Underlying many of our courses is the belief of Sandstone Communications that certain key skills have to be mastered in order for someone to achieve success in any business environment.

Our experience teaches us that these core skills are:

  • the ability to identify what is important ('Intelligence not Information' as shown in the picture on the right); followed by
  • the skills required to then act on that intelligence (presentation skills, the art of collaboration, negotiation skills and confrontation management).

'Intelligence not Information' is central to, and in all cases precedes the exercise of, the other four skills, as seen in the diagram below.

The four communication skills follow on from mastering the ability to identify the intelligence and ignore the unimportant information. Each of these four skills is important in its own right.

Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient


Presentation Skills

In business team members and leaders often need to make presentations both internally and to customers. Mastering effective  techniques significantly increases employees' confidence whilst presenting. Topics which need to be exercised include:

  • Branding oneself, personal turnout and dress – what message do you send?
  • Delivering a message
  • Understanding a message
  • Product presentations
  • Dos and Don’ts
  • Practical presentation skills.


The secret to lasting relationships, both professional and personal, is effective collaboration. This is very different from just team work. It requires a deeper level of understanding of communication techniques and relationship motivators. It is necessary to learn how to identify triggers and values that will facilitate effective collaboration. Client retention and development are significantly enhanced when this is achieved. Topics which need to be exercised include:

  • Building effective relationships
  • Identifying motivators
  • Creating trust and rapport
  • Understanding the difference between trust and rapport
  • Building a network
  • Managing relationships.

Negotiation Skills

Negotiating is an area of business that many find intimidating and difficult to master. There are several basic principles and the key is preparation, in particular understanding the values, triggers and outcomes of the other party. It is necessary to develop practical skills and a check-list that will ensure positive outcomes when entering into a negotiation. Topics which need to be exercised include:

  • Research
  • Preparation – identify the outcomes
  • Identifying triggers
  • Agreeing an outcome
  • Closing.

Confrontation Management

Best avoided, but this is not always possible! Successful confrontation management can significantly enhance customer retention. The secret to managing challenging situations is to have a strategy and remain calm and focused. . Topics which need to be exercised include:

  • Crisis management
  • Dealing with difficult conversations
  • Acting under pressure
  • Identifying the problem
  • Effective fire fighting communication techniques.