Top 20 blogs of 2020 – inspiration in a challenging year

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It feels like we are already deep into 2021, but we always enjoy looking back and reviewing the popular blogs of previous years. Although for many 2020 might not be a year we look back on with fondness, it certainly was a catalyst for rapid change, as businesses and individuals re-evaluated what was important. This was reflected in a shift in our top 20 blogs of 2020. The need for people to listen and empathise has never been greater, with mentoring rocketing to the top of the agenda.

So, here is a roundup of our top 20 blogs and resources of 2020.

Top 20 blogs of 2020

1. What role do mentors and career conversations have to play in this time of coronavirus?

Our companies are filled with dedicated, passionate, capable people – but they can’t perform their roles and support each other unless they feel safe and supported. This is a time to think about support, care, and listening which is exactly the role that mentors can play. Now is the time to listen more than talk. Employees want someone to talk to, discuss issues and get help. Mentors need to reach out and offer that support. 

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2. Why mentoring is valuable at this time of crisis

The Coronavirus Pandemic changes on a daily basis, this was true at the time of writing last April and continues to be today. Now, more than ever, employees need the support of mentors to deal with the unique features of the COVID challenge. Uncertainty and unpredictability. Fear and anxiety. Constant change. Mentoring is one of the top strategies within an organisation for helping people deal with challenges. It adds value to both the individuals and the organisation. That is true in times of growth and development.  It is equally true in times of crisis and concern.

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3. The power of storytelling in mentoring and career conversations

When people are inspired, they take action. That’s not because you told them to. It’s because it makes sense in their world. For that reason, storytelling is a great tool for mentors to share their knowledge and experience. It’s also a great way for mentors to reflect on and learn from their experience. 

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4. What is mentoring and why is it relevant right now?

In the middle of a crisis, and managers have lots to deal with. Supporting employees who are fearful about the future. Dealing with the new challenges of leading a team while working from home. They could be struggling in self-isolation but still need to manage and develop their people. They may be sick and/or worried about loved ones. In these times of challenge, mentoring for them and by them is more important than ever.

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5. How to craft compelling career stories

Some people are great natural storytellers. They mentally recall their experiences and have no trouble relaying them as interesting stories. For the rest of us, it takes a little work.

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6. Go Virtual. Stay Personal – How to continue learning in disruptive times

One of the fears of moving online is that there will be a loss of engagement and interaction.  As specialists in Solutions Focus practice and Brain-Friendly Learning we design all our training so that it engages both sides of the brain, facilitates learning through multiple intelligences and is fun! 

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7. 7 Characteristics of highly effective mentors

We ask our new mentors to reflect on their experience of being mentored (formally and informally). As a group, they share their experience of what makes for a good mentor. So what makes a good mentor? Here’s the top 7 characteristics.

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8. 5 Reasons your organisation needs mentoring

Mentoring is important, not only because of the knowledge and skills employees can learn from mentors, but also because mentoring provides the opportunity for personal and professional development. Skilled mentoring greatly improves employees’ chances for promotion and progression. Research shows that employees who experience good mentoring progress further and faster than peers who may not have had a good mentor.

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9. Leadership development quotes. 13 Ways to inspire the leaders of tomorrow

Inspiring others is a key part of developing the leaders of tomorrow. In this post, I’ve put together some of my favourite leadership development quotes that inspire me and I hope will inspire you and others.

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10. Career development: What does the future of work look like?

We often talk about the future of work. But what actually is it? Well, the future of work is actually already here. The way we work is fundamentally different from how it was 50, 30 or even 10 years ago. The world of work is more dynamic and chaotic than ever. In our parents’ or grandparents’ generations, they would accept a job and hold onto it throughout the entire duration of their careers. But those days are over and done with.

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11. Global harmonisation of career development at The World Health Organisation

We’ve had the pleasure of working with Sara Canna the Team Lead of Career Management and Development at The World Health Organisation. We explore why creating a culture of career development is so important for them and why they chose our Certified Facilitator Programme.

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12. A year in the life of an organisation’s mentoring programme

Oona Hudson, one of our talented facilitators will be sharing her journey, of developing and implementing a mentoring programme within an organisation. This is a year in the life of an organisation’s mentoring programme with Team AO! 

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13. Interview with Ian Brodie on creating effective online courses

Antoinette was interviewed by Ian Brodie. In this interview they discuss creating effective online courses. Answer the questions “how do you make your online courses more effective?” And how do you make sure people get results from them?”

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14. 25 Positive quotes about mentoring

Always in our top blogs, and here again in the top 20 blogs of 2020 is our inspirational and motivational quotes. Quotes are a great way of summing up learning and experience in a way that inspires others. And the inspiration of others is a key role that mentors play. Here are our top 25 favourites.

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15. Career development quotes | 25 ways to feel inspired

Quotes condense learning and experience into memorable bite-sized sentences. By themselves, they’re nothing. But add their context, and they’re reminders for what you can’t remember. So we have curated great and thought-provoking career development quotes.

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16. 13 Characteristics of highly effective career conversations

In our Career Conversations workshops, we ask participants to think about a career conversation which was of significant positive value to them so we can draw out the characteristics that make them so effective.  The post shares the 13 characteristics that come up time and time again.

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17. Entrepreneurial leadership part 1: Why is it important?

What is Entrepreneurial Leadership, and why do we need it? In today’s fast-changing world, leaders need to be agile.  You need to be able to make decisions quickly, take action and learn from the results.  You need to anticipate the future, respond to unforeseen circumstances and adapt to change. That relies on entrepreneurial leadership.

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18. Entrepreneurial leadership part 2: 11 Characteristics of entrepreneurial leaders

Entrepreneurial leaders need to embrace high levels of change. And they need to thrive on the unique challenges posed by growth. They need to be capable of adapting and continually developing themselves as well as the organisation. In this post, you’ll discover the characteristics that help entrepreneurial leaders succeed.

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19. Winner of the Best Business Woman of the Year Award 2020

It was champagne all round at Team AO, when Antoinette won the Gold Award for Best Business Woman at the SME MK and Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2020.

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20. M-Power. A practical guide to mentoring in the workplace

OK so technically this isn’t a blog, but it is our latest and most popular resource for 2020. This eBook is a practical guide to mentoring in the workplace, and it will provide you with the information you need to promote mentoring in your organisation. You will gain an appreciation of the areas you need to consider if you are going to introduce mentoring. And you’ll discover the steps you need to take to make mentoring work in practice.

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What did you think of our most popular blogs for 2020? I hope you found them interesting and inspiring and can put some of the actions into practice.

You may also be interested in the other free and affordable resources we have available.  You can find a range of eBooks, toolkits, podcasts and videos at

We are looking forward to sharing more in 2021, One of our core values is “be helpful” which we weave into everything we do .  If there are any questions you would like me to share insights around, please get in touch by commenting below or emailing

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