Dataphone was delighted to attend the School Business and Office Managers Conference for Waltham Forest and Redbridge last week. 

As always, it was a pleasure to meet a number of school leaders and explore the challenges (and solutions!) faced by their schools. Three of our school specialist team members were attending, and we were able to help a number of schools find ways to make savings and improve their telecoms systems.

There was a wide variety of presentations throughout the day, ranging from mindfulness to ‘courageous conversations’. I wasn’t able to attend them all (I was too busy talking to school business managers!) but two, in particular, stood out for me.

Steph Davies of Laughology

Steph spoke about the importance of resilience for school business managers. With all the challenges faced in the role, it’s a high pressure job.

The advice from Laughology is to make sure that you have a sense of humour. Not to make light of a situation but because laughter helps to improve communication and relieve stress.

I particularly liked Steph’s acronym of WYSIATI, which stands for ‘What You See Is All There Is’. It’s her way of making sure that we don’t jump to conclusions because of limited information. Always a surefire way to become stressed about the things you can’t control.

Nickii Messer

Nickii shared her insights into future-proofing the role of school business managers. I was particularly interested to hear her thoughts on securing service level agreements (SLAs) with suppliers. At Dataphone, we have documented SLAs with all of our customers, which helps us to ensure that schools get the support that they need, when they need it.

Anyone with an interest in productivity would have liked one of Nickii’s personal mantras: “Does what I’m doing actually add value?”. It can be a tricky question to answer. It’s so easy to get lost in our personal routines that we lose our focus. To my mind, that’s a great link to SLAs – offer value and make sure that you deliver on it.

Prize winners

A number of prizes were given out on the day and I was delighted to notice two Dataphone customers collecting theirs.