Saying nothing can be powerful


We recently followed a couple around a National Trust garden and were amused to hear their conversation.  Except that is just what it wasn’t – a conversation.  What they were doing was taking turns to wait for a breathing space, and then leaping in with their own opinions and views.  It was not an exchange of ideas or even a debate from differing sides….it was actually two different conversations with neither party engaged or hearing what the other said.

This can often be the way in business too.  Sitting in a meeting where parties are just waiting for a pause to leap in with their own agenda and thoughts, without acknowledging or digesting what has been said by others.

It’s a skill to stop, listen, and digest before responding.

Some years ago we were commissioned by an NHS Local Medical Committee to make the CQC requirements for GP practices more readily understandable and practical before the registration deadline.  There was a myriad of paperwork and thick booklets on the subject that had been distributed and panic was the keyword amongst Practice Managers and Partners who were at a loss to know what was required of them.

In the meeting, the Committee stated that what was needed was a manual telling Practice Managers how to implement the standards and be prepared for inspection.  What they failed to realise was that the managers didn’t need yet another weighty tome of information.  They hadn’t read what was already available so a different perspective was needed to determine what would work best.

So, we asked a few specific questions around what were the issues and then really listened to what the answers were.  The issues transpired to be:-

  • lack of time to understand all the information
  • too confusing
  • not sure what timeframe to work to
  • the penalties for not being ready
  • how Practices differed in their preparations from care homes, hospitals, acute units

The answer was not in more printed books of words.  We put together a simple Excel sheet for them to download, with hyperlinks to all the relevant documents they needed to complete.  A dated checklist against each criteria that was relevant to the world of general practice, so that they could monitor and review how things were being actioned. We provided a point of reference for queries, so that anything they didn’t understand or were confused about, we’d source the response from the CQC helpline and provided 24 hour support through the whole process.

So when you are looking for solutions to staff training and development, make sure your Training provider really listens to you – your business and your staff are unique and the solutions to your requirements should be too.

If you’d like to have a conversation about the options for different training and coaching methods, do call, 01892 832059 or email



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