Industry: Training For Manufacturing


An Austrian-based maker of custom steel fabrication parts and products for various industries was seeking to develop it are US-based employees demonstrating high potential. Early in their careers, the leadership and development function enrolled participants in a multiple-session leadership development program.  The program aimed to invest in and retain these high-value-generating employees.


TrainSMART was hired to develop a blended learning solution for a negotiation workshop of four self-led and corresponding virtually facilitated training sessions. Each self-led session was a mixture of video, readings, personal reflection, assessments, and postings on the client’s internal online campus site. Self-led topics included:

  • Readings from the Harvard Negotiation Project best-seller “Getting to Yes.”
  • The Thomas-Kilman Indicator (TKI) assessment
  • Virtual negotiation best practices
  • Optimal conflict resolution mindset.
  • People reading
  • Negotiation timing methods
  • Strategies for reaching a preliminary agreement prior to formal negotiations.

Self-led content previewed concepts trained during the next virtual session.  In essence, self-led sessions primed the pump for interactive engagement and practice during Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) WebEx meetings.

Facilitated sessions focused on building personal conflict resolution skills, using tools, and gaining valuable no-risk practice through a simulated negotiation. Topics included:

  • Personal conflict modes
  • Individual conflict resolution strengths (their superpowers) as well as their kryptonite – where they get stuck in negotiations.
  • Ability to analyze the sources of conflict.
  • Identify interests – theirs and the other side and create a BATNA.
  • Tools to uncover both parties’ interests as well as expand the pool of possible solutions.

Throughout the training, each person identified a work conflict and recorded all their learnings and prep for navigating the conflict in an action planner/resource guide.

Each of the final sessions closed with small groups workshopping a real work conflict that one of the participants was dealing with. The first conflict dealt with an internal department-to-department conflict. The second negotiation focused on resolving a dispute with an external customer.


Direct participant feedback showed high agreement that the training sessions:

  • “Uncovered fresh perspectives” which were “personally relevant.”
  • The “facilitator was highly competent” and “very responsive” to participants’ learning needs.
  • “Learning materials supported the application of what was learned.”

In fact, many attendees were applying training strategies and tools immediately after each session concluded. Several conflicts were resolved before the conclusion of the workshop.