Straight Talk® is a systematic way of thinking about communication. It teaches people to hold themselves accountable for their communication. It provides a variety of tools, techniques and advanced strategies to improve the quality of communication.
Straight Talk® is taught through a series of learning modules; each can be customized to meet an organization’s needs. These are the four main workshop modules:
Understanding communication styles. In this first workshop, people gain a deep appreciation of the different styles of communicating. Straight Talk® teaches that there are four primary styles, and 16 styles in all. Using an online survey system, each participant learns his or her particular style and gets an in-depth profile. Participants learn their style’s preferred modes of communicating both verbally and non-verbally. People also learn how to interpret another person’s style — and how to “flex” their style to communicate more effectively with people different from them — and thus be a more effective communicator in any situation.
Understanding and managing conflict. Straight Talk® stresses the importance of understanding different communication styles as a starting point for managing conflicts effectively. This workshop teaches people to view conflict as a normal thing, and that talking about conflicts straightforwardly builds trust and confidence. People learn about their personal conflict triggers and the importance of understanding “inner scripts.” The workshop teaches participants to avoid traps, like triangulating a conflict or escalating it prematurely to another level. It also teaches that the best way to manage conflict is to address them directly, with the person involved, as soon as the conflict arises.
Effective team communication. Straight Talk® teaches that effective team communication begins with an appreciation of the prevalent styles of communication on the team. Just as people do, teams have different personalities, and Straight Talk® can help people make sense of the dynamics of their particular team. The workshop helps teams learn specific communication tools, such as team operating principles and the Circle of Assumptions, that make teams work more productively. The workshop concludes with a look at the 5 habits of High Performing Teams©.
Understanding and managing decisions. Straight Talk® helps people understand and appreciate their natural style of decision making. The workshop teaches that there are four different styles of decision-making and that each style prefers a certain type of decision-making process: autocratic, consultative, consensus, delegated or democratic. Straight Talk® stresses the importance of actively managing a decision process. When people work together, they need to communicate explicitly which process will be used to make a specific decision- and be watchful lest the process drift into the trap of faux delegation or faux consensus.