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Emma Sue Prince

Unimenta

Director

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How do chocolate and wine-tasting lead to effective work behaviour?

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Last week, one of our associates in South Africa hosted an exclusive event last week to create awareness around Edexcel's new Effective Behaviours for Work (EBW) suite of qualifications. Training and HR managers/personnel  and  business owners attended the Chocolate and Wine Tasting at the cigar lounge Upstairs @The Grillhouse in Sandton Johannesburg on 21 June at 16h00. It was a chilly Johannesburg day but all were soon warmed by the fine wines and chocolates and the great response of those who attended.

Apart from Mark from Waterford Wine Estate who did the tasting, we had a number of speakers, including Lynn Nguyen from Edexcel’s London office, Vusi Mshayisa, a graduate working for Pioneer Foods,who went through the South African pilot project for EBW and Moira Bender, as co-facilitator on the pilot with Emma-Sue Prince. A couple of points really stood out from the event:

  1. Wine and chocolate tasting is actually a great activity to heighten self-awareness, make people feel relaxed and draw analogies between the behaviour that is appropriate and effective for a tasting and that of other situations at work, for example: you need to be open-minded when you taste wine and chocolate and that same behaviour is needed to become culturally intelligent. Self-awareness happens by looking at how open your feelings are about something relatively low-risk like wine tasting. Chances are, whatever you experience in those first few seconds, says a lot about how open-minded you actually are with other things too.
  2. ‘Good’ behaviours are not necessarily effective behaviours, for example as a manager, good behaviour may be to give your staff positive feedback but if you fail to give them feedback on anything that needs improvement or might be difficult to talk about, you are not actually being effective.
  3. If we don’t practise effective behaviours continuously, then the moment things get tough at the workplace, we tend to lapse into quite negative behaviours or into default behaviour, so behavioural programmes like EBW are really valuable as they enable people to focus on what needs to be developed and help strengthen valuable competences and skills.
  4. Having a speaker like Vusi who went through an EBW programme was really powerful and he was very well received – people seemed to like the casual interview style we used and how he spoke from the heart. Vusi is a true ambassador for the benefits to young graduates of a programme like this.
  5. The activities from our six units in the pilot (Communication, Progressing your Career, Cultural Intelligence, Innovation and Creativity, Commercial Awareness and Networking for Success) that really had impact on him was the “walking the throne” an activity around setting goals, creating a product and then an advertisement for it and in general the collaboration skills he learnt from all the teamwork. If you’re a Unimenta member you can download the powerful “Throne” exercise here as a freebie to try. To become a member of Unimenta click here. Membership is free.

For more information on Effective Behaviours for Work (EBW) and how we can help you deliver this, please contact [email protected]

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Emma Sue Prince

Director

Read more from Emma Sue Prince
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