How productive is your team?

Teamwork and effective collaboration is at the heart of doing good work. But sometimes it feels like your team is having trouble accomplishing much of anything.

How can this be?

You’ve got all the right colleagues at your side. You all care about getting things done. Everybody is working hard and doing their part. So why is it so hard to actually get anywhere?

More often than not, lack of progress is a result of poor communication.

Generally speaking it’s not the technical skills, motivation, passion, or know-how that’s lacking. It’s effective communication that makes it possible to harness all of these things and make them work well together.

And while poor communication may be hard to pinpoint, it is the culprit that short circuits all of your skills and productivity.

That’s where Shift Talks come in.

Shift Talks are customizable workshops that train teams on how to work together more effectively. Our talks help build your team’s skill set, reduce friction in the workplace, and improve interpersonal communication in your organization.

Each Shift Talk can take the form of a group lecture or a hands-on, interactive workshop.

Custom for You

No matter the needs or the time constraints of your team, we have a workshop or series of workshops that will help you.

  • Pick from our list of workshops we’ve delivered before, or choose your own topic.
  • Shift Talks can be provided separately or as part of a half- or full-day retreat, as a lunch-and-learn series, or as part of a team-building session. Each Shift Talk comes with an advance planning session to determine your organization’s particular needs and to begin customizing your session.

Most Popular Talks

As humans living and working in society, we communicate in many ways. But though we talk with each other every day, it sometimes seems hard to understand each other. Can we become better communicators? You can! In this workshop, we will explore different styles of communicating, learn skills for listening well, and uncover ways to make yourself heard and understood with confidence.

Intended Outcomes

  • Recognize and appreciate diverse communication styles.
  • Learn listening skills that help others communicate and feel heard.
  • Discover how to make sure your message gets across to others.

Whether you’re talking to a colleague in a different department, a customer, a vendor, or even a family member, when you talk about your work, you take on the role of a “technical communicator.” To communicate effectively about your work, you need technical expertise, and you need something more—the ability to think from the perspective of the person you’re talking with. In this workshop, we’ll look at how to think from a different point of view, and uncover techniques for discussing technical topics effectively.

Intended Outcomes

  • Understand why it helps to understand your audience and their point of view.
  • Discover ways to learn about your audience effectively and efficiently.
  • Learn methods of making technical information accessible to a range of audiences.

Conflict is a common part of life, yet one of the hardest parts for many people to deal with. How can you handle disagreements effectively, at work and in your personal life? In this workshop, we’ll look at ways to constructively approach a dispute or conflict, options for handling complaint, and ways to help others mediate conflict.

Intended Outcomes

  • Recognize conflict situations and styles.
  • Discover options for handling conflict.
  • Know what to do when you have an issue or complaint, or when someone has an issue or complaint with you.
  • Gain an understanding of how you can help mediate a conflict.
  • Learn to recognize and deal with difficult tactics.
  • Be prepared to have a difficult conversation.

We’ve all experienced it: a meeting that wanders off topic, goes on and on, and ends without anything being decided. It’s enough to make you want to avoid meetings altogether. But rather than run away from meetings, we can embrace them, and find ways to plan and run them effectively. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the most common pitfalls of bad meetings, explore how to plan and run an effective meeting, and how to fix a meeting that’s gone bad.

Intended Outcomes

  • Identify types and structures of meetings and what distinguishes good meetings from bad.
  • Learn the essential steps of planning and running an effective meeting, from planning to agenda-setting to facilitating to setting action items and follow-up.
  • Discover how to salvage a bad meeting.

You are charged with telling a compelling story about the work of your organization. You have an end goal that you’re trying to achieve, possibly getting more donations, but you’re not sure where to begin the story. Or maybe you have new data about the impact of your organization, but you are not sure how to turn the numbers into an engaging story. Or perhaps, you have a client success story that would increase interest from new donors, but the words are just not flowing.

 

In this workshop, you will learn the difference between messaging and storytelling, the benefits of storytelling, and type of stories. You will leave knowing how to turn whatever your impact is into a story that will move people to action.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Know which type of story to use and when.
  • Learn how to write a story for impact.
  • Ability to share and pitch the story to others.

Visual design is not just about making things look pretty, although a good design can look beautiful. More often, visual design is meant to aid clarity and comprehension of the information being shared. In this workshop, we will explore some basic design principles like proximity, alignment, repetition, and contrast and learn how the smallest tweaks in these areas can make the biggest impact to your documents and materials. Bonus: Learn some of the terms that designers use on a daily basis, which can help you provide more specific creative direction to designers.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Improve the look and clarity of your documents with simple visual tweaks
  • Learn design terminology to have more effective conversations with designers
  • Understand how to use typography to increase impact and clarity

Additional Talks

Giving and Receiving Effective Feedback
Earning Coverage: How to Tell Your Story to the Media
Search Engine Optimization for Entrepreneurs
Making Sense of Your Website Begins With Information Architecture
Win-Win Negotiation

Good Social Citizenship
Are Your Emails Sending the Right Message?
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Collaborating Better
Crafting Your Personal Elevator Pitch
Doodling for Fun and Profit
Yes And…Using Improv to Enhance Collaboration

Creating and Presenting a Killer Pitch
Why You Need a Company Manifesto (and how to create one)
Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Let’s Customize Your Talk

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Let us design a talk that solves your communication challenge!

(hint: fill out the form above and we’ll get in touch)