Training Encounters are learning activities that involve facilitator contact :

  • Classroom courses: Delivered by us or through your trained trainers, this classic format has the advantage of getting people together for a significant, shared learning experience.
  • Events: Workshops and seminars can be arranged to kick-off training programs, to punctuate them, or simply as the need arises. They are motivational and focused.
  • Coaching: Individual and team sessions enable you to resolve immediate issues and often to transform them into opportunities for personal growth.

Classroom courses

Our approach is based on a fundamental principle of communication: that a message must be adapted to its audience. We focus on the issues that are the most relevant to a very specific group of people: technical experts, either in customer-facing or manager-leader roles. We structure our material appropriately and present it in the tribal language – always with relevant examples.

Please note that we can either train directly, or we can train your trainers – whatever suits your organisation best.

Our main courses are Client Encounters Using ICON9 and ICON9 for Manager-Expert-Leaders. They use a structured approach to business communication, providing not only tools for the work, but also language and models that can be customised to suit individual and team needs.

Client Encounters Using ICON9 is for Customer-Facing Engineers (CFEs), a term that covers a range of job titles, from Application Engineer, through Sales Representative, Developer and even Marketing manager – people who are essential to efficient communication back and forth along complex B2B value-chains.

Trainees may have a range of customer-facing experience, from a few months to tens of years – it doesn’t matter. Experience is necessary to do the job, but it’s not sufficient when selling and supporting ever more complex technology in increasingly dynamic markets. Tools and methods that support individual and team performance are essential!

Client Encounters Using ICON9 is based on nine key tools. Some are at a foundation level, covering topics such as Encounter Preparation, Getting Meetings Started and Learning Discovery, while others support more advanced work on Guiding Discovery, Presentation, Confrontation and Negotiation. In other words, we equip trainees to both (1) do easy, routine things fast and well and (2) tackle difficult, complex tasks effectively.

The course textbook, Client Encounters of the Technical Kind, together with the ICON9 web pages and other ICON9 collateral support trainees both during the course and as they integrate the learning material into their routines.

Winning new business and protecting that already won are key considerations, though it’s NOT a sales training. This point notwithstanding, it can be highly beneficial for sales and marketing folk to attend with their applications engineering colleagues. Working together on the customer challenges they face, and using the ICON9 terminology and tools to do so, frequently sparks great new ideas and reinforces teamwork.

ICONDA’s considerable training database includes many alternative exercises and examples, built up from work with companies all over the world. This ranges from direct customer work to lab-based support, it includes service-based and product-based offerings, it covers software, component and custom-designed solutions and it applies to direct- and distribution-based sales. We can therefore make a bridge from the conceptual to the practical level in a way that less specialised training courses cannot.

ICON9 for Manager-Expert-Leaders is for technical experts – in engineering, finance, medicine, design or architecture, for example – who find themselves in management and leadership roles, facing the ambiguities and paradoxes that such a role infers. In terms of the diagram opposite, they are constantly crossing the technology/people and individual/team axes. Highly solicited and under a lot of pressure, they may not have the agility to match the mobility required of them.

Agility allows you to be mobile without too much pain – it implies suppleness and ease of movement. The training therefore helps Manager-Expert-Leaders to develop their multi-zone, cross-axis skills, and it does so using a variant of the ICON9 toolset.

Leveraging many of the methods and all of the fundamental principles developed through our work with Customer-Facing Engineers, this new course provides a simple and novel approach to important management and leadership challenges. Considering the Manager-Expert-Leaders’ collaborators to be their clients, it uses a Client Encounter Process as a backbone for exploring meeting preparation and management, one-to-one communication, teamwork facilitation and contracting with colleagues, for example. The ninth tool in the ICON9 toolset being the person themselves, we also take the time to look at avenues for personal development.

Product details

Training course: Client Encounters Using ICON9, for Technical Sales and Applications Engineers

Numbers: 2.5 days (usually); 8-16 participants; 50{e150bb50d059116d5923b1784bf192ea4b666a3097254972a03c8cf0141dabed} exercises. Variants: inter-company and intra-company (private). Customisation (intra-company courses): core modules are complemented by options (details available on request); examples and exercises are made company-specific. Facilitation: Andy Betts is the lead facilitator and he may work in collaboration with others (including people from your company). Language: English or French; printed materials are in English. Assessment: Kirkpatrick levels 1 and 2 tests. Location: No restriction. Pricing: A quotation will be made based on requirements.

Training course: ICON9 for Manager-Expert-Leaders

This course has the same configuration as Client Encounters Using ICON9, described above.


Workshops are arranged to kick-off training programs, to punctuate them, or simply as the need arises. Their duration is typically one day or less, and they might fit in with some other company event, such as a sales conference. Apart from the duration, a workshop’s distinguishing characteristic is that it focuses on a particular issue. For example, creating presentation material for a new market segment, integrating a new team into a distribution network, even creating a training course!

Seminars can be shorter still, but their important because their goal is usually to stimulate motivation. We have a particularly popular seminar in ICONDA called “Working and Learning Under Pressure”. For some reason, everybody seems to need to know how to do this!

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.


We frequently use the Change Cycle diagram below to explain the experience people go through when in training, and where coaching fits in.

Potential trainees may not be conscious of the need to learn at first they are happily cruising. When they become aware that something has changed around them and that theyre not keeping up, they start to adapt. They may start feeling bad, performance may drop and some people react unconstructively (CRUD: Cynicism, Resistance, Uncertainty and Doubt). When you see CRUD, do not despair. If things are handled well, the next step is hope, followed by confidence, leading to performing which quickly leads to cruising again J

ICONDA uses a range of coaching styles, depending on the needs of the individual, group or organisation concerned.

Of course, it supports individual trainees through the Change Cycle as they work (through the CRUD) to integrate what they have learnt in class or through independent work. This coaching can be on a one-to-one basis, or by working in groups.

Alternatively, we can take a supervisory role, training and coaching trainer-coaches in our clients organisations, helping them to shepherd their charges through the Change Cycle.

Finally, we can provide coaching that is decoupled from any particular Learning and Development program, on an as-needed basis. In fact, whenever you face a professional challenge  and, in particular, where you are likely to face similar situations in the future, then coaching is the intelligent move. Not only can it enable you to resolve immediate issues, it may also transforms those issues into opportunities for personal growth.

Please see the Who is behind ICONDA page for information on our coaching qualifications.  

Change Cycle