Do you have to have skills to manage difficult people at work (be they staff or members of the public)?
Would you like difficult behaviour training to be less stressed and more effective when handling people? Managing difficult behaviour in the workplace is a part of any manager-s job and doing it skilfully is necessary for efficient work, harmonious relationships and ultimately a healthy bottom-line. Our difficult behaviour management programs are always bespoke, interactive and experiential (we do not provide open public behaviour courses, but do work one-to-one with individuals). People on the difficult behaviour training will not only walk away with new knowledge but new practices and commitments for handling difficult behaviour and applying what they have learnt day-to-day.
Posted on: January 21, 2013 This FAQ is a combination of an article I wrote for Professional Marketing Magazine and a blog post published recently on cross cultural and multicultural communication.
Remember the joke about the cruise ship captain who has to convince the passengers of his sinking ship to jump overboard?
As globalisation and consolidation in professional service firms increases, the need to understand cultural differences becomes more important whether to achieve good internal communication and buy in where multiple territories must collaborate on a project, where we are trying to develop international marketing campaigns or where we are co-ordinating activities for multinationals as part of a key client programme.
There are a number of well-known models which attempt to provide a framework for understanding cross cultural communication by articulating the main cultural differences.
It helped us understand different business drivers when dealing with, for example, the highly individualistic cultures of Northern America and Western Europe compared to the more collective cultures in Asia. This provides some useful insights for the professions (dominated by the largest American and Western European firms) which traditionally rewarded individual performance at the expense of group or team results and are typically quite assertive.
Observe people from neutral cultures who do not carry out their feelings but keep them controlled and subdued become uncomfortable with those from high emotional cultures who show them plainly by laughing, smiling, scowling and gesturing.
Many Westeners (sequential), who have a crucial path worked out in advance with times for the completion of each stage are frustrated with they must deal with Middle Eastern people (synchronic or polychromic) who are less insistent upon punctuality. Obviously, it would help if we could participate in one of the many cross-cultural training sessions available (which are sadly usually rather expensive) or spend time working in a variety of overseas territories, which can be logistically difficult if there are families to consider.
But for those who cannot adopt one of these routes there are other ways to increase their cross-cultural sensitivity and intelligence. Be aware of cultural differences The first step is the need to accept that not everyone thinks and behaves the way that you do and that there is no one a€?righta€? way of doing things. Learn more about other cultures At a simplistic level this might involve reading books and resources to help you appreciate cultural differences amongst the international groups you are most likely to encounter. Expose yourself to other cultures Another step is to expose yourself regularly to another culture so that the differences become more apparent and you can start to develop some empathy for another view of the world. Immerse yourself in another culture Ideally, this would involve going to live and work overseas for a period of time and throwing yourself in the deep end a€“ although there are significant risks here if it is in a work environment.

Organise cross-cultural groups It may be that your role already requires you to work with people from a variety of cultures in which case you can observe and learn what is happening as communication between group members takes place. Arrange face to face contact wherever possible Obviously, where travel budgets allow it is always best to try and get to meet people face to face in their territory so that you have the chance to observe them in their native environment.
Develop cultural competency frameworks Work with the human resources team to see if cultural literacy can be embedded within existing competency frameworks and included in appropriate traditional and e-learning training programmes. Observe and adapt Ultimately, you will need to let go of some of your preferred and proven methods of working and experiment with new approaches that will feel more familiar to those from other cultures. As always, if there are particular topics you would like me to address in the future, please let me know. Law Firm Strategy - Are law firm leaders in denial about the perfect storm or hanging on for the final big catch? Yahoo , Facebook , Facebook , Twitter , Twitter , Google+ , Google+ , Myspace , Myspace , Linkedin , Linkedin , Odnoklassniki , Odnoklassniki , Vkontakte , Vkontakte , Google , Google , Yahoo , Yahoo , Rambler , Rambler , Yandex , Yandex , Gmail , Gmail , Yahoo! Designers Manufacturers , ??????? ????????? - ?????????? ???????????? , Gorgian Wikipedia - Free Encyclopedia , ????????? ?????? ????????? , Cambridje Dictionary Online , ????????? ???????? ????????? ?????? ????????? , Oxford Advenced Learner's Online Dictionar? , ??????????? ?????? - moazrovne,net, ???
In the modern office people are paid to communicate and handling difficult people and behaviour is a crucial workplace skill. We provide practical behaviour management training, resources and communication tools to help people get the job done. A difficult behaviour training course may open with discussion of difficult behaviour (people-s own as well as that of others) and why it matters. Handouts, difficult behaviour resources and follow-up support after the course to support learning is also provided. The topic is nearly always raised by delegates on my marketing and sales training sessions – especially if there has recently been a merger which has increased diversity. The masculine approaches in Japan and Austria are in contrast to the more feminine cultures in, for example, Scandinavia when it comes to people management.
And the lack, until recently, of a strong future orientation is the bane of many professional service marketers lives! And anyone who has worked with Japanese will know that the small talk conversations and questions about family will not be well received. Brits will also know that their thoughtful agendas will be perceived with some suspicion by Continental Europeans. Many firms are reviewing their overseas experience and secondment programmes as they recognise the value in such first- hand experience.
Everyone has a world view which affects the way that they perceive things and a large part of that internal mental model will be shaped by the culture and society in which they grew up.

This may be difficult as many people from other cultures who work or live alongside you will have assimilated much of your own culture a€“ so you need to find people who are as unfamiliar with your culture as you are with theirs. But even personal trips can be used to increase exposure to business practices with a little foresight and planning.
Some firms set up such groups to tackle low priority and low risk projects so that cultural differences can surface and become known to all group members. In many cultures, it is difficult to develop a strong working relationship without this kind of interaction where it is a pre-cursor to build trust.
You will also find a source of more and up to date information on a broad range of management and marketing issues in the professions by checking out the blog where I also post regular reviews of books that might be helpful. We work with individuals and organisations interested in managing difficult people and behaviour in Brighton (Sussex), Birmingham, London and the South East.
I remember with stark clarity my consternation (mirrored by the UK senior team) at trying to facilitate a rebranding meeting over 15 years ago with the leaders of firms from across Europe a€“ the UK a€?rules of engagementa€? were simply inadequate. The respect for hierarchy and status in high power distance cultures such as India are not easily combined with the low power distance in places such as Israel.
The power distance dimension probably remains more influential than the collectivism, human orientation and gender egalitarianism dimensions which the more advanced firms are now trying to embed in their organisational cultures. This model a€“ shaping every aspect of how we perceive, process and understand information – is so deeply ingrained that it is almost impossible to identify and examine it and consider how it might be very different for others.
Happily, the advances in technology mean that high quality face-to-face encounters can be facilitated without people leaving their desks if necessary.
We also take an ethical and respectful approach not focusing on "difficult people" but learnt behavioural strategies and ways to develop new ones. The main model we use is called NonViolent Communication (AKA compassionate communication) invented by Marshall Rosenberg, which involves clear observations, expressing feelings non judgementally, connecting to underlying needs and concrete requests to get the job done. And managers in weak uncertainty avoidance cultures such as Denmark and Singapore understand why they must be specific in their instructions for strong uncertainty cultures such as Portugal and Japan.
We find avoiding labelling and judging to finding underlying motivations and get behind the "difficult" behaviour creates mutual understanding and is what is most effective.

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