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‘Moving into management’ by Harriet Truscott

20150908--239It was another informative and entertaining session from Cambridge AWISE in April, when management trainer Kate Atkin joined us for a session on ‘Moving into management’.

From her attention-grabbing opening story about her first management role, the only woman manager in a well-known bank, to the team activity where she had most of us tangled up in string, Kate kept her audience engaged – and there was always a learning point to be grasped.

Several of us in the room had asked her to share her guidance on meetings, and particularly how to present a case effectively. Stepping back to ancient Greece, Kate called in Aristotle to aid us. Making a case, she argued, whether in an ancient Athenian law court or a modern boardroom, is a matter of three steps: ethos, pathos, and logos. ‘Ethos’, in these terms, is your own credibility. Are you a well known expert in the field? Have you held the job for a number of years? Have you carried out a relevant study? ‘Pathos’ is your ability to shape the audience’s emotions. As Kate pointed out, she’d used this very tactic at the start of the workshop: her story of life in the bank rapidly got her audience onside. And finally, ‘logos’, the logical argument. Put all three together – your own expertise, the rational argument, and an appeal to the audience’s emotions – and you’re primed for a successful meeting.

Other topics we covered included successful delegation, giving meaningful feedback, and turning difficult situations around through constructive conversations.

The biggest take away of the night, and one that those of us who never figured out the ‘string trick’ will find particularly memorable – if someone asks you to do a task, never shy away from asking them all the questions you need to do it!

Kate’s book, The Confident Manager, is available from her website, http://www.kateatkin.com.

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