Effective Training Associates

Business Skills

From negotiating to strategic thinking, our business skills courses help your team become more effective leaders.

Explore Our Business Skills Courses

Achieving Meeting Excellence

OVERVIEW:
When meeting participants collaborate, innovate, problem-solve and make sound decisions, your organization flourishes. By employing these proven strategies in every meeting, you will cut your meeting time dramatically and increase the likelihood of getting the right people making better decisions in a shorter time. Achieving Meeting Excellence will dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of your entire organization and offers practical solutions to the following frustrations:

  • A meeting agenda is loose with no clear roles or responsibilities defined
  • Participants wonder, “Why am I wasting my time here? I have real work to do”
  • Attendees are sneaking a look at their messages rather than staying focused
  • There has to be a “meeting after the meeting” to clarify what happened
KEY TOPICS:
  • Determine when a meeting is the best option to achieve a goal
  • Determine who really needs to attend and what role they will play
  • Prepare an agenda that will accomplish the meeting goal
  • Achieve the highest level of participant interaction and collaboration
  • Deal with the most common personality challenges
  • Develop a reputation for highly effective meetings
  • Employ all these techniques and strategies in meetings

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Be a Trusted Advisor for Customer-Facing Professionals

OVERVIEW

Be a Trusted Advisor focuses on the mindset and skillset required to build successful long-term internal and external relationships. Customer- facing professionals have many opportunities to build or erode the customer’s trust, confidence, and utilization of products and – ultimately – loyalty.

In this highly-interactive workshop, participants learn and practice models to handle angry customers and to diffuse difficult situations for which developing their skills will make the biggest difference for ensuring customer satisfaction.

 KEY TOPICS

  • Why a customer centric mindset is critical to staying competitive
  • Challenges you face with internal/external customers
  • Three key skills: earning trust, building relationships, and being accountable
  • Benefits of recognizing the four different customer communication styes
  • Self-Assessment: Identify your working style, strengths, and drawbacks
  • Ways to acknowledge and address different perspectives
  • Balance inquiry and advocacy
  • Ask open and close-ended questions to confirm mutual understanding
  • Yes, if….” responses to tough situations
  • Articulate your viewpoint, rationale and suggestions to resolve issue
  • Learn A-DANCE Model to enhance the quality of customer service
  • Handle emotional and demanding customers
  • Apply roleplays of the learned trusted advisor skillset and best practices

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Key Topics

Definitions and Key Concepts

  • Brainstorming Definition or Origin
  • Brainstorming Rules
  • Lateral Thinking vs Programmed Thinking
  • Creativity and the Subconscious Mind

Defining the Problem

  • Problem Definition Statement
  • Describing the Current State
  • Defining Desired End State

Brainstorming Techniques for Root Cause

  • Cause Mapping
  • Reverse Cause Mapping
  • Ishikawa Diagrams

Brainstorming Techniques for Finding Solutions

  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Affinity Diagrams
  • Mind Mapping
  • Wouldn’t it be great if . . .

Selecting the Best Brainstormed Solution

  • Negative Selection Reduction
  • Five Finger Method
  • Decision Trees
  • Decision Matrix

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Building Trust Through Collaboration and Influence

OVERVIEW
Organizations that understand the benefits of good communication prioritize and constantly strive to achieve better working relationships by establishing trust, gain alignment, breaking down silos, gaining respect, and mutual value. They create productive work environments that encourage higher levels of performance and as a result, they get things done effectively with others. This course provides innovative practices for building trust by understanding our different perspectives and experiences. Participants then discuss the role of influencing and learn skills to effectively collaborate within our teams and across functions.

KEY TOPICS

Building Trust
Why is trust so important to collaborate?
How do we build relationships with others?
How do you know when you’ve established trust in relationships?
How does trust/lack of impact your ability to influence?

  • Learn Strategies for Building Trust
  • Learn Strategies for Repairing Trust
  • Learn Strategies for Re-Building Trust
  • How can we build trust with groups?

Seek Different Perspectives
Perception and Reality
Tips to Deal with Perspectives

The Role of Influencing and Convincing
Barriers to Effective Influence (Internal and External)

  • What is influencing and what skills do we need to influence effectively?
  • Why Influencing Skills are Critical to Cross-Functional Collaboration

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Cross-Functional Collaboration and Influence

OVERVIEW:
Cross-Functional Collaboration and Influence provides skills for innovative practices for breaking down silos and creating alignment and trust. Organizations that understand the benefits of good communication prioritize and constantly strive to achieve better working relationships through establishing trust, credibility, and mutual value. This course is applicable for people at every level of the organization and business functions.

KEY TOPICS:
  • Building the foundation of trust with others
  • Strategies for repairing and building trust
  • The role of influencing and convincing
  • Barriers to effective influence: external and internal
  • Determine alignment or lack of alignment between teams/individuals
  • Silos and how to break them down
  • Communicate effectively
  • Asking thought-provoking questions
  • Active listening characteristics
  • Seek different perspectives
  • Understand different working styles
  • Putting it all together: teamwork and collaboration

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Customer Centric Mindset

OVERVIEW:
Customer Centric Mindset is an interactive training that focuses on the mindset and skillset required to build long-term internal and external relationships. This training hones the skills of being trustworthy, proactive and accountable for every step of the internal and external customer journey.

KEY TOPICS:
  • Activity: Your customer-centricity experience
  • Business benefits of Customer Centricity
  • Customer focused terminology
  • Intentionality of Customer Centricity:  See, Own, Do
  • Activity:  Intentionality Scenarios
  • Personal benefits of being a Customer Centric professional
  • Customer Centric skills
  • Activity:  Application of Customer Centric skills to your customer situations

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Interviewing and Hiring the Best Talent

OVERVIEW:
Interviewing and Hiring the Best Talent in today’s economy can have many challenges: shortage of technical talent, candidates from diverse cultures, well-prepared savvy candidates, those who may generalize or exaggerate experiences and interviewers who may not know the legal boundaries to which their company must adhere. In many companies, the interviewing process is random and unstructured. The goal of every interview is to make sure to hire the best person for the job and to create a positive candidate experience.

This workshop provides a best-practice interviewing structure and skills required to best assess candidates, create a great candidate experience and to make the best hiring decision, while staying within legal boundaries.

KEY TOPICS:

  • Build interview plans around specific job titles
  • Understand legal requirements during the hiring process
  • Sell the benefits of working for your company
  • Understand where unconscious bias may impact the hiring process and how to mitigate it
  • Avoid common interviewing mistakes
  • Remote Interviewing tips
  • Create a candidate-friendly environment
  • Follow a proven interviewing structure
  • Coordinate the interview team to minimize redundancies
  • Handle challenging interviewing situations
  • Conclude in a fair and legally defensible manner
  • Learn tips on how to mitigate unconscious bias during various stages of the interviewing process

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Making Virtual Meetings Matter

PRE-WORK SURVEY:
Participants complete a survey on meeting scenarios and challenges. The instructor then consolidates the data and targets the workshop to areas that best meet the needs of the participants.

KEY TOPICS:
  • Deciding when to meet and when not to meet
  • Getting the most out of technology
  • Maximizing effectiveness of video
  • Using body language and voice intonation in an online setting
  • Developing an effective agenda
  • Delivering clear, concise status updates
  • Keeping meetings on track
  • Keeping participants focused, engaged, and contributing
  • Troubleshooting common meeting challenges
  • Understanding the four decision types and achieving group consensus
  • Creating a follow-up communication, action and accountability plan

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Managing Time and Multiple Priorities

OVERVIEW:
Managing Time and Multiple Priorities is packed with time-saving ideas, teaches the most effective techniques to stay organized all day and manage time to increase productivity without working harder or longer. This program shows how to focus on high-payoff activities and priorities and eliminate time-wasting behaviors and procrastination.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Describe the challenges of managing priorities and time
  • Identify key strategies to better manage your time
  • List techniques for staying focused on top priorities
  • Identify ways to minimize interruptions
  • Identify three practices you use for staying focused on what is truly important
KEY TOPICS:
  • Explore common time management challenges
  • Learn key strategies for increasing productivity by staying focused on top priorities
  • Control interruptions and distractions
  • Prioritize key activities and workload
  • Organize for successful planning
  • Identify Your Values, Goals, and Time Tendencies
  • Time Personality Styles: How You Approach Time
  • Optimize Your Workspace
  • Plan According to Yield: Time Management Matrix
  • Utilize To-Do Lists
  • Best To-Do APPS of 2024
  • Maximize “Peak Zone” Productivity Time
  • Avoid Procrastination

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Preparing Business Focused Presentations

OVERVIEW:
Preparing Business Focused Presentations helps professionals to create an impactful business message in their presentation material by applying a repeatable process to ensure content is tailored to your intended audience.

People often make three critical mistakes. 1) They don’t adequately consider the target audience. 2) They include too much information for the allotted time frame. 3) They don’t set context well enough before jumping into details.

KEY TOPICS:
Listener Focused Analysis
  • Apply a DNA Model for determining Demographics, Needs, Attitudes of Listeners
  • Differentiate between data and information
  • Prioritize content for relevance and importance
Content Clarity and Succinctness
  • Make a succinct point and get to the crux of any message
  • Be action oriented and positive
  • Utilize a listener-oriented organizational structure
  • Optimize the number of key messages and supporting points
  • Develop a strong, attention-getting Open and Close
  • Articulate the benefits of taking any recommended action(s)
Strategic Memorability of Key Points
  • Identify the most critical points
  • Apply Memory Hooks strategically
  • Provide variety and surprise in the flow of information
  • Make dry information come alive
  • Find fresh ways to own the material
Effective Visual Support
  • Use best practices for PowerPoint and other visual support applications
  • Quickly rework and improve overly busy slides
  • Differentiate between leave-behind material versus projected real-time slides
  • Develop greater command of visual support technology

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Speaking with Confidence: Speak Up and Stand Out

LENGTH
3 hours all virtual or all in-person

OVERVIEW
This course is designed to empower the participants to negotiate their way by advocating and influencing throughout their team and organizations.

KEY TOPICS

Make Yourself Visible and Invaluable

  • Assess personal strengths (use personality profile to assist)
  • Discuss personal strengths in small groups
  • Create a personal branding statement/elevator pitch
  • Share these in small groups – strengthen them.

Expand Your Influence

  • Identify your circles of influence
  • Assess your network and actions to enhance it
  • Create personal influence strategies for positioning what you want
  • Identify techniques to self-advocate and negotiate your intentions
  • Identify how to say “no” to requests that impacts personal boundaries

Demonstrate Your Influence

  • Using the skills identified above, apply key negotiation skills to these situations
  • Use the “pop” approach for these role plays
    • For raises or projects
    • Career development and movement – use actual job postings in scenarios
    • Saying “no” to requests and people pleasing
    • Getting invited to participate in various activities, projects, events

Personal Action Plan

  • Identify three actions the participant will take to improve their skills

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Strategic Thinking

OVERVIEW:
Strategic Thinking is the mental process, applied by an individual or a team, which considers ways to enhance the value they bring to the organizations or internal/external customers they serve. The class teaches a number of different conceptual perspectives, but always with an eye toward how it can be used to enhance the mission and value of the organization and the careers of the professionals within it.

KEY TOPICS:
Understanding Yourself and Others
  • The Johari Window
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Level-Up Management
Expanding Your Leadership Thinking
  • Knowledge Gathered
  • Insights Gained
Key Thoughts and Terminology
  • Types of Innovation
Organizational Thinking
  • How do you make decisions?
  • Three Game Types: Planning and Positioning, Organizational Learning, Constructive Transformation
Strategic Thinking Process
  • Engagement
  • Cultivation
  • Inspiration
  • Validation
  • Approval
  • Implementation
Strategic Planning Process
  • Understanding company goals and objectives
  • Understanding unmovable constraints
  • Developing an implementation plan

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Stress Management

OVERVIEW:
Stress Management helps identify the causes of stress and how to manage the variables that are constant and within our control: our mindset, our time management, and relationships with others. Participants are left inspired, empowered and in action to create a plan and workplace reality that fosters teamwork and productivity.

Today’s work environment can be described as trying to put together a puzzle while others are continually moving and changing the puzzle pieces. While the pieces may rapidly change the deadlines and pressures remain constant. During these challenging times when people are dealing with a composite of personal, professional, and societal stress, it is more important than ever to understand, plan, and manage yourself for change.

KEY TOPICS:
  • Dealing with stress from long-term uncertainty
  • Reducing stress in the virtual workplace and with the global team
  • Stress affects – identifying the physical, mental, and emotional impact of stress on the individual
  • Resilience assessment and techniques for building resilience
  • Five keys to manage stress and how to interrupt the stress cycle
  • Micro practices for on-going stress management
  • Managing your Relationship to Time and Work Environment
  • Defining mindfulness and developing practices to support and calm presence

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Thriving on a Hybrid Team

OVERVIEW:
Thriving on a Hybrid Team gives you the best practices to connect and communicate with remote team members to enhance collaboration, engagement, and productivity. Hybrid teams are here to stay for the foreseeable future. The environment of a Hybrid team can be unsettling and difficult to navigate which requires a heightened sense of connection, focus and intention.

KEY TOPICS:
Setting the Conditions for a Highly Effective Hybrid/Remote Team
  • Understand that Engagement is Key to a Hybrid Environment
  • The Power of an Engaged Team
  • Creating a strong team engagement through shared values
Utilizing the 4 C’s of Highly Effective Hybrid Teams
  • Connection: How we build trust and Connect with one another in a Hybrid environment
  • Communication: How we Communicate to make sure ALL voices are heard
  • Collaboration: How we Collaborate to accomplish our objectives
  • Celebrate: How we Celebrate and recognize one another on a job well done
Remote and Hybrid Meetings
  • Setting up your remote/hybrid meetings for success
  • Creating clear goals, objectives and an agenda for every meeting
  • Setting Expectations of Participation (Ground Rules)
  • Leveraging the tools of the platform for maximum engagement (call them out at the beginning of your meeting)
  • Focus on inclusion and make sure all voices are heard and included to level the playing field
How to Handle Burnout and Exhaustion
  • Recognize when it’s happening/what are the SAD signs (Stress, Anxiety and Depression)
  • Discuss the stigma of asking for help
  • Exercise the power of Empathy
  • Take advantage of your company resources

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