|Working With Others Training Program
by James S. Byron and Patricia V. Bierley
This one-day training course prepares people to work with others in ways that elevate the success of all. It teaches participants how to understand the ideas and information others are sharing and express their own ideas in ways that keep them and whoever they are working with connected and moving toward their common goal. The Working With Others (WWO) skills are clarifying and confirming, which work together to build an accurate picture of what another person is sharing, and constructive criticism and hitchhiking, which allow a person to add his or her ideas in a way that builds better solutions while maintaining positive relationships.
Course Type: Classroom
Estimated Length: 8 hours (including breaks)
Print Materials: Instructor Guide, Participant Coursebook,
CD-ROM: Instructional Tools CD-ROM (visuals, handouts, evaluation
Windows Compatible: Yes
Required Software: Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher (included
Publisher: Lowrey Press, March 2003
ISBNs: 0-9722810-0-2, 0-9722810-1-0, 0-9722810-2-9
Within the U.S.
Role: Executives, managers, technicians, and other delivery
and support roles
Setting: Work settings (for-profit businesses, public
Performance: Working with others to conceive, develop,
and realize purposes; solve problems; or coordinate efforts in the performance
of regular duties
Intuitively, if one cannot communicate effectively, one cannot benefit
from the information and ideas of others nor leverage his or her information
and ideas by transfer to others. Empirically, a wealth of research indicates
that communication skills training is the most cost-beneficial training
investment one can make in the workplace (Brannick, 1987; Burke &
Day, 1986; Carkhuff, 1983; Leddick,1987). Evaluative research of the Working
With Others (WWO) skills training program supports these experimental
findings. In one study of 22 different training groups, learners judged
that the effective use of WWO skills accounted for 64% of the success
they achieved in their jobs. In another study of benefit to the business
units within which these learners worked, the return on investment for
learning and using WWO skills was found to be 10:1—that is, for
each dollar spent in learning these skills, the business received $10
of measurable benefit. To take advantage of these benefits, the WWO skills
are taught in the context of accomplishing an actual business purpose
within the training setting. A default application exercise is included,
but the materials are easily modified to address an issue specific to
the setting within which training is conducted. See WWO case examples
in the Information section of Learn
for ways in which WWO skills training has been tailored in the past.
Brannick, J. P. (1987) A meta-analytic study of human relations training
research. (Doctoral Dissertation, Bowling Green University), Dissertation
Abstracts International, 48, 3439B. (UMI No. 8800429)
Burke, M.J. & Day, R.R. (1986) A cumulative study of the effectiveness
of managerial training. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 232-245.
Carkhuff, R.R. (1983) Interpersonal Skills and Human Productivity. Amherst,
MA: Human Resources Development Press, Inc.
Leddick, A.S. (1987) Effects of training on measures of productivity:
a meta-analysis of the findings of forty-eight experiments. (Doctoral
Dissertation, Western Michigan University), Dissertation Abstracts International,
48, 910A. (UMI No. 8714649)
- Discover the importance of good communication skills
- Be able to explain what getting another's view is, why it is important,
and how it is achieved
- Demonstrate how to represent another's view
- Be able to explain what clarifying is, when it is used, and how it
- Demonstrate clarifying to get another's view
- Be able to explain what confirming is, when it is used, and how it
- Demonstrate confirming another's view
- Demonstrate getting another's view while defining a problem and analyzing
the reasons why it occurs
- Be able to explain what giving your view is, why it is important,
and how it is achieved
- Be able to explain what constructive criticism is, why it is important,
and when it is used
- Demonstrate sharing a concern using constructive criticism
- Be able to explain what hitchhiking is, why it is important, and
when it is used
- Demonstrate adding value to another person's idea using hitchhiking
- Demonstrate using the getting and giving skills in working with others
to solve a problem
The training is conducted in an action-learning format where participants
take up and resolve a problem together while learning and applying the
Working With Others (WWO) skills. The materials include a problem to
be solved, but are structured to allow you to substitute another problem
specific to the context in which the training is conducted.
The instructional approach emphasizes an involvement strategy that asks
participants to access their experiences, reflect on them, share them,
and connect them to the course content. Before training begins, the instructor
explores the group members' expectations about the course, supports them
in building ground rules for working together, and clarifies administrative
details (e.g., breaks, location of restrooms and telephones).
Each teaching module begins by introducing the topic of the module, providing
an introductory experience that allows learners to recognize its meaning
and importance, and demonstrating each skill before learners attempt
it. The module then involves learners in exploring the learning content
and supports their mastery of it through practice and application exercises.
Every module ends by summarizing what was learned and providing a transition
to the next topic.
At the end of training, the instructor supports the group members in
summarizing what they learned and what benefits they derived from their
learning. Each member also provides an evaluation of the course using
a standard evaluation form included with the course materials.
- Opening Training - prepares participants to work together
in the training and prepares you to ensure that their learning expectations
- Module 1: Overview - provides participants with an understanding
of what the course teaches, why, and how it accomplishes its objective.
- Module 2: Getting Another's View - enables participants to
understand another person's view by using clarifying and confirming
- Module 3: Getting Skills Exercise - provides practice in using
getting skills while defining a problem and analyzing the reasons why
- Module 4: Giving Your View - enables participants to share
a concern and add value to another's idea while sustaining a collaborative
- Module 5: Getting and Giving Skills Exercise - provides practice
in using getting and giving skills while generating solutions and a
plan for eliminating the source of a problem.
- Closing Training - concludes the training and evaluates its
- Working With Others Instructor Guide - provides step-by-step
guidance for leading participants in learning the skills taught by the
- Working With Others Participant Coursebook - introduces
the course, explains the skills being taught, communicates the importance
of each skill, allows the participants to practice the skills, and stimulates
their thinking about how the skills may be applied in the real world.
- Course visuals and handouts - provide tools that
reinforce communication and support the practice and application of
the skills being taught.
- Working With Others Card - provides a pocket-size
reminder for recalling when and how to use each course skill.
- Working With Others Participant Feedback Form - provides
a means to gauge the degree of learning accomplished, its significance
to the roles participants perform, and their experience of satisfaction
and benefit from the course.
- Electronic forms - provide a training agenda and
logistics checklist in Microsoft Word 2000 format which you can modify
according to your needs.
Transfer to Real-World Performance
The materials include a 10-minute review of the WWO skills that can
be incorporated at the beginning of other forums where participants
work together. The 10-minute review materials, which include an instructor
guide and visuals, are provided as part of the Working With Others
Also, participants receive a pocket-size reminder card they can use
to prompt their use of WWO skills outside training. (The materials
include 12 cards. Additional cards may be ordered.)
Use our Ask an Expert service to access additional assistance in
teaching the WWO skills, supporting their transfer outside the classroom,
and leveraging business benefits from their use. You may access this
free service by clicking on the “Share/Learn”
link and selecting “Ask an Expert.” This service allows you to submit
questions you may have about teaching the WWO skills, get responses
to your questions, and benefit from the questions and answers previously
shared by other instructors and coaches. Both authors of the WWO training
materials monitor the forum and offer their perspectives in response
to instructor queries.
An evaluation form is included with the training materials. It assesses
the relevance of learning to one’s job, the degree of learning, overall
satisfaction and benefit from the course, and instructor performance.
It also gathers ideas for improving the course as well.