Workshop Information

Administrative Excellence

Facilitators: Michael Iannini

Date: 5 - 6 December, 2019

Venue: Meeting Room 1-3, Cyberport, Hong Kong

Over-Arching Goal: For participants to leave with the tools and confidence to communicate more effectively, both interculturally and in writing, as well as to coordinate multiple priorities and problem-solve effectively.

Target Audience: Executive and Personal Assistants, Receptionists and other relevant administrative staff working in HR, Finance and Marketing Departments.

School management, leadership and their respective teams rely extensively on their administrative staff to communicate effectively on behalf of the school and be the first point of contact for teachers, parents and suppliers.   International Schools present a challenging work environment for our administrative staff, many of which have never attended such a school nor have had to manage several competing priorities.

This two-day workshop will give your Administrative Staff the opportunity to be exposed to communication and time management skills to empower them to work independently. More importantly, they will gain the skills to become a stronger first line of defense against the innumerable distractions that slow our teams down. Participants will engage in practical activities and be given tools and templates applicable to their daily jobs.

Led by Michael Iannini—one of Greater China’s foremost leadership and strategy consultants for international schools—the instruction provided will leave attendees with tools and strategies to:

  • Overcome barriers to being understood and understanding others.
  • Communicate effectively in a multi-cultural work environment.
  • Use questioning techniques to ensure a mutual understanding.
  • Define, communicate, act and resolve Problems.
  • Identify, communicate and coordinate multiple priorities.
  • PDAC Method of Writing Emails and Proof Reading.


Michael Iannini

Michael is an Affiliated CIS Consultant, specializing in Governance, Strategy, Leadership and Organizational Development. He is also contracted by ACAMIS to coordinate and facilitate Professional Development opportunities for its members.

Michael’s journey in education began 23 years ago as a research assistant at the Arizona State University Child Development Laboratory, where he studied mixed age playgroups and conducted studies of how children retain and recall information.  Before moving to Asia in 1999, Michael consulted with the Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona State Government on how to best serve children with special learning requirements.  Collaboration, consensus building and navigating complicated organizational hierarchies were the skills Michael developed during this period and the experience that he reflects on when consulting with schools that want to improve collaboration across the school and focus all staff, academic and non-academic, on serving the best interests of their students.

Since moving to China in 1999, Michael was first a teacher and then left the education field to start up and grow two successful information technology businesses.   One of Michael’s startups was in India, which helped him to learn to reflect on his successes in China and adapt them to the Indian market place.  During these years Michael learned how to satisfy the needs of a diverse group of stakeholders, develop cross-cultural leadership and communication skills, as well as continue his studies in Building Effective Teams and Strategic Planning.

Michael returned to the education field in 2008 and began to work with a number of Not-for-Profit Organizations, International and Chinese Bilingual schools to develop curriculum, train teachers, devise parent engagement strategies and consult leadership on staff capacity building strategies, which has included a long and mutually beneficial relationship with ACAMIS and its network of schools.  This period of Michael’s life allowed him to gain greater insight into Adult Learning Pedagogies and begin consulting organizations on Board Governance.

Michael’s facilitation experience is a result of his evaluating and training the teams in each organization he has served as well as his passion for education and continual learning.   He currently resides in Hong Kong with his wife, an international school teacher, and their two children.

2 Day Agenda

Day 1           
Time                  Activity Purpose
8:30-8:30 Key Communication Skills To understand how communication is perceived and the common barriers to being understood. Activities will demonstrate the effects of both verbal and non-verbal communication.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:15 Intercultural Communication To develop awareness of the communication preferences and styles of other cultures, as well as practice effective communication interculturally.
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Problem Solving Develop essential questioning skills to ensure a problem is completely understood and the expectations of all stakeholders.
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-4:30 Dealing with Difficult People Understand how to apply Day 1 communication tools with 5 types of difficult personalities. Role-play and communication activities will be used to demonstrate practical application of Day 1 tools and strategies.



Day 2
Time Activity Purpose
8:10-8:30 Managing Multiple Priorities Learn to reduce distractions and prioritze tasks based on strategies popularized by Stephen Covey. Role play communicating your priorities so as to influence the expectations of others and mitigate potential conflict.
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-12:15 Event Planning Role Play Utilize communication skills from Day 1 and time management skills from Day 2 to coordinate an event with multiple stakeholders.
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Effective Writing: KISS Keep – It – Short – Simple: Participants will be instructed on how to write clearly and concisely, ensuring a positive, yet assertive tone.
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-4:30 Effective Emails Participants will learn and demonstrate how to write emails using PDAC (Purpose – Details – Action – Close)



3000 HKD / participant

* A 10% discount will be given for 4 or more registrations from the same school and a 15% discount will be given for 6 or more registrations from the same school.


  • At the completion of each workshop we send a copy of materials and a summary of the evaluation feedback to Senior Leadership at your school. This is to ensure they are aware of what you learned and to prepare them to support you applying relevant knowledge and tools. Please include their Full Name, Email Address and Job title. We appreciate if you choose not to share this information, in which case the information will be sent to the PD Coordinator and Principal, if we have their contact information.