HOW TO
                                                                                                              How can I present my views,
                                                                                                              effectively, to my organisation?

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Contents                                                                                                    Welcome
Getting your message across                      02                                                         Welcome to this Running Sport resource. This forms part of Sport England’s
Communication                                    03                                                         education & training programme that provides recognition, information and learning
Presenting your case                             04
Tips for a successful talk                       06
                                                                                                            resources aimed at supporting volunteers in relation to the administration and
Writing reports                                  07                                                         management of their sporting organisation, club, group, team, or governing body.
Internal or extenal memorandum                   09
Success in meetings                              10                                                         I hope that you find the information of use in your sporting role and that you will
Difficult people                                 12                                                         continue to contribute to helping people participate in sport in England. Through
Overcoming difficulties                          14
Using plain English                              15
                                                                                                            you, a valued resource, one of 5.8 million – we know that we are on our way to
Useful contacts                                  16                                                         achieving our goal of making England an active and successful sporting nation!

                                                                                                            Thank you for all your support and good luck for your volunteering future
                                                                                                            – long may you continue!

                                                                                                            Roger Draper
                                                                                                            Chief Executive
                                                                                                            Sport England

Glossary of terms
Communication: Communication is a two way             Constitutional requirement: All sports clubs and
process that sends and receives information.          organisations should have a constitution. This is a
Communication comes in both written, verbal           set of rules, which govern the operation of such an
and non-verbal formats.                               organisation. A constitutional requirement is
                                                      therefore an action from within the constitution,
Interpret: The process through which an individual    which must be carried out.
understands correctly the information that they
have received.                                        Influence: The process through which an individual
                                                      or club/organisation can alter the view of another.
Memorandum: Informal written message between
club/organisation members e.g. following a
Committee meeting. This should not be confused with
minutes, which are a formal record of a meeting.

    Getting your message across                                                                             Communication
    If you are involved in the organisation of sport in   Communication can either be spoken or             Communication is at the heart of everything we       The importance of good communication skills
    any way, you will need to communicate with            written. Common types of spoken                   do; it is impossible not to communicate. We are      cannot be under-estimated. If you give people
    many people, including:                               communication include:                            communicating even when we are not actually          good, clear information they are better equipped
    • Other members of your club or association           • Telephone conversations or answer phone         talking. Non-verbal communication (such as           to see your point of view, make the right
                                                            messages                                        body posture, gestures and facial expressions)       decision and do the task ahead of them. This is
    • Members of other clubs or teams
                                                                                                            can be more powerful and more genuine than           just as important in the committee room, or on
    • Referees, umpires, judges and other technical       • Face to face conversations between two
                                                                                                            actual words spoken. Think of the body               the notice board, as it is when teaching
      officials                                             people
                                                                                                            language of athletes prior to an Olympic final, or   someone to swim, explaining tactics to a team
    • Administrators of the sport, the league or the      • Small, informal group discussions (e.g. after   the look of resignation and dismay on the faces      during a ‘time out’ or briefing the ground staff of
      association                                           training)                                       of a team after an own goal.                         the facilities needed for the coming weekend.
    • Prospective new members                             • Formal committee meetings
                                                            (e.g. club management board)                    Often you see the emotion being experienced by       Understanding how people interpret your
    • The media and sponsors                                                                                the look in their eyes, their hand movements and
                                                          • Large open meetings                                                                                  message.
    • The general public                                                                                    their general body posture. Words may not be
                                                            (e.g. annual general meeting)                                                                        It is important to understand how the people you
    • Parents and local schools                                                                             necessary!
                                                          • Speeches, lectures or presentations                                                                  are interacting with may interpret your message.
    • Local authority                                       (e.g. to a potential sponsor)                                                                        People obtain information through their senses.
                                                                                                            Communication is a two way process that              For example some people are highly visual,
    • External partners                                   • Video, DVD or filmed presentations              needs good listening and presenting skills.          meaning actually looking at something helps
    Communication is a two way process. It is about                                                         Did you know:                                        them to remember. Other people are more
                                                          Written communication can take various                                                                 auditory, recalling voices and sounds to help
    sending messages and receiving them. If you                                                             • We hear half of what is said;
                                                          forms including:                                                                                       them remember. Some people are kinaesthetic,
    want to get your message across, you must                                                               • We listen to half of that;
    make sure that not only do you send the right         • Informal notes                                                                                       meaning they can easily remember an
                                                                                                            • We understand half of that;                        experience through sensations of touch or
    message, but also that the message is correctly       • Internal memos
    received and understood.                                                                                • We believe half of that and                        physical movement e.g. “having a go” at doing a
                                                          • Letters (typed or hand written)
                                                                                                                                                                 task or practising a skill over and over until they
                                                                                                            • We remember half of that
                                                          • Short reports                                                                                        can complete it without thinking. Therefore to
                                                          • Formal reports                                                                                       be most effective, it is advisable to plan for all
                                                                                                                                                                 learners including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic
                                                          • Newsletters                                     This means people may only remember less
                                                                                                                                                                 aspects when presenting to a group.
                                                          • Posters or other messages on notice boards      than four per cent of what is actually said. Too
                                                                                                            often we are good talkers but poor listeners,
                                                          • Leaflets, fliers or hand outs
                                                                                                            and, consequently, both the message sent out
                                                          • Emails                                          and the message received may be incomplete,
                                                          • Press releases                                  inaccurate, inconsistent or misunderstood. Often
                                                                                                            we express ideas, instructions and feelings less
                                                                                                            clearly than we think and rarely check that our
                                                                                                            meaning has been understood.

2                                                                                                                                                                                                                       3
    Presenting your case
    The organisation of sport relies very heavily on      • Typed report or PowerPoint presentation which       Technical Issues                                     • Connect – Start the presentation/talk with a
    voluntary help. Most decisions are taken by             is given out at the end of the presentation         Again there are many areas to consider to              connection activity i.e. Tell them a real life story
    committees or at meetings. So if your goal is to      • Flip charts which have been prepared in             ensure your presentation or meeting runs               that relates to the subject you are talking
    obtain support for a decision, you will need to         advance                                             smoothly, depending on your needs. Consider            about. Using a photograph or a video of the
    convince the members that your proposal                                                                     the following:                                         event to assist the audience to visualise the
                                                          • Flip charts for group work that can be placed
    should be approved.                                                                                                                                                subject
                                                            on the walls around the room                        • Is the temperature of the room ok? Can you
                                                                                                                  adjust the air conditioning or open windows?       • Activate – Use a multi sensory approach, as
    The skills that are needed to get the support of a    • PowerPoint presentation, including
                                                                                                                                                                       this will assist you to engage your group. Get
    person/group of people can also be used when            photographs                                         • Viewing areas, lighting and acoustics (check if
                                                                                                                                                                       the group to reflect on their own experience of
    making a presentation to a sponsor, or giving a       • Visual aids on the walls i.e.                         you can be heard at the back of the room)
                                                                                                                                                                       what you are about to discuss, perhaps
    speech to an audience.                                  photographs/posters of the subject matter           • Technical facilities, do you have everything you     allowing them to feedback an example to the
                                                          • Video/CD Rom/DVD                                      need? (i.e. PowerPoint projector, TV, video or       group
    You must be:                                                                                                  DVD player, electric sockets, leads that are
                                                                                                                                                                     • Divide – The presentation/workshop into
    • Able to connect with the audience                   Remember people will absorb information in very         long enough, screens, blinds or curtains that
                                                                                                                                                                       manageable sections so you are not
                                                          different ways so it is important to have a variety     can be adjusted in order to see the
    • Clear and concise                                                                                                                                                sidetracked or end up spending too much time
                                                          of learning methods to suit your audience.              presentation clearly)
    • Easily understood                                                                                                                                                on one specific area
    • Able to be seen and heard by everybody                                                                    NB: Remember to leave yourself plenty of time        • Demonstrate – If appropriate; provide the
                                                          As soon as you get the opportunity, look at the
                                                                                                                to set up any equipment you need. If you are           group with the opportunity to discuss with
    • Knowledgeable about the subject                     room that is going to be used and check:
                                                                                                                going to give a talk to an audience or run a           other members in small groups. (There is not
    • Passionate about the subject                                                                                                                                     always the need to get feedback on what they
                                                                                                                workshop, you should prepare everything in
    • Relaxed and confident                               Seating arrangements                                                                                         have discussed). This allows them to learn from
                                                                                                                advance, and if possible find out as much as
                                                          Depending on your meeting and what you want           you can about your audience.                           each other
    • Interesting to listen to so vary your pitch
      and tone                                            to achieve, the layout of the room is important.                                                           • Consolidate – Give people the time to
                                                          Choose from the following options:                                                                           individually and collectively reflect about what
    • Sympathetic to those with other viewpoints                                                                Delivering your workshop/presentation
                                                          • Theatre / Conference Style – Useful for                                                                    you have said. Go back to the outcome of
    • Able to present a strong, factual argument                                                                Have a clear structure – so everyone knows in
                                                            presentations to larger groups of people and a                                                             what you were trying to achieve at the start
                                                                                                                advance how the session will be organised and
                                                            simple question and answer format. Not good                                                                and reconfirm that you have covered them,
                                                                                                                what outcomes you are trying to achieve. It is a
    Preparation                                             for group work or discussions                                                                              using your audience to clarify if appropriate
                                                                                                                good idea to put this up on a flip chart in
    When making any form of speech or                     • Circular around a large table – Useful for          advance.
    presentation, use the most suitable and                 small meetings up to 15 people as discussions
                                                                                                                • If necessary house or ground rules are an
    interesting media aids available to you. It is          can take place and eye contact with all can be
                                                                                                                  essential beginning to a presentation and are
    important to use a variety of methods. You might        maintained
                                                                                                                  used to settle any anxieties the group may
    choose a mixture of:
                                                          • Small tables – Useful for working in small            have about their surroundings. For example
    • Typed report or PowerPoint presentation               groups to achieve ideas and solutions. A              where fire exits and meeting points are,
      circulated in advance. People have time to            central focus to the front of the room for            scheduled breaks, turning mobile phones off,
      absorb the facts and then are more informed           presentations is essential                            clarification of ending times etc. All of these
      to ask questions on the day                                                                                 points and more can make the difference of
    • Typed report or PowerPoint presentation which                                                               having the undivided attention of your audience
      is given out at the beginning of the presentation                                                           or not!

4                                                                                                                                                                                                                             5
    Tips for a successful talk                                                                                Writing reports
    If you are invited to give a presentation, these tips will help you make it as successful as possible:    When you are asked to report on a problem or a topic it is not always necessary to write a long and
                                                                                                              detailed report. A short report or memorandum can usually provide what is needed.
    Do                                                                                                        A short report is a good way of presenting information about an event, a disciplinary problem, an
    • Plan/prepare                                         • Speak clearly in your normal voice, slightly     enquiry or any of the many other functions undertaken by a sports club/organisation. It offers some
    • Know who your group are                                projected (remember that people absorb sound     discussion of the main points arising from the information. Often it will also offer suggestions as to
                                                             and even if you could be clearly heard in an     what decision or action should be taken.
    • Dress appropriately but be as comfortable and
                                                             empty room, you may need to speak louder
      cool as possible, (you are likely to get warmer
                                                             than usual when the room is full)                Your report should be typed, preferably on A4 paper, with headed details of the subject of the report,
      as you speak). It is also important to ask
      yourself does my appearance match my                 • Maintain eye contact with the members of your    along with who wrote it, who it is for and the date. Write simply using everyday language but not
      message?                                               audience                                         slang (see Writing plain English). Avoid unnecessary jargon or terms that may not be understood by
                                                           • Be enthusiastic                                  all the readers.
    • Get there early and check your technical
      equipment before you start and preferably            • Know your content
      before the audience enters the room                  • If you do need to read from notes, then use      Structure your report as follows:
    • Welcome your audience                                  cue cards (ensuring you do not wave them         • Introduction: Explain what the report is about       • Conclusions: Make clear what you think are
    • Set ground or house rules and ask people to            around causing a distraction), maintain eye        and how you went about making it. Explain the          the main discussion points arising from the
      turn off their mobile phones                           contact and use them with confidence               present situation and the problem(s) arising           information and what the possibilities are for
                                                           • Or, place a flip chart where you can see it        from it, and your personal involvement                 solving the problem(s)
    • Start and finish on time
                                                             without turning around, or a chart on the wall   • Information: Select your information and             • Recommendations: If you wish to propose
    • Position yourself and your visual aids so that                                                            organise it into clearly defined topics. Arrange       what decision or action should be taken, state
                                                             that acts as a cue card to ensure you don’t
      everybody can clearly see and hear everything                                                             the topics in a logical order, one paragraph or        your recommendations
                                                             miss anything you need to cover
      that you are saying and displaying                                                                        section to each, headed if necessary and
                                                           • Divide your presentation/workshop into
    • Make sure there is something available for                                                                numbered so that your reader can see which
                                                             manageable sections
      you to drink, especially if you are not used to                                                           are main sections and which are parts of them
      speaking in public (otherwise you are likely to      • Have short breaks every hour
      find that your voice begins to fade, or dries up     • Avoid mannerisms which distract the audience
      completely)                                            such as twirling a pen or pacing up and down     Golden rules for reports:
    • Use the three different learning styles              • Turn off electrical equipment when you are not   • Keep it short: No one wants to spend ages            • Plan thoroughly: by working through the
                                                             using it                                           reading it. The shorter the better                     following stages:
    • Put your learning objectives up at the start so
      everyone is clear about what you are trying to       • Invite questions and feedback and clarify any    • Keep it clear: Avoid going into unnecessary             - Check you know exactly what is expected
      achieve by the end of the session                      doubtful points as you go along or if pressed      detail about obscure meaning. Additional                  and when it is required
                                                             for time at the end                                information can be included in an appendix              - Research thoroughly and then select only
    • Memorise your opening sentence and rehearse
      it to yourself just before you begin speaking        • Recap after the last question and answer         • Keep it factual: Support opinion with fact as             the important and relevant information
                                                                                                                far as possible                                         - Produce a rough outline and check the order
                                                                                                              • Give a summary: This might be at the                      and content of sections
    Don’t                                                                                                       beginning or at the end but it allows really busy
                                                                                                                people to grasp the outline of the subject quickly
                                                                                                                                                                        - Write a rough draft. Don’t worry about the
                                                                                                                                                                          precise opening. Start writing and it will
    • Be late                                              • Isolate individuals
                                                                                                                                                                          begin to flow. If possible, use a computer,
    • Go off at tangents (either yourself, or allowing     • Use jargon                                                                                                   which will enable you to make additions and
      the group to do so)                                  • Let one person dominate the session                                                                          amendments easily
                                                                                                                                                                        - Seek opinions and advice on the draft
                                                                                                                                                                        - Amend and produce the report or proposal
                                                                                                                                                                          by the established deadline

6                                                                                                                                                                                                                       7
                                                                                                               Internal or external
    Formal reports                                         The information section is where you:
                                                           • Present the results of your investigation in a
                                                                                                               On the next page is an example of what a memorandum should look like. The content of this
                                                                                                               particular memo explains how to structure one successfully.
    These are most appropriately used to share the
                                                             logical order, in clearly labelled sections or
    results of an enquiry or research designed to inform
                                                             bullet points
    and/or influence future decisions and actions may
    need to be set out in a formal report. Like any                                                                                                                                                   Company
    formal document, it should clearly identify who        The interpretation section is where you:
    commissioned it, to whom it is addressed, who          • Analyse, interpret and evaluate the information
    prepared it along with any dates of significance.        you have collected
                                                                                                                   INTERNAL MEMORANDUM
                                                           • Spell out all the implications of your findings
    The title itself should:                               • Indicate advantages and disadvantages                 To:       All members of the committee               Ref: Summer tournament
    • Read as follows: ‘Report on Securing Funding’        • Provide an objective appraisal of the
      for example;                                           information                                           From:     Bob Smith                                  Date: 24th February 2005
       Clearly indicate the central issue of the report
       Be short and concise. Do not try to summarise       The conclusions section is where you:                   Subject: HOW TO WRITE A MEMORANDUM
       it in one long, breathless sentence                 • Present your final conclusions
                                                           • Summarise detailed analysis which may have            A number of members of the club have asked for advice on how to write a formal
    The introduction section should explain:                 been given earlier in the report                      memorandum, so I am offering the following general guidelines. I hope you will find both
    • Why the report is being written                                                                              the layout of this memorandum and my comments useful and constructive.
    • What it will deal with                               The recommendations section should contain
    • Why the reader is involved                           any recommendations that you may wish to                1. A formal memorandum is either an internal letter or a short report. It is a record of
                                                           make by using the following:                            something which has to be committed to paper, and may relate to just one person or several.
    • How you wish the reader to respond to it (is it
      for information, for discussion or for action?)      • ‘I (or We) recommend that:
                                                                                                                   2. A memorandum should have no salutation (e.g. Dear Sir) or closing compliment (e.g. Yours
                                                              a)                                                   Sincerely). It should simply be initialled or signed by the sender.
    How you propose to deal with the problem or
                                                                                                                   3. Introduce your memorandum with a heading and a sentence or two, which will put your
    issue under consideration.                                b)                                                   reader in the picture immediately as to the purpose and scope of the document.
    The summary section should indicate:
                                                                                                                   4. Select your subject matter and organise it into clearly defined topics. Then arrange the
    • The purpose and scope of the report
                                                              Ensuring that:                                       topics in a logical order, one section to each, headed if necessary and numbered.
    • The main findings of the investigation
                                                              • Each recommendation has an active verb             5. A memorandum should be written or typed with the details of sender, recipient, date and
    • The conclusions
                                                                indicating action;                                 subject. Logo headed paper could also be used if there is sufficient demand, although if the
    • Any recommendations                                                                                          memo is internal then blank A4 size paper is fine to use.
                                                              • Where possible it says who should take that
                                                                action;                                            6. Write simply, using everyday language but not slang. Avoid needless jargon or
    The background section is concerned with:
                                                              • Each recommendation is kept separate (not          abbreviations with which your reader may not be familiar.
    • Setting the scene                                         ‘We recommend that….and that….’ In one
                                                                                                                   7. The word ‘memorandum’ does not mean a long and boring communication. It means a
    • Explaining anything the reader needs to know              sentence).
                                                                                                                   written record that is clearly structured, logically ordered and as brief as possible.
      before he/she begins to read the main sections
      of the report                                                                                                8. I hope you will find these guidelines helpful and look forward to reading your next
    • Historical information, reference to earlier                                                                 memorandum.
      reports, etc.
    • How you carried out the investigation (surveys,
      interviews, site visits etc.)

8                                                                                                                                                                                                                 9
     Success in meetings
     In a sports club/organisation it may be a             Often it is relatively easy to see what is the right    Influencing meetings                                  • Do not promise results that you do not expect
     constitutional requirement to present certain         decision for the overall good of the                    There is no secret formula for influencing a            to be achieve, otherwise your future credibility
     solutions to a committee or to a general meeting      club/organisation. There may, however, be               meeting of a sports organisation since every            will suffer
     of all members.                                       individuals with particular vested interests who        meeting is different. Every committee member is       • Be warm, sociable and honest in your approach.
                                                           will try to get a different decision because it suits   there for a reason. What is their personal              It is much more difficult to resist a nice person,
     Meetings provide an opportunity for you to make       them personally, even though it may be                  agenda? Once you know that you are well on              but don’t be too slick. If your techniques are too
     your point and get consensus or authority to put      detrimental to the club/organisation as a whole.        the way to understanding what they like and             obvious the whole presentation loses credibility
     it into action, but a formal committee meeting                                                                don’t like, get to know what motivates each             and your arguments will be doubted
     can be a daunting prospect for somebody who is        If this is likely to happen, you must re-focus the      member of the committee:                              • If you feel that the audience is losing interest,
     not experienced or skilled at influencing others.     committee on the need to think of the good of
                                                                                                                   • Why are they there?                                   involve them by asking them what they think of
                                                           the club/organisation by ensuring that they are
                                                                                                                   • What do they want to get out of the meeting?          your suggestion
     Printed reports of the topic can be sent prior to     reminded or made aware of:
     the meeting if no discussion of the matter is                                                                 • Will they be affected personally by the             • Always be positive. Do not introduce negative
                                                           • The relevant information and both the
     needed, setting out the facts and ending with                                                                   decision?                                             thoughts or uncertainty
                                                             advantages and disadvantages of the proposal
     your recommendations. Then, during the                                                                                                                              • Where there are problems that cannot be
                                                           • The implications for the organisation as a whole
     meeting, you need only refer to the report and                                                                The positioning of points on the agenda is              avoided, approach them openly by using
     invite questions on matters for clarification. This   • Other activities that might be affected by the        important. Make sure that an important item             phrases like ‘We all know there are some
     is particularly helpful on complicated issues as        proposal                                              does not immediately follow a contentious               problems in this respect, however we can….’.
     the written word carries more authority than a        • Existing policy decisions, which may differ from      matter that might make the group fractious and          By using the word ‘we’ rather than ‘I’ it
     verbal presentation and everybody leaves the            the proposal                                          disagreeable. Nor should it be at the end of the        becomes everybody’s corporate problem
     meeting with the same message. Problems can                                                                   agenda as if someone feels strongly against it
                                                           • The overall mission of the organisation if                                                                  • Appeal to the good nature of the other
     arise if somebody misunderstands or fails to                                                                  they will oppose it and could have it thrown out
                                                             necessary                                                                                                     members. Everybody feels that they are nice
     remember a spoken presentation.                                                                               with little or no discussion because everyone
                                                           • Emphasise how it will benefit them                                                                            people and they will find it flattering that this
                                                                                                                   else is eager to finish the meeting.                    has been highlighted and find it more difficult to
                                                                                                                                                                           disagree with you
                                                                                                                   If you know the group well you can be very
                                                                                                                   direct and honest with the other members; but if      If a decision has been made which is of particular
                                                                                                                   the members are not well known to you, or the         concern to you, write it down and circulate a
                                                                                                                   meeting has a particularly difficult or contentious   memo confirming the decision, and the agreed
                                                                                                                   decision to make, you must handle matters very        course of action, to all other members of the
                                                                                                                   carefully to get the outcome that you are             meeting as soon afterwards as possible.
                                                                                                                   seeking.                                              Circulating your note before the formal minutes
                                                                                                                                                                         have been written down pre-empts the text of
                                                                                                                   There are many ways to influence meetings:            the formal minutes and helps to ensure that the
                                                                                                                                                                         points that you want recorded are accepted as
                                                                                                                   • Plan ahead. Think what is going to happen
                                                                                                                                                                         being accurate record of the meeting.
                                                                                                                     before, during and after the meeting. If the
                                                                                                                     meeting is important to you, decide beforehand
                                                                                                                     what to try to achieve and which items are of
                                                                                                                     special concern
                                                                                                                   • People are likely to accept a new idea if you try
                                                                                                                     to approach the situation from their point of
                                                                                                                     view. They are interested in how it will benefit
                                                                                                                     them. When introducing a new policy, highlight
                                                                                                                     the advantages to them

10                                                                                                                                                                                                                              11
     Difficult people
     Some people always seem to go out of their way         • Silent types – who seldom say anything. They        • Know-alls – are self-proclaimed experts on          • Parasites – take and take without giving
     to be difficult, and in most cases you can simply        need to be bought into discussions and                every matter that comes up for discussion.            anything in return, and can drain you of energy
     avoid having anything to do with them. However,          encouraged to play an active role. They may            The solution: if possible have a real expert         and patience
     in a small sports club/organisation, and                 be silent because they are:                            present to the group and ask ‘the know all’           The solution: These can be difficult to deal
     especially in a formal meeting, they can become           - Thinking deeply, but are too nervous to             for their view. The know-all will simply nod          with because they appear to be your friends
     unbearable. You cannot eliminate them but you               voice their feelings                                sagely and agree with them                            and depend on you. Separate yourself from
     can learn how to deal with them.                                                                                                                                      them, although they will often try to make you
                                                               - Simply not interested in the discussion or
                                                                 cannot be bothered to make any effort to         • Verbal bullies – get very angry and aggressive         feel guilty about cutting them off. But if you
     There are many types of difficult people, just as                                                                                                                     do not do so, you will find that the friendship
                                                                 help                                               with little or no provocation and try verbally to
     there are many kinds of awkward opponents.                                                                                                                            and support you feel becomes annoyance
                                                               - Trying to dissociate themselves from a             bully other members into agreeing with them,
     For example:                                                                                                                                                          and dislike
                                                                 discussion or the group in general                 with no attempt to listen to others
     • Bosses who are unreasonable in their
                                                               The solutions:                                        The solution: ignore their ludicrous behaviour
       expectations                                                                                                                                                     • Back-stabbers – attack when you are
                                                                                                                     and take control of the situation quietly but
     • The Chairperson who refuses to let committee            - Too shy: put them in the spotlight with                                                                  unprepared and vulnerable. They rarely attack
                                                                                                                     firmly. Interrupt them very early during an
       members discuss anything in detail                        direct questions so that they can                                                                        directly but will speak behind your back about
                                                                                                                     attack. Make eye contact, move forward and
                                                                 contribute, and acknowledge their                                                                        you and then be quite amenable to your face
     • Colleagues who won’t pull their weight                                                                        speak their name in a firm, clear voice,
                                                                 contribution as worthwhile and helpful
     • People who are frequently disagreeable in an                                                                  repeating it as often as necessary until they         The solution: Do not just ignore them, for that
                                                               - Not interested: or cannot be bothered to            stop talking                                          is exactly what they are hoping will happen. As
       attempt to get what they want
                                                                 make any effort. Pose a direct question on                                                                soon as you become aware of what has
     • People who have a feeling of insecurity for               the basis of ‘You’ are an expert on this
                                                                                                                  • Mutterers – people who make sarcastic                  happened confront them with it directly,
       which they are trying to compensate                       topic, what do you think?’
                                                                                                                    comments under their breath to those sitting           preferably in front of other people. Put them on
                                                               - Trying to dissociate themselves from a             near them, and make a special point of being           the spot and they will be forced to admit that
     Usually these people will continue to behave
                                                                 decision: make a clear statement like ‘We          hurt if you respond or complain                        they have acted improperly. It won’t necessarily
     disagreeably as long as they are allowed to. If
                                                                 all agree, don’t we?’ and get them to say                                                                 stop them doing it, but next time they will look
     you merely silently begrudge the behaviour but                                                                  The solution: Every time it happens, point it
                                                                 ‘Yes’. Otherwise, they will criticise the                                                                 for a different victim
     do nothing, you actually reinforce their actions.                                                               out by immediately, bringing it to the attention
                                                                 decision outside the meeting and
                                                                                                                     of the whole meeting and asking them to
                                                                 dissociate themselves from it                                                                          NB: If a person is still having a disruptive effect
     Being disagreeable back doesn’t help. It elevates                                                               repeat it clearly. Sometimes they will simply
                                                                                                                                                                        on the presentation and you feel further action
     your blood pressure, makes you feel bad and                                                                     try to avoid an answer, but sometimes they
                                                            • Pet-project promoters – have an enthusiasm                                                                needs to be taken, then use a coffee/bathroom
     often plays into the antagonist’s hands.                                                                        will be brazen enough to come out directly
                                                              for a pet project far above its significance. You                                                         break to have a quiet word with the individual.
                                                                                                                     with it. Then you must simply ask, ‘Do you
                                                              know what they are going to say because it is
     What can you do?                                                                                                really mean that or are you just joking?’
                                                              always the same speech.
     First, you must identify the type of difficult                                                                  thereby putting the pressure back on them
                                                               The solution: Use the agenda by pointing
     person you are dealing with. There are a number
                                                               out, ‘That’s very important but I don’t think
     of difficult types of people that you will encounter                                                         • Argumentative types – always take the
                                                               it’s part of the discussion at the moment’.
     in meetings including:                                                                                         opposite view to a proposal and enjoy trying to
     • Chatterboxes – basically nice people who will                                                                defeat it
                                                            • Prophets of doom – always look at the
       simply not keep quiet. This persons rambling                                                                  The solution: incorporate some of their
                                                              negative side of any proposal and say why it’s
       distract everyone                                                                                             comments in your argument by making small
                                                              a waste of time and resources
        The solution: A well-structured agenda and                                                                   changes to your proposal, stressing that they
                                                               The solution: Do not personally rebuke                are the result of the intervention, and then
        a firm Chairperson will stop pointless
                                                               them. Re-state their case and invite other            include the dissenters in the ‘ownership’ of
        discussion and get back on track. You can
                                                               members of the group to comment. Usually,             the amended proposal
        agree that chatterbox is talking about
                                                               a number of members will argue against
        something important, but that ‘we must get
                                                               them and back up the proposal
        back to the agenda’, rather than chastise
12                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13
     Overcoming difficulties                                                                                     Writing plain English
     In order to overcome problems that you                • Evaluate how effective your approach was.           Some people have jobs and interests that mean they gain a good command of written forms of
     encounter when dealing with difficult people,           Were you successful in handling the situation?      English, but most people do not. The one language we all share is everyday spoken English. If you
     adopt a strategy plan as follows:                       Did your confidence level stay high, or did you     communicate in this language you can be reasonably sure everybody will understand you.
                                                             get angry or flustered? Then practise again until
                                                             you become more competent and confident
     • Identify the type of difficult person you are
       dealing with                                        • Accept with good grace the fact that
                                                                                                                 Try to avoid                                       Use instead
                                                             sometimes people will not agree with your           Accordingly, therefore, thus                       so
     • Identify their worst habits and what bothers you
                                                             point of view                                       Apparent                                           clear, plain
       the most
                                                                                                                 Commence                                           begin
     • Mentally rehearse the strategy to apply next        • Don’t forget to take a look at yourself because
                                                                                                                 Consult                                            talk to, meet, see
       time the situation arises. Perhaps you could          we all behave disagreeably from time to time. If
                                                                                                                 The applicant/tenant/client                        you
       think back to the last occasion and mentally          you recognise any of these characteristics in
                                                                                                                 Discontinue                                        stop
       replay the action, identifying how you should         your self, don’t be surprised if you are met with
                                                                                                                 Terminate                                          end
       have coped. Practise the statements, even             these tactics and don’t be surprised if you
                                                                                                                 Dwelling/residence/domicile                        home/house
       speaking out loud, to get the right tone of voice     suddenly feel embarrassed and foolish
                                                                                                                 Economical                                         cheap
     • Apply the skills you have rehearsed in a real       • Remember that a meeting cannot be                   Endeavour/attempt                                  try
       situation. As soon as you recognise a situation       considered a success unless you have                Facilitate                                         help
       similar to the one you have rehearsed, put your       achieved your outcome without unduly                In consequence of                                  because
       action plan in motion                                 upsetting the other participants. The best          Due to the fact that                               because
                                                             meetings are those from which everybody goes        In excess of                                       more than
                                                             away happy                                          Initiate                                           start
                                                                                                                 Necessitate                                        need
                                                                                                                 Request                                            ask
                                                                                                                 Obtain/receive                                     get
                                                                                                                 Regulation                                         rule
                                                                                                                 Supplementary                                      extra, more
                                                                                                                 Subsequently                                       later, since then
                                                                                                                 Utilise                                            use
                                                                                                                 Advise                                             tell, say, let you know
                                                                                                                 We note your comments regarding                    you mention that
                                                                                                                 We are in receipt of                               Thank you for
                                                                                                                 Attached/enclosed please find                      I am enclosing
                                                                                                                 Awaiting the favour of your reply                  I look forward to hearing from you

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                   14
     Useful contacts
     Central Council For Physical Recreation   Running Sport Hotline (general enquiries)                   sports coach UK (general enquiries)       Youth Sport Trust
     Francis House                             Tel: 0800 363373                                            114 Cardigan Road                         Sir John Beckwith Centre for Sport
     Francis Street                            Running Sport Support Team (workshop &                      Headingley                                Loughborough University
     London                                    resource enquiries)                                         Leeds                                     Loughborough
     SW1P 1DE                                  3rd Floor, Victoria House                                   LS6 3BJ                                   Leicestershire
     Tel: 020 7854 8500                        Bloomsbury Square                                           Tel: 0113 274 4892                        LE11 3TU
     Fax: 020 7854 8501                        London                                                      Fax: 0113 275 5019                        Tel: 01509 226600
     Email:                   WC1B 4SE                                                    Email:         Fax: 01509 210851
     Website:                  Tel: 0207 404 2224                                          Website:            Website:
                                               Fax: 0207 383 5740                                          sports coach UK Business Support Centre
     Child Protection In Sport Unit            Email:                        (workshop enquiries)                      Volunteering England (London)
     NSPCC National Training Centre            Website:                  Sports Development Centre, Loughborough   Regents Wharf
     3 Gilmour Close                                                                                       University                                8 All saints Street
     Beaumont Leys                             Sport England                                               Loughborough                              London
     Leicester                                 3rd Floor, Victoria House                                   Leicestershire                            N1 9RL
     LE4 1EZ                                   Bloomsbury Square                                           LE11 3TU                                  Fax: 020 7520 8910
     Tel: 0116 234 7278/7280                   London                                                      Tel: 01509 226 130                        Volunteering England (Birmingham)
     Fax: 0116 234 0464                        WC1B 4SE                                                    Fax: 01509 226 134                        New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street
     Email:                  Tel: 0845 850 8508                                          Email:              Birmingham
     Website:               Fax: 0207 383 5740                                          Website:            B2 5UG
                                               Email:                                                                          Fax: 0121 633 4043
     Clubs For Young People                    Website:                               Sports Leaders UK
                                                                                                                                                     For both offices:
     371 Kennington Lane                                                                                   Clyde House, 10 Milburn Avenue
                                                                                                                                                     Tel: 0845 305 6979
     London                                    Sporting Equals                                             Oldbrook
     SE11 5QY                                  Commissions for Racial Equality                             Milton Keynes
                                                                                                                                                     Website: the strategic
     Tel: 020 7793 0787                        3rd Floor Lancaster House                                   MK6 2WA
                                                                                                                                                     lead for delivering the Government's sporting
     Fax: 020 7820 9815                        67 Newhall Street                                           Tel: 01908 689180
                                                                                                                                                     objectives in this country, and we distribute both
     Email:                B3 1NA                                                      Fax: 01908 393744
                                                                                                                                                     Lottery and Exchequer funds to sport.
     Website:   Tel: 0121 710 3014                                          Email:
                                               Fax: 0121 710 3022                                          Website:
                                                                                                                                                     Our vision is to make England an active and
     English Federation Of Disability Sport    Email:                                                                          successful sporting nation
     Manchester Metropolitan University        Website:           Women’s Sports Foundation
     Alsager Campus                                                                                        3rd Floor, Victoria House
     Hassall Road                                                                                          Bloomsbury Square
     Alsager                                                                                               London
     Stoke On Trent                                                                                        WC1B 4SE
     ST7 2HL                                                                                               Tel: 020 7273 1740
     Tel: 0161 247 5294                                                                                    Fax: 020 7273 1981
     Fax: 0161 247 6895                                                                                    Email:
     Email:                                                                          Website:

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