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                             Management Skills Seminar (MSS)

           This 4½ day program is designed for first-line managers and general agents in their first two years and seniorsecond-line unit managers and supervisors. The subject matter focuses on improving manager performance and developingcritical management skills in planning, recruiting, selecting agents, performance appraisal, training, motivation, andtime-management.

Day One
Welcome and Introductions
           This general session will review seminar mechanics, procedures and objectives. Participants will be asked toidentify and rank those learning objectives that are most important to them. The management process will be discussed.

Management Job Activities
In this session, the participants will discuss the most important management tasks versus the tasks performed mostfrequently. "Management" will be defined with the concepts of current cost and capital investment as applied to management.The key elements of a sales representative’s vs. Manager’s job will be discussed. Management job activities and critical
manager knowledge, skill, and ability dimensions will also be discussed.

Managerial Activities Related to Skills and AbilitiesCurrent Costs and Capital Investment
Planning and Problem Solving Participants will be able to identify/describe a planning process and successfully apply it in their agency. Objective setting and criteria for good/valid objectives will be discussed. A problem solving process will be introduced and related to supervision problems identified by participants in their seminar work.

Problem Solving Exercise

The participants will apply the processes learned in the prior session.Market Penetration
Participants will focus on concepts associated with market penetration and target marketing. This will include market definition and relationship to agency marketing plan, description of types of markets, identification of key characteristics of a "good" market, natural market identification by sales representative and market information sources.Defining What A Sales Representative Must Do The importance of a clear job description will be introduced, emphasizing activity and standards.

Day Two

This extended session will focus on the recruiting. Participants will discuss the reasons for continuous and effective recruiting, identify recruiting sources, create a profile for the "ideal candidate," the name gathering process, and identifytechniques to find candidates. The recruiting session will continue with a discussion of "controllable vs. Noncontrollable" recruitingsources, nominator and direct contact recruiting and making the first contact with recruits. The participants will create and practicetheir own nominator presentation. Participants will discuss and analyze the characteristics of an ideal recruiting source, and identify
the advantages and disadvantages of each source. The session will conclude with an exchange of new recruiting ideas.

Manpower and production Planning

Participants will be given information needed to plan and project production and manpower objectives. Manpower projections will be done by analyzing past agency performance. The importance of utilizing and orderly process will be stressed.The session will conclude the introduction of a recruiting action plan that ties the process together.Selection Tools and Concepts Participants will be asked to consider the "right kind of candidate" for their sales office. Selection techniques will be discussed and an effective selection process/flow chart will be reviewed. Precontract orientation and the career presentation will be discussed.
Interviewing Techniques Basic interviewing principles will be stressed, types and purposes of interviewed, and an instructor role play undertake on interviewing do’s and don’ts. Participants will also be involved in a number of selection interviews. Implementation of good interviewing rules will be stressed.

Day Three
Performance Analysis
Participants will be introduced to a process for identifying the reasons for performance discrepancies (e.g., lack of skillor insufficient motivation). The participants will apply the process.

Communications Exercise
Utilizing a communications exercise, the participants discuss effective communication skills and ways to implement them.

Principles of Learning and Training

This session focuses on principles of adult learning. It describes how the principles are used in designing effective training materials. A role play with attendee participation emphasizes the principles.

Anytown Agency Objective Setting

Participants will receive an agency case study to analyze. Working in teams, the participants, will create a three year plan for manpower and production for the case study agency. Participants will use knowledge from previous sessions in this
planning exercise.

Day Four
Developing a Training Program
Participants will create a training program for one of their sales representatives. Using both a sample case study and the process of diagnosis, objective setting, methodology and evaluation, participants will apply this process to their own sales
representative from the preseminar assignment. The result will be an individualized development program.

Motivation and Job performance
This session will help participants motivate those who work for them. A job performance model will be utilized, and participants will discuss the importance of understanding what motivates someone. This will be followed by a workshop and exercise in motivation that illustrates the important role of motivation plays and job performance. Participants will rank their personal "outcomes" or primary motivators. A discussion will follow on the use of the "outcomes process" in determining a sales
representative’s primary motivators. Supervisory implications will be identified.

Anytown Agency Simulation
Participants will run the case study agency for which they set objectives/goals the preceding day. Participants will be
evaluated based upon the results of those objectives and whether or not the management principles that have been discussed
throughout the seminar were applied. Quarterly agency results will be returned for future actions by the participants. A thorough
understanding of the agency operating details will be essential to properly running the agency.

Day Five
Anytown Agency Simulation Debrief

This session will have as its objective an analysis of the "objective setting" and "running of the agency" portions of the agency simulation. Participants will be asked to critique their efforts in this simulation exercise. This session will bring together all the critical elements/ingredients of agency management for participants to reevaluate in their own operations. Controlling As a result of this session, participants will be able to relate control to planning and problem solving. The key purposes of control and elements of controlling will be highlighted. Participants will be asked to share their sales office "control" functions. Discussion on controlling/evaluating results will occur.

Time Management
Participants will discuss and apply time management principles and evaluate their time allocation based on their preseminar assignment. Brainstorming of key "time robbers" and potential solutions to them will be identified. Managers will be encouraged to institute a time control system in their agencies concerning itself with standards, measurements, and evaluation.

The school concludes with summary of how to apply and maximize the techniques and tolls of the program. The objectives of the Management Skills Seminar are reviewed and postseminar projects are assigned. Participants are asked to evaluate the seminar relative to their initial learning objectives. Closing remarks emphasize the implementation of the processes, methods, tools and techniques developed at the seminar.