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  • Are your conversations achieving what you want?
    Are your conversations achieving what you want?
  • How are you coming across to your boss?
    How are you coming across to your boss?
  • Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
    Can you allow discussion and still keep control?
  • Do you frequently get into arguments?
    Do you frequently get into arguments?
  • Are you getting the best out of your people?
    Are you getting the best out of your people?
  • Does your feedback help people change?
    Does your feedback help people change?

Might your own management training need
be met by coming on our Skills with People course?

Yes if you agree with any of the following 

  • The skills and enthusiasm that have served me well in my career so far are now no longer enough.
  • Now that I have wider responsibilities my ability to influence others and take them with me matters more than it ever did before. To continue being successful I need to improve my skills with people.
  • I need to communicate more clearly so that I can tune in more successfully to other people's wave-length and make sure they're tuned in to mine.
  • I need to know how to get the best out of people.
  • I need to be a better listener.
  • I need to know how to give effective feedback to people, to praise them and criticise them in a way that motivates them to do better.
  • I need to learn how to be firm but fair in demanding high standards from my people.
  • I need to learn how to manage upwards, to get those above me to take me seriously and make them realise I'm supporting them in what they're trying to achieve.
  • I need to learn how to deal successfully with difficult people.

What you'll take away from this skills with people training course

The ability to treat speak up for yourself with firmness, clarity and integrity while treating others with respect and understanding. We'll give you a high-powered skill-set that’ll transform your most challenging relationships, conversations and meetings.

Free exploratory coaching session

INTERESTED?

If so, you can have a FREE exploratory coaching session. It'll give you a foretaste of what you can get from the course. You make no commitment to proceed beyond this until you're sure this training is relevant to your own particular need.

How to accept this offer

Simply contact us for a preliminary chat and to arrange your free exploratory coaching session. 

What this session will do for you

In this session we'll aim to give you something practical you can use right away that'll help you handle a difficult situation more successfully at work. All you need do to prepare for this session is think about the kinds of situations you want to be able to handle more successfully.

FAQs

You'll find answers to many of your questions about the content and method of this course under FAQs (in the main menu above).

 

How the skills you'll practise on this course
will make you much more successful
with people 

Here we describe the experiences of two people who've been through the Skills with People course. These examples illustrate how the course can help you replace the old habits that hinder performance with new skills that enhance it. 

First example - A manager who was finding it hard to delegate

He was a senior manager who was better at solving problems than anyone else in his team, but the more he solved the longer was the queue at his door. His director was getting worried because the manager was working very long hours, and beginning to show signs of strain. He was missing some of his deadlines. And he was finding it necessary, when managerial vacancies occurred in his department, to recruit from outside rather than to promote from within because there was no-one ready in the department to fill the vacancies.

Although he started out showing great promise it was beginning to look as though he might not be able to go as far in his career as both he and others had hoped. The director had told him he needed to change his style of management – to delegate more and to concentrate on developing his team - but although he tried, and in spite of his good intentions, he did not seem able to keep it up.

He always led from the front

He was very good at solving problems, and it was this that made him so successful in the early days. So much so that it had become a habit. As soon as someone brought him a problem he would mentally take it over and solve it. Unfortunately the effect this habit had on others was to prevent them from developing their own ability to solve problems. It resulted in them lacking confidence in their ability to think for themselves and in them becoming increasingly dependent on him. This in turn caused him to lose confidence in them, and so things went from bad to worse.

The irony was that by being so good at solving problems he was digging a pit from which it was becoming harder and harder to escape. His compulsive problem-solving had become a habit that was threatening his career, and although the habit was a hard one to break he was going to have to change.

Mental habits or hidden assumptions making it hard for him to delegate and develop others

For this manager there were two main mental obstacles to change, and both would have to be overcome if the change was to be genuine and lasting. The first was his strong but deep seated conviction that if he couldn't produce the answer himself he would be seen to be failing in his job. The second was the pace at which he worked - his permanent sense of time pressure.

He always felt he didn't have time to coach others - that it would be much quicker to sort the problem out himself. So no change would be possible or permanent unless he was able to give up the need to be seen to be the one providing the answer, and unless he was able to slow down his responses when faced with a problem.

New skills that enabled him to enhance his performance

He first needed to be made clearly aware of the specific habits that were causing him the problem, and of the specific mental obstacles he would have to overcome. He needed to realise and accept that although it started out as a strength, it had, in effect, become an obstacle to progress, that changing a habit is not easy, but that his career depended on it.

Then he needed to learn how to shift the focus of his attention when someone brought him a difficulty from tackling it himself to finding out what was stopping them tackle it. This was an entirely different way of listening. He had never listened like this before, and at first he felt strange and uncomfortable doing it. But with specific coaching, encouragement, practice and persistence he learned how to slow down, set aside his own thoughts about how to solve a problem, and pay attention instead to other people’s thoughts.

In this way he was able to start coaching people, win back control over his working day, change his style of management, and rescue his career.

Second example - A project leader who wasn't very good at confronting difficult issues

As a project leader she was a competent and thorough organiser, and successful enough with people who were highly motivated, understood what she wanted and were willing to co-operate. But she was less successful with those who were not. She didn’t like having to be firm with people or critical of them. She would back off and accept defeat rather than confront disagreements.

Sometimes when competing for resources she lost out to other project leaders who were more persistent in pushing for what they needed. She often felt discouraged and said very little in meetings with senior managers when they were more noisy and aggressive than her because she felt they were not taking her seriously. Her boss, who knew how ambitious and capable she was, was concerned that she was in danger of being seen by senior managers as ineffective and that this would damage her career. She was becoming discouraged.

Habits that were hindering her performance

She was a clever, clear and lucid thinker and speaker who always supported her points with reason, fact and logic. She was very sensitive to people's feelings and quick to notice from facial expression and tone of voice when they were resisting her point. When this happened she would try again to debate and reason with them. If this failed she would secretly feel impatient, frustrated and defeated, because she assumed that since the other person was being emotional there was nothing she could do about it.

Her one method of persuasion, relying solely on fact and logic, was unsuccessful at dealing with emotional responses. In spite of, rather pehaps because of her sensitivity to emotions she had never learned to deal with them and always did her best to avoid them.

Mental habits or assumptions hindering her performance

Her approach was governed by an assumption she had held deep down for as long as she could remember, that it's safer not to reveal how you feel. She also thought that it was unprofessional. She was not aware of the underlying assumptions, although she did admit them when asked. Nevertheless they often governed her approach to people, especially when she sensed she was in danger of getting into conflict. So she kept her feelings hidden in order to avoid conflict, but by doing so not only failed to get what she needed but often courted the very danger she was trying to avoid.

The new skills that enhanced her performance

First she needed help to become aware that restricting herself to fact and logic was a self-defeating handicap when dealing with people who were in a resistant frame of mind. She had to learn a different method of persuasion, one that helped them open their minds by letting off steam about their reservations. Second she needed her underlying assumption - that it's safer not to reveal how you feel - challenged and replaced by a quite different idea, that you can prevent misunderstandings and are more likely to achieve what you want if you talk frankly about your own feelings and show respect and understanding of the other person's.

Then she needed to learn and practise the two crucial skills, speaking assertively and listening with empathy. Finally she needed help to practise these skills in the kinds of meetings and conversations she'd been finding so difficult. This was a challenging learning experience for her because of her initial fear of revealing how she felt. But she knew she had a lot at stake and so with determination and practice over several months she was able both to be, and be seen to be, a much more effective influencer. 

Yet more reasons why you might benefit
from this training course in skills with people

  • The powerful communication skills taught on this course are so universally relevant that as well as being known as skills with people they are also known as people skills, interpersonal skills, soft skills, skills for dealing with people, people management skills, conversation skills, discussion skills, meeting skills, skills for connecting with people, collaboration skills.
  • These are the skills you need for influencing and persuading, for selling, and for negotiating, for coaching and mentoring.
  • They'll enable you to have genuine, honest and constructive conversations, and be positive and authentic at work.
  • They'll make you more approachable, more courteous, avoid coming across as arrogant, able to win people's trust and confidence, create a harmonious, positive and friendly atmosphere around you of mutual respect and understanding.
  • They'll enable you to talk straight and avoid misunderstandings and resolve disagreements.
  • They'll enable you to communicate a generous attitude.
  • They'll enable you to say what you want, as well as what you don't want.
  • With these skills you'll be able to build better relationships, create more affinity, get closer to people. 
  • They are the skills that will build your confidence, increase your credibility, and improve your personal impact and effectiveness.
  • Without these skills it's difficult to get through to people, change people's minds, get the best out of people, motivate people.
  • These skills also enable you to get on better with people, put people at ease, create a meeting of minds.
  • They even enable you to get along with people you don't like, deal with irrational people, calm people down, and handle difficult conversations, negotiate win-win agreements.
  • They are the skills you need for managing your bosses, establishing mutual respect and treating them as equals.
  • It's not just about how you talk and listen to people. It's also about how you see people. You're unlikely to get the best out of them unless you can see the best in them
  • Practising listening with empathy will help you develop your ability to see the best in people.
  • Learning to speak assertively will help them see the best in you.
  • These are the skills what will enable you to treat people as you like to be treated. 

Is there more information on this website
relevant to skills with people?

Yes. You might also find our pages on communication skills and emotional intelligence relevant and helpful.

We love helping you communicate successfully

By giving you communication skills that'll transform even your most challenging relationships and interactions.

That's the purpose of Skills with People, our training course for managers and professional people at all levels. Thousands have benefited from this course.

Video Introduction

What People Have Said About The Course

Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson Matthey Catalysts (Germany) senior manager

There has been a noticeable improvement in the performance of this customer service engineer. He is much more succinct now than he was before. He was ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson marketing director

She has become increasingly aware and focussed on ensuring she is gaining cooperation from colleagues by the way she approaches situations. E.g., Meet ...

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Project Quality Engineer (self funding)

A lesson for life! The power of effective communication is incredible when one masters the skills "listen with empathy" / "speak assertively". Defin ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Johnson & Johnson finance director

He has made excellent progress in the management of his team. He has ensured key stakeholders are involved in decision-making and has gone to great le ...

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Golf Club Manager

Ten out of ten for the course for me personally. I think I would have resigned if it hadn't been for the course.

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Learning & Development Coordinator - The Entertainer

I can't recommend this course enough. It has genuinely been the most impactful course I have ever completed. Understanding that I can be assertive w ...

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Fundraising Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)

A very intimate training which will make anyone reflect on how best to engage with colleagues when confronted with difficult situations.

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Leisure Centre Manager

The most useful part of the course was learning how to convey my disappointment with a member of staff without demotivating them, without making them ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Billiton director

He's obviously making a positive effort and it does show. People used to be scared of him. No longer.

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Feedback from participant's boss - Chairman of White Clarke Group

He has greatly improved his ability to manage a situation. He listens more and uses that information to convince. A good example is the .... group, wh ...

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Sports Centre Manager

I feel that my relationship with other attendees has improved massively following the session. I'd say 9/10 for what I've got from the course as I sa ...

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Senior Resource Consultant, Shell International

“Skills with People” has helped me deal with conflict situations.  It has helped me to diffuse tension in meetings and convert pushback into alignment ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Kimberley-Clark marketing director

He is now aware of his need to control his direct approach. He was sometimes too assertive. I think he is now well balanced in this respect.

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EHS advisor (environmental health and safety), Johnson Matthey

This is the best non-techincal course the company has ever put me on because it's the most useful. 

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Workshop Manager, Professional Plant Services

I now find it easier to have awkward conversations. (As a result of how he has changed several more people from his company are asking to attend the c ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - head of projects in Heinz

He now gains support through his willingness to involve people more and take them with him.

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Feedback from participant's boss - an HSBC investment director

I have had three unprompted comments from different team members and colleagues who have been surprised at the consideration he has shown in helping s ...

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Theatre Manager

Managing to confront them but still maintain their cooperation and support. Previously I was either not confronting or confronting and ending up with ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a WS Atkins director

Now he actively listens, probes, asks for clarifications and does not assume anymore he knows the answer.

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Glaxo SmithKline research director

He has made good progress in two areas: 1. team leadership - he listens with empathy to others well and considers their standpoint as well as his own. ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - A Philips Semiconductors director

To what extend do I think his training need has been satisfied? Completely. I have been approached by 4 peers to tell me that they could see a very po ...

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National Training Index* report on the course

"From delegates reports we have identified Skills with People is a 'highspot' among UK business courses. Delegates mentioned as most helpful the enha ...

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Feedback from participant's boss - a Prudential director

He is a lot more confident. At the last meeting of our business unit leaders he fully led the meeting and dealt with people very well.

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Thank you from a participant

I wanted to let you know that I have secured a new role.  I had to go through an assessment centre and one challenge was to negotiate with a 'belliger ...

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Senior Engineer, Qualcomm

An unbelievable experience, highly motivating training and one of the few which stays forever in your mind. A tangible impact to your life and workin ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Shell International senior manager

He is showing far more self-awareness and more restraint in potentially confrontational situations. He is far more aware of the impact his actions and ...

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The wife of a participant

"Just thinking about last night’s conversation and it’s bringing tears to my eyes – it’s what I’ve always wanted: to be able to talk with you like tha ...

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Feedback from a participant's boss - a Merck Sharp & Dohme medical director

She feels more confident in tackling people and has been impressed with her new found techniques, e.g., in dealing with members of the marketing depar ...

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Examples of Training Needs Met

Being more assertive would help career go better Read More...
Technically very sound but lacking persuasive skills Read More...
Very logical but not creating enough rapport Read More...
Preparing for a more challenging role Read More...
Enormous enthusiasm but little sensitivity Read More...
Very diligent but hated dealing with difficult people Read More...
Difficulty communicating with non-technical people Read More...
Not delegating or developing others Read More...
Lots of energy and ideas but little attention for his clients Read More...
Forceful communicator who created friction Read More...
Had a positive attitude but gave a negative impression Read More...
Well intentioned but demoralising his team Read More...
Allowed his meetings to get out of hand Read More...
Respected specialist who was too quiet at meetings Read More...
Flying high but creating a tense atmosphere Read More...

Need To Know The Quick Facts?