Archives for 2020

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Transactional Analysis

Transactional Analysis is one of the cornerstones of modern psychology. It was developed by Eric Berne, and describes the infamous ‘parent adult child’ theory.

In this podcast, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin explore its use in our everyday lives, from home to work. Transactional Analysis is a great starting point for building your self awareness, and an awareness of others. So if you find yourself struggling to communicate with others (or others with you!) it can be a very helpful tool.

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Neuroscience for Online Learning

Neuroscience is the study of the brain…

Or more technically the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord – so it’s like learning how people really work.

In 2016 when neuroscience research became more prolific and accessible, we gained insights that could tell us why certain approaches to learning were working and why other things were simply not effective.

Since then, we’ve had a chance to try out plenty of different approaches, and so here we share with you what works and why. There are great insights from psychology and neuroscience that translate across both face-to-face and online learning environments, but in this video we’ll explore specifically how to use the tips in online sessions.

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Gravitas: How to Prepare

How do you engage and influence people?

Creating great first impressions, using charisma, holding a client’s attention and delivering clear messages are fundamental elements of gravitas. But did you know that this is a skill you can develop?

In this video, we’ll look at three key elements you’ll need to consider when developing Gravitas: Passion, Purpose and Story.

These three things are the foundation to developing a broader range of micro-behaviours that develop ‘gravity’ or authority, through calm confidence, keeping it together under pressure, being personable and having credibility.

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Totem Talks Episode 8: Toxic Masculinity

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is kindness. Mark Smith shares his personal mental health challenges and Helen Frewin quizzes him about how toxic masculinity can get in the way of some really good conversations, and our ability to be kind.

We were surprised that this ended up being a discussion as much about diversity and inclusion as it was about mental health….

And we realised how the language of “being open about mental health” might be the very thing holding men back. All with a fascinating debate about privilege in white middle class men too!

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Totem Talks Episode 7: Book Writing

Helen is writing a book! In this latest podcast Mark Smith and Helen Frewin discuss her tentative and surprisingly emotional first steps in writing a book. What’s the book about? Who is she writing it for? Secrets will be revealed…

If you’re considering writing your own book, this podcast is a simple and quick way to catch that first glimpse of the journey that you’ll need to embark on. And as the book progresses, well update this playlist with more of Helen’s discoveries.

In this podcast we mention the fabulous Alison Jones, who has helped us start on this exciting adventure…

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Make the Most of Communicating Online

Using Technology to keep in touch with others has exploded in recent times, and whilst we’ve come a long way since the simple phone call, it still has some hiccups. We weigh in on some of the most problematic, but easily addressed issues facing the modern technology user.

Psychologist Helen Frewin gives us three quick tips to rapidly improve your online experience when communicating with others – just try not to look up her nose…

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Totem Talks Episode 6: Difficult Conversations

Why do we not like giving feedback? Why do we not face up to those honest, tough or difficult conversations? Whatever we call them, and many businesses have tried their share of variations, feedback and performance conversations are still a challenge for many people.

Here we look at why interventions to date may not have worked and share some top tips that are working well for us and our clients. And then we’ll get to some meaty stuff – preparing for the other person’s response…

One of the things that stops us entering into difficult conversations, feedback or chats about big issues is an anxiety over how the other person may respond. What if they quit? Cry? Argue? Shout? Take it really badly?

And so as a learning designers, facilitators and coaches, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin help you to prepare for those eventualities – and for those you cannot even imagine.

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Totem Talks Episode 5: Online Learning

What are other people doing with virtual learning?

This is a question we are getting asked a lot right now, so we thought we’d share a few experiences and tips that have come up across our clients.

Traditional training companies have sold expensive, residential courses for years and whilst these have been challenged before, it is only in more recent weeks with the impetus provided by Covid-19 that this challenge is likely to stick.

But with a better understanding of how people learn and with the introduction of better technology, Mark Smith & Helen Frewin talk about the stand out changes that are likely to stay.

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Totem Talks Episode 4: Coping with Anxiety

Business Psychologist Helen Frewin and her trusty sidekick Mark Smith give us an overview of what causes anxiety and tips to manage it.

In this fourth episode, we also explore Acceptance & Commitment Theory, and how it can help you overcome your anxieties.

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