Over the last 20 years, #communication is a theme we have run in so many different sizes, shapes, forms and for participants ranging from fresh entrants to the workplace to senior leaders. It’s a critical competency that is needed, across levels. The forms may change, from communicating with peers to coaching direct reports; the relevance remains unchanged
Shraddha HRD recently concluded a program series on #Communicating with Impact for a Pharma giant. Over the last 2 years, a bulk of our interventions has been conducted virtually. However, our personal experience has been, for topics that require reflection, learning by doing and group work, nothing beats an in-person event.
Post the program, some thoughts the participants shared, was the real-life relevance of the case studies, exercises and simulations that we conducted.
Our experience of having trained on the “communication” competency over 25 years helps us add value to participants across sectors and levels, by contextualizing the learning material and sharing best practices from a cross section of industries.
The Landscape: Luxury is an #experience. How do you give participants an experience of #luxury, sitting in a training room? It was an interesting challenge for us, as learning partners to a leading #AlchoholBeverage company. The end result was an #experientialprogram that provided participants a wholly #immersive experience of the luxury Universe.
The #keyasks for the program were
1. To get key account managers to sell an #experience and not a product. While selling luxury goods, you cant really sell on price, it’s the entire experience the consumer buys. This is often a challenging mind-set for sales people to move to.
2. Move to #meaningfulengagement with consumers; ultra high net-worth consumers. This can be done by reflection on the mind-set, preferences and buying behaviors of HNI consumers
3. A transformation from transactional selling to #consultativeselling: being trend setters instead of just followers.
It was a fabulous experience putting the program together & executing it. The faculty for the program were industry stalwarts & were able to curate two fabulous #immersive experiences on luxury, which went beyond, just classroom learning. This added the extra bit required to move learning to an #experience
When participants stay on, much beyond designated training hours, asking questions on how to perfect their art, you know you the learning experience has been #successful
This is a pressing need that is emerging, given the increasing digitization at work and the large amount of data that is generated. How do you help others make sense of this data.
An effective and time-tested strategy we use for this program:
1. What is your key message?
2. How do you drive home this key message?
3. Build a concise and compelling narrative using elements of business storytelling
The most important ingredient is to strategize, build and practice practice practice
We spent weeks and months putting the data together but how many minutes do we spend on structuring the narrative.
Data informs, stories persuade!!!!!!
The Landscape: Vision 2025 for this leading Fibers manufacturer, included the critical competency of “Emotional Intelligence”. There was a need felt to move away from the “command and control” system to a more “collaborative” system. Behaving and Demonstrating Emotional Intelligence was regarded as critical, giving the constantly changing environment and the advent of the millennials and Generation Z, into the workforce
The Solution: Shraddha HRD designed a learning intervention, spread over 6 weeks. Participants went through a learning intervention covering the different aspects of emotional intelligence through virtual instructor led sessions. This was followed up with out of class reflection on demonstrating emotionally intelligent behaviors and implementing action plans.
Some themes that were covered:
What is the relevance of #emotionalintelligence in a manufacturing environment? Is it a competency that should really be top of the heap? Isn’t operational excellence far more important and if the command-and-control structure has worked well till now, why change?
There is a thought process that emotional intelligence is far more relevant for the services sector. A detailed learning needs analysis clearly showed that managers today, irrespective of the sectors they work in, need to display emotionally intelligent behavior, with their teams.
The Result: As this was an extended learning intervention, we heard powerful and heart-warming stories and anecdotes of participants applying the principles discussed during classroom learning, with their team members.
The Landscape: The target audience for this session was the entire Human Resource team of one of the largest banks in India. The problem statement was interesting. The Head of the team wanted his team members to develop the capability to look at large masses of data, analyze it, be able to draw meaningful insights from it and then present to the top management.
Currently masses of data was copy pasted onto presentations and downloaded. This form of presentation did not help top management draw insights and take necessary action, either to course correct or look at alternative solutions
The Solution: The Human Resources department had several sub processes within it, each generating their unique data. We structured a program that focused on the fundamental principles of data analysis and viewing data to draw out insights. The idea was to help empower participants to
1. Analyze data, keeping in mind, the utility to business
2. Create a structured wire frame with clear goals and an easily understandable format to present data insights
3. Build a compelling narrative to present your data
The Result : Participants were able to review their current presentation style, study industry best practices on presenting data with insights and implement using workplace situations. They now had a clear template on reviewing, analyzing and presenting data using elements of story telling. The feedback from their managers, post the program was that there was a marked change in participant’s ability to structure and present data meaningfully.
The Landscape: One of the top three Tech companies in India have a clear mandate from the leadership team, to build a more diverse and inclusive culture. A mindset that makes this goal challenging is the Unconscious Biases all of us carry. This was coming during several employee engagement conversations and surveys. Executives and Managers felt they were at the receiving end of different biases, both conscious and unconscious
The Solution: As a part of an organization wide initiative to develop an awareness of biases and how to deal with these biases, we partnered with the learning team to structure a program that was designed to help individual contributors and managers
1. Reflect on the origin of unconscious biases
2. Relate to different biases they encounter at the workplace
3. Use simple techniques to reduce their own internal biases
4. Apply strategies on how to deal with biases at work
The Result: One of the principal outcomes was that Managers felt heard. They were able to discuss their challenges around biases they faced, in a safe forum and brainstorm on the best ways to deal with these biases.
Another key take away was a definite sensitization towards managers’ own internal biases and how it affects their decision-making processes and behavior with their team members. There were clear commitments made on practicing techniques that would reduce unconscious biases and help managers work with more awareness.
Key Stakeholder Management for Key Senior Managers at one of the largest Consulting and Technology Companies Globally
The Landscape: A critical group of senior managers of a Global, Consulting and Technology company had received feedback during their performance appraisal; they were unable to effectively deal with stakeholders. There was a tendency to get extremely aggressive during critical conversations. Their niche technical skills made them extremely valuable to the organization but stakeholder management was an area of improvement for these executives.
The Solution: Shradha HRD conducted focused group conversations with the participants’ line managers and their key stakeholders to identify where the challenge really lay. This was supplemented by a questionnaire to assess current capabilities of the participants.
We designed a learning intervention, which gave the participants key insights into dealing with stakeholders from across the spectrum: stakeholders from other departments, team members, external customers and senior global stakeholders. Some themes that were covered included
1. Taking ownership and adding value to key stakeholder relationships
2. Building meaningful customer relationships
3. Influencing, to get your point across effectively to key stakeholders
4. Assertive communication during difficult situations
5. Conflict resolution through a win-win mindset
The Result: Feedback given to line managers of the participant group saw a definite move in the positive direction. They felt their team members were now moving to a “respond” mode, instead of “reacting” to difficult situations. Participants were looking at alternate ways of influencing and handling difficult stakeholder situations.
The Landscape: Directors of a Japanese global electronics giant, had challenges with feedback conversations. The challenge team members had with their managers was, they either received no feedback or very strong reactive feedback with little guidance on how to proceed in the future.
The Solution: Shraddha HRD conducted a detailed training need analysis to understand the ecosystem better. Technical competence of the participants was not in doubt. The managers knew “what” to say, it was the “how” that was missing. We designed a learning intervention, spread over 4 weeks where participants went through a structured program covering the core fundamentals of feedback
1. Using feedback as a tool to enhance productivity and not as a vent to frustration
2. Giving structured and data driven feedback that focuses on behaviors and not the person
3. Planning and strategizing to overcome resistance to difficult feedback
4. Implementing the concepts at the workplace, through a experiential learning journey
were some aspects of the intervention that were covered.
The Result: The participants felt the program added to tremendously to their feedback skills. The program design allowed participants to experiment and develop their feedback skills through real life feedback conversations. This was a space to seek answers and reflect on difficult situations that often come up during the course of work.
While working virtually and being glued to our laptops, how many of us have missed conversations with our teams? Fun sessions where we could laugh and talk together?
And this is where our client, a global white goods manufacturing company, reached out to us to conduct an outbound, fun-filled, team building event – virtually!
The pandemic has changed the way we interact with our social and professional ecosystem. This program exemplified this change
Shradha HRD solution
We ran a session with several fun activities and leveraged different aspects of technology to fulfil the twin objectives of teams having fun and bonding together. Participants worked together in teams, collaborated, shared ideas, creatively expressed themselves, and were fully engaged in the process!
Our activities inspired experiential learning on the following themes:
- Ice-breaking and ‘getting to know you’
- Building rapport
- Team collaboration and interconnectedness
- Overcoming perceptions and biases
The feedback for the session came with a request for repeat sessions for another team!!!!! The participants agreed that they absolutely enjoyed interacting with their colleagues beyond all the work-related tasks and everyday stress. Even though its not exactly the same as an outbound event, it came a very close second
We had a super time putting this program together and facilitating it too.
Do we really pay attention to educating our educators? Our client, an interactive online tutoring platform, wanted to put some serious thought into this question.
And with International Women’s Day as the focus of the month, this was the perfect time for our all-time favorite theme of ‘Women Supporting Women’.
Shradha HRD solution
We ran a webinar for 1500 Women educators on the theme of ‘Move Up’, which is all about helping women break their self-imposed constraints and boundaries, brand themselves more effectively and stand up to be counted.
The feedback for the session came through a rather interesting route. A colleague has a daughter who takes classes with the same company. She logged into her regular session 10 minutes late and apologized for the delay. Our colleague asked, “You were attending the Move Up program?”. She explained she knew about the program because her company, Shradha HRD was conducting the webinar. The educator said, “Ma’am I just could not leave the session, it was so good!!!”
Comments like these lend more meaning to our work.