Communication Skills Course Content
Unlike off-the-peg communications training, this course is tailored to reflect the needs of each delegate.
We will include many of the exercises listed below, and any additional material that the trainers feel is relevant.
Everything we do is participative and interactive. There will be work in pairs, small group work, games, processes and exercises designed to stimulate, challenge and develop your knowledge and skills.
How Communication Works
We unpick all the elements that go into communication to see how you can be more in charge of the way you communicate.
You'll get an overview of how communication works and an understanding of where it can go wrong.
This is the core aim of the course, and you'll have opportunities to practise in each section.
You'll have the chance to identify your default style and consider how that affects the way you're perceived.
We will practise ways to turn up and down different aspects of your natural communications style.
We have a range of exercises which experiment with the effects of variations of tone.
You will practise how to change the tone of your voice and have a go at choosing a tone of voice for a chosen outcome.
We have fun looking at ways to deliberately mangle your message and bury its meaning under waffle, padding and jargon.
When you know how to communicate badly, you’ll also see how to communicate more clearly.
We will share one of our best communication exercises, which shows a failsafe way to deliver a clear key message.
You can never turn your body off!
As the listener, you have a surprising amount of control.
We will use a variety of exercises to demonstrate the power and control the listener has over the speaker through body language and attitude.
Being aware of your options means that you can remain on the front foot and communicate more effectively.
The Background Story
What is our history or our form with particular sorts of people, subjects and scenarios?
We will talk about these challenging situations and interactions.
We will look for small changes to our words, tone and body language that might make a big difference to our ability to communicate.
When was the last time you got something wrong?
When were you last misunderstood?
Miscommunication seems to happen most when we base what we do on assumptions, perceptions and misconceptions, rather than upon objective fact.
After exploring why and how it happens, we will look at what you can do about it.
Just being looked at, or not, has a powerful effect on all of us.
What do we make of those who avoid looking at us directly or else those who seem to hold our gaze too long?
We will discover what happens when we deny or intensify eye contact.
The conditions in which communication happens are vitally important.
How warm is it?
Is the lighting harsh or soft?
How does the provision of simple or expensive refreshments affect a meeting, interview or difficult interaction?
Where Are We?
What is the effect of being on your territory or theirs?
Who sits next to whom? Every dinner party host knows the importance of a seating plan.
Being attentive to what is likely to cause ripples means that you can be deliberate in your intentions.
You'll have more opportunities to practise the skills covered on day one.
We may also bring in specific techniques from other Impact Factory courses that could benefit delegates.
How Does it Work
This is a chance for everyone to visualise how they believe communication works... or doesn’t!
In sharing our visions we will also see how complicated communication is and justify why we need to spend so long unpicking how it works.
There's a good reason we believe that miscommunication is normal - it's complicated.
- How does it help or hinder us?
- When are the best and worst times for you?
- What about for those you want to speak with?
We will have some fun looking at what happens when we don't consider whether it's the right time to have a conversation.
We will recreate exchanges where you have been unsatisfied with the outcome.
Usually, these are accompanied by difficult feelings which inhibit our actions.
We will use the tools and techniques we have covered so far to see how you could change the outcome.
We will look specifically for things you feel able to do despite the discomfort.
Handling Difficult Styles
Everybody has styles of communication that they find difficult to deal with.
You might be somebody's difficult person and not even know it.
This section will be dedicated to practising tools and techniques to help in these situations.
Practise Practise Practise
You will get a chance to practise the skills you've learnt over the two days using real-life scenarios.
Working to Your Strengths
Everyone will give a brief description of what they already do that they know works.
They will then have the chance to reflect on how others see them by receiving feedback.
Plan of Action
An individual plan of action identifying your personal take-outs, what you will practise and areas for development.
You will identify what will stop you following the plan and what support you need.
We will give out Impact Factory documents to support the course.
You'll get copies relevant handouts to remind you of the coursework.
Two weeks after the course one of your trainers will call to see how you are getting on.
You will have email and telephone access to both of your trainers.
You'll also have access to a course web page containing:
- Handouts used during the course
- New supportive material
- Impact Factory PDF documents
- Recommended reading
- Links to our favourite videos
Communication Skills Course