Archive for the ‘Newest thought’ Category



February 21, 2014

My learning journey continues… today!

So as I pack my bags to start travelling once again I ponder about buying a new suitcase.  This year I have fifteen speaking and training trips that I know about already that are planned and in the calendar.

I know that I don’t actually need a new case, my current two (one medium and one large) black numbers on wheels are sturdy and have seen me through numerous trips, but I want some colour in my travelling life.

blog case

The way I have done this so far (and also to differentiate my black case from the hundreds of black cases at the airport baggage claim ) is to adorn it with numerous colourful baggage straps top to bottom and side to side in a sort of criss-cross fashion – so that mine stands out from the crowd.

What I would really like is to customise my cases – so rather than buy a new one have decided to start adding stickers and badges on my plain black ones.  Recreating something like the case shown below is what I have in mind, however, it won’t have the character and richness of being on a lovely brown leather case, as in days gone by.

blog case2

I can slowly transform my dull black cases into a thing of some character and beauty like this lovely specimen.

First overseas trip this year is today, 24th February, to Kazakhstan, where I am delivering a management training programme for executives at a Corporate University all week.  At least my first new badges will be from somewhere that I have never been before.

There will be updates on this blog about how my customised travel look is developing.  I also always post films from my travels on my Facebook and LinkedIn pages – so connect with me on social media using this my ONE digital signature.

Józefa Fawcett’s World Speaking & Training Tour 2014




February 20, 2014

My learning journey continues…

Note to self:  Repeat the above mantra three times each and every day.  Why?  Because this time next week I will be in Kazakhstan delivering a five-day management development programme for a client.

The daily challenge is the way that the delivery will be conducted.

Many of us as trainers and professional speakers have worked in a foreign country where English is not spoken as a first language and had to use translators.  This is the case for me for this next project, where I will be working with translators – two of them – all week long.  Whereas the term ‘simultaneous’ translation is often used as a generalisation, there are in fact two types of translator in this live context.

During Consecutive Interpreting the trainer/presenter stops every 1-5 minutes (usually at the end of the paragraph or complete thought, and then the interpreter steps in to render what was said into the target language.  A key skill involved in consecutive interpreting is note-taking, since few people can memorise a full paragraph in one hearing without loss of meaning.

Typically, while performing Simultaneous Interpreting, the interpreter sits in a booth wearing a pair of headphones and speaks into a microphone.  Strictly speaking “simultaneous” is a misnomer: the interpreter cannot start interpreting until they understand the general meaning of the sentence.  Depending, for example, on how far apart in the sentence to be interpreted, the subject and the verb are located, the interpreter may not be able to utter even a single word until they have heard the entire sentence!

This fact should make it evident how difficult the task of the interpreter really is:  they must translate the sentence into the target language while simultaneously listening to and comprehending the next sentence.  You can appreciate the difficulty of the task even if you only speak one language: try paraphrasing someone’s speech with a half-sentence delay while making sure you understand the next sentence and paraphrasing the previous one.

Notwithstanding this,  I now learn that I will:

  1. Present in English
  2. Two consecutive translators will take turns to explain to the participants what I have said after say one or two paragraphs
  3. The slides that I will be presenting will be in English
  4. The notes that the participants will be reading will be in Russian (and in English as well)
  5. The exercises that we do will be instructed in English and Russian and their responses will be in Russian and translated back to me in English

Mantra being repeated from now until I touch down in Kazakhstan “I am a professional trainer and I can do this”

Józefa’s World Speaking & Training Tour 2014



July 12, 2013


After six months of work travel around the world, I am happily sitting here in my garden in the South of England catching a few British summer rays and reflecting upon what I have done, where I have been, what I have learned and, more importantly, what am I going to do differently in the next six months.

It’s crazy how busy life and work can be and the almost impossible task of reflecting never quite seems to happen as often as it should.

When I say I am a learning specialist, this is often followed up with the question, yes, but what do you do?  Well, this is now my refined reply:

I offer those who want to use learning and training as a business improvement method, help with creating strategies, systems, processes and programmes that really make a difference, so that they can achieve more of the results that they want.


What have I done these last six months and where have I been?

I have been doing this around most of the UK (Bristol, Bath, Nottingham, Peterborough, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester) and abroad to Beijing,  Jakarta,  Sydney, Kuwait,  Abu Dhabi and Barcelona – phew!  And now is time to down tools and stop for a few weeks and reflect.


What have I learned?

So much about how different business people in different cultures around the world want many of the same things.  Better opportunities to improve their own business status and position.  A chance to connect with like-minded people in other sectors.  Ways to improve the work that they, and their teams, achieve.  Tips on how to build their confidence in their various work situations.  Ideas about how to do things differently and cope with the changing economic climates.  I have also learned that no matter where I go I am starting to make a difference with some of my ideas and approaches – huge boost for my confidence after launching myself into an unknown International marketplace.


Where am I off to during the next six months?

Coming up from August to December my next few trips include: Malaysia, Moscow, Amsterdam, Armutlu (Turkey), Hong Kong, Kuwait, Moscow (again), Nairobi, Pisa and Istanbul.  I will be doing a mixture of recording my next set of audio learning CD’s for launch in the Autumn, running HRD conferences (and speaking at them too), delivering training workshops, getting involved and speaking at a massive African venture that is promoting women’s development and contributing to European Commission trans-national learning projects.  This is a really diverse mix that is sure to keep me out of trouble at least 😉

I will continue to blog (instead of just Facebooking) insights and pictures with my ‘Roving Reporter’ series and share with my social media sites too as I have neglected this blog area for far too long.

For now, a bit of a relax with the family and recharging of the batteries and looking forward to the next six months with eager anticipation.




January 12, 2013

2013 on fire

This picture taken one minute into Jan 1, 2013 in Les Arcs, some 2000 metres up a French mountain, signifies the business mood I want to adopt during this coming year.  Just like the numbers burning brightly in the dark against the snow and cold of the air, during 2013, LearningVoice is going to be ‘on fire’.

With so many exciting activities already planned, alongside new opportunities, this year looks as if it is going to be the year that training, learning, knowledge, voicing and quality will feature strongly in organisations around the world as part of their re-growth plans.  To lift our fortunes up from the dying embers of a long and devastating world-wide recession, we need to have more than just a ‘can-do’ attitude, we need to raise our game, leveraging our opportunities and thoughts higher than just one level. Forget about simply setting goals and creating impossible lists of (sometimes) unattainable milestones.  Spurred on by a recently featured quote by Carl Jung “Who looks outside, dreams, who looks inside, awakens” – my mantra for this year is :

Keep it real!

Keep it focused!

Keep it going!

In order to make a real difference and affect change, we need to be ‘on-fire’ ourselves – so come on 2013, bring it on!



Free VO App on iTunes



October 7, 2012

And now for the next exciting phase of my journey…

Well,  today is my anniversary, a whole decade of working for myself – I can hardly believe it!

Time has gone so quickly and I have experienced so much in terms of the type of work that I do, my business name and my look.  It has been great to delve into archived files to look at my first attempts at ‘branding’ who I was and what I was offering back then.

My very first logo was designed when I was still working on contract at St Marks Hospital in Maidenhead, Berkshire and was produced by someone who knew all about DTP – however, it brought much mirth as my husband assured me that it looked like a burger bun 😀

First POL logo (2002)

Back in the early days, I struggled with what I would call myself, settling on The POL Experience, with POL standing for Personal and Organisational Learning.  The red/white colours were also a nod towards my Polish heritage and the Polish flag.

I keep true to the ‘red’ theme, even now, albeit a little more on the orange side than before.  Back then I designed the ‘looks’ myself and as you can see from the images below, experimented with many different ideas with varying success.

Experimenting with many different looks for The POL Experience

The POL Experience logo, circa 2004

In 2005, The POL Experience became The POL Group, a sort of portal gateway to things I was experimenting with, such as:  KnowledgeWorx Research Unit (a space to explore my CPD); 4XP (a business network of local providers) and OFQT (focusing on quality management issues).

Brands within The POL Group (2005)

It was clear that I was over diversifying and the branding stuff had gone too far – time to pull back and consolidate.

It was at this point, LearningVoice (at that time a small brand within The POL Group) seemed to grow in stature.  I was working on projects for the European Commission, dabbling with voice-over work, speaking at conferences around Europe and running a wide range of training and quality management programmes.  It seemed that LearningVoice was taking over… so what to do?  Develop a new logo of course 😀 and in 2007 LearningVoice became a limited company and The POL Experience and The POL Group were no more.

The first LearningVoice logo (2007)

My journey of change came just before the recession hit the UK in 2008 and, like many small businesses, I had my own rough patches along the way.  Not only was business getting tougher but I also lost two people I was ‘caring’ for, my father-in-law and my mother, both dying within 6 weeks of each other.  Work in actual fact is a great thing to focus on when times are emotionally very difficult, and though the recession was biting hard, there was never a time when I had no work at all, just much much less than before.  Not to be beaten,  I entered 2009 with a new resolve to re-establish the basics and found myself a fantastic business mentor – a dragon no less – Rachel Elnaugh.

Considering the next steps for LearningVoice

Rachel was one of the very first dragon’s on BBC TV’s ‘Dragon’s Den and, right from the start, hated the logo because she felt that it didn’t best represent me and who I was.  She started me on a path towards re-thinking the focus of the business and the way it looks.  Through her advice and guidance, I found a new lease of life for LearningVoice and even though the recession was still in full flow, began to position myself in a new and wider market place that was better for my skills and knowledge.  I even won an International Award.

Global HR Excellence Award (2009)

Since 2011, I have received excellent support from colleagues, including my good friend, Maxim Teryukhov, in Russia, who helped me to realise that to achieve the growth that I wanted, I needed to let go of things that don’t work and have a team of specialists who can ‘balance me off’. Looking back I can see how messy everything appeared, just can’t understand why it took me so long to realise it.

Fast forward to today, 7th October 2012, I am starting work on two new European Commission projects with a small team of personally chosen experts, I am delivering more training than ever before, usually bespoke rather than off-the-shelf and I am beginning to do voice-over work and developing that side of the business and running conferences around the world – to date I have appeared in nearly 30 countries on three continents!

There is a new website being developed with a look that better represents what LearningVoice has become over the last few years.  I now have a virtual team around me to take care of the areas that I shouldn’t be spending time on – these include branding, marketing,  finance, project management etc…

So my present to myself today is something that I have been eagerly waiting for these last few years, a huge bottle of POL Roger champagne in remembrance of the POL days and where all of this started.

Thank you for your continued support and here’s to the next decade of LearningVoice!

Huge thank you from Józefa

Personal website landing page:   JozefaFawcett.TV

Free Vocal Coaching App on iTunes    Free Vocal Coaching App on GooglePlay



August 5, 2012

The journey continues…

I am delighted to be still working with one of my first and oldest clients since I started as a freelancer back in 2002.  Newham University Hospitals NHS Trust, as it was known then, and I, have embarked upon many different training courses and research and analysis over the years.  However, the one that brings me most pleasure is the ‘Being An Effective Manager’ programme that we designed together over 5 years ago.

Having just finished cohort #5 last week with our now traditional individual presentations, it never ceases to amaze me just how much of an impact this programme has had on those who attend.  Not just the enjoyment from the interactions, or the Action Learning Sets they are part of that support the programme input – but the changes in their work behaviour as a result.

Being a manager in the NHS is continually challenging, in the middle ranks, even more so.  Those who progress within their own teams face particular hurdles, moving from one of the team into a ‘managerial’ role that needs to make decisions, often very difficult ones that have huge implications for the care of the patients for whom they are responsible or the carers of those patients.

Many congratulations to this last cohort for facing some of their difficulties and sharing them with me, and more importantly, overcoming them to slowly make things better – not just for themselves and their teams but also for the patients, the most important people in the NHS.

I very much look forward to meeting my next cohort #6 next January and continuing what is the never-ending journey that is the management of people in an admirable profession.


Founding Director & Learning Specialist








July 20, 2012

The learning journey continues…

It seems that HE Universities will need to watch their backs if the latest developments in free Ivy League level education takes hold.  Coursera, founded by Stanford computer scientists Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng and providing FREE online education, has of July 18, attracted even more content — at least 100 massive open online courses — otherwise known as MOOCs*– designed by professors from schools such as Princeton, CalTech, and Duke that will be capable of delivering lessons to more than 100,000 students at a time.

What is so exciting is the opportunity that this creates for those unable to afford to learn in a University, however, the flip side is the question, what will this do to vocational training as a result?  What might the next step be in this revolution?

Training and learning is already so accessible outside of a traditional training-room set up and with so many podcasts, webcasts, YouTube offerings made available for free – might the traditional trainer need to consider their position and how their skill set might also need to change?

Just wondering!  

Józefa at LearningVoice



April 2, 2012

So excited to launch my very first App – Business Vocal Coaching App (BVCA) on iOS for iPhones and all Apple devices. The Android version is currently being produced and will be available by May.

This great little App designed to help those who are new to speaking in public or who just want to create the kind of business voice that not only gets heard, but listened to as well.

I hope that you enjoy listening to the 5 minute audio and then capturing three key phrases or words that will support you next time you need to speak out.

This will be shortly followed by my UListen2 Audio Learning Programme series for those who want to go that bit deeper and understand how to use their voice to its fullest potential in a range of business situations.

Here is the link to the iTunes store where you can download the App for FREE!



February 29, 2012

I am off into London today to meet up with one of my very first mentors, Steve Collins which has sparked an opportunity for me to reflect upon our relationship which has spanned some 22 years!

I first met Steve when I went to work for him in the NHS in 1990.  I had come from a private-sector retail training background and he was from an academic background – surely we were from completely different worlds and would never get on?

Yes, that is me 22 years ago!


Quite the opposite in fact.  Steve was looking for someone who didn’t have a healthcare background so that he could inject some new thinking into the NHS at that time.

Little did I know that when he retired some years later, that I would take on his position as Training Manager and he would shift to a new role, that of my mentor.

I think people underestimate the long-term benefits of a really good mentor, and I have never forgotten what Steve did, and still does, for me.



After all these years we have both moved into the final phase of our relationship, that of friendship.

Many of the work principles that I use these days were influenced by Steve.

Did he impose these on me?  No

Did he teach me to do the things that I do now?  No

Did he practice these principles himself?  Yes

This is where I think his greatest success lay.  He practiced what he said.  He operated as a professional practitioner and admitted his mistakes and not try to cover them up, but he learned from them too – and changed his behaviour and practice.

I owe a great deal to my former mentor and am now looking forward to enjoying a lovely lunch with someone who now, I am proud to call my friend.

Cheers Dr Steve Collins – see you later!


Józefa Fawcett still on a learning journey…


ECU Zurich

February 9, 2012