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Training and Development

The importance of interpersonal communication

The importance of interpersonal communication

By on Apr 27, 2017 in Blog, Communication, HR Consulting, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Interpersonal skills are also known as “people skills”. By forming interpersonal relationships with customers and employees, you are able to acknowledge the feelings of others and convey respect. You can also focus on the positive outcomes of varied viewpoints, while nurturing professional growth. Your ability to realize optimum performance from employees is greatly enhanced by “just being nice”. Communicating appropriately is an essential factor. Seeing yourself as others see you is the first step to improving your interpersonal communication skills. Here are some other ways to improve your interpersonal communication skills. Be more approachable – implement an open door policy; determine if you are perceived as unapproachable and work to resolve; become more involved in your employees’ daily functions. Build rapport – take an interest in your customers and employees; engage in periodic, casual conversations; discuss mutual non-business interests; share your personal interests. Strive to make others comfortable with you – refrain from being overly serious; control your intensity; smile frequently while speaking; use appropriate humor; monitor sarcasm. Develop your ability to make “small talk” – prepare opening statements about current events; discuss the weather; listen for “free” information while others speak; ask questions about the “free” information you heard. Treat others fairly – offer recognition to everyone as appropriate; monitor and avoid favoritism; remain neutral in workplace disputes; explain the rationale behind decisions you or the organization makes. Become more social – widen your group of acquaintances; speak up in group situations; network whenever possible. Be sure to request feedback from a trusted source to determine if you have any areas of opportunity. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful resources....

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Barriers that inhibit effective communication

Barriers that inhibit effective communication

By on Apr 25, 2017 in Blog, Communication, Listening, Non-verbal, Speaking, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Several challenging communication issues exist in today’s business environment. A clear understanding of these issues will enable you to overcome these challenges and communicate more effectively. The words you choose can mean the difference between retaining or losing an employee or a valued customer. You must be sensitive to the feelings and perceptions of others. As diversity in the workplace increases, you must avoid words that might stereotype, insult, or intimidate another person. Intercultural communication also presents a big challenge. It becomes challenging when communicating with people from another culture because the same words may have different meanings between cultures. There are three specific barriers associated with intercultural communication are tone differences, word connotation, and perceptions. Tone differences in formal and informal languages generate a message of indifference if used in an inappropriate setting. Word connotations create issues when the same word has a different meaning in another culture. Both speakers are challenged if they do not understand the meaning held by the other person in the conversation. Perceptions are held by people who speak different languages or come from varying backgrounds within the same language. Any given situation can be viewed differently, based on the language used or the cultural background. As a manager, it is your responsibility to be aware of any other possible barriers that inhibit communication between you and your employees. Do you need help developing your manager’s communication skills or other training and development needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Training: match the method to the need

Training: match the method to the need

By on Mar 9, 2017 in Blog, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

It is very important when deciding what type of training session will be prepared or the media that will be used.  Here we present a few simple ideas that can enhance the training experience and increase retention levels. Although structured training is customarily developed on the organization level, it is up to you to determine what specific training needs are present in your department. Once determined, you can decide which training method will be most effective. Depending on the type of training you may be responsible for conducting, you may wish to use one or more of these methods to liven up your presentation: Music – creates an atmosphere of fun Games – keeps attendees energized Brainstorming sessions – brings a wide variety of ideas to the table Role plays – provides opportunities to practice Analogies – illustrates the relevance of the material Activities – keeps attendees engaged Color in visuals – maintains attendee interest Table toys – entertains during breaks Prizes – rewards attendees for contributing or winning contests Aside from the physical components of a fun training session, the trainer must be fun as well! Be as animated as possible, integrate your own sense of humor, and above all, be yourself! Based on the training needs that exist for your employees, your organization may have individual and group training programs and materials available to fit your training needs. Samples of possible individual training materials include training videos on various topics, workbooks to support the training videos, reference materials to help develop specific skills, and role playing materials/activities. Examples for group training could include department or company-wide training meetings or special project classroom training. To provide cost-effective employee training, consider which method is most appropriate to current training needs. As a manager, you may tailor training to satisfy your exact needs. Do you have questions on other training and development topics? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Effective training methods

Effective training methods

By on Mar 7, 2017 in Blog, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

There are several methods that may be used to effectively train employees. These diverse methods include off-the-job training, on-the-job training, formal training, and informal training. Off-the-job training – usually conducted in the form of classroom training in a remote location. It may be a seminar, internet training, satellite-transmitted training, or group training with role playing and case studies. Off-site training is least disruptive to daily business, but is expensive and can cause short-staffing situations while employees are away from their locations. On-the-job training – may be conducted in the form of responsibility rotations, apprenticeships, special assignments, or mentoring. On-the-job training is “real world”, and may be disruptive to daily business; however, it is very cost-effective. Formal training – has a structured format and is usually planned in advance. Due to the inflexibility of the presentation, formal training is somewhat less popular, due to the related scheduling challenges. Informal training – unplanned, unstructured, and can be tailored to the attendees. Informal training frequently involved employees working with one another. Information and work-related issues are openly discussed. Informal training, including role playing and coaching, has the advantage of flexibility. It can be done whenever time permits and is very cost-effective. Make yourself aware of any training tools your organization may have available for their employees, such as online training modules, video-based training, or training booklets/manuals. These can be great tools to incorporate into the various training methods to ensure employees are receiving the training method they learn best from. Do you have questions on other training and development topics? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Adult learning styles

Adult learning styles

By on Mar 1, 2017 in Blog, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

The way in which adult learners process and remember new information can vary. Whether formal or informal, the primary learning styles should be considered. The four styles are: Observation – finds the learner performing tasks after they have observed the complete task being performed by another employee. Role modeling is an example of this style of learning. The manager or an experienced employee demonstrates the proper way to complete a task, explaining throughout the demonstration. Participation – involves the learner from the beginning; they actually perform the new tasks with the supervision. Role playing is an example of this style learning. The employee participates in a scenario appropriate for the task being learned. The learner attempts to demonstrate proper behavior as they go through the steps required to complete a task. Listening – when the learner listens to an explanation of how the new tasks is to be performed. In addition, listening frequently occurs when a learner overhears another employee complete a task. Relying heavily on their sense of hearing, they process the information and physically perform the task afterward. Reading – involves the learner and some sort of printed material. Instructions are read, and then the task is performed upon completion of the materials. Effective training programs frequently use all styles to ensure each attendee will be provided with their own individual learning advantage. When a program is based on only on learning style, some attendees may be at a disadvantage. Do you have questions on adult learning principles or other training and development topics? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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Understanding adult learning principles

Understanding adult learning principles

By on Feb 27, 2017 in Blog, Training and Development, Training and Development Consulting | 0 comments

Having knowledge of how adults learn will assist you in becoming a better trainer. Although you may have preconceived notions about specific learners, most adults bring similar perceptions to a training session. The following statements are relevant to the adult learning process: Adults bring considerable experience with them – they wish to speak, participate, and contribute; they dislike lectures; they desire to maintain self-esteem. Adults have a “here-and-now” viewpoint – they want to focus on current issues, not so much on material that may be useful in the future. Adults are accustomed to being active – they become restless if their time is being wasted; they prefer to be involved in activities. Adults are accustomed to being self-directing – they want the instructor to provide involvement, rather than be too directive. For training to be effective, the training must acknowledge and accommodate certain principles when presenting to adult learners. To ensure success: Involve your attendees in the learning process and allowing them to talk about themselves, as appropriate, to apply the learning content. Allow trainees to learn by doing. Have trainees apply and practice learned skills in the learning environment. Help trainees draw their own conclusions. Avoid telling trainees all of the answers. Do you have questions on adult learning principles or other training and development topics? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

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