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Career and Leadership Speaker Series

Introduction

The Career and Leadership Speaker Series will give participants the opportunity to engage with a number of guest speakers to uncover skills, knowledge, and resources that leaders can use to enhance their careers. Topics and guest speakers will vary and depend on the collective needs of the participants and may include but not limited to a combination of the following:

Active Listening

This session provides a basic introduction to the complicated process of human communication. We will examine various factors that interfere with the communication process and distinguish the differences between hearing and listening. Participants will review different listening purposes and examine how today’s electronic communication can enhance and interfere with good communication.

Communicating with Style

Any successful team can be compared to a good orchestra. Individuals who bear little resemblance to each other often need to learn how to harmonize and respect the differences they bring to the team. Their diversity in style and substance, when properly harmonized, makes sweet music. It is rather easy for a conductor to identify who plays what instrument. It is no less important for managers to know the behavioral or work styles of the individuals they manage and how they can best contribute to the organization. Communicating with Style provides a model for equipping managers (and employees they manage) with the tools necessary for building and enhancing productive relationships.

Challenging Conversations

Effective communication is especially important when times get tough—when breakdowns occur, tensions rise, and tempers start to flare. For these conversations, teams with effective tools and methods at their disposal fare much better than those that simply “wing it.” This tool presents several powerful, time-tested tools for managing difficult discussions: “I” Statement Feedback, the S-P-N-S Framework, Functional Subgrouping, and De-escalating Hostility. Each of these tools can be used effectively in the context of a full team or in subgroups or one-on-one interactions.

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

What separates the highly influential leader who makes things happen with the full support of the team from those who struggle to reach goals? What is the secret of effective leadership? The answer is emotional intelligence, the array of personal and social skills that influence success. No matter how great someone’s technical or intellectual ability, the success of an organization’s mission depends upon the emotional and interpersonal skills of the individuals involved. The five skills of emotionally intelligent leaders are key to creating and operating a high-performance organization.

Networking for Success

Successful people know how to build strong networks. A network is an informal support system composed of people who help each other grow personally and professionally. Informal networks are particularly important when dealing with unexpected job challenges or changes. Explore how to build trust, respect and rapport with a network of key people. In addition, participants will learn the do’s and don’ts of networking and how behavioral style can make an impact on building relationships.

Political Savvy

Political savvy is intangible, elusive, and quite often taken for granted—but every organization demands it. Success depends not only on how effective employees are at mastering the expertise of their positions, but how effective they are at mastering key relationships and the political norms of the workplace. Gaining such practical knowledge requires employees to learn the unwritten rules of how things really work and tune in to the unspoken values and culture. The Political Savvy workshop will help participants explore how to build and maintain their political awareness and vitality. What’s more, they will learn how to overcome possible behaviors or perceptions that may weaken a professional image.

Presenting with Power

Effective presentation skills are critical to leadership. The employee who can deliver a strong, well thought-out and convincing presentation is one who will earn the respect of his or her colleagues, superiors, and customers. This skill is key for those seeking to bring their careers to the next level. Those who speak well influence others, and that is the essence of leadership. Organizations need leaders who can make their point with clarity and brevity.


Manage Your Projects Like a Pro!

Learn to think like a Project Manager is a workshop designed for the “non-project manager” who needs to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and insights necessary to bring a project from ideas to completion. Whether serving as a team lead or as a contributing member to a cross functional team, understanding the different phases of project management and how to navigate them are valuable skills for a high performing professional.

Strategic Thinking

Successful leaders put a tremendous value on carving out a meaningful purpose that all employees believe in. The objective is to engage employees in the vision; to unleash their experience toward organizational goals and objectives. This program introduces key principles involving the ability to establish an organizational vision and bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, in order to meet organizational goals in a continuously changing environment. Participants work in small groups, using a strategy formulation and planning framework incorporating appreciative inquiry to identify organizational strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results.

Strengthening Problem-Solving Skills

Problem solving and critical thinking involves evaluating how we are thinking and then choosing a path of investigation that helps us find the best possible answers. We practice problem solving when we carefully and deliberately evaluate our own thought processes used to reach a conclusion. Non-critical thinking leads to the wrong conclusions, going off in the wrong direction, and disagreements due to misinformation. Critical thinking leads to developing the best solutions to problems.

Stress Management

Stress is an unavoidable aspect of being a professional in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Everyone experiences stress to some degree. How we cope with stress significantly impacts the quality of our lives. Understanding how to manage stress is critical to success on the job. This session teaches techniques to help employees manage stress so that their productivity does not suffer. Effective stress management leads to more productive employees. Participants will learn to recognize stress, cope with and turn stress into positive energy.

The Resilience Advantage

The rewriting of old habits and stress responses takes active commitment and being vigilant about rewiring new habits to bring about change. HeartMath® tools help promote a repatterning process. In that process, the unproductive default patterns that underlie unconscious, automatic responses such as becoming impatient or irritated about a situation such as waiting in traffic or long lines are progressively replaced by healthier physiological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral patterns that become the “automatic” or familiar way of being. With a new baseline, we have greater emotional stability, so we handle upsetting or unexpected situations with more ease and patience.

Time Management

Crisis management is expensive and robs people of the personal satisfaction of setting and completing goals and objectives. It cheats people of precious quality time spent with family and friends as emergencies erupt that could have been handled months in advance. Research has demonstrated that most successful people have one thing in common—they are effective time and project managers. This workshop will help participants build a personalized approach for successfully managing time, both on and off the job. In addition, participants will learn how to break out of the procrastination cycle and manage paperwork and interruptions.
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