2014 - Twenty Two Years Helping Government
How time flies. Twenty years offering training and help to governments to help them become more effective dealing with customers, as head of Bacal & Associates, plus five years doing so as a government employee.
It's not work that garners huge recognition, but I love to do it; love to work with government staff, and love to help them deal with the unique situations that face the public sector and its interactions with members of the public.
Here's an overview and history.
Our Involvement In Government Customer Service
Back when I worked at the Civil Service Commission in Manitoba as a training and development consultant, we received a videotape aimed at helping viewers deal more effectively with hostile members of the public. At the time, I was editing (i.e. writing, editing, formating and producing) an inhouse newsletter distributed to the sites where 17,000 government employees worked.
We offered the videotape (it was a long time ago) to interested employees, and ended up swamped with requests. A house needn't drop on me to identify a training need in the face of massive response, so we created a seminar around the video.
And, the seminar was a success. Truth to tell it wasn't a very good seminar, and in retrospect I realized that defusing angry members of the public is a lot more complex than the tips and techniques in the video, around which the course was designed.
Fast forward a few years, after I decided to move on and create my own company, and as is often the case with startups, the first years can be "slow" business wise, so I started writing, and ended up what was to be the first edition of The Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector, a tool to be used by government staff who couldn't access my live seminars on the topic. Of course, around that time I was also delivering a much altered, much more sophisticated seminar, sometimes running as long as two days, to meet the needs of government employees on the firing line.
...About Twenty Years Later, and I'm Still Going Strong
The seminars themselves have evolved a lot since the early days, since I've been able to specialize somewhat and spend the time researching the best techniques and models available from Psychology, Psycholinguistics, and truth to tell gathering information and techniques from thousands of my seminar attendees. Some of the best defusing anger techniques have come from the latter.
The Workbook is now in its third edition, each one better than the other, with more specific techniques, better learning exercises and so on, and no doubt there will be a fourth edition sometime in 2013 or 2014.
The Present - I'm Back
About ten years ago, we moved from Manitoba to the Ottawa area, and I decided that the travel grind was something that I'd rather not do, so we stopped marketing our seminars, and I cut drastically, all public appearances, including seminars and keynote speaking. I also wanted to focus on writing books, and experienced a great amount of success through McGraw-Hill.
Now, it's time to get back to MY basics, and we're back, booking and delivering difficult customer seminars almost exclusively to government clients. Not only are we delivering custom-designed training, but we are now launching a custom-designed training package program to help governments; municipal, state, provincial and federal to become self-sufficient and to save money when training their customer facing staff and involved managers. The latter involves provision of course materials, leaders manuals, exercises, ongoing support and train the trainer programs.
I'm pleased to be back. I DO limit the number of projects that involve travel, but I'm back.
Thanks for dropping in to our information site on how we can help government. Please use the menu titled Seminars & Services to the left (upper) to find more information.