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Being a people manager programme


Management is an artform and like all artforms it can be learnt, honed and improved. People management starts with the ability to understand the people around you. People managers inspire others, they develop loyalty, they motivate, and they understand how to build success. People managers make their people happy.

The aim of our Being a People Manager programme is to help individuals to be inspiring leaders who create the right environments in which their people can thrive. Don’t expect any corporate bull, we believe the best leadership and management qualities are based in human skills such as humour, happiness and empathy.

What’s the difference between a manager and a people manager?

A people manager understands that management isn’t just a series of transactions designed to serve a commercial or administrative purpose. People managers get involved with the people around them. They are genuinely interested in individuals. They understand the people in their teams and spend time getting to know them. They recognise what motivates specific individuals and know what makes their people happy or unhappy.

Developing relationships, empathy, care and understanding for the people you manage isn’t whimsical or unnecessarily touchy-feely. It makes sound business sense. To get the best out of people, you have to know them, and you have to be attentive. That doesn’t mean you have to be sentimental, but you do have to care about the organisation and the people in it.

What does the programme consist of?

Our flexible methodology and the wide range of proven, science-backed elements we have created allow us to design bespoke programmes around your unique needs. Broadly, however, our Being a People Manager programmes are underpinned by three key modules, each of which are unique to Laughology, innovative, flexible and can be adapted to suit your requirements. These key modules are from our Big Chats, Little Chats coaching programme as we believe Being a People Manager is largely about coaching your teams in the moment, helping them to flourish.  Elements of the programme can be complemented by other modules including Having difficult conversations, Negotiation skills and presentation skills. 

The three key modules are:

  • Creating the right environment
  • FLIP it thinking
  • Developing a team and managing with growth mindset


Creating the right environment

People manager module

Creating the right environment is a module within our ground-breaking Big Chats, Little Chats programme which is designed to allow managers and their people to have great conversations and redefines the way coaching is perceived. This module shows managers how to develop strategies to enable them to have constructive, relationship-building conversations that are personalised, future-focussed and needs-led. 

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It promotes a culture of agility and response and builds managers who understand that communication and coaching shouldn’t be delivered at set times and in set structures, but should be open, ongoing and collaborative. It shows how to effectively feedback and feed forward. We have developed the PA-OFF model to define the type of chats managers should be having with their teams.

They should be:

  • Personalised –defined by the person in front of you and their needs at that time.
  • Anyhow, anywhere - teams are often a blend of job-sharers, homeworkers and international personnel working virtually and we now communicate through multiple channels including Skype, Google Hangout and even WhatsApp. The way we speak to each other has changed and coaching needs to reflect this in order to work.
  • On demand – we encourage a more flexible approach in which coaching gets to the root of the issue quickly and effectively.
  • Future-focused – chats should help people to move forward rather than look back with blame and regret.

FLIP it thinking

People manager module

FLIP it thinking delivers a practical skill-set which allows people to develop resilience and a future-focused outlook. The module guides people in the art of recognising and challenging ‘wonky thinking’ and draws on elements of psychology and neuroscience to help people understand how to use focus, language and imagination to break negative patterns.

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The FLIP model is a simple to use technique that guides people through learning and helps them become unstuck when stuck and be solution focused.  Simply put, it’s about helping people focus on the solution, rather than dwelling on an issue or the cause of a problem. 
For example – rather than saying; “What’s the problem?” or “what I don’t like” or “can’t do”. Solution focused could be; “How would you like this to work out?” or “What I do like” or “what I can do.

What does FLIP stand for? 

F is for 'focus'.  Often, when we don’t feel great about something, that can cloud our view. When a situation happens, we tend to focus on how it feels and what went wrong, rather than how it could feel and what can be done. Reframing, through focusing on the possibilities, is a powerful tool; helping people get what they want from a situation.
L is for ‘language’. Language decides how we take in information and contextualise a situation. The use of positive or negative language can change the way people feel about things. Using language in a wise way determines how people react to situations and move forward from them.
I is for ‘imagination’. Our imagination can change the way we think about a situation. We can be creative and problem-solve, or negatively focus on the issues.  Our ability to be able to generate ideas in work and life is essential for success, improving innovation, solution focused thinking and happiness.
P is for ‘pattern breaking’.  We all form patterns, in the way we think and view the world. These manifest themselves in our behaviours.  Recognising what you are doing to sustain a behaviour, through the way you think or the language you use, is an important step to forming new, more positive behaviours.

Developing a team and managing with growth mindset

People manager module

Developing a team and managing with growth mindset concentrates on how to build a growth mind-set culture through conversations, reward and recognition, encouragement, risk-taking, metacognition development and self-directed learning. 

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Growth mindset is a strong belief and desire to learn, and an attitude that skills and ability can be developed.

In contrast, a fixed mindset means thinking that skills and abilities are ‘fixed’. This leads to us thinking that there is no point in having a go, as there is nothing we can do to improve. Shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, can be the difference between saying/feeling ‘I can’t’ or ‘We’ve always done it like that’ to ‘I can’t yet’ or ‘Let’s try another way.’

The way we talk to people and see them can, in turn, make them behave in a certain way. If we have a fixed mindset about others we can put them in a box. For example, if you don’t let someone have a go at something because you don’t think they’re good enough or you perceive someone else to be better, they’ll never get a chance to learn.

This module will

  • Help you to help others understand that skills are learnable with techniques for setting stretch goals for individuals and teams
  • Support you to develop perseverance and motivation in your teams, allowing them to become independent and accountable
  • Increase understanding of learning styles and abilities – so adjust your supportive style accordingly.
  • Develop feedback and feedforward techniques to promote future success, not just about ‘yes it worked’ or ‘no it didn’t’.
  • Help you have conversations that move people forward.

Build your own People Manager programme

In addition to these three core modules, organisations can also add other elements, workshops and courses, such as:
We will work with you to identify the best programme design for your organisation.


How long will it take?

This is flexible depending on needs and budget, but usually each core module will be delivered in a one-day workshop.
We recommend that your organisation leaves a month in between each module to allow managers to take away the knowledge and techniques they will learn and embed these into their day-to-day lives. To maximise results, we recommend ongoing support between workshops which can be provided through catch-up sessions or by phone support. We also recommend a fourth full-day for reflection and review. Any additional workshops, as mentioned above, will be delivered separately. Our aim is to see a change in behaviours over and after the period the programme is delivered.

How many people can go through it?

We recommend a maximum of 20 delegates per session.
This makes the programme cost effective for you and allows delegates time and space to ask questions, partake in activities and have discussions.

What measurements will we see?

We use a range of tools and techniques to monitor and measure progress.
We can set up 360 focus groups and survey the people in your organisation who report directly to the managers on the programme.

This enables us to create a baseline on which we can plot progress at points during and after training has been delivered. We can assess behaviour change and would expect to see managers having better conversations with their people, more regular catch-ups with teams, better engagement and better relationships.

The resulting effect will be that people in your organisation feel more developed and happier, and as a result will be more productive.

If required, we can run reflective group sessions with managers which enable them to give feedback on their in-situ experiences of on-the-job learning, practical application and forward plans. We also recommend that outcomes are built into their objectives.

How do we make this sustainable?

We will leave you with cheat sheets and reference material.
We can also train your trainers, so that after delivery you have the programme as part of your training structure. We can also schedule regular update sessions to suit you, whether that be twice a year or yearly.


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At Laughology we are all about relationships and we believe that best relationships are the ones where each side shows long-term commitment, which is why we run a partnership scheme for the organisations we work most closely with.

Being a Laughology Learning Partner earns you discounts and extra benefits within your programme which include freebies and complimentary laugher and learning lunchtime sessions. Our learning partners also enjoy an executive level of access to our experts, ensuring that programme delivery is an on-going, fluid process.

Get in touch if you want to know more.

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Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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T: 0844 800 1701
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