Upcoming Professional Learning

Interesting Ideas

If you will excuse me, I am going to do something a little bit different in this blog and promote something.  I have been writing in my blog about my experiences and sharing some ideas that I found to be beneficial to my career as a school administrator.  

I therefore must share that certification in Crucial Conversations was/is one of those important initiatives in my career that has had a profound influence on how I interact with staff, students and their families.  I wish I had the training very early in my career because I can reflect back on some interactions that did not go so well and immediately thought that it was all because of the other person, when in fact having better communication skills on my part would have moved us to completely different outcomes.

I have been asked to facilitate a couple of sessions of Crucial Conversations for the Halton District School Board and I am so very much looking forward to getting back into the content.  Not only is it wonderful to be working with staff again, but the content is strong, I learn something new each time I present the work, and I get to sharpen my skills.

Some of my regular readers of this blog were actually part of a class that had to be stopped way back in 2020.  A course had started back in February of 2020 and was shut down first because of employee sanctions and then the pandemic hit and we were not able to continue the course.  At that time we decided to pause the course so we could continue in a face to face manner when we got through all of this.  Who would have known?  Certainly back in March of 2020 we could not have predicted all that has gone on and the impact on us all.  We are getting in contact with the 40 participants now to see if they will commit to completing the course in a virtual learning environment in order to get their qualifications.  I look forward to catching up with these wonderful people.

I will also be running a new group of individuals through the course. Details will be coming out soon.  I will tweet out information about registration once this is established.  Follow me @petermconsult.  Lucky me to be doing two sessions, almost back to back to provide such valuable learning for these people.

During my time away from the material there has been a rebranding.  Crucial Conversations is now called Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue which is a marvellous title that captures the essence of the program. The company even went through a rebranding and is now Crucial Learning, leaving behind their previous name of Vital Smarts.

Read the entire article about the name change from the Crucial Learning website found here.

A small section from that article states, 

“The company’s new name Crucial Learning communicates two powerful ideas that embody the company’s mission and focus. First, the courses teach essential or “crucial” skills for the moments that have the greatest impact on life’s most important outcomes, including the strength of relationships, career satisfaction, happiness and ability to manage stress.

Second, the word “learning” emphasizes that learning and growth do not end with a singular course or even an advanced degree. Life itself is a continual learning journey that presents different challenges at different times. Being equipped with the right skills can lead to better outcomes and improved relationships.”

A little bit more about Crucial Learning

“Formerly VitalSmarts, Crucial Learning improves the world by helping people improve themselves. By combining social science research with innovative instructional design, we create flexible learning experiences that teach proven skills for solving life’s most stubborn personal, interpersonal, and organizational problems. We offer courses in communication, performance, and leadership, focusing on behaviors that have a disproportionate impact on outcomes, called crucial skills. Our award-winning courses and accompanying bestselling books include Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer, The Power of Habit, and Getting Things Done. Together they have helped millions achieve better relationships and results, and nearly half of the Forbes Global 2000 have drawn on these crucial skills to improve organizational health and performance.”

I am a certified trainer in Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue, Crucial Conversations for Accountability, The Power of Habit and Getting Things Done.  I wrote a previous blog about Getting Things Done on September 27, 2020 and it can be found here.

Why I support Crucial Learning programs and continue to teach for them is because the courses focus on these vital behaviours that improve relationships and accomplish key results.  It is all based on solid social science research while teaching practical skills.  And while these skills never are perfected because interactions with others involve many contextual nuances having the skills is comforting when approaching a crucial conversation or when you suddenly find yourself caught in the middle of one.  The learning is fun, interactive with modern training scenarios and videos that really have you reflect on your communication style and work towards improvement.

My success as an administrator was strongly influenced by these courses and I continue to use the skills daily in my personal and new professional life. 

Many of you have taken this training with me in the past and received certification.  I was really pleased to see that the content has been redesigned.  New video content, new modern work place scenarios have been included as well as some important changes due to current research.

If curious, read about the new course material for Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue here.

A key difference is the coming together of two courses under the Crucial Conversations name.  I have shared content from the Crucial Learning website here.

Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue (formerly Crucial Conversations)

“At the heart of healthy and high-performance organizations are people willing and able to hold Crucial Conversations. The award-winning Crucial Conversations® for Mastering Dialogue gives people the skills to transform disagreement into dialogue for improved relationships and results. With skills to speak their minds honestly and respectfully, people collaborate better, make better decisions, and foster workplace cultures of trust and respect. The course is available in on-demand, virtual, and in-person learning formats.”

About Crucial Conversations® for Accountability (formerly Crucial Accountability)

“Crucial Conversations® for Accountability teaches a process for managing performance—from coaching through behavioral challenges to helping people identify and achieve goals. Anchored on principles of effective dialogue, this course teaches skills for holding peers accountable regardless of power, position, or authority. The course is available in on-demand, virtual, and in-person learning formats.”

It is a wonderful feeling to be a student again.  Sometimes in our role as leaders we learn as we go and many times don’t necessarily pick the content. Invest in your professional learning and if you ever have the opportunity to take one of these courses I strongly recommend it.   As an instructor I love learning alongside others and each class reinforces and teaches me again and again.  I appreciate my relationship with the good people at Crucial Learning and I am really looking forward to facilitating again in the coming months.

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