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TCPI News Vol. 1, No. 5

March 5, 2001

In this issue:

  1. Hiring the Right People
  2. Performance Improvement: Coaching vs. Judging
  3. Effective Negotiation Skills, Part Four
  4. Are You Laughing in Class?

Past Issues

Please visit our website for past issues of TCPI News

1.     Hiring the Right People

No single activity has as much impact on the nature, success, and future of an organization as hiring. Not hiring the right people wastes time, drains both financial and human resources, and has a negative impact on morale.

Join us live on the Web for TCPI’s Selection Interviewing program, which covers the techniques and strategies needed to conduct successful employment interviews. This three-module course will include interactive discussion on interview structure, how to build rapport with the interviewee, how to ask questions, and which questions you may not ask under the law. Drawing from the college text, Interview, by Dr. Marvin Gottlieb, the course focuses on understanding the needs and expectations of the interviewee as crucial to building rapport and trust while maintaining control.

Each 45-minute module will be presented by Dr. Marvin Gottlieb and Martha Mesiti, and will include discussion and interaction between the instructors and the participants, role modeling, and interactive exercises.

Sign up now and receive the selection interviewing chapter from Dr. Gottlieb’s text, Interview, free! Or receive an offer for a discount on the book.

Module 1: Understanding Interview

Monday March 12 at 11:00 AM EST

Monday March 19 at 1:00 PM EST

This module covers the concept of interview as a structured conversation and what is required to control the interaction. The various components of interview structure are discussed, and methodologies are offered for establishing rapport in the opening moments of the interview.

Module 2: Interviewing Strategies

Wednesday March 14 at 11:00 AM EST

Wednesday March 21 at 1:00 PM EST

This second module concentrates on strategies for hiring the right people. In addition to setting the scene and examining our biases, this course focuses on ways to control the interaction by understanding what is going on in the candidate’s mind. Techniques and strategies for asking questions are offered and placed in the context of the interview structure.

Module 3: Interviewing and the Law

Friday March 16 at 11:00 AM EST

Friday March 23 at 1:00 PM EST

This module begins with a review of the legislation enacted around employment from 1964 to the present. Employment discrimination as it relates to the employment interview is discussed, including a review and discussion of the questions that can and cannot be asked during the interview. Participants will have the opportunity to test their ability to discern legal and illegal questions.

Special Introductory Cost

$30 per person for 1 module

$55 per person for 2 modules

$80 per person for all 3 modules

2.    Performance Improvement: Coaching vs. Judging

In order to keep competitive, organizations need to provide ways for their employees to improve skills. A critical step in the improvement process is to provide accurate and ongoing feedback about performance. But even more importantly, the coach needs to examine his/her mindset about what coaching involves before entering into the interaction.

The TCPI workshop Coaching for Maximum Performance begins with an exercise that contrasts the word "coach" with the word "judge" in order to focus on which behaviors are most effective when helping employees with specific feedback on how to improve their performance.

When asked which characteristics participants associate with the word "judge," responses include: judgment, penalty, law, compliance, settlement, ruling, right and wrong, decision, authority, and arbitration. Contrast these with terms that participants commonly associate with the word "coach": encourage, help, listen, teach, motivate, practice, demonstrate, and support.

People often confuse coaching with judging. The words chosen reflect a definite mindset, and a comparison of the two lists can be instructive. Note that the words associated with judging are reactive, they are judgments about actions that have happened in the past. The coaching words, however, are development oriented and concerned with the future. Judging involves measuring actions; coaching is concerned with influencing and making commitments to the performer’s improvement.

When it’s time to give your employees feedback, are you a judge or a coach? Many managers think of themselves as coaches when they are actually being judges. The primary focus in coaching employees is to help the employee identify areas for improvement going forward. Past actions are examined, but the focus of effective coaching is to look toward a solution and facilitate better outcomes rather than to rehash what went wrong. A coach who is committed to a performer’s success and to helping him/her make changes for improvement is much more effective than one who has a "report card" mentality. Effective coaches help the performer believe that he/she can achieve the goals agreed upon.

Coaching for Maximum Performance TCPI's program aimed at managers and supervisors who have direct reports.  Visit our Custom Programs page for more information.

Executive Coaching– TCPI now offers executive coaching services targeting the development of leadership, networking, and "business savvy" skills to prepare managers for "the next level."  Contact us for more information.

3.     Effective Negotiation Skills, Part Four

This is the last of a four-part series on negotiation skills, based on the Twelve Principles of Negotiation by Marvin Gottlieb and William J. Healy. Each part will handle three principles as follows:

Part One: The Players

Part Two: The Process

Part Three: Success Defined

Part Four: The Power of Disagreement

Parts One through Three appear in earlier newsletter issues (see December through February issues of TCPI News). Disagreement, conflict, and walking away from a deal are not antithetical to negotiation. On the contrary, each can be viewed as an effective tool in the process of finding a solution that satisfies the needs of both parties. A bad deal for you is most likely bad for the other side as well. This month we look at how to handle disagreement, the use of conflict, and the power of walking away.

PART FOUR: The Power of Disagreement

Principle 10: The ability to walk away or select another alternative to a negotiated agreement puts a negotiator in a very strong position.

Negotiation should be viewed as a positive approach to resolving a conflict. So, the concern with the ability to walk away shouldn’t be perceived as a negative mindset. On the other hand, unless you have "looked over the edge" as part of your preparation, you are truly not prepared to negotiate. You have to speculate on the outcome if you don’t succeed in getting the deal you need. Face up to the consequences of a "no deal" situation. Keep in mind that the short-term loss of a commission, the house not bought or sold, the space not leased–painful as they may appear to be–are probably easier to swallow than the long-term effects of a bad deal.

The time to realize that you have limited options is not when you are sitting at the bargaining table. Having options provides confidence and the freedom to be collaborative.

Principle 11: Even when two sides are far apart on major issues, there are always things they can agree upon.

Regardless of how large an apparent difference is, be willing to explore the other side’s rationale and needs. Look for opportunities to build on areas of agreement. Don’t be intimidated by their facts, figures, authority, or position. If you have completed proper prenegotiation planning, you should have confidence in your negotiation and have command of the important and relevant information. Don’t dilute arguments with extraneous information or apologize for position or authority limitations.

Principle 12: Meaningful negotiation involves conflicts. The person who has a strong need to be liked, or who tends to avoid conflict, is likely to be at a disadvantage.

Remember that being collaborative doesn’t necessarily mean being "Mr. Nice Guy" all the time. Keep your focus on what negotiation is: an effective means for resolving conflict through the satisfaction of the substantive and relationship needs of the parties involved. Watch for and counter non-collaborative tactics. In most instances, it isn’t necessary to abandon your collaborative approach. In fact, continuing to press for problem-solving activity in the presence of tactical maneuvering is often a potent antidote.

Review the twelve principles.

Gottlieb and Healy, Making Deals: The Buisness of Negotiating

Visit our Custom Programs page for information on TCPI’s customizable programs including:

4.         Are You Laughing in Class?

Finding innovative ways to relieve the stress in our lives is what was on the mind of Annette Landsman, TCPI Project Associate, when she wrote to us about using humor for stress management. More specifically, laughter. She found some interesting facts:

1. Humor and laughter are effective self-care tools in coping with stress (Wooten, 1996). Laughter gives a psychological lift and a sense of power in stressful situations.

2. Studies find that laughter has positive effects on the immune system. In fact, 20 minutes a day has been found to help people reduce the amount of pain medication needed (Cousins, 1985).

3. Laughter actually lowers the levels of serum cortisol released by the adrenal glands during stressful situations (Gard, 1998).

4. The average kindergartner laughs 300 times a day compared to only 17 times a day for an adult (Gard, 1998).

5. Humor in the classroom can increase attention spans, encourage the discussion of divergent ideas, improve morale and communication skills, increase retention of information, and make both learning and teaching a more enjoyable experience (King,1999).

From a training standpoint, humor has proven itself over and over again to be an effective instructional tool in all types of classrooms. Remember to allow your participants to have fun while they are being informed.

For more information on using humor in the classroom, visit Annette’s Website at

For a list of works cited in this article, please e-mail

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