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Leadership Workshops

Please click on a title to see a description of the workshop.

Employees and employers alike respect supervisors who effectively manage employee performance.  Employees gain trust and a sense of security by knowing their contributions are valued, and by knowing that supervisors will work with them to make improvements when needed.  They benefit from being surrounded by others who ‘pull their weight’ and who contribute to a positive workplace environment.  Employer benefits include improved attendance, regulatory compliance, and productivity, as well as greater flexibility within the workforce.

This workshop is designed to provide front line supervisors and managers with the concepts, skills, and tools needed to:
  1. Align team and individual performance expectations with corporate goals;
  2. Plan and discuss clear performance expectations;
  3. Gain employee commitment to meeting expectations;
  4. Monitor employee performance using an evidence-based approach;
  5. Enhance performance through the use of performance-based recognition and constructive coaching;
  6. Analyze performance problems and strategize for improvements;
  7. Differentiate between the need for coaching and the need for progressive discipline;
  8. Recognize potential human rights violations, and describe the supervisor’s role in preventing and responding to same;
  9. Keep concise written records of necessary data;
  10. Conduct effective performance-based conversations.
The workshop will provide learners with useful tools and forms, and will feature a number of hands-on practice opportunities.

Workshop Outline

1. Introduction
  • What is performance management, and what difference does it make?
  • Role of the supervisor in managing performance
  • Challenges to managing performance
 2.  Core Communication Skills
  • Helpful language vs. risky language
  • Describe the situation vs. diagnose the person
  • Active listening
3.  Set Clear and Relevant Expectations
  • The Cascade model of expectations
  • Select priorities
  • Make it measurable
  • Create a monitoring plan
  • Discuss expectations with the employee
4.  Provide Recognition
  • Why bother?
  • Communicate recognition effectively
  • Options for no/low-cost recognition
5. Provide Coaching
  • Distinguish between behaviour that requires coaching vs. behaviour that requires discipline
  • Investigate and analyze a problem
  • Constructive and developmental feedback steps
  • Documentation: your best friend!
6.  Introduction to Progressive Discipline
  • Serious one-time incidents
  • Ongoing issues not resolved through constructive coaching
  • Handle negative reactions
  • Documentation: still your best friend!
  • What to consider when considering dismissal
7.  The Performance Appraisal
  • Steps
  • Tips



“Development of People” is an essential leadership competency.  It involves working to develop employees' contribution, potential and learning over the long term.  Benefits to the organization include greater productivity, enhanced employee engagement, and a continually expanding talent pool from which to draw future leaders.  Providing coaching within the context of the Performance Management system is crucial to the current and future success of every organization.

In this workshop, participants will learn to use coaching as a means to improving productivity, developing talent, and engaging staff.

This workshop will be beneficial to anyone who leads a team or manages a work group.  It is appropriate for Senior Executives, Middle Managers and Front Line Supervisors.

By the end of this workshop, learners will:

  1. Collect and assess performance-based information using several tools
  2. Plan the coaching session
  3. Provide behavioural, non-interpretive feedback to an employee
  4. Assist employees to develop insight into their own behaviour and resolve their own performance difficulties
  5. Use  a developmental tool to increase productivity at a reasonable pace
  6. Develop employee commitment to improvement goals
  7. Employ coaching strategies to encourage the maintenance of positive behavior
  8. Plan and conduct a coaching interview based on a realistic case study

The workshop will feature a number of hands-on practice opportunities.


Workshop Outline

1.  Introduction

  • Purpose and goals of developmental coaching
  • Benefits of coaching – to the individual, the team, and to you
  • Common concerns about coaching
  • The difference between constructive coaching and developmental coaching
  • The Developmental coaching model

2.  Collect and Analyze Performance Data

  • Sources of information, and methods of collecting it
  • Get the whole picture
  • Avoid biases
  • Use the Mager & Pipe Flowchart to analyze performance challenges from the employee’s perspective
  • Use the Balance of Consequences tool to understand an employee's current motivation
3.  Prepare to Develop an Employee
  • Developmental readiness model
  • Methods of development
  • Determine an action plan

4. Provide Performance Feedback and/or Developmental Opportunities

  • The difference between factual and interpretive data
  • Determine what to say and how to say it
  • Help the employee to feel comfortable
  • Active listening
  • Help the employee learn from his or her experiences

5.  Develop Performance On-the-Job

  • Use “Situational Leadership” to guide on-the-job employee development
  • Conduct 5-minute on-the-job coaching conversations
  • Motivate employees to stay engaged, especially when things are difficult

6.  Integration

  • Apply  Developmental Coaching in a case study and simulation
  • Plan for on-the-job use




(2 days)

Optional: 2.5 - 3 days if pre-course team assessment questionnaire is deployed by each learner and their team prior to the workshop.  In this case, findings will be summarized and shared with learners (privacy will be protected), and additional learning and practice time will be devoted to areas of challenge.

Building and leading teams is challenging work.  

Effective teams are clear about goals and expectations.  They have healthy decision-making processes and relationships.  They balance the need to accomplish objectives with the need to stay committed and positive.

This workshop is designed to provide front line supervisors and managers with the concepts, skills, and tools needed to:

  • Clarify and discuss team goals, team member roles, team member relationships, and team processes
  • Compose a balanced team
  • Build team commitment
  • Ensure team member alignment with goals and each other
  • Maximize smooth functioning at each stage of the team lifecycle
  • Analyze team issues through a variety of lenses
  • Resolve team issues using appropriate interventions
  • Celebrate the team

Course objectives will be met through the use of case studies, instructor demonstrations and presentations, small-and-large-group discussions, and hands-on practice with feedback.  The course will be highly interactive.

Workshop Outline

1. Introduction

  • Differences between great teams and unhealthy teams
  • The Role of the Team Leader
  • The Team Lifecycle and its challenges
  • The GRPI model of effective team functioning

2. Team Goals

  • Clarify goals in a meaningful way
  • Align team members' work with team goals
  • Engage team members in accomplishing goals

3. Team Roles

  • Compose and balance the team - considerations
  • Select the best roles for each team member
  • Establish clear parameters of responsibility and authority
  • Balance an unbalanced team
  • Cross-train to ensure commitments are met by your team

4. Team and Team Leader Interpersonal Dynamics

  • Build respect
  • Build trust
  • Build credibility
  • Provide feedback

5. Team Processes

  • Communicate effectively
  • Make decisions
  • Resolve conflict
  • Evaluate team progress
  • Celebrate success


(2 days)

Leaders face significant challenges when introducing changes to employees and other stakeholders.  Regardless of the nature or the value of change, natural anxiety can cause people to resist it.

Human Transition occurs more slowly than the process of organizational change.  Transition includes the stages of Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.  Many organizations make the mistake of interpreting Denial for Acceptance, and the stage is set for a protracted and difficult journey.

Although many managers are skilled at deciding what changes are needed, few know how to help their people make smooth Transitions between the present and desired state.  It is often poorly managed Transition - and not bad changes - that lead to resistance, stress, conflict, absenteeism, low morale, and decreased quality and productivity.

Based on the work of John Kotter and William Bridges, the Leading Change and Transition workshop is designed to help leaders better define and manage Endings, soften and accelerate the difficult stages of Transition, and make the most of New Beginnings.  Leaders can help reduce the intensity and duration of organizational stress, while maintaining productivity, quality, and a positive culture during challenging times.

By the end of the workshop, learners will:

  • Describe the role of the Change Manager
  • Identify variables influencing the duration and intensity of Transition
  • Identify signs of poorly managed Transition
  • Create a Transition Management Plan
  • Communicate effectively about Change – what, to whom, when, and how
  • Encourage appropriate values and behaviour
  • Involve people from all levels of the organization appropriately in the change initiative
  • Identify when to challenge and when to support
  • Identify the effective Use of “Temporary Measures” to support productivity and culture
  • Link Change to Performance Management and accountability systems
  • Build staff commitment to projects or change initiatives
  • Diagnose and resolve various types of resistance
  • Reduce change-related stress
  • Maximize organizational morale and productivity
  • Increase their organizations’ capacity to deal with change
  • Discuss strategies for leading transition while one is going through it oneself



Make the Most of Your Leadership Style using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
(0.5 - 2 days)

The MBTI® questionnaire and psychological type model are valuable tools in any human situation or interaction. Millions of people worldwide who have taken the assessment have not only had the “aha” experience of validating who they really are, but have come to a profound understanding of the 'why' behind their behavior. The MBTI® inventory and knowledge of ones’ type:

  • Promotes self-awareness and personal choice
  • Helps to identify differences between normal healthy individuals
  • Fosters appreciation for differences between people
  • Assists in identifying unique gifts and areas for growth and development
  • Promotes understanding and effective cooperation between people
  • Facilitates individuals and groups to make constructive use of these differences
The  model provides a framework for how people are hardwired to be who they are; it gets to the root of behaviors – to the way we think – helping individuals come to a deeper understanding of themselves and an appreciation for differences in others.

The MBTI® personality assessment is the most widely used personality instrument in history. Based on 70 years of research and development, the MBTI® tool has worldwide acceptance as the gold standard of personality assessments. it has been translated into 23 different languages and is the most widely used instrument in the world for understanding differences, with well over 1 million yearly global administrations.

In the workplace, the ability to recognize and apply type can help people to work and relate more effectively.  Type is particularly useful in situations requiring:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Change Leadership
  • Planning
  • Decision-Making
  • Problem-Solving
  • Accountability
  • Feedback and Coaching
  • Conflict Resolution

  • We offer Myers-Briggs training either as stand-alone workshops, or as add-ons to our other workshops.  Workshops can be customized to meet your organization's specific needs.  Generally, the following can be accomplished:

    0.5 days - Participants gain insight into the 8 preferences and receive personalized feedback regarding their own preferences.

    1.0 days - In addition to the above, participants gain an understanding of how Type affects a person's approach to each of the following leadership and organizational tasks:

    • Communication
    • Collaboration and Teamwork
    • Change Leadership
    • Planning
    • Decision-Making
    • Problem-Solving
    • Accountability
    • Feedback and Coaching
    • Conflict Resolution

    1.5 - 2 days - In addition to both of the above, participants learn techniques for effectively using their preferences to lead others in accomplishing leadership and organizational tasks.  As well, learners will gain techniques for managing those who share their preferences - and those who do not.



    (1 day not including the "Preventing and Resolving Conflict" section; 2 days including this section)

    Leaders and technical professionals spend the majority of their time engaged in two key activities: performing technical work and engaging others in conversations related to the work.  Conversations are needed to explore ideas, identify root causes, provide updates, persuade, and more.  Whether formally structured or not, each conversation is a meeting that can impact the ability to move the technical work forward.

    Most professionals attend over 60 meetings per month; research indicates that over 50 percent of this is wasted.  Some direct effects of unproductive meetings include:

    • Meetings are longer and generate fewer results
    • More meetings are needed to accomplish objectives
    • Employees have less time to get their own work done
    • Information isn't managed properly
    • Participants do not follow-through on their commitments after the meeting
    • Frustration

    This workshop is designed to help leaders and technical professionals prepare for and conduct purposeful, efficient meetings related to the performance of technical work.  Hands-on practice in small groups will ensure participants are ready to apply new skills at work the next day.


    Workshop Outline

    1.  Introduction and Overview

    • The trouble with meetings
    • Balancing the need for Technical excellence with Stakeholder acceptance
    • The nature of conflict and negotiation
    • Fundamentals of effective meetings

    2.  The purpose of meetings

    • Defining your objective
    • Conversations that reach conclusions
    • Designing effective opening statements

    3.  Who needs to be there?

    • Classifying stakeholders
    • Different roles and levels of involvement for different stakeholders

    4.  Making Decisions

    • Decision-making methods that alienate stakeholders
    • Influence strategies
    • How to get a decision made so that it stays made

    5.  Building an Agenda

    • Sample templates
    • Estimating time

    6.  Running the Meeting

    • How to start and end a meeting
    • How to get people to participate
    • How to keep things on track

    7.  Ensuring Action

    • Minutes templates
    • Techniques for promoting follow-through

    8.  Preventing and Resolving Conflict

    • Positional bargaining vs. principled negotiation
    • Identify and counter negative negotiation strategies – in a positive way

    (2 days)

    Research shows that when people work together to solve problems or make decisions, the quality of the results is better and the commitment to the results is greater than if any of the group members had worked on the issue alone.

    This course provides learners with a series of practical, customizable, flexible group process tools that can be used to design and facilitate effective Team Problem Solving and Decision-Making meetings.  Within the framework of a Group Problem Solving and Decision Making model, learners will identify key needs, select objectives for a Problem Solving conversation, select, modify and sequence the use of tools, and lead a portion of a team problem-solving conversation.  Emphasis will be placed on practice and supportive, constructive feedback.

    Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to:
    • Explain the Group Problem Solving and Decision Making Model
    • Assess Which Stages or the Model Require the Group’s Focus
    • Contract for Specific Problem Solving and Decision Making Deliverables
    • Select an Appropriate Group Decision-Making Method and Authority Level
    • Design a Customized Group Decision Making and Problem Solving Process
    • Facilitate Each Tool Within the Process

    Workshop Outline

    1.  The Art of Problem Solving and Decision Making
    •    Problems vs. Decisions
    •    Common Objectives of Group
    •    Problem Solving and Decision Making—Process and Content
    •    Benefits and Challenges in a Group Context
    •    How Much Power Does the Group Get?
    •    To What Extent Do Participants Need to Agree?
    •    Group Problem Solving and Decision Making Model
    •    Assessment Tool—Which Stages Need to Be Addressed?
    •    Determining Whether a Group Process is Appropriate for Your Situation
    2.  Problem Solving and Decision Making Group Process Tools
    •     Introduction to 12—16 Team Problem Solving and Decision Making Tools through Demonstration, Practice, and Feedback
    •     Customization Tips for Each Tool
    3.  Designing a Goal Oriented Group Problem
    •    Solving and Decision Making Process
    •    Selecting an Objective
    •    Linking Tools to Group Objectives and Stages of the Model
    •    Selecting and Sequencing the Tools
    4.  Integration
    •    Final Practice Session - Lead Team Problem-Solving
    •    Planning for Back-At-Work Use


    (4 days; Preferably offered as two, 2-day workshops)

    Ever feel that your organization is going around in circles?  Ever notice that the same patterns in performance issues seem to be repeated over and over?

    Organizations are complex living systems.  As such, they tend to behave in a series of patterns that shape all living things.  When we begin to recognize organizational events as symptoms of a particular pattern, we can treat problems at their root systemic level.

    This learning experience will provide you with the concepts, skills, and tools needed to strategize transformative, lasting change within a complex dynamic work environment.

    By the end of this workship, you will:

    • Map the ongoing dynamic alignment between your organization's external context, formal strategy, emerging strategy, and your role;
    • Recognize the leadership implications posed by your organization as a living Complex Adaptive System;
    • Frame strategic issues from a Systems perspective using practical tools;
    • Gain a deeper understanding into the structure and dynamics driving ongoing problems and unrealized opportunities;
    • Identify critical junctures within a problem’s structure that can be leveraged to create transformative change;
    • Clarify strategic intent;
    • Design high-leverage interventions that will result in lasting systemic improvements;
    • Collaborate with others in the organization who may or may not realize the impacts their actions have on an ongoing problem.

    Leaders at all levels of an organization - from President to Front-Line Supervisor - will find exciting new ways of understanding and approaching the problems that challenge their organizations.

    Workshop Outline

    You will participate in two interactive, experiential workshops spaced approximately 2 months apart.

    Workshop I

    • Your Organization's Strategy Context
    • Strategy in Complex Adaptive Systems
    • Seeing 4 Levels of a System
    • Systems Tools
    • Archetypes
    • Causal Loop Diagrams
    • Drilling Down
    • Practice

    Workshop II

    • Project Review
    • Learning from the System
    • Building Strategy Based on Systems
    • Designing System Interventions
    • Identifying Specific Solutions
    • Risk Assessment
    • Practice and Integration
    • Planning to Apply Learning at Work

    Between the workshops you will select a strategic challenge you currently face in your work.  You will apply your learning from the first workshop to this challenge to gain a deeper – and perhaps very different – understanding of its issues.  

    During the second workshop you will share insights with others and learn additional skills that you will be able to immediately apply to your challenge.  By completing your project, you will make a positive strategic difference within your organization.

    Optional: Individual coaching may be purchased to support participants in their application of new skills.



    (2 days)

    Did you know that the number-one-fear of adults living in the western world is speaking in front of a group?

    Leaders make presentations to inform or persuade others.  Audiences can form impressions of a leader's overall competency by how well s/he performs during a presentation.  Being right is not enough.  Presenters must also inspire confidence if they wish to get the audience on-side.

    This task is made even more challenging if the material to be presented is highly technical and the audience is not.  An audience cannot agree with something that it cannot understand.

    The good news is that confidence-inspiring presentation skills can be learned, and that any material can be tailored to its audience!

    In this workshop, participants will organize information into a clear, compelling message, demonstrate polished presentation skills, and build their confidence through practice and feedback.

    By the end of this workshop, you will:

    • Customize presentations to the purpose and audience;
    • Inspire the audience’s confidence in you;
    • Better engage your audience;
    • Present more persuasively;
    • Use visual aids effectively;
    • Reduce reliance on written notes;
    • Feel more confident and relaxed when presenting;
    • Lead effective Question & Answer (Q&A) sessions.

    Workshop Outline

    Participants will learn to make confidence-inspiring presentations through strategy selection, practice and feedback.  Each person will make a minimum of three presentations.

    Phase I: Preparation
    • Determining the Purpose and Desired Results
    • Analyzing the Audience
    • Tailoring the Message
    • Organizing Material
    • Designing Visual Aids, including PowerPoint and Flipcharts
    • Designing Props and Demonstrations
    • Designing Memory Aids
    • Arranging the Room
    Phase II - Delivery:

    • Oh! My Nerves!
    • Projecting Confidence – Even If You Don’t Feel It!
    • Controlling Your Voice
    • Using Body Language, Gestures, and Space for Greatest Impact
    • Use Audio-Visuals and Props
    • Managing Participant Interjections
    Phase III - Post-Presentation
    • Managing Question & Answer Sessions


    (Part I - 0.5 days; Part II - 0.5 days)
    Everyone has a right to work in a respectful workplace where they are treated with courtesy, dignity, and fairness.  A respectful workplace is free of discrimination, harassment, and violence in all types of interactions with the public, management, and other employees.  Supervisors and other leaders are required by law to create and maintain an environment in which respectful behaviour is expected and actively managed.

    Part I of this training program will provide supervisors and other leaders with the terms, concepts, and processes needed to support a culture of respect.  By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:
    • Define key terms, including respect, harassment, discrimination, inclusion, accommodation, bullying, retribution, and condoning;
    • Name the characteristics protected under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act;
    • Differentiate between respectful and disrespectful workplace behaviours;
    • Describe the supervisor's role in preventing, identifying, reporting, and resolving disrespectful conduct;
    • Explain the steps and options in the reporting process;
    • identify common supervisory errors and how to avoid them;
    • Determine appropriate courses of action based on case studies.
    Part II of this training program will provide the skills needed to interact with employees to address disrespectful workplace behaviour.  By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:
    • Provide feedback to an employee who demonstrates disrespectful workplace behaviour;
    • Facilitate a conversation between two team members in conflict to assist them to resolve a workplace conflict;
    • Handle challenging employee reactions to being informed that their behavior is inappropriate.


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