Communicating Up, Down and Across: Mastering Multi-Directional Communication

Multi-directional communication is an essential emotional intelligence competency for both emerging leaders and existing leaders. Learn practical skills and strategies for communication throughout your organization.  Make sure you are part of the solution, not part of the problem, in a respectful workplace.

 By learning to analyze your audience, target your message, adapt your messages to others’ communication styles, and shape responses using indirect and direct approaches, you will create new opportunities to express your ideas to people at all levels of your organization. You can be yourself and still be flexible enough to be engaging and effective!

Participants will learn about…

  • Communication skills promote a strong personal “Brand”
  • Practical tips for becoming a stronger listener
  • Communicating “up” with senior staff
  • Appropriately influencing peers and strengthening your place on the team
  • Clear communication “down” so that you are easy to work with and for

Getting Results from Appreciative Inquiry

“The most serious mistakes are not being made as a result of wrong answers. The truly dangerous thing is asking the wrong question.” -Peter Drucker

There are two basic approaches when it comes to analysis and improving performance. We can focus on what is wrong and broken, then plan on ways to improve. Or, we can focus on what we are doing right and find ways to do that more.

Appreciative Inquiry takes the second approach. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong and asking “Why and how did we fail?” Appreciative Inquiry focuses on what works and, by doing so, accentuates the positive. After all, the questions we ask focus our attention in a particular direction. Power flows where the attention goes!

Developed at Case Western Reserve University, Appreciative Inquiry advocates for inquiry into the best of what is, in order to imagine what could be. Thus, bringing about positive and true change and improvement…without coercion.

Learn about…

  • Turning new and challenging circumstances into golden opportunities
  • The 4D Cycle Model and flow of questions
  • The art of the question
  • Reframing
  • How to carefully craft the best possible positive questions
  • The 5 Phases of Appreciative Inquiry
  • Sample questions that will help in your quest for personal improvement
  • How to focus on the positive and foster Appreciative Inquiry in your work and life

Communication Skills Murder Mystery (interactive teambuilding experience)

“Most communication consists of a monologue delivered in the presence of a witness.”
-Margaret Millar (suspense writer)

This engaging event applies to everyone on the team! It is highly interactive, using a fun, structured experience that allows you to test your verbal and non-verbal skills, your ability to listen, and your favorite communication roadblocks.

Because little time is spent lecturing, everyone gets the chance to become “the expert”, especially on their own personal gifts and pitfalls as communicators.

Skilled communicators take time to decide what information to give, when to give it, and the best way to convey it both verbally and nonverbally. They also listen fully with head and heart. During this experience, you’ll uncover these essentials for successful communication.

Participants will…

  • Have fun and build camaraderie
  • Test their communication skills while solving The Jones Murder, for a chance to win not-so-valuable prizes!
  • Learn about respectful communication in a fun and unconventional way
  • Uncover verbal and nonverbal essentials for successful communication
  • Gain valuable tips for becoming better listeners and communicators

Conflict Management 301: Building Confidence and Owning Difficult Conversations

FACT: According to workplace resource Bravely, 70 percent of employees are avoiding difficult conversations with their boss, colleagues, and direct reports!

FACT: 53 percent of employees are handling “toxic” situations by ignoring them, according to a survey by Fierce Inc.

We all face workplace situations that cause anxiety and frustration, no matter how much we’ve worked to build our skills. Using tested principles and realistic strategies, you’ll learn to prepare to conduct crucial conversations while managing your own emotions productively. Excellent practice situations help you to get a grip on your everyday communication nightmares. You’ll receive coaching on how to avoid anxiety and increase confidence for difficult conversations that enrich your professional, as well as your personal, life.


Participants will learn to…

  • Understand the unspoken “rules” that keep us stuck
  • Bring issues into the open productively
  • Attend to what is said and unsaid by unpacking “the 3 conversations” in every difficult conversation
  • Skillfully say what people are thinking but not saying
  • Listen openly and ask good questions, practicing how to stay curious about the other person while being your authentic self
  • Engage cooperation from the historically uncooperative
  • Delivering “tough news” clearly and skillfully
  • Prepare in advance for the “grenades” lobbed in many difficult conversations
  • Manage our strong emotions while starting from “the third person” perspective
  • Gain the confidence to stop avoiding difficult conversations

“This helped me immensely as many of my conversations can be difficult due to my job responsibilities. I found Kim to be very knowledgeable, as well as a skilled facilitator. Her session was captivating.”

Conflict Management 201: Taming the Troublemakers – Skills for Dealing with Difficult People

Standard conflict management techniques only work with people who have skill and reasonable good will. And difficult people – whether they’re customers, clients or vendors – don’t always have these traits! Learn how to deal with these tough folks quickly and confidently.

Using humorous real-life examples, this session is consistently highly-rated. You’ll walk away with action steps for skillfully handling all the hard-to-handle people commonly found in the workplace, so you can lower your own stress and get things done!


Participants will learn how to…

  • Observe the patterns of difficult people–aggressive, passive, complainers, those who “clam up”, the overly negative and analytical–so that we can choose effective interventions
  • Maintain healthy boundaries without becoming aggressive using the 4 Ds
  • Identify what difficult people are after, so that we can lead them to business
  • Handle each type of difficult person effectively with skill suggestions tailored to each type (time permitting)
  • Remain unhooked by challenging behavior, manage stress, and even scare up a little compassion for the trying co-worker or customer

Working with You is Killing Me: Staying Unhooked from Boundary Busters

Everyone loves this workshop and the humorous video that provides practical examples of, and strategies for, how to get along in the giant sandbox of life!

People, being human, waste too much time worrying, avoiding and obsessing over how toxic employees and customers affect their performance on the job and their peace of mind at home. This powerful program provides the antidote, showing exactly how to take responsibility for addressing problems. Based on the national bestselling book Working with You is Killing Me, employees and managers learn how to adopt a new attitude by setting boundaries and skillfully increasing respect in the workplace.

Everyone—including the lucky few who’ve never had to work with a difficult person—will benefit from this program.

Participants will learn about…

  • Not bleeding energy to “energy vampires” in their workplace
  • Our own reactions that can unwittingly enable the situation
  • “Unhooking” from difficult situations in 4 simple ways
  • Methods for managing yourself when dealing with toxic people
  • Proven responses for problem behavior
  • Ways to establish cordial working relationships and set healthy boundaries, so you can concentrate on your work!

“I loved Kim’s positive presentation with practical examples of how to consciously approach interpersonal relationships.”

Becoming a More Effective Facilitator: Level Up Your Skills to Maximize Learning

Many organizations are tapping the skills of experienced employees to train their peers, but are they providing the skills necessary to make the learning sticky?

New and experienced facilitators alike give this session high marks and value the many takeaways. This session focuses NOT on presentation skills–being the speaker–but on facilitation skills–learner-focused training and interactive meetings.

Participants are empowered to relax into “the more we talk, the less they learn” and discover various ways to engage different learning styles and personalities. Walk away with 20 pages of copyright-free activities that can woven into any topic, as well as numerous resources and websites loaded with great materials for anyone involved with professional development initiatives!


Participants will explore…

  • Turning boring “here, teach this” curriculum into something interactive and fun
  • A simple 9-step checklist for planning the learning experience
  • Research-based methods that enhance retention
  • Designing a slide deck that invites interaction
  • Innovative uses for flipcharts and whiteboards
  • The appropriate role of fidgets, sticky notes, games and props in training
  • Graphic organizers that motivate learners to capture their ideas
  • Promoting engagement with simple activities that even introverts enjoy
  • Resources and websites loaded with great material for trainers and meeting facilitators


Emotionally Intelligence Meetings that Help Teams Thrive

According to recent research, emotionally intelligent teams communicate more effectively, resolve conflict more quickly, have increased accountability, make better decisions, have less intergenerational conflict, adapt well to change, and are able to effectively direct change.

And, since most of our “teaming time” happens when we’re together in meetings, why not start there?

During this dynamic session, you’ll discover an emotionally intelligent approach to meeting facilitation. Take away ready-to-use tools, tried-and-true techniques, and results-oriented approaches to jump start your meetings and boost your team’s EI. Transform team meetings from gatherings where “minutes are kept, but hours are wasted” to a focused and productive use of time!


You and your team will explore…

  • How to take charge of meetings that are wasting time
  • The “2 medium pizzas” rule for meetings
  • Building boundaries for meeting participation
  • Ways to avoid acting as “chairman of the bored”
  • Becoming more sophisticated meeting attendees
  • How to use stand-up meetings effectively
  • Ways to determine and utilize the emotional state of your team
  • Why everyone should leave the meeting with a task
  • Ways to limit team stress and address potential problems before they arise
  • A group process for developing meeting norms

“The session was excellent. I have so many takeaways and am looking forward to utilizing the skills I’ve learned. I would absolutely recommend this workshop and facilitator.”

EI 201: Growing Your Emotional Intelligence

Perfect for leaders, high potential employees being groomed for leadership, and those who facilitate meetings!

Building on the what, why and how, this session digs deeper into Emotional Intelligence and its implications on the job.

You’ll learn to identify your emotional triggers, manage your own emotions, and manage the emotions of others using self-talk and reframing. Then, you’ll discover how to use these skills to build EI on your team, turn regular team meetings into EI energizers, and develop a richer culture of EI behaviors. Most importantly, you’ll have an opportunity to practice these concepts in a safe environment – everyone’s privacy is respected and there are NO skits to perform!

Optional:  Each participant may receive a copy of Adele Lynn’s book, Quick Emotional Intelligence Activities for Busy Managers.


Participants will explore…

  • Identifying your emotional triggers and understand emotional hi-jacking
  • Managing your own emotions with positive self-talk
  • Identifying others’ emotions using body language and facial cues
  • Constructively managing others’ emotions using reframing
  • Positively influencing the emotional climate of the team
  • Using quick, powerful activities with their team to strengthen EI

Stop Herding Cats: Hiring, Building and Leading an Emotionally Intelligent Team

Research shows that most people lose their jobs NOT because of inadequate skills, but rather because they lack the ability to manage themselves appropriately and get along well with others.

During the hiring process, the challenge is to weed out the candidates who could be disruptive and recognize the ones who have the skills to help things run smoothly. We’ll discuss an interview process aimed at assessing emotional intelligence, which can uncover a wealth of information including predictors of future behavior.

Once the team is in place, smart leaders have a game plan for shaping it slowly over time. Yes, teambuilding events help to motivate and inspire folks, but building and leading a cohesive team goes beyond the occasional one-day, feel-good activities. You’ll discover skills for a concerted effort to build your group, and move it from forming to performing.

Walk away with a bundle of practical ideas, tools and solutions!

Participants will explore…

  • Discerning truly EI candidates from the carefully coached ones
  • Solid behaviorally-based interview questions and using them to maximum effect
  • What to listen for during the interview process
  • The 4 stages of team formation
  • Why process is just as important as content
  • Facilitating productive interaction
  • Energizing your team meetings
  • Ways to cultivate creativity
  • Assessing team progress

NOTE: If time permits, your group can create a list of behavioral interview questions together, or edit your current behavioral interview questions.

For this session, Kim is happy to partner or co-facilitate with your HR Manager!