The First Friday Training Academy

Management & Personal development

Our soft skills academy provides a comprehensive training programme that develops managers, leaders and team members with the behaviours and skills they need to succeed.

Theories, principles and practice are rooted within business context which makes learning relevant and easy to apply on-the-job. Facilitators bring their business experience to life as they inspire and engage on topics that they are experienced in and passionate about.

Select individual sessions to create your own series spanning, communication, time management, coaching and feedback, performance management, leadership, personal impact, story-telling, strengths-based self-awareness and more.

16 Engaging workshops
2500+ Strengths profiles
5 Expert facilitators

Our courses

  • Leading Business Change

    Train your managers to be successful in the role of the leader through times of change: motivating people, making it happen, and making it permanent. Find out more »

  • Management Essentials for New Managers

    Two-day workshop on what makes a great manager, management styles, effective delegation, motivation & supervision, and the GROW model. Find out more »

  • Managing Time & Workloads

    Workshop introducing managers to a range of simple, effective and practical tools to help them become more effective at time management. Find out more »

  • Managing a Team

    This 1-day interactive classroom-based workshop gives you the ‘why, what and how’ of managing a high performing team and encourages doing this differently. Find out more »

  • Coaching & feedback

    This workshop develops skills and explores techniques, with practice and feedback sessions using real coaching opportunities and challenges. Find out more »

  • Managing Performance & People Development

    Packed with simple, practical approaches that build the skill set and confidence of managers to effectively manage and develop their teams. Find out more »

  • Managing Difficult People & Situations

    Helps managers to understand the role they play in difficult situations and gives practical approaches to resolving difficulties for the benefit of all involved. Find out more »

  • Effective Leadership

    This workshop is designed to help managers to explore their leadership potential and be better placed to drive the success of their teams. Find out more »

  • Commercial thinking training workshop
    Commercial Thinking Skills Workshop

    Be inspired by a guest entrepreneur’s success story. Add to this practices, tools and approaches that develop commercial thinking competence. Find out more »

  • Project Management for Business Managers

    Two-day project management course giving business managers training on practical project management skills, tools and techniques. Find out more »

  • Effective Communication Skills Workshop

    This course covers how to craft questions, active listening skills, effective words, body language and useful meeting and presentation skills. Find out more »

  • Personal Impact: Communicating with Confidence Course

    This two-day workshop embeds skills to deliver key messages with clarity, authority and magnetism by blending insight, knowledge and practice. Find out more »

  • Perfect Pitching & Compelling Storytelling

    Helps storytellers become clear, compelling and memorable, and teams to connect, develop and share a collective history, understanding and identity. Find out more »

  • Managing Diversity & Inclusion Workshop

    This workshop demystifies diversity and inclusion, equipping managers with the knowledge they need to manage with confidence and consideration. Find out more »

  • Resilience at Work

    Helps delegates to understand and manage emotions, make better decisions, build stronger relationships and become more resilient. Find out more »

  • Making the Most of Your Strengths

    Strengths are explored in a group or team format which results in new appreciation, awareness and tangible action planning. Find out more »

Any questions?

Get in touch to explore pricing options, or simply find out more Contact us

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What they say

What our delegates say...

Retail legend

Retail consultant

A true leader like John shows us all how to be the best version of ourselves

Retail advisor

A “Master Class” for retailers

Retail COO

Epitomises John’s approach to business, short, simple, entertaining and above all effective

Retail CEO

John Hoerner makes many of the issues we battle daily in retail seem so simple and straightforward

Retail chairwoman

I have learnt more from John than almost anyone else

Retail chairman

This is a brilliant workshop. There were so many things I learnt to help my team and indeed myself to successfully adapt to change

Team Lead – Leading change workshop

First Friday's extensive experience and expertise in change management and leadership was invaluable. They were able to help our senior team to manage resistance during periods of extensive change


75% of the course content was great, but 25% was mind blowing

Course delegate

Great! Relevant, interesting and informative with a good mixture of practical sessions and tips on project management. And a great reference book to take away and use as a checklist for future projects

Course delegate

Even their body language is retail! They're head and shoulders above other training companies

Buying Director, Global fashion retailer

Our facilitators were true retail experts in range building, and what we got from two days with them was invaluable

Assistant Buyer – Course delegate

It has completely changed how I will structure, challenge and approve the ranges that we create

Buying Manager – Assortment planning & range building online course

The role-play opened my eyes and with all the info and tools I have learned during the day I now look differently towards negotiations. Really beneficial and positive having trainers with retail background  

Buyer on Negotiations skills course

It's already changed the way I think and engage with retailers. There is so much more that goes on in the world of retail. More than I ever imagined  

Systems Consultant – Course delegate

A great workshop with excellent trainers. I wish I had gone on this workshop before I started working in retail  

Course delegate

I wanted to understand what thinking commercially really means, and to find ways and tools to improve my commercial thinking. This was delivered in spades  

Course delegate

A fantastic, enjoyable workshop packed with practical and engaging content  

Course delegate

The real life stories were very inspiring and helped me to see what I can do with a fresh perspective  

Course delegate

Really enjoyed the course, very open and positive. I know now what I do and what I need to practice  

Course delegate

I learned so much in just one day. It was explained very clearly with examples which really helped  

Course delegate

Any questions?

Get in touch if you want to find out more Contact us

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Any questions?

If you’d like to get in touch please call or email us – or fill in the form below.

UK Tel: +44 (0)1494 867106
UK & US enquiries:

UK Office
First Floor, Fairway House, Rear of 64-68 High Street, Great Missenden, HP16 0AN, UK



First Friday Ltd. is registered in England and Wales with Companies House.
Company Registration No.04293694

Registered office: Lower Hollises, Rignall Road, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16 9AJ, UK

Any questions about this course?

If you would like to get in touch, please call or email us
or alternatively, send us a message below

+44 (0)1494 867106

First Floor, Fairway House, Rear of 64-68 High Street, Great Missenden, HP16 0AN, UK

Stay up to date

Sign up now to receive the latest academy news, views and special offers