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The Book
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Background
This modest book is the result not of deliberate, exhaustive, objective or quantitative research, but more the retrospective product of conversations I have engaged in, and understandings I have gained over many years in planes and trains, at conferences and around my own dinner table. It is also a synthesis of what I have learnt about learning since my first teaching experience as a VSO in Zambia in 1966.

Since 1985 my husband, Duncan, and I have been running a small residential language centre where we have specialised in immersion training in English and soft skills for middle and senior managers from all over the world. Most can only spare a week or two at the most, but nevertheless it affords us a good amount of quality contact with them, working one-to-one and in small groups of three to four participants. Since we founded the centre we have hosted over 6,000 participants from all sectors of business, as well as lawyers, doctors, politicians, diplomats, artists, actors and writers.

Whatever their cultural background, status or profession, we always find, underneath it all, people who share similar needs, experiences, values, opinions, hopes and dreams.

Many of the examples and anecdotes in this book are from my own experience, but I’m confident that in essence they are not unique to me. As you read through you may identify with some of them. Some of the content I include may be familiar to you; some may be new. Whatever the case I hope you will find enough ‘meat’ in it to draw you on further.

 

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