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Professional Development Workshops

For more information on how to bring these programs to your personnel or how Virginia Tech can customize other topics for your organization, please contact Liz Fillman, assistant director.

The Art of Communication

In this workshop, participants study the art of communication and learn how their own skills can be continually refined and mastered. The meaning of dialogue is introduced and practiced to improve the participant's ability to communicate during tough conversations. Participants learn how to use active listening skills to enhance their relationships. Additional topics include how to facilitate an effective meeting, delivering a powerful presentation and overcoming anxiety in public speaking.

4 hours; includes handouts, training.

The Art of Influence

Use your untapped potential to effectively work with others. The art of influence course provides strategies to gain commitment, enhance trust and cooperation, foster collaboration, and deal with challenging behaviors. The six major influence strategies are introduced and practiced in this interactive session. 

Best Practices in Supply Chain Management

Organizations that optimize Supply Chain Management Processes function at optimal capacity, maximizing customer value and creating a sustainable competitive advantage. This workshop covers planning, sourcing, operations, delivery, metrics, continuous improvement and IT support systems. The sessions are highly interactive and include hands-on demonstrations. The program can be a half day session or be expanded with a powerful simulation to a full day session to further integrate the learning and practice application. The optional Simulation Session provides engaging, competitive, hands-on experience in a team setting to demonstrate the principles and best practices of the previous workshop. Collaboration, date driven decision making, tradeoffs between quality and quantity team dynamics and organizational design are woven into the experience.  

Building and Leading High Performing Teams

An important leadership competency for organizations large and small is the ability to build and lead high performing teams. What are the characteristics of high performing teams? What is the role of an effective team leader? These questions are discussed as well as understanding how teams work, the importance of workplace communication, and how to apply new knowledge and skills back at the the workplace. 

Understanding and Developing Corporate Culture 

Your organizational culture is what you do and say, the way you behave, and treat each other, your products, customers, and community. You can either build the corporate culture intentionally, or let the culture evolve on its own. In this session, participants learn to recognize corporate culture, the five steps of developing corporate culture and how to live and lead in a workplace you admire. Includes an organizational culture assessment.

Creative & Critical Thinking

Improve your business decision making with this session on Creative and Critical thinking! Participants learn what creativity is, things creative people do differently, the four perspectives of the creative mindset, and creative idea generation techniques; then discover why critical thinking is also important, the skill areas of critical thinking, and how to balance both approaches to create a workplace that is truly innovative..

Diversity in the Workplace

Many organizations understand the importance of attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent. Recognizing and valuing differences improves communication, encourages employee engagement, and increases the strength of the team. This course provides an academic framework for understanding and embracing diversity, covering how diversity issues impact daily interactions, fostering an awareness of personal beliefs and assumptions that are conscious or unconscious, and defining and exploring diversity, acceptance, and inclusion.  

Emotional Intelligence

Understanding and developing your emotional intelligence is a key indicator of human performance and development potential. In ths mini-workshop participants learn about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) based on the elements of self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, decision making, and stress management skills and identify opportunities for personal development. 

Generations in the Workplace

This is the first time in history five different generations are working side by side, including our newest workforce generation, Gen Z (the Homelanders). While this can be celebrated for its welcome diversity, it can also pose challenges for both engaging employees as well as collaborating with other colleagues. Learn the definers, behaviors, motivators and communication preferences of each generation and how we can bridge gaps in the workplace to create an environment of inclusivity, optimum interactions, and success..

4 hours; includes handouts, training.

Ideation - A Fresh Approach to Creativity

Innovation is one of the key factors in growth. We tend to do too much working and not enough thinking. Whether you want to improve the services your company offers or actually reinvent yourself, this session is illuminating. You'll learn what an ideation session is and isn't and learn tips to incorporate ideation in the workplace.. 

Introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI)

Through this session, participants learn to recognize their strengths and least preferred preferences and appreciate the strengths and diversity of other Types. Includes a deeper discussion of "style-flexing" through knowing your audience and calling on least preferred styles to strengthen communication. Includes personalized assessments, handouts, interactive training, and facilitation by a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner..

4 hours; includes personalized assessments, handouts, training.

Leading and Managing Change

In this introspective workshop, participants learn how to recognize the three phases of transition and how to navigate their way through each phase. Learning how to distinguish a change from a transition, participants then explore their own experiences to develop strategies for managing themselves and others in the future. 

Managing Conflict

Using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), this workshop defines the five different conflict modes -competing, accommodating, avoiding, compromising and collaborating- and teaches the participant how to use each mode effectively, depending on the situation. The participant's most preferred and least preferred conflict resolution modes are identified and strategies for utilizing the other modes are explored. This topic pairs well with the introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

4 hours; includes handouts, training.

Managing Through People

Employees who have direct reports will enjoy this course on Managing through People which includes goal setting, aligning objectives for susccess, coaching, delegating, and change management. Action plan setting for both high and low performers is highlighted and recent participants have said, "Personally, my leadership attributes will be put deeper into effect as a result of this session" and "I have more tools to manage people and delegate more".

4 hours; includes handouts, training

Project Management Essentials

For the employee who manages projects in the workplace, this session goes over the basics of the project managment process, introduces terminology, and covers project management concepts including the planning process, work breakdown structure, cost components, and monitoring and management of project status. 

Succession Planning - Hiring and Retaining for a Strong Future

From resignations to retirements, businesses and corporations must be deliberate about succession planning. Change happens fast. The first decade out of college, Generation X changed jobs an average of two times. Millenials change jobs an average of four times, and today's graduates don't stop there, they even change industries. In this course, participants will engage in learning strategies that can be implemented to create an organization that can withstand employee change and reman strong., including how to identify and focus on critical postions.

Train the Trainer (Teaching the Adult Learner)

This course supports the content expert in exploring how to create an interactive, informational and impactful training session. Participants learn the philosophy of adult learning and the importance of creating a participant-centered learning environment; understanding their own learning styles and how it impacts training. Additional topics include reviewing the six steps for designing a successful training session, how to use powerful visual aids, and tips for powerful presentations.

6 hours; includes handouts, training.