Monthly Archives: October 2013

Notes from a Graduation

diplomaSometimes you just have to be there to fully appreciate the difference that training can make in someone’s life. In the case of the dozens of participants in an English language acquisition class – or ESL, if you prefer – it was a moment of pride and excitement.

One of our Connecticut industrial clients realized that their business unit could be more efficient if its very diverse employee population could communicate better. The client looked at options and hired Learning Dynamics to do the training in their facility. We provided expert instructors, customized the content to integrate job, company and industry-specific language, and held classes several times weekly.

Many made huge strides in their English proficiency.

The graduation was like a party, with certificates, music, and family members in attendance. A Well-deserved sense of accomplishment was in abundance. Here are two of the comments (paraphrased) from the graduates:

“I appreciate my company for providing this language training.”

“It’s great that the organization invested in us with this training. It is helping in my job and in my life outside work.”

Learning Dynamics is already deep into the next class schedules, with another large group learning English and preparing to be more effective. More classes are planned.

Yes, this was an intelligent business decision by our client. It offers plenty of ROI. But it is also a reminder of how an innovative organization can help their employees with relevant training. We can only guess as to how this will drive employee engagement and loyalty to new levels. We expect that everyone will be pleased.


Learning Dynamics offers customized ESL training created and delivered by experienced expert instructors. Read more about this employer’s ESL initiative here.

The Triangle of Behavior

Leaders will be copied. They set the tone and serve as the example for others. These ideas, and the understanding of the impact of positive and negative role models, should give everyone in a position of authority reason to consider effective communication techniques. The triangle of behavior is one handy way to remember how a person’s behavior affects others.

Triangle of Behvior

Intent: What is the message that a person means to send to an individual or group? The words, tone and non-verbal cues all are influenced by intent.

Behavior: Actions taken, what a person does, define behavior. Even if no words are spoken, behavior speaks volumes about what is acceptable and expected. Inconsistency between word and action is one of the fastest ways to destroy leadership effectiveness.

Impact: How the receiver of a message understands and handles it is the final piece. This can be influenced by the receiver’s mood and willingness to listen and understand, so sender should consider impact when evaluating message effectiveness.

In a leadership setting, intent is often the point that makes the biggest difference and carries the greatest consequences. Consider all three points of the triangle when sending your message.


Also see Four Ways to Influence for more about communicating at work.


Learning Dynamics offers several customizable training programs to enhance communication effectiveness. Personally Speaking ™ offers tools and training to improve business speaking skills.

Four Ways to Influence

Did you know that there are at least four distinct roles that you can play as an influencer? Whether you are a manager or not, a person with a formal leadership position or someone who is respected and valued without an authority-granting title, your ability to influence others is a critical competency needed in today’s work environment. Influencing and persuading others can be a powerful skill that helps teams, projects and processes move forward.

Here are four influencing roles you can play.

Teacher: When influencing as a teacher, remember your job is to explain, clarify, and instruct in a way that the learner feels comfortable and not threatened.

Promoter: The promoter is working to persuade others to consider an idea, concept or project.

Explorer: Influencing skills are used to help brainstorm new ideas, improve a process or think outside the box. You lead the effort to innovate. 

Inspirer: Influence others to raise the bar. Improve something. Your words create a call to action that helps others move to commit to a higher level.

The next time you are in a situation requiring influencing skills, think of the role you are being asked to play and why. It will help you to focus your message and find the right words to affect your audience and create change.

Barbara Phillips, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, authored this piece.

To find out how Learning Dynamics can help your organization maximize the influencing power of your people, visit our website or call 1-800-3SKILLS.