably either their hobbies or their holidays, neither of which is related to their work.

In my presenting workshop, each participant gives at least two five-minute presentations (with and without slides) justifying that their work or project is worthwhile. This means that the participants:

Using work-related material also means that the participants progress with their work during the workshop and the skills are better integrated with their work activities.

Work In Small Teams

Participants work in small teams. They receive feedback from their peers so that they learn what to notice and how to give constructive feedback. After the workshop is finished and I've left the building, they can continue to help each other to improve. This is more useful in the long term than making them dependent upon a trainer as the source of all knowledge.

The team-working approach helps to break down the workplace isolation that often occurs. Participants are reacquainted with what their colleagues are doing.

Interdisciplinary Groups Are Encouraged

The advantage of mixed groups is that it forces each participant to think clearly and explain their message to the other participants who have different backgrounds. The mixture of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints can also be a source of creative ideas. A third benefit of working with interdisciplinary groups is that it is easier to fill the workshop since the participants don't need to all have the same training and background.

Workshops And Books

Undergraduate Training

Logical Thinking Programme (including concept- and causal-mapping techniques)

Clear And Concise Writing Programme

These have been run with groups of 100 undergraduate students at a time.

Postgraduate Training

Various workshops are available which can be combined to form a comprehensive programme in research skills.

Staff Training

A variety of workshops on thinking, communication and execution that are relevant to administrative, managerial or research staff.


Research Skills Book

We have published a research-oriented skills book for postgraduate students which is based upon material from various workshops.

This book can also be useful to undergraduates and postdoctoral fellows.

Management Skills Book

We have published a skills book for staff with managerial responsibilities. It is based upon material from various workshops.

This book can also be useful to research professionals.

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Last Update:  25 August 2015

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Cognitrix Ltd. is a private limited company registered in England and Wales: 04987569.
Registered Office: Cognitrix Ltd., c/o B.J. Sexton & Co., 9 The Shrubberies, George Lane, South Woodford, LONDON, E18 1BD

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