A recent tweet by President Trump got Cambridge’s accuracy experts twitching. Did you spot the error? Scott Bradbury's Accuracy Consultant Sue Duraikan shares her accuracy tips.
Inaccurate or ignorant? What we can learn from Donald Trump’s latest Twitter accuracy error…
A recent tweet by President Trump got Cambridge’s accuracy experts twitching. Did you spot this error? Cambridge’s Queen of Accuracy Sue Duraikan certainly did.
“Call it inaccuracy or ignorance, it’s a glaring error that could have been avoided if President Trump had considered the context rather than just the spelling of the word!” says Sue Duraikan, Accuracy Consultant for Cambridge-based Scott Bradbury.
We sat down with Sue Duraikan to find out more about her accuracy expertise, and how we can avoid making errors at work and at home.
Tell us a little about your professional background
I’ve always worked in training and education – starting as a teacher of French and German in a secondary school not far from Cambridge. I did that for three years and loved it, before joining one of the big accountancy firms in their European training department. I was responsible for running training courses for tax consultants across Europe, as well as teaching interpersonal skills and management skills.
After nine years I decided to go freelance and set up Duraikan Training. Since then I’ve been doing lots of workshops focusing on professional skills – a wide range from communication skills to assertiveness, handling conflict, managing teams and so on. Currently I’m running a Career Development workshop targeted at women and BAME employees at the University of Cambridge. I also offer one to one coaching with individuals who want to improve their performance in a particular area, such as management skills, handling stress, written communication and so on. And I'm a qualified workplace mediator, keen to help where there is conflict in an organisation.
About five years ago I had a conversation with Catherine de Salvo, Director of Scott Bradbury, the accuracy and video learning company. One thing led to another and I was invited to become accredited as a Scott Bradbury Accuracy Consultant.
What do you do as a Scott Bradbury Accuracy Consultant?
I deliver the company's flagship programme 'Developing An Eye For Accuracy', which is designed for people who work with numbers, alphanumerics and names and addresses. It improves their accuracy levels when checking and transferring data by introducing tried and tested accuracy techniques. I also deliver another of Scott Bradbury’s courses, called 'Accurate Written Communication'. That one is focused more on textual data - things like emails, marketing literature and social media. The idea is to encourage people to be present-minded and take a holistic approach to tasks. Being aware of the whole context in which they’re working, rather than just whether a word is spelt right. If President Trump had paid more attention to the context of his tweet perhaps he wouldn’t have made that 'Prince of Whales' blunder!
I’ve also written a number of scripts for Scott Bradbury’s online WATCH & GO® resources. These short videos provide people with perfectly timed support on the job, showing how to deal with tricky or challenging situations at work. Such as when you’ve been promoted internally and the people who used to be your friends are now your direct reports!
What is Accuracy Training?
Accuracy training equips people with simple, practical techniques for getting it right first time. So that they read, check and transfer data more accurately and efficiently.
What kind of clients benefit from Accuracy Training?
That’s the great thing about our Accuracy Courses; they’re applicable across a whole range of sectors. I currently work with people in financial services, higher education, housing, manufacturing, retail... Anyone who deals with data on a regular basis, which is pretty much everyone whether in work or day-to-day life.
Do you mainly work with organisations based in Cambridge?
No, as an Accuracy Consultant I travel all over the place. I love working around Cambridge, but I’ll be in Hull in Autumn, I’ve been in London recently and also down to Somerset. Accuracy training takes me far and wide.
How do you measure the success of Accuracy Training?
We ask people to complete a simple pre-course assessment, which gives us their baseline accuracy levels. Once we’ve run the course (which we usually do over two half days because it’s fairly intense and so we find that we get better results by spreading it out) we then do a post-course assessment. This allows us to compare the two results and evaluate the change in not only accuracy levels but also the speed at which they’re working. We find that if people are using the techniques that we have covered then they are able to work more accurately but also much faster.
How successful is Accuracy Training?
Very! Generally speaking our participants consistently achieve a 50-60% reduction in errors across the board. The time alone saved through not making mistakes is typically worth 18-20% of an organisation's salary bill - so accuracy training is a great investment.
The proof is really in what happens after the course - when people go back to work! One of the great things about what Scott Bradbury do is that they follow up with people month by month, and people can continue to do mini accuracy assessments as they go through the month to see whether they’re remembering to apply the techniques they’ve learnt. So it’s not just a stand-alone training course.
Of course there is always the potential for human error, but with Accuracy Training we will be a lot more accurate than we were before. So long as we’re applying these accuracy techniques correctly and remembering to use them.
What are your top accuracy tips…
Getting things wrong has huge ramifications. There’s a big risk that you waste a lot of time putting things right, there’s a risk of losing clients, there’s a reputational risk to the organisation as well personal embarrassment. Not to mention breaking GDPR and other compliance regulations, which can have severe legal consequences these days. But there are a few simple techniques which can increase your accuracy levels and significantly reduce the risk.
One thing is to be aware of the limits of your ability to concentrate. Really we can’t apply our full concentration for longer than 20-30 minutes at a time. So when you’ve been focusing for that amount of time it’s a good idea to take a break and do something completely different. Ideally, it’s best to carry out a short structured activity break where you allow the brain to completely rest and re-set before resuming your work. The key message is: don’t just carry on!
My second tip is to adopt a sceptical mind-set when checking your own work. If you tell yourself it's probably ok, you're unlikely to spot any errors. Tell yourself instead "there are bound to be mistakes here and I'm going to find them". That way, you stand a much better chance of spotting errors before it's too late.
If you would like a few more of my accuracy tips (along with other Accuracy Consultants from the team), you can find short and effective videos on Scott Bradbury's Accuracy vlog. Enjoy!
If you’d like to find out more about Accuracy Training from Scott Bradbury, visit their Member Profile here on the Cambridge Network by clicking the link below.
Founded in 2003, Scott Bradbury is a specialist publisher and training organisation, with a proven track record in face-to-face workshop delivery and 'WATCH & GO' video-based online learning services.