Kickstarter Training & Development

Alex our Kickstarter writes about what he’s learned from the Training & Development ‘DevelopME Kickstarter’ Platform….

Before I started working for Breathing Space HR, I was confident with my skills but soon realised upon starting the Kickstart program that much of my knowledge lacked organisation.

I liked how you could see the subjects in the course and how the system monitored your progress.  This continually fired up my intrigue and excitement to learn all the skills and start putting them into practice.

Kicking off with the Core Skills section – I instantly understood how it was turning what I knew instinctively into an organised process; the communication section introduced me to the SOLER system, (Position – Sit/Stand, Body Language – Open, Interest – Lean slightly forward, Eye contact and finally Relax) the first of many useful acronyms to amalgamate the various processes.

More importantly than learning and completing each section, was then making a conscious effort to put it into practice, noticing the improvements and differences in meetings, colleague interactions and the level of my work.

The decision matrix introduced to me the importance of systematic decisions, especially those with large implications. It is a numerical system whereby essential criteria and desired criteria is plotted against the top options to find a tangible result.

In today’s world I feel it is crucial that people are well educated on the subject of gender, unconscious bias and equality & diversity – I felt it to be a top priority that I that I improve on those subjects. I learned of the different types of bias, and instantly understood so much more about myself, my thought processes, and reasons for my decisions.

I became more conscious, noticing differing levels of bias in myself and instantly deciding to combat it with the means that DevelopMe had suggested. To conclude, the core skills section has become an invaluable tool for me and continues to help me to be better at my job.

In studying my degree, I developed a few classic student traits; one being that I enjoy comparing research from scholars on a subject. Therefore, I appreciated that the information given was often backed up by quotes from leading industry professionals.

Launching into the Teamwork and Collaboration chapter, I was introduced to a rich depth of theory; always introducing a brilliantly presented and understandable lesson, which was then explored, developed, and concluded for you to consider in work scenarios.

An example of this – the Karpman Drama Triangle; identifying the persecutor, the victim and rescuer in a toxic dilemma, and how they were interconnected. I have experienced this situation before and would not feel masterful of the situation or how to handle it. The Karpman Drama triangle explained how each role needed to morph into a slightly different role to resolve productively; the persecutor becomes the challenger, the victim becomes the creator and rescuer becomes coach. This is just one of countless useful lessons to take forward from this section alone.

The Decision-Making chapter of the course built on from the introductory segment of the Core Skills section; This five-part lesson (& reflection) went into far more depth about decision making. It began by introducing the types of decision, the ICES process, and various conflicting theories. I found that each course was very organised and broken up, for example the Criteria part of the ICES process was notably detailed. I had a jotter and briefly paraphrased, bullet pointed and laid out the information in a way that I could easily refer to while in the office.

I quickly understood that decision making incorporates so much more when the process is broken down into all the information that needs to be considered. In this kickstart chapter there was only 5 tasks but actually DevelopMe’s wider content has so much more about decision making if I wanted to go into further detail.

CV’s was a shorter chapter of Kickstart, more so in my case because I felt I knew most of what it taught. However, yet again I wrote down pages of information because many of the techniques I knew, had been broken down and formulated into a super organised system which I most certainly had not done.

Moving on to the Interview chapter; I was excited because I still don’t have lots of experience in interviews yet was aware that interviewing was a huge subject. I loved how it began by introducing the types of interviews (starting from the beginning for those who like to build their understanding from the bottom up), it set the scene for the following information. I watched a video of MDs giving top advice about interviews, highlighting the importance of the first impression and the span of its impact. In my first months I gave a bad handshake to a colleague and my boss mentioned that handshakes were something of great importance. Of course, this was addressed by DevelopMe and I now know not underestimate the importance a hand shake (as long as there’s not a pandemic and social distancing).

I wouldn’t consider myself I very good job hunter, so when I started learning about job hunting through Kickstart, I became I little emotional.  It reminded me of the reality at the end of my placement, that I would have to get another job and retrain to fit in with another business or even more daunting, potentially become self-employed again. On the other hand, it gave me hope that Breathing Space would support me with the next step of my journey. But more important than that, I felt sad that I would be leaving such an awesome bunch of new colleagues who I had just started getting used to. I found this chapter of my training tremendously useful as it not only rounded off the course and my placement, but it gave me some serious updating to do, such as making a master CV, focussing on my network with a new perspective to LinkedIn, creating a cover letter template; all things that I had not thought of in the concise planned strategy recommended by DevelopMe.

Having now completed the course, I received a certificate, I gave some feedback, and my boss has more for me to do and I am absolutely up for more (remember 8000+ educational videos and courses!). When my year subscription is completed, I predict I’ll renew.