What People Say About Steven Cerri’s Work

“The advantage I have gained working with Steven is that I now get to enjoy both the science and the people interactions.” Mark Bush, IT Specialist


“I think (Steven) is unique. I work with a lot of managers. My father taught at business schools. I met a lot of teachers at business schools. But I have not come across the knowledge Steven has. I think it is unique.” Mark Andrews, software Development Manager, WildPackets, Inc.


“As a group lead without functional management responsibility, I hope to use the course material to guide those working for me to a success oriented positive work environment. As a Work Package Manager on a major program, I hope to use the course material to achieve positive results through better communication. I hope to use the techniques to improve team communication and again, achieve positive morale within the company. The examples used during the course, and the fact that Steve continuously used the process while teaching was most valuable. The reinforcement of the course material through example was the most effective way of getting the point across.” Mark Heinemann, Senior Member of Technical Staff, Mechanical Engineering, Com DEV Canada, Space Systems, “Influencing Without Authority” workshop


“We specifically brought Steven to BATC because of his ability to communicate with our engineering and management staff. When Steven talks to our engineers and scientists he has INSTANT CREDIBILITY because he is an engineer, scientist, and businessman. He has done what he and we are asking our people to do. When he talks about the soft-skills like communication, leadership, and customer service he walks his talk and behaves just like he is training our people to behave. Their behavior changes without even realizing it and without any effort or resistance. Steven has definitely developed a following among our technical staff. They anticipate and sign up for every one of his classes.” Vern Hanson, Training Coordinator (retired), Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.


“I became more and more specialized in my work as I went along… that led me to be so focused on a particular aspect, internally driven to understand more about the technology. I wanted to be the best IT person I could be. As I advanced it became clear that at some point, not only did I want and need to be an expert in my technology, but my customers and colleagues also needed to understand the technology. And my job was to communicate that to them. I began to struggle with the interaction with non-technical co-workers. Also dealing with customers who might not understand technology and communicating the benefits and understanding.
I’d call a customer and my job was to describe my technology and the technology of our product and I felt “How am I going to explain our technology to our customer?” I felt my technology was so cut and dry, right and wrong and yet the people I needed to talk to didn’t work that way. I felt uneasy if I didn’t have the right answer right now.
When I didn’t know what the right answer was, I didn’t feel comfortable about giving an answer… so I was open and answered ‘I don’t know’. I was used to knowing the answer and it was extremely uncomfortable to not have the answer. I loved the science and it wasn’t so much fun dealing with the people.
I was fortunate enough that my company provided Steven’s coaching and classes for me, but if I hand known what the benefits would have been, I would have paid out of my own pocket for Steven’s training and coaching. I’ve been in many technical organizations and one of the pet peeves technical managers have is the need for more soft-skills training for technical people. And by soft I mean not the technical, right and wrong answers that we love. But the other side of our communication style that only helps us. It was a weakness for most technical people to be able to understand where the other person is coming from and understand how you can help them understand the picture you are trying to present to them.
Steven’s experience, coming from a technology background… and realizing this (issue) is almost universal among technologists. The skills you teach are so understandable and the implementation takes work but it works. It’s an ability to leverage your experience.
(Throughout most of my career) I have struggled with my passion for technology and my desire to be around people. I’ve avoided working with people before, because it seemed to get in the way of working on the science. At times they seemed in conflict. Now I recognize that everyone wants to get better. The advantage I’ve gained working with Steven is that I now get to enjoy both the science and the people interactions. My training with Steven has not tempered my attitude towards people. And it has now become one of the more enjoyable parts of my work. Working with my science and working with people have now both become enjoyable parts of my job.”
Mark Bush, IT Specialist


“The feedback I have received on Steven’s coaching sessions has been excellent. The participants feel that the time spent with Steven was highly productive and the results have had a powerful and dramatic impact on their productivity, as well as their sense of professional and personal purpose.” Gail Northrop, Director of Organizational Development, ViewSonic Corporation


“(This workshop) was amazing!
Steven is a fabulous facilitator. He very effectively works with course topics, participant scenarios/tangents.
(I) want to take everything Steven offers.” Alexis Wang, RF Engineering Manager, Ball Aerospace, “Influencing Without Authority” workshop


“Best course I have attended in years.” Tim Mueller, Manager, Lockheed Martin, “Influencing Without Authority” workshop


“Steve has a rare talent, and it was a pleasure to have him share some of it with me.” Brian A. Berg, President, Berg Software Design, Director, IEEE-CNSV

“Steven has been an instructor in the College of Engineering, Technology Management Program (TMP) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA for the past five years beginning in 2003. He has been teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses titled ‘So You Want To Be A Technology Manager’> Originally, almost none of the engineering graduate students wanted to take a ‘management class’> After Steven’ first year in which he utilized his own engineering insights and perspectives tighter with some of the latest theories of management, judgment, and decision-making, students now literally rave about the content and effectiveness with which it is delivered. The most common quote from his feedback evaluations is ‘the most important and best class I have taken at UCSB’. Steven is very, very good.” Professor Gary Hansen, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, Technology Management Programs.


“It’s refreshing to hear someone disagree with some of the … (standard, off-the-shelf)… tools… that are not 100% true 100% of the time. Thanks!” Beth K.


“Steven is very effective. This is my 2nd training with him and I would definitely take another.” Marguerite Ross, DakoCytomation


“If you’re really serious about doing better in your work life in order to get more respect and help to effect good change… then Steven’s coaching and courses are a must.
I was always focused on the facts. It’s red or blue or it weights 3 kgs. What I’ve learned working with you (Steven) the facts are the least important part (in effective communication and influence). And how people feel about (the communicator) can actually color the way the facts are received. It can color how the facts are received. And it’s helped me to see that it’s a very much more complicated process than just facts, which is what I naively assumed to be the truth before.
I found that people want me to provide the right answer but they don’t want me to always ‘be’ or ‘portray myself’ as right. As I’ve become more of a technical expert it’s become more favorable for me and my expertise to ‘fade’ into the background, in some ways.
In my job, as a technical expert, the technical part was expected, it was kind of a given. The technical receded into the background. The interpersonal capabilities become more and more important.
I’ve seen this over and over, now that I’m aware of it. I didn’t see it before Steven pointed it out to me. But now even among my colleagues I can see when the lack of interpersonal skills is holding them back. As they gain more and more experience, more and more is expected of them in the non-technical area. In their ability to communicate, influence, and lead. And it’s really a new way of being in the world.
The only thing I was missing was my people and relational skills. I’ve found that I’ve been successful technically and after a certain point, a certain level, I was no longer being rewarded for that. What’ been missing has been my interpersonal skills. The lack of these people skills was actually closing doors for me. Now that I know how to communicate better, it’s actually opening doors for me.
If you’re really serious of doing better in your work life in order to get more respect and help to effect good change, and you are serious, then Steven’s courses are a must.
Steven has such an insight into the technical environment; he really knows the issues that engineers face, what engineers are going through. He really puts me and other engineers at ease. Steven has a talking for coaching, mentoring, and training.”
Rich Tarde, Internal Technical Consultant, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.


“The material Steven taught seemed like unconventional wisdom to me. I’ve seen a lot of different trainers and training programs, and after more than 10 years, I have yet to find anyone else who uses Steven’s style of teaching, coaching, and mentoring.
Within a year of taking Steven’s class I made a big advancement in my company. I moved up into a lead role. Within a year of taking Steven’s class I was given direct reports. I’ve applied the things I learned in Steven’s classes and coaching and mentoring and it’s worked so well.
I like to grow. It’s like a video game. When I master a certain level, when I get the secret key, the key to get me to the net level, then I’m ready to move on to the next level. And a lot of (Steven’s) coaching, mentoring, and classes have been that key for me.
I seek out Steven’s coaching, mentoring, and courses whenever I want to grow to the next level of my professional performance. I’ll reach a threshold, a limit of my current capability and I’ll want to take the next step up in my capability.
Steven communicates the information in a way that a technologist understands it. Steven gives the information a totally different spin. Other trainers don’t think like engineers think. Other trainers don’t understand the challenges we have (as engineers).
Steven’s techniques tend to be very ‘hands on’ techniques. Engineers tend to be more ‘hands off’. The people I manage using Steven’s techniques are usually thrilled with my communication, influence, and management processes. They are thrilled that there is finally a manager that can stay respectfully involved in their assignments at the right level until they’re comfortable handling it on their own.
When we did that exercise (i.e., Yes/No) a light bulb went off over my head about how to help people learn faster and influence more effectively. It changed my communication and management approach.
I’ve seen a lot of different trainers and training and coaching/mentoring programs, and after more than 10 years, I have yet to find anyone else who uses Steven’s style of teaching.”
Leslie Buchanan, Manager, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation