Ellen Silverstein Associates


Leadership Training : (2—5 day course)
Coaching and Performance Management
The Art of Acquisitions (from a human element perspective)
Effective Team Building
Transition Management
Dealing with Difficult People
Change Management
Train the Trainer — Facilitation and Presentation Skills
Leading Effective Meetings
Client Management: H.R., E.R., and O.H. departments
Communication Skills Training
Assertiveness Training
Conflict Management: Dissolving Conflicts in the Workplace
Stress Management: The Good , The Bad and The Ugly


Difficult people can take up a great deal of your time and energy. This workshop will deal with the complexities of managing difficult people and situations and how to work with them effectively to achieve a win-win solution and resolve conflicts. This full day workshop offers participants the opportunity to practice new skills through role play and rehearsal.

Types of difficult people
How to adapt your style to meet the challenge
Developing the confidence needed to handle conflict
Maximizing personal power and using humour effectively
Celebrating ‘different stokes for different folks’
Put the cards on the table … setting clear rules and boundaries
Turning problems into opportunities or you’ve tried everything … what’s next?
Understanding motivations and the games people play
Using conflict creatively
Coping with anger and criticism from others
Understanding problems before prescribing solutions
Catching people doing things right
Active listening / tracking vs. asserting, managing / controlling
Somebody who won’t listen … only wants to be heard
Understanding the impact of your approach on customers and others
Gaining cooperation vs. defense or attack
Negotiating with your colleagues, customers etc…
Making the covert overt … Naming the game
Consensus seeking
Building trust, goodwill and credibility

Coaching can often be a challenge. It can also be your most positive motivational tool. How leaders talk to their staff during ongoing evaluation; give and receive concrete, straight - forward feedback; hear and respond to staff concerns; and address both corporate and individual issues are all key elements in a successful working relationship.
This interactive workshop will offer concrete skills, the How To’s of coaching for results. Participants will learn specific techniques and be able to practice skills.
Outline of the Workshop:
Go “round: What are the key element for coaching for results?
Setting the stage: Key elements for a positive discussion.
Communication: Use of effective language while giving feedback.
Active listening / Paraphrasing / Reflecting feelings to show understanding
How to discuss poor performance
How to deliver a straight—forward message.
Balancing directness and kindness.
Setting goals and objectives and follow up.
When and what to document.
Ongoing coaching tips.

Role Plays:

This practical hands on workshop will be devoted to rehearsal. Participants will be asked to discuss real life situations. They will identify times when coaching has been a challenge and being direct has been awkward. As a group we will role play to practice coaching skills, straight talk skills and the art of giving and receiving feedback.

Performance management can often be an onerous and difficult task. It can also be a most productive motivation tool. Managers and supervisors often need coaching to ensure that the system works optimally. When we attend appropriately to the ‘human element’, we build the foundation for successful performance management. How leaders approach their staff for evaluation; give and receive concrete feedback; hear and respond to their concerns; address both corporate and individual issues; and manage the process are all key elements in a successful performance evaluation.

This interactive workshop will offer concrete skills: the How To’s of attending to the ‘human element’ when managing performance. Participants will learn specific techniques and practice skills. How the employees respond to performance management and how their leaders deal with them directly affects the business.

Outline of the Workshop:

Setting the Stage: Key elements for a positive discussion
Signs and signals of staff distress and what to do about it.
How to discuss poor performance that is not the result of a lack of skill.
Setting goals, objectives and follow up.
Tips and techniques to introduce the EAP and or other resources.
The value of documentation and what to document.
Performance management as an ongoing, continuous process.
Active listening
Communication … use of effective language.
How to involve staff in the process.
Dissolving conflict and diffusing anger.
Coping with anger and criticism.
Setting SMART PLUS goals.
How to measure outcomes against goals.


This highly interactive and practical workshop offers participants the How To’s of facilitation. It provides an opportunity for individuals who have no experience facilitating a group and for individuals who want to hone their facilitation skills. Both the craft and the art of facilitation will be explored.
This session can be one or two days and offers concrete skills, modeling by an expert facilitator, rehearsal (with video replay when it’s a 2 day workshop), and constructive feedback.

Topics to be Covered:

The importance of setting ground rules—a compendium of useful parameters..
The value of a thorough Go ‘Round (participants will experience the go ‘round,then analyze its value and rationale). Review of learning styles / teaching styles.
Active listening: Skill building.
The How To’s of building rapport.
Use of audio / visual media and flip chart management.
The difference between teaching and facilitation.
Understanding the power of body language.
Attending to the group.
Dissolving conflict and defusing anger.
Dealing with difficult participants
Dealing with silence.
Room set up.
Use of effective language.
Effective questioning skills.
The value of debriefing.


The Art of Leading Cost-Effective, Productive and Enjoyable Meetings

Meetings can be the most productive way to spend time … or the least. When meetings are well planned and executed, they will be productive and enjoyable. This seminar will teach the practical aspects of meeting skills.

This seminar is aimed at anyone who chairs or attends meetings.

Topics to be Covered:

Getting your money’s worth, meetings are expensive.
When to call or not to call a meeting.
Preparing agendas -agenda building.
The role of the facilitator, secretary and time keeper.
How meetings can be unproductive.
Meeting etiquette.
Action plans and follow through.
Participant action sheets - understanding and discharging post meeting responsibilities.
Group problem solving—gaining consensus.
Group dynamics—what’s it all about?
Developing cooperation and participation.
Regulating over zealous group members
Drawing out less verbal participants
Ways to make the meeting more enjoyable.
How to enhance productive participation.

STRESS MANAGEMENT :“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”

Stress is a reality for all of us. Sometimes we cope beautifully. We feel energized by the challenges and satisfied as we accomplish our goals. Other times, the stress builds and we feel as if one more problem will overwhelm us. Our coping strategies seem ineffective and every problem seems insurmountable.

We encounter stressors at work, at home and in our own minds. We must pay attention to managing stress in our lives or we risk burning out. Then we aren’t going to be much good to anyone, at work or at home.

This seminar is designed to help employees learn effective ways of dealing with stress. The stress management seminar is interactive, ‘edutaining’ and motivational. Practical techniques are explored and practiced in this seminar.

The seminar is structured to meet the needs of the audience. Each topic that is outlined below can be expanded or contracted depending on your mandate of the seminar or particular areas of interest to participants.

Seminar Outline:
Awareness: What is Stress? Where does it come from? How to recognize what it feels like. How to recognize stress triggers.

Stress Management Techniques:

Tips for taking care at work amidst changes in the workplace.
Communication skills.
Balancing work and family.
Relaxation techniques.
The relationship of fitness, health and nutrition to stress management.
The value of humour.
Attitude audit … keeping it positive.
Problem solving skills.
Time management—personal and professional.


Clear, concise communication is imperative in the corporate world today. All of us are communicating constantly in one mode or another. The more effective our communication is, the more productive we are. Think about how much time is wasted as a result of unclear communication. In an era where words, pictures and data can be flashed around the world in minutes, the corporate world doesn't just need clear, concise communication ... it demands it. This workshop will offer participants concrete tools to improve their communication style.

Topics that can be covered include:

Establishing Rapport—the nuts and bolts of developing positive relationships
Active listening / Paraphrasing / Reflecting feelings to show understanding
Listening Habits: Improving and Practicing
Blocks to effective communication: Reducing static and distraction
The meaning resides in the listener
The art of asking questions for information
Speaking for listening.
Understanding various messages that may be communicated at any given moment
Tracking conversations.
Body language
Use of empathy—what to say and what not to say
Appropriate use of email and voice mail


The focus of this module will be:

Individual Decision Making: Every time we make a decision, we take a risk.

When to seek a Team Decision by Consensus
The technology and value of a Pro’s and Cons list
Understanding the impact of any decision on the team
Keeping the information loop alive
Deciding who needs to know the decision or process used to decide
Understanding your lines of authority, level of accountability and responsibilities.
Value of ‘Flipping a coin’

As a part of decision making protocol every leader first gathers and evaluates available data with respect to: Practicality / Resources / Maximum Gain. The leader then chooses a course of action and executes it.

Group Decision Making

When it makes sense to include the team in a decision, there are several ways in which to come to a decision. We will focus on the behaviours and attitudes that foster a consensus team decision making practice.

Decision by Consensus
Decision by Majority Rule
Decision by Lack of Response
Decision by Authority Rule
Decision by Minority
Decision by Unanimous consent

If Decision Making is Difficult—What are the options?



Preliminary Diagnosis / Discussion
Concrete Incidents or Examples
Problem Formulation—How To
Generating Proposals for Solution—How About
Brainstorming rules and protocols
Forecasting the Consequences of Solutions / Testing / Evaluating
Criteria for forecasting
Expert Opinion, Personal Experience, Tests, Research, Surveys
Action Planning and follow through
Evaluation of Outcomes
Recycling the Problem Solving Model
Defining the value of different Roles: Facilitator, Leader, Participant, Reporter, Scribe, Timekeeper

The model we teach is based on the Synectics® group problem solving approach, developed in Cambridge, Mass. When the pioneers who created this model tried to describe what they did, they realized that no existing word could sum it up. So they created a new word from the Greek syn (meaning "to bring together") and ectos (for "diversity") which together suggest "the bringing together of diversity".

We believe everyone is capable of being creative and innovative. Sometimes our intuitive skills may have become suppressed by outside factors like education, cultural conditioning and misplaced competitiveness. This creative tool will help bring them back to life.


“We think much more about the use of our money, which is renewable, than we do about the use of our time, which is irreplaceable. Unlike other resources, time cannot be bought or sold, borrowed or stolen, stocked up or saved, manufactured, reproduced, or modified. All we can do is make use of it.”

Jean-Louis Servan Schreiber
‘The Art of Time’
Addison-Wesley, New York, N.Y., 1988.

Topics to be covered include:

Why Manage Time?

? Stress control
? Balancing work and personal life
? Efficiency / Productivity
? Help achieve goals

How do we waste time?

? Poor communication
? Procrastination
? Unrealistic time frames
? Perfectionist tendencies
? Unplanned for meetings and interruptions
? Lack of information
? Lack of clarity re: goals and expectations of the team

What can we do about the problem of not enough time?

? Learn to say ‘no’ to unreasonable requests
? Have more efficient, focused meetings at work
? Proper use of delegation
? Use prioritizing strategies to determine workload
? Clarify lines of responsibility and authority on the team
? Develop more efficient ways to use: the telephone, email, voice mail
? Paperwork efficiencies

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