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Professional Staff Training

The Challenge

Companies today face enormous hurdles:
  • Fewer people must do ever-more work with scarcer resources...
  • Employees have highly specialized skills and are distributed over multiple geographic sites...
  • Projects and markets change rapidly, forcing frequent realignments of staff and product line...
More and more, these facts are forcing employees to find revolutionary ways to work together in order to get the work done.

As a result, companies no longer can rely on their professionals' technical expertise alone. They need professionals who have the personal and communication skills to work effectively across department lines, with internal customers or end-users and even with customers or strategic partners.

Are your company's professionals having trouble making the transition to this new world?

If so, Think Training can help. We will design a custom training solution targeted specifically to meet a unique need in your environment. Or, we can adapt one of our experienced-tested programs. We have programs designed specifically to help employees communicate effectively with others outside their area of expertise; and other programs to help team leaders/members build teams that function with independence, initiative and flexibility. Regardless which program option you choose, your professionals will begin applying what they learn on the job, even before they leave the training room.

Experienced-Tested Programs for Professional Staff

Enhancing Client Relationships™

A program designed specifically for managers and professional staff in your internal IT organization.

Enhancing Client Relationships™ has been used successfully with the IT organizations of DaimlerChrysler, Whitehall-Robins, the U.S. Postal Service, the Peace Corps and Wyeth-Ayerst, as well as IT or software companies such as Amdahl, Raychem, Western Digital and Legent.

IT organizations face a wide array of unique training challenges. In addition to constantly maintaining their technical skills, IT staff must learn to work effectively with each other and with non-technical end-users — their internal customers — throughout the organization. Quite often the gaps between IT staff and end-users — gaps in business culture, personal style and even vocabulary — become the most stubborn obstacles limiting the IT organization's success. Think Training has combined its expertise in consulting skills training with its in-depth IT experience to develop a training program designed to help you and your staff bridge these critical gaps.

Enhancing Client Relationships™ is a modular program taught by instructors with years of personal experience in the IT industry. The program uses a variety of conceptual models, skill-building exercises, and video case studies based on actual IT organizations to optimize the return on your training investment and to ensure that your IT personnel apply and integrate what they learn. Enhancing Client Relationships™ builds on the concept that your IT staff has topnotch technical skills. But to provide the IT services your business needs for continued success, they must have more than technical skills. They need the skills to:
  • Work with one another and internal customers;
  • Position themselves and their organization;
  • Ask insightful questions;
  • Listen effectively;
  • Present ideas tied to internal customers' stated needs; and,
  • Handle resistance and resolve conflicts.
Participants of the Enhancing Client Relationships™ program receive and analyze data from Think Training's IS Consulting Distinctions™ Survey. The survey offers your IT professionals convenient, comprehensive and accurate feedback from those whose opinions of them most affect their performance, their internal customers and/or associates. Survey questions get at the key factors and behaviors that determine success in your environment. Individual reports help each employee identify — and implement — the changes that will have the greatest immediate payoff for them. Composite reports will help you assess the competencies and training needs of your employees as a group.

As a result of using the Enhancing Client Relationships™ program your IT organization will be more competitive with outside vendors. Participants will gain the skills they need to work effectively at higher levels within your organization. End-users in your organization will feel more like customers and see more value added from your internal IT department.

Teams With Distinction™

A comprehensive skills-based program for team leaders/members of formal and informal teams. Teams With Distinction™ has shown employees in many industries (automotive, media, IT, biotech, financial service, insurance and consumer goods) how to build and work on successful multi-discipline teams. Whether the teams in your company are formal or informal, and whether they're composed entirely of professionals within a single department, across many departments, or even stakeholders outside your organization, Teams With Distinction™ will help your professionals master the skills that are essential to make a team productive.

Successful teams are based on a shared understanding and commitment to overarching performance objectives that all team members understand and agree are important. But to translate such shared dedication into successful execution, each member of the team must know how to:
  • ensure that the team incorporates each of the eight characteristics that research has shown are typical of the most productive work groups;
  • understand and manage the interpersonal dynamics on the team;
  • adjust their approach to other team members based on an
    in-depth understanding of their colleagues' needs, perspectives, goals and personalities; and,
  • develop and implement detailed plans for enhancing their communication with people whose specialties and perspectives may be profoundly different.
Professionals who've mastered these skills consistently build teams that are much more than a sum of their parts. Working together, they can transform performance in your company and greatly enhance employee excitement about working for your firm.

Teams With Distinction™ is designed to help your employees increase their effectiveness and work more effectively with their colleagues, managers and others in the organization. The program draws upon video re-enactments based on challenging real-life team situations. Each video simulation demonstrates practical skills that your employees can use to examine, understand and enhance the way they influence — and are influenced by — other members of the team. Teams With Distinction™ can be delivered "as is... off the shelf," or it can be tailored to meet your specific needs. The program has been conducted successfully for formal teams, project teams and individual contributors working across organizational lines.

High Performance Teams™
- A half-day module designed to help existing teams evaluate how well their team is functioning and, if needed, plan corrective action to improve team measures on eight key characteristics of high performance teams.

Creativity Workshop™ - A workshop that helps program participants identify and overcome the blocks to creativity and provides a variety of practical tools designed to help employees develop and enhance their creativity on the job.
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