During periods of significant change or crisis, there are unavoidable high stakes encounters with key stakeholders can present significant risk to an institution, its leadership, or even an individual team’s credibility. They are also the situations in which the reputation of the institution and its relationship with its critical stakeholders can either be strengthened or severely damaged.

It is possible they may take the form of a media interview or press conference; however, it is far more likely that these encounters will take the form of a challenging, unpredictable, and contentious meeting with key stakeholders—the students, faculty, staff, parents, donors, legislators, and neighbors that are most directly impacted by the school’s actions and decisions. Failing to listen to, connect with and effectively communicate to these key groups may create the kind of news and social media attention you were hoping to avoid. During this session we’ll:

  • Learn key interview/meeting skills including:
    • Adhering to core messaging
    • Using bridging techniques
    • Controlling voice and body language
    • Avoiding risks and pitfalls
  • Learn psychological/interpersonal skills including:
    • The importance of and approaches to demonstrate active listening
    • Understanding deeper and, perhaps, unstated stakeholder needs and perspectives
    • Reflecting compassion and empathy in your speech and demeanor
    • Reading the room and adapting your approach in the moment
    • Identifying appropriate “venting” versus indicators of possible violence

In developing our tailored, contentious meeting and media training sessions, we leverage the real-world expertise of the BMCG team, which includes:

  • a psychiatrist specializing in crisis response and intervention, violence prevention and recovery, and humanitarian assistance on behalf of schools, veterans, law enforcement, prisons, health care, and some of the country’s largest corporations.
  • a global communications strategist who served in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Information Service, and as a CNN correspondent
  • the spokesperson for FDNY during the 9/11 attack, and former head of communications for the FAA and the country’s most prestigious public university system
  • an Emmy award-winning journalist with extensive experience in television news, including at CNN and Headline News

This session will help prepare you to confidently manage the media and contentious meetings not only through highly effective communication tools but with the essential interpersonal skills that enable you to reach stakeholders with credibility and compassion on even the most difficult subjects.