Brain Friendly Learning (3 days, 6 people)

I have been working as an educational trainer for decades. Of course, I don't only 'preach' about the need to educate ourselves all our lives - I am also learning myself.

The Brain Friendly Learning workshop has again reminded me of certain basics and has, at the same time, upgraded my knowledge of the education process. One of the things that seemed very good and useful to me are 'the intelligences'. Not only do we have to pay attention to space and movement, we also have to consider 8 different intelligences. The challenge for me was also the 'senses', especially that of smell - fragrance sticks are too aggressive, candles too weak and I am not very fond of fresheners. Therefore, my solution to this sense was a basket of lemons, which is very decorative and scents the room at the same time. In order to enhance the education process, we can also cut and squeeze lemons. This means I can use them as a teaching tool as well (depending on the contents, of course).

The workshop has refreshed and deepened my knowledge, broadened my horizons and helped me gain new experience and useful ideas for work, and finally, it has brought me to socialize with people who care about themselves and others.

 Before the seminar, I had read a lot of literature on how to make education more interesting. However, the main challenge was to implement the education process in such a way that participants learn as much as possible. My main goal was to familiarise myself with the methods and acquire new ideas to make education even more Brain-Friendly. The programme was carried out as advertised, and the theoretical knowledge was introduced in an interactive, Brain-Friendly and interesting way. In this programme, I learned about new methods, ideas and ways to present different content. To summarise, the presented method is very different from the traditional, Slovene way of teaching.

neurontin Andreja Križnič, Managing Director, Proaktiv.kom Slovenia

I chose the Brain Friendly Learning for Trainers programme due to personal interests. I was mainly interested in different possibilities of presenting different products, especially from the professional view, in order to memorise information permanently and in a simple way.

I think the most useful advantages I acquired in the programme are:

  • new ideas,
  • new knowledge and competencies,
  • self-confidence when doing something completely new,
  • new contacts.

The workshop was intense, very useful and practical and it helped me discover new skills within me. The entire programme was very open as it contained collaboration among participants, with many practical and useful things learnt. I learnt about many ideas and hints on how to introduce certain products and services differently, not only with the use of Power Point. I have been working with Fast Forward for many years now, and have attended many of their programmes. 

Darja Mirt, Head of Marketing, CEE, Novartis Animal Health Slovenia

I am a professor of special education, employed as a teacher of special needs children. In my line of work, I constantly face the challenge of how to better explain the learning topics to children with learning difficulties and other special needs, while at the same time encouraging students to prepare for learning at home and in school as independently as possible.

In our organisation, I was offered an opportunity to acquire new knowledge at a workshop entitled ‘Brain Friendly Learning’ – the name itself says a lot, doesn't it? Of course, I immediately grabbed the opportunity and looked forward to learning new ways of teaching and other facts.
The course was very intensive and demanded active participation.  At the end we had to prepare and give a presentation on a certain subject in a way that showed what we learned on the workshop. This task required considerable dedication and similar to all things people do with such intensity, increased the likelihood that what we learned would stay in our memory for a long time – we often learn best from our own experiences.
On the workshop, many different learning strategies and learning paths were introduced, such as multisensory learning, which involves all senses – visual, kinesthetic, auditory etc - depending on which type of learning you find the easiest and which is the predominant learning style both for the teacher and the student. We also learned about how the brain functions and how we can memorise certain information more easily. However, the functioning of the brain still remains largely unexplored, and many possibilities and challenges are yet to present themselves in this field.
In agreement with the management, I prepared a short presentation for my colleagues after the course, in which I gave a brief summary of the topics covered at the course and suggested some new ways of working and teaching children in the class.
In my job, I often use some of the learning methods that I learnt on this workshop. I also descovered that learning can be quite fun and not as dull as we often think.

Nataša Biber, professor of special education, Osnovna šola Dobrova (Dobrova Primary School) 

Coaching Skills (2 days, 6 people)

The coaching programme contributed to the participants acknowledging the importance of coaching to the organization and through the practice sessions it also helped them to solve some real work dilemmas, showing the power of coaching.

The participants also learned how to deliver constructive, meaningful feedback, how to achieve the goals of their coaches and how to create a supportive and structured environment.
Finally, the participants acquired the necessary skills and knowledge that enabled them to improve their work relationships, reduce the level of conflicts and build stronger teams.
Franci Čeč, General Manager, Regionalni center za razvoj, Zagorje ob Savi, Slovenia

Impact and Influence (2 + 2 days)

As much as we were clear about what our needs are when it comes to ‘influencing’ as training, the more difficult part was sourcing training suppliers who could actually recognise what we need and design and deliver a customized programme. Fast Forward did the job perfectly, from Training Needs Analysis to training design and delivery. The impact of the training is now visible every day when you talk to delegates - the profiling tool itself (SDI®) has become "common terminology" in every day work. As an organisation, we have become more sensitive to needs and values of our colleagues - which makes us more successful ‘influencers’ and ‘communicators’ in general.

Djurdjica Preočanin, Training & Development Manager, Coca Cola Beverages Croatia

MOL Group rapidly transforms itself. Its HR unit also changes to help the organisation achieve its strategic objectives for performance and growth. HR managers shaped a transformational roadmap with pressure on building stronger HR partnering capability to be able to drive alignment with the business, improve organizational and HR performance and establish a culture focused on adding business value. MOL Group HR co-operated with FFWD to design a foundational course that starts transforming the individuals themselves by gaining better understanding on their own behaviour and how it impacts others. The full HR core team working at the head office, 30 people, went through this modular foundational course in more turns. Attendees very much praised trainer Selena Kukić for her skills. The course resulted in raising the core team’s members self-awareness that led to better communication and co-operation outcomes. People still have the quick communication guide suited to their profile on their desks, so they can access some quick guide whenever needed.

Zsolt Buláth, Competency Development & Strategic HR Expert, MOL Group

Managing Change (1 day)

Since our company was passing through significant organizational changes at the time, the training was more than welcome. The programme gave every individual a better way to deal with the changes and so helped them to cope in this difficult time.

Vesna Lindtner Debeljak, DVM, SEE Marketing Manager, Eli Lilly Slovenia

Managing Conflict (2 days)

Conflict can be perceived as trouble, it is great now to have a concrete tool (SDI®) to help us to prevent conflicts and to see them as challenges.

Darja Hvala, HR and Training Specialist, Si.mobil d.d., Slovenia

Motivating and Engaging (1 day)

We are all motivated by different things in a business environment. Yet, it is great to know how to recognize the origin of them, in other words, values and how to use this knowledge to increase employee motivation.

Darja Hvala, HR and Training Specialist, Si.mobil d.d., Slovenia

On-The-Job Training and Mentoring Skills (2 days, 6 people)

The Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant places great emphasis on knowledge and the training of its employees. Much of the required knowledge can be acquired on the market. However, due to specific features appearing in the technological process of energy generation, the required know-how and experience can be transferred to new employees only through experienced and qualified workers. Fast Forward helped us with this project and in early 2003 successfully trained our first groups of mentors. The acquired know-how and skills which were necessary to approach the learners could be observed straight away and the training time is now decreased by 25%. This is extremely important for the success of our company’s operations, so we intend to engage Fast Forward to train all of our mentors.

Anton Skornšek, Head of Training, TE Šoštanj Slovenia

 Presentation Skills (2 days, 6 people)

 AstraZeneca Slovakia, having operated as an independent market became part of the Central European cluster of 5 countries along with Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. It was quite a change for our people to work in such a different environment where we faced new challenges including more exposure to leaders above market and communication and presentations in English. We realised that if we want be successful we have to do something to be accepted as people who know the business and who are professional in what we are doing.

The Fast Forward Presentation skills workshop was really valuable for the people. During the session they realised what is important and what is not important in preparing a high quality and interesting presentation. The most important thing was to understand that not the quantity of slides but quality is king as well as how to keep awareness and interest during the presentation. As a guide they learned to reduce the number of slides they had always worked with before to just 1 slide per 5 minutes, which gave an overall picture about the length of presentation regarding slides. This enabled more focus on the audience and the core message of the presentation.
We planned the presentation skills workshop to take place before the 1st face-to-face meeting with our new area director and this meeting was very important for the whole team and our business. We therefore had a chance to transform the skills gained from presentation training into real life. The meeting was excellent and everyone did a really great job – not too many slides, but important and relevant messages in the presentations and it created good business discussions. I was very satisfied that the first impression about Slovakia and my team was very positive, and this was honestly thanks to the great training beforehand.
I can see that my people are now much more confident and have no problem in being a partner in discussion with leaders above market. Internally people are more confident to have presentations in front of people from other countries and I know this will be good for them in their development and career path not only in Slovakia but within the company internationally.

Jan Miklos, Country Director, AstraZeneca Slovakia

Problem Solving and Creativity (1 day)

The Creative Thinking organized for the Marketing Team was well accepted by the team.

We found that the training delivered on the objectives of the program and that it succeeded in delivering the specific tools and techniques that the marketing team uses daily in their working life.

The Marketing team Review was very useful and provided an insight into how ideas are usually generated within the team, and how the team solves problems, thus enabling us to establish a basis for applying the learned problem solving and creative thinking techniques and respective Tool Kit.
Overall, the course was inspiring, motivating, fast-paced, interesting and fun. It provided very good exposure to new creative thinking techniques and it was well organized. it has real value and provides a real opportunity to discuss, question, practice and investigate both as a team and as individuals.
Furthermore, the course was also well presented by a tutor well versed in the subject matter.
Mia Vojnić, Marketing Manager, Coca Cola Beverages Croatia

Fast Forward arranged a one day workshop for Biopharma managers to help us as managers to stimulate and inspire greater creativity and innovation in our teams. This was both via the Think Sandoz system and also in day-to-day activites. The programme was very useful in sharing best practice with other managers as well as looking at various creativity tools and techniques that we could use to achieve this. With my team I concretely used the brainstorming technique, which although I knew, I used in a new and different way and as a result we succeeded to come to a practical idea that we would not otherwise have found. I can recommend this programme to other departments and managers as a way to improve our Innovation Culture.

Mateja Salobir, Head of Technical Development, Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš 

 We, Marketeers, always want to do things differently (better) from others in the market arena, and the Creative Thinking workshop really enabled us to do so.

Nives Šeremet, Marketing Manager, Unilever Croatia

Sales Relationships (2 days)

The main purpose of introducing SDI training to target employee group in our company was usage of SDI for enhancing internal selling skills and influencing across the company.

Although majority of participants already went through various communication skills programs before, the main feedback was that this training was something completely different in a sense not only that it is an interesting model helpful for better understanding of differences between people but also that it is easily applicable both in business situations as well as in their private life.

And the most interesting side-effect was that after the training to all participants everything started to appear "in SDI colours" either in communication between themselves or with other colleagues.

Tomana Burger Pajic, Personal Development Supervisor, Siemens Croatia

Time and Self Management (2 days)

To support our talents in successfully managing high levels of complexity and multitasking during their participation at our accelerated talent development program we saw the opportunity to engage with our long-term partners in Fast Forward.

And it was a fruitful partnership as always. Application of Working Style Analysis questionnaire led to high level of awareness on how each of our participants manages their time, but more importantly in how they manage themselves and their levels of energy, which consequently made their lives much easier when dealing with every day challenges. It was a beneficial session not only to participants, but also their line managers as it improved even how they work with each other by understanding individual styles.
Martina Roša, Talent & Development Manager for Coca-Cola Hellenic Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia

Benefits gained by delegates: Better awareness of what can be improved in the sense of better time management and practical advice regarding how to use time more wisely.

Working style Analysis, practical training and advice on how to cope with increased volume of work and work in the way that best suits each individual.

Be more effective and productive at work (learn to say NO, use available tools: tasks in Outlook, diaries, checklists...).

Mojca Senica, HR Assistant, Johnson & Johnson Slovenia