Training Courses

Our senior consultants conduct courses in a fun, relaxed atmosphere where you learn by doing.   

 

To discuss your training needs, call Jane Lewis on (03) 9348 1013 or email jml@austhink.com

 

Austhink Consulting currently offers the following courses, or contact us and we can tailor a course to meet your needs. 

 

 

Training photo

Tailored In-Company Courses:

Hands On Introductory Courses

Brief Introduction to Argument Mapping (2 hour)    

Grouping: Organising ideas (2 hour)

Argument Analysis (2 hour)

Argument Evaluation (2 hour)

Decision: Making Choices (2 hour)

Getting Started with Rationale (half day)

Reading Argument Maps (1 hour)

Argument Maps to Prose (1 day)

Rational Selling (half day)

Skill Building Training

Argument Mapping for Analysts (2 days)

Argument Mapping for Legal Practice (2 days)

Hypothesis Development (1 or 2 days)

Rational Selling (2 days) 

 

Public Enrolment Courses:

Hands on Introductory Courses

Reasoning for Results (1 day)

 Skill Building Training

Advanced Argument Analysis (3 days)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                      For course descriptions, follow the links or scroll down.

  Feedback from our clients on our Training Courses

"Argument mapping is such a fundamental skill in business."

Senior partner of a Major Law Firm.

"The best professional development I've had for years."

Communications Leader of a Major Bank.

"Practical, systematic, hands-on learning."

Global practice leader of a Mining Corporation.

"Excellent post-training support - particularly useful feedback in very good time."

Policy analyst with a Government Department.

"I believe that Argument Mapping is an indispensable skill for both evaluating the validity of source information and producing logical and defensible analytical outputs."

Director of an Australian Government Organisation

Training Course Case Study  

  

"When do I have enough information and how can I get buy-in?"  Managing research for report writing


The client's brief


Our client was an auditing body, producing dozens of reports each year on the performance of a wide range of agencies, organisations, programmes and initiatives.  Their reports must not only be produced within budget and deadlines:  in return for the auditees' full cooperation, the auditors' final reports must be "cleared" by those being audited.  This means that the auditors' conclusions and recommendations must be officially approved and agreed to by the representatives of the organisation, agency, programme or initiative being inspected before the audit can be finalised.  The auditors could afford neither to waste time on unnecessary research, nor to have their reports stagnate at the "clearing" stage if the auditees rejected the final draft.

In this context, auditors constantly confronted two questions:

1)"How do I know when to stop gathering evidence, i.e. when I have enough information to make my case?"  and
2)"How can I ensure that my report's conclusions and recommendations
are accepted and approved?"


Our solution


We developed an eight-hour training workshop that focused on what it takes to make a well-supported case.  We used argument mapping to illustrate how auditors could tell when their case rested soundly on uncontentious information, so participants understood what they should be aiming for in principle, and how they could present their case in order to get buy-in from the auditee.  We ensured that the new technique fitted in seamlessly with the organisation's existing research methodologies, so participants could see how using this technique could fit into their work cycle.  The workshop was piloted successfully, and several hundred people were subsequently trained over a period of two to three years.

By the end of the workshop participants understood how to judge what
information was necessary and how much was enough.  They also saw how to communicate the logic of their case so that the auditee would accept their conclusions and recommendations, and they could anticipate and rebut possible objections.  Some participants also took away a technique they found useful for organising and assessing large amounts of information; for others, just gaining crucial insight into a core process was enough.  As one such participant put it, "I can't see myself ever actually mapping a case; but having done this workshop, I now understand what I do in a new way. It's been very useful".

The workshop also delivered an additional bonus: many participants reported that using the technique with their teams enabled them to see where different team members' thinking was not aligned.  Consequently they reached a much clearer and more consensual view of their findings and of their significance - which made coordinating research and co-authoring reports much easier and more seamless.

  

Tailored In-Company Courses

Rational Selling (half day or 2 days)

Practise methods for winning the argument going on in your prospect's mind.

Learn to:

  • Listen for prospects' key drivers and mentally map their required rationale
  • Explore their values and soft spots to uncover their hidden assumptions
  • Anticipate their objections and rebut them in advance
  • Frame your offering as the logical, practical choice that is simple for them to justify
  • Make it easy for them to say "Yes" and act on it

Two workshops on offer: half day - A Taste of Rational Selling, and/or 2 day - In Depth Rational Selling.

Brief Introduction to Argument Mapping (2 hour)

Experience and apply a process for visualising the logic behind the pros and cons of any issue or proposal.

Learn:

  • To separate the big picture from the detail
  • The basics of building and evaluating argument maps on several topics
  • To be aware of hidden assumptions
Grouping: Organising Ideas (2 hour)

Practise techniques for categorising information and ideas to enhance impact and comprehension.

Participants learn:

  • The key principles of hierarchical ordering
  • The basics of document planning - from email to reports
Argument Analysis (2 hour)

Apply a technique for analysing arguments in a careful and rigorous way.

Participants learn:

  • The conventions of analytical argument mapping
  • To articulate hidden assumptions
  • To differentiate between claims and inferences
Argument Evaluation (2 hour)

Learn techniques for judging the strength of arguments.

Participants learn:

  • To define evidence sources and assess their credibility
  • To distinguish between assessing the truth or acceptability of claims and the validity of inferences
Decision: Making Choices (2 hour)

Think through your decision quickly by comparing choices systematically.

Participants learn:

  • To construct a choice matrix
  • Use the matrix to make a decision
Getting Started With Rationale (half day)

Familiarise yourself with all the functions of the software

Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of thinking involved in Grouping, Reasoning and Analysis
  • Practical operations for building, evaluating, printing and exporting maps
Reading Argument Maps (1 hour)

Understand how to read argument maps

Participants learn:

  • The conventions of argument mapping
  • To follow the flow of the reasoning
Argument Mapping for Analysts (2 days)

Practise a technique for careful analysis and evaluation of a case.

Participants learn how to:

  • Map complex arguments
  • Sort out the big picture from the details
  • Articulate assumptions
  • Use a map to scrutinise a case, identifying weaknesses and potential objections
Hypothesis Development (1 or 2 days)

Generate a broad range of scenarios or explanations and look for diagnostic evidence to assess their likelihood.

Participants learn:

  • Techniques for generating a broad range of alternatives
  • How to target evidence collection effectively
  • A technique for evaluating hypotheses against the evidence
Argument Mapping for Legal Practice (2 days)

Use argument mapping to clarify reasoning and improve your ability to communicate complex technical issues to clients.

Participants learn:

  • To map legal argumentation, making the logic explicit
  • To analyse and assess legal arguments
  • To use maps to plan communication to clients and stakeholders
Argument Maps to Prose (1 day)

Prepare documents that communicate their conclusions and evidence clearly.

Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of argument mapping
  • Key principles of hierarchical ordering
  • To structure prose to reflect the logical connections between ideas

  

Public Enrolment Courses

Advanced Argument Analysis (3 days)

Experience argument mapping in the context of the fascinating mystery of the assassination of JFK.

Participants learn:

  • Fundamental principles of argument mapping
  • Advanced principles of argument mapping
  • To construct and analyse maps of great complexity

Including facilitation and a training pack, the fee for this course is $2640 (incl. GST).  Lunches, morning and afternoon refreshments are included as well as a fabulous dinner with the whole team at an iconic Lygon street restaurant.

To download the course brochure (pdf format) click here.

Reasoning for Results (1 day)

Map the rationale for critical Yes/No decisions or proposals. 

Participants learn:

  • To build and evaluate argument maps on different topics
  • To be aware of the traps of hidden assumptions
  • Tips on powerful communication of reasoning 

Including facilitation and a training pack, the fee for this course is $1650 (incl. GST), or $2200 (incl. GST) for two enrolments.  Lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments are included.

Contact Us

Call Jane Lewis on (03) 9348 1013 or email jml@austhink.com.