This Boeing team was made up of a range of diverse expertise – from technical architects to marketing executives. They also differed in terms of how confidently they could express themselves on the page. However, they were all involved in the enterprise of responding to tender offers with proposals, a crucial aspect of winning new business.
During a one-day workshop, we explored how to create a persuasive structure tailored to the client, and how to develop a clear, elegant style. We clarified some confusion around fundamental issues of grammar and punctuation. From here, we built upon the best practice of the group, establishing some new, higher collective standards.
Practising the skills was a key element of the learning. Over the course of the day, the team had the opportunity to make a plan for the proposal using a true-to-life case study devised in collaboration with Robert Fisher, Boeing. They drafted and edited the executive summary, working individually and in pairs. They also received feedback on their work.
The overall capacity for the group to respond effectively to tender bids was increased. People also identified colleagues with complementary talents with whom they could collaborate with further in the future
A Sales Team of 16 people needed to enhance their skills for client meetings. While their ability to create good proposals and solutions was not in question, they were encountering challenges when understanding and handling the dynamics between people during meetings.
This training followed a previous voice workshop from Resonance, which had been very well-received, and was designed to build the group’s communication skills further.
Through consultation with Sales Director, Steve Gardner and HR Director, Carol Atkinson, we decided to support the team by offering new techniques followed by an opportunity to role-play the challenges in realistic scenarios.
The objectives were:
- To give the delegates techniques to relax and release physical tension;
- To allow them to discover how to gage other people’s non-verbal behaviour;
- To enable them to use their physical presence to build rapport;
- To enable them to influence others through their body-language.
This was a highly interactive two-day workshop. The delegates worked in small groups, pairs (and occasionally individually) to explore how consciously using posture, breathing, movement, space and timing could create the impact they wanted on others.
The first day focused on techniques to help the delegates prepare themselves for dealing with high-pressure situations and to ensure that they were choosing the impact they made on others. There were exercises and games for enabling the delegates to read and play group dynamics.
The second day was given over to scenarios (specially designed by Resonance in collaboration with Steve Gardner) in which the delegates took turns to play themselves and various individuals from client organizations. Each delegate received feedback from the trainer and the rest of the group.
The group decided to work more collaboratively by structuring the sharing of information about clients, and to mentor more junior members of the team specifically in the area of engaging clients and presenting oneself as an expert partner for the client.
A series of one-day group workshops for technical experts whose first language was Dutch, but who needed to communicate in English with internal clients. The participants had a range of objectives, including producing effective newsletter articles and developing editing skills. As well as coaching in style and structure, the participants received feedback on their written materials in a detailed report.
As a result of the training, engineers in both groups began to write more clearly and persuasively. Good word-of-mouth led to more training being scheduled for those engineers who had not signed up for the first round of training courses, and two more groups were trained subsequently.
Eduserv is a public sector IT specialist that saves money for the education, health and public sectors through transforming ICT solutions. As thought-leaders within their sector as well as solution providers, Eduserv’s senior executives need to win hearts and minds.
Ed Zedlewski, CIO and Deputy CEO, was keen to engage clients in innovation and to chip away at their resistance to change. To achieve this, he wanted to develop a different approach less based on complicated lists of facts and more on persuasive storytelling.
Ed recommended the coaching to Stephen Butcher, who subsequently also signed up for one-to-one coaching in the run up to an important conference at which he was to make a keynote address. Stephen was keen to develop a more flexible approach rather than to rely solely on his existing good skills as a presenter.
As a result, Stephen and Ed were able to work even more effectively when communicating as team, and to present a charismatic front for their organisation.