We had a very similar situation. There was never a formal training
program and I was hired to bring that to this company. Of course, all the managers felt they already knew how to manage and their resistance was very clear from the beginning. The entire year of 2007 was spent on "Knowing Your Audience" through communication
skills, using many elementary forums, such as, left/right brain learning, auditory, visual, kinestic learners to DISC. The front line managers and supervisors attended these courses and I actually had 2 of my most negative people (in the beginning) come to me and thanked me because they actually learned something they could use. Now, that's not to say they have all embraced this learning, but it's a start. Because of the programs success, we are expanding it to include regular employees. We feel that in order for good communication
to take place, everyone has to be on the same page, so they are going to learn what the managers have learned. The managers group will be embarking on a more advanced communication
understanding using the MBTI program (type) and team building
. My problem is getting the executives to take courses as they are part of the communication
issue. Hope some of these ideas may help you.