Developing people

We help professional working across the built environment develop the soft skills that are not addressed in their formal training at schools of architecture and engineering.  In doing this, we help individuals and teams realise their full potential. 


On this page we talk about the in-house training we offer, as well as our coaching services and occasional public courses and seminars.

In-house training :

Our in-house training is tailored to each client's specific requirements.  

The training topics that we are asked to address most regularly fall under the broad banner of communication and people skills: whether presentation training, leadership, dealing with clients or working more efficiently.  

Our generic course titles are listed below but we are always happy to develop - or re-jig - specific courses to give a slightly different emphasis.  

Do contact us if you think we could help: alex@colander.co.uk. We'd be delighted to tailor our expertise to suit your training needs.

Meantime, you might be interested to take a look at the Think Pieces in our Journal which explore some of the factors behind running a successful creative business.

“Over a number of years the Colander team has helped us with a range of training.  Colander's engagement with the architectural profession means the courses are both focused and relevant to our needs. Staff feedback is not only positive as a learning experience but they also seem to enjoy themselves too!"

— Jo Bacon, Partner, Allies + Morrison

Coaching :

Our coaching focuses on communication, assertiveness, management and leadership skills as well as getting the best from creative people. We work with Partners, Directors and senior staff, either individually or in small groups to review :

• Team-working and leadership.
• Inter-personal skills, behaviours and relationships, particularly with work colleagues and clients.
• Thoughts, opinions and perspectives; particularly those that limit people’s ability to achieve either personal or professional goals.

For coaching to be successful, there needs to be a rapport between the individual and the coach. We therefore suggest an initial exploratory session before embarking on any longer term commitment.

To find out more about coaching, please contact: alex@colander.co.uk

“John Forrester of Colander has worked with Grimshaw over a number of years. In that time he has helped the partners of Grimshaw to work better as a team, and be more effective as leaders. We have come to rely on John's insight and practical wisdom.” 

— Jolyon Brewis, Chief Executive, Grimshaw

Public courses :

WORKSHOPS As well as tailored in-house courses, we run occasional public workshops which are especially useful to practices that have only one or two people that they want to train, with the added bonus of giving delegates the opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with other practitioners.  

The workshop are highly interactive and full of practical advice, and include case studies that are inspired by our work with architects, designers and engineers.

ONLINE COURSES We have recently launched online courses to answer the demand from practices outside London – and outside the UK – as well as people who have a couple of hours to spare, on the spur of the moment. 

Each session lasts for 1.5 hours and is run at lunchtime, so that the working day is disrupted as little as possible.  Topics have been carefully chosen to make best use of the online format. Delegates can expect practical advice with useful tools and techniques to help them develop their own approach to each subject.

BUSINESS SEMINARS We run business seminars during the Spring and Autumn.  

These are short format seminars (two-hours only) and are only offered in a public forum, where delegates can exchange information with each other as well as learn from the trainer.  They should be seen as an introduction to a topic rather than as a replacement for more in-depth training.

“Colander is probably unique in the construction industry as providers of excellent training, facilitation and plain common sense. If you want insightful, frank and practical business advice - talk to Colander.”

— Paul Mercer, Tangram