• Soft Skills Training Programs That Are Anything But "Soft"

    Our training programs help your staff members become better leaders, no matter their roles in the organization. They'll think more strategically. Communicate more effectively. Solve problems more creatively. Navigate conflict more adeptly. In short, they'll be better equipped to take on the challenges and curve balls thrown by clients, direct reports or industry disruptors.


    Our training programs are designed so that people can put what they’ve learned into practice the very next day. The format of every session is highly experiential and participative. We know that time is at a premium, so our content is adaptable to fit busy schedules. And each program can be customized to your unique training needs.

    Virtual Training Programs


    Our virtual training programs allow your staff to improve their skills while they work remotely. The programs are conducted live and exclusively for your team, allowing us to customize the content to your organization’s needs.


    Each virtual training program is highly interactive and includes group or individual exercises, homework assignments for multi-part programs, and real-time access to our facilitators throughout the engagement.

    Onsite Workshops At Your Location


    Our onsite training workshops offer practical and intensive training to help restore initiative and improve productivity, with the added benefit that your team members will be happier and more engaged at work.


    We hold these sessions onsite at your location. Workshops are offered in half-day, full day and multi-part sessions, depending on the topic and your organization's unique training goals.


    "Our agency couldn't get enough of Gary and his guided development tactics. He became one of us during our two-day workshop and helped us understand ourselves and each other better. According to the staff survey we took, we just wish we had more time with him."


    — Gail Sheffler

    Chief Idea Officer, Inspira

  • Training Topics

    "Gary made the training sessions easily digestible, detailed, attentive and valuable. I've already begun attempting to action some of the lessons I learned from him. More importantly, I believe what I learned from Gary will actually aid me in the day-to-day management of my peers."


    - Eric Jensen

    Global Account Supervisor


    Presentation Skills Training

    Delivering Great Virtual Presentations

    Even if you’re a good presenter in person, giving a virtual presentation brings its own set of challenges. The good news is that everyone can give a great virtual presentation with the right amount of planning, technical preparation and practice.


    Participants get a chance to try out what they’re learning in front of the group, with live feedback, in a supportive environment.


    At the end of this three-part interactive workshop, participants have learned specific techniques to make their virtual presentations easier to prepare and more interesting. They’ve developed a style that translates well on video, so they are more credible and highly persuasive. Key takeaways include:

    • Optimizing your on-camera presence and command of the virtual “room”
    • Finding an intrinsic presentation style that translates effectively on the receiving end
    • Understanding and leveraging the power of your voice
    • Organizing your presentation for a virtual delivery using the ACTION Planning Guide
    • How to leverage visual graphics and decks, as well as when NOT to use them
    Mastering Management Program

    Mastering Management:

    Virtual Edition

    This multi-part virtual leadership program is designed for anyone who is new to supervising other people, or who could benefit from a refresher course in being a more effective manager.


    Participants learn specific methods for keeping the team on track and they'll practice their new management skills using real-life scenarios. The workshop includes:

    • Understanding how to motivate and inspire those who work for you
    • How to delegate effectively and avoid micromanagement
    • How to give corrective feedback and encourage initiative
    • How to problem-solve with an action oriented focus
    • How to create and maintain an effective team
    • How to maintain your effectiveness as a leader during significant times of change in an organization
    Account Management Training

    Client Leadership for Account Managers & Other Client-Facing Specialists

    Cited by the 4A's as one of its top 3 most popular agency training seminars.


    Account managers and client-facing specialists must lead their clients, not merely service them. The Client Leadership Workshop uses this as the guiding principle to help agency managers determine how to spend their time most effectively and productively.


    This transformational workshop moves managers from “servicing an account” to “leading the client.” It’s based on enhancing critical skill areas, including:

    • Developing goals and strategy for client leadership
    • Stimulating organic growth from existing clients
    • Identifying client’s unmet needs
    • Improving communications skills 
    • Enhancing client relationships
    • Managing difficult clients and tough situations
    Financial Stewardship Workshop

    Mastering Management 2.0

    Designed specifically for managers who have completed the Mastering Management program, Mastering Management 2.0 builds on the concepts and management techniques introduced in the original training series. It’s both a refresher — revisiting key management concepts — and a deeper dive into several topics touched on in the first sessions. The program also introduces brand new topic areas such as leading remote teams and managing up.. The workshop covers:

    • How our biases get in the way of our leadership
    • Techniques for leading remote teams
    • Why being a great coach to direct reports matters today
    • How to improve teamwork within and across teams
    • How our Emotional and Behavioral Intelligence influence our ability to lead and what we can do to improve our own Emotional and Behavioral EQ
    • An introduction to adaptive leadership skills and how to embrace constant change in the workplace
    • Why managing up matters to your career success and how to be better at it
    • The art of business storytelling and how to leverage it for more effective conversations and connections with direct reports.
    Performance Coaching Workshop

    Performance Coaching

    For Non-Coaches

    The most productive way to lead people is to provide ongoing feedback and coaching. Yet most managers aren’t born with coaching skills. However, any manager can become a more effective coach by learning and applying a few simple-to-use methods and techniques.


    In this workshop, participants learn about the fundamental concepts of performance management (hint: it’s a shared responsibility between manager and employee), how to plan for different types of performance conversations and how to provide constructive feedback.


    They’ll learn how to prepare development plans for direct reports and will practice their coaching skills during the workshop using real-life scenarios. Topic areas include:

    • Performance management: what it is and isn’t
    • Types of performance conversations and how to plan for each
    • Corrective feedback: The three triggers and how to manage emotions in the moment
    • Preparing for and leading effective coaching sessions
    Teamwork Building Workshop

    Teamwork Building

    In this set of two one-day workshops, people learn both how to participate effectively in teams and how to lead their own teams. Although the two days complement each other, they can also be taken as stand-alone workshops. 


    Workshop A: For Team Leaders

    This workshop focuses on best practices for leading teams to a high performance level with maximum engagement.

    • Understand team dynamics
    • Motivate people who don’t report to them
    • Best ways to communicate with peers
    • Handle internal conflict
    • Assign team member roles and responsibilities
    • Set joint and individual goals for work product quality
    • Establish agreements on how the team will work together

    Workshop B: For Team Members

    This workshop focuses on how to organize and improve team performance. Participants will learn best practices for working with groups of people who bring different disciplines, mindsets and backgrounds to a project. They will reflect on their past team experiences and strategize how to make their current teams more effective.


    This workshop is particularly effective for intact work teams who wish to improve their performance. In addition, they’ll learn how to:

    • Understand each other’s communications styles
    • Provide mutual support and accountability
    • Think creatively about problems and solutions
    • Foresee obstacles in teamwork and how to overcome them
    • Monitor progress and keep work on track


    Adaptive Leadership Training

    Adaptive Leadership

    The continually evolving agency business is increasingly complex, creating a volatile environment full of unknowns. Yet, agency managers need to embrace these realities and hone new adaptive leadership skills that optimize communication in the moment, motivate and engage staff members to move forward despite these challenges, all while mitigating stress and keeping a productive outlook.


    This workshop introduces new approaches and techniques that can be used immediately by anyone who manages accounts and/or people, to better equip them in a business environment where change has become the only constant. Participants will learn:

    • The critical role Emotional Intelligence plays in a volatile environment and how to leverage it for success
    • How to identify and overcome challenges that contribute to miscommunication and conflict
    • New approaches that will help managers become more agile, responsive leaders 
    • Simple, easy-to-use techniques for managing stress levels 
    Consultative Selling Organic Account Growth

    Consultative Selling for Organic Account Growth

    Even the best of clients are often reluctant to accept and try new ideas. Participants will learn how to recognize the signs that indicate a client is ready for change – and how to create that readiness by taking advance actions.


    Skills learned also include a new way to listen deeply and how to identify the different levels of client need. Participants learn how to generate new ideas for clients using current social, technological and economic trends, and how to use communications styles for making their recommendations more enticing to clients. Areas we will focus on include:

    • Recognizing the stages of client need
    • Asking open-ended questions
    • Deep listening
    • The buying process from the client’s point of view
    • Anticipating objections
      Strategic Thinking Skills Workshop

      Strategic Thinking "Muscle Flexing" for Non-Strategy Types

      Strategy development isn't owned exclusively by those individuals who have "strategy" in their job titles. EVERYONE on the team needs to have a deeper understanding of strategy. Without such knowledge, marketing campaigns run the risk of being good marketing ideas but not necessarily good business strategy.


      This workshop is designed for those team members who are new to the strategic planning process and who can benefit from exercises designed to help them develop their strategic thinking "muscles." Topic areas include:

      • Fundamentals of strategic planning
      • How business goals determine marketing strategy
      • A process for understanding the client’s business
      • The architecture of business strategy
      • Designing marketing strategy to reinforce the client’s goals
      • Writing brand and creative briefs
      Business Storytelling Workshop

      Business Storytelling

      More and more we realize that what moves and motivates clients are often the stories we tell to make our points. Being an effective storyteller in business takes discipline; we have to learn when and how to use stories, and to develop the stories that will be most persuasive.


      At the same time, our stories must be short, memorable and – most importantly – demonstrate a key point.


      In this workshop for anyone who is client-facing, people develop stories and practice telling them in a concise but compelling way. We also use improv to help people speak more extemporaneously, plus how to support each other in their storytelling.


      Creative Thinking Skills Workshop

      Creative Thinking Skills

      Today’s competitive environment essentially requires that everyone in the agency be a more creative thinker. Developing creative skills is not just for people who have writing or design talent; anyone can learn to make their brain more fluent in producing new ideas.


      This highly participative workshop demonstrates why traditional brainstorming doesn’t work, and introduces people to a much more effective method – based on the latest research in brain science – for developing all kinds of ideas in the agency, for any department, and both with groups and individually. Participants will learn:

      • How account leadership can develop new ideas for clients
      • An effective methodology for generating new ideas
      • How to avoid typical patterned thinking
      • The most productive way to evaluate new ideas and build on each other's approaches to solving a client's business problem
      Business Writing Skills Workshop

      Business Writing Skills

      We write proposals, reports, plans, creative briefs, emails and PowerPoint presentations every day. Almost every one of these messages is intended, directly or indirectly, to persuade someone to move toward “yes.” The style of our writing nudges readers toward or away from that goal, no matter how good the content.


      Effective writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But everyone can follow simple guidelines to make their writing more persuasive. In this workshop, participants will constantly practice what they’re learning with short writing exercises they share with the group. The workshop includes:

      • The five biggest mistakes that occur in business writing 
      • How to organize any piece of writing for greatest impact
      • How to compose the most influential parts of any writing: the beginning and the end
      • How to tailor writing for the audience who will read it
      • The uses and mis-uses of PowerPoint/Keynote
      • Writing errors that irritate clients and the importance of proofreading


      Financial Stewardship Workshop

      Agency Financial Stewardship

      Designed specifically for ad agencies, participants learn how the agency profits and loses money, how to protect the agency’s financial interests with clients, and how to increase income from the agency’s existing accounts.


      It's designed for account executives, account supervisors, creatives, production managers, and any non-finance manager who has financial responsibilities. The workshop covers:

      • How agencies make money
      • Why write-offs are so evil
      • Understanding client contracts and avoiding scope creep
      • Managing client budgets
      • How to handle agency mistakes
    • Download Our Training Guide

      See all our training programs in a single PDF format.

    • Contact us for a

      complimentary consultation.

      Fill out the contact form below and we'll follow up with you within 24 business hours.

      If you prefer to give one of us a call, here's how you can reach us:


      Gary Duke, Managing Partner & Chief Talent Officer: 202.746.6055

      Sheila Campbell, Founding Partner: 301.587.4555




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