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December Black Swan Newsletter

In this month's newsletter, we focus on making heading style and layout in Word documents effortless, use golf to illustrate why self-help can be hopeless and give you some Christmas cheer.

Make Your Document Headings Effortless 

Have you ever looked enviously at a colleague or, worse, a competitors' document and marvelled at the high quality look and feel?

More often than not, a great document is not about the attention to detail of the author, but the setup of the template it sits on. There are many areas where Microsoft Word can make your life much easier, but often there's never enough time to learn about them.

Today's tip is about Heading Styles... these are already provided in Word, but are rarely used effectively.

Read the full article which walks you through how to make your life much, much easier.

Don't Rely on Self-Help For Work or Pleasure

You can spot self taught golf players from a distance. Not for what they wear, but for the way they play the game.

They have agricultural swings, unnatural movements and, worst of all, random results. As soon as they draw back their club, something becomes painfully obvious to all but the protagonist: what they have learnt themselves will not lead to a better end result.

In our experience, we observe these two things:

  1. With the advent of the internet, particularly with online video streaming, 'self help' is on the increase
  2. It is the nature of these individuals to teach themselves because they find it difficult to receive, or value, professional assistance

Yet, for the onlooker, it's clear that something fundamental needs to be done. For all their protestations, the reason why these golfers are inconsistent and never reach lofty heights is because of the way they have gone about learning the game. They need professional help.
Make Sure the Hard Lessons are Learned

The self-taught golfer illustrates three easily forgotten learning essentials:

1. There is a Difference Between Training and Education
Training, unlike education, requires a good starting point to set the trainee off in the right direction. Giving enough information to be understood, then applied and practiced.

2. Training Requires Instructor Expertise
Skill in applying principles of golf requires the services of a live instructor, normally a club professional. For example, knowing where to position the ball in your stance is essential to a good shot, an inch in either direction means the rest of the swing is compromised in order to accommodate the first error.

3. Continuous Learning & Knowledge Sharing are Essential
The need for continuous learning and knowledge sharing is rapidly becoming understood by training groups. The golf course is a hub of professionals, experienced golfers and keen amateurs.

In times where senior management aims to minimizing training cost per employee, there is a real danger that productivity will fall and that a generation of 'hackers' will appear in businesses - error prone, lacking in judgement and ignorant of the most effective ways in which to manage their time.

This is not a future we would wish for any business.

[This article has been shortened for the newsletter. You can read the full article available here on this website]

Merry Christmas from Black Swan Training

We wish all our clients and contacts a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


As we head into the new year, we'd just like to share with you three of our favourite pieces of New Year Cheer that we've found. We trust you will enjoy these three video clips:


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