“Eric is an excellent facilitator. He's able to lead groups of people to develop a shared vision and shared objectives toward a goal. Eric is very engaging — he's easy to talk to and an interesting speaker. He also listens well and tailors his advice to my specific situation. While that might sound either obvious or trite, the blunt fact is that most consultants and facilitators have a product to sell and a technique to use to get to an end. They're interested in your organization or you as a person only insofar as they can apply their technique to you. Eric, rather, has a utility tool belt with many different techniques that he brings to the job. Eric has high integrity, takes responsibility for his actions, and delivers on his commitments.”
Chief Technology Officer,
City of Seattle
Communication problems and conflict drag down individuals, groups and often entire workgroups. We help clients identify and resolve problems that affect how people work together — including issues such as personality conflicts, overt conflict, dysfunctional or unproductive teams, hostile work environments, and strained or poor communication. We use tools such as training, mediation, communication styles, and interest-based bargaining to resolve differences and strengthen work relationships.
We work with clients to successfully implement organizational changes —such as reorganizations, operational interventions, and special projects. Whether large or small, organizational change produces substantial disruptions and resistance, both of which must be addressed. Our expertise is particularly helpful in establishing, preserving and enhancing the work relationships, corporate culture, and the level of trust and communication that are critical to successful change.
We help teams, workgroups and entire units to achieve peak performance by focusing on both their performance challenge and improving the work relationships among the individuals involved. Our work includes clarifying boundaries, roles and expectations among members of a team, as well as between the team and others (such as sponsors and other teams). Working with clients, we advise on how to charter and support the launch of a new team to maximize its chances of success. Established teams often need to substantially improve their performance, so we coach team leaders and individual team members, intervene in real-time to change behaviors, and even facilitate team meetings.
We work with individual managers and executives, leadership teams, and emerging leaders to develop their capacities to lead their organizations, by providing targeted training, coaching, and team development support. Leaders we work with become better leaders of both their individual teams as well as the larger organization. Our philosophy is that organizations are best served when everyone thinks and acts as a leader. We focus not only on leading "downward" but also lateral leadership and managing upward.
We help design and facilitate strategic planning in a variety of ways, including one-day retreats and longer, deeper processes. Our approach to strategic planning is to work closely with the client to identify and explore the key strategic issues and how the organization needs to respond, rather than following a strictly linear planning process. Inside most organizations, there are very different perspectives and opinions on where the organization is headed. Strategic planning processes present a unique opportunity to discuss the essence of the organization —it's DNA. Any strategic planning process must produce a clear, focused plan of action that will bring focus and alignment to the organization. Employing many of the other services we provide, Groupsmith helps clients identify, surface and resolve those strategic issues and ultimately more forward.
We work one-on-one with executives, managers and key staff to help them develop their leadership and interpersonal skills by working through challenges they are facing and identifying how to achieve the results they desire. Over the course of a coaching engagement, our work can include debriefing a difficult experience and identifying alternative actions; seeing recurring patterns and dynamics that produce unwanted outcomes; defusing conflict by carefully distinguishing between "data" and "stories," as well as "intention" and "impact"; helping the client prepare for a high-stakes conversation or meeting; as well as providing coaching in real-time during meetings with their peers, direct reports and boss. We provide managers, senior leaders and key individual contributors with "executive coaching," which focuses on development and success in their current role. We do not provide "career coaching" or "personal/life coaching."
We work with clients to plan, design and facilitate a wide variety of meetings —including retreats, off-sites, brainstorming sessions and group decision making. We facilitate events ranging from multiple-day summits involving dozens of people to short meetings of small groups. We specialize in designing and managing processes for collecting and integrating input from employees and stakeholders. We also design and facilitate interest-based bargaining, regulation negotiation, and focus groups.
We give presentations on certain topics from our trainings, in conference breakout sessions, at special events, as well as larger group settings. These presentations are always prepared to meet the needs of a particular audience; topics can include any of the areas we work in. Past presentation topics include How to Handle Dangerous Decisions, Genuine Employee Involvement, Leading Adaptive Change, the Psychology of Influence, Social Networking in Influence, and How to Make Ideas Sticky.
We provide training that relates to our primary services, such as leadership, facilitation skills, team dynamics, conflict and communication, and decision making process. Our flagship workshops are Leading without Authority and Dangerous Decisions. We are also certified trainers in the Crucial Conversations mastery workshop. In certain situations, we will develop and teach new workshops for clients. We do not generally conduct trainings developed by others.
Are these the services you are looking for? If so, call Eric Svaren at 206-352-2400 to explore the options.