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Working With Others Training Program
by James S. Byron and Patricia V. Bierley
Full Cover
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.
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Learner Objectives Instructional Approach Course Outline Resources Reviews

Product Details

Course Type: Classroom
Estimated Length: 8 hours (including breaks)
Print Materials: Include the Instructor Guide, Participant Coursebook, and Skill Cards
CD-ROM: Instructional Tools CD-ROM (visuals, handouts, evaluation form, extras)
Windows Compatible: Yes
Required Software: Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher
Publisher: Lowrey Press, March 2003
ISBNs: 0-9722810-0-2, 0-9722810-1-0, 0-9722810-2-9
Price: $0.00




Role: Executives, managers, technicians, and other delivery and support roles
Setting: Work settings (for-profit businesses, public sector organizations)
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)


Learner Objectives
  1. Discover the importance of good communication skills
  2. Be able to explain what getting another's view is, why it is important, and how it is achieved
  3. Demonstrate how to represent another's view
  4. Be able to explain what clarifying is, when it is used, and how it is accomplished
  5. Demonstrate clarifying to get another's view
  6. Be able to explain what confirming is, when it is used, and how it is accomplished
  7. Demonstrate confirming another's view
  8. Demonstrate getting another's view while defining a problem and analyzing the reasons why it occurs
  9. Be able to explain what giving your view is, why it is important, and how it is achieved
  10. Be able to explain what constructive criticism is, why it is important, and when it is used
  11. Demonstrate sharing a concern using constructive criticism
  12. Be able to explain what hitchhiking is, why it is important, and when it is used
  13. Demonstrate adding value to another person's idea using hitchhiking
  14. Demonstrate using the getting and giving skills in working with others to solve a problem

Instructional Approach

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.


Course Outline

  • Opening Training - prepares participants to work together in the training and prepares you to ensure that their learning expectations are met.
  • 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 skills.
  • Module 3: Getting Skills Exercise - provides practice in using getting skills while defining a problem and analyzing the reasons why it occurs.
  • Module 4: Giving Your View - enables participants to share a concern and add value to another's idea while sustaining a collaborative relationship.
  • 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 impact.




  • Working With Others Instructor Guide - provides step-by-step guidance for leading participants in learning the skills taught by the course.
  • 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 Instructional Tools.
    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.)

    Achieving Impact

    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.