Our most often requested professional development courses

Better Business Writing

This hands-on writing workshop helps participants hone skills for writing to target business audiences. The interactive teaching style utilized provides direction on generating written communications that more effectively positions the message and the writer. Participants learn to write succinctly to their readers, de-clutter their writing, and convey their points clearly, concisely, and positively.

  • Identify five elements for creating concise, relationship-driven writing to incorporate into existing writing approaches
  • Motivate a reader by developing effective, audience-driven wording, style, and tone
  • Make writing more effective by reducing unnecessary words, phrases, and thought processes that bore or bog down the audience
  • Reduce writing and rewriting time by organizing thoughts effectively before writing
  • Demonstrate improved personal writing habits through individual feedback received on external and internal communications

Essentials of Strategic Planning

No one plans to fail, but many people fail to plan. In these difficult economic times, the Strategic Planning Process is more critical than ever. The newest ideas, most capital and best technology are not enough. An organization must be able to forge a strategic path and execute it to succeed. This hands-on course is designed for professionals at all levels to learn how to apply the Strategic Planning Process. It offers a step-by-step guide to assist you in translating basic concepts and visions into a concrete plan for action to help you reach your objectives.

After completing this program, participants will be able to:

  • Formulate realistic goals using the SWOT Analysis
  • Determine resources needed to achieve the goals
  • Develop an organizational structure to support achievement of the goals
  • Create the strategy
  • Develop an evaluation and monitoring process
  • Gain commitment to the planning process before, during, and after the process

Communication Skills for Career Success

Verbal communication is uniquely human, but we aren't born with excellent skills. They must be developed. Come explore and learn the basics of interpersonal communication, along with strategies for building, repairing and enhancing working relationships. Come learn simple, effective communication techniques and develop the skills you need in both your professional and social lives.

  • Assess their current style of communication and influence, and use these results to shape an action plan to address current communication problems at work.
  • Use active listening skills in the workplace
  • Appropriately give and receive feedback
  • Use assertive communication techniques that respect their rights and those of their co-workers.

Communication Skills with DiSC©

Communication is more than talking and listening. Genuine communication requires a deep understanding of another person's perspective. But when you take into consideration all of our biases, behavioral idiosyncrasies, unspoken emotions, and personal agendas, this can seem almost impossible to achieve. This course uses a behavioral assessment called DiSC© to help people understand each other on a more fundamental level. This program helps participants develop specific communication strategies that build a culture of trust and collaboration.

  • Understand the DiSC© model of human behavior and develop an appreciation for personal differences
  • Evaluate their unique DiSC© assessment to understand how their behavior is interpreted by others
  • Gain an understanding for why their direct reports, peers and boss act the way they do
  • Recognize the distinct styles of communication that are effective and ineffective with each style
  • Develop specific communication strategies that build a culture of trust and collaboration

Essentials of Coaching for Managers

Supervisors and managers are responsible for the effective utilization of organizational resources in accomplishing their goals. The most valuable resource is the supervisor's direct reports who perform various tasks utilizing their skills, education and experience. However, most employees are not able to automatically complete tasks in the manner required just because their boss made the assignment. Managers often need to provide direction and assistance as a coach. Coaching is the application of specific skills to sustain and improve the performance of employees. Coaching is a developmental process through a series of one-on-one meetings that maximizes employees' skills and motivation and solidifies the manager's leadership role. It is the process of helping someone apply their skills, knowledge and abilities in meaningful ways to be more productive.

  • Define coaching and its distinguishing characteristics from traditional supervision/performance management
  • Apply a five-step coaching model designed to increase coaching effectiveness
  • Identify skill gaps based on results of a coaching competencies assessment
  • Conduct a coaching session using the GROW model
  • Monitor progress and provide on-going support
  • Develop and utilize a coaching action plan for current needs

Essentials of Conflict Management

Conflict management is the practice of identifying and handling conflict in a sensible, equitable, and efficient manner. While conflict is inevitable in the workplace, the way conflict is managed can distinguish good workplaces from great workplaces. Participants will learn to analyze conflict to understand the issues and emotions involved. Then, they will learn to resolve conflict using a proven 4-step method. This course allows participants to explore their personal conflict management style and develop skills to manage conflict more effectively.

  • Manage conflict by analyzing their attitudes towards conflict
  • Identify their preferred style of conflict management
  • Leverage conflict management styles for more effective resolutions
  • Analyze conflict in order to develop an effective resolution strategy
  • Manage emotions in conflict to deal with the issues of conflict
  • Resolve conflict using a proven four-step method

Essentials of Motivation

Some of the most pressing problems managers struggle within the workplace today are things like:

  1. Doing more, better, with less
  2. Pressure to perform
  3. Promotions and big bonuses not readily available to recognize talent
  4. People resisting change
  5. Increasing turnover
  6. Longer work hours

These events have an adverse effect on the manager and associate worker population. And, as a result, motivation in the workplace may not be terribly high. And when people lack motivation, performance and commitment also suffer. A lot of time, money and energy are spent trying to deal with this issue of motivation and, yet, nothing seems to work. Companies continue to invest in and implement expensive reward and incentive programs with little or no appreciable change in performance. Managers wrestle with this on a regular basis with limited success. This workshop will focus on the no-nonsense, specific "how-to's" of motivation and provide the managers with specific skills they need to really connect with the people they lead and support. Managers will be given practical, real-world tools that work and that can be easily and immediately applied in the workplace.

  • Use specific skills and tools to positively influence their associates' motivational levels
  • Identify the steps a manager takes in diagnosing and responding to employee motivational problems
  • Create and implement an action plan for a motivational problem faced back-on-the-job

Executive Presence for the Non-Executive

Executive Presence is the quality of an individual that projects confidence and competence. It draws on many factors, including how people carry themselves and how they communicate and interact with others. This engaging seminar will explore attributes that contribute to Executive Presence and common "fatal flaws" that detract from it. Participants will receive personalized feedback on their communication, meeting, and presentation styles, using assessments and video-taped exercises. Participants will leave this program with a prioritized Action Plan to make changes that enhance professional relationships and career aspirations.

  • Choose appropriate clothing based on an event, meeting, or culture
  • Carry themselves in a way that projects confidence and openness
  • Conduct themselves and their work in an intentional and thoughtful manner
  • Engage in conversations that are purposeful
  • Use active listening techniques
  • Identify various communication styles and learn adaptability skills
  • Engage in conversations that are useful for all participants
  • Create and implement a plan to be effective in meetings
  • Craft and deliver an engaging speech

Grammar for Professionals

This fast-paced course highlights the fine points of grammar that lead to more effective business communications. Lessons include tips on how to avoid common mistakes in spelling, word choices, punctuation and sentence structure. Participants will complete a series of written exercises that promote mastery of the material and use relevant business examples to demonstrate ways to write with precision and style.

  • Create succinct, grammatically accurate documents
  • Identify and use the best word choices
  • Construct dynamic, grammatically correct sentences
  • Implement 10 e-mail etiquette tips
  • Write with confidence and clarity

Presentation Skills

It is often stated that public speaking is the greatest fear of most individuals, even ahead of the fear of dying. However, the overwhelming majority of people who share this fear have never confronted it and learned the basics of public speaking. Both managers and individual contributors often find themselves in situations that require presenting to executives, peers, customers and other organizational stakeholders. The lack of presentation skills can derail a management career or create a poor professional image. As a result of completing this course, participants will learn how to manage their fear of presenting and learn solid skills to correctly analyze their audience, determine presentation objectives, choose the correct speech format to apply in the given situation and deliver a solid presentation. Participants’ presentations will be videotaped which has been proven to be the best learning tool available for developing presentation skills.

  • Identify the typical fears of public speaking and learn to manage them
  • Create a model to identify audience needs and the presentation objectives
  • Identify the key elements of successful presentations
  • Create and deliver effective impromptu, informative and persuasive presentations
  • Execute multiple strategies for the most common presentation challenges

Project Management

Increasingly, project management skills have become an important tool of business success for most managers and individual contributors. Either informally or formally, most of us are managing one or more projects on a regular basis. This course provides a high level overview of key project management concepts and offers specific tools and techniques that are both practical and easily applicable. The course highlights common project management missteps and provides recommendations on how to avoid them. Interactive in nature, the course uses a case-based project simulation to reinforce key concepts and encourage participants to gain real experience with recommended techniques.

  • Review common project management pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • Learn five key phases of the project management process
  • Learn how to position a project for success through thorough project initiation practices
  • Practice Work Breakdown Structure Development
  • Learn procedures for estimating project time and cost components
  • Develop techniques for effective teaming, communication and resource management
  • Incorporate risk analysis and change management into project planning
  • Identify best practices for encouraging positive team dynamics
  • Explore techniques for rescuing failed projects
  • Develop a personalized action plan designed to optimize participants’ project management effectiveness

Time Management

Employees at all organizational levels must learn how to work effectively and efficiently so that strategic and tactical goals are achieved. Participants will learn how to identify priorities, plan and organize their time and energy and become more proficient at solving problems. In addition, participants will develop an individualized action plan to support their new found skills in the workplace and to maintain an increased level of productivity and personal satisfaction.

  • Identify your current time management problems and issues
  • Develop a working definition of time management
  • Gain control of your time by learning how to plan, schedule and prioritize your time
  • Analyze your time logs and identify current areas of change
  • Identify techniques and solutions to the biggest time wasters
  • Develop an action plan to apply in the future