IDRS’ Leadership Skills Training Program
IDRS offers a series of leadership training workshops designed to improve people’s ability to communicate with one another, collaborate in decision-making, and manage and resolve disagreements in a constructive and mutually satisfying manner. These competencies have become more and more essential as our world becomes smaller and we have to build understanding and cooperation with an increasingly diverse group of people — at work, in the community, in our governments and in our inter-governmental transactions.
Our training program is divided into four categories: a series of workshops in basic communication and problems solving skills and processes; a workshop designed to train individuals to serve as members of high performing and cohesive “teams”; a skills workshop for members of governing boards (tribal councils, non-profit organizations, etc); and a special workshop for agency officials to increase their understanding of and effectiveness in working with tribal governments.
1. Workshops on Communication, Decision-Making, and Conflict Resolution
This series of workshops consists of the following: (a) Intercultural Communication & Negotiation Skills; (b) Advanced Negotiation Skills & Team Preparation; (c) Mediation/Peacemaking Skills; and (d) Advanced Mediation & Certification Training
In each IDRS workshop, instructional strategies are interactive and may include mini-lectures, demonstrations by trainers, small group discussions, simulations, role-plays, self-administered questionnaires and instructional videos. We emphasize experiential learning. Having participants practice new skills under the trainer’s watchful eye is the best way to reinforce each individual’s understanding of the concepts taught.
A. intercultural communication & negotiation skills workshop
This workshop prepares people to get more of what they want, more often. But it is not about intimidation, threats and forcing opponents to “agree” to your demands. The workshop teaches participants to practice their powers of persuasion and to satisfy the interests/ expectations of the other side while not sacrificing ones own vital interests.
This workshop promotes age-old concepts of consensus-building that Indian tribes and other traditional societies utilized for thousands of years to support what is today called “win-win” decision-making. You will learn how to: talk and listen respectfully; persuade, convince and influence others; negotiate procedural ground rules that help to make the negotiations safe and predictable; identify your and the other side’s interests, put together an agenda, offer and exchange proposals; defuse anger and disruptive behavior; identify common ground; break impasse; identify your sources of leverage; and build written agreements that are clear, fair, lasting and enforceable.
The segment on “intercultural” communications does not focus on any one culture but rather provides “tools” for dealing effectively with all cultural differences, defined broadly to include ethnic differences and differences in religion, gender, generation, education, income, social status, historical experiences, etc.
The workshop is for everyone at all levels of the community and organization. The skills learned will improve communication and decision-making in the family, in the workplace, in an organization and in government. This workshop is a prerequisite to the Advanced Negotiation Skills Workshop, as well as the Mediation and Peacemaking Workshops (described below).
B. Advanced Negotiation Skills & Team Preparation
This three-day workshop is designed to help prepare tribes, agencies and other organizations that are preparing to enter negotiations with another entity. IDRS trainers/coaches help the organization properly prepare prior to the face-to-face negotiation sessions, operate effectively during the negotiation process, and successfully bring closure (agreement) to the process. This includes working with the organization’s leaders in: identifying interests, assembling a well balanced and representative negotiation team, defining team roles, developing consensus and a system for communications within the team, facilitating preliminary and regular strategy meetings between the negotiation team and the organization’s final decision-makers, developing proposals for agenda items and procedural ground rules, developing a series of alternative substantive proposals and supportive data/rationale that justify these, and crafting a negotiation strategy that maximizes the organization’s potential leverage.
C. Mediation /Peacemaking Skills & Processes
This intensive three-day workshop is designed to build on the lessons learned in the Communication and Negotiation workshop. The training focuses on how, as an impartial third party, to minimize, manage and resolve differences among other people. The training offers new perspectives and skills on how to enlist and engage people in collaborative problem-solving; take ownership of the problem, process and solutions; break down complex problems into manageable parts; get parties to identify their interests in ways that can be satisfied; separate substantive from emotional issues; create settings that lend themselves to open and respectful discussion; generate options; and formulate agreements which are explicit, fair, legal, enforceable and lasting.
This workshop is intended to train mediators. However, it is also designed to teach people mediating skills. It is particularly useful to people who work in intermediary roles (e.g. directors, department and program managers, personnel specialists or committee or Board Chairs), who must balance differences among competing interests and get people to work effectively together. Reconciling the differences between staff members, departments, Management, Boards and the community is but one example. The skills and techniques taught in the workshop are also useful to department managers and line supervisors who must manage and resolve employee grievances and disputes in the workplace. Completing this workshop is a prerequisite to taking the Advanced Mediation Workshop.
D. Advanced Mediator & Certification Training
This three-day workshop is for people who have completed the first two workshops and have decided that they would like to become certified and placed by IDRS on its Panel of Professional Mediators.
This workshop builds on the negotiation and mediation principles and concepts that are learned in the preceding workshops. Primary emphasis is on obtaining more practice with more complex and challenging role-plays and direct feedback from experienced mediators who serve as trainers and coaches during the training. A segment of the advanced training deals with “ethics of a mediator” and provides up-dates on state laws that address disclosure, confidentiality and other issues pertaining to mediation.
2. Training Workshop on Team Building Skills
IDRS conducts team building training that is designed to transform groups of affiliated people into successful, integrated, high performing, and well regarded “teams”.
A high functioning “team” is built on the fulfillment of five interrelated goals: (1) each team member is provided the support (s)he needs to develop and realize her or his individual potential and be in a position to give her/his personal best; (2) there is an alignment between the personal goals of individual team members and those of the team they are part of, (3) team leaders and team members are aware of the expertise and experience each team member can bring, and how their contributions can be combined to enhance the strength and versatility of the whole team; (4) each member has the skills, awareness and commitments to build and enter into effective collaborative working relationships with other team members; and (5) the team projects a strong positive image and enjoys credibility as a welcomed and reliable contributor in its larger external environment, both in the larger organization it may be a member of, and with other parties that have ongoing functional relationships with the team (e.g. customers, clients, buyers, suppliers, creditors, lenders, other constituencies).
IDRS trainers may involve participants in some or all of the following exercises:
- Personal inventory of areas of expertise and skill-sets
- Personal assessment of own career and training goals
- Inventory of what each person on team is good at, including self
- In-depth examination of the nature of “participation”, and a self-assessment of what kind of “participator” you are.
- Characteristics of an effective leader
- Different levels of participation (individual, family, team, community, society, etc) and their implications
- Internal Team Negotiation/Consensus Building Exercise
- Tools for Dealing with Differences
- Top Dog/Underdog exercise
- Engagement in a “team project”
3. Skills Training for Members of Tribal Councils
Training programs for members of Tribal Councils and Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations typically focus on the “legal and fiduciary” roles and responsibilities of individual Board members. However, Board members also need to be trained in two additional areas before they can successfully fulfill their roles and responsibilities: how to be effective “managers” of the organization’s system of internal and external relationships, and in interpersonal “transactional” skills and processes.
IDRS Board Skills Training focuses on three primary areas of concern:
- Your legal and fiduciary roles, rights and responsibilities. This section looks at how the law and the courts look at your organization as a legal entity. Specifically, what are your roles and responsibilities, as the “governors” or “stewards” of this organization, for the direction and conduct of the organization as a whole?
- Increasing your effectiveness as a “manager” of a system of relationships. Your organization consists of a complex system of relationships that includes: the general membership of the organization (the General Council), the other Directors on the Tribal Council or Business Council, the Chief Executive (Executive Director or tribal administrator,) the Executive staff, other staff members, your clients, other tribal organizations and programs, funding sources, and other entities within your external environment? The health and productivity of your organization will depend on how well these parts work together. What is the intended “division of responsibility” among the many parts, what responsibilities are shared, and what is your relationship to each of the parts? Are there ways you could increase your understanding and effectiveness “managing” these relationships?
Your organization’s By-Laws, Ordinances, Resolutions and Policies are used as the primary frame of reference for the discussion.
- Interpersonal “transactional skills and knowledge” you should develop competence in to perform at your best and make the greatest contribution to the organization? This includes perspectives and processes that are typically found to improve communication, information sharing, and informed collaborative decision-making.
This part of the training includes group and individual skill building exercises, small group work, trainer demonstrations, and simulations.
4. Establishing Effective Intergovernmental Relations with Indian Tribes
As Indian Tribes have become more involved in community and economic development they are finding themselves increasingly involved in their external environments. They need to interact with a wide range of county, state and federal agencies and political jurisdictions in the planning, development and operational phases of their projects.
Government agencies are often relatively inexperienced dealing with Indian Tribes. They can be confronted with much that is unknown and have to deal with tribal governments, and the cultural values and perspectives of Indian people for the first time. Tribal representatives may also have no prior familiarity with the agencies and have outdated and invalid perceptions of what they can expect
Intergovernmental transactions can be successful in developing a productive working relationship, or people can end up talking past each other, failing to appreciate very real differences, and becoming unnecessarily adversarial. Getting off on the wrong foot can be costly to both sides.
Our workshop on: “Establishing Effective Intergovernmental Relation with Indian Tribes” is designed for agency people. It starts with basic information about the history of tribes’ relationships with the federal government and with state government. This is intended to give people a context with which to understand some of the prevailing attitudes and concerns on both sides. We also examine how tribal governments work, how they are changing to meet new challenges, how their leaders see themselves vis-à-vis outside governments, and what “protocols” for approaching tribes are most effective. We examine a list of prevailing “cultural sensitivities” as well as tribes’ strong beliefs that because they are sovereign legal entities they are entitled to be treated as any other government (city, state or national).The above information can be provided in a ½ day or full day of training.
IDRS offers an additional two days of training designed to supplement the introductory course described above with interactive skills training in intergovernmental communication and collaborative negotiation. These skills can be used by agency personnel to build cooperative relationships, maintain cooperation, and successfully resolve differences on an ongoing basis—no matter what the substantive area might be (e.g. education, social services, gaming, law enforcement, water, environmental regulation, toxic substances, natural resources, etc).
- We offer some effective cross—cultural communication tools that can be used by people to “keep their foot out of their mouths” in any multi-cultural setting.
- We provide a step-by-step approach to follow in initiating, conducting and completing bi-lateral “government to government” negotiations.
- We provide training in “interest-based” negotiation and contrast this with “positional” and adversarial (“win/lose”) styles of negotiation.
- We clarify the difference between the “consultation” process and the “negotiation” process and what parties can realistically expect from each.
- One of the primary areas of emphasis in our training is on the importance of “process design” (the who, what, when, where and how of the negotiation itself).
- We identify a range of important procedural issues that need to be addressed and resolved to ensure a successful negotiation, and we emphasize the importance of recognizing that these are all negotiable by the parties, and negotiated before sitting down and trying to resolve the substantive problems that brought the parties to the table in the first place.
- We offer a range of tools and techniques for sustaining involvement by all the parties, resolving the “thorny” issues, and getting beyond “impasse”.
- We suggest ways of offering and responding to proposals, and
- We explore ways to “manage” negotiations between governments and complex organizations where the people at the table do not have final authority to “decide’ but instead “represent” others in their organizational hierarchies or constituencies who are not at the table but will have to ratify the final agreement.
The training is designed to be interactive. In addition to planned role plays, small group work, etc., there will be ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and provide their own examples.
How Do You Arrange For IDRS To Conduct Training Workshops In Your Community and Organization?
- Call the IDRS office in Sacramento and speak to one of the trainers:
The trainer will ask you to describe your training needs, the number of people you would like to participate in the training, the number of days and sessions you are interested in, when and where you would like to schedule the training.
- The trainer will discuss a variety of options we have to tailor the training to your specific needs, what we can cover in the amount of time you want to spend, the availability of our trainers in the upcoming months, and a “ball-park” cost figure for trainers’ fees and travel costs.
- The trainer will follow up on the telephone conversation with a letter outlining the parameters of the training workshop(s) as we understand them, specific dates available, along with a proposed budget.
- Once you have decided to enlist IDRS to conduct the Skills Training Workshop(s), the Executive Director will send a proposed contract for services requesting your signature and a retainer of 25% of the total budget amount.