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Communication Skills Course Modules

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Everything you need to help participants improve their communication skills, covering things like effective questioning, active listening and effective use of skills such as summary and clarification.

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A is for APPLE - Making Meetings Effective

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about what causes meetings to be ineffective.
• To identify what can be done to make meetings effective.
• To introduce the acronym APPLE and explain how focusing on five simple themes will help participants ensure meetings are effective.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about what causes meetings to be ineffective.
• To identify what can be done to make meetings effective.
• To introduce the acronym APPLE and explain how focusing on five simple themes will help participants ensure meetings are effective.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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A Sign of the Times - Communicating Brand

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how and what they communicate to customers, using a slightly unusual perspective.
• To encourage participants to think about the language they use when communicating with customers.
• To show that all communication tells the customer something about the organisation, and that sometimes that’s not the intended message.
• To demonstrate how brand is affected by every piece of communication leaving the organisation.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 25 minutes to complete (but can be shortened if necessary). In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about how and what they communicate to customers, using a slightly unusual perspective.
• To encourage participants to think about the language they use when communicating with customers.
• To show that all communication tells the customer something about the organisation, and that sometimes that’s not the intended message.
• To demonstrate how brand is affected by every piece of communication leaving the organisation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size (working in small teams of ideally fewer than 6 people).

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
In addition to the Sign of the Times cards provided, each team will need sheets of flipchart paper, marker pens and blu-tak. (You'll need to be able to fix the sheets to a wall when complete too.)

Notes:
This is a powerful exercise that really gets participants to think about the way organisations communicate. It is a useful addition to any customer service training but it is of particular use with groups that are responsible for brand and the way the organisation portrays itself to the outside world. This could be managers within the marketing department, branch managers, recruitment managers etc.

It is suitable for all types of organisation, including public and charitable bodies.

Please Note:
The Sign of the Times cards are a particularly large file (10mb) and may take a few minutes to download.

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A Welsh Holiday - Testing Communication Between Teams

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their communication skills and in particular their listening skills, their ability to share information effectively and their ability to explore problems objectively.
• To illustrate the importance of teamwork and develop the skills needed to work effectively with other teams – particularly where teams are small and geographically diverse.
• To understand that effective teamwork involves identifying and capitalising on all of the unique skills and talents of individuals within the team.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 45 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their communication skills and in particular their listening skills, their ability to share information effectively and their ability to explore problems objectively.
• To illustrate the importance of teamwork and develop the skills needed to work effectively with other teams – particularly where teams are small and geographically diverse.
• To understand that effective teamwork involves identifying and capitalising on all of the unique skills and talents of individuals within the team.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Communication skills, teamwork, collaboration, information sharing, information gathering, listening, questioning, attention to detail and problem solving.

Group Size:
A minimum of 2 participants are required for this exercise.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• At least two rooms or separate work areas, ideally one for each team.
• A mobile phone for each team (they can use one of their own, if willing).
• One OS Landranger map 125 and one OS Landranger map 124 for every two teams participating. (Available to buy from Trainers' Market.)
• A brief for each team (Brief 1 for Team 1 and Brief 2 for Team 2).
• A length of string (at least 1 metre long) for each team.

Notes:
Each team will work with 1 other team (the partner team) in a separate location, who they should be able to contact by phone. (If there are only 2 participants involved, each team will consist of 1 person!)

If it’s a nice day, the exercise can be very successfully run outside. Position teams as far apart from each other as you can.

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A Year in Focus - Review Exercise

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• This exercise is designed for the start of a team session that reviews the previous year; in particular what went well, what people struggled with and what they learnt from it.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• This exercise is designed for the start of a team session that reviews the previous year; in particular what went well, what people struggled with and what they learnt from it.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Everyone.

You'll Need:
• A balloon for each participant. (It’s preferable to have lots of different colours.)
• A whistle or claxon to tell everyone to stop.

Whistles can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
You will need a nice (indoor) space for participants to throw their balloons in the air and keep all the balloons airborne.

Larger groups will necessitate a longer running time for the exercise.

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Acts of Recognition

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise how their behaviour/communication is experienced by others.
• To encourage participants to increase the positive acts of recognition they give to others, and to create a working atmosphere in which people feel accepted and recognised.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise how their behaviour/communication is experienced by others.
• To encourage participants to increase the positive acts of recognition they give to others, and to create a working atmosphere in which people feel accepted and recognised.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 20 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be particularly useful in management training and team building.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes and flipchart paper.

Notes:
This module can be used alongside Land of the Nutritos in a diversity programme and as part of a programme on giving feedback or team working.

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An Alien Challenge - Getting the Questions Right

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of asking a mix of open and closed questions to gain a clear and accurate understanding of a situation.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 35 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of asking a mix of open and closed questions to gain a clear and accurate understanding of a situation.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 8 and 24 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Teams will need to use a phone to communicate with you during this exercise.
• Break out space for each team to prepare their questions without being overheard.
• 4 plain envelopes to place the team briefs into.
• A copy of the Trainer Record Sheet for you.

Notes:
This can be a very useful exercise for sales people, or anyone who needs to select and ask great questions in order to effectively gather information.

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Assertiveness – How Will You Handle It?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity to explore a variety of situations experienced during the working day and consider how best to handle each one assertively.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To provide an opportunity to explore a variety of situations experienced during the working day and consider how best to handle each one assertively.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff up to managerial level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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At a Crossroads - Board Game for New Managers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a manager and how to approach them with the right balance of ethics and pragmatism.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a manager and how to approach them with the right balance of ethics and pragmatism.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
Learners who are brand new managers (or very soon will be), particularly if they have been promoted from within the team.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• At a Crossroads Conundrum Cards.
• At a Crossroads Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• At a Crossroads Game Board.
• At a Crossroads Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

New: Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game, which is a race to the finish and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

All the scenarios contained in the cards are based on actual experiences faced by managers in their first year of managing a team. It is a particularly useful exercise for people who have been promoted from within the team to become the manager and who are struggling to adapt to their new role with people who were once their peers.

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At a Crossroads - Board Game for Trainers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a trainer and how to approach them effectively.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face as a trainer and how to approach them effectively.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
New trainers or those looking to build their skills and review challenges they might face or have faced.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• At a Crossroads Conundrum Cards.
• At a Crossroads Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• At a Crossroads Game Board.
• At a Crossroads Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

New: Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game, which is a race to the finish and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

All the scenarios contained in the cards are based on actual experiences faced by trainers.

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At a Crossroads - Performance Management

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face whilst managing the performance of individuals in their team.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore some of the challenges participants will face whilst managing the performance of individuals in their team.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 to 18 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who is responsible for the performance of others, or who soon will be.

You'll Need:
• Playing pieces, one per team.
• Small prize for the winning team.
• 60 second timer or stopwatch.
• Facilitator Traffic Lights.
• Conundrum Cards.
• Diversion Cards (3 per team).
• Game Board.
• Suggested Answers (for the facilitator).

New: Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Stopwatches can also be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise is suitable for use with groups of up to 18 participants. It is run as a competitive game; a race to the finish, and played in teams of two or three players. We do not recommend having teams with more than three participants.

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Barriers to Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify key barriers to effective communication.
• To explore why such barriers occur.
• To identify 'good practice' principles that will help to avoid the barriers to effective communication identified.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 50 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 75 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To identify key barriers to effective communication.
• To explore why such barriers occur.
• To identify 'good practice' principles that will help to avoid the barriers to effective communication identified.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Benefits - Influence and Persuasion

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise the difference between features and benefits.
• To demonstrate the importance of identifying customer needs and selling to these.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed within 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To help participants recognise the difference between features and benefits.
• To demonstrate the importance of identifying customer needs and selling to these.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Whilst this module has been designed with sales staff in mind, it is equally applicable to anyone who needs to think about how they influence others.

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Blind Guiding - Exploring Leadership and Followership

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants understand what their leadership (and followership) style is through physicalising part of the leadership process.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 50-60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75-90 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants understand what their leadership (and followership) style is through physicalising part of the leadership process.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size, however the exercise works much better with larger groups.

Useful For:
Managers, directors and others in leadership roles.

You'll Need:
• Blindfolds (available to buy from Trainers' Market).
• A large, empty space (see notes).

Notes:
This exercise can provide participants with a very different insight into their leadership style (and their style as a follower). It is particularly useful for exploring trust and being hands on and hands off.

You need a large, empty space for this exercise. Any chairs should be placed against the walls of the room, leaving as much space as possible. It is possible to do this exercise outside, for example on a lawn.

There is the risk of people knocking into each other, a wall or furniture in this exercise. Make clear that participants guiding another colleague are responsible for that participant’s safety at all times.

* Although you can run this exercise with less than 8 participants it works much better with larger groups.

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Body Language and Mirroring

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To show participants how we tend to mirror the body language of others when rapport is established.
• To discuss what happens to body language when rapport is absent.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To show participants how we tend to mirror the body language of others when rapport is established.
• To discuss what happens to body language when rapport is absent.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels. It can be used with people who don't know one another at all, or who have met/worked together previously.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Building Rapport with Subordinates

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about rapport and its purpose, particularly when managing others.
• To consider the importance of respect when establishing rapport.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to think about rapport and its purpose, particularly when managing others.
• To consider the importance of respect when establishing rapport.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at supervisory level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Building Strong Bridges - Basic Leadership Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider planning and preparation as part of leadership.
• To facilitate discussion around playing to the team's strength.
• To consider factors that motivate staff to perform well.
• To encourage staff to self assess, review and reflect on performance.
• To encourage leaders to consider their communication skills.
• To encourage leaders to consider the question of keeping people motivated.
• To demonstrate leadership skills in a practical task.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 55 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 75 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider planning and preparation as part of leadership.
• To facilitate discussion around playing to the team's strength.
• To consider factors that motivate staff to perform well.
• To encourage staff to self assess, review and reflect on performance.
• To encourage leaders to consider their communication skills.
• To encourage leaders to consider the question of keeping people motivated.
• To demonstrate leadership skills in a practical task.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
First line managers and supervisors.

You'll Need:
• Broadsheet newspapers (one per team).
• Sticky tape (one per team).
• A tennis ball.

Notes:
In this exercise, participants will be working in teams of 4 or 5. Each team will need one broadsheet newspaper (for example, the Financial Times) and a roll of sticky tape.
In addition, you will need a tennis ball (or similar) to test the strength of the teams’ structures.

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Change Spectrum

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore how your participants feel about a variety of changes.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 20 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore how your participants feel about a variety of changes.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A piece of string or rope that is approximately 4 metres long.

Notes:
You will need a clear space in which to lay out your ‘Change Spectrum’ and for participants to move along it.

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Changing Partners - Feelings Towards Change

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 35 minutes.

Aims:
• To recognise the impact of imposed change on people.
• To remind participants how easy it is for progress to be lost and for things to slip back to the way they were before.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 35 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To recognise the impact of imposed change on people.
• To remind participants how easy it is for progress to be lost and for things to slip back to the way they were before.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of almost any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
You may want to read the article ‘When Change Really Hurts’ by Sheila Williams, which is available in Trainers’ Library. This provides background information about the change curve, which you may want to reference in your discussion.

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Communicating Without Body Language

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the significance of body language in communication.
• To encourage participants to think about the difficulties the lack of body language creates when communicating by telephone.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the significance of body language in communication.
• To encourage participants to think about the difficulties the lack of body language creates when communicating by telephone.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of almost any size.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A blindfold for each participant.
These can be purchased from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
The subjects used in the exercise are deliberately controversial so it is advisable that you do not pair people together who you believe may struggle to get along together.

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Dealing with Aggressive Behaviour

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop guidelines for dealing assertively with aggressive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to develop and demonstrate one appropriate and one inappropriate response to aggressive behaviour.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be complete within 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To help participants develop guidelines for dealing assertively with aggressive behaviour.
• To encourage participants to develop and demonstrate one appropriate and one inappropriate response to aggressive behaviour.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
We recommend using this module only when participants are able to recognise the difference between aggressive, submissive and assertive behaviour. (See the module, “What is Assertiveness?”). This module has two alternative handouts – one with work based scenarios to discuss, and one with non-work based scenarios.

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Delegation - Sink or Swim

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed within 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 60 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the subject of delegation.
• To explore what constitutes effective and ineffective delegation.
• To consider best practice when delegating.
• To identify some pitfalls to avoid when delegating.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Team Leaders and managers.

You'll Need:
Blank sheets of A4 paper.

Notes:
For this module, you will need:
• Plenty of A4 paper.
• Copies of each handout for every participant.

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Dinner Party Mayhem - Managing Change

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To create a situation where participants have to manage change driven by one department, affecting the work of another.
• To identify some key learning points about managing change.
• To test information gathering and sharing skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of effective questioning, summary and clarification and active listening.
• To consider the pros and cons of different leadership styles.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 45 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 70 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To create a situation where participants have to manage change driven by one department, affecting the work of another.
• To identify some key learning points about managing change.
• To test information gathering and sharing skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of effective questioning, summary and clarification and active listening.
• To consider the pros and cons of different leadership styles.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Egg timer.

Notes:
As well as useful in programs concerned with change, this exercise can also be used as a general communication exercise, or in training concerned with internal customer care.

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Discussion - Barriers to Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to test their communication skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to get their point across effectively whilst building an understanding of others’ feelings.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 50 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 75 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to test their communication skills.
• To test participants’ abilities to get their point across effectively whilst building an understanding of others’ feelings.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Ideally, you will have breakout space for the teams to hold their discussions away from the other team(s).

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Emotional Intelligence Part 1 - Self-Awareness

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of self-awareness, the first strand of emotional intelligence.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed in about 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To raise awareness of self-awareness, the first strand of emotional intelligence.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than a flipchart, pens and the handouts provided.

Notes:
It is important to have an understanding of emotional intelligence and the effects of discussing it with a group of participants. You will find Mike Bagshaw’s Article in Trainers’ Library useful for this.

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Emotional Intelligence Part 2 - Awareness of Others and Empathy

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 100 minutes.

Aims:
• To develop an understanding of the importance of awareness of others, the second strand of emotional intelligence.
• To allow participants to practice empathy as a skill.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module can be completed in about 50 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 100 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To develop an understanding of the importance of awareness of others, the second strand of emotional intelligence.
• To allow participants to practice empathy as a skill.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than a flipchart, pens and the handouts provided.

Notes:
It is important to have an understanding of emotional intelligence and the effects of discussing it with a group of participants. You will find Mike Bagshaw’s Article in Trainers’ Library useful for this.

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Facing up to Challenges - Assertiveness Role-Play

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 70 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 90 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This activity is designed to be used as a conclusion to training around assertive behaviour. It provides participants with an opportunity to practise responding assertively to a range of situations - whether it's with managing upwards, dealing with peers and colleagues or in personal situations.

This exercise is easily adapted and can be used in a variety of ways depending on your participants and the time available. For example, you can run it:

• As a small group discussion.
• As a role-play exercise with 2 participants role-playing and an observer giving feedback.
• By asking each participant to work on one scenario and then role-play it with the trainer with feedback from the rest of the group.

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Glasstap Sheep Trials - An Exercise in Communication and Continuous Improvement

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To test participants' planning and communication skills.
• To demonstrate the importance of listening and using summary and clarification to check understanding.
• To consider what makes communication effective and the dangers of getting it wrong.
• To energise a group of participants.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• Whistles.
• A stopwatch.
• Blindfolds.
• Skittles and hoops (or similar-see note).
• Prizes.
Many of the items needed to run this exercise are available from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
We don't often develop exercises specifically for the outdoors, but this is a simple exercise that can be used by anyone with access to a park, lawn or yard. A great energiser for sunny days and one which really does contain some important lessons about communication and the importance of checking understanding.

This exercise does require some preparation as you'll need to devise a 'course' for your participants to follow. Preparation will take about 5 minutes once you have the items you'll need. The course maps show three different routes through the same course, which means you won't have to change the course itself if playing more than one round.

We suggest using hula-hoops for your 'pens'. If not, you can mark the 'pens' out using other things like rope or giant pick-up sticks. Skittles, cones or balls can be used to mark out the rest of the course.

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Gossip! - An Exercise in Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 30 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to communicate effectively in order to gather all the information available.
• To encourage participants to think about how they communicate.
• To encourage participants to work co-operatively to solve a shared problem.

Group Size:
The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8, however it can be used with fewer. If you have more than 15 in your group, split them into teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing, other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This communication exercise is based on a logic puzzle.

The optimum number of participants for this exercise is 8. However, we have included additional ‘gossip sheets’ which enable the exercise to be used in groups of up to 15. (If you have more than 15 in your group, split the group in to teams of 8 or more and get each team to complete the exercise separately.) Please note that where there are more than 8 participants in a team some of the ‘gossip’ will be duplicated.

It is possible to use this exercise with groups of fewer than 8 participants, but as all 8 Gossip Sheets must be used it means that some participants would need to be given more than one sheet each.

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Half Full? - Optimism and its Importance

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider their attitude.
• To encourage discussion around optimistic versus pessimistic outlooks.
• To recognise the impact that attitude has on performance.
• To enable participants to identify personal traits that might be holding them back.
• To encourage leaders to consider how they might deal with negative attitudes in their team.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to consider their attitude.
• To encourage discussion around optimistic versus pessimistic outlooks.
• To recognise the impact that attitude has on performance.
• To enable participants to identify personal traits that might be holding them back.
• To encourage leaders to consider how they might deal with negative attitudes in their team.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module provides an excellent opportunity, when working with a wide range of participants, to consider how attitude can impact on performance. Topics where the inclusion of a module looking at optimism/pessimism might be beneficial include:
• Managing change.
• Problem solving and decision making.
• Customer service.
• Selling skills.
• Leading a team.
• Strategic leadership.
• Communication skills.
• Planning and scheduling.

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Happy Holidays - An Exercise in Customer Service

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of exploring customers' needs through questioning, listening and checking understanding.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 50 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of exploring customers' needs through questioning, listening and checking understanding.

Group Size:
For this exercise you will need groups of 4 or 6. Where necessary make up the numbers by participating yourself. Where you have more than 6 participants, run the exercise concurrently in more than one place.

Useful For:
Staff up to team leader.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can form a useful part of any training for those new to a sales role. It encourages participants to focus on the needs of the customer, rather than their own sales patter.

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How Assertive Are You?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants understand their current use of assertive behaviour and identify areas for improvement.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be complete within 10 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete the module.

Aims:
• To help participants understand their current use of assertive behaviour and identify areas for improvement.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module includes a simple quiz to help participants identify the behaviours they currently feel comfortable with.

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Introduction to Transactional Analysis

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 65 minutes.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a way of understanding behaviour and improving communication.
• To provide a very basic introduction to transactional analysis.

About

Time:
The exercises in this module will take about 45 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 65 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To provide participants with a way of understanding behaviour and improving communication.
• To provide a very basic introduction to transactional analysis.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to junior managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module is intended to provide a very simple introduction to transactional analysis, a theory developed by Eric Berne in the 1950s. If you are not familiar with transactional analysis you will need to read through all the notes carefully plus the additional material in the handout. Go through the exercises on your own first so that you can see the rationale. If you have time, try to observe the different types "in play" in your own interactions with people.

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Island of Opportunity - A Test of Negotiation Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 75 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of building a clear understanding of needs and feelings in negotiation, through effective questioning and listening.
• To show the importance of separating people and personalities from the problems.
• To show the value of a shared problem/creative solution finding approach to negotiation.
• To provide an opportunity to practise negotiation, teamwork and problem solving skills.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 70 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 90 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of building a clear understanding of needs and feelings in negotiation, through effective questioning and listening.
• To show the importance of separating people and personalities from the problems.
• To show the value of a shared problem/creative solution finding approach to negotiation.
• To provide an opportunity to practise negotiation, teamwork and problem solving skills.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Negotiation skills, communication, leadership, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving.

Group Size:
This game involves participants working individually (or in pairs) representing one of 3 or, ideally 4 tribes. So each game requires a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 8. You can have several games running concurrently alongside each other.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels who are involved in negotiating but managers in particular.

You'll Need:
• An island map for each group of 3 or 4 tribes and ideally they should be A3 or larger and laminated.
• A different brief for each tribe.
• Chinagraph pencils (or similar) and wipes are recommended if your maps are laminated.

Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
It’s best to run this exercise module without too much explanation.

This exercise has many different potential solutions – the learning comes from the experience of trying to find one that all parties can agree to.

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Jess Blonde - Tough Negotiations for Senior Managers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their negotiation skills and in particular their ability to establish their needs and wants, and those of the other party, prior to commencing negotiating.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 90 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 120 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants develop their negotiation skills and in particular their ability to establish their needs and wants, and those of the other party, prior to commencing negotiating.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Communication skills, leadership, negotiation, teamwork and collaboration, and problem solving.

Group Size:
This exercise involves participants working in four teams. You’ll need a minimum of 2 participants in each team and a maximum of 6.

Useful For:
Managers, and particularly those at a more senior level.

You'll Need:
• Access to the Internet, to use our online scoring tool, necessary to assess teams’ performances and a printer to provide participants a copy of the results. (Only you will need this, not your participants.)
• Plenty of space. Ideally each of your four teams will have a separate breakout room to work in.
• A calculator for each team.
• Highlighters, pens and pencils for each team.
• A small prize for the winning team.
• A bell (optional) - available to buy from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
The exercise can also be used at the end of a training event focused on negotiation, allowing participants to apply new knowledge and skills.

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Job Application 2 – Understanding Job Adverts

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To assist job applicants in understanding what the employer is looking for when advertising a job.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To assist job applicants in understanding what the employer is looking for when advertising a job.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those returning to work after a career break or job seekers. This module may also be used as a framework for 1:1 coaching sessions.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the second module in the Job Application series of short workshops taking participants through the whole job application process – from selecting the most appropriate jobs to preparing for interview. Alternatively it can be run as a stand-alone exercise.

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Job Application 4 – The Gentle Art of Writing a CV

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 70 minutes.

Aims:
• To help job applicants write a compelling CV.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 40 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 70 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help job applicants write a compelling CV.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those returning to work after a career break or job seekers. This module may also be used as a framework for 1:1 coaching sessions.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the fourth module in the Job Application series of short workshops taking participants through the whole job application process – from selecting the most appropriate jobs to preparing for interview. It may also be used as a short, stand-alone session.

We’ve provided two alternative briefs for Exercise 1, one for more senior, experienced groups and one for less experienced candidates.

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Leaping to Assumptions - The Ladder of Inference

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 50 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the Ladder of Inference.
• To help participants understand how quickly we can leap to assumptions about other people, which in turn can harden into deep-rooted beliefs.
• To understand how our beliefs impact on our communication with others.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20-30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40-50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To introduce participants to the Ladder of Inference.
• To help participants understand how quickly we can leap to assumptions about other people, which in turn can harden into deep-rooted beliefs.
• To understand how our beliefs impact on our communication with others.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants. This exercise works best when the teams have 3-4 participants in each, but you don’t want to have more than 5 teams in total, or the exercise will become too unwieldy.

Useful For:
Everyone who interacts with others at work.

You'll Need:
• Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can be useful in any communication skills course or workshop, though it is particularly relevant in training that explores difficult conversations, decision making and negotiations.

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Letters Solve a Problem

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To explore the challenge when solving a problem where a number of people are involved, particularly when those people may have other obligations that mean they can’t give your problem their complete attention.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 6 and 12 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

Useful For:
Anyone who is looking to develop their problem solving skills.

You'll Need:
• A set of prepared puzzle cards.
• A stopwatch (available to buy from Trainers' Market).

Notes:
This exercise requires a minimum of 6 participants. Where you have more than 12 participants, you should consider splitting your group and running two versions of the exercise separately in tandem.

It is important that all of the cards are distributed and that every participant has a card but some participants can receive more cards than others – in fact it’s better if they do.

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Making and Refusing Requests

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To draw up some guidelines for making and refusing requests.
• To describe and practise a number of assertiveness techniques.
• To test participants’ understanding of assertive behaviour.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To draw up some guidelines for making and refusing requests.
• To describe and practise a number of assertiveness techniques.
• To test participants’ understanding of assertive behaviour.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisor level.

You'll Need:
• Half of the participants will need Handout 1 and the rest will need Handout 2. Everyone will need a copy of Handout 3.

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Overcoming Sales Blocks

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify why potential customers don’t like receiving sales calls.
• To consider the skills that sales consultants will need to use to get their message heard by potential buyers.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed within 35 minutes if working with a group of 10-12 participants. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To identify why potential customers don’t like receiving sales calls.
• To consider the skills that sales consultants will need to use to get their message heard by potential buyers.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Telesales staff.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module can be used as an effective introduction to telesales training. You are likely to discover that, having identified the skills they should be using, participants fail to actually apply these in practical ‘role-play’ or simulation type exercises, and instead slip into bad habits.

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Pings and Dongs! - The Use of Body Language in Communication

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of body language in communication.
• To identify the positive and negative signals we give off in conversation.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 30 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of body language in communication.
• To identify the positive and negative signals we give off in conversation.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module has been written from a UK perspective. Body language can be interpreted very differently in different regions of the world.

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Pitfalls and Trampolines - Call Centres and Telesales

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with call centres and telesales and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making calls successful.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with call centres and telesales and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making calls successful.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Telesales and telephone skills, customer service, communication skills, effective questioning, building rapport, creative thinking and problem solving.

Group Size:
In this exercise participants can play individually, although we recommend they play in pairs/small teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A counter for every team.
• Dice.
• A 'Pitfalls and Trampolines' game board and a set of Pitfalls cards and Trampoline cards for each game in play.

Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
Pitfalls and Trampolines is a fun board game. It can be used at any point within a training event, but is perhaps most useful as a tool for reviewing key learning points and for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Some of the cards may not be applicable to your participants so, before starting the exercise, review all of the Pitfalls and Trampoline cards and remove any that aren't relevant.

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Pitfalls and Trampolines - Customer Service

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage discussion about customer service.
• To identify common pitfalls to avoid in relation to customer service.
• To highlight and share best practices for satisfying and delighting customers.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage discussion about customer service.
• To identify common pitfalls to avoid in relation to customer service.
• To highlight and share best practices for satisfying and delighting customers.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Customer care, communication skills, teamwork and collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving.

Group Size:
In this exercise participants can play individually, although we recommend they play in pairs/small teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels especially those in a customer facing role.

You'll Need:
• A counter for every team.
• Dice.
• A 'Pitfalls and Trampolines' game board and a set of Pitfall cards and Trampoline cards for each game in play.

Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
Pitfalls and Trampolines is a fun board game. It can be used at any point within a training event, but is perhaps most useful as a tool for reviewing key learning points and for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Some of the cards may not be applicable to your participants so, before starting the exercise, review all of the Pitfalls and Trampolines cards and remove any that aren’t relevant.

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Pitfalls and Trampolines - Presentation Skills

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with giving presentations and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making presentations successful.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with giving presentations and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making presentations successful.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Presentation skills, communication skills, influence and persuasion, planning and preparation, creative thinking and audience engagement.

Group Size:
In this exercise participants can play individually, although we recommend they play in pairs/small teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A counter for every team.
• Dice.
• A 'Pitfalls and Trampolines' game board and a set of Pitfalls cards and Trampoline cards for each game in play.

Complete Game Packs are now available to buy from
Trainers' Market.

Notes:
Pitfalls and Trampolines is a fun board game. It can be used at any point within a training event, but is perhaps most useful as a tool for reviewing key learning points and for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Some of the cards may not be applicable to your participants so, before starting the exercise, review all of the Pitfalls and Trampolines cards and remove any that aren’t relevant.

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Pitfalls and Trampolines - Telesales

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with telesales and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making telesales calls successful.

About

Time:
This game can be played in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To examine common problems/conundrums associated with telesales and discuss ways of overcoming these.
• To highlight and share best practices and tips for making telesales calls successful.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Telesales, communication skills, effective questioning, building rapport, creative thinking and problem solving.

Group Size:
In this exercise participants can play individually, although we recommend they play in pairs/small teams.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A counter for every team.
• Dice.
• A 'Pitfalls and Trampolines' game board and a set of Pitfalls cards and Trampoline cards for each game in play.

Complete Game Packs are now half price in
Trainers' Market, but only while stocks last.

A new version of the team game - Pitfalls and Trampolines - Call Centres and Telesales - is now available in Trainers' Library and Game Packs are coming soon.

Notes:
Pitfalls and Trampolines is a fun board game. It can be used at any point within a training event, but is perhaps most useful as a tool for reviewing key learning points and for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Some of the cards may not be applicable to your participants (for example, if your participants sell to non-business customers). Before starting the exercise, run through the cards and remove any that you don’t want to include.

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Powerful Communication - What Listeners Pay Attention To

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To help participants understand what listeners actually pay attention to when someone is speaking.
• To provide participants with a self-generated list of the essences of powerful communication.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 20-30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 40-50 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To help participants understand what listeners actually pay attention to when someone is speaking.
• To provide participants with a self-generated list of the essences of powerful communication.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
• A flipchart and a stopwatch for each trainer.
Stopwatches are available to buy from Trainers' Market.

Notes:
This exercise can be useful in any course on communication skills or presentation skills. It works best at the start of a course as the flipchart that the participants generate can be referred to throughout the rest of the course and added to as other essences of powerful communication appear.

If you have 9-15 participants the exercise works best if you split the group into two teams.

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Project Planning Part 3 – Communication Plan

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 35 minutes.

Aims:
• To consider issues around communicating your project plan effectively and to create a communication plan.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 35 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 70 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To consider issues around communicating your project plan effectively and to create a communication plan.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to set up and/or commission and/or manage projects.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This is the third module in the Project Planning series. The first two modules must be run before this one.

If you are running this on a different date from the first two modules it would be sensible to remind participants to bring their completed project plan, risk analysis and contingency planning documents to this session.

As with the previous sessions, you will probably need several copies of the handout per participant so make sure you have enough printed.

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Questions and Selling Points

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To generate a list of open questions that can be used during participants’ sales calls/meetings.
• To generate a list of unique selling points for the product or service that participants sell.
• To group these according to where they would most naturally be used in the sales process.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 30 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 60 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To generate a list of open questions that can be used during participants’ sales calls/meetings.
• To generate a list of unique selling points for the product or service that participants sell.
• To group these according to where they would most naturally be used in the sales process.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 25 participants.

Useful For:
Sales staff.

You'll Need:
Post-it notes.

Notes:
This module provides a useful follow on to ‘Talking Brochure or Sales Person?’ and ‘Sales Call Analysis’.

It’s a practical module that will give participants a simple, yet effective tool to use in their future sales calls or meetings.

This module requires that participants are all involved in selling the same product or service and is not suited to open courses with participants from different organisations.

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Questions to Probe, Explore and Challenge

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of open questions when exploring problems.
• To encourage participants to identify effective open questions for challenging blocks and assumptions.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of open questions when exploring problems.
• To encourage participants to identify effective open questions for challenging blocks and assumptions.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Supervisors and above.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Participants will need to be aware of question types and be able to recognise the difference between open, closed, leading and hypothetical questions. A module that explains different types of questions, 'Types of Question', can be found in Trainers' Library, under Course Modules/Communication Skills.

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Recognising Our ‘Hot’ Buttons

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 25 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to recognise personal triggers that affect their emotional state.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 25 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 45minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to recognise personal triggers that affect their emotional state.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This activity acts as a good precursor to the Trainers’ Library module ‘Managing Emotions’. It is also useful if you have completed the module ‘Emotional Intelligence Part 1 – Self Awareness’.

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Recruitment - Interview Practice

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 180 minutes.

Aims:
• To enable participants to understand what is needed to run an effective recruitment interview and to practise doing so.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 130 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 180 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To enable participants to understand what is needed to run an effective recruitment interview and to practise doing so.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of between 4 and 12 participants. Ideally, you should have at least 6 participants.

Useful For:
Anyone who is involved in interviewing candidates for posts in their organisation.

You'll Need:
• Post-it notes.
• The job description, person specification and the candidate applications for the role you’d like to interview for.
• One room containing a table and chairs for each group taking part in the practice interviews.
• A waiting room for your candidates. (One of these rooms needs to be large enough for the whole group to come together for the initial briefing and final discussion/review.)

Notes:
Recruitment is the start of effective performance management and one of any organisation’s most important activities. This module will ensure that all those involved are able to carry out the interview process effectively. It is simple to run but does need careful planning to ensure it works. The time spent doing this is amply rewarded by the fact that, once done, you can use the module again and again, without the need for much planning.

Although not totally necessary, we think it would be helpful to run this session as part of a whole course looking at recruitment. There is a complete course agenda in Trainers’ Library that shows how you could do this.

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Representational Systems - An Introduction for Trainers

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To introduce trainers to the theory of representational systems contained within much NLP training.
• To explain the theory and build awareness of it.
• To encourage reasoned debate about its validity in training.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To introduce trainers to the theory of representational systems contained within much NLP training.
• To explain the theory and build awareness of it.
• To encourage reasoned debate about its validity in training.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Trainers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module for trainers is designed to explain the theory of Representational Systems, often referred to in NLP training. The module provides an objective overview of the idea of representational systems and the belief held by many NLP practitioners that we tend to have a preferred representational system. The module also introduces, again objectively, the concept of eye accessing cues.

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Restaurant Revolution - Teamwork and Conflict Resolution

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 60 minutes.

Aims:
• To give participants insight into the destructive nature of a blame culture.
• To demonstrate the importance of empathy in conflict resolution.
• To take participants on a journey from conflict to understanding and conflict resolution.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 60 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 90 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To give participants insight into the destructive nature of a blame culture.
• To demonstrate the importance of empathy in conflict resolution.
• To take participants on a journey from conflict to understanding and conflict resolution.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants. Ideally, you'll have at least 6 participants though so that you can create 3 teams of 2 or more.

Useful For:
Anyone who needs to work with other teams and/or manages conflict or misunderstanding across teams.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise was generously donated to Trainers’ Library by Andrew Kitton of AKF Training and was developed following attendance on our Trainers’ Masterclass, ‘Using Metaphor to Ignite Learning’.

The activity in this exercise consists of three short team exercises that progress the teams from conflict to understanding and resolution.

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Sales Call Analysis

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 45 minutes.

Aims:
• To analyse a typical sales call and identify areas for improvement.
• To assess who does most of the talking in a typical sales call.
• To consider the importance of open questions in sales calls.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 25 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 45 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To analyse a typical sales call and identify areas for improvement.
• To assess who does most of the talking in a typical sales call.
• To consider the importance of open questions in sales calls.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Sales staff.

You'll Need:
• Recording equipment.
• 2 Stopwatches (available to buy from Trainers' Market).

Notes:
This exercise is a useful pre-cursor to training for existing telesales teams when your objective is to increase the amount of dialogue between the customer and sales person and to increase the number of open questions used.

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Selling Change

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 80 minutes.

Aims:
• To consider what needs to be communicated when change is initiated.
• To explore the need to convince those affected by change of the need for change and its urgency.
• To consider methods that can be used to achieve buy-in to change programmes.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 45 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 80 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To consider what needs to be communicated when change is initiated.
• To explore the need to convince those affected by change of the need for change and its urgency.
• To consider methods that can be used to achieve buy-in to change programmes.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Managers.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

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Something in Common

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to find things they have in common.
• To consider the impact on relationships of finding common ground.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module.

Aims:
• To encourage participants to find things they have in common.
• To consider the impact on relationships of finding common ground.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can be used as an icebreaker, and can provide a particularly powerful introduction to sales or negotiation skills courses.

It can also be used as an introduction to equal opportunities and diversity programmes, where it can be used to highlight a potential barrier to equal opportunities.

It can even be used to highlight one barrier to creativity and innovation within organisations.

This is a great exercise for building rapport between participants and is particularly useful with a group that do not know each other very well.

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Special Offer - The Importance of Summary and Clarification

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 40 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.
• To test participants' ability to listen effectively, check understanding and summarise key points back to the person delivering information to them.
• To briefly consider some of the barriers to effective listening and techniques for minimising these.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module will take about 20 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 40 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.
• To test participants' ability to listen effectively, check understanding and summarise key points back to the person delivering information to them.
• To briefly consider some of the barriers to effective listening and techniques for minimising these.

Group Size:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to supervisory level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This exercise can be used as an effective icebreaker to training where listening skills are covered or are particularly important.

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Summary and Clarification

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 20 minutes.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.

About

Time:
This exercise will take about 10 minutes to complete. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing 20 minutes to complete this module.

Aims:
• To demonstrate the importance of summary and clarification in effective communication.

Group Sizes:
This module is suitable for use with groups of up to about 15 participants.

Useful For:
Staff up to Team Leaders/Supervisor level.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
Summary and clarification are important in all forms of communication and this module is relevant to courses covering topics as diverse as interviewing (particularly behaviour based selection interviewing), counselling skills, negotiation skills, performance management, customer service etc. This exercise can be used as a short and snappy icebreaker to communication skills training.

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Talking Brochure or Sales Person?

Time:
In total we estimate this exercise will take 30 minutes.

Aims:
• To identify how a sales person differs from a brochure.
• To highlight key skills used by ‘great’ sales people.
• For existing sales teams, to identify areas where the current approach could be improved.

About

Time:
The exercise in this module can be completed in about 15 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion, we recommend allowing about 30 minutes for this module if working with a group of 10-12 participants. It is therefore ideal as a topic specific icebreaker.

Aims:
• To identify how a sales person differs from a brochure.
• To highlight key skills used by ‘great’ sales people.
• For existing sales teams, to identify areas where the current approach could be improved.

Group Size:
This module can be used with groups of up to 15 participants.

Useful For:
Sales staff.

You'll Need:
Nothing other than the materials provided.

Notes:
This module provides trainers with a useful way of introducing sales skills training to those already in a sales role. It's a useful icebreaker to use to illustrate the need for change and to highlight areas for improvement.

It is also suitable for use with those new to a sales role.

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