We facilitate people’s personal effectiveness in a variety of ways: primarily coaching and mentoring, but also teaching and training. This page describes a set of courses whose rationale is that, simply, businesses are people. If a business is to be more successful, the people in the business will need to be able to work with each other better, work with their clients and suppliers better and work with everyone else better. Even a sole trader has an address book with dozens, if not hundreds, of active contacts. That means dozens or hundreds or relationships which can usefully be addressed and improved.
The programme has two underlying objectives:
1 To give participants insight into the subject. If they know what is going on for them, and understand why, they are empowered to change, to do something better.
2 To provide participants with approaches, techniques and tools which they can use to enhance their interpersonal effectiveness.
This programme is made up of a number of interrelated modules. Clients are advised to book participants onto them in the following sequence though, of course, each module can be taken separately.
I: Effective communication
II: Being more assertive
III: Dealing with difficult people
IV: Influencing people.
Each module is 1 day (7 hours).
Much of this content is also available on the GradStart programme, co-developed by Jeremy Marchant.
Being able to communicate well is only partly about what we communicate. An essential component of effective communication is being aware of how the other person is, how they process information and what emotional states they might be in. This course, which can stand alone or serve as the foundation for other courses, addresses both aspects of communication. It simply teaches people to communicate with each other better.
What is communication?
What is going on when we communicate or are communicated with? Introduction to the unconscious mind and the idea of unconscious communication.
What are your communication issues?
Participants brainstorm communication issues they have and their business has. These will form pegs to hang the rest of the content on.
Non verbal communication
The majority of communication is not verbal. Types of non verbal communication, including body language, tone of voice, ‘hidden messages’ in text. Defining the value of body language and how to avoid pitfalls. Mirroring and leading.
Techniques for effective communication
Use of the right words is key to effective communication: use of open questions, positive language. How to listen. Context of a communication: personal space, posture, eye contact. Being assertive.
People process information in four ways, each person favouring one way over the others: thinking, feeling, knowing (intuition), sensing (kinaesthetic). How to vary the content of communication depending on what the other person is. What happens when you don’t know what the other person is, or your communication is with lots of people?
Principles of effective communication
There are many principles and precepts of effective communication, recognising that ‘the meaning of a message is what the recipient makes of it’.
Assertiveness is different from aggression—it’s about saying well what you want to have happen. This course recognises that most of the reasons why people are insufficiently assertive are not that they don’t know how to do it, but that they have put obstacles in their way in their past and these are now holding them back. The course also provides a range of proven techniques and behaviours designed to help the participant be assertive.
What is assertiveness?
Assertiveness is not aggression: we define the two. We look at passivity and where it becomes passive aggression.
How come you’re not assertive
For those who feel they are insufficiently assertive, how would they prefer to be? This section explores some of the reasons for a lack of assertiveness.
Behaviour cycle model
If we want to change our behaviour (eg, be more assertive), we need to recognise that all behaviour is driven by our feelings and emotions and by our thoughts and beliefs. Trying to change behaviour without addressing those underlying feelings and beliefs is unlikely to last in the long term.
Knowing what you want
There’s little point in being assertive if we don’t know what we want. The ‘well formed outcomes’ model (NLP) provides a good framework for identifying where outcomes are impractical and, conversely for defining good, achievable, ‘well-formed’ outcomes.
Types of beliefs
It is useful to inspect the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world if we are to change behaviour driven by those beliefs. We cover limiting and negative beliefs as well as resistance.
Behaviours and techniques
We present a variety of these, tailored to meet the needs of the participants, encouraging participants to work out, before they leave the course, how they are going to apply them in their working lives. We go into useful language.
Everyone has a difficult person they have to deal with. This course analyses why people can be difficult, how not to get stressed by them and how to win them around.
Attendance on this module benefits from some familiarity with effective communication and assertiveness skills.
We see each person we have any sort of relationship with—including therefore business relationships—as being one or other of five types. We explore these, pointing out which types generate people we are likely to have difficulty with.
Projection is, in itself, just a psychological mechanism. However it is necessary to understand it in order to understand judgement.
Judgement is the single most important factor in our relationships with difficult people. This part of the course shows how projection is used to judge people and why this is an obstacle to positive relationships.
Six types of difficult person
There are many ways in which we find people difficult. The course suggests six types of difficult person and provides tactics for dealing with each of them.
Dealing with difficult people: attitude
However, it is not enough to make behavioural changes and adopting a new attitude or approach is one way of getting at the deeper feelings and beliefs which underpin our behaviour. This part is divided into three:
a preparation—what to do and how to be before a predictable encounter with a difficult person
b ongoing—how to handle an encounter with a difficult person while it is going on
c afterwards—recovery from an encounter with a difficult person.
This module identifies the skills and techniques needed to influence people in a business context—whether managing of staff (eg, delegation and appraisal), team working, negotiation or any other context where influence is needed. We look at how these skills integrate into the wider communication process in a business, and we address what to do when things go wrong.
This module does assume familiarity with, and some ability in, effective communication, assertiveness and dealing with difficult people.
Purpose and outcomes
We look at the underlying purpose of any attempt to influence someone, and how this fits into the wider scheme of things. What is the most useful purpose to have? We look at the likely outcomes that are desired—as well as possible unintended ones. We consider ‘well-formed outcomes’.
Attitude and approach
What is an appropriate approach for someone seeking to influence another? Where does responsibility lie for the consequences?
We address what rapport is (is it even a meaningful concept?); how it is developed through verbal language, body language and tone of voice; and how it can be undermined. How do we respond to other people’s attempts to build rapport with us?
Communicating the message
If you want to influence someone, what do you say and do once you have developed rapport? We cover face to face work with individuals and with groups; and how and why this is different. We look at effective techniques when restricted to video and the written word.
How do you know when the other person has been influenced? We cover their immediate response during the communication process and how to establish that they have acted on the influence.
Recovering the situation
If the other person is giving signals that they are not receptive, how do you recover the situation? Do you need to change approach and, if so, how? We cover flexibility of thought, attitude and action and consider useful approaches and tactics.
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by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . last updated 26 january 2015 . image: Free images