MORE CONFERENCE SESSIONS AND TRAININGS

CASTING: HIRING THE RIGHT TALENT

Many a Hollywood director will tell you a project's success depends on appropriate casting. Using this advice, we'll see how most of us were raised to think we should hire the "most qualified" person when really we should hire the "most suitable." It's all about the Big O -- organizational goals and who can best help us attain them! Full of individualized activities and interviewing simulations, you'll learn everything you need to plan, conduct, and utilize the perfect interview!

MOVING THROUGH CHANGE

When we ask people to change, we are literally asking them to uproot themselves from one country — the Land of the Familiar — and settle in the Country of the Unknown.  Yet, change is normal business.  Based on the steps of a physical move, you’ll learn the five ways in which people respond to change and a seven-step process to implement any kind of change — preparing for, implementing, and following up in a way that will get everyone and their good will to the new location intact.  Learn how to predict the most susceptible parts of the change and how to prevent a mutiny!

WHAT WILL GET YOU SUED FAST

Management must understand its legal obligations towards staff and clients so they can meet them but not be intimidated by ignorance.  Brimming with real-life examples, this presentation opens the eyes of managers about performance reviews, legally correct interviewing, and discrimination and harassment laws.  Clears up many myths and misunderstandings so managers are empowered to have legally-defensible interactions with employees. 

MAKING THE PIECES FIT: Exercises in Teamwork and Leadership

This fun, activity-filled training helps a leader understand his or her role and a team get off on the right foot as they learn how to set themselves up for success. A fascinating and often eye-opening look at how to create an environment that will facilitate trust, collaboration, and yes, fun!

WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY TEAM? Beyond traditional teambuilding

This insightful training is designed for existing teams experiencing difficulty and impasse. Participants explore the 12 most common reasons teams falter and brainstorm on how to tailor strategies to correct the problems. Designed to be non-blaming and even enjoyable. A great thing to incorporate into your next retreat!

BUSINESS WRITING

In this highly interactive 4-hour course, participants put themselves into the shoes of the recipients of their business communications and learn how to create effective writing pieces. Effective business writing gets results and this means that the writer must anticipate the needs, concerns, and questions of the recipients and motivate them to take the desired action by appealing to "what's in it for me." Through fast-paced activities, participants analyze various letters, memos, and e-mails to determine proper format, essential for easy access within documents, the use of organization, bolding, and bullets to call attention, and the pitfalls of abbreviations, wordiness, and grammar and punctuation errors. Participants learn outlines for the most common categories of business writing and practice by analyzing their own business writing as case studies. They also learn how to "put their writing on a diet," minimizing unnecessary words and phrases and striking an interesting and effective balance of short and long sentences, passive and active sentences, and paragraphs of the appropriate length. Finally, participants learn how to "pepper" their writings with words and phrases specifically designed to appeal to the particular type of recipient, be it a supervisor, peer, or customer, and how to tailor writing even more specifically if you know the communication style and personality of the recipient. A hit with all groups!

BATTLING THE BEASTIES

Some of us behave like monsters most of the time and even the best of us can slip into beastly behavior occasionally. When that happens, traditional conflict resolution strategies that emphasize finding common ground and a win-win solution just don't work. In this fun and often funny session, you'll learn how to deal with true "beasties" like the bullying abominable snowman, the sneaky basilisk who intimidates with innuendo and sarcasm, the suddenly-violent tasmanian devil, the white witch, who smiles to your face but never follows through on her promises, and several more. You'll learn how to calm yourself through visual and physical strategies and focus your thoughts. Never feel unprepared for a righteous battle again!

ORGANIZING 4 EASE

Most people work much harder and are far more stressed and frustrated than they have to be simply because they are not organized.  Learn quick ways to organize your workspace, your access to information, and your time so that work is easy – and enjoyable!   

DELEGATION: It’s Good for Everyone

Many people are told to delegate, but rarely are they taught how to do it.  The result is that delegating goes badly, they get blamed, and then they never want to do it again!  Learn how to make delegation work for you and others so that everyone feels empowered rather than “dumped on.”  

PROFESSIONALISM: the heart of business etiquette

In today’s workplace, the consequences of being insensitive to others’ perceptions of our behavior, attitude, dress, and speech can cause untold problems.  Decreased morale, miscommunication, lost productivity, poor customer service, and lost business are just some of the many tangible negative results.  Workers must take the initiative to create perceptions of respect, competency, and good will in those with whom they work. In this fast-paced, highly interactive, discussion-based course, participants learn that most people view professionalism as competence and good will and that it is their responsibility to create the perception in others that they possess those traits.  Through a variety of activities, participants learn how greetings, words, tone, body language, workplace tidiness, and even apparel and grooming sends messages, consciously or not, to other people, and the results of such sometimes unintentional messages.   Participants will take a self-assessment, which will help them understand how they might be being perceived or misperceived by others.  Common workplace situations, including telephone messages, e-mail, gossip, and blaming, are used as discussion points of what should and should not be done.

MEMORY ENHANCEMENT FOR THE REAL WORLD

In this highly participatory seven-hour course, people get help with their real-life memory needs rather than being trained to perform parlor tricks.   First, participants learn how the brain stores and retrieves memories so they will better understand how to create new linkages that will bring images and words back to their minds when desired.  Participants then learn and practice 10 different memory techniques including formulating acronymns and acrostics, creating linkages that result in images and stories, the Roman Room and Journey systems, and number/rhyme and number/shape pegging systems.   A lot of time is spent on how to remember people’s names based on associations with their names and striking facial identifications.  The Major System, which forms the basis of most memory feats people see on t.v., is explained but not practiced.

ETIQUETTE FOR BUSINESS

Being comfortable in social settings is a must for any professional. In this course, participants learn the dos and don’ts of business dining, including the proper placement of silverware and the various courses, the European and American styles of eating, proper seating at the table, and how to deliver (and be the recipient of) an appropriate toast and compliment.  The second part of the program is based on the premise that everything you say or do should inspire confidence in your competence and good will.  Participants learn  appropriate introductions, handshakes, e-mails including subject lines, copies, and abbreviations, responding to invitations and the differences between formal and informal invitations, and how to write a good thank-you note.  We also discuss the most obvious examples of poor business etiquette including casting blame.  Participants learn how to disagree with someone without being disagreeable.

GRAMMAR AND FORMAT E.R.

This course provides information and practice on troublesome and often confusing elements of grammar and format.  It is a wonderful course for those who want clear training and practice in written communication.  Using humorous examples and reinforcing practices, participants learn proper letter, memo, and e-mail formatting, how to structure communications for action, and how to write clearly and avoid wordiness and passive sentences.  Other topics covered include well vs. good, common spelling errors, capitalization, underlining, italics, infinitives, prepositions, periods, exclamation marks, quotation marks, commas, parentheses, slashes, dashes, colons, semi-colons, brackets, hyphens, and common misused or confused words.

MOTIVATING EMPLOYEES

Participants discuss the importance of motivation and why demographic changes in the workplace have made the old-school, military, hierarchical style generally unpopular.  Participants learn that most employees prefer a supervisor who is a coach or a developer of their talent.  Participants explore the meaning of being a “coach.”  Participants play a Family Feud- style game in which they identify the top seven things American workers want out of their jobs according to a recent survey.  Participants then learn and practice ways to provide employees with what they claim they want, particularly how to help employees have job satisfaction by identifying clearly and often how the employee’s job is impacting the organizational goals and the end user and by promoting the use of an employee’s skills and abilities in their job.

THE POWER OF GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customers have expectations of a certain level of service they expect based on cost and other factors.  Participants put themselves in the clients’ shoes as they work together to identify what customers expect and brainstorm on how to provide it.   Participants take a self-assessment filled with specific examples of good or bad customer service actions.  Participants will learn that the following indicate to customers that we care: active listening, tone of voice, the customer as the focus of conversation, anticipating question or concerns, and showing empathy.  Participants will learn the surest ways to escalate a conflict (and therefore things to avoid) and a four-step process (HEAT) about how to handle a hostile customer.  Participants will be introduced to the concept of being a solution-provider, namely how to consider: What or how can I do or say something to make things better?  Participants would be led through a discussion in which we would consider common, recurring customer challenges such as how to take control of a conversation so you can get the maximum amount of information in a short period of time, how to end a discussion diplomatically, how to deal with conflict of interest issues, and how to give customers news they don’t want in a way that will make them more amenable.

FLORIDA PUBLIC RECORDS

This three-hour course is designed as a basic introduction to the two highly detailed areas of Public Records and Government in the Sunshine in Florida. The course is highly interactive with constant dividing into groups where participants will engage in actual case studies and quiz show type games based on actual Florida cases. Topics include what agencies are subject to the two laws, what constitutes a public record and a meeting, including computer records and e-mails, statutory exemptions, responding to requests, remedies, what constitutes reasonable notice, and retention and disposal of records. A final game-show format activity will include a smattering of other government ethics issues including restrictions by the Ethics Commission based on revolving door, financial disclosure requirements, prohibition of disclosure of information, anti-nepotism, conflict of interest, prohibition of solicitation, gifts prohibitions and honoraria.

EARLY LEARNING:

BUSINESS PRACTICES AND PROFESSIONALISM FOR CHILD CARE CENTER DIRECTORS

This 36-hour training, structured around the popular book, The Visionary Director, is designed to elevate the professionalism and business practices of child care center directors. This course has been approved for continuing education units and a pilot program of it has been extremely successful in Polk County, Florida. Please call for more details about how to bring this program or any portion of it to your community.