Senior Learning & Organization Development Consultant

Years at Duke: 9

What is Crucial Conversations training and how has it impacted individuals in the workplace?

Crucial Conversations teaches skills needed to have open and honest dialogue that results in alignment and agreement when facing opposing opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes. People in the workplace who have open/honest dialogue are more productive, communicate more clearly, and have greater self-confidence. Knowing these skills prevents misunderstandings that lead to avoidance and/or resentment. People who have attended this class tell me how it has improved their relationships and communication with their peers and their managers.

What is the most attended course that you teach? Why do you think there is a great need for this class?

Communicating with Diplomacy & Tact 1 continues to be one of the most attended classes that I facilitate. As important as it is to get the work done, it is equally important how the work gets done. Without effective communication skills, we miss out on a lot of information, and we can impact others in negative ways even when we don’t intend to. Learning basic communications skills such as active listening and being aware of our body language can make a huge difference in how effective we are with people in the workplace.

Discuss the need to create the course on Navigating Challenging Personalities: Detect and Defuse Difficult Interactions.

This class came about as a request from several participants of other classes we teach at L&OD. We all encounter “challenging personalities” from time to time. Learning some skills of how to meet these challenges is very important to people in the workplace. The first step though, is to look at ourselves and ask, "Is it really them, or is it me? Or a combination of both?" It is easier to change my response than it is to try and change someone else. These skills are practical and can be applied to situations in the workplace as well as at home.