Professional Development Programs

Training and coaching programs designed to upskill your team members and leaders to meet the challenges of today’s ever-evolving business environment

We offer both on-site and virtual versions of our training programs, providing flexible delivery formats to meet your needs:

Virtual Professional Development Programs

Virtual training programs allow your staff to develop their skills from wherever they’re working. We conduct the training live and exclusively for your team so we can customize the content to your needs. Each virtual training program is highly interactive and includes group or individual exercises, homework assignments for multi-part programs, and real-time access to our facilitators throughout the engagement.

On-Site Workshops

On-site workshops offer practical and intensive training to help restore initiative and improve productivity, with the added benefit that your team members will be happier and more engaged at work. We hold these sessions at your location. Workshops are offered in half-day, full-day, and multi-part sessions, depending on the topic and your organization’s unique training goals.

Gary made the training sessions easily digestible, detailed, attentive, and valuable. I believe what I learned from Gary will actually aid me in the day-to-day management of my peers.
Eric Jensen Review - Corporate Training Programs - Wild Blue Yonder
Eric Jensen
Global Account Supervisor, TracyLocke

Professional Development Programs

We offer comprehensive and proven development programs designed to help your team members become better leaders, communicators and critical thinkers.

Choose a professional development program series from the list below or let us customize a learning program that meets your company’s specific professional development goals.

Management & Leadership Development Series

  • Leading Teams From Anywhere 1.0 Management Training
  • Leading Teams From Anywhere 2.0 Management Training
  • 1:1 and Group Coaching
  • Storytelling for Business

Client Management & Communication Series

  • Client & Business Leadership
  • Agency Financial Stewardship
  • Delivering Great Presentations — Virtual Edition
  • Delivering Great Presentations — Hybrid Edition
  • Communicating More Effectively In Writing
  • Storytelling for Business

Strategic & Creative Thinking Series

  • Writing Better Briefs
  • Supercharge Your Strategic & Creative Thinking Skills

Whether your employees are working side by side, working remotely or a mix of both, leading a team today requires a special set of managerial skills. This management training program is designed for anyone new to supervising others or who leads a team that now includes remote-based workers.

The multi-session structure of this intensive management training program offers managers an opportunity to practice new skills and techniques between sessions, and then regroup to debrief on their individual experiences.

Topic areas include:

  • Communicating more effectively, whether working remotely or in a hybrid environment
  • Improving listening skills for deeper understanding and connection
  • Delegating to and mentoring team members
  • Giving feedback to direct reports, both positive and corrective
  • Helping team members identify their unique strengths and build their skills
  • Managing conflict for more productive outcomes
  • Improving time management in the dual role of leader and “doer”
  • Working more effectively with direct reports and peers
  • Managing stress levels and improving resilience

 
Format:

  • Eight (8) 60-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • Includes homework assignments, self-assessment surveys and ongoing instructor support throughout the program
  • Onsite version of this workshop is available — contact Gary for details

Designed for managers who have completed the Leading Teams From Anywhere 1.0 base program or who are several years into their managerial experience, this advanced workshop builds on the concepts and techniques introduced in the original training series. It’s both a refresher — reinforcing key management concepts — and a deeper dive into several topics introduced in the first sessions. In addition, the program includes the latest techniques on leading remote/hybrid teams and managing up.

 

Topic areas include:

  • Understanding our biases in our decision making
  • Cultivating psychological safety on your team
  • Coaching direct reports for growth and retention, including how to conduct Stay Conversations
  • Inclusive leadership behaviors for managing remote and hybrid teams
  • How our Emotional Intelligence influences our ability to lead and what we can do to improve it
  • Why managing up matters to your career success and how to be better at it

Format:

  • Eight (8) 90-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • Includes homework assignments between sessions, self-assessment surveys and ongoing instructor support throughout program
  • Onsite version of this workshop is available — contact Gary for details

Being the team leader can be a very lonely experience. Couple that with today’s dispersed workplace, and there are even fewer opportunities for managers to share common challenges and solutions to everyday leadership issues.

That’s where executive 1:1 and group coaching come in: they activate learning gained in our leadership training programs, while creating an exploratory space to discuss and reflect on real-time issues your team leaders face.

A comprehensive development program that includes coaching provides your staff with valuable guidance and new approaches to solving managerial issues, which can save your organization precious time and resources.

Contact us to explore how we can help your team leaders reach their full potential through executive 1:1 or group coaching.

Storytelling for business isn’t just about telling tales; it’s a strategic communication tool that enhances understanding, connection and engagement with your stakeholders. When you’ve mastered the craft of great storytelling, you’re able to simplify complex ideas, making them easier to comprehend and remember. It keeps your audience engaged when you’re sharing data-heavy decks that otherwise fail to persuade anyone. Most importantly, storytelling builds a personal, meaningful connection with your audience — a crucial skill needed to persuade clients or to motivate team members in today’s distraction-saturated business environment.

In our Storytelling For Business workshop, participants not only learn the principles of great storytelling — they also get a chance to try out what they’re learning in front of the group, with live feedback, in a supportive environment. At the end of the program, participants will have mastered key storytelling techniques to make their presentations — and important stakeholder conversations — much more compelling and persuasive.

Designed for:

  • Leaders who want to become more effective, persuasive communicators through storytelling
  • Client-facing team members who are experienced presenters but who would like to incorporate storytelling techniques into their presentations

Topic areas include:

  • The neuroscience behind great storytelling and why it matters to your success
  • An introduction to the four components of story design and how to leverage them for maximum impact
  • How to source and catalog a variety of stories you can use in different business contexts
  • Oral storytelling techniques that will make your stories more engaging, memorable and persuasive
  • Structuring presentations using a storytelling framework that take your audience on a visual narrative
  • How to tap into your own intrinsic storytelling abilities to help you deliver your message more effectively

Storytelling For Business is presented as a live, four-part intensive workshop in which participants apply the techniques they’re learning immediately through homework and in-session practice rounds. We limit the number of workshop participants to no more than 12 people, so that everyone has a chance to practice and get feedback from both the facilitator as well as their colleagues.

Format:

  • Four (4) 90-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • Includes storytelling homework assignments between modules
  • In-session oral storytelling and deck building practice rounds with real time feedback
  • Access to live facilitator support throughout the program
  • Maximum 12 participants per group to allow for in-session practice by everyone

Account managers must lead their clients, not merely service them. This workshop helps client relationship managers and other client-facing specialists spend their time more effectively and productively as account leaders, and can be tailored for junior staff or for more seasoned client relationship managers.

Topics areas include:

  • The difference between “servicing” and leading client relationships
  • How to earn credibility and trust with clients
  • Recognizing and adapting individual communication styles for more effective client communication
  • Improving listening skills and leading more productive client conversations
  • Managing conflict and working with difficult clients
  • Understanding the client mindset and leading more consultative conversations
  • How to develop a Client Leadership Plan for stronger relationships and organic account growth
     

Format:

  • Virtual Version: Four (4) 60-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • In-Person Version: Half-day workshop onsite at client location
  • Includes interactive group exercises, Communication Styles assessment survey, homework assignments between virtual sessions and a Client Leadership Plan template

Note: This workshop is specifically designed for ad agencies

Too often, agency people are brilliant in their disciplines, but less familiar with the financial realities of the business. But it’s how client work is managed that determines whether an account will yield its anticipated profit, no matter what the compensation agreement says.

In this workshop, client relationship managers and others who work with client budgets will learn how an agency makes and loses money, how to protect the agency’s financial interests with clients, and how to increase profits.

Participants will learn how to work with creative and production teams to monitor changes in projects and keep budgets and estimates up-to-date. They’ll understand why money write-offs are so much more damaging than time write-offs, and why both should be avoided.

Topic areas include:

  • How agencies make money
  • Why write-offs are bad business
  • Understanding client contracts and avoiding scope creep
  • Tips for staying on top of client budgets
  • The 9 deadly sins of agency financial management 


Format:

90-minute live virtual session facilitated via Zoom

Even if you’re a good presenter in person, giving a virtual presentation brings its own set of challenges. You have to contend with a distracted — or worse, multitasking — audience, technical glitches, potentially awkward handoffs to co-presenters or, if working from home, having your cat jump into frame while you’re presenting.

In this workshop participants get a chance to try out what they’re learning in front of the group, with live feedback, in a supportive environment. At the end of the program, participants have learned specific techniques to make their virtual presentations easier to prepare and more compelling. They’ve developed a style that translates well on video, so they are more credible and highly persuasive.

Topic areas include:

  • Finding an intrinsic on-camera presentation style that radiates your unique personality
  • Understanding and leveraging the power of your voice
  • Organizing your presentation for a virtual delivery using the ACTION format
  • Mastering the art of concise business storytelling to sell key ideas and overcome potential objections
  • How and when to incorporate decks into your presentation and when NOT to
  • Tips for team presentations, including how to plan for seamless handoffs


The program is presented as a four-part interactive workshop so that participants can apply the techniques they’re learning by preparing several mini presentations between sessions. We recommend that no more than ten people participate in each session, so that everyone has a chance to practice and get feedback from both the facilitator as well as their colleagues.

Format:

  • Four (4) 90-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • Includes presentation homework assignments and practice sessions
  • Maximum ten participants per group to allow for in-session presentation practice

Today’s hybrid work environment requires your team members to be skilled at giving presentations no matter whether they are delivered virtually or in person. Yet each delivery method requires slightly different skills and abilities. The hybrid version of our Delivering Great Presentations program teaches participants to be adept at nailing their presentations no matter whether they are delivered virtually or in person.

All the topics covered in the virtual version of this workshop are incorporated here, plus tips and techniques for giving presentations in person. The last session of the workshop is spent onsite at the client location so everyone can practice in front of a live audience.

Format:

  • Three (3) 90-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • One 3-hour workshop conducted in person at the client’s location
  • Includes presentation homework assignments and practice sessions
  • Maximum twelve participants per group to allow for in-session presentation practice

So much of today’s professional communication occurs via email, text messages, presentation decks, Slack etc. Almost every one of these messages is intended — directly or indirectly — to persuade someone to take some sort of action. The style of our writing nudges readers toward or away from that goal, no matter how good the content. And, if the content is poorly written, it can negatively impact relationships as well as the reputation of your brand.

Effective writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But everyone can follow simple guidelines to make their writing more persuasive. In this workshop, participants will practice what they’re learning with short writing exercises during and in between sessions.

Topic areas include:

  • How our writing style affects our credibility with clients and colleagues
  • Five questions to ask yourself BEFORE typing a single word
  • How to organize any piece of writing for greatest impact
  • Composing emails that recipients actually want to read and act on
  • How to make your writing more relatable and likable
  • Organizing and composing presentation decks that connect with audiences
  • Incorporating storytelling techniques to convey key data points and insights
  • Common grammatical mistakes to avoid


Format:

  • Four (4) 60-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • Includes writing assignments during and between sessions

The Writing Better Briefs workshop teaches participants the importance of well-written creative briefs through case study examples and hands-on learning. It defines a process for how to think strategically about the client’s marketing and communication objectives and to translate the strategy into briefs that your creative team will actually find useful.

Topic areas include:

  • The differences between business, marketing and creative strategies
  • Helpful models and frameworks to use when developing a communications strategy
  • Fuel for thought: case studies in great brief design and their inspired outcomes
  • Quick and easy methods for getting your brain into a strategic state of mind
  • The real purpose of a brief and your role in championing it through the creative process
  • Nine questions every creative brief should answer
  • Hands-on experience writing a creative brief


Format:

  • Virtual Version: Three (3) 60-minute live virtual sessions facilitated via Zoom
  • In-Person Version: Half-day workshop onsite at client location
  • Virtual version includes creative brief homework assignments between sessions
  • In-person version includes group and individual exercises to reinforce key learning

Today’s disruptive and ever-evolving marketing environment requires that everyone be a more creative thinker and problem solver. Developing creative thinking skills is not just for members of the creative team; anyone can learn to make their brain more fluent in producing new ideas and solving client business problems.

This workshop introduces participants to techniques — based on the latest research in brain science — for developing and evaluating all kinds of ideas, for any team, in groups or individually.  Participants learn how to reframe problems to challenge assumptions and reveal new possibilities; how to evaluate new ideas to see which are most likely to be productive; and how to collaborate more effectively with colleagues in order to develop the best ideas.

Topic areas include:

  • Why traditional brainstorming sessions don’t work
  • How to avoid typical patterned thinking
  • Creative and strategic thinking “warm-up” exercises
  • Divergent thinking: an effective methodology for generating new ideas
  • Convergent thinking: narrowing down the possibilities to the most promising solutions
  • A methodology for discussing and evaluating ideas in a positive and constructive manner
  • Practice session: participants are invited to apply these techniques to an actual business or marketing problem 

Format:

  • Half-day in-person workshop at client location
  • Virtual delivery is not recommended due to the highly collaborative nature of this workshop

How It Works:

  • Fill out our brief contact form and we’ll set up a complimentary phone chat.
  • Once you engage our services, we’ll collaborate with you to design a training program that supports your unique business needs and company culture.
  • Then, we’ll conduct live training sessions that provide your staff with engaging—dare we say entertaining!—learning experiences, with each session served in digestible chunks that fit into busy schedules.
  • Between sessions, homework assignments will give learners an opportunity to practice new methods and then regroup to discuss their experiences.
  • Throughout the program, we provide access to the instructor so that your staff has access to additional support.
  • Afterward, we can help you design program success metrics and gauge participant feedback.