Dan & Mudita blend information from multiple disciplines ranging from psychology and linguistics to contemporary philosophy. Communication is a complex art and science — that’s why we draw from many disciplines.
Experiential exercises strengthen your ability to scrutinize beliefs, values and feelings, helping you to make skillful choices in interactions.
Learning methods include:
- lively presentations using real examples
- self-analysis tools
- action plan development
- modeling by presenters
- exercises in dyads, triads and whole group configurations
- practice through role play
- individual coaching
- video feedback
Workshops can be customized to accommodate your organization’s needs, schedule and budget.
Target population: All employees
Group size: Flexible
Length of program: Flexible
Location: Via Zoom, our Oakland, CA offices, onsite at your company, or offsite at conference or retreat facility.
Let’s Talk Method: Essential Communication Skills Training
Saying what you mean and understanding others’ intentions are such basic communication skills in organizations, families and among friends that people often take them for granted — even when there is room for improvement. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a born communicator; effective communication can be learned.
In this training, participants learn how to:
- send clear, concise messages that invite cooperation
- improve listening skills even in challenging situations
- express thoughts, ideas and goals that are difficult to share and
still maintain good will
- understand another’s viewpoint without necessarily agreeing with it
- develop non-verbal skills that strengthen spoken messages
Participants leave this training with greater ability to identify communication ” hot-spots” and work them out constructively.
Let’s Talk Method: Working with Difficult Conversations
Every day, especially in business, people face potentially difficult conversations about issues like poor job performance, changes in job descriptions or responsibility and solidifying shaky alliances. This workshop helps people prepare for interactions where they feel anxious about the consequences.
Building on skills learned in the Essential Communication Skills module, we use role-play and intensive coaching to reinforce strengths and expand conversational options.
- Knowing one’s own assumptions and detecting another’s assumptions
- Shifting from combat-mode to solution-mode
- Taking in messages even when you disagree
- Keeping short and long term goals in mind during the conversation
- Understanding the possibility of influence and the improbability of control
- Avoiding blame and stereotypes
- Minimizing people’s disruptive emotions
- Using self-calming methods to stay focused and centered
Participants will leave this training with enhanced skills for navigating difficult conversations.
Prerequisite: Essential Communication Skills module
Let’s Talk Method: How to Give and Receive Criticism Skillfully
Valid criticism, when properly given and received, can provide valuable feedback on what is or isn’t working. Yet sometimes people get locked into believing that what they’re hearing comes from a malevolent motivation. Therefore, they shut down, unable to learn from what the other person is saying. For example, in performance appraisals, some employees can’t take in valuable feedback. Or a supervisor might become isolated from his or her team by providing unskillful feedback that’s difficult to use.
Part of the problem is: when criticism is given, it’s often too general, too late or not clear. The receiver has to guess its meaning. In this training, participants practice giving criticism in concrete, specific ways at the right time so that it can be received, understood and used more easily. They also learn ways to respond constructively when on the receiving end — even when the criticism may be inaccurate or invalid.
Topics covered include:
- identifying types of criticism
- assessing your style of dealing with criticism
- handling criticism assertively
- using specific guidelines for giving and receiving criticism
- understanding why criticism is difficult to handle
- learning to criticize the behavior rather than the person
Participants will leave this training with greater ability to give criticism that can be more easily understood and to receive criticism with more willingness to learn from it.
Prerequisite: Essential Communication Skills Module
Let’s Talk Method: Conflict Management Skills
Many people feel threatened by conflict. Differences and disagreements are inevitable but when handled skillfully, they can be constructive. Those who have a map for handling conflict often feel more confident when differences arise.
In this training, participants learn to:
- assess their own specific conflict style
- understand different conflict styles and their uses
- apply essential communication skills to conflict situations
- distinguish between interests and positions when negotiating
- find common goals when negotiating
- identify four goals present in any conflict
Participants will leave this training with greater confidence and skills for handling conflicts productively.
Prerequisite: Essential Communication Skills Module
Let’s Talk Method: How to Facilitate Meetings Effectively
Unproductive meetings waste money, time and morale. In this training, participants learn how to run their own meetings more effectively.
Key skills include:
- identifying types of meetings and their purposes
- setting agendas and tracking agenda items
- optimizing attendees’ participation when appropriate
- separating content and process issues
- eliminating energy-draining repetitiveness
- choosing appropriate processes (e.g., information-sharing, decision-making, problem-solving, etc.) for specific agenda items
- understanding the roles of facilitator, manager, group memory recorder,
and other participants in meetings
- choosing communication styles that build group cohesion
- following-up on agendas and maintaining accountability
Participants will leave this training knowing how to efficiently move a meeting along and keep it on track in ways that boost people’s enthusiasm, attentiveness and productivity.
Let’s Talk Method: Enhancing Presentations
Captivating speakers typically spend time developing and practicing their speaking skills. This training (with optional follow-up coaching) prepares participants to give their best possible presentations — from large, formal meetings, to small informal gatherings, to one-on-one conversations. The program can be customized for single individuals or small groups of up to 10 participants.
Using experiential exercises and video, participants:
- assess their current presentation styles
- plan and organize presentations
- create structured formal speeches
- know how to give impromptu speeches
- use visual aids to add clarity and interest
- practice presenting
- receive supportive and corrective feedback
- enrich delivery using eyes, voice, gestures and movement
- deal with anxiety
- involve audiences by knowing how to encourage and respond to questions
- feel more at ease giving presentations
Participants will recognize their strengths and build upon them so that they feel less awkward and present more dynamically.
Let’s Talk Method: Developing Critical Thinking
People get harried when they are under pressure to achieve too much, with too little support, in too little time — and the quality of their thinking suffers from it.
Critical thinkers are able to identify, scrutinize and change their assumptions when necessary. When previous assumptions are outdated, invalid, or not useful, thinking flexibly is an invaluable skill. Critical thinking, therefore, is a key element in improving organizational performance. Managers, human resource developers and trainers often attempt to draw from critical thinking skills for strategic planning, decision making, situational leadership, team building, and research and development activities.
This training will enable participants to:
- hone essential critical thinking skills
- identify and scrutinize key assumptions that help or hinder achieving goals
- discover how diverse perspectives influence goals, objectives and results
- imagine and explore alternative ideas when problem-solving
- learn strategies to facilitate thinking critically with others
Participants leave this training knowing how to back up ideas with evidence, spot inaccurate assumptions, and think from multiple points of view with greater discernment and clarity.