If you are an HR director and would like to share yourtraining experience or review a training course, e-mail: [email protected] So, while these intensive and highly interactive sessionsaren’t ideal for those who prefer more reflective learning, and, rightly, donot pretend to be a substitute for one-to-one coaching, they do provide avaluable stimulus and very practical learning in a time-efficient and popularway. The Mind Gym is such a simple concept it is extraordinary noone thought of it sooner. What it does, is deliver 90-minute, face-to-facemini-workshops on a wide range of leadership and management developmentsubjects (“life skills”) supported by weekly e-mails. Each session ison a different subject and there are over 60 to choose from. Quick fixOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today In our time-poor world, where a day (or, heaven forbid, aweek) away from the office seems all but career suicide to many high-flyingexecutives, the idea of a 90-minute learning “injection” is deeplyseductive. Add to this, the chance to choose from such intriguing titles as”Zoom learning”, “2+2=Green” and “The beautifulquestion”, or to brush up on practical skills such as “Rememberingwhats is name”, “Building rapport” and “Getting thingsdone”, and you sense that this is no normal training offer. You can tell how many teams in the bank have attended andenjoyed this workout from conversations overheard in the corridors –”You’re a Helen”, “Naresh is a Graham, for sure”. Thelasting benefit, however, is that people are learning to understand each othermore and evaluate each other less – a great gain for teamwork. Comments are closed. Next, I decided to attend “Zoom learning”.”At the end of the workout you will have discovered techniques to changeyour learning lens from wide-angle to microscopic”, it claims on therelevant Web page. It also explains, “too much helicopter vision and practicalconsiderations are forgotten, but get stuck in the cornflakes and there is adanger of high activity with minimal, or the wrong, impact”. It makessense, but could The Mind Gym really help me control my “learningaperture”? After a few relevant warm-up exercises we were split intoteams of four and given a case study. Disturbed from a well-earned break on theisland of Mauritius, my team was instructed by company boss Donald H Laser IIto find out what was happening at Arkwright Photocopy, an ailing subsidiarywhose leadership team he had fired yesterday. Can you really hone skills with a single 90-minute workout?Antonia Cowdry, VP organisational development at Deutsche Bank, put The MindGym through its paces We have found The Mind Gym to be a powerful tool, despite orperhaps because of the simplicity of the concept, and it is helping us buildskills and develop culture across Deutsche Bank. Employees in the UK were thefirst to try the workouts, and they are now proving a hit with Deutsche Bank’sGerman graduates as well. The initial successes were with team leaders as partof ongoing development and team building, but we are likely to incorporateworkouts into our induction programmes and other courses right across thebusiness. Related posts:No related photos. I consulted my colleagues and we agreed to give The Mind Gyma trial. The first “workout” we chose was “Your impact onothers”. Within moments, the group of 15 HR specialists who had assembledin a meeting room one Thursday lunchtime were moving around, asking each otherquestions and debating how different people perceive the same behaviour. Usingimaginary characters by the names of Roger, Bridget, Graham and Helen, The MindGym coach quickly had us agreeing on the faults and strengths of varyingpersonality types. He went on to help us discover which characters we each tendto be like (a cross between Roger and Bridget in my case) and therefore what wecan do to increase our impact on the other people we work with. The psychological backing may be over 20 years old, but theworkshop is thoroughly modern with plenty of exercises, illustrations,break-out groups and laughter. It is amazing how much can be packed into anhour and a half. For further details on The Mind Gym range of workouts, see www.themindgym.com or call +44 (0) 207376 0626. Further information I don’t claim that I can now turn around an ailing businessin an hour. However, I do now consciously think about whether I am looking at aproblem in “floodlight” or “spotlight” mode and when tomove between the two. Previous Article Next Article Another valuable innovation from The Mind Gym is thee-prompt. These are short e-mails sent to all participants once a week for amonth after the workshop. The content varies from short quizzes (match the nineinfluencing styles to nine song titles, for example ‘Big Boss Man’ with‘Pressure’), cartoons and brief exercises, to simple diagnostics andno-nonsense reminders. None of them takes more than five minutes to completeand they are a simple way to help sustain learning. There is also an opt-outfor those who feel that they receive quite enough e-mails already. First, we were encouraged to paint as much of the bigpicture as we could with the basic information we had, and we then had todecide where to “zoom” for more detail by commissioning a report fromany two of the five divisions. My team decided on sales and marketing andcustomer service. Armed with this extra information, we zoomed back out to”floodlight” and revised our view of the main issues. We were aboutto share our conclusions with the rest of the group when we were given anotherchance to zoom in for more detail – there was an e-mail from each departmentand we were again allowed to read any two. Whether it was luck or a consequenceof effective zooming, we picked ones that provided vital information andrevised our recommendations accordingly. The 90-minute concept is a sure-fire winner in the demandingworld of investment banking. While we may develop our own workouts for some ofthe more specialised areas, for leadership and general management skills TheMind Gym will be hard to beat, with its high-impact workshops and lively,knowledgeable coaches who deliver what they promise. Deutsche Bank has run a wide range of workouts, including”Body language”, “Conflict handling”, “Speed of soundreading” and “Creativity for logical thinkers”. The Mind Gym’sclaim that over 90% of participants say they will apply what they have learntis consistent with our participant feedback.