If you were about to attend a workshop on People Skills, what would you be hoping to learn?  What questions would you bring with you?

I ask because I’m teaching my first People Skills workshops in a few weeks and am currently fine-tuning the content.  Any tips or suggestions you can offer will be most welcome. Thanks 🙂

4 comments on “Your questions

    • A: “Stop wanting that, and start wanting full and rich dialogue instead.” :}

      The latter is more achiveable, more fun, better for the people involved and better for the organisation.

      Achieving full and rich dialogue is fun, even when it’s your mind that gets changed. I’m planning a bit in the workshop on Chris Argyris’ Mutual Learning model, which provides the basis for this “answer” .

  • How do you convince management that doing something/not doing something is a bad idea when they don’t have the software development experience necessary to understand the issue, and use personal attacks to avoid understanding the issue?

    • Great question. I don’t think it’s possible to cram a full answer into my reply here – both because there are many facets and also because the right answer probably depends very much on the situation at hand. Points that come to mind are
      – telling relevant true stories to illustrate your point
      – quoting industry consensus/expertise – but be very careful to do so confidently and in a manner that doesn’t undermine your own credibility. (Took me years to figure this one out. I kept quoting experts and then being disappointed that no-one would believe me.)
      – seeking to understand as much as to persuade (Perhaps the personal attacks represent a very badly-worded attempt to express a valid concern – or perhaps an attempt to avoid expressing a valid concern, as is all too common in the corporate world. Seeking to understand, rather than only persuade, may help move the discussion forward)
      – applying the “Ladder of Inference” (which covers all of the above, in a way)
      – redefining your goal to be to improve shared understanding and generate good options for moving forward, rather than “winning” the meeting with exactly your opening position

Comments are closed.