ASA Newsletter – November 2018

Welcome to the November edition of the ASA newsletter.  This month we’ve got bitesize learning on Empathy, Building Rapport, and 9 Benefits of Having Happy Employees.

In November it’s Movember, and there’s Talk Money Week, Trustees Week, and the International Day for the eradication of violence against women (White Ribbon Day).

Advice Skills Academy Training

Upcoming ASA Training November/December

Managing Projects
Thursday 8 and 22 November – one and a half days training (Places Left)

Mental Health Awareness for Frontline Workers
Tuesday 13 November 2018  and 22 January 2019 (All Fully Booked) 
More dates to be arranged soon

Leading and Motivating a Team Effectively
Monday 19 November and Wednesday 5 December – one and a half days training (Places Left)

Stay well, stay focused – Skills and Strategies for Managing High Workloads in Advice Services
Friday 30 November 2018 (Places Left)

ASA Mentoring Programme

Mentors Available

Mentoring or being mentored can help to improve confidence, transferable skills, and engagement and enjoyment of your role. We have a number of mentors who are keen to provide mentoring support to others from the ASA partner organisations, on the following areas:

  • Idea germination, project design, performance delivery
  • Marketing and communications
  • HR and developing team culture
  • Public speaking & presentations
  • Research & analysis
  • Moving into a senior leader or CEO role
  • The design and development of systems & procedures
  • Project management
  • Team leadership
  • Moving into a team leader or line management role for the first time
  • Being a trustee
  • HR issues including recruitment, appraisal and grievance/disciplinary
  • Staff development
  • Facilitation skills
  • Managing employer/employee relations
  • Tribunal representation
  • Casework skills
  • Negotiating settlements with ACAS
  • Preparing a Schedule of Loss 
  • Identifying discrimination in employment 

If you’re interested in working with a mentor in one of the areas listed above, then either download and fill in a Mentee Application Form and email it to us, or just email us to express your interest, and to let us know which subject area you’re interested in:

Weblink: ASA Mentoring Programme 2018

Advice Skills Academy Digital Champions Project

Digital Champions Network

As part of Advice Skills Academy, we’ve got involved in the Digital Champions Network – which provides online learning and other resources to help and encourage people to become Digital Champions.
So far we’ve got 15 Digital Champions signed up, and between them they’ve completed 102 short online courses including things like:

  • Digital Champions Essentials
  • Using your role to help get customers online
  • Using government services online
  • Helping someone with an accessibility need: working with people with learning difficulties and/or learning disabilities

If you’re interested in joining the ASA Digital Champions project then email us at

Learn Something Today

This Month’s Bitesize Learning


One of the seven ‘soft’ skills that can help you grow and succeed is empathy.

Empathy is defined as:

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another

So why do we need empathy at work?  Empathy helps us to understand others and develop closer relationships – and this is true in work as much as outside of work.

Empathy requires three things – listening, openness and understanding, and all of these things are really useful skills in work. Developing these skills, and your empathy, can help to improve team work, develop leadership abilities, and generally help to make the working environment more friendly, caring, and supportive.

Visit the Unimenta website for a really good range of useful and interesting links on empathy, including links to TED Talks, listening exercises, empathy worksheets, and a short empathy test.

For an infographic on self-care that can help to build your empathy, see

The seven skills that we all need are:

  • being proactive
  • adaptability
  • critical thinking
  • empathy
  • integrity
  • optimism
  • resilience


Building Rapport

buiding rapport

Rapport is a feeling of connection with another person, and is characterised by a feeling of mutual understanding, and a harmonious relationship. In work, as well as in our personal lives, rapport can be invaluable for building good working relationships with individuals, and to help team working.

This Mind Tools article describes how you can build rapport through 6 helpful tips, starting with first impressions when meeting new people, through to mirroring and matching the other person’s body language.

Have a look at this Skills You Need article for a list of behaviours that help to build rapport.

9 Benefits of Having Happy Employees

9 Benefits of Having Happy Employees

What are the advantages of having happy employees?

From encouraging creativity, to lower costs, to handling adversity, this article explores the results of some of the research that has been done on having happy employees.

9 benefits of having happy employees

For some ideas on how to make your employees happy, take a look at this Infographic from Unum, or have a look at this Business News Daily article.

November is Movember

Prostate cancer rates will double in the next 15 years. Testicular cancer rates have already doubled in the last 50. Three quarters of suicides are men. Poor mental health leads to half a million men taking their own life every year – that’s one every minute.

Movember Foundation_Iconic Mo_Black

November is Movember – focusing on men’s health. Movember encourages Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to get active, and raise money for projects tackling men’s health and wellbeing.

Movember is co-ordinated by The Movember Foundation, who are a world-wide charity working to tackle men’s health issues, such as prostrate cancer, testicular cancer, and suicide. Since it started in 2003, the Foundation has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world, and has been ranked in the top 500 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on a number of occasions.

Click for more information on ways to get moving, to raise funds or make donations, or get involved in Movember events visit.

mustache movember

Talk Money Week: 12th-18th November 2018

Talk Money Week (previously known as Financial Capability Week) is an opportunity to have a conversation about money, and is a week that’s focused on improving people’s money management skills and financial wellbeing.

The week is also the annual celebration of the work of all of the organisations that support people’s financial capability.

The theme for 2018 is Financial Wellbeing with a focus on what organisations can do to get more people to access free debt advice, to get more people saving regularly, and to get people using less credit for everyday spending.

For more information on Talk Money Week, visit the website:

Trustees' Week

12th to 16th November 2018

Trustees are the people who are in charge of a charity. They are volunteers who play a vital role, giving up their time to make important decisions about the work of a charity.

Trustees Week is an annual event to celebrate and showcase the work that trustees do, and to encourage more people to get involved as trustees.

  • There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK (167,000 charities in England and Wales, 24,000 in Scotland, 5,000 registered in Northern Ireland).
  • And just over 1 million trustees (of which some 850,000 are in England and Wales, 180,000 in Scotland and 30,000 in Northern Ireland)
  • From NCVO and CCNI research, we know just under half the UK’s trustees are women
  • The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland.
  • There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds (of which 2,611 in Northern Ireland).

(Source Trustees Week website)

For more information on Trustees Week, and information on training resources, and links to trustee opportunities visit the Trustees Week website

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25th November 2018

25th November each year is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day, established by the United Nations, aims to highlight the issue of gender based violence as a human rights violation. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

The United Nations is co-ordinating the Spotlight Initiative – helping to move the issue of violence and discrimination against women and girls into the spotlight. 

For a range of videos on violence and discrimination against women and girls visit the Spotlight Initiative website, or have a look at the #HerStoryOurStory campaign website, and take the pledge to end violence and discrimination against women and girls.