Activity 36 355
Activity 36
Participants need to analyze their workflow and the demands made on them for a
two-week period before taking part in this activity. Problem areas will be shared
among the participants at the start of the activity so that real-life issues are tackled.
The activity uses a blend of trainer and participant input, and whole group and small
group discussions. The participants develop a model for negotiating and practice
using it. A handout is provided for future reference.
Target Group
Support staff who need to increase their personal confidence and improve their
communication skills in order to gain assistance or more time to produce high-
quality work
To enable participants to decide when it is appropriate and constructive to ask
for help or negotiate for more time
To increase participants’ personal confidence that they can, and should, nego-
tiate in these circumstances
To provide participants with a professional, constructive model for negotiating
Number of Participants
4 to 12
2 to 3 hours (depending on the number of participants and the depth of discussion)
Overhead projector and screen
Flipchart and markers for each group plus yourself
Pens and paper for all participants
Transparencies 36-1 and 36-2
Trainer’s Notes 36-1
Handouts 36-1 and 36-2
Transparency of Handout 36-2
356 50 Training Activities for Administrative, Secretarial, and Support Staff
Activity 36 (continued)
1. At least three weeks before conducting this activity, ask all the participants to
analyze their workflow and the demands made upon them, for the two weeks
prior to attending this activity. Handout 36-1 can be copied and used as an aid if
2. Prepare overhead transparencies using Transparency 36-1 (objectives) and
Transparency 36-2.
3. Familiarize yourself with the reference notes in Trainer’s Notes 36-1, amending
or adding to it as necessary.
4. Make one overhead transparency and sufficient copies of Handout 36-2 for all
the participants.
1. Display and discuss the objectives for this exercise, using Transparency 36-1.
As you do this, ask the participants to volunteer their own examples of where
they might need assistance or more time to complete work. (They should have
this information from the analysis they have done over the previous two weeks.)
2. Conduct an additional discussion using Transparency 36-2 and Trainer’s Notes
36-1 for your own reference. Conclude by emphasizing the answer to #3 on the
Trainer’s Notes. Emphasize to the participants that the issue is about being
responsible, committed employees, not whiners and complainers. So if our
motivation is to provide the best quality and quantity of work, we should never
be afraid to negotiate. We might not achieve all that we want, but we will dam-
age our self-respect if we do not try.
3. Organize the participants into small groups.
4. Ask for a volunteer from each group to provide one real-life example of where
they would like to negotiate for assistance or more time. Now ask each group to
discuss “how to prepare to negotiate” on the volunteered issue. They should
elect a scribe/spokesperson who will note their thoughts on the flipchart during
their discussion. Allow 15 minutes for this discussion.
5. Reconvene the whole group and ask each spokesperson to present on behalf
of their group, in turn.

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