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Education and Training :: Leader’s / Supervisor’s Essential Toolbox

 

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 Business Case Development

Effectively Evaluating Ideas
Frequently within your organization, staff identifies very interesting, novel ideas that could prove valuable to the company’s enhanced productivity, employee / customer satisfaction, and, the bottom line. Unfortunately, those ideas get lost in the transfer. Very often, there isn’t a mechanism for bringing them forward in a clear, cogent manner for full and appropriate analysis of the “opportunity”. Senior Leadership is reluctant (and correctly so) to commit the organization’s limited resources for such undertakings without that analysis and at least a basic plan of implementation. In this one-day workshop, participants will discover the essential components of a Business Case, the critical role it plays in organizational success and most importantly, learn step-by-step how to develop a Professional Business Case:

  • Clarify when to prepare a Business Case—circumstances and timing.
  • Understand the roles and goals of a Business Case—securing budgetary support is not the only reason.
  • Discuss who in the organization can and should take responsibility to prepare a Business Case .
  • Learn what information must be contained in the Business Case and where to find / secure that information.
  • Discuss securing approval to engage in the development of a Business Case.
  • Work step-by-step through the development of a Business Case (Workshop Focus).
  • Emphasize on project justification (cost-benefit analysis with recognition of opportunity costs, capital budgeting techniques), developing resource requirements, and managing the project timetable.
  • Discuss the when, the who and the how to present a Business Case for approval.
  • Share examples of project successes and failures and the role of the Business Case.
  • Identify specific opportunities to employ workshop skills in the workplace.


 Business Analysis

Creating Internal Business Analysts
Every employee needs a level of business analytical skills but critical roles require them. There are essential skills that must be built within an employee to nurture a competent Business Analyst. Your business will progress more quickly only if you have analytical skills within your employee population that can be applied on a daily basis to make critical and timely business decisions. In this four-day course, we will cover:

  • Defining the role and major tasks of the Business Analyst.
  • Defining and detailing skill requirements.
  • Documenting requirements.
  • Reviewing and validating requirements.
  • Establishing the communication strategy.
  • Eliciting requirements in a group setting.

Business Analysis Courses of other durations can be customized to fit your specific requirements.


 Business Writing

Business Writing—Beyond E-Mails
Business writing is not limited to e-mails—which is a class in and of itself. This course focuses on the writing of formal letters, reports, plans, etc. to assure that you are fully, clearly and appropriately communicating in a document that becomes part of the “permanent record”. This skill, beyond all others, carries the greatest likelihood of drawing attention to your usefulness to the organization through your excellent writing skills which oftentimes leads to expanded professional opportunities. Report-writing, formal letters, plans differ from other forms of communication like in-person, phone and e-mail as you don’t have the opportunity for immediate response / interaction to gauge how the “conversation” is going. It requires the developing / enhancing of the following skills:

  • Business terminology.
  • Learning how to share the right information, the right way, at the right time, to the right audience.
  • Deciding what format to use and, how to be concise yet clear.
  • Managing the emotional content of your document.
  • Establishing expected response(s) from the audience including timing.
  • Being both professional and yet approachable.
  • Choosing the right words and when to follow-up in person.


 E-Mail Communication

Effective E-Mail Communication Course
This one-half day program is specifically designed to significantly enhance the effectiveness of overall email communication skills for attendees.  The curriculum content is comprehensive and will ensure participants are exposed to the critical skills required for managing effective e-mail communication. In this program, participants will:

  • Readily identify and understand when e-mail communication is appropriate.
  • Learn when you should and should not send e-mail.
  • Recognize how communication richness is impacted by different communication medium.
  • Understand the potential professional and legal implications of certain e-mail content.
  • Discover how to make the e-mail subject line contribute to overall e-mail efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Determine how and why to limiting e-mail recipients—maintaining a “need to know” strategy.
  • Know when to use “To”, “Cc” and “Bcc”—fight the urge to “blanket”.
  • Learn techniques to avoid sending reactive e-mails—the kind you wish you really hadn’t sent.
  • Dialogue “recovery” strategies for those e-mails that should have never been sent or were misunderstood.
  • Understand a consistent e-mail structure necessary to ensure message clarity.
  • Learn how e-mail “language” is different from other forms of communication—what works—what doesn’t.
  • Discover e-mail organization techniques that help you manage your “inbox” and “follow-ups”.
  • Develop “Beyond the Course” strategies and commitment for enhanced and effective e-mail communication.


 Problem Solving

Developing the Characteristics of Excellent Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Some people are natural-born critical thinkers; others can be nurtured to develop the skill. We know that the most successful people are accomplished—aware critical thinkers—which means they have spent some time understanding and enhancing that skill. Unfortunately, most people rarely give the concept of critical thinking, in and of itself, much thought. We don’t appropriately understand its characteristics and application as well as our own personal level of skill and how to improve it. We are, therefore, missing the opportunity to progress—personally and professionally. In this course, you will (re)learn the characteristics of critical thinkers and how to identify the personal factors that affect our ability to think critically. Understanding the organizational impact of decision making, why it is important to use an objective process to make crucial decisions, which tools to use to analyze problems and identify criteria for decisions are all part of an accomplished critical thinker. A standardized problem solving process drives a successful critical thinking outcome. In this program, participants will:

  • Discover how individual/personal factors affect our critical thinking.
  • Identify organizational influences and situational circumstances that enhance critical thinking activities overall.
  • Learn how critical thinking leads to effective problem solving and subsequent organizational gains.
  • Learn useful techniques and opportunities for effective critical thinking and problem solving day-to-day, on the job.
  • Discover habits that impede critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Learn how to apply and improve critical thinking—problem solving going forward.


 Project Management

A Systematic Approach to Managing Projects of All Sizes
This is an essential skills workshop that demonstrates a systematic approach to managing complex undertakings. All of us in life are required to make complex decisions and many of us lead or participate on project teams. Successful organizations recognize the benefits of applying the tools of Project Management—allowing for more efficient use of an organization’s resources, from planning to implementation. This course is especially applicable for individuals who want to hone their project management skills and learn how to effectively manage projects—end-to-end. This contributes dramatically to the difference between a leading organization and one that is “just making it”. In this course participants will:

  • Understand the very real benefits of project management.
  • Acquire easy-to-use Project Management tools.
  • Gain skills on managing the human side of projects—often the most challenging component.
  • Learn the stages of group development to enhance Project Team performance.
  • Learn the end-to-end Project Management process: from project initiation to project implementation.
  • Learn a structured decision making process that can be used simply and effective in day-to-day, real-time situations.
  • Discover how to practically apply Project Management concepts—large or small scale.
  • Learn the four major components of Project Management.


 Effective Presentations

Developing Attention-Grabbing Presentations
The ultimate basis of all business interactions and personal relationships is clear, effective communication. Particularly in the professional world that includes formal presentations—the thought of which makes most of us very nervous. Delivering a presentation that is concise, clear, purposeful for the intended audience must be the goal every time you present—large group, small group, with colleagues or “strategic” audiences. Effective presentations combine valuable information with an appropriate level of humor, and leaves attendees with applicable information for them to use personally and / or professionally. You owe your audience respect for their time and moving them to a higher plane of knowledge and understanding with your words. This essential skills workshop strengthens your ability to prepare and present information to others comfortably (even planning for potential disaster) in a variety of methods. It builds effective presentation skills by taking you through a step-by-step presentation planning process that focuses you on the most critical areas of presenting. In this program, participants will:

  • Learn to plan, organize and deliver a highly professional group presentation.
  • Learn how to use audio / visual aids to “support” vs. confuse the intended message.
  • Discover some effective tips and techniques for dealing with stress (apprehension).
  • Discuss how to be prepared for potential “disasters”—ensuring delivery of the message.
  • Learn how to professionally engage/involve the audience and how to effectively handle questions.
  • Develop and deliver an effective 10-minute business presentation on topic of choice.
  • Take home a recording of your presentation along with facilitator and a participant critiques for continued development of presentation skills.


 Facilitation

Facilitation—Critical Skills to Drive Your Organization to a Competitive Advantage
A trained facilitator is a key player in critical/complex team efforts. Through this course, leadership and appropriate employees will acquire skills to drive their organization ahead assuring its competitive advantage by facilitating critical process improvements. Trained facilitators will achieve maximum output by:

  • Planning with team leader.
  • Coaching the team and team leader.
  • Providing just-in-time process training.
  • Serving as a technical resource.
  • Driving team timing / output.

This course will train facilitators to become educators with knowledge in adult learning styles as well as improvement methodologies; coaches providing support and guidance; team dynamics advisors; role models for change and the process that helps accomplish it in a uniform and practical fashion.


 CQI – Continuous Quality Improvement

Learn the Consistent Approach to Problem Resolution and Process Improvement
CQI is a consistent approach to problem resolution and process improvement using clear steps that combine pertinent data with process expertise and customer expectations. It encourages a team approach specifically targeting the knowledge of front-line process experts. Its final phase of education and monitoring better assures on-going implementation of the team’s recommendations. Problems cut across organizations so the team approach is critical to successful resolution / improvement. This comprehensive, hands-on course will:

  • Apply the key concepts of CQI since all work is accomplished through processes that can be improved.
  • Recognize that variation occurs in all processes.
  • Identify customers and their requirements.
  • Understand the change in culture which is implicit in CQI.
  • Identify the role of leadership in the CQI effort.
  • Make effective use of teams and teamwork in improving quality.
  • Plan for implementation of CQI in your organization.


 LEAN

LEAN—the Absolute Elimination of Waste
Lean is a system of principles, practices, tools, techniques and human behaviors the basis of which is the absolute elimination of waste. “Waste” is defined in LEAN as anything that takes up resources, but does not add value. Differentiating between the required non-value-add components of any function (and most have them) and those that can really be changed to value-add is at the core of this method of improvement. This course outlines the LEAN process including the need for the organization’s culture and learning style to change from reactive (problem correction) to proactive (problem prevention) through a series of tools which when applied with appropriate data can save your organization significant expense, add to the productivity and satisfaction of your employees and customers and move your organization as a competitive leader. Your organization cannot afford to ignore “LEAN”.


 Stress Management

Clear-headed and Refreshed: Simple Tools to Manage Stress
We all need simple tools to manage our stress. The better we understand the stressors that affect us, the more effective we will be in coping with workplace and general life events in an appropriate and healthy manner. Everyone should periodically examine how they handle stress and where improvement can be made. In this course participants will:

  • Enhance their understanding of the stressors in our lives and the cumulative impact of stress.
  • Learn techniques for managing our stress for both long-term and immediate resolution; to improve our overall psychological and physical well-being.
  • Recognize our physical and mental responses to stress.
  • Understand practical tools for managing current stressors and averting potential stress.
  • Discover the relationship of diet, exercise and sleep to stress.
  • Support one another as we encounter difficulties in the workplace and in our personal lives.
  • Be able to support others as workplace difficulties are encountered.


 Time Management

Time (Self)-Management – Getting the Most Out of Every Day
Employees are faced with constantly growing demands in highly dynamic work environments. The one critical commodity we all need, and yet can not expand, is time itself. This course will expose participants to concepts which will contribute to more effective use of time and increased productivity. In this course participants will:

  • Determine if we can actually “manage time”.
  • Recognize the need to manage multiple priorities as well as the mental and physical challenges associated with multi-tasking.
  • Understand where we currently spend our time and where we should spend our time.
  • Discover what we do that is urgent and not urgent; important and not important.
  • Learn successful strategies for combating procrastination.
  • Understand and appreciate the critical role meetings play on the efficient use of time.
  • Discuss reconstructing the boundaries that technology has taken down.
  • Learn how to use technology for self-management advantage.


 Effective Meetings

Capturing a Major “Time Thief”
Meetings can literally be “time guzzlers”. They are costly—both from the time spent in them and the associated lost productivity and, then, if the meetings are not productive, triple that cost. Each of must learn how to effectively plan and participate in meetings. Course participants will gain exposure to the effective tools and techniques that are critical to managing meetings for successful outcomes. In this course participants will:

  • Understand and appreciate the impact of meetings on overall productivity.
  • Identify the essential components necessary to conduct a successful, productive meeting.
  • Learn how the Meeting Plan can effectively manage participant expectations and deliverables.
  • Discuss the skills necessary to facilitate meetings effectively.
  • Gain important insights into group dynamics and how to keep meetings on track and productive.
  • Identify how to deal with the challenges that all facilitators face at one time or another.
  • Learn to use the Meeting Planning Template to develop and conduct effective meetings back on the job.


 Effective Meeting Participation

Fundamentals of Effective Meeting Participation
The vast majority of employees attend and / or "call" meetings (planned or impromptu) of one type or another on a regular basis. The success of those meetings is directly attributable to how participants prepare for and engage in those meetings. Fortunately, like many other disciplines, meeting participation is a learned skill.

The following objectives provide an overview of the Fundamentals of Effective Meeting Participation course. These objectives are not intended to reflect a complete listing of all materials that could be presented, discussed or included during the delivery of this program. Additional topical discussions, exercises, articles and/or video may be employed if participant discussion and needs warrant. In this program, participants will:

  • Address why and when meetings are really necessary.
  • Discuss the various types of meetings with their intended purposes.
  • Explore the required role(s) of meeting participants.
  • Identify the facets and responsibilities in being adequately prepared—what must be done before a meeting (planned or impromptu).
  • Understand why arriving on time—never late—is critical to the meeting process, dynamic and desired outcome(s).
  • Discuss how to assist late arrivals and avoid back tracking or repeating covered items.
  • Discuss the value of clarifying/structuring thoughts before speaking to avoid rambling.
  • Learn how to balance speaking and listening while remaining an active participant.
  • Discuss how to respectfully express disagreement without derailing the meeting.
  • Clarify the importance of being open and willing to learn from others.
  • Identify effective techniques to assist with moving a stalled meeting along.
  • Discuss challenges and recommended strategies for effective ad hoc—“drop-in”—meetings.
  • Explore what to do after the meeting