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'Communication Skills'


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Communication Ideas offers several tools and training programs to help you acquire powerful communication skills. From speaking to evoke action and commitment, to listening for understanding and collaboration, our training workshops have helped change some of the toughest work cultures in the US and overseas. Take a look at the programs below and give us a call to discuss your needs.


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Our popular HumaNext newsletter delivers powerful ideas for transforming the way you work, communicate, and relate to others on and off the job.


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Manager As Communicator

With the new Manager As Communicator Training Template, you will turn the organization's managers into effective advocates of business strategy and new initiatives. This training will give them the right tools and skills to communicate effectively with employees and create an open communication culture at work.

This powerful communication training tool fills a critical need long felt by training and communication professionals, as well as operational managers and department heads in many organizations. The complete workshop package comes with a step-by-step Facilitator's Guide, PowerPoint slides, and reproducible Participant Workbook. The long awaited "Manager As Communicator" training package is now available at a low introductory price. Read below.

Why is this training needed? To be effective in creating a culture of continuous and credible communication throughout the organization where employees understand the business and are committed to its success, many organizations are offering special communication training for managers and supervisors.

Numerous studies have indicated that the employees' most preferred way of hearing about matters that affect their jobs is through their immediate supervisor. The implications of this fact for organizational communication include paying special attention to supervisors and managers as primary communicators of the organization's business messages as they relate to employees' work.

Both managers and the organization will benefit by enabling managers to become more effective communicators of company business.

The complete workshop package comes with a step-by-step Facilitator's Guide, PowerPoint slides, and reproducible Participant Workbook.

to read more or place an order, please go to: Click http://www.communicationideas.com/manager-employee-communication.html


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Critical Conversations Workshop Package: Everything Trainers and Consultants Need to Deliver One to Two Day Communication Training

"Critical Conversations" Workshop Package: Everything Trainers and Consultants Need to Deliver High Stakes Communication Training

With Leader's Guide, Reproducible Participant Workbook, and PowerPoint Slides

The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.

- George Bernard Shaw

Now Trainers and Consultants can solve the tough communication challenges people face at work by delivering this powerful one day or two day communication workshop with dramatic results. This flexible, customizable workshop gives you everything you need to deliver the skills people need most at work: Communicating effectively to reach positive outcomes in difficult situations when the stakes are high and the challenges are great.

Participants then will learn to apply specific Talking Tools to a host of challenging communication encounters of particularly high stakes and sensitivity. The Talking, Persuading, and Influencing Tools participants learn and practice in this workshop will enable them to achieve decidedly positive results in working with others as they encounter the following TEN difficult communication situations:

  1. Giving Effective Praise that portrays sincerity and generates motivation and enthusiasm.
  2. Delivering Criticism � without creating confrontation and conflict
  3. Conducting or participating in effective Performance Review sessions
  4. Conducting or�  participating in an effective Interview for a new job or promotion
  5. Making an Apology that touches the heart and convinces the mind.
  6. Asking Effective Questions to probe for facts and provoke for ideas.
  7. Arguing without Offending
  8. Communicating to Build Rapport and Create Trust
  9. Communicating to Create Collaboration and Engagement
  10. Communicating to Resolve Conflict and Reach Agreement

No other training program we know of covers all these ten critical communication situations. This is the most relevant On-Demand, On-the-Job communication training you can offer today, addressing people's needs for practical Talking Tools to apply in the most challenging encounters they face at work. � 

From The hated Performance Review sessions and the sensitive coaching and feedback drills, to the potentially explosive encounters with angry colleagues or customers, this workshop provides participants with the practical techniques they can immediately put to work, starting right in the workshop's role plays.

Communication is a difficult process even when the stakes are not high. But when they are, then communication becomes the most crucial tool you have to build trust, resolve conflict, inspire and lead others, and achieve great results.

This unique workshop focuses on the specific application of powerful communication and influencing tools to the most critical, sensitive, and challenging fact-to-face encounters managers and staff are confronted with everyday at work.

The workshop equips participants with invaluable skills and provides them with the following benefits:

  • It  provides participants with proven techniques they can use in high-impact situations at work.
  • It helps participants feel confident to communicate about any tough or sensitive issue.
  • It enables managers and staff to engage in constructive conversations even when criticism, complaint, or other tough encounters are necessary.
  • It delivers practical examples of what not to do, and what to do, when caught in those worst-of-all-possible-situations that require a higher level of communication competence.
  • It empowers participants to turn critical communication situations into opportunity to build trust and achieve results.

No boring Lectures!

The workshop deploys a large array of role-plays, activities, exercises, quizzes, and inspiring stories and materials to fully engage participants throughout the process, making learning both fun and more lasting.

The Complete Workshop Package Comes in an Electronic Format with three Components:

1- Leader's Guide: Provides Step-By-Step Facilitation Guidance with full explanation of concepts, research, and delivery considerations.

2- PLUS: Dramatic PowerPoint Slides that..

cover every skill offered to provide visual impact and help you keep your command of content and pace.

3- PLUS: Customizable and Reproducible Participant Workbook..

so you can add your organization's logo or department�  name, and make as many copies as you need at no additional fees, saving you hundreds of dollars.

Before ordering Critical Conversations - an electronic product that cannot be returned -  please request a Sample Package. Please specify the title of this program in your request and email complete business contact information to service@humanext.com  

Order the Complete Workshop Template Package Now:

One User License/ for $395.00

Order Organization License for $1,995.00

Or order a license for up to 3 users from the same organization for 695.00


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Dialogue: How You Communicate When You're Having Trouble Communicating

By Robert Rosell, President, Quality Media Resources

Dialogue has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks practiced it. Successful families use it all the time. So do governments, businesses, armies, and other groups of people that need to better understand each other. Dialogue is how you communicate when you're having trouble communicating. Who among us hasn't found ourselves in that situation more than once?

We don't normally think much about how we'll communicate. In most cases we simply open our mouths and hope the right words come out. Sometimes they do. However, the workplace has been changing dramatically over the past few decades. Women have entered careers where they had traditionally not been welcome. People from different races, religions or ethnic groups that rarely interacted in the past now work side by side. Gay employees are more visible at work. Laws against discrimination have opened doors for many. Huge populations have migrated around the globe. Corporations have become multinational.

The result is that we now have to communicate with a broader, more diverse range of people. These folks don't always do things, see things, or express themselves in the same ways that we do. It's very easy for misunderstandings, suspicions, stereotypes, or hidden assumptions to color our relationships. The results are often negative and at times disastrous for teams trying to work productively together. What worked for us before may no longer be sufficient. We will have to expand our communication skills to be understood and make sure we understand. That's where dialogue comes in.

The 6 Basic Rules for Dialogue:
  1. Be open and suspend judgment - don't disparage other points of view.
  2. Keep dialogue and decision-making separate - dialogue precedes decision-making, negotiation or action.
  3. Speak for yourself, not as a representative, and treat all participants as peers.
  4. Listen with empathy - acknowledging you have heard others and that you care.
  5. Look for common ground – identifying areas where you agree.
  6. Search for and disclose hidden assumptions - especially in yourself.
See the new training video series "Dialogue. Now You're Talking" produced by Robert Rosell, below.
For a Free preview, email your request along with business information to: service@humanext.com

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Dialogue: Now You're Talking Training Video Series. Free Preview

Dialogue: Now You're Talking Series consists of four video-based training programs:

1. Communicating in a Diverse World. Overview.

What is dialogue - contrasting debate and dialogue. Initiating Dialogue - how to do it, where to do it. The skills of Dialogue - Suspension (of judgment, decision making and status); Listening (with empathy, for understanding, showing you care); Discovery (uncovering and sharing hidden assumptions in yourself and others). Includes a dramatization of how Dialogue helps us communicate across job functions, helping improve relations between people at different levels within the organization as well as between different departments or areas of expertise.

2. Dialogue for Cultural Understanding.

We apply the skills of dialogue outlined in Program 1 to challenges faced in culturally diverse work environments. We see a dramatization that demonstrates how dialogue can be used to open communication, uncover hidden assumptions, break down stereotypes and facilitate more productive relationships

3. Dialogue between Genders.

A dramatized dialogue shows us how the skills we learned in Program 1 can be used to overcome misunderstandings, break down gender stereotypes and improve communications between men and women at work.

4. Dialogue among Generations.

We demonstrate how the skills of dialogue can be used to bridge the personal and professional style differences that exist between employees of different ages. We uncover how divergent personal and world views common to people of different generations can lead to misunderstandings and distrust and how dialogue can help overcome age barriers and build more productive workplace relationships.

Support materials include a comprehensive facilitation guide, reproducible handouts, pre- and post-assessments, and PowerPoint slides for classroom presentation.

Purchase any one program of the above four $625.00

Purchase any two programs For $1062.50

Purchase any three programs For $1462.50

Rent any one program of the above four $295.00

Purchase all four programs for $1875.00

For a FREE online preview of this video send your complete business information with the name of the video you want to preview to service@humanext.com

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Can Employee Communicators Become Trainers Too?

By Francois Basili, President, HumaNext

I was Director of Employee Communication with a large healthcare organization in New York when my boss came to me one day and said: “We want to give you the training / Human Resource Development department too, Francois. What do you think?” Here is why he asked me and why I think you can benefit from my experience.

I was hired as Director of Employee Communication for this 12000 employee, $1.4 Billion healthcare organization in New York, reporting to the Senior Vice President of Human Resources. They moved one person who was editing the monthly organization publication from another area to my new department.

For a while, we remained a small two-person-department of Employee Communication. I started by reviving the one existing publication, giving it an updated look and infusing it with stories about employees, their contributions, and what the organization is doing. Very quickly many managers and front line staff started to send us news of their activities and invite us to visit them to cover their work.

Within a few months, a number of important departments started to ask us to produce special publications and programs for them. Meanwhile, I was invited to join the Steering Committee of a pending organization-wide change initiative. We hired more staff and were able to spread awareness and create employee engagement in a very visible way. I then submitted a proposal to create a Marketing Communications function for the organization, received approval to start it and hired two persons to focus on it. Within about five years, my department grew from one person reporting to me to 7 managers, editors, and specialists doing all kinds of employee and marketing communications programs, advertisements, publications, and initiatives. I was invited to talk about our success to other healthcare organizations in New York who wanted to learn from our experience.


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While doing all this, I was also delivering a communication training workshop to managers and key staff. Even though there was a training department, my boss agreed that I give the communication training. The workshop was very successful and many departments asked me to give it to their entire staff. When the organization started to face financial challenges they decided to eliminate the position of the director of training and asked me to take over the training function. With a reduced staff, we successfully delivered both functions for about four more years until rounds of budget cuts and re-organizations started to regularly occur, and it was time for me to leave to establish my own communication and training company- HumaNext. And I am very glad that I did.

Lessons learned:

  • You should not limit your vision of your responsibilities to whatever is written in your job description. Instead, think of what the organization needs, think of how you can satisfy it, and submit a proposals outlining how you can help. The organization did not have a marketing communication function when I saw the need and convinced them to let me fulfill it.
  • Training managers and employees on communication skills is a function that can be convincingly claimed by the Communication Department. If you don’t have training skills, you can learn to acquire them.
  • You will not have to re-invent the wheel by having to develop training programs on your own. You can purchase off-the-shelf programs to deliver. You can also get certified to become a trainer and acquire the necessary skills for facilitating training workshops.

Resources: HumaNext helps communicators become effective trainers too. We offer:

  • Off-the-shelf training programs: http://www.humanext.com/customizable-workshops.html 
  • Help on becoming a trainer: http://www.humanext.com/training-business.html 

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    How To Ask Positive Questions Training Video with John O' Hurley- Free Preview

    The Hidden Communication Skill That Will Make Your Next Team Meeting More Productive - With John O'Hurley

    We understand that speaking clearly, using proper listening skills, and knowing the importance of non-verbal cues all play vital roles in clear communication between people in organizations. Surprisingly, the impact of questions, and how to ask them properly, remain an unacknowledged part of the training curriculum. This sprightly and to-the-point video addresses that shortfall.

    Driving home the lessons is John O'Hurley, best known as J. Peterman on the Seinfeld series. His unique persona helps deliver these important learning points:
    1. Appreciate how learning to ask positive question can improve team effectiveness.
    2. Recognize that asking questions is a communications skill, just like speaking clearly or listening effectively.
    3. Develop the ability to use inflection, phrasing, and timing to ask positive questions.

    This intriguing, involving, and entertaining video will improve:

    • Team Effectiveness
    • Communication Skills
    • Productivity In Meetings

    How To Ask Positive Questions is designed to be used during team training sessions devoted to productivity and communication skills, or before a meeting starts. By increasing the questioning ability of employees, the video's benefits extend beyond team impact. Employees who can properly ask questions will deal better with all colleagues throughout the entire organization. Additionally, communication with both external and internal customers will improve. Entertaining, motivational, and informative, How To Ask Positive Questions is a skill-building, consciousness-raising video that will energize your teams to perform at higher levels.

    Target Audience All employees. (Running time: 12 minutes) / 32-page Leader's Guide with Two Lesson Plans

    DVD 5-Day Rental $295.00

    Purchase DVD for $495.00

    Free Preview: Email your request along with your business information to: service@humanext.com   

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    How To Say It (Training Video)

    What do the best managers have in common? The ability to select the right words

    Everyone can learn to communicate better. The supervisor who knows how to communicate effectively in person, over the phone, or in writing has a powerful advantage-a built-in way to motivate others and get results. This video gives powerful tips that will help managers say it right every time.

    Narrated by television star Mason Adams ("Lou Grant" show, "Family Matters"), this program teaches that thoughtfulness, even self-restraint, is crucial in business communication. Viewers are reminded that saying the first thing that comes into their heads is bound to cause problems. There is a better approach-first to ask themselves what they want to accomplish, then decide the best way to accomplish it.

    Dramatic vignettes are shown throughout the video. Supervisors respond "off-the-cuff" with bad results, and then the skits are reenacted, with each supervisor successfully slowing down to think before speaking, choosing words that gain cooperation and positive results.

    You'll learn to tailor each message for its intended audience. For example, senior management may need details; your staff may need simple, directive words; and communicating with clients may require even more preparation and diplomacy. You'll also learn the power of speaking in the active tense, and how to apply these communication rules to your writing as well.

    In these times of instant communications and limitless information, the ability to communicate well is becoming more and more important in the business world. With practice, choosing the right words for every situation can become second nature, once you know "how to say it."

    Guarantee: Viewers will learn skills that earn them respect, and make them more effective communicators.

    Video type: DVD / Length: 18 mins. Purchase DVD for $129.00


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    The Seven Sins of Interpersonal Communication

    Communication is a complex process. Different perceptions may cause difficulties in the transmission of ideas and information. Here are the seven sins of interpersonal communication and ways to avoid them:

    1. It's Greek To Me!: Your communication can be effective only when presented in a language the receivers can understand. You need to speak not in your own language or style of thinking but in the language and style of thinking of the receivers. Understand their educational level and their demographics and communicate to them accordingly.
    2. Overload: Even when communicating in the language of the receivers, you can still lose them if you overload them with too much information or too complex ideas. Use the KISS principle (Keep It Short and Simple)
    3. Biases and Assumptions: Examine your possible biases and personal assumptions about the issues you're communicating. Disclose your own interests and agendas. The receivers will quickly tune out if they suspect that you have a hidden agenda. By being authentic, you will gain credibility, which is essential for effective communication.
    4. One-Way: Communication is not just speaking. It's both speaking and listening. One way communication is no communication at all. Make sure to listen and understand the others' needs and points of view.
    5. Ambiguity: If your message is not clear, or if it can be interpreted in more than one way, it will leave the receivers wondering about what you mean. Make sure that your message delivers a clear, unambiguous meaning.
    6. Wrong Timing: In certain communications, timing is everything. For example, a message of praise and recognition should not come too late after the fact, or it will lose its effectiveness. The "Better Late Than Never" advice may be true, but a timely message is the best.
    7. Negative Attitude: Most people don't like negative communication and bad news. Passive, weak, or negative communication will turn people off. Even the most negative, critical, or difficult communication will be better received when presented in a positive, affirmative style. Instead of saying, "This is a terrible idea," why not say, "Tell me how you can make this idea work."
      © HumaNext. This article is part of our CommUnicate! program. You can get many positive, educational articles and cartoons about communication at work to create a culture of open and effective communication at your organization by ordering our CommUnicate! program. Click here for more information and samples of CommUnicate.

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    Criticism: Giving and Taking (Training Video)

    How to Give Criticism Professionally and How to Take it Constructively

    Learn how criticism can be a positive rather than a negative influence in the workplace

    You Will Learn:

    • When to criticize and when not to.
    • The Guiding Rule of criticism.
    • The 3-step formula for successful criticism.
    • How to keep your criticism on-track and yourself under control.
    • The 4-A formula for controlling your emotions when being criticized.
    • How to assume a position of strength when being criticized.

    Criticism is an essential component of growth and improvement. Watch Beverly and Everett, a top sales rep and a talented engineer, rebuild a hostile relationship into a productive, professional one.

    Video Length: 22 mins. DVD comes with an Instructor's Manual and one free Study Guide-  Price $156.95  

    Extra Study Guides come in packs of 5 for $54.75


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    Communication Effectiveness Guide and Assessment Profiles

    Getting your message across in a way that is clear and coherent is a critical skill in both organizational and personal life. The Communication Effectiveness Profile looks at the large and often complex subject of communicating with others. A Facilitator's Guide gives you a step-by-step approach to using this powerful communication assessment.

    Communication Effectiveness Facilitator's Guide with one Assessment Profile / $99.95

    Additional Profiles are sold in packs of 5 for $49.75


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    How to Ask Questions to Get The Results You Want: The Monk's Method

    In delivering communication skills training workshops to various groups over the past fifteen years, I came to depend on the following funny story to illustrate how the way people ask a question can determine the answers they get. I labeled this questioning technique, "The Monk's Method."

    Two monks were praying, walking and talking as they do all day long. The junior monk said to the senior monk. "I'm surprised you're allowed to smoke while walking around and praying here in the monastery my dear brother. When I joined the monastery I asked our Head Monk about smoking and his answer was a resounding no. How come you are able to smoke with no problem? The senior monk smiled and said, "Am I right to assume, my dear brother, that you asked the Head Monk whether it was alright for you to smoke while praying? "Yes," said the junior monk. "I asked him whether it was alright for me to smoke while praying, and he looked at me disapprovingly and said, "Of course not. I'm surprised you would even ask."

    "Ah!," exclaimed the senior monk. "You didn't know how to ask my dear brother. It all depends on how you put it. When I joined the monastery, I too asked the Head Monk about smoking, but in a slightly different manner. I asked him: "Dear Master, Is it alright for me to pray while smoking?" And he said, "But of course my son. You can pray anytime."

    In asking questions, as well as in all other aspects of communication, it's not what you say that counts, but how you say it.

    The Monk's Method is part of our "Critical Coversations" workshop. Read more about it on this page.