The 411

November 7-8, 2023
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$750 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

David Kardish

David Kardish

David Kardish, APR, is a founding partner and current President of the Centre for Excellence in Communications.

read bio

Active Listening, Assertiveness,
Problem Solving & Decision Making


This creative and fast-paced interactive workshop has been designed for those individuals who would like to improve their communication skills: the life skills used every day to communicate and interact with others in our professional and personal lives. This workshop will focus on improving participant communication skills in active listening, assertiveness, negotiation, problem solving, and decision-making. These are the most important of all interpersonal communication skills.

Individuals with strong communication skills are much more likely to succeed. Employers, whether in the public, private or voluntary sectors, are always on the lookout to hire and advance the careers of individuals with well-honed communication skills. While there are many professional development programs that focus on oral and written communications very few programs focus on the interaction of active listening, assertiveness, negotiations, problem solving, and decision-making.

Employees with strong communication skills clearly stand out from the crowd. These individuals are more productive and more successful as a result of the quality of their working relationships with peers, employees, supervisors, clients and others. Such individuals can quickly rally and sustain the support of others to successfully manage complex work assignments. Equally, they possess the skills necessary to deal with difficult issues in a straightforward manner, listen well to the ideas and concerns of others, problem-solve to support employers, colleagues and reports, and demonstrate a calm respectful assertiveness when engaging others.


This workshop will concentrate on the communications skills today’s professionals require for success. Specifically, this professional development workshop will focus on the communication skill sets that employers’ value most:

During this workshop, participants will acquire the following learning outcomes:


This workshop is intended for today’s highly motivated professionals who want to advance their communication skills and careers.



8:45 - 9:15 Introduction
  • The workshop participants will introduce themselves and outline their expectations and learning objectives
  • The instructor will outline the workshop learning opportunities and planned processes
9:15 - 10:00 Active Listening:
The Most Powerful of all Non-Verbal Communication Skills
  • Participants will learn how active listening is essential to communication otherwise critical information will be missed or misunderstood
  • Participant discussions will focus on how to listen actively to another person and how the act of ‘listening’ and ‘hearing’ differ
10:10 - 10:15 HEALTH BREAK
10:15 - 11:15 Assertive Communications:
Make Interventions that are Assertive and Respectful
  • Participants will learn how to express their thoughts, ideas and suggestions in a honest and appropriate manner
  • In particular, participants will learn how to be assertive while remaining respectful of the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of others
  • Participants will discuss and clearly differentiate assertive communications from aggressive communications
  • Participant conversations will conclude on techniques designed to influence others through embedded suggestions
11:15 - 12:00 Case Study Exercise
12:00 - 1:00 LUNCH
1:00 - 1:45 Negotiation:
Being Skillful While Avoiding the Manipulation of Others
  • Participants will discuss the art of negotiation and why more employers regard strong negotiation skills as an important component of an employee’s communications tool kit
  • Discussions will focus on understanding manipulation techniques — put-downs, bulldozing and spurious logic — often used in negotiations and how to resist and counter them
1:45 - 2:30 Problem Solving:
The Stages and Techniques of Problem Solving
  • Participants will learn why employers and organizational colleagues value problem solvers
  • The participants will discuss the specific stages of problem solving and learn how problem solving techniques can be employed to resolve conflicts and disagreements
2:30 - 2:45 HEALTH BREAK
2:30 - 3:30 Decision-Making:
Taking Decisions That Matter
  • Participants will learn how to improve and further refine their decision-making skills
  • Participant conversations will focus on the importance of decision-making and the meaningful role for decision-makers in today’s fast moving and evolving organizations
3:30 - 4:15 Case Study Exercise
4:15 - 4:30 Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation
  • Participants will have an opportunity to ask final questions and discuss remaining issues and/or concerns
  • The participants will be asked to complete a short evaluation of the workshop