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Brand New Learning Programs for 2015

Three new 2015 RHR learning programs include: “Leading and Managing Virtual Teams”; “Intelligent Selling” and “Customer Service in a Diverse Workplace”.

Leading and Managing Virtual Teams Working remotely as part of a “virtual team” is a growing trend in today’s workplace.  The MIT Sloan report identified a healthy growth with an 80% increase in “telecommunicating” employees from 2005 to 2012.

The 2009 study by Cisco, which surveyed 2000 employees, revealed some interesting conclusions including: (i) virtual teams are actually more engaged and (ii) remote employees tend to log more hours.   “Approximately 69% of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remote, and 75% of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved.

The success of virtual teams doesn’t just happen, but in fact is correlated to the “adjustments” made by those managing virtual teams.  In effect, leading a virtual team takes different skills and a more flexible approach than leading a co-located team.

Our RHR “Leading and Managing Virtual Teams” program was co-developed by Karen Diaz and Robert Harris.   It focuses on four (4) keys to virtual team success…. The 4 “C’s”:

  1. Communication:   Ways to ensure effective communication and technology tools to assist
  2. Collaboration:  Ways to work remotely while ensuring alignment and task focus
  3. Culture:  Ways to work flexibility using protocols that build team effectiveness
  4. Connectedness:  Ways to ensure cohesiveness, trust, and rapport

Intelligent Selling – Sales has significantly evolved in terms of professionalism and approach. The art of sales has moved from “cronyism” (you scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours) to a much more consultative and collaborative process

But this requires a new mind-set and a heightened skill set, as sales representatives gravitate to becoming strategic “business partners”.    In today’s economy, where margins are shrinking and competitive pressures intense, sales professionals must be able to succeed in difficult and changing times.

The Intelligent Selling™ program was co-developed by William Smalley, a highly regarded sales training professional, and Robert Harris, an expert in motivations and working in a climate of change.  This is an advanced course which illustrates a consultative approach with three key differences.

  1. We move away from “technique-based” process to teaching a consultative process to demonstrating “value”.  Effective sales is about understanding needs, building trust, demonstrating value – versus rote techniques on how to handle objections and “close”.  The result is a more collaborative process that the buyer much prefers, and one that becomes more natural and comfortable for the sales professional.
  2. We teach underlying core “motivational values that explain what matters  most in the buying decision.   Participants become much more knowledgeable of what others need and how this differs from customer to customers – and how to respond accordingly.   This approach is not manipulative but rather enabling sales professionals to maximize results by catering to deeper motivations (including relationship needs, process needs, and problem solving approach).
  3. We illustrate the key conditions for success to greatly increase the likelihood the
  4. process will yield a positive result – especially during times of change.  The Intelligent Selling™ program is transformational – it is about changing the sales process, and the related skill set,  versus “wishful thinking” using tired and passé techniques.

Customer Service in a Diverse Workplace – It is clear that the workplace has dramatically changed in recent years from one of homogeneity to a workplace that is rich in diversity.    Diversity is more than racial diversity – it encompasses multi-cultural differences, gender differences, generational differences (Gen “X”, New Millenials, Baby Boomers, etc.).

So, what does the mean to delivering customers service excellence.   Service providers must be trained in how to meet and exceed the expectations of a very different workplace in 2014.

Our program, Customer Service in a Diverse Workplace, was co-developed by Karen Diaz and Robert Harris.  Karen is an internationally recognized expert in diversity management who integrates this learning into her training programs.  Robert and Karen successfully piloted this program in 2013 to clients whose participants raved about the learning and skills provided to meeting the needs of today’s customer.

We integrate a comprehensive understanding of diversity into customer service training by exploring:

  1. Internal dimensions: Generally speaking, these include aspects of diversity over which we have no control. It forms the core of many diversity efforts and includes the first things we see in other people, such as race or gender, and on which we make many assumptions and base judgments.
  2. External dimensions: These include aspects of our lives which we have some control over, which might change over time, and which usually form the basis for work styles.
  3. Organizational dimensions: This layer concerns the aspects of culture found in a work setting. While much attention of diversity efforts is focused on the internal dimensions, issues of preferential treatment and opportunities for development or promotion are impacted by the aspects of this layer.

The usefulness of this model is that it includes the dimensions that shape and impact both the individual and the organization itself.  This enhanced understanding increases awareness of unconscious biases and leads to improved decision-making and actions.