QUB Management School

We’re delighted to be designing and delivering CPD level modules for QUB’s School of Management’s Short Courses Programmes once again this term. The CPD modules form part of the City and Guilds Professional Recognition Awards.

“Queens University Belfast is an approved Centre to offer the City & Guilds ‘ Professional Recognition Awards (PRA) in Northern Ireland. PRAs have been developed for those at the highest professional levels within their chosen careers and looking for an accredited qualification.

The awards enable candidates to gain recognition for the practical application of professional skills, knowledge and understanding in employment within any sector or role. There are no practical limitations on the areas of employment to which they may be related. They can also offer an employment-based route to higher-level qualifications.”

See our Sensei Calendar page for further information and booking links.

Image credit: fatinraihanna.

Assertiveness & Workplace Confidence


This two day workshop will take place on Wednesday – Thursday, 17-18 February 10, 09:30-16:30. Speaker: Dawn Baird.

The realities of modern work life – flat structures, tough workloads and the need to exert influence across traditional boundaries – ensure that assertiveness skills are not an optional extra. Aggression is unacceptable; passivity is ineffective. Continue reading “Assertiveness & Workplace Confidence”

Men From Mars Waste Their Hours

Why do men show so little interest in Lifelong Learning or self improvement. Even – or especially – when it comes to learning about themelves?

I ‘ve taught lots of courses at Queen ‘s University Belfast in the field of Personal Development. These workshops have ranged from Memory Improvement to Body Language, from Emotional Intelligence to Influencing Skills. They were all very well attended. But at a highly conservative estimate, the ratio of females to males in each class was about 5:2. Continue reading “Men From Mars Waste Their Hours”

Retirement Planning


On Saturday 21 November, I am running a workshop at QUB entitled Retirement: One Big Loose End. I’ve had confirmation this week that there are 14 attendees so far. What prompted me to run a workshop on retirement? Well, two things:

  • The average age of my students at my Open Learning (mostly IT) workshops is somewhere between 50-70
  • Speaking to someone a few months ago about retirement, the word that stood out was “grim”

Naive as I am at 35 about approaching retirement, I took this as a challenge. Continue reading “Retirement Planning”

Emotional Intelligence is Sexy!

Recent research has shown that women with higher levels of emotional intelligence tend to enjoy better sex. I’m only bringing this to your attention because I teach Emotional Intelligence. And I must admit I thought it would make a grabbing title!

While you’re here, it seems an opportune moment to remind you of my 2-day EI workshop on 27-28 May, Emotional Intelligence Goes to Work. I’m running it as part of the Queen’s Univerity CPD programme.

“Workshop description: Emotional Intelligence (EI) is more than a sign of the times or the latest management movement – although it is both. Work has changed to become more personal and pressurised than ever before. There is a recognition that raw brain-power is not enough and never has been. Studies prove that the difference between average and outstanding performers at work lies in the ability to blend IQ with EI. Are you aware of your emotional strengths and how you are perceived by others? Can you handle situations of stress and conflict? Do you possess the ‘master aptitudes ‘ of motivation and resilience? Can you empathise with staff or customers? How is your social adeptness in networking scenarios? Is your leadership an inspiration or an impediment? These learnable skills – covered in this workshop – are vital and valued in the new world of work.” Continue reading “Emotional Intelligence is Sexy!”

Want to Learn About Blogging in Belfast?


What is a blog? It is a mini, personalised website. The difference between a regular website and a blog is that the owner posts articles – blog posts – regularly to let the public know what he/she is up to. Use it to display your interests, photos of family/friends or even promote your business.

I am are holding a two-day workshop – Welcome to the Blogosphere: Blogging for Beginners – at QUB, Belfast on Saturday 21 & 28 March. To book a place, phone the School of Education (Open Learning) on 028 9097 3539/3323 or email openlearning.education@qub.ac.uk.

On this practical workshop, you will create a blog (with www.wordpress.com) and learn how to customise it with posts, photos, links and tools. You will also be given access to three months’ free technical support.

This workshop is for total beginners only. I promise – once you begin, you’ll be blogging into the wee small hours!

Borat Comes to Queen’s University

As our regulars will know, Sensei does a fair amount of work with The Queen’s University of Belfast. We work with The School of Education, designing and delivering courses for the Open Learning and Continuing Professional Development programmes. The Queen’s academic year is divided up into three terms – Autumn, New Year, and Spring. You can see from the OL brochure that Dawn and I have courses running for the first two terms.

I got a letter from QUB a few days ago to remind me that they are currently receiving proposals now for the Spring programme. I’ve a few ideas already, but then I had a better one. Continue reading “Borat Comes to Queen’s University”

Queen’s Talks Sense(i)

Dr Tess Maginess, Senior Teaching Fellow from the Open Learning Programme at Queen’s University Belfast no less, has made a mention of Allen in her Welcome message introducing the new Open Learning Programme 2008-2009. She said:

Communication – or the lack of it – is a big issue too and Allen Baird is on hand to give you an exciting and challenging perspective on a whole range of issues including non-verbal communication and the power (and, some of us would say, the necessity) of humour. So he offers us, The Power of Humour: How to be Funny and Body to Body: How to Communicate Without Words, while Helen Torr and Rob Mark complement Allen’s insights in their courses on Public Speaking.

Great to get a mention by the big guns.

Learners or Customers?

There ‘s an interesting article on the BBC website about whether students should think like customers. The thrust is that it might be dangerous because it forces cash-strapped academics to demean themselves by marketing their courses. The pain, the pain

As a training consultant and business owner, I ‘m used to making the link between customers and learners. For me, they are one and the same. When I say that I treat the learners in our workshops as ‘customers ‘, I am stating the facts. This is not to denigrate; it is to describe.

I suppose it counts as controversial in some circles, but I ‘m glad about the new link between universities and business, and the new perspective of a university as a business. Why? Continue reading “Learners or Customers?”