What is good communication?

Communication is the act of imparting information by verbal, non-verbal or written means, so it is understood by the receiver.  Successful communicators know that good listening is an ACTIVE process requiring substantial effort.  Communication is a two-way interaction that most people have little or no formal training on.

Studies show according to Donald W. Caudiel, Associate Professor, University North Alabama:

  • 75% of what we hear is incorrectly heard and the remaining 25% we forget 75% within a week.
  • Another study claims that the average listener has an immediate retention of only 50% and within 24 – 48 hours the retention drops to 25%

Leadership Communication Skills

Have you ever trained your management team on the art of influence? 
If not, why not? Influence is a survival skill for managers and leaders, yet it doesn’t come naturally to most. How can you expect anyone to manage people, complete projects, and meet budgets if they don’t know how to inspire others to follow them? Our alliance partner shows your key people how to master the Three Elements of Influential Communication to become persuasive leaders.

Unique Approach

Instead of focusing on abstract concepts and techniques, our alliance partner teaches people about themselves. He examines their individual communication styles to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Then he helps them understand exactly what they need to do to be more influential. The final ingredient that ties it all together: lots of guided practice.  Learning Objectives

Your team members will learn to:

  • Enhance the personal traits that make them naturally influential
  • Overcome the habits that are holding them back
  • Build authentic relationships with diverse audiences
  • Be persuasive, with or without authority
  • Write clear, concise messages that get people to take action
  • Speak more naturally and confidently
  • Build their personal brand

Total Customization

Our alliance partner tailors every aspect of this course to your team. He focuses the material on the written word, the spoken word, or both: whatever your needs dictate. 

100% Relevant – Participants showcase their skills and uncover their unique strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t get more relevant than that. 

Individual Feedback – Throughout the workshop, Geoff critiques each participant’s writing and speaking style. 

Class size and format

Presentation Skills

To present with impact is a learned skill and takes practice. The Athena Alliance Presentation Skills workshops are customized, highly interactive and provide a safe place to practice and enhance your presentation skills and receive critical feedback to further craft your delivery.

Helping Leaders Become Better Speakers

Our Athena Alliance partner is always amazed at people who have the misconception that successful leaders have no trouble communicating with an audience. These people argue that leaders who are charting a course to continued prosperity for their companies couldn’t possibly worry about making a speech or presentation. Yet not all leaders are good speakers. Some may be thrust into a senior role with little experience in public speaking. Others may be overly confident; failing to realize that when they speak their audience isn’t really paying attention.

The key to truly effective speaking of any form lies in the ability of a leader to let his or her personality shine through

Our Athena Alliance partner is always amazed at people who have the misconception that successful leaders have no trouble communicating with an audience. These people argue that leaders who are charting a course to continued prosperity for their companies couldn’t possibly worry about making a speech or presentation. Yet not all leaders are good speakers. Some may be thrust into a senior role with little experience in public speaking. Others may be overly confident; failing to realize that when they speak their audience isn’t really paying attention.

This Alliance partner advises and coaches CEOs and senior executives on their presentation skills.  He has worked with politicians and senior executives from such companies as ING, Rolls Royce, JP Morgan, Effem Inc. and Tim Horton’s.

This singular approach to speaking, in the context of interviews and small meetings – helps leaders discover how to be less self-conscious and more natural while communicating. The accepted wisdom is that to be an effective speaker you must be smooth and articulate. Our Partner believes that communicating well requires going beyond being polished, or what he refers to as the “pomposity of speaking. He helps people build on their unique personality to become more informal and relaxed.” He compares it to having a conversation with a few close friends, a situation where none of us worry about how we present ourselves.

Leaders must be prepared to communicate in a number of different ways, and this Alliance Partner has helped many excel in very difficult speaking situations. In 2006, this Alliance partner coached a client who went on to win a pitch for a $150 million contract. He helps leaders succeed by getting them to understand that it is a speaker’s responsibility to ensure that their listeners remember what they’ve heard. That may sound easy, but think about it for a minute. When you made your last presentation did you give your audience time to reflect? Did people come up to you afterward to talk to you? Are you sure you made an impression?

Influential Business Writing

Do you have time to sift through long reports, unclear memos, and rambling emails? Probably not. That’s why managers and executives lean on our alliance  partner to transform their team members into persuasive writers. Imagine how much more your team could accomplish if their writing was clear, concise, and persuasive enough to get others to take immediate action.

Unique Approach

The basic rules of grammar are easy to teach and learn. But this alliance partner dives deeper. Instead of re-teaching a bunch of rules we all learned in grade school, he explores the dynamics of human decision-making and the factors that lead a person to become engaged and take action. He helps people analyze their writing habits and understand the effect those habits have on the reader. Then he shows them how to use his proven formula to write more persuasively.

Learning Objectives

Your team members will learn to:

  • Build trust and credibility through their writing
  • Instill in the reader a sense of urgency
  • Organize their thoughts and arguments using the Action Sequence
  • Be clear and concise every time
  • Use plain language to connect with busy, distracted people
  • Cut the fluff out of their sentences
  • Use punctuation as a tool of persuasion
  • Avoid the deadly grammar traps
  • Write using direct, active language

Total Customization The alliance partner tailors the program to suit your team’s specific business writing challenges.

100% Relevant – each workshop is built around samples of your team’s writing, so they can see the concepts come to life in familiar situations.

Individual Feedback – Each participant is invited to bring a writing sample for a private critique.

Flexible Timing – choose the length that suits your business objectives and budget.

 Managing Confrontation and Conflict

We address many of the key challenges in overcoming conflict avoidance and managing strong emotions, by using a strategic, step-by-step framework for starting and finishing essential conversations. You will also learn techniques designed to deepen your understanding of how the party or parties may see a given situation, tools for managing strong emotions – both yours and others’, and simple but powerful ideas that you can use to help you conduct these difficult conversations in order to address conflict more effectively.

The Business of Listening

Most of us have developed as business people in organizational cultures that emphasize the persuasiveness of the speaker. We’ve spent countless hours, and a great deal of money, attending to our appearance, business dress, body language, facial expression, selection of language, tone of voice, charts, graphs, and on and on. The importance of those factors is not denied. However, they’re not the only factors influencing communication. And are they powerful enough, when we’re trying to get the best from a diverse group of people, build a customer-focused organization, or influence those who disagree with us?

Why should you care about listening skills?

Most of us have developed as business people in organizational cultures that emphasize the persuasiveness of the speaker. We’ve spent countless hours, and a great deal of money, attending to our appearance, business dress, body language, facial expression, selection of language, tone of voice, charts, graphs, and on and on. The importance of those factors is not denied. However, they’re not the only factors influencing communication. And are they powerful enough, when we’re trying to get the best from a diverse group of people, build a customer-focused organization, or influence those who disagree with us?

As Kenneth R. Johnson, said in his book, Effective Listening Skills, “Listening effectively to others can be the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. When someone is willing to stop talking or thinking and begin truly listening to others, all of their interactions become easier, and communication problems are all but eliminated.”

Understanding others, results in them understanding you

Consciously cultivating your listening skills helps you understand the many difficulties affecting other people. You become better at being heard and understood.

Use your human resources better

Improving your listening skills helps you more fully use the diverse knowledge, wisdom, energy and enthusiasm of the people you deal with.
Get more out of face-to-face interaction

Maximize the value of your live, non-electronic, conversations. Face-to-face interaction still influences the quality of your business relationships and meetings more than any other factor.

Gain depth and intimacy

You engage more deeply and intimately with your people, your teams and important organizational issues and changes.

Motivate

Improving your listening skills helps you maintain the energy, equilibrium and enthusiasm of others, as well as your own. Contact us today to find out more about “The Business of Listening.”

The Listening Advantage©
Getting better results, greater respect and stronger relationships through intentional listening.

The Listening Advantage© for Leaders
Effective leaders leverage listening effectively.  They know influence and getting buy-in comes from listening and understanding their clients, employees, associates, bosses and stakeholders.  They practice authentic openness, curiosity, empathy and respect.

Leaders who model authentic listening:
•    build their organization’s results
•    show respect for others and gain it for themselves
•    build inspiring relationships with their people.

“Listening well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well.”    John Marshall

Writing Effective Emails for Business

eMail has become one of the most popular ways to communicate within business, but few companies have implemented protocols for maintaining professionalism, maximizing efficiency and ensuring protection from liability for themselves and their employees.  This course will provide the tools for writing effective and professional eMails when communicating with either internal or external audiences.  Learners will be able to write with power, persuasion and confidence, set up customer service letter libraries, and improve their response time to eMail communications.

 

These are sample of some of the programs offered by the Athena Alliance members.  All of the work we do is tailored to the client’s specific needs.

Please contact Cindy Stradling at 416-290-5227 or cstradling@athenatrainingandconsulting.com and experience how the “Perfect Fit” system for you and your organization.