For over 100 years Thomas Miller has been a premier provider of insurance and risk management services undertaking the functions of an insurance company on behalf of its clients. Thomas Miller specialises in mutual, captive and specialist insurance companies. The organisation employs over 550 people in 12 offices in London and around the globe.

 

Business Challenge

‘The IT department have been through a lot over the last year or so, big change/restructure last year (resulting in quite a few redundancies).  At the same time, IT have had a lot going on in terms of big business projects (such as introducing new systems moving from Lotus notes to MS Office 2010). The focus is to increase the positivity of IT overall, understand their customers better (internal & external), taking time to get the customer needs right in the first place, before actioning a piece of work or commissioning a big project.’  (Learning and Development, Thomas Miller).

Objectives:

  • To develop the IT department’s understanding of their internal and external customers through improved communication skills.
  • To build relevant skills; negotiating, building trust, increasing rapport, improving interpersonal skills.

Our Solution

Research has shown that increased awareness to automatic signals of emotion – in this case micro facial expressions – is a key component of empathy, rapport and trust building. These expressions, together with other non-verbal elements, account for 50-90% of all communication. Enhanced understanding and practice in application are intended to meet the primary training objective.

It was agreed that the training and coaching should allow time for reflection by the participants between sessions. Training was in the form of a two and a half hour workshop, focused on introducing and applying micro facial expressions and gestures.

The group workshop was followed up three weeks later with half hour individual coaching sessions. These sessions were built around the specific communication needs of each participant.

A self-assessment questionnaire was undertaken prior to the workshops, immediately after it and again after three weeks. Participants were asked the following statements with responses on a Likeart scale. Levels of agreement ranged from strongly disagree to strongly agree.

The statements were;

1.  I am recognising micro expressions better/more than before.

2.  I am more aware of changes in my immediate surroundings at work.

3.  I am more confident when communicating with other people.

 

Results

After three weeks, 18 of the 21 self-assessment questionnaires had been completed. Of the seven delegates, none reported undertaking daily practice but all of them confirmed that they performed ‘occasional’ practice.

Results of the analysis of self-assessment questionnaires were as follows;

1.  ‘I am recognising micro expressions better/more often than before’

The group recorded scores on average of 1 point more in agreement after 21 days compared with pre training assessment.

2.  ‘I am more aware of changes in my immediate surroundings at work’

The group recorded scores on average of 1 point more in agreement after 21 days compared with pre training assessment.

3.   ‘I am confident when communicating with other people at work’

The group recorded scores on average 1 point more in agreement after 21 days compared with pre training assessment.

  • ‘It’s really interesting and some real tangible outputs’.

    ‘My plan is to forward the case study to the managers of the delegates who attend the Face-to-face communications coaching course, and ask what they have observed since their employees attended, and what they suggest next steps could look like.  I really like the Train the trainer suggestion and can see this working with the right people’.

    ‘I would be interested to take this further into the organisation – however, not until we fully develop this group’.

    Learning & Development, Thomas Miller
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    © in the moment 2014