5 Questions about…TAI’s “Shining the Apples” Program

5 Questions About … TAI’s “Shining the Apples” Program

 Developed by Senior Coach and Account Director Ellen Rievman, Shining the Apples is a program series for high potential leaders within a company.  Participants begin their work with a full day workshop about Communicating with Power and Presence.  Each participant then receives 4 private sessions with a TAI coach on the Tools of High-impact Communications.  A final full day workshop, Acting Not Reacting, applies all of the tools and techniques to a real time scenario of fielding and responding to challenging questions.

In this edition’s 5 Questions About, Ellen tells us more about this highly experiential and effective program.


TAIQ:  Ellen, you are the author of the “Shining the Apples” leadership program.  What was your stimulus for creating this offering that combines workshops and individual coaching?

 ER:  An important upcoming national sales meeting was the stimulus.  The senior HR executive involved was aware that these very high potential employees did not have the skills needed to hold the room, even with superior knowledge of their functions.  They were unprepared to answer tough questions.  The lack of these skills was becoming a critical impediment to their personal success and to the success of the meeting.  She approached me with this specific goal: Could I design a program and deliver it in time for it to impact these executives for this meeting? 

TAIQ:  How would you describe the client who is a strong candidate for the “Shining the Apples” program?                                 

ER:  This client is dynamic within the business, leads a large and influential team, and has great hands-on knowledge.  His or her inability to communicate powerfully is challenging the ability to lead well.  A lack of clear messaging is impacting effectiveness.  He or she has a strong desire to improve and grow within the organization.

 TAIQ:  What are two or three critical questions that participants can expect to address during their experience?

ER:  How can I allow my humanity to surface and encourage others to do the same?  How can I clarify my messages and what I want to cause in my audience?  How can I find ways to practice so that my new-found skills remain sharp?

TAIQ:  Describe a moment during your facilitation in one of the workshops that confirmed for you that the program was meeting your intended goals.

ER:  I was delighted to find my clients extolling the relative merits of being authentic. We were involved in an experiential process of practicing how to answer challenging questions.  Their traditional talking points kept emerging and they were all realizing how hollow their responses kept sounding.  This happened every time they became the mouthpiece for language and ideas they had not made their own or didn’t fully believe.

TAIQ:  How have clients described their experience following their participation?

ER: First of all, they were honored to have been chosen for such a valuable program and at the investment that had been made in them.  They were astounded at the wide reach of the program, how many facets of their work and day to day routine were affected. They were gratified that all their work paid off big time at the national sales meeting.  The feedback they received from their bosses, colleagues at the meeting and my HR executive was stunning.  The program has surfaced again for other high potentials and has a certain aura attached to it now, as an important rite of passage for those chosen.