Emotional Intelligence Training – Trainers and Coaches Need It Too!

Emotional Intelligence Training and coaching is often reserved for managers and leaders. Why?

Largely because managers and leaders are responsible for, and expected to, enable and engage team members to perform at, or near, their best each and every day. As you may know, this can be quite a challenge, even when the Manager or leader is technically brilliant!

But one audience overlooked all too easily is Emotional Intelligence Training for in-house Trainers and Coaches. The very people who are charged and trusted with educating, equipping and enabling your employees to undertake their role effectively, and connect with your customers, internal and external, in a professional manner.


Have you ever participated in a training course, perhaps a management training course or team building course where the person at the front of the room, hoping for your attention and involvement, knew the process, systems or procedures inside-out, upside-down and back to front, but didn’t perhaps appear to enable your learning?

Instead, s/he was more ‘spouting information’ and getting through their course syllabus rather than stepping in to your world and beginning the learning journey from where you were, rather than expecting you to join them where they thought you were? How Frustrating is that? VERY!


An audience of teachers recently didn’t take too kindly to my comment that ‘Just because you are teaching, it doesn’t necessarily mean your students are learning‘. I doubt I’ll be invited back, but, my comment did strike a chord with the HR Manager at the school who told me that she had never thought about the quality of learning in this way before. After all, where do teachers, busy managers, under pressure HR and Training team members get the chance to plan ahead? Plan ahead to focus on ‘What does my audience need and value most?’ rather than ‘What do I think I should tell them?’ The latter approach lacks empathy, and people do tend to enjoy a healthy dose of empathy (bedside manner) when they’re not feeling comfortable, competent or confident about learning something new.


Emotional Intelligence Training can help you and your colleagues to learn some proven, easy to use ‘soft skills’ that can deliver ‘hard’ results, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a private, public or charitable organisation. These Emotional Intelligence skills and competencies are as relevant and effective in virtually any environment.

Some of the specific benefits of Emotional Intelligence Training for Trainers include:

  1. How to develop empathy to engage learners (including reluctant learners) in their self-development. Promoting more personal ownership of performance is rarely achieved by imposing – it’s achieved by collaborating.
  2. Developing emotional resilience and greater ability to bounce back from learning ‘failures’ more quickly and easily. Everybody will fail at some point and helping colleagues recover more quickly and get back on track is very powerful.
  3. Boosting collaboration in the learning environment through improved facilitation competence rather than the ‘Chalk and Talk‘ approach. Remember, just because you are presenting does not mean that your audience members are learning!
  4. Promoting the opportunity to ‘fail safely’ in a genuinely supportive learning environment can do wonders for self-confidence in a learner. This is rarely achieved if the learner believes that the Trainer or Coach has more focus on getting through their content, rather than supporting them.
  5. Think of it this way. You’re not well and you visit your local doctor’s surgery for an appointment. You have the choice of an appointment with one of two doctors. Both are technically proficient, suitably qualified and with lots of experience.Doctor 1’s focus is on ‘processing you‘. To obtain the relevant information and prescribe some form of treatment.

    Doctor 2’s focus is on ‘understanding you‘. To obtain the relevant information and prescribe some form of treatment having understood where you’re at and what your outcome is. The bedside manner is authentic and empathic. Their communication, collaborative.

Who would you choose to treat you? Now relate your decision to your in-house training, coaching and HR team. External partners too. The same principle applies. Are your employees really gaining the best possible benefit from your investment in their training, whether it be emotional intelligence training, management training, customer service training or technical training of some kind?

Management Development Training – Developing High Trust Relationships

Management Development Speaker Scott Watson shares a metaphor about how managers can develop team members who take more personal ownership for their performance and results.

Presenting to an audience of IT Directors, the audience explored how to deal with problems and issues in a more Emotionally Intelligent and collaborative manner to achieve solutions more quickly, cost effectively and efficiently.

5 Ways To Boost Your Performance As A Manager

Would you like to learn 5 quick and easy tips that can boost your effectiveness as a Manager?

Here are 5 top tips on how you can boost your personal effectiveness as a manager without attending a management training course. When you consistently apply these tips for ten consecutive days, you’ll soon begin to notice very positive changes and improvements.


time management trainingToo many managers are so focused on the process of getting the job done that they often overlook, or completely forget, about the need to support their people in delivering the outputs required in a structured, (and hopefully) stress free manner. I do hope that this isn’t you?

Finding and taking time to effectively brief your team members on what you expect from them, why you expect it, how you will support them to achieve their targets and goals, and being genuinely supportive, will boost clarity, develop shared responsibility for the delivery of outputs and achievement of goals, and, develop high trust collaborative relationships along the way too.

If you’re thinking that doing this is a little ‘touchy feely’ and not worth investing a little time and focus in, put yourself in your team members shoes. Would you prefer a Manager who tells you what to do, and then doesn’t offer support, or would you prefer a Manager who is more like the example above?

How you support your team (or not) will define whether your team members work with you or against you. It’s quite an easy choice when you think about it, isn’t it?


Many managers wrongly believe that if they haven’t got multiple projects, with conflicting deadlines and a hundred or more emails to deal with, something is wrong. Thinking time, reflection time, planning time, can be viewed as a little strange, even uncomfortable.

In reality, there are just a few things that you need to do that really matter and add value to your organisation. They are preparing, planning, delegating, collaborating and focusing on achieving specific, value adding outputs. I recommend Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people programme to you for more on this subject.

Consider this. How many meetings do you attend through habit or duty, rather than because you add value? Too many I expect. How many times each day is your attention diverted from what you are doing, because your email ‘pings‘ or you simply check it anyway because you’re either bored, or not wanting to feel vulnerable by potentially missing out on something ‘important‘ landing in your inbox?

Switch your email alert to silent and remove any on screen notification too. They are worthless, wasteful distractions that top performing managers learn to ignore and place little value on. Politely decline to attend those meetings where you don’t need to be, but to which you currently go anyway.

Invest a little more in quiet time at, or away from your desk so that you can develop real clarity on what is really important (and why), and what activities are deserving and in positive need of your attention each and every day.

Top performing managers proactively manage their emotional and mental focus and time rather than having time manage them. Will you do it too and begin moving towards the top 1% of managers in your organisation?


emotional intelligence coursesBeing technically competent is a very positive start in your management career. At the very least, if you’re not yet technically competent as a manager, you should consider having a structured personal development plan in place to become competent and confident in your role. This includes the people aspects of management as well as processes and systems.

In the rush to deliver tough targets, many managers unwittingly stop asking their team members how they can support them. The top 1% of managers do exactly the opposite. They continually ask team members ‘What are two things I can do to help you do an even better job?’ and ‘If there were two ways I could support you more effectively, what would they be?’

Simple questions right? But very powerful questions which boost communication, collaboration and trust between you the Manager, and your team members.

If you want to develop and maintain an emotionally engaged, committed and highly motivated team, you need to go first. You need to consistently demonstrate the behaviours, attitudes and standards you want your team members to demonstrate, collectively and individually. It’s not as hard a task as it might sound. In fact, with a little practice, it becomes less awkward and uncomfortable, and develops in to a low maintenance habit with a very positive up-side. Try it for ten days and notice the difference.


You don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to know everything either. Did you know this?

Some managers refuse to delegate tasks to team members because they believe that sharing of information is a loss of power and status. Some managers delegate, but without structure, clarity or agreed support for their colleague, and it can feel more like ‘abdication‘ rather than delegation. Either of these two positions is potentially damaging to your organisation. And they are most definitely potentially damaging to you, your reputation and your personal credibility.

Highly effective managers delegate effectively, viewing the allocation of tasks and projects to colleagues as a value-adding activity. Indeed, when done correctly, delegation can serve to be a powerful trust and team building activity. It develops and spreads skills within and across your team and, allows you, the manager, to focus on doing those few things that really matter while your colleagues feel genuinely supported in developing their skills, expertise and knowledge in specific areas.

Yes, you will be a supportive coach during the delegation process, and you will also share responsibility for the successful delivery of the required output, but you won’t be doing tasks and projects that, properly planned, others can undertake.


It’s all too easy to catch people doing things wrong and then reprimand them for their errors. After all, the human brain doesn’t enjoy having to deal with people and situations that cause it a headache!

Highly effective managers, as well as addressing inferior, poor or unacceptable performance and/or behaviour, are also adept at catching team members doing things right. They are constantly on the lookout for exemplary performance, that little extra effort, and that fantastically positive attitude that continues to shine through even when potential solutions to a seemingly insurmountable problem are being explored.

Such managers express genuine gratitude to team members who do that little extra, stay late to complete a task or resolve an issue, even though they didn’t have to and weren’t expected to. Do you? If you do, do you do it enough? Do you do it at the right time, for the right reasons, and do you do it authentically?

I am not suggesting you scour your office to provide shallow praise to your colleagues. I am though inviting you to notice the good things that your people do, and this way not only will they appreciate your attention and thanks, you’ll also develop a more loyal team who go the extra mile through personal choice, rather than obligation.

Our extensive research has identified that the top 1% of managers continuously practice the activities you have just read, and their practice pays significant dividends in terms of improved motivation, performance, quality and productivity. Why not give them a go for just ten consecutive days and see how things improve?

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Communication Skills For Managers

Why To Stop Saying What You Don’t Want

David, a 43 year old, passionate Customer Service Manager led 8 Team Leaders and 94 advisors.

Hitting The Targets But Not Performing Well

And he led them really well. Operational targets were always met and occasionally exceeded, but something wasn’t quite right with his group of Team Leaders. David’s manager, Lisa, couldn’t figure out what it was, but she had a feeling that the Team Leaders weren’t happy, or willing to tell her what their problem was. The number of short-term sickness days within the group of Team Leaders was unusually high when compared to other departments within the organisation.

The Exploration

We were invited to facilitate a 1-2-1 management coaching session with David, and with his genuine approval. The goal was to identify potential sources using the *LAB Profile Questionnaire, and in just 2 hours.

David’s transparency was commendable. Fast-talking, eager to share as much information as he could with us so that he could resolve the ‘problem’, within the thought provoking 2 hour coaching session, David told us everything. Well, in reality, he told us everything within the first 20 minutes; he just didn’t realise it.

Aha..Now I Understand

David hadn’t realised that when he communicated with his Team Leaders, and especially during a busy or stressful period, his communication style and vocabulary changed. And the change was a command and control management style partnered with many ‘What I don’t want is…’ and ‘What can’t be allowed to happen is…’. There were many more examples of how David unwittingly undermined his direct reports, he just did’t have a clue about the impact he was creating with them.

David’s Outcome

Following the coaching session, David invited each of his direct reports to be kind enough to let him know when he was using the language patterns we had identified. This gentle reminder approach to him being coached by the people he led was a fantastic way to encourage his Team Leaders to speak their truth to power, and actually make the experience worthwhile for David, and a little easier for them too.

How About You?

Are you aware of how often you use ‘away from‘ motivator language with your colleagues? If not, you may benefit from listening in to the 5 minute audio below.

We are not saying ‘STOP‘ using away from motivation patterns. Indeed, when balanced with towards motivation patterns they can be extremely valuable in delivering first-class quality outputs and genuinely engaging for colleagues and team members. The skill is – achieving the balance and understanding your impact on others.




It’s under Emotional Intelligence Skills

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Performance Management (Done Very Badly)

Kathy, an under pressure contact centre manager with extremely high standards for herself and expectations of her team to match, was growing increasingly frustrated with one member of her team, Julie.

Kathy believed Julie wasn’t committed to her job, not interested in achieving targets and was taking far too long to complete incoming customer calls. Kathy’s call duration was twice that of the ‘average’ team member.

performance management trainingHaving sought guidance from her Human Resources Manager on how to deal with and resolve her colleague’s performance issue, at 4pm one Friday afternoon, Kathy approached Julie as she signed off her phone for a coffee break and called Julie to an unscheduled one to one meeting. Julie, immediately concerned as to why this meeting had been sprung on her without prior notice or warning, sat nervously and listened to her manager assertively communicate the company’s performance management policy….from the staff manual. Indeed, Kathy presented Julie with her very own personal copy so she could review the contents of the document for herself over the weekend.

Data, Data (and more) Data

Next came the presentation of Julie’s performance statistics on a very colourful A3 size bar chart. Amongst the green and amber, can you guess which colour Kathy used to demonstrate the seriousness of the Julie’s performance issue to her? RED! BIG BOLD, DEEP RED! To strengthen her argument, Kathy took the opportunity to circle performance statistics on the charts which fell below minimum company expectations.

A full fifteen minutes in to this unscheduled, unplanned and perhaps even, unfair meeting, the communication was purely one way traffic. Kathy wasn’t communicating with Julie, she was talking at her. As Kathy quoted company policy, performance management procedures and openly shared her frustration and anger, Julie sat quietly, motionless, with a quiet, calm stare through barely blinking eyes. It appeared Julie had resigned herself to this kind of meeting taking place at some point, even though she had dreaded this moment occurring.

The Loaded Question…Fail!

Then, after taking a deep breath and exhaling deeply and loudly, Kathy asked the question. “What stops you from performing as you’re expected to and as the company pays you to?” A heavily loaded question to which Julie politely, yet assertively responded, “Kathy, when you recruited me you said I would complete a comprehensive induction course to ensure I understood the processes, systems and standards of the job. Have I completed this comprehensive induction course Kathy?” Fear instantly darted across Kathy’s face as the realisation that she had promised a lot, but delivered very little in terms of support for Julie.

Continuing without a response from Kathy, at least a vocal response, Julie, growing in confidence said “You told me I would have a mentor to help me solve problems and become more confident with dealing with customers. Has this mentor been appointed, because I have never met him or her?

The Excuse Survival Technique

Kathy, now being swallowed up in a deep reservoir of panic responded with an attack. “If I have overlooked anything or not supported you as YOU wanted…it’s because my schedule is so busy and that….” Julie, not willing to be diverted from her point interjected “And the one to one coaching sessions YOU PROMISED ME, and that I keep asking you for, where are they Kathy?”

The Storm Clouds Begin To Part

performance management trainingThe somewhat eventful, but rather unproductive ‘performance management’ meeting was concluded shortly after this final question from Julie as Kathy burst in to tears and shuttled off to the toilet to compose herself. The fact that Kathy was the enabler of poor performance had never crossed her mind. But now it had – it changed everything!

The following week, Kathy and Julie met once again, but this time it was a scheduled and well organised meeting. Over the weekend, Kathy had reflected on how she had contributed to Julie’s level of performance. She realised that she hadn’t been an ‘enabler’ of good performance; her preferred ways of thinking, communicating and managing had resulted in her becoming a ‘disabler’. Thankfully, Julie did begin to receive structured support, as did every other member of Kathy’s team.

Wouldn’t It Be Wonderful If…

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could share with you that Kathy went on to be a super fantastic manager? Well, she kind of did! She explored how to develop emotional intelligence competencies including self awareness and self management and authentic empathy.

online management training courseAlongside her technical competence, she regularly invited her team members to speak their truth to her. ‘Sugar coating’ bad news and withholding truth is a problem which continues to strangle the life out of organisations, but, Kathy realised how much valuable feedback she just wasn’t receiving simply because her team members thought she would either not listen, completely ignore, or simply reject their comments.

Performance during the next 90 days soared to new heights. Kathy was awarded a more senior management role (taking on a supposedly ‘disengaged group’), whilst Julie was offered a team leader role, but chose to decline the offer as it would take her away from what she loved doing – helping customers.

The Lessons?

  • Performance management is beneficial when done up the management ladder rather than solely downwards. Invite authentic feedback on how you are doing and what you could do even better, from people you trust to be candid with you.
  • When commitments of support are made to employees, but then not delivered, don’t be shocked if they don’t perform at or near their best for you. You are part of the problem; become part of the solution.
  • Appointing people to management roles purely or largely because they were good technicians in a non management role is as ridiculous and delusional as trying to win the National Lottery without buying a ticket. Commit to learning the ‘softer’ side of people management and you’ll soon notice a positive difference.

Does your organisation promote a performance management approach that engages, equips and enables employees at all levels to achieve such a positive outcome as Kathy and Julie did? Or do you prefer to simply send managers on a meaningless performance management training course which simply doesn’t address the key underlying issues?

*The details above are factual however, names of parties involved have been changed. Permission to publish this article was obtained from the parties involved and the employer.

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Korean Airlines – What Can You Learn From This?

Korean Air executive Ms Heather Cho reportedly delayed the departure of a flight she was on due to the fact that she didn’t like or approve of the way a cabin crew member served her peanuts.

Apparently, the company’s standard (for First Class passengers at least) was that nuts should be presented to the passenger on a plate, rather than simply in a bag. Being served a bag of nuts appears to have cause so much aggravation for Ms Cho that she ordered the pilot in charge to return the aircraft to the gate so that the offending and ‘incapable‘ junior cabin crew member could be removed.

Alongside Ms Cho’s behaviour, her claim that the pilot supported her decision and subsequent action do draw out some interesting learning points in terms of leadership and impact. Those key points being:-

  • Ms Cho’s behaviour may have been well intended in terms of communicating a company standard to an employee, but the manner in which she communicated her point was both divisive and destructive.
  • The apparently junior cabin crew member perhaps shouldn’t have been exposed to First Class, high ticket price passengers so soon in to their career as, alongside the many kind, generous and understanding First Class passengers, there is often one or two who find any opportunity to kick up a fuss, or find an easy target victim to remind staff who pays their wages.
  • Ms Cho now faces legal action due to her decision and behaviour breaching international air safety standards and legislation. Ouch!

Automatic Compliance Is To Be Expected

The pilot’s apparent support for Ms Cho’s decision to return to the departure gate is to be expected, isn’t it? The company owners daughter gives you (the professional in command of the aircraft and passenger safety) an instruction, and even though she holds no jurisdiction or seniority in terms of the aircraft itself, refusing to follow her order could be a very creative way of losing your job.

It’s All Feedback

The manner in which a boss, however senior or junior, provides feedback to employees below their position in a structure chart massively impacts whether your people will work with you, or against you. Ms Cho, and possibly many other leaders and managers don’t seriously consider the impact they have on employees. The facial expressions, gestures, words and voice tone you use, all have an impact on the people around you, whether positively or negatively. In this case, the impact was anything but positive!

Bad Decisions Cost Money

Causing an 11 minute delay to the aircraft, will no doubt cost Korean Air thousands of dollars in airport fines and fuel costs. The likelihood of these costs and other day to day waste through inefficient working and toxic leadership being covered by increased passenger fares? Very likely. Plus, with the threat of legal action pending, the decision made by this executive could cost the airline millions.

Toxic Behaviour Poisons The Workforce

This very real situation just goes to show that when an ‘Executive’ demonstrates toxic behaviour towards, and in front of employees, it creates an environment where news travels fast. And in this case it did…globally. It hasn’t, and probably won’t, become clear as to whether Ms Cho, who has now resigned from her executive post, was appointed because she had demonstrated technical competence, commercial awareness and true leadership qualities, or whether she was appointed to her executive role because daddy owns the airline!

How About You?

Are you aware of the impact you have on your team members, collectively and individually? Might there be one or two that you don’t invest time in supporting as they just don’t fit with your view of the world? If there are one or two, perhaps they are deserving of your attention and support? Virtually anybody can manage ‘good’ people, but the real investment is often required in the relationships that aren’t going too well.

Are you acutely aware of how you impact your team members? The words you use, your voice tone, your facial expressions and gestures? If you think you absolutely are….I invite you to ask a few trusted colleagues who will give you some candid feedback, to give you some candid feedback. Albeit unwittingly, as you spend 24 hours each day behind your face, you don’t get to see what others see. Such feedback can really help you grow as a Manager, and move you towards achieving the elusive top 1% bracket.

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Emotional Intelligence And You

Are you a manager who enjoys being around people, thrives on developing positive relationships with your peers, your boss, stakeholders and your team members? Or are you the kind of manager who would prefer to avoid the ‘touchy feely’ aspects of management, preferring to focus on analysing data, designing processes, reviewing systems and auditing quality?

Relax. Whichever is your preference, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. With many managers being promoted largely, or purely, on their technical expertise in a non people management role, to ensure a healthy and meaningful management career, it is worth exploring and investing in, the softer, deeply human aspects of people management, motivation, engagement and coaching. Why? Because if you want to enjoy what is commonly deemed ‘discretionary effort’ from your team members, you need to possess at least a reasonable level of Emotional Intelligence.


What Is Emotional Intelligence?

In a nutshell, Emotional Intelligence explores how we manage our own emotions, and how we help other people to manage theirs.’

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Poor Performance Is No Accident

Managing a poor performer is one of the most frustrating, draining and time consuming activity you as a manager will need to deal with.  If you have already had to deal with a poor performance issue, you’ll already know how challenging it can be, time wise and emotionally.

Poor performance can occur for many reasons; some of the most common reasons including:-

The individual is not capable or technically competent at a task, so cannot perform to the required standard.

The good news is, you can work with this, on the job coaching and peer to peer coaching is a fantastic way to help a team member improve their competence and reach the required standard, quickly and with low time investment.

The individual is not willing to perform to the required standard, however much you attempt to support, coaching and manage him or her will not help purely because s/he won’t accept it.

The bad news is, in this instance, your energy, focus, time and motivation are tested to the limit.  Other team members who perhaps deserve your attention, coaching and support may tend to not get it, purely because, alongside you having to deliver multiple projects to ridiculously tight deadlines, the ‘poor performer’ is getting the attention.

The Challenge

If a team members is flat out refusing to perform, rather than not being able to perform, how should you address the issue?  When is enough, really enough?  When should your HR Manager (if your organisation has one) get involved?  How do you minimise the potential for a tough talk becoming a stand-off, or full blown battle of personalities?  Here are a few thoughts from what we have repeatedly witnessed working in client organisations.

Firstly, explore whether the challenge is ‘can’t do’ or ‘won’t do’.  Understanding which of these applies is your first step to understanding whether structured coaching support is required and helpful, or whether the issue is more one of attitude.

For ‘can’t do’, discuss and agree what specific coaching on which specific task, skill or competence is required.  Step out of your own shoes as an under pressure manager, step in to your team member’s shoes and design your support to equip your colleague with tools they need, rather than just what you think they need.

For ‘won’t do’, follow Steven Covey’s recommendation by ‘Seeking first to understand, and then be understood’.  However emotive the ‘won’t do’ issue may be, however unacceptable the individual’s behaviour and attitude may be, manage your focus and ask ‘Just so I can understand your reason/s for not wanting to perform to the standard the organisation expects of you, please will you write them down and then share them with me?’  Why is this approach so effective?  Firstly, you may receive some feedback you normally wouldn’t have; this may include feedback about you, your personal impact, management style or communication approach which your team member doesn’t welcome or appreciate.  This is valuable feedback…if it isn’t given in an ‘attack’ mindset.

Secondly, when you ask your colleague to write down their reason/s for under performing, this creates emotional pressure to actually commit in ink, information it would be rather difficult for him or her to withdraw at any point in the future.  Remember, your role and intention is not to undermine or catch out your colleague, but to understand his or her reason/s for not performing as they trusted to do, and implement a practical and worthwhile improvement plan.

Know when to involve your HR team and line manager.  In most cases of ‘won’t do’, it is best to involve HR and line manager earlier rather than later in the process.  Even if involving them is just to help them understand an issue which requires and deserves resolving exists. Don’t for a moment believe that resolving the issue on your own is the best thing to do with the ‘I’m the manager…I’ll resolve it’ attitude.

Such commendable commitments have fallen foul of hr policy and legislation in the past – and you really don’t want to be on that list!  Instead, check your HR policy and procedures and be guided by them.  Doing the process correctly may take a little time, but don’t rush the process; instead, let the process take its course.

Ask your ‘won’t do’ and ‘can’t do’ colleagues, ‘If there were two things I could do to support you to improve your effectiveness, what would they be?’  This authentic, somewhat surprising question begins to focus their brain on solutions, collaboration and, transparent dialogue.  When you have asked the question, just be quiet, and listen.  Don’t feel the need or urge to cover any awkward silence from your colleague.  S/he may just be thinking and reflecting.  When answers and solutions do begin to appear, collaborate to agree a course of action, and share responsibility for turning around the current level of performance.

Yes, this is all easier said than done..But it can be done!  And you’ll be able to focus more on doing the few things that really matter, rather than the many things that don’t.

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