Business is all about people. Those with the deepest understanding of human interaction and the ability to harness that understanding will more often get what they want, achieve more and make a bigger impact on the world and on those around them. This course is for students who want to develop their own interpersonal effectiveness to reach their career goals.
The main objective of this course is to provide participants with a lively, interactive opportunity to reflect on their own stance towards themselves, others and their leadership role and to develop and practice tools which will assist in the design of more productive interactions, particularly in new or complex situations. The ultimate goal is to look at how “managing from the inside out” increases your effectiveness in the workplace.
The managers who are most successful appreciate that the ability to build novel, creative and more effective business solutions is intimately tied to the ability to work productively with other people -- motivating them, nurturing them, persuading them, understanding them and working collaboratively with them. Using a combination of learning methods, this course is designed to provide a deeper understanding of, and increased effectiveness with, some of the Integrative Thinking tools that are related to interpersonal understanding, self-awareness and communication.
The ability to communicate well, a key skill of great business leaders, involves a sophisticated understanding of interpersonal dynamics, self-awareness and empathy. For some this ability is largely intuitive; for all, these abilities can be improved upon through a rigorous examination of underlying patterns of interaction and engagement in exercises designed to practice advanced communication skills. Sessions 1 and 2 will focus on developing active listening and empathic inquiry tools through the use of the video camera and providing feedback in “real-time” in a small group setting. These essential communication tools form the building blocks for the development of productive work relationships.
Once students become comfortable with the process of understanding the other person through enhanced communication skills, the focus will shift to an exploration of professionalism and leadership in a managerial context. (Session 3)
Personal effectiveness and learning depend on the ability to move from automatic, repetitive thought and behaviour patterns which may have outgrown their usefulness to you to a more reflective, flexible position that allows for the possibility of change. Session 4 is devoted to the concept of mindfulness as a useful tool to increase self-awareness and to help cultivate a mindset which promotes more productive interactions with others.
Session 5 then moves into the key area of understanding difficult interpersonal interactions in a business context using the strategy of re-framing the conflict. As business success is more likely to be the result of interpersonal effectiveness than it is about having the “right idea”, developing and practicing strategies to deal with interpersonal conflict is essential. Case studies and exercises adapted from cognitive/behavioural theory will be employed to work through this important concept.
The course will finish (Session 6) with the presentation of group projects designed to translate the course concepts to a business environment in an effective and practical way.