The Writing Clinic (1) How to Write Effective Briefing Notes, Executive Summaries and Letters of Transmittal

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

Whether it’s online or in hard copy, written documentation is an important part of formal communication within an organization.  Briefing notes, executive summaries and letters of transmittal are significant vehicles for decision-making, direction and planning.  Form must be fused to function and clarity of purpose, clarity of language, brevity and audience participation are a must.

What’s in it for You?

You or your team will have the opportunity to explore the notion of audience orientation and the implications of content and  form.  You will be given useable models for each of the three types of memos.  You will have the advantage of a practice session and will receive detailed feedback on your writing.  Finally, if you chose the coaching offering, Bendel will set up a follow-up plan for you that includes opportunities to use your content but our expertise as we review a number of your pieces of writing.  It’s individualized assistance at its best.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Writing Clinic (2): Common Grammatical Errors and How to Avoid them

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

While spell check has really assisted writers in avoiding those troublesome errors in spelling, technology has not yet provided us with a similar weapon to avoid many grammatical errors. Whether you are 16 or 60, when you are writing, you often fall prey to standard errors in sentence structure (remember the terms sentence fragments, cat and dog sentences or run on sentences?).  Sentence structure, paragraphing, the use of parallel structure, verb tense and subject-verb agreement are still too frequently evident in professional writing.  We cover the most common errors, explain why they are grammatically incorrect and why they may lead to confusion.   We provide simple strategies for identifying your most consistent errors and how to avoid them.

What’s in it for You?

In addition to refreshing your skills in this crucial area of writing (and speaking), you will learn to recognize these errors easily, and have at hand a short resource paper/online which identifies standard errors by name and form and shows how they can be corrected. In addition, in keeping with our pledge to individualized service, we shall take some of your own materials, analyze them and add any errors to that list so that you leave the training with a corrective resource that can be used by everyone – but specifically by you because of our individualization.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Writing Clinic (3): Scripting for More Data-Based Reporting and Record-Keeping

Delivery Method: Group Webinar

Description:

Scripting is not note taking. It is a more fulsome, accurate and powerful record of what was said in an interview, a meeting or hearing.  Its roots are in the work of the court reporter.  Scripting involves  mostly listening, writing down (verbatim) what was said at key points and then returning to a script and analyzing it in the context of the purpose for which the scripting was undertaken (i.e. to gather data on what an interviewee has said in response to questions accompanied by success indicators for those questions).  Selecting quotable quotes from your scripted text can be used as powerful pieces of data at a hearing or during the course of an interaction which requires more detail and accuracy about what was said (e.g. investigative complaint).  Scripting can be used in any form of interaction as the interviewer becomes a kind of human tape recorder – without the intrusiveness of annoyance to some of “being recorded on tape.”

What’s in it for You?

Scripting is an invaluable skill set that will enhance your record-keeping, give objectivity to your comments and judgments.  It can prove to others that you were actively listening to what was being said and that you will be considering the implications in the tranquility of a post-meeting analysis. Bendel’s webinar will cover the “tricks of the trade” in scripting, allow you to engage in a scripting exercise and to receive feedback from skilled practitioners on your first attempts.  We guaranty that the tasks of providing information to candidates, of confirming what was said as a basis for future action following a meeting or as a basis for data-based decision-making, will be facilitated by this scripting technique.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Writing Clinic (4): Effective Writing for Policies and Procedures Manuals

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

We all know that we can turn to the internet and find sites where there is a myriad of sources for pre-written, generic policies and procedures.  Just as is the case with writing letters of transmittal, executive summaries and briefing notes, writing policies and procedure requires special skills and a whole set of conventions – both in meaning/content and in form.  The problem with the “plan in the can” route is that those policies and procedures often do not quite fit – you end up spending as much or more time revising the standard policies and procedures to reflect the values, practices and conventions of your organization.  That’s where Bendel Services comes in. This activity-based webinar goes over such topics of the interrelationship between logic and language (for the sake of clarity), the differences between policies and procedures, the use of appendices to support procedures,  the precise use of language to avoid problems and a rational separation of policies and procedures into a detailed sectionalized manual that is easy to use.

What’s in it for You?

You will come out of this webinar with an increased level of understanding of the form and purpose of policy and procedure, a model for each along with samples, a process for identifying a list of inclusions  for both and a series of suggestions for the incorporation and appendices that allow for a smoother, labour-reducing process for implementation the of these policies and procedures in your organization.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Writing Clinic (4): Writing Effective Performance Appraisals

Delivery Method: Individual or Group Webinar

Description:

Most managers find writing an appraisal report to be a very difficult task – and with good reason.  Part of it is often due to the actual form of the appraisal document and due to the nature of the information collected – and what to do with it.  This webinar or coaching session focuses on the separation of data, judgment,  suggestions for improvement and the need to use specific language that reflects the different purposes inherent in these terms – regardless of the formal requirements that the appraisal sets out.  It also includes detailed explanation of 15 specific techniques that a manager has to keep in mind when writing appraisals.

What’s in it for You?

Regardless of the type of organization and your responsibilities in it, you will develop a skill set that you can use on the job right now.  This training will help you understand your role in writing these documents and will give you a sense of confidence in what it is that you have put down on the written page.  It accentuates the use of data to back up judgment and therefore both enhances the quality of the report and credibility that you will have when the formal evaluation is more than an “opinion piece” on one of your employees.  Finally you will be given a short, usable resource in one of our eBooks that will serve you well over time as a reminder of what was covered in this training.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Developing a Professional Portfolio to Support Your Application

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

An electronic or hard copy portfolio is a a powerful vehicle to support your application for a management position.  If developed carefully, it can present a multi-dimensional portrait to the assessment team that will enhance the interview and any other method for gathering information on your performance and potential.  A portfolio must be developed in such a fashion as to include only what is likely to have an impact on the decision-making process and not overwhelm the assessment team.  They only have so much time to spend on any single candidate. The Bendel Service portfolio model starts with the posting for the job you are applying for, not with a generic model.  We’ll give you a suggested framework and then help you construct your individualized model with artifacts and inclusions that show that all your knowledge and skills fit nicely into the position you are seeking.  Then we will give you feedback before the final submission so you can go into that competition feeling prepared and confident.

What in it for You?

You’ll come out of this process with a new understanding of the form and function of a professional portfolio that you can use again and again by revising some of the contents to fit new positions. You’ll learn to avoid some of the pitfalls in developing a portfolio and will get some coaching on how to integrate it into a standard interview.  In the end, you’ll have a living resource that will serve you well over your entire career.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Effective Interviewee Skills (Generic)

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description: 

The interview remains the most common form of information-gathering for selecting staff.  That’s why it’s so important that candidates understand what they have to do to prepare thoroughly in advance and handle themselves with confidence during the interview.  This offering looks as both stages.  Preparation:  We look at gathering information on the position and the organization in advance through Bendel’s 3-P method (paper, places and people), review behaviour-descriptive questions, entertain possible questions that could be asked and teach you how to decode those questions. Interview performance: We look at how to encode answers, use the 80/20 rule in responding to questions, managing interview timing and dealing with the intricacies of virtual interviewing.

What in it for You?

Our assistance in interview preparation will add to your level of confidence and reduce the anxiety that accompanies an interview for most participants.  It will allow you to practise being interviewed under the scrutiny of Bendel personnel or other participants in the webinar.   This practise should help put you at ease with different styles of interviewing from in-person,  virtual time and recorded time.  Finally, you will receive a detailed eBook full of practical suggestions that you can use in any interview situation.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Handling Case Studies in an Interview

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

Case studies are sometimes used by interviewers to assess how candidates respond to a specific situation.  Candidates are given a single case study along with the interview questions usually 30 minutes in advance of the interview in order to mentally prepare their responses.  Typically, a case study includes a broad situation or context with several confronting issues.  Candidates are asked a single question in response to the study.  Reading and responding to case studies generally takes much more time than a series of questions. Using a sample generic case study you will learn how to decode it and identify both the presenting (obvious) issues that have to be addressed and the hidden issues that are less overt – and how to handle both.

What’s in it for You?

No matter whether it’s delivered as individualized coaching or in a group webinar, you will understand how case studies are usually developed and the skills to both decode and encode them.  Finally, we will give you a suggested model for approaching case studies – from identifying presenting and other issues through to evaluating your proposed solution.  It’s a technique designed to have you succeed in this area of the interview.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Designing and Posing Effective Questions for Staff Selection

Delivery Method:  Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

Designing effective well constructed questions for the traditional interview, based on a usable job description, is sometimes a difficult and time-consuming task. This is a two-part webinar.  Webinar #1:  We look at the job description as a statement of an individual profile.  But we also look at the team profile, in terms of four domains of current strengths, to which this person will be assigned.   Aligning these to the mission statement of the organization gives the selection team a very fertile basis for designing meaningful questions.  Finally, we’ll look at identifying sound indicators for each question as a fair basis for assessment and selection. Webinar #2: We look at conventions in managing and following-up on interviews including the pros and cons of virtual and recorded interviews, scripting (briefly), posing and probing, assessing body language, single interviewers versus interview teams and the advantages and disadvantages of using the consensus versus silo method of selecting the successful candidate.

What’s in it for You

This dual webinar will give you a whole new perspective on effective interviewing while getting at some of the issues that have plagued the interview technique as a reliable vehicle for selection.  It will help you appreciate the need for a sound basis for the development of questions, why suggested indicators will make selection easier and more defensible and how to build objectivity into the final decision.  Finally, it makes a cogent case for data-based debriefing feedback that should be in place for all interviewees.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Art of Scripting an Interview

Delivery Method: Group Webinar 

Description:

Scripting is not note taking.  It is a more fulsome, accurate and powerful record of what was said in an interview, a meeting or a hearing.  Its roots are in the work of the court reporter.  Scripting involves  mostly listening, writing down (verbatim) what was said at key points and analyzing it in the context of its purpose (i.e. to gather data on what an interviewee has said in response to questions).  Scripting should be accompanied by success indicators for those questions.  Quotable quotes from the script can be used as powerful, defensible, and objective pieces of data about what was said.  It can be used in any form of interaction as the person(s) scripting become a kind of human tape recorder – without the intrusiveness of annoyance to some of “being recorded on tape.”

What’s in it for You?

Scripting is an invaluable skill set that will enhance your record-keeping.  It will give objectivity to your comments and judgments.  It will prove to others that you were actively listening to what was being said and considered in the tranquility of a post-meeting analysis.  Bendel’s webinar will cover the “tricks of the trade” in scripting, allow you to engage in a scripting exercise and receive feedback from skilled practitioners.  We guaranty that the tasks of providing information to candidates, of confirming what was said as a basis for future action following a meeting or as a basis for data-based decision-making, will be facilitated by this scripting technique.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The Use of Multi-Source Data Gathering in Selection and Appraisal

Delivery Method: Group Webinar

Description:

This is a Bendel Service specialty of which we are very proud.  Because the methodology we use is identical to both selection and appraisal of staff, we are putting these together in a single webinar – a kind of “two-for-one” offering.  Bendel has developed a series of instruments that can be used for both purposes because the instruments look at what people are capable of doing (selection) and have done (appraisal).  This webinar will address three major areas:  the nature of our data sources, the principle of triangulation and the use of the silo approach in making a determination on performance appraisal or selection.  In terms of data sources, we look at site visits, self-evaluation, professional portfolios, essential task observations, 360-degree feedback mechanisms, email reviews, artifact reviews, third person structured or non-structured interviews and monthly supervisory meetings.  We’ll talk about the number of data sources that need to be used and the process of triangulation which matches data from one source against others and, finally, why siloing or separating assessors adds to the objectivity.

What’s in it for You:

This webinar will give you a great deal to think about!  It will show you how to employ some of these methods without doing all the preliminary work yourself and why these methodologies will add credibility and objectivity to your decision.  Finally, you will leave this webinar with a host of resources that can be easily changed to fit your own organization and its job descriptions.  Further, it is a prelude to the following two webinars:  Selecting Staff (Beyond the Standard Interview) and Appraising Staff (Beyond the Standard Check List).

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Selecting Staff: Beyond the Standard Interview

Delivery Method: Group Webinar or Contracted Service

Description:

Selecting staff is one of the most important responsibilities of a manager.  If the wrong decision is made, the organization pays for it long after in terms of time, productivity and group cohesion.  If the right decision is made, the whole organization is enriched.  We take some of the materials identified in the webinar on “The Use of Data Sources” and a sample job description from a mythical organization. We work our way through a selection of data-gathering techniques.  We engage in triangulation and siloing all during the webinar.

What’s in it for You?

This webinar will give you a whole new set of strategies for selecting staff that reduce bias and add to the reputation of your organization as a fair and judicious place in which to work.  Some of the techniques which involve multi-assessors will provide built-in training for your leadership hopefuls.  It’s a great learning experience for all. If you select the contracted service option, we shall work with your organization, its job descriptions, needs and conventions to build a process that works for you – and your staff.  The choice is yours.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Appraising Staff: Beyond the Standard Check List

Delivery Method: Group Webinar or Contracted Service

Description:

This webinar is a close cousin to the webinar “Selecting Staff – Beyond the Standard Interview” but the focus is on assessment of incumbent staff.  Staff appraisal is one of the tasks many managers seek to avoid because it is often a source of friction between the manager and his/her staff.  But if it is implemented through the multi-data source process Bendel espouses, that stress is removed as “the data does the talking.”  A well constructed evaluation process has an objectivity that keeps appraisal where it should be – on a level of professional judgment not personal opinion.  We cover the possible instruments that can be used to gather information on performance and the uses of triangulation and siloing.  The key here is that, whatever form evaluation takes in your organization, these methods can be used as a basis for a rating in any form – numerical, letter, checklist, etc.  This is appraisal at its best! It concentrates on performance data, not impressions, numbers or levels per se.  Finally, included in this webinar are suggestions for using an appraisal report as a heuristic basis for a future professional development plan.  That plan becomes one of the data sources that infuses the next appraisal.

What’s in it for You?

This webinar will give supervisors a real sense of confidence in carrying out the complex task of appraisal.  In addition, because we offer a variety of techniques, you have the opportunity to review the possibilities and choose the one that fits your organization and with which you are comfortable.  It gives you a level of expertise that will be respected by staff and will cause them to see the appraisal as fair and justified. If you select the contracted service option, we shall work with your organization, its job descriptions, needs and conventions to build a process that works for you – and your staff.  The choice is yours.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Conducting Effective Appraisal Conferences

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

Like the task of evaluating staff, most managers find it difficult to debrief staff on what that appraisal has yielded by way of judgment on performance.  This webinar or coaching offering looks at best practices for reviewing appraisal reports with staff.  It includes ideas on how to set up the room, the use of multiple copies of the report and why it’s important for the appraiser and employee to read that report together – a task often forgotten.  It also includes a series of very helpful hints on what to do and what not to do in a debriefing situation.  Finally, we’ll take some time to review your role as the appraiser and make certain you understand why you need to be nether apologetic for the report nor defensive if questioned about it.  It must be a delicate balancing act – and we’ll talk about that.

What’s in it for You?

Like all these offerings on appraisal and selection, we’d like to think you’ll leave this coaching situation or webinar with more confidence and a better skill set to fulfill these responsibilities.  Because we are going to use a simulation activity in the webinar, you and your colleagues will have the opportunity to practise some of the skills we espouse or watch your webinar colleagues and then discuss what you observed in terms of successes and area for further development. If you choose the individual coaching offering, we’ll be asking you to record a session with a staff member and use this as a basis for feedback – or, as always, we’ll adjust our methods to suit your individual preferences and needs.  It’s a process destined for you – not us!  .

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Conducting an Accessibility Audit of Your Organization’s Facilities

Delivery Method: Group Webinar

Description:

Virtually all states and provinces in North America have legislation pertaining to accessibility for persons with disabilities.  While in most cases, this legislation pertains to public facilities, many non-public organizations are concerned with accessibility for their employees and clients.  Nevertheless, many organizations have little to go on with regard to their responsibilities beyond the formal pronouncements in government legislation.  This webinar is an attempt to bridge the gap between legislation and organizational implementation.  The basis of this webinar is the work of Alison Grant as outlined in her Access Audit Handbook.  The Handbook has a wealth of indicators (some 1100 in all).  For most organizations a list of this magnitude is simply impossible to implement.  To that end, using both Grant and other materials from social science research, Bendel Services has developed a list of 52 items in the most common categories:  walkways and halls, stairs, entrances, washrooms, signage, furniture and equipment.  These are arranged in a short manual which looks at such issues as data sources, composition of site-based audit teams, training for those teams, and conventions for the form and distribution of the report of the audit.  This is a very usable manual.

What’s in it for You

You’ll get some real assistance and direction in an area with which most of us are unfamiliar.  You’ll be able to see your buildings in a way that you have never seen them before.  You’ll be, and be seen to be, a more inclusive leader by members by your staff and clients as you pay attention to an often over-looked dimension of organizational responsibility.  Finally, you’ll have at your disposal a manual that you can use and modify as the situation – and legislation – changes.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

The One-on-One Supervisory Meeting

Delivery Method: Individual Coaching or Group Webinar

Description:

Having regularly scheduled (monthly) meetings with your reports serves a variety of purposes.  It keeps you as the manager in touch with the workflow of the division or department, it keeps those who report to you “on their toes” knowing they have to be held accountable on a regular basis to their supervisor and it provides an opportunity for you as a manager to support your team leaders and to show appreciation for their efforts.  You’ll understand more about your operation than you can imagine.  Bendel Services has developed an agenda for the form of these meetings which includes these sections: (i) Items of concern to you (ii) Items of concern to the reports (iii) Status of the achievement of quarterly, semi-annual or annual targets and, if appropriate (iv) Status of any professional development activities undertaken as a result of an earlier performance report.  The agenda items come from issues that arise between meetings, an exchange of emails identifying issues for discussion at the scheduled meeting or unfolding requests for information and guidance. In other words, the agenda is continuously developed between meetings, logged in some fashion by both participants and resurrected at each session.  It’s communication at its best.

What’s in it for You

The one-on-one meeting gives you and your report focused time when issues of importance can be discussed either online or in a face-to-face meeting.  It helps ease “decision-making on the fly.”  Not only will you feel in control of your agenda, you’ll be more comfortable knowing theirs and you’ll be able to engage in continuous dialogue leading to cooperative management – of issues that are important to both of you.  We’ll leave you with a short resource booklet which includes a sample agenda and sample items for each part of the agenda – and a couple of suggestions on how to log the items you’ll put on that agenda.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Managing Meetings for Decision-Making

Delivery Method:  Group Webinar

Description: 

For many people, attendance at meetings is a very frustrating experience.  The most common complaint is “We never get anything accomplished because we never get any decisions made.”  And they’re right!  This webinar looks at several dimensions of meetings: (i) Who attends and why, (ii) How agendas are developed, (iii) Differences among information items, discussion items and decision items – and the back-up required for each (iv) Conventions for behaviour at meetings and (v) Meeting follow-up.  You’ll learn about and receive templates for agenda items and follow-up that are easy to use and will accomplish what you need most at meetings – saving time and making informed decisions.  This is a webinar that suits any sector, company or organization.  It’s a must for managers.

What’s in it for You

You’ll walk away from this meeting with an advanced skill set and a specific set of tools that you can use for next week’s meeting.  You’ll be surprised how well they work in terms of ensuring focus, saving time and directing follow-up activities and assignments – and those who have sat through endless meetings that go nowhere will be forever grateful that their meeting agony is at an end!

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.

Developing Effective Case Studies for Staff Selection

Delivery Method: Group Webinar or Contracted Service

Description:

Case studies are a half-way point between a question with a scenario and a full in-basket exercise.  Their advantages are that they tend to generate more detailed responses than a single question and, as such reveal more than a set of questions and they are much less costly to produce.  We offer this service in two media.  One is a webinar on how to develop case studies and their indicators; the other is to take information from you about your specific organization and develop a case study around that information. In the webinar we review the three fundamental parts of a case study (general situation, presenting problems, request for solution) but we also include suggestions for additions to the case study in the form of a series of questions which asks a candidate why he/she responded in the fashion she/he did.  That gives assessors more insight into the way a candidate addresses issues.  We’ll also use part of the webinar time to review two case studies and then give participants an opportunity to develop one along with the indicators. In the contracted service we’ll get all the details we can from you about your organization along with a list of the kinds of problems (past, current, future) that would serve as a basis for our development of up to five sample case studies for your company in particular.

What’s in it for You

Either way, you’ll come to appreciate the use of case studies in selection (or in terms of professional development, for that matter) and perhaps begin to build a collection of cases studies that can be modified and used for different competitions.  As is the case for most Bendel offerings, if you take the webinar, you’ll receive a free eBook which includes the content of the webinar and additional information not covered in the time allocated.

Contact Us for pricing or with any questions.