Effective Report Writing
In this two-day session, participants will learn how to successfully write reports which are actually useful for their hierarchy. The training is addressed to “practitioners” and therefore interactive and real-world-focused with a mix of short presentations and group work.
CENAD seminars focus on preparing professionals to function effectively in the proverbial “real world”: this training is therefore by nature highly practical and interactive. Realistic exercises, cases and simulations are the vehicles to practice: each participant gets customised and personalised attention and feedback.
Senior management usually has the responsibility of deciding, and these decisions may have a lasting impact. Therefore, the quality, wisdom and appropriateness of such decisions depend on the quality, appropriateness, integrity, and processing of information prepared by others. Report-writing may serve different purposes: to document a statement or an event for the archives, to summarize for the press and the media, to analyse and interpret a situation for colleagues and superiors, or even to justify activities (and the related expenses) the report-writer has been involved in. High-quality reporting serves to guide politicians and decision-makers towards solid, actual and reliable decisions.
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- Opening of the seminar and introduction to the programme
Seminar Session I: “The Sherpa‘s Job”
- Exercise 1: “Briefing the Boss”
Working under time pressure to condense contents into bullet points
- Debriefing Exercise 1
Participants will present their bullet point lists to peer-group review
- Summary comment “Do’s and Don‘ts in Report Writing”
- Seminar Session II: “His/Her Master’s Brain”
Towards a report writing checklist (1)
- Cultural and Hierarchical Aspects of Communication
Communication in English as a foreign language
- Close of the day
- Seminar session III: “Content and Context”
Situation analysis of a “Video Case”: participants will watch, analyse and discuss a video of a “real-world” negotiation
- Debriefing the video case (Group work)
Identifying key issues and key terms as found in the video
- Specific aspects of “Diplomatic” Communication
- Lunch Break
- Seminar Session IV: “How to Service the Decision-Makers”
Towards a report writing checklist (part 2)
- Exercise 2: “Guidelines for good report writing”
Participants split into groups, are invited to use their personal experience and the seminar’s insights to develop guidelines for writing a good report
- Seminar close and evaluation
• How to take notes effectively in a political/civil service setting
• How to select, analyse, itemize, process and prioritize information and develop their individual report information storage matrix (RISM)
• How to draft texts (e.g., conclusions, notes, summaries)
• How to write reports, as accurate, focused and timely reporting is paramount to guarantee effective communication between front-line delegates and their back-office.
• How to gain an appropriate situational awareness (topics and issues, institutional and political backgrounds, roles of persons involved, assessing the need for action)
• How to convert information into a concise, encompassing, and unbiased basis for decisions to be taken by others (superiors, politicians etc.)
• Participants will also get insights into the appropriate use of political and “diplomatic” language and will learn to avoid pitfalls when using high-context and low-context language terms.
An important restriction and clarification
This seminar must not be mistaken for training in journalism or media work and will not cover or discuss the use of social media in political communication.
The training is addressed to “practitioners”
Franz Gundacker – Senior Negotiation Consultant & Trainer, CENAD Associate
After his studies in Innsbruck (AT) and Glasgow (UK), Franz’s professional career continued with the Federal Civil Service of Austria from 1979 to 2008, punctuated by international assignments described below. Franz spent the latter part of his civil service career “keeping ministers happy”.
He led senior management functions at Land as well as at Federal levels and became Executive Secretary to the World Association of Public Employment Services (WAPES). At the Federal Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (1999-2003) Franz was Deputy Director General of EU and International Affairs. International postings: OECD, Paris (1992-1994), 1997-1999 Brussels as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Representation of Austria and chaired actively a Working Group during the Austrian Council Presidency. In 2004-2007 Franz was Senior Advisor at the ILO Sub-Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest), covering transnational policy development projects in 11 countries in Southeastern and Eastern Europe).
Since 2004, Franz gained extensive training experience as a CENAD Associate specialized in International & EU Negotiation as well as Report Writing seminars for the following:
• EU Negotiations and Council Presidencies (Brussels as well as in-service/in-country for the post-Lisbon Council Presidencies of the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Netherlands, Slovakia, Romani and Portugal), and which included Minister coaching:
• Public Administration / Civil Society / Business: DE, CH, Jordan, Kazakhstan
• Diplomatic training: Bern, Brussels, Prague, Yerevan
• Central bank training: Frankfurt, Riga, Copenhagen, Rome
• U.N. and Intergovernmental Organisations: Geneva, Quito, Pretoria, Cancun, Manila
• Academia: Geneva