Communication and Ambition Workshops

Here are some of my Communication and Ambition Workshops

Becoming Visible:  A Workshop for Women 
Do you feel your ideas are not always heard?
Do your project contributions sometimes get less recognition than they seem to deserve?
Do you stay silent when you have an opinion to express because others might be defensive or dismissive?

Communicating Nondefensively
Are you always on the defensive?  Do you feel under attack?  If you are defensive or surrounded by defensive people, this workshop can help you get more control of your responses to perceived attacks.  This fun, interactive workshop helps you

  • identify defensive responses in yourself and others
  • see into the causes and effects of defensiveness
  • learn and practice nondefensive resposes to difficult situations, and
  • see how nondefensiveness can enhance listening and reduce conflicts

Some of Lil's notes to this workshop were posted by McMaster University at 

Creating a Supportive Workplace Environment
Would you like a better workplace or domestic environment for yourself and others? This workshop teaches you to create a space where people feel relaxed, confident, and competent.  You will learn to

  • use six behaviours that help others feel less defensive
  • identify, understand, and avoid the main defence-provoking behaviours

Facing Conflict with Confidence

Do conflicts seem circular and unresolvable?   
In this workshop, we will build awareness of our choices and develop further skills in dealing with conflict.  You will

  • identify your preferred conflict style and evaluate its effectiveness
  • understand the blocks to successfully finding solutions for your conflicts
  • learn the tools to unblock you
  • identify your choice of strategy in a conflict:  competing, avoiding, accomodating, compromising and collaborating
  • learn when and how to collaborate, and
  • create a clear assertive message for a current conflict
Goal-Setting:  The Dark Side
Researchers claim that 90% of people believe goal-setting is a good thing, but only 3% actually set goals and write them down.  Is there ambivalence and fear related to goal-setting?  Is goal-setting a genderized activity?  Is goal-setting necessary for success?  Do women’s needs for responsiveness, spontaneity, and flexibility make goal-setting difficult?

This fun, challenging workshop will help participants
  • Recognize attitudes and feelings towards setting goals
  • Explore goal-setting processes
  • Learn how to create positive, achievable goals
  • Learn strategies for handling conflicting goals and thwarted goals; and if time
  • Look at the myth of the balanced life
Understanding our attitudes towards goal-setting will strengthen our ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.

Introduction to Listening

"You're not listening!!"  Have you ever heard or said these words?  Why is listening so hard?  What is the difference between hearing and listening?  Listening effectively may be the most valuable communication skill a person can develop.  Listening builds intimacy, helps conflict resolution, comforts others, and empowers them to solve their own problems.  This course will help you understand your listening habits and teach you to listen more effectively.
Introduction to Negotiating
Is your time taken up by people needing help, organizations needing committee members, collaborative projects needing collaboration, and family needing everything? Are you struggling to find time for thinking, writing, research, and career development?
  • We will look at how clarifying your goals can help you decide when to say "yes," when to negotiate, and when to say "no."
  • We will then examine how you can use interest-based negotiation.
  • Finally, we will look at a formula for a clear assertive message to use when you want to begin a negotiation.

Listening with Empathy
We generally want to make helpful remarks to troubled or grieving people - responses that will open up communication. Yet, well-intentioned comments often have the opposite effect. Our attempt to be helpful pushes others away. This workshop examines techniques for empathic listening and explores what to say when you don't know what to say.

Live Ambitiously:  Degrees, Careers, and Our Personal Lives   

In this workshop, we will
  • Explore our attitudes towards our careers, dreams, and ambitions
  • Look at influences in the culture, in the workforce, and in us that discourage us from dreaming big
  • Prepare ourselves for these influences and be ready to counteract them
  • Discover ways not to let our careers unravel when children and family become part of our lives. 
See this article from The Sudbury Star about Lil's ambition workshop.  "Women dish about the dreaded 'A' word:  Time for frank discussion about female ambition" by Bonnie Kogos  
To read the article in PDF format, click here

Negotiating Equality at Home
Since the middle of the last century, women have been told to follow their dreams and be all they can be; yet it seems that working women often perform 60% to 80% of family-related tasks. The perceived unfairness affects the whole family and the workload may lead to anger, stress, and burnout. Family joys and responsibilities often result in women limiting their ambitions. This leads to fewer women rising to decision-making positions, less earning potential, and difficulty returning to a flourishing career later on. In this interactive workshop, we look at the issues and attitudes that underlie the work/home balance and examine how women who have a fascination for the challenges and rewards of work beyond the home can prepare their lives so they do not have to sacrifice either their careers or their families. 

Do your workplace teams function well?  This workshop may include some of the following: 

Part One:  The group examines the meaning of teamwork.
Discover what makes a team.
Analyze your team participation.
Discuss teamwork successes and disasters.
Set goals for improving teamwork.
Evaluate a previous team experience.

Part Two:  The group explores the blocks to successful teamwork and how to overcome these blocks.
Imagine what great teamwork would look like in your workplace.
Analyze the barriers to great teamwork.
Develop tools for overcoming barriers to teamwork.
Conclusion: Each participant will look for one thing she can do to improve teamwork
Resources for personal growth

Workplace Gossip: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Managers, Workers:  Is gossip affecting your productivity and morale? Communication is valuable, but some communication creates tension and affects relationships. This workshop looks at the information we hear and say in a work environment. We learn how to tell the difference between information and interpretation and how to respond to those who share their knowledge.