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- Supplementary Workshops -

These workshops are supplements to one or more of the "foundation" courses in our curriculum. They are available on demand and they may be purchased as a follow-on to one of the foundation courses. Also, upon request, the contents of one course may be merged with another to customize the focus and emphasis where needed.


Index of Supplementary Courses

Communications & Interpersonal Skills
Persuasion Power Workshop
Applied Negotiating Skills Workshop
Applied Negotiating Skills for Buyers


Writing Skills Workshops

Comprehensive Technical Writing Workshop
Effective Writing at Work

Sales & Customer Service

Consultative Selling Power
Sales Engineering Workshop

Personal Growth & Development
Managing Relating & Communicating Styles
Problem Solving & Decision Making

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Project & Multitasking Management
Quantitative Tools for Project Managers
Managing & Working at a Distance
Managing the Research Documentation Project
Project Management for Contractors
Project Leadership Workshop
Project Consultants Power Toolkit

Analytical Tools in Business
Root Cause Analysis in Problem Solving

Measuring & Monitoring Organizational Performance
Gleaning Facts From Figures

Process Management & Improvement
Integrated Process Management

Work-Right Workshop

Strategy Planning & Strategic Thinking
Strategy Planning and Execution for Public Orgs.
 


Courses Descriptions


Quantitative Tools for Project Managers
For Project Managers Who Want To Take Their Skills to the Next Level

This workshop is geared for project managers who need to make fact-based decisions throughout the lifecycle of the project and effectively communicate the rationale for their decisions to customers, senior managers, and other stakeholders. The primary emphasis is on practical applications of certain statistical tools that are relevant to project managers and the project environment. It is designed to help professional project managers who want to take their skills to the next level by having the tools necessary to objectively answer such questions as these:

Here are the topic areas that will be addressed in this workshop:

Take-Aways: Each participant will receive a set of course notes and a CD containing helpful templates and other files, including a Monte Carlo modeling tool.

Prerequisites: Participants should be familiar with the basic terminology and concepts of project management as well as basic statistical concepts such as mean, median, mode, variance, and standard deviation.

What To Bring: Each participant should bring a laptop computer with MS Excel (2000 or later) installed. The participant should also ensure that the Analysis ToolPak add-in has been installed in the version of MS Excel that he/she will be using during the workshop.

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Managing & Working at a Distance
- Coordinating Decentralized Projects & Virtual Teams - 

This workshop deals with a difficult reality as more and more organizations have become geographically dispersed: How to effectively work with teams and projects that are spread across time, space, and cultures.  The participants will learn practical skills for communicating, coordinating, and collaborating on complex projects when co-location is not an option.  Furthermore, the "distance manager" will learn how to manage so-called "distributed projects" given little, if any, direct control over resources, work habits, or individual job performance.  Please note that this is a content-focused workshop that deals with topics and challenges beyond the general principles of managing people and projects. It can also be customized to deal with challenges that are unique to the client's organization.

 Topics

Who Should Participate? This workshop will benefit anyone who has to work with or on a distributed team, either as an individual contributor, project team leader, or program manager.  This may include members of product development teams, project implementation teams, sales & marketing teams, business development teams, as well as the managers of such teams.

Duration: 1 day.

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Managing the Research Documentation Project

This intensive workshop is designed for practicing professionals who have to produce complex research reports in a team setting. The project team may consist of researchers, report writers, graphic artists, statisticians, consultants, advisory councils, managers . . . or virtually anyone who has a stake in producing a thorough, accurate, and readable research report. More than just a "style and structure" workshop, this workshop teaches practical tools and techniques for planning and executing the documentation project in a timely, well-conceived manner. The participants will also be introduced to Internet-based tools that are available to assist in developing and disseminating the research report.

Topics

Duration: 1-day.

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Project Management for Contractors

Contractors deal with projects that are unique in terms of scope, risks, working conditions, and customer expectations. Whether building and installing a commercial system or working with an architect to design a new system, timelines are tight, the margin for error is small, and the work has to be coordinated with other parties. To compound matters, the contractor may be supporting multiple projects concurrently. This workshop focuses on the special challenges of managing projects in this environment, giving contractor personnel the skills they need to effectively plan, manage, and organize their projects, while minimizing surprises and missed deadlines.

Topics

Duration: 1-day.

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Project Leadership Workshop

This workshop is about getting the job done where it really counts: in the critical execution phase.  Even if you have a flawless project plan, as a project manager the most trying challenges you will encounter will be in keeping the project moving forward in the face of conflicting priorities, changing requirements, outside interference, and a host of other complicating human and political factors.  Your skills in dealing with these factors will ultimately define your reputation as "one who gets the job done . . . a true project leader!" This timely workshop deals with the difficult human dimension of leading high-profile projects under resource-constrained conditions. It focuses on the special skills that a project manager or team leader will need to keep the project on track while deftly avoiding diversions and dealing with unplanned events.

Content & Focus: This workshop will be customized to address skill-development areas that pertain to the client's workplace and project environment . . . rather than spending time on attributes modeling. Based on the stated needs, supplemented by what we discover from two diagnostic tools, the workshop will emphasize skill-building in the following leader-competency areas:

Audience: The course is intended for anyone who is required to lead projects and project teams or serve as the project's primary interface with suppliers, customers, and other key stakeholders.

Duration: 2-days

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Sales Engineering Workshop

When it comes to sales and selling, high-end commercial products and services have little in common with consumer products and services. Unfortunately this reality is ignored in most sales training programs. But this much is clear: the traditional approach of sending sales engineers to general training on the "fundamentals of selling" has a poor return-on-investment when it comes to commercial customers – customers who need support from the sales engineer on both sides of the sales transaction. The Sales Engineering Workshop addresses this important distinction head-on. In this timely workshop you will learn what it takes – what special skills and abilities are needed – to handle the multifaceted job of a sales engineer in today's world. You will acquire vital skills in working with your customers from end-to-end by helping them solve complex business problems through the products and services that you sell. Skill practices and case profiles are used throughout to reinforce the concepts covered in the workshop.

Topics

Audience
This workshop is intended for prospective sales engineers as well as current sales engineers who wish to enhance their skills and effectiveness. Participants might include sales professionals, applications engineers, technicians, technical managers, and sales managers.

Duration: 2-days.

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Persuasion-Power Workshop

Good ideas alone are not enough . . . you have to have persuasion-power if you need buy-in from others!  This workshop will provide you with practical tools for upping your ability to influence others through the use of personal persuasion-power.  More than a list of to-dos, you will learn a systematic approach for framing your argument and presenting a compelling case for action that favors your position. 

Here are the major topic areas covered in this core-skills workshop:

Duration:      1-day

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Applied Negotiating Skills Workshop

Negotiating skills are essential for every professional. Not only are these skills used in buying-selling transactions, they play a central role in settling disputes, negotiating contracts, setting priorities, reaching compromises, and even assigning resources to tasks. The Applied Negotiating Skills Workshop makes these skills accessible to all, as it should be - not just professional arbitrators. The workshop is based on the win-win philosophy of negotiations, but it is also practical in the sense that it recognizes and addresses the fact that one-in-four people are naturally inclined to use an adversarial or competitive style of negotiations. It also deals with contemporary issues, such as team-based negotiations and negotiating via e-mail. The concepts and methods covered in this workshop are reinforced through skill practices that simulate realistic negotiating scenarios. Videotaping is optional for those who wish to see how their body language and speaking nuances influence their effectiveness at negotiating.  (Click here for a description of the Applied Negotiating Skills Workshop specifically for professional buyers.)

Topics

Exploring the practical basis for win-win negotiations
Understanding the psychology of negotiations
Critical mistakes that are often made during negotiations
Pre-negotiations - gathering information
Establishing your goals, objectives, and BATNA
Identifying and understanding your negotiating style
Reading and adapting to the style of others
Dealing with win-lose type personalities
Negotiating in impersonal situations, such as e-mail
Negotiating from a weak position
Establishing your negotiating strategy
Assessing the interests and motivations of the other party
Expanding the pie and building integrative agreements
Team negotiations - important dos and don'ts
Primer on inter-cultural negotiations
Keeping the situation under control
Giving and taking concessions
Effective negotiating tactics - tips and techniques
Recognizing and defending against negotiating ploys
Negotiating job priorities and task assignments
Breaking deadlocks and avoiding impasses
Competitive bidding - some important dos and don'ts
Bring the negotiations to successful closure
Skill practices and exercises

Duration: 2-days.

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Applied Negotiating Skills for Buyers
Practical Skills for Negotiating With Product Sellers & Service Providers

This workshop deals with negotiating skills and strategies from the buyer's perspective. It is specially geared for professionals who are charged with procuring products and services from vendors and contractors while representing the "best interests" of their companies and internal customers.  While the workshop is based on the win-win philosophy of negotiations, it is tempered by the fact that one-in-four people will assume an adversarial or competitive style of negotiations.  The workshop also deals with contemporary issues, such as team-based negotiations and negotiating via e-mail.  The principles covered in this workshop are reinforced through skill practices that simulate realistic negotiating scenarios from a buyer's perspective.

Topics

Duration: 1- or 2-day program (outline above is for the comprehensive 2-day program)

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Problem Solving and Decision Making

. . . experience is a harsh teacher; she gives her tests before she teaches her lessons.

Important though experience may be, there is a better alternative than the trial-and-error method of solving problems and making decisions.

Problem Solving & Decision Making is a 12 module program that builds individual and team skills in avoiding mishandled problems that cost companies millions of dollars every year while eroding their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Participants acquire the practical know-how to "frame" and isolate problems and then make sound decisions in effecting their resolution.

The program merges the strengths of both intuitive and rational problem solving while taking advantage of recent discoveries of how the human mind acquires, organizes, and processes information and solves problems creatively. Three decision-types are covered - including a model for ethical decision making that overlays virtually every business decision. In addition to applying these skills to practical situations and scenarios, participants are given the opportunity to work on job-specific problems. Emphasis is placed on developing and improving team problem solving abilities.

Problem Solving Style Assessment
The Problem Solving Style Assessment Instrument (PSSA) is administered to each participant to reveal his/her personal strengths and developmental areas by profiling the individual's propensity to use or avoid each of five problem solving modalities. It is also demonstrated how and where each problem solving modality contributes to the problem solving and decision making processes and why a balanced set of styles is essential to effective problem solving and decision making.

12 Module Program

1. Introduction to Problem Solving & Decision Making

2. Problem Solving Styles

3. Mind Tools

4. Problem Solving Traps and Barriers

5. Performing Cause-and-Effect Analyses

6. Problem Solving Strategies

7. Rapid Problem Analysis Techniques

8. Individual and Team Problem Solving Tools

9. Decision Traps and Barriers

10. Formulating a Decision Strategy

11. Generating and Testing Solution Alternatives

12. Individual and Team Decision Making Tools

Duration: 2-days.

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Root Cause Analysis in Problem Solving

This workshop builds practical skills in using Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to systematically isolate the underlying factors that give rise to complex problems.  Rather than surveying an array of RCA tools, emphasis is placed on developing proficiency in using the Events and Causal Factors Analysis (ECFA) technique; including certain tools, such as fault trees, that are helpful in various aspects of the failure analysis process.  In addition to ECFA, a problem-solving framework for applying RCA is also demonstrated and then reinforced by hands-on exercises.  The participants will also learn how to apply a robust problem resolution approach that will allow them to deal with risk containment when root cause elimination is not feasible.  The techniques covered in this workshop can be adapted to a variety of problem types - equipment failures, human error, design inadequacies, procedural failures, process problems, and systemic faults, to name a few.  RCA can also be applied to technical problems, human performance problems, as well as business process problems.

Topics

Duration: 12-hours (1-1/2 days)

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Integrated Process Management

This workshop is intended for companies that rely on a complex, interactive set of processes to transform customer demands into services and products. It challenges managers and executives to view the "global" consequences of their decisions and actions by fundamentally rethinking the way work gets accomplished. The process management outlook encourages employees see themselves and what they do as part of a unified process - one that works in concert to deliver valued services or products to the customer. As testament of its significance in today's business environment, Process Management is identified as one of the seven criteria that is used in judging the winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

The concepts covered in this workshop are applied throughout to case scenarios and job-related applications provided by the participants. The participants break out in small teams to study the cases and to consolidate their ideas.

Topics

Duration: 2-days.

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Work-Right Workshop

Tools and Techniques for Minimizing Costly Human Error and the Need for Rework

In the contemporary workplace, employees are under increasing pressure to “do more with less.” Accompanying this is an increased likelihood for the occurrence of two types of errors: errors of omission and errors of commission. The Work-Right Workshop™ addresses this issue head on. The participants in this workshop will acquire practical knowledge and skills for enhancing their personal performance by reducing costly human errors. Simple, but effective, tools and techniques to reduce the likelihood of errors that result in delays and rework are introduced and reinforced through exercises and skill practices. Also covered are techniques for identifying systemic factors that make conditions ripe for errors or prevent them from being detected and prevented early on. The course culminates by having each participant complete a personal plan of action for identifying and eliminating errors on the job and selecting targets for improvement.

Topics

Who Should Participate?
This is an intensive skill-building course that can benefit knowledge workers at every level in the organization. The subject matter is especially relevant to environments in which individuals work under intense time pressure, where precision and accuracy are of utmost importance, or where human error can result in costly consequences.

Duration: 1-day.

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Consultative Selling Power

Consultative selling is a solution-oriented approach to selling that focuses on satisfying customer wants, needs, and desires rather than applying high-pressure tactics. Sales professionals will learn how to apply the consultative selling concepts and increase their sales to informed customers. The participants will practice their new skills using customized scenarios for the products and services they sell.

Establishing Rapport

Recognizing and understanding customer's lack of trust
Creating a climate of trust
Thinking from the customers point of view

Questioning/Listening

7 Effective questioning techniques to get to the real issues
10 Barriers to active listening
2 Easy techniques to break the 10 barriers & become an active listener
Buyers motivations

Silent Signals

Learn to interpret actions as well as words, “the real message”
Learn the signals you can send to project
openness, confidence and trust

Bridging the Gender Gap

Special considerations when selling to women
How to avoid conflict and confusion when selling to couples and teams

Recommending Solutions

Solution strategies
Managing concerns (objections)

Closing Strategies and Techniques

Managing your fears
Recognizing buying signals
4
Powerful closing techniques

 Supporting the Customer

Living up to the commitment after the sale
Managing dissatisfaction

Duration: 2-days.

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© Roberts & Roberts Associates • Plano, TX • 972.596.2956www.R2assoc.com


Comprehensive Technical Writing Workshop

This workshop emphasizes practical, contemporary skills in technical writing. It addresses topics relevant to the design and development of technical documents in an information-rich society . . . a society that expects and demands ready access to needs-driven information. It also addresses contemporary issues in technical writing that coincide with the evolution and infusion of computer- and Internet-based information platforms. Furthermore, the course will address issues related to the document production cycle, including the current emphasis on cycle time compression as it relates to the documentation process. Unlike technical writing courses that focus exclusively on grammar and structure, this comprehensive workshop also lays out a practical framework for producing user-friendly technical documents from end-to-end.

Topics

Each participant in this hands-on workshop will receive a copy of the course notes and a CD containing a style guide for technical writers.

Duration: 4-day workshop (with class time devoted to writing exercises by participants, including peer reviews and critiques). A 2-days seminar version (with fewer exercises and less depth in the topics) is also available.

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Effective Writing at Work
-
An Applied Business Writing Workshop -

 This intensive workshop is intended for professionals who need to hone their business writing skills.  The emphasis is on getting your message across with clarity, conciseness, impact, and grammatical accuracy.  You will learn how to improve the structure and form of your writing, also how to select the appropriate format, depending on the nature of the document, whether it be a formal letter, informal letter, e-mail message, or report.  In addition, you will learn how to view your message from the standpoint of the reader for style, format, tone, and content.  Demonstrations and hands-on exercises are used throughout to reinforce the principles covered in the workshop.

Topics

Audience

This workshop will benefit individuals who rely on written correspondence to effectively communicate with customers, co-workers, constituents, or suppliers.  This may apply to individual contributors, specialists, administrative professionals, supervisors, managers, or executives.

Duration: 1-day.

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Strategy Planning and Execution for Public Organizations

This intensive 1-day training program consists of three essential parts: 1) managing the strategic planning process, 2) creating a viable strategic plan, and 3) putting the plan into action. The emphasis is on strategic thinking and planning as it applies to public-sector organizations . . . taking into consideration the special challenges that such organizations face, their dependence on public trust, and a "bottom-line" that is predicated on making an impact on society, rather than making a profit for investors. Because of these and other factors, public organizations require more from strategic planning than the traditional SWOT framework can deliver.

– Topical Outline – 

Since public organizations vary widely in their missions, opportunities, and challenges, this program will be tailored to deal with strategic thinking and planning issues that pertain to a particular client.

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To inquire about an on-site or customized workshop,
call us at
972.596.2956 or
send an e-mail message to:
info@r2assoc.com

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