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The Training Your Team Wants

In many organisations, Soft Skills & Communication Training is still limited to traditional formats. Training providers use lecture-based presentations, group discussions and videos in their training, however, these kinds of formats lack the type of interaction employees want.   How do we know?  Based on our survey, completed by more than 1500 of our workshop participants, employees’ most popular choices for learning are real & role plays with professional actors, experiential learning activities and interactive live games.  These formats rely on state-of-the-art program design to generate high levels of engagement, which is a stark contrast to the off the shelf formats many professionals provide at present. Why is it important?  This disconnect between what employees want and what they are receiving can lead to a lack of engagement and motivation, which negatively affects performance and the business’s bottom line.  Employee training that is disengaging is just as bad as  havi
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How we help Leaders Learn more Deeply

Much research has been done into effective ways of learning. But we can cautiously say that learning is too complex an activity for conclusive theories. Which is not to say that we are in the dark. An educational thinker who has stood the test of time is David Kolb. In the 1970s and 1980s, this learning psychologist developed an influential and useful concept about learning that can also be found in all of our InterACT WA Communication & Leadership training courses. What is it?  Kolb divided the learning process into four phases. He saw them as cyclical, so he put them in a circle. Whoever wants to learn something, according to Kolb, must go through every phase of the circle. And not once, no, often you have to go through the circle a few times to get to what really matters: to learn more deeply. Learning more deeply means: you can remember what you have learned and apply it in practice. You don't have to be an educationalist to see that as a wonderful outcome of learni

How a Professional Role Player can help you become an Excellent Communicator.

  Remember the last time you moved house? You were probably willing to put in quite some planning before the big move. You had to organise packing, finish up matters from your old home, set up the new house. Moving requires a lot of detailed planning. Planning is just as vital when it comes to having a critical conversation with another person. Yet, strangely, very few people put in the time or effort to prepare before they jump into important conversations. Take it from a professional role player… do not wing tough conversations!   Do not just say to yourself, I’m a pretty good communicator. I can just wing telling this person their contract won’t be renewed. I can just loosely navigate this conversation with my director about her lack of vision. I can just tell my colleague that he sucks at meeting deadlines. Yeah, that’ll go over well. When conversations go badly, we spend time thinking about all the things we should have said. But what if you’d take the time to think about th

Emotions at work? Yes please!

  "I was biting my tongue the whole time"  "Gosh, he makes my blood boil"  "I wish she would just get off my back"  “There is a knot in my stomach”   These are all common idioms which are related to where emotions can settle in our body. We especially notice it during those tricky conversations.  But weirdly enough, even though our body is telling us exactly what is going on, we hardly listen to it.  A missed opportunity because they are crucial signals that remind you to use your communication skills and our emotional intelligence.  What to do?    -        *  Do you notice tension in your body? Do you feel your heart beat faster? You may find it an exciting conversation. Ask yourself: What do I find exciting or difficult? -        *  State what you see or feel. Such as: "I notice my heart is beating fast and there is a knot in my stomach. I feel uncomfortable.”   -       *   Examine your own judgment of emotions. What do you th

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

We tend to think that Leadership Communication is a verbal, intellectual exercise, but it's not. Leadership Communication is not so much about what you say, but how you say it.  It is you, in physical form, who is presenting those words, and your body carries its own messages through your gestures and your tone of voice. So it’s possible that your words may be saying one thing, but your body language quite another. Unfortunately, it is your body language which resonates most with your colleagues.  Lots of research supports this -- for example, a landmark UCLA study showed that gestures count for a whopping 55% of the impact you have on someone, while your tone of voice makes up 38%. Your words? A measly 7%. So the non-verbal part of your communication accounts for 93% of its impact! Which leads us to a simple and irrevocable truth: When it comes to body language, actions speak louder than words, and your body language can make or break your Leadership Communication. Your eyes, your

Why the need for offline learning may increase due to COVID

Hardly any industry was spared by COVID-19. Our business was affected too and back in March we saw all our leadership workshops, presentations and roleplay sessions being postponed or cancelled. Each of these cancellations and postponements was right because health and human well-being always come first. Many training workshops and coaching’s continued online and suddenly in the industry, the buzz words were "live virtual training’ and "remote online learning". But the question arises as to whether people as social beings want to and actually can learn new Leadership skills exclusively with digital experiences – without the so valuable touchpoint "real-life". Only when we share experiences with other people do we come alive. Therefore, physical experiences will always be relevant. Even more: I think that after this crisis people will have an even greater need for offline learning experiences in the "real" world and the senses of all of us will

Beware of the Sh#t Sandwich!

If you’ve ever attended a management communication workshop you might have come across the concept of the “feedback sandwich.”  At InterACT we like to refer to it as the “Sh#t Sandwich”. The idea is that when giving confronting feedback, managers should sandwich it between two pieces of positive feedback: open with some praise, then offer the critical feedback, then close with some more praise to leave the person feeling good. It’s based on the idea that it’s easier for people to accept negative feedback when they also hear about what’s going well. Unfortunately, the sh#t sandwich is full of problems. Firstly, once your employees recognize what you’re doing, they might start bracing for criticism every time you open a conversation with praise. It can also make the praise itself seem insincere. Or worse…kind of as an insult: like when you have to give a dog a pill and you hide it in a piece of sausage to trick them into swallowing. This approach can cause the m