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with benefits for people throughout the company - and far beyond

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PPhurther Education


The Just1 Diploma in Applied Gelotology
Hugh Gibbons' good-humoured in-house sandwich course in offbeat & unsung skills



The Just1
Diploma in
the special
sandwich course
in unsung

Pictures above and below are from
Hugh's Ahaa! meetings hosted by Syngenta UK,
Nationwide Building Society HQ, Thames Valley Police Training Centre, the Royal National Theatre, Broadmoor NHS Trust, Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard, and Nokia UK HQ.
Note the big badges with big names.


It's the study of laughter.

So the Diploma in Applied Gelotology sees laughter put to work - in a seriously enjoyable learning concept available in 2012 and beyond to benefit many people in perhaps a couple of suitable companies.

It's a sort of informal, in-company sandwich course for any mix and number of people - running roughly once a month for 6-8 months or more.

In the late mornings, your company gets a thoughtful Thinking Time workshop/tutorial for up to 100 people on such unsung skill areas as Likeability, Curiosity, Consiliency, Audiency, Interrogancy, Evaluancy and Advocacy. In the full afternoons, there's a Wiser Writer clinic on Business Literacy for 1-20 people to have coaching or counselling on communications skills in general.

It's awarded not to individuals but to a company as an unusual thank-you and motivator for many of your staff - and local guests you might to invite in from outside.  Without anyone leaving the premises. Though (thankfully) away from from desk and screen from time to time.

And as you'll see, one endorphin-releasing spin-off is to help provide basic education for some children in need.

The Diploma is fun with its sleeves rolled up.  Though there'll be plenty of laughs and imagination-tickling, the Diploma is a way to develop and address understanding of a wide range of issues for people in most jobs.

It also gives everyone taking part a bit of welcome breathing space and thinking time, away from the pressures of their desk, screen, or phone.

The DipAppGelotol might have been the Dip.Brapp.Gelotol! Certainly it may have attractions for a biggish Medical Department open to ideas. But the Diploma is big in potential for further education and understanding throughout a company. (So it'll need a bit of enthusiastic co-ordination and championing.)

The Diploma been created by Hugh Gibbons of Just1, applying his many years as business writer and educator, running over a hundred of his business psychology meetings, lecturing for the MSc in Pharmaceutical Medicine, providing workshops for a wide range of organisations, and giving dozens of public talks.

The Diploma is a sort of sandwich course with a difference - in content, setting, style, benefits, uplift and newsworthiness.

It's not demanding on time. There are no exams, projects, or theses involved. Though you decide on the number of tutorials it includes, anyone can attend one or all as suits them - and can print their own Diploma at any time. They can also have a say in the syllabus!

And all your students' fees are paid by the company.

There's an all-in fee according to the number and nature of the Diploma sessions you order. The only additional outlay would be for Hugh's travel and any necessary accommodation, at cost. Given that many people and departments may benefit, this fee will probably come of out a central budget.

All fees go direct to a charity supporting a highly-respected UK charity that provides real-life vocational education for disadvantaged children in South India. So if you can't get your head round organising for that, then don't read on.

The Diploma would be high on QADYs: Quality Adjusted Development Years.  Six useful Thinking Time sessions attended by, say, 50 people would provide you with about 450 people-hours of unique learning. The accompanying six Wiser Writer afternoons attended by perhaps 10 people on average would give another 150 people-hours of practical counselling and coaching.

And what sort of company might be suitable to stage the Diploma for its staff and guests?

Well, for starters, one with senior management open to ideas. Well-organised. Largish - to get the benefit of big audiences. Unstuffy.  With a biggish meeting room. Having an eye on the future.  And not too far from Bracknell in the Thames Valley, where Hugh is based.

Yes?  Ish? 

Then contact hughgibbons@just1.org.uk

A Crash Course in Gelotology

As a pilot course
to animate, educate or resuscitate company conferences, symposia and similar large gatherings, Hugh Gibbons also has a
slide-filled stand-up tutorial available based on his highly popular Flying-Crooked talks.

The session uses a big variety of examples
to provide serious lessons, understanding and appreciation of the human side
of organisations today.

The material is drawn from the human side
of the world of flying.
So it ranges across such topics as the Flighty Women of White Waltham; the one-armed, one-eyed pilot who ferried 1400 planes; Hugh's own experience in training as a glider and private pilot; surviving falls without a parachute; emotional intelligence at airports; the Extremely Derogatory Order of the Inextractable Digit; and thr Wright Brothers Wrong Predictions...

The session is suitable for international audiences -
though some of the verbals may be vulnerable to the time delay of simultaneous
translation (aka joke lag...)

"...with his fascinating paper on
Coincidence and Applied Gelotology."



Roughly once a month, Hugh Gibbons comes in at mid-morning ready to deliver a tutorial workshop; armed with ideas, tips, techniques, questions, examples, stories, and exercises. He's with you for the rest of the day.

  • THINKING TIMES In the late morning, Hugh provides a 60-to-90-minute workshop/tutorial that explores a useful, unsung and often undertaught business skill. These can include Likeability, Curiosity, Levity, Visualancy, Audiency, Tangency, Evaluancy and Advocacy (as you can see below).  You choose what you'd like to be on the programme.

  • Each tutorial is self-contained, suitable for pretty well any size or mix of audience - a dozen people is good, a hundred is fine.  They might come from any department, level or job function in the company or group.  And they'll also be OK for you to invite outside guests to join in.

  • The session is not a lecture - and the audience can expect to speak up, discuss, go through some exercises, and generally give their minds a workout.

  • If you'd like to end with a simple sandwich or similar lunch for everyone to carry on talking, that'd be fine.

  • WISER WRITER CLINICS In the afternoon, Hugh will run a Business Literacy Clinic for one or up to a couple of dozen people - at a desk or in a small room.  You organise who and what and where.  This may be for individuals in need of personal coaching, or a group, or whole department.  You as a company specify what you want each time, and Hugh will adjust things to suit.



  • Anyone in the company who can do with a little breathing space and time out from pressures on screens, desks, phones...

  • Bright-minded PAs, Executive Secretaries and other support staff eager to have their brain used a bit more

  • Senior managers wanting to get ride of some cobwebs or fixed ideas

  • Experienced executives who could use a little extra stimulus and broader vision

  • Management mentors wanting to get a better understanding of some useful interpersonal skills

  • Thoughtful line managers seeking a new and different way to motivate, reward, develop, invigorate or retain staff

  • New graduates or recruits needing a little extra boost

  • From outside the company, clients, potential customers or CSR acquaintances you'd like to be closer to, thank or cultivate - invited in to be alongside you in an unusually enjoyable setting



All fees for the Diploma go direct to the Joe Homan Charity - the remarkable charity supporting vocational education of disadvantaged children in South India and Thailand.

Over 50 years ago, Joe Homan went from Ipswich to India, and from a standing start built up a whole series of children's towns. Thousands have gained not only basic education but valuable vocational skills.

Click here for more information on the Charity, its work and ways, and its new Patron Chris Mullin.

As supporting the Charity in this way will be an unusual good CSR news story about the company, Hugh will be happy to help provide material to help you with local, business, and other media.


late-morning DipAppGelotol tutorial
workshops on a variety of
unsung business skills
afternoon DipAppGelotol
clinics on business
literacy skills
The list below will give you some idea of the menu from which you'll need to choose at least 6 out of the 10 topics below for the month-by-month tutorials. (Or 1 six times...)

If you'd like to suggest others not currently on the list, you'll be very welcome to discuss them with Hugh.  He may also be able to call on outside help.

You might also like to consider fixing on a couple of topics to start with - and then asking attenders and others what they'd like to see on the agenda next time.

Each runs for around 75 minutes, to allow sufficient time to air and share ideas, have some 1-to-1 and all-audience discussion, and tackle questions arising. So you might be looking to advertise sessions as running from 11.30am to 12.45pm.

You just need to arrange a room where people can talk to each other and move around a little, plus some form of screen or plain wall on which to project slides.

To help raise interest and maintain learning, it should be possible for Hugh to provide follow-up or pre-course material - such as fun research into attitudes and behaviour.

On the same day as each Unsung Skills tutorial, you get a good 3-hour morning or afternoon session of coaching and counselling on writing on screen, page and flipchart. Thinking and speaking skills are included, of course.

You’ll just need to work out who’s going to be there each month, and arrange a suitable space (eg a small room - though 1-to-1 quiet coaching can be at someone's desk or corner of an office).

The sessions are flexible to suit your needs.  You can use the time for individual coaching, or tutorials for department teams, or general work for mixed groups of up to 20. 

All attenders can work through a light-hearted on-line pre-course slideshow warm-up - at their own pace. 

Each session is packed with exercises, tips and techniques, examples, advice, and practice.

The material used can be your students' own writing at work, and other company material. 

If you want, sessions can focus on such topics as Writing for Proposals, Briefings, Reports, Questionnaires, and Presentations





Thinking Time on HUMOURACY
Lightening up at work

Having, well now, a light-handed touch for use on paper, screen or in person is a useful attribute for many people in business situations.  So this session aims to refresh and strengthen relationship-building skills by seeing how humour has been put to work for learning in science, business, and the military.  And you’ll learn how to increase laughter at home and in your social life. 

Thinking Time on INTERROGANCY
Putting more questions to use
Finding things out by questions is an important skill for most people at work.  This session refreshes some principle about the range and nature of questions.  It includes testing answers and assumptions.  The session would also include the world's easiest quiz, the inverse quiz, and Thunks.

Thinking Time on LIKEABILITY
Winning more people over

Whether face-to-face, on the phone, or on paper or screen, we prefer to do business with people whom we like – and who like us. So this session aims to refresh and strengthen your personal image and influencing skills.  You explore some of the factors involved in likeability – your own, and those of colleagues, customers and suppliers.  And being willing to help.
Being more interested – and interesting

An enquiring mind and diversity of knowledge are valuable attributes in most jobs.  So this workout aims to refresh and strengthen your skills of observation - and being open to ideas – through visiting such books as the astonishing Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher. 
Thinking Time on OBSERVANCY
How to improve your Eye-Q

Being able to interpret human actions and interactions is an important attribute in business.  This session aims to refresh and strengthen your take on non-verbal communication skills.  You’ll explore visual acuity training techniques, some psychology of visual awareness, and illusions applied to business.  And you’ll get to challenge some myths about Body Language, and diligence.
Thinking Time on AUDIENCY
Being listened to more - and better

Whether the audience is one or 100, many people need to be pretty good at thinking and speaking on their feet - and seat.  So this session aims to refresh and strengthen your audience–handling skills.  You’ll get to give and take advice, and share some simple techniques used by top corporate talkers.  There’ll also be some voice coaching – for speaking and singing!  And a hint on how to be a good audience.
Thinking Time on DILIGENCY
Being better at checking
Checking facts, words, figures is an all-important skill in many jobs. This session aims to identify some common blind spots - touching on the psychology of illusion and attention.
Thinking Time on EVALUANCY
Being a better decider

Being able to evaluate options and situations is critical in many jobs.  So this session aims to refresh and strengthen evaluation and decision skills.  You explore back-of-the-envelope appraisal techniques, the perils of assumptions, the psychology of thin-slicing, and the value of diversity.
Thinking Time on TANGENCY
Growing more of your own ideas

Being able to think at a tangent and take new angles is a valuable asset for most people at work.  So this workout aims to refresh and strengthen idea-generating skills.  You examine creativity, innovation and learning techniques from some unusual angles.  And you’ll touch on ideas in Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind by Guy Claxton; Letting the Buggers Be Creative and Getting the Buggers to Think by Sue Cowley; and How to Invent (Almost) Anything by Graham Rawlinson and David Straker.
Thinking Time on ADVOCACY
Being more persuasive

Being able to make and present a case - and fight your corner - is an important quality in team decisions.  So this session aims to refresh and strengthen your advocacy skills, including how to take a contrary and questioning viewpoint - a Devil's Advocate.
And somewhere in the cupboard
Thinking Times on
VOCALANCY - developing a better voice
developing new interests and education

For more information at any time, contact
The Conductor of Just1, Hugh Gibbons

E-mail: hughgibbons@just1.org.uk
Tel: 01344 451847

Write: 75 Qualitas
Roman Hill
Berks RG12 7QG
United Kingdom