Training: Communication Skills for Managers
Workshops provide one-on-one, hands-on practice.
"This was an exceptionally well-done workshop on a topic that I have heard and spoken about myself countless times in the past. Mr. Kirk's style was informative, humorous and easy-going. I highly recommend this kind of training to other employees. Nice job!"
"Great presentation and presenter. Was looking for a long boring day. However, it ended up being fun!"
"I would recommend it to anyone!"
"An excellent, engaging presenter. Your obvious preparation made our day very valuable!"
Communication Skills for Managers
Q: What's the first thing you learn in Employee Communication 101?
A: Managers and supervisors are the most effective and most credible source of information for employees.
Q: So, what's are the mainstays of every employee communication program?
A: Newsletters, E-mail and the company intranet.
What's missing in this equation? How about the idea that most managers aren't naturally good at communication! These skills can be acquired through coaching and training.
Yet, for the serious employee communication professional, simply finding an affordable, effective training program for managers has been next to impossible. (That is, of course, until you found this Web site!)
As a companion to Managing Change: How to Plan and Implement an Effective Employee Communication Program. A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers I have developed an effective, involving ― and fun! ― all-day workshop for managers, Communication Skills for Leaders.
The workshop uses effective coaching and training techniques that give participants an opportunity to interact with the information presented in ways that help drive it home.
Subjects are covered, through presentations, games, competitions and other exercises ― one involves mirrors, but not smoke.
Depending on your specific needs, the workshop can be modified to provide hands-on experience and coaching on specific needs your managers have ― for example, preparing them to handle employee communication during a re-engineering program or handling employee communication when your company is involved in a crisis.
History of the Workshop
I originally developed the Communication Skills for Leaders workshop in the early 1990’s for CoreStates Financial Corp during a corporate re-engineering program. Employee survey research I conducted at the time demonstrated the timeless fact that employees’ immediate supervisors are the most credible and trusted sources of information about the company and the roles they play in its success. Yet, as in many companies then and still now, little was or is done to provide the training and support supervisors require to be effective as communicators. Fewer link effective communication to evaluation or compensation of supervisors.
I searched for an existing training program to fill this gap. When I was unable to find one, CoreStates asked me to develop this program. Over the years, I have modified and improved it. In the most recent program I conducted, 100% of the participants reported that they achieved the purpose of the workshop and every component of the workshop scored 8.25 or higher on a scale of 10.
Purpose of the Workshop
The purpose of the workshop is “to provide information and hands-on experience with communication skills that are important in your role as a leader. The intended result of the workshop is to improve immediately your understanding of and comfort with using the skills covered in the workshop.” Within that context, using information, games, exercises, demonstrations, simulations and coaching, I drive home a number of points:
Communication is the single most important factor that affects company loyalty and job satisfaction;
Communication skills are critical to successful management and these skills can be learned and improved;
There are no “tricks” or “techniques” that are effective in and of themselves. In fact, most people come to the program with a list of pop-psychology tips and rules they’ve learned that I need to reveal and peel away;
The communication “techniques” that work best are those that “come from” the idea of building relationships of trust, respect and honesty.
Process of the Workshop
Because the success of the workshop depends on giving each participant multiple opportunities to participate in exercises and demonstrations and to receive individual coaching, I limit the number of participants in each program 25 people.
The workshop takes place in a conference room facility, from 9:00 a.m. to as late as 4:00 p.m. Typically, the sponsor provides continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Comfort and meal breaks are scheduled throughout the day. Set-up and equipment requirements are minimal and include a computer projector, flip charts and so forth. Most clients prefer to handle all logistical arrangements such as room set-up, scheduling participants, nametags, copying handouts and so forth to take advantage of lower internal costs and existing staff.
Please note that developing a customized workshop generally requires a substantial budget and, thus, is most frequently requested by larger organizations. I do not have "off-the-shelf" or "generic" workshop programs.