Providing for effective communication within international human rights organisation
An international umbrella organisation, focussing on the development and implementation of human rights and public health issues, had experienced enormous change primarily due to rapid growth and an explosion in funding in a particularly niche market. The organisation worked on two levels; firstly organisations would approach them to assist in the implementation of a programme in country, and, secondly, they would seek funding for specific projects alongside partner countries.
As a result of the rapid expansion and the division of tasks between three critical work teams (Technical team; Support team; Financial team) the organisation recognised the need to put in place new policies and procedures. Additionally, there was a need to up-skill staff to negotiate with external partners, stakeholders and suppliers. The organisation also felt that it was important to reinforce collaborative cross-team working within UK teams and geographically distributed teams and projects.
The organisation was able to identify key issues, which were creating, or had the potential to create, conflict throughout the entire organisation. Some of the key issues identified by the organisation were inability to effectively negotiate, the ability to handle difficult conversations, improve their communications skills, and this all needed to be done in an international context.
What was apparent was that the organisation was looking to provide a proactive solution to many of the issues raised. It also recognised that it dealt primarily with geographically and culturally diverse offices and business partners, so effective communication was key whether it be electronic, telephone based or face-to-face.
CEDR worked extensively with the organisation to provide a programme tailored to the needs of the organisation and consist of various methods of effectively managing conflict. These programmes covered:
- The ability to communicate with other teams within the organisation and externally with partners/providers/stakeholders
- Methods of effective negotiation and improving individual negotiation skills
- The ability to function as a team (especially since many of the team members were geographically distributed - culturally diverse)
- Organisational change concerns – particularly coping with rapid expansion and integration of new policies and procedures
- Conflict arising between the needs of the organisation and funding/funders and potential constraints/expectations.
The training was initially delivered to a medium size group of team leaders and the training was so well received that the organisation then requested CEDR to repeat the training to another medium size group later in the year.