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Action Accelerators

Skill-Building Delivered Live Online

How to Give Feedback from a Distance

The Challenge

Giving someone feedback is never a sure thing. Almost everyone wants constructive support, but fears criticism and blame. The normal challenges giving feedback, e.g., having first-hand data or an agreed-upon process for the conversation, are magnified when the parties are located in different places.

What People Learn

Learn how to observe others’ actions and behaviors from a distance in order to (a) provide constructive feedback, and (b) support virtual colleagues in responding to a request for a change in behavior.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Influence Stakeholders from a Distance

The Challenge

Many virtual teams work in some kind of matrix reporting relationship. These work relationships are based on patterns of give and take. Relationships are more tenuous across a distances. The exchange system breaks down without regular face-to-face contact. Virtual workers and their leaders require a practical approach to leverage their influence when working from a distance.

What People Learn

Learn techniques for influencing the thinking and behavior of people whose support we want, but over whom we have little authority or may never meet in person.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Tame the Online Meeting Monster

The Challenge

Virtual meetings are getting better with newer technology. But most people still experience online meetings as difficult exercises, and often a waste of time. Is there a monster lurking in the room? Various industry surveys indicate that up to 50% of meetings are considered less than successful. How much would you like to improve your virtual meetings?

What People Learn

Learn techniques for planning the meeting, getting people focused and engaged, building agreements, and completing the meeting with clear and practical action plans.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Really Listen & Understand People

The Challenge

Listening to the ideas and opinions of others – and having one's own ideas understood – are foundation skills for effective teamwork. It’s hard enough to really listen when we’re in the same room with people. When working at a distance, it’s even harder to understand what people are saying, perceive the underlying concerns, or pay attention. As a consequence, we end up creating more distance instead of connection and alignment.

What People Learn

Learn how to listen as an ally: hear and understand people more accurately, appreciate alternative points of view, and encourage honest, back-and-forth communication.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Set Up Distributed Teams

The Challenge

Most virtual teams and work groups aren’t set up for success. Without basic requirements in place, e.g., shared and meaningful purpose, many cross-functional or cross-boundary team can’t maintain working agreements, flex in time to avoid pitfalls, or take advantage of emerging opportunities. Result: not meeting their own or others’ expectations.

What People Learn

Whether launching a new team or helping an existing team reach its potential, learn best practices for setting direction, maintaining focus and sharing responsibility for success.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Build Trust & Rapport in the Virtual Workplace

The Challenge

It’s not easy to get connected and develop affinity with team members who work in different places. Still, trust and rapport are essential ingredients for getting things done over time. How do virtual team leaders and members build rapport and trust? And how is this different than building trust in person?

What People Learn

Learn the essential ingredients for building trust and staying connected with co-workers and teammates who work from home and/or in different locations: dependability, values congruence, transparency, competence, and focused intention.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Engage Everyone in Online Meetings

The Challenge

Limited participation and multi-tasking are common problems in virtual meetings. Some people don’t hear or understand key messages. Without shared understanding, there’s little basis for informed consent or concerted follow-through. Without active participation, there’s little chance you’ll come up with creative ideas and solutions.

What People Learn

Learn practical techniques for including everyone, focusing attention, generating ideas, and tracking discussion and action items.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Lead with Purpose & Empathy

The Challenge

Generation Y and Z talent, even while having inseparable relationships with their hand-held device, want authentic connections with their supervisors and leaders. Every year 25% or more of workers under 35 leave command-driven cultures for more collaborative, empathic workplaces. Demonstrating empathy is a leadership core competence — for retaining talent, and for catalyzing mission-focused activity and engagement.

What People Learn

Learn how successful leaders communicate and connect with employees to build authentic, mission-driven relationships that lead to greater accountability and performance.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Raise & Address Difficult Subjects

The Challenge

In the work setting, most people don’t like to argue or criticize. We tend toward being “politically” and safely polite. That’s a natural human response to uncertainty. But hesitancy and avoidance also keep important issues from being addressed and, over time, undermine the culture of the team. Are your colleagues too nice for their own good? For the team and company’s good?

What People Learn

Learn how to initiate difficult conversations, help colleagues say what’s on their minds, and help your team and company develop norms for addressing hard topics.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Ask Better Questions

The Challenge

We are creatures of habit. When faced with a challenge at work, we ask ourselves similar kinds of questions, for example: How do we get people to do their jobs? Where will we find the time to finish this project? These sound like reasonable questions. But more likely, they are traps that prevent us from seeing the big picture, limit creative problem solving, and lead us to poor decisions.

What People Learn

Learn how to spot limiting and biased questions (mental quicksand) and to fashion powerful questions and problem statements using a practical tool: The Unstuck Minds Compass.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Present Online with Confidence

The Challenge

Presenting online is a common task for most managers and professionals. Near-death by PowerPoint is a common experience for the people attending those presentations. Presenting online has special challenges – including the fact that a speaker may get 20 seconds of audience attention before people start multi-tasking. The speaker may not see facial expressions and body language, so it’s more difficult to make adjustments during the course of the presentation. Making an online presentation is a big phobia – right up there with virtual snakes and spiders.

What People Learn

Learn how to engage and command the attention of an audience in online meetings by using compelling messages, attractive visuals, and vocal variety — and being yourself.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

How to Reconcile Differences

The Challenge

Human beings are social creatures. We like to get along. But when we disagree online, the absence of in-person social cues and bonding, makes getting to yes even more difficult, especially if we barely know each other. Our friendly “me and you” attitude can quickly turn into “me versus you.” Not understanding their own or others’ needs, or not having a simple process for bridging the gap, virtual team members stick to their positions and block forward progress.

What People Learn

Learn how to handle conflict and disagreement in online meetings quickly and with integrity so you can get back to collaborating versus competing and withholding support.

Learning Process

Step 1: A self-paced online survey (15 minutes).

Step 2: Instructor-led, knowledge acquisition session in large group (60 minutes).

Step 3: Practice at work (self-directed).

Step 4: Instructor-led Practice Lab in small group (90 minutes)

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