Your customized workshop can focus on, for example:
We have conducted workshops for:
Customer service representatives deal with members of the public who are dissatisfied with the organization’s services or products. We have designed workshops to assist customer service representatives to respond effectively to customers in person or on the phone, many of whom are upset, angry or even abusive. In the workshops, participants learn how to manage strong emotional responses and how to resolve underlying issues. They are given tips and techniques to use when they have to engage difficult people. Participants leave the workshop with the ability to manage their jobs with greater skill, increased confidence and less stress.
We have conducted numerous courses for sales representatives in various industries. Participants learn how to sell products and services without appearing to be selling. Effective salespeople listen more than they speak to understand their clients’ needs, and then find ways to match their product or service with those needs. Sales is all about persuading others, often through building relationships, and we help participants understand the dynamics of these relationships, develop a sales negotiation approach that increases dialogue, responds to time and competitive pressures, and produces results.
The process of negotiating a collective agreement can be long and arduous and can lead to prolonged feelings of mistrust between the union and management. Even if an agreement is reached, a difficult bargaining process can damage workplace relationships that are crucial to maintaining a productive and pleasant work environment. We have provided customized training for a number of groups to help them prepare for collective bargaining. In several cases, union members and management representatives have attended the training together in order to develop a shared framework for how to negotiate more effectively. In addition to providing training, we have worked with groups to help them prepare for a specific round of bargaining. This preparation has involved discussing and clarifying some of the issues and talking about possible creative solutions to difficult problems. Some of our clients decide to change the traditional pattern of starting collective bargaining with a competitive exchange of opening proposals, instead beginning with a joint discussion of union and management interests before the formulation of specific proposals by either side. Some of our clients have us sit in and facilitate the first day or two of the negotiation (after the training) to help people avoid falling back to old habits and negotiations.
For a more thorough explanation of what we can do for your organization please read our detailed communications document on Union/Management services.
Running effective meetings
Many people responsible for leading meetings have no training in how to do so effectively. A poorly run meeting wastes time and energy. Participants leave the meeting feeling frustrated and ideas and opportunities are lost. Knowing how to run a meeting effectively requires more than the ability to prepare an agenda, and organizations have retained us to provide workshops on how to run effective meetings. These interactive workshops have helped participants to refine their abilities to establish an effective process to get the most out of meetings. Specifically, participants learn how to: encourage reluctant speakers to share their ideas; manage people who may hijack a meeting; promote creative problem-solving; bring issues to closure; and ensure follow-up after the meeting.
Enhancing workplace performance
Managers and team leaders have the challenging task of trying to get the best out of a diverse group of individuals. We have developed customized workshops designed to help managers enhance the performance of individuals and their team. These workshops have helped managers to learn how to recognize the strengths of specific individuals; motivate different types of people; use the individual strengths to enhance group productivity; promote respect and understanding between workplace members; and discuss difficult issues, manage difficult people and confront unacceptable behaviour.
Human Rights issues
We have conducted mediation training for Human Rights Commissions to teach them how to mediate the issues that they confront. Human Rights disputes have unique challenges: there are power imbalances that can exist; there are emotional and distraught people; and there is a public interest that needs to be protected. We train mediators to recognize and deal with some of the issues that are unique to Human Rights disputes.
Call Centre challenges
Call centre staff deal with clients who often get upset and sometimes abusive. Resolving these disputes over the phone, however, is never easy. We have run workshops for call centre telemarketers to help them develop the skills they need to deal with upset and angry clients. We use exercises in the training that help them calm customers and clients.
We have designed many dispute resolution and negotiation courses for large national and multi-national companies. For example, an international airline was developing an internal company-wide dispute resolution system and wanted to add to and enhance the skills of its public relations professionals. The participants took an on-line negotiation course and a week-long dispute resolution workshop. After the courses, they participated in an ongoing skills-boosting program designed to maintain and improve the skills they had developed in the workshops.
Growing mid-sized companies have unique challenges. When we conduct courses for mid and smaller-sized companies, we work closely with our client representative to learn about the specific challenges facing the company. We can then design a customized workshop whether focused on negotiations, internal conflict resolution or dealing with difficult people.
People in government have unique challenges. They have to apply and enforce prescribed rules and they have to serve the public. Many have therefore turned to ADR, particularly formalized negotiation and mediation training, to help them apply rules and deal with the public politely, consistently, and effectively. We have developed programs to provide government staff with the skills they need to negotiate, both within government and with the public, and to resolve disputes fairly and creatively.
Many law firms have retained us to conduct training that is customized to meet the law firm’s needs. Lawyers just commencing practice have approached us for mentoring to assist them to improve negotiation skills in today’s difficult practice environment. We have also provided workshops for partners, sometimes over weekends, to help them enhance their negotiation skills. Our training ensures that members of the firm provide consistent, skilled negotiation services. We also conduct workshops for lawyers on how to be effective advocates in mediation and settlement negotiations by providing tips, from the perspective of mediators, on what they can do to get better deals for their clients. Some firms see the training as an opportunity to forge more effective working relationships among firm members, many of whom also carry management responsibilities that require a different approach to dealing with people than the typical legal relationship.
Issues relating to Healthcare
The health care field is rife with conflict: conflicting goals, people vying for limited resources, institutional histories and constraints on change, and huge political implications of difficult decisions. We have delivered negotiation and conflict management training to organizations specifically geared to health care professionals. Organizations such as pharmaceutical companies, medical associations, colleges of various health disciplines, hospitals, government regulators and others have felt the need for better skills and hired us to conduct customized training. We helped them develop negotiation and conflict management skills that work in a highly regulated, interdependent and complex health care system.
Professional firms have retained us to help them build their negotiation and dispute resolution skills. Professionals need to manage relationships with clients and resolve internal relationships to present a united front. We have worked with firms seeking to build better working relationships with clients over such issues as fees, invoice collecting, setting expectations, managing ongoing client work and business development skills among future firm leadership candidates. We have also worked with firms looking to improve mentoring and internal communication and culture management.
Human resources departments and associations
We have taught customized workshops for human resources professionals within companies and for Human Resources Associations. In addition, we have had hundreds of human resource professionals attend our public ADR courses. We provide HR managers with the skills to enhance the performance of individuals, teams or departments.