As Australasia’s largest owner, operator and developer of senior living communities, this organisation employs 3,000 people in the retirement living sector and manages a portfolio of 70 retirement villages across both Australia and New Zealand.
CMA was engaged to develop this client’s capability for effectively and efficiently resolving confrontations and, in the process, building better relationships with their key stakeholders. The participants were staff working in retirement villages whose role required them to deal with on-going conflict with residents and their family members.
The Solution (CMA’s role)
After conducting a thorough needs analysis with the client, CMA designed a tailored one-day Getting Past Conflict program that we delivered to retirement living staff across Australia and New Zealand. The program was tailored specifically to provide the participants with skills to:
- Manage conflict arising internally (within teams or across different retirement villages) and externally (when communicating with residents of the retirement villages and/or their family members),
- Be able to manage conflict by managing the emotional state of the other person,
- Build the confidence of the participants to be able to take control of the conversations,
- Know when and how to listen empathetically and demonstrate understanding,
- Be clear on possible options and direct the conversations to generate desired outcomes,
- Be equipped to explain options in clear and easy to understood language,
- Frame the purpose of the conversation, follow the process efficiently, stay on the point, and summarise effectively, and
- Conducting the conversations in a way that restores and builds the relationships.
New skills were transferred into the workplace by a combination of the training, post-workshop follow-up (Commitment Sheets), email tips and access to CMA’s coaching hotline. CMA also provided participants with a number of resources that will enable longer-term application and retention of the skills learned – for example, a preparation template that can be used to prepare for all conversations, a desktop reference card and a detailed workbook.
CMA worked with the client to ensure that our program was sustainable across the organisation and that we could maximise learning transfer. We first commenced delivering the program in 2012 with a pilot program (which achieved an excellent result for the Retirement Centre division) before rolling out the program across Australia and New Zealand.
The success of this program led us to also work with their corporate division (beyond just retirement living) and to corporate groups in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
All participants across the Retirement Living and Corporate Divisions receive monthly updates after attending the training as well as access to CMA’s coaching hot line.
Participants attending the program have provided the following behavioural feedback:
“As a manager I needed to understand conflict and I was having difficultly with this. CMA’s solution and follow-up has helped me with these skills.”
“I found CMA’s program valuable in helping me understand how to break down the issues and reach workable solutions as well as learning not to jump straight to solutions and understand the interests and behaviour drivers of the other person.”
“CMA’s training was more than helpful – it is suitable for all occupations and excellent value of my time away from my busy office.”
“CMA’s program was great for people to understand that you cannot always help conflict happening but you can choose what you do with it.”
“Using CMA’s conversation planning sheet as a tool to prepare for meetings has been a great asset.”
“I am very glad I have participated in CMA’s program as it has helped me improve my skills.”