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Professional Development Institute: Leadership Development

Professional Development

About this Course

Being a supervisor or leader usually means your schedule fluctuates often.  It may be hard to schedule time to attend live professional development events.  The Leadership Training site was designed with this in mind.  Courses may be completed whenever and wherever you want, provided you have Internet access and a computer. This training site includes topics for supervisors, leaders, and those who wish to be supervisors or leaders.

registeration buttonTo register, complete the Leadership Training Online form. Because we have to add participants manually, access will not be automatic. Once you have been added to the course, you will be sent  a confirmation email and instructions for accessing the course. If you miss the confirmation, you can always check in Blackboard to see if the course shows up


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  • Academic Leadership (several titles, see below)
  • Adapting Your Leadership Style
  • Business Etiquette
  • Coaching Conversations
  • Coaching for Development
  • Developing your Direct Reports
  • Employee Engagement
  • Human Resources: Behavioral Interviews: An Evidence-Based Approach to Hiring the Right Candidate
  • Human Resources: Onboarding
  • Increasing your Emotional Intelligence
  • Leadership 101
  • Leading through Change
  • Learning to Manage
  • Managing Off-site Employees
  • Meetings
  • Mental Models
  • Navigating Difficult Conversations
  • Organizational Trust
  • Strategic Planning
  • Super Manager
  • Systems Thinking
  • Taking Control of Conflict
  • Talk like a Leader
  • Toughest Supervisor Challenges
  • Why We Struggle with Tough Decisions
  • Women and Leadership

Academic Leadership

The following modules are included under the Academic Leadership link.

  • How Can I Analyze Department Data and Move Towards Closing the Assessment Loop?
  • How Can I Build a Mindset for Assessment in an Academic Department?
  • How Can I Better Manage Difficult Conversations with Faculty?
  • How Can I Evaluate Online Teaching if I have Taught Online?
  • How Can I Identify and Overcome Obstacles to Change?
  • How Can I Use Peer Mentoring to Improve Online Teaching?
  • How Do I Monitor and Support Online Faculty?
  • How Should I Coach and Underperforming Colleague?
  • How Should I Manage Conflict Within My Department?
  • What Do Adjunct Faculty Need to Be Successful in the Online Classroom?

Leadership Development Module Descriptions

Academic Leadership

  • How Can I Analyze Department Data and Move Towards Closing the Assessment Loop?
  • How Can I Build a Mindset for Assessment in an Academic Department?
  • How Can I Better Manage Difficult Conversations with Faculty?
  • How Can I Evaluate Online Teaching if I have Taught Online?
  • How Can I Identify and Overcome Obstacles to Change?
  • How Can I Use Peer Mentoring to Improve Online Teaching?
  • How Do I Monitor and Support Online Faculty?
  • How Should I Coach and Underperforming Colleague?
  • How Should I Manage Conflict Within My Department?
  • What Do Adjunct Faculty Need to Be Successful in the Online Classroom?

Adapting Your Leadership Style

Adapting Your Leadership Style: The Four Behavior Styles and How to Make Them Work for You will assess your personal leadership style and apply and practice tools for building connections with employees, running productive meetings and enhancing employee motivation.

Coaching Conversations

Coaching skills can be applied to a variety of situations. The most common situations involve the "big picture” view of identifying a satisfying life path and the narrower view of improving performance in specific areas. This course reviews some of those basic situations and then expands upon them to give you a chance to practice applying the skills in different situations. The focus of this course is on establishing the context of a situation, then allowing you a chance to practice or evaluate a portion of a coaching session.

Coaching for Development

To remain competitive, companies need to retain valuable employees, address problems that interfere with productivity, and help employees achieve their full potential. But the traditional “command and control” method of managing employees has been shown to be less effective than involving people in their own development—and the best way to do this is to guide them through improvement.

The ability to coach helps you increase your employees’ commitment and level of engagement, and helps you avoid and handle problems that interfere with working relationships and productivity. Coaching others can also make it easier for you to achieve your own goals and make you more valuable to your organization.

Developing your Direct Reports

Delegation can seem like it takes more time and effort than simply doing the work yourself. However, this program will give you the tools to make delegation work so that you, your employees, and your organization will all benefit.

Employee Engagement

After you have completed this course, you will be able to recognize the difference between performance management and development coaching. You will know how to implement a strengths-based approach to development. You will be prepared to provide your employees with the tools to assess their strengths and development needs. You will be more skilled at conducting a positive development discussion and identifying a variety of paths to development. Last, but not least, you will know how to create an effective individual development plan.

Human Resources: Behavioral Interviews: An Evidence-Based Approach to Hiring the Right Candidate

The basic premise of behavioral interviewing is that past performance is the best indicator of future performance. Therefore, by asking candidates questions that relate to specific past experiences, the interviewer(s) will gain the most useful information to evaluate the candidate’s potential performance in the position they are interviewing for. In fact, behavioral interviews nearly triple the correlation with job success compared to traditional interviews.

Human Resources: Onboarding

Introductions to a company’s policies, procedures, and other formal rules have always been a necessary first step for new employees. This was called an orientation. Today, however, that process has evolved significantly. So has its name. Onboarding takes employees further. Unlike an orientation, it is an integration process that not only provides the company information new hires need, but also ensures that they become actively involved as quickly as possible, jumpstarting their contributions to productivity. Onboarding walks you through a model with four overlapping elements: Resources, Rules, Relationships, and Roles.

Increasing your Emotional Intelligence

After you have completed this course, you will be able to recognize how to develop your level of emotional intelligence. You will know how to identify negative consequences of unmanaged emotions on your personal effectiveness. You will be able to describe the importance of emotional intelligence to building good relationships. You will be more skilled at identifying techniques to increase your empathy and social skills. You will know how to name techniques to achieve greater self-awareness, self-control, and self-motivation. Last, but not least, you will be able to list the ways that emotional intelligence can be applied in the workplace to enhance employee relationships and increase productivity.

Leadership 101

After you have completed this course, you will be able to identify key characteristics of leaders. You will know how to build trust and confidence with employees, and you will avoid behaviors that undermine leadership. You will be more skilled at promoting teamwork and esprit de corps, and you will be prepared to act decisively. Last, but not least, you will be able to demonstrate leadership in a crisis.

Leading through Change

Change is here to stay. That’s probably no secret to you. For years we’ve all heard that the “only constant is change.” Change is present in every aspect of your life and has become the norm in all organizations. The frequency and pace at which leaders must ask employees to change course or adapt to new systems and initiatives continues to accelerate.

The word “crisis” in the Chinese language is composed of two characters: one represents danger and the other represents opportunity. Change has the same negative and positive connotation. It can be antagonistic, undesirable, and perilous; or it can be pleasant, welcomed, and exciting. It is a leader’s job to identify the positive prospects and communicate the opportunity that change imposes upon the organization.

Learning to Manage

Making the transition from doing work yourself to managing others can feel overwhelming. Learning to Manage is designed to help minimize the stress and walk you through the process of management by targeting five specific areas. You will learn to successfully handle staff, projects, performance, conflict, and even yourself as you evaluate and continuously improve your effectiveness as a manager.

No doubt, taking on a managerial role for the first time can be hard. You may be supervising former colleagues or getting to know an entirely new organization and set of employees. You will feel pressure from below and above. So how do you set yourself up for success? It can be helpful to think about effective and ineffective managers you have encountered in your career.

Managing Off-site Employees

By improving your ability to manage offsite employees, you will empower yourself in many ways. You will increase your ability to recruit, hire, and retain the right employees for a job. You will help ensure that your team is cohesive and productive. You will know how to avoid costly, time-consuming problems and help your team meet its goals. As Dave Ross, cofounder of workplace solutions firm The Vaya Group, explains, skillful managers of remote employees “can build camaraderie, create a more positive work environment, and encourage stronger business performance regardless of distance.”


Meetings have a bad reputation. Poorly run meetings take too long, involve too many people, and never seem to result in any concrete action. Despite this, meetings are necessary and can be extremely effective. Meetings that are planned and facilitated well give participants a sense of accomplishment and a sense that their time was well spent. This program will show you how to make every meeting efficient and effective.

Mental Models

Each one of us has a perception of reality about how the world works—a mental model that provides understanding, guides thinking, and directs decision making. Built from everyday experiences, outside influences, and rewards such as money and success, mental models can be both beneficial and detrimental to success. This program will show you how to examine your mental models to separate fact from opinion, clarify assumptions, and reveal hidden beliefs. Using interactive exercises and activities, this learning experience illustrates the need to tune into one’s surroundings, look for opportunities, and approach work with an open mind.

Navigating Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations are inevitable in any workplace. Those conversations can create unhappiness, stress, and tension. They can also impair and even destroy relationships. When handled poorly, they are likely to result in serious problems that interfere with productivity and leave everyone involved feeling frustrated and dissatisfied.

You can’t avoid these kinds of conversations, but you can learn how to handle them more effectively. Developing the ability to handle these challenges will pay off in terms of reduced stress, increased confidence, improved relationships, increased trust, fewer problems, better teamwork, higher productivity, and better career opportunities.

Organizational Trust

Not only is trust essential for an organization, it is essential for individuals, especially those in leadership or managerial positions, because employees will respect and more readily accept the ideas of those they trust. In this program, we’ll learn how trust improves relationships at all levels, and we’ll learn how to exemplify the characteristics and behaviors of a trustworthy person. We will look at how your team can embody those traits and ultimately reduce the stress that often results from low levels of trust, improve your reputation, and increase team members’ productivity, innovation, and ability to work effectively with others both within and outside of the organization.

Strategic Planning

Have you ever heard of this happening? Top-level management spends months writing a strategic plan, publishes it in an attractive binder, distributes it, and then what happens? It is often placed on a bookshelf and never looked at again—or at least not until the next strategic planning session. This course will give you information and tools to help ensure that your organization’s strategic plan is implemented successfully.

Super Manager

Managers directly affect their employees’ productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. Managers influence employees’ satisfaction at work, for better or worse. This program will help you become a super manager—someone who everyone wants to work for.

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is a proactive problem-solving approach that examines the relationships between various organizational functions and how they impact each other. What makes systems thinking so powerful is that it enables you to predict the consequences—intended and unintended—of a potential change, eliminate silo thinking, adjust perspectives to see different viewpoints, and remain focused on the big picture. By understanding and implementing the systems thinking process, you will be able to help your organization find optimal solutions to complex challenges, improve innovation, and increase productivity.

Taking Control of Conflict

When you think of your job, conflict probably—hopefully—isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But have you ever found yourself complaining about having to work with a colleague who is particularly stubborn or bossy? Or perhaps replaying an encounter with your supervisor that left you feeling frustrated? Most people have been involved in some form of conflict in the workplace, its extent ranging from mild disagreements to explosive standoffs.

In fact, a study by CPP, Inc. found that 85 percent of employees at all levels experience conflict to some degree, and that employees spend a staggering 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict—the equivalent of $359 billion of paid hours in one year. Another study, cited by Psychometrics Canada, found that 76 percent of respondents have seen conflict result in personal insults and attacks, and 81 percent have seen conflict lead to someone leaving the organization.

Talk like a Leader

The average person speaks up to 16,000 words per day. Are your words meaningful or meaningless? A PBS Benchmark study based on the following statements indicates just how much better best-of-the-best organizations compare when it comes to communication: Clearly, the best-of-the-best organizations excel at communicating with their employees. But how do you know which messages are most important for leaders to communicate?

Toughest Supervisor Challenges

Supervising others can be extremely rewarding. But it can also be a big headache when employees don’t do what they’re supposed to, when they fight with each other, or when you have to lay off or terminate people. This program focuses on taking the time to do the right thing in these situations for the long-term success of the organization, the employees, and you.

Why We Struggle with Tough Decisions

According to Dr. Sheena Iyengar, author of The Art of Choosing and one of the world’s experts on choice, a person makes an average of 70 choices per day. Many of these decisions are easy and don’t require any deep thought. But others are difficult, and we struggle with the decision-making process, wondering whether we’ve made the right choice and worrying about the cost of the wrong choice.

In the workplace, some people get stuck overanalyzing all of their choices—they want a spreadsheet packed with data before proceeding with any decision. Others swear by their intuition and have no data to back up how they arrived at a particular decision.

So how can you make a high-impact decision that is effective, practical, and successful? By having a clear objective, gathering and evaluating information in a structured way, avoiding common decision traps, and by using your intuition to confirm or question your decision. This course will enhance your confidence and skill at making—and implementing—tough decisions, allowing you to increase your value to your organization and actively contribute to its success.

Women and Leadership

According to a study by Caliper, women leaders are more persuasive, assertive, and driven to get things done, and they are more willing to take risks than male leaders. In addition, they’re more empathetic and flexible and have stronger interpersonal skills. Furthermore, research by Catalyst found that companies with sustained high representation of women—that is, three or more women board directors in at least four of five years—significantly outperformed those with no women board directors.

The bad news: Companies should be actively recruiting women to be leaders in their organization and participate as board directors, but this is unfortunately not always the case. Obviously, women face a variety of challenges that hinder their desire to reach leadership positions. We will take a look at those challenges, but more importantly, we’ll look at how women can maximize their strengths and build their skills to become effective leaders in any organization.


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