Dealing With Difficult Clients Train The Trainer Project - Small Bedroom Municipality
Context: As a result of reading our Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector, a potential client contacted us with a desire to offer our version of the Dealing With Difficult Clients to all its staff over an extended period of time.
Their desire was to become self-sustaining with the delivery of the program so they could develop a consistent method for dealing with angry government customers, and offer the seminar to new employees as well as old.
The municipality wanted some of their managers to deliver training, in addition to staff that had previous experience.
In consultation with the client, it was clear they needed and would benefit from a train the trainers program. They had employees who wanted to enhance their training delivery skills and who had some training experience.
Again, in consultation with the client, who also assembled a small advisory board to advise on content and design, we decided the best option was to do a custom-designed course, deliver it to some real employees and couple delivery with train the trainer sessions.
We also decided that the best length for the course would be one half-day (four hours) due to the work schedules of those attending.
As is standard for all our projects, we provided a simple needs assessment form to be distributed to prospective attendees. Typically, return rate for these is fairly low, but we received enough replies to develop a good idea of their concerns and needs.
Over a number of months we developed the seminar, with an eye to incorporating their real life situations into the course, and of course, to reflect the government context. The design process was consultative with a number of iterations and substantial input from their trainers and advisory group via email, conference calls and so on.
Delivery and Format:
In late 2012, we travelled to their location with the following integrated approach to delivery and training their trainers.
First session: Regular delivery to employee group of about twenty people, with prospective trainers in attendance (half-day).
Second session: The trainer group assembled for a half-day train the trainers session where we did a partial run through of the training session. The rationale for each module was explained, as was the process for each (exercises, etc).
Third session: Again, we delivered the seminar to another group of twenty staff, again with trainers in attendance. Prospective trainers were asked to attend to the "how" of delivery".
Fourth session: Trainers only (half-day) where we completed the walk-thru of the course, obtained input from trainers regarding modifications of both process and materials, and provided a number of hints about how to deal with more difficult attendees, establish credibility as trainers and how to respond to comments and questions.
Deliverables For The Seminar
We provided the following materials to be used in the actual seminars, and to guide trainers through the delivery process.
- The needs assessment form to be used for future sessions.
- Powerpoint slide presentation coordinated with the Leader's Manual
- Extensive Leader's manual containing detailed examples of what to say, how to introduce each topic, how to run exercises, etc. You can preview the first part of the leader's manual here, and view the Power of Language segment from the leader's manual here.
- In Class Learning Package: Since examples used in the course needed to be customized for each group, we provided an in class learning package designed specifically for the municipality. It contained the exercises to be used, space for recording responses to the exercises, space for notes, and a copy of the Powerpoint slide presentation.
- Discount on The Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook to be provided to each participant.
- Course evaluation forms are also available, but since they had their own evaluation methods and format, in this project they chose to use their own.
Note: To permit the client to be able to modify instructional material, we provided deliverables in Microsoft Publisher format, since this allowed the client to modify ALL material (except the workbook) as they saw foot. This was consistent with our desire to allow the municipality complete self-sufficiency.
Ongoing support to trainers was also provided for, so trainers could contact us via email or phone for advice and additional help. This service was provided at no additional cost.
In early 2013, the municipality will be going forward with delivery of the seminar to employees, with the seminars being lead by their own staff.
...to be continued.
Pricing was all inclusive, and the cost to the municipality for perpetual rights to use the material, training delivery and train the trainers was less than the cost of hiring someone from competing training companies to deliver a similar course twice. In effect, they were able to become self-sufficient without significant additional costs over using services from our competitors.
There is NO ongoing licence fee, no hidden costs.