Compelling communication

Compelling communication– overview

Effective communicators just do it! It is a skill. And skills can be taught. Which is why this two-day workshop is very interactive, enabling participants to practise their skills in a positive, supportive environment.

The programme gives an overview of what great communication looks like – and the impact of getting it wrong. It focuses on the range of communication styles available to us and how we can build rapport with others so that we can be more in charge of the communication dynamic.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

The workshop will help you:

  • Appreciate what great communicators do
  • Understand how messages are communicated
  • See the world through a different set of eyes
  • Enhance your impact
  • See how others may perceive you
  • Discover how assertive you are
  • Practise active listening
  • Use Transactional Analysis in communication
  • Apply the DESC technique (describe-express-specify-consequences)
  • Give and receive feedback
  • Summarise and paraphrase to ensure understanding
  • Solve problems – at different levels of involvement
  • Deal with difficult people or situations

Above all, this programme will help you put theory into practice.

Who should attend?

We all need communication skills! This programme has been designed for all those who wish to become more effective, more compelling, in their communication.

Course format

This two-day course is based on a series of short theory and good practice facilitator-led sessions followed up by personal practice. Group discussions are frequently used to identify personal experiences of good and bad communication. Expert trainer feedback enables participants to develop workable personal action plans for improved confidence and delivery.

Expert trainer

Cyrus Cooper (Managing Director of Maximum Performance) is an exceptional trainer, facilitator and coach. He specialises in helping managers to focus on their role and responsibilities with the aim of getting great results with the people they manage. He has helped organisations in both the public and private sectors to increase their performance through a range of interventions covering leadership challenges, motivational management and corporate and executive 1:1 coaching. Formerly an internal learning and development consultant to the Ministry of Justice, his achievements there ranged from a major business process re-engineering (BPR) project to designing performance management systems and competency frameworks for over 12,000 staff and creating a range of management programmes for middle / senior civil servants that are still being run to this day.

Cyrus is passionate about coaching as well as training, and has recently developed an organisational-wide coaching programme for the Big Lottery Fund. He currently works with Thomson Reuters graduates on a global graduate scheme, delivering a week of self-discovery, supported by the FACET5 profiling tool. His other current / recent clients include the BBC, 3M, Accenture, Inter Hannover, Legoland, Merlin Entertainments, Mouchel, Phytopharm, Office of the Public Guardian, The Gap Partnership, Central Bedfordshire Council, Finsbury Foods, Lancashire Group, RED Consulting, Gala Coral, De Lage Landen, the Methodist Church, Shaw Trust and the Housing Solutions Group, to name but a few. Whether delivering a one-off workshop or designing an innovative management development programme, Cyrus delivers with understanding, enthusiasm and passion, and truly believes that learning is about creation, not consumption.

Cyrus’s academic and professional qualifications include a Masters Degree in Management Practice, MBTI accredited, SDI accredited, Facet5 accredited, DiSC accredited, Diploma in Executive and Corporate Coaching, Diploma in Business Coaching, Diploma in Business Excellence (EFQM), NVQ Assessor, etc. Cyrus is enthusiastic and practical in his approach, with tools and methodologies explained clearly. His strong facilitation skills and focus on his audience create a powerful learning experience and the response from individual participants is invariably appreciative, as the following comments show:

‘This session was exceptionally brilliant. The trainer drew me out of my shell.’

Graduate Development Workshop participant, Mouchel

‘Maximum Performance were engaged by Thomson Reuters to redesign our technology graduate development centre (the integral piece of the graduates’ two year training programme). Throughout the programme redesign, I found Maximum Performance to be extremely responsive, creative in their approach and also dedicated to building a bespoke solution for Thomson Reuters. The feedback from stakeholders and delegates has been very positive on the content delivered , the facilitator’s training style and Maximum Performance’s ability to hit the ground running, intimately understanding our needs.’

Khalil Ayub, Technology Graduate Scheme Manager, Thomson Reuters

‘We used Maximum Performance to design and deliver leadership skills for our people managers at LEGOLAND Windsor. We were pleased with the structured approach which provided a parallel process to our Team Leader training activities. Maximum Performance also helped incorporate some new training techniques we wanted to try such as Forum Theatre. Overall this part of the session was fun and energetic. It provided a powerful and memorable alternative to role play with excellent feedback from our managers.’

Head of Learning & Development, Legoland

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Maximum Performance (and Cyrus Cooper in particular) to deliver a coaching programme across the Big Lottery Fund. We co-constructed and piloted the programme to skill managers in the basics of coaching and create a programme of development for Senior Leaders to also build their coaching skills. What Cyrus delivered was a programme that impacted on us with a huge amount of insight, interest and invigoration around coaching as a key skill in our leaders, managers and talent programme participants. We are about to launch our own internal coaching network that will continue and spread the great work Cyrus did for us.’

Perry Timms, Head of Talent & Organisational Development, BIG Lottery Fund

Compelling communication – course outline

Note: before attending the workshop, you must seek feedback on your communication style from 5 people. You should ask each person to identify:

  • 2 things you do well when communicating with that person
  • 2 things you need to do differently when communicating with that person, in order to enhance the relationship


1 Welcome and introduction

  • Participants are welcomed to the programme and invited to share their personal objectives and communication challenges
  • Participants are given an action plan template to complete throughout the workshop

2 Great communication

  • What great communicators do
  • What do you do?
  • Assessing your current communication effectiveness
  • What is your ‘interference’?

3 Perceptions

  • Another view…
  • Cultural communication
  • Speed feedback

4 Your approach

  • Assertiveness in communication
  • The reasons why you say the things you say
  • The Iceberg model
  • Your impact on others


1 Effective communication techniques

  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • How to adapt/pace and lead to build rapport
  • The Mehrabian theory of communication
  • DESC technique (describe-express-specify-consequences)

2 How to manage conflict

  • What is conflict?
  • What is your default conflict approach?
  • Tools and tips for managing conflict
  • Practice sessions

3 Transactional Analysis

  • The theory bit
  • Types of ego states
  • Communicating with similar / different ego states
  • Reframing situations

4 Problem solving

  • Seeing the bigger picture
  • Involvement v Empowerment
  • Your strategy for success
  • Actions and learning