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Helen Baxendale

Workplace Essentials

Behavioural skills for all employees.

Gold Award World Media Festival 2016

We all loved the Workplace Essentials which were very entertaining but also very informative.


Video Arts Workplace Essentials are designed to help every employee. In 36 short, sharp videos and 11 e-learning courses Good Manager and Bad Manager guide the learner through the essential skills needed to succeed in the workplace. Starring Robert Webb, Helen Baxendale, Tom Bennett and Lucy Liemann.

Try the Workplace Essentials videos or courses for free...


Available as video or e-learning courses

Assertive versus aggressive

Assertive Versus Aggressive:

You WILL listen to me!

Know the three types of behaviour: aggressive, submissive, assertive.

Assertiveness Tips

Assertiveness Tips:

I'm just being honest!

Be Assertive. Be honest. Stick to the bottom line. Negotiate as equals.

Body language

Body Language:

This is my giant desk castle

DON’T: adopt ‘status’ positions behind desks; give aggressive eye contact; fold arms defensively; use closed hand gestures.

DO: use round tables; use postural ‘echo’; lean forward and nod; maintain friendly eye contact; use open hand gestures.


Preparing To Present:

But I hate talking to people!

Know who you’re talking to, and what you want to say.


Presentation Tips:

Now drink five espressos

Tailor the presentation to the needs of your audience.


Structuring A Presentation:

POP-ping your pants

Structure the presentation: Position, Options, Proposal.


Closing A Phone Call:

Hatching a plan

Agree next actions and follow up on them. Volunteer useful information. Establish what happens next.


Phone Greetings:

Faking the hold music

Put a smile in your voice. Introduce yourself. Is it convenient for the person to take the call?


Phone Skills:

A chickenless head

Control the call. Get caller’s name and use it. Make them feel connected. Ask open questions. Use active listening. Record and repeat information.


Email Etiquette:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: emails

Turn off your mail alert and schedule specific times to check mail. Don’t leave everything in your in-box. Use subject lines properly to say what the message is about. Use  the out-of-office function so people don’t think you’re ignoring them.


Formatting A Report:

Short, sweet, persuasive

Use plain English. Make it look readable. Package it attractively.


Structuring A Report:

Nice and long - good

List the objectives. Organise key points. Structure the document.


Stress And Delegation:

I don't have time for this

Delegate. Communicate. Avoid isolation.


Stress And Exercise:

Beat stress with burgers?

Take exercise and allow yourself time for relaxation.


Stress And Prioritisation:

Running around in circles

Establish priorities. Manage your time.


Constructing A Budget:

I feel a Ferrari size bonus coming

Set standards. Forecast sales and spend. Count costs. Be realistic.


Controlling A Budget:

Give or take. Here or there...

Review. React. Revise.


Co-Ordinating A Budget:

Have you any idea how much that costs?

Consult all departments. Negotiate.


Controlling Quality:

I told you punching it would work

Define it. Control it. Communicate it (listening as well as telling).


Defining A Project:

You! Do this! Yesterday!

Define the team. Check you have the skills you need. Put it on paper.


Implementing A Project:

I'm not talking to you

Keep each other informed. Don’t hide problems. Don’t blame – correct. Evaluate: the process and the benefits.


Planning A Project:

Yes to the action, no to the plan

Allocate resources. Define roles & responsibilities. Set milestones.

Performance Review Preparation:

I'm too busy, you know... performing!?

Get the most out of your performance review.


Prioritising Your Time:

Train time is game time

Plan your day. Set realistic deadlines. Anticipate problems.


Time Management And Interruptions:

Distracting Dennis

Deal with people. Deal with interruptions decisively. Act assertively. Limit phone time. See others as a source of support.


Time Management Tips:

When wearable office organisers go wrong

Organise your work. Ddo difficult things first. Cut the clutter. Complete one task before moving to the next.


Meetings, Show You Understand:

Are you listening?

Listen actively. Show empathy.


Meetings, Work To A Joint Solution:

I've got a great idea, My Idea!

Listen to everyone. Especially the quieter voices.


Planning Virtual Meetings:

Let's have a meeting!?

Inform everyone of the agenda. Put important items at the top and give them the time they need.


Running Virtual Meetings:

Hold the sausages

Provide evidence before interpretation & decisions. Stop people jumping to next stage or going over old ground. Summarise – record decisions and action points.


Don’t Negotiate Separate Parts:

I'll need them with bells and knobs

Don’t agree to separate parts during a negotiation.


Getting A Fair Deal:

Take it or leave it

Avoid threats and ultimatums. Ask ‘what if?’ questions. Make it a fair deal for both sides.


Pitching High:

Whoa! Easy cowboy!

Start higher than your bottom line. Trade, don’t concede.

The Four Stages Of Change:

Colours are a fad...they won't catch on

The four stages of reaction to change: Negation – Self-justification – Exploration – Resolution

The Power Of Behaviour:

I could do without you today

Behaviour breeds behaviour – the way people behave is usually dictated by the way you behave towards them

Use Behaviour To Help An Interaction:

The least important person in my life

You can use your behaviour – to HELP a transaction, VISUALLY by greeting people and using their names – VISUALLY with an attentive look and gesture

You Can Choose How To Behave:

Like hell I am!

You can choose your behaviour – your behaviour is not something you are born with: it’s something you choose every time you deal with people – how you choose will help or hinder every transaction


Our videos and e-learning courses come with handy infographics and workshop guides. Take a look at an example of the infographics from the Workplace Essentials…

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Illustration of videos on iPad

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