Interview with Fi Haywood Co-Founder of Cafe Style Speed Training

Cafe Style Speed Training - Interview with Fi Haywood - People Development Network
Christina Lattimer
I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance. I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.
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Christina Lattimer
Christina Lattimer

Interview with Fi Haywood Co-Founder of Cafe Style Speed Training

Meeting Fi Haywood epitomises one of the reasons I make such efforts  across social media. I love connecting with like-minded people!   Fi and I connected on Linkedin some months ago. My first contact with Fi’s work was when I read a brilliant article by Fi where she insisted that using the word Mindset was inadequate. Instead she suggested using the term MINDSCOPE instead.In one simple word, Fi was able to succinctly use direct; to the point language to get hermeaning across. The concept of MINDSCOPE is exactly what our leaders in the new paradigm need. Fi is a master at using language to get her point across and to demonstrate to others how empowering and important the use of language is, especially for leaders. Not only does she demonstrate her skill, she also knows how to help others learn those skills.

When Fi invited me to one of her series of boot camps to see what it was all about, I didn’t hesitate.  I met Fi the evening before and she told me all about her games or activities, which she had begun to develop over the last year or so.
Here is what she had to say about Cafe Style.

How did Café Style Speed Training come into being?

“Like all things creative, you don’t just wake up one morning and, bang! The entire idea is packaged up in your head. I was working on a project called Engagement Games which was a different version of Shay McConnon’s “An Even Better Place to Work” leadership development tool. My clients and potential clients kept saying they needed quick, easy to play group activities and games that replace the need to take people out of the business for long periods of time.One day Shay and I were at an event in Manchester and I got it! ‘Speed Training’ I shouted to Shay; ‘That’s what is needed! ‘Speed Training’. The first programme was Café de Paris programme for customer services, not actually for leadership. It consisted of six categories and 33 activities which leaders or facilitators could play whenever and wherever in the workplace in downtime, in the Café, or put them together to make up a workshop.   As things developed, what became apparent was that it was not enough to be bite-size, that to create a paradigm shift meant it had to be highly accelerated, fun and be facilitated by anyone in order to be sustainable as a method.

We used the methods of advertising as the backdrop for what we now call AGL (Autoassimilation Group Learning), the official name for this style of group development; threw in smidgens of other critical things, and together developed a method that was experiential, accelerated, incredibly good fun, didn’t require props, space, too much time, money, resources or anything but a team / group, their minds, body and someone to direct the activity by following the instructions. The activities also needed to be designed literally on one page or card, and contain no jargon. They worked directly with the subconscious to transform thinking and behaviours, and could be facilitated by anyone, anytime and anywhere. Café Style Speed Training (the digital version) was born in July 2012.

How do the games work?

Some people prefer to call them activities and think games are not serious enough. I don’t care either way and believe that it is the learning outcome that is serious and important thing; and boy it is, as well as being immediate, at least for the most part.  We cut up big chunks of behaviour and skill into tiny elements and built the activity from the bottom up.   The method works in such a way that the activity distracts the conscious mind and the message is design to go in subconsciously, just like advertising. We have another couple of little Café Style secrets which cements the learning in place. The ‘facilitator’ just needs to follow the instructions and bring them alive.

How can the games help Leaders?

We discovered that so much of Café Style’s stuff was based on language and throughout our development have found quite by accident that such a large part of what appears to be a virus of workplace disengagement is caused by leaders using outmoded language that really was engineered for a different era and extremely damaging in new economy.Without meaning to, leaders are directing their people in completely the opposite direction
that they want them to go and keeping minds closed and stuck.    Café Style Speed Training has over 400 activities all carefully designed around transformational language, self-awareness and behaviour development, not only for developing the leader, but tools for allowing leaders to transform the minds, language, self-awareness and behaviour of their people.    Our design team is continually developing new activities and programmes to provide a fantastic, simple and accessible toolbox.

Who else can benefit from the games?

All staff can benefit from Café Style from the most junior to the most senior. The method is designed to transform the human mind and communications; We all have these things in common and we all need to move from the old economy to the new economy as painlessly as possible and begin looking forward to all of the potential opportunities”.

I arrived at the “Transformational Language for Leaders in the New Economy Boot Camp” in the afternoon. When I walked in the room, I immediately felt the rapport and energy.  After experiencing a couple of Fi’s games I realised she was completely onto a winner.  Somehow she managed to achieve a transformation of thinking in about a 15 minute segment. Attendees were enthused, tuned in, and most importantly the light bulbs were switching on at the speed of change!

To contact Fiona directly, email:

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