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Link & Learn

Free One-Hour Professional Development Webinars

Link & Learns are complimentary one-hour sessions where you can gain practical workplace communication strategies, backed up by the latest organizational communication and management research. Sessions are facilitated by faculty of the KU Graduate Certificate in Professional Workplace Communication.

Sessions are hosted online from 11 a.m. to Noon (Central Time) on the Third Thursday of each month.

Sponsored by the Communication Studies Graduate Certificate in Professional Workplace Communication at the KU Edwards Campus.

Upcoming Sessions:

Click on the dates below for more information and to register:

November: Enhancing Your Influence through a Stakeholder-Based Approach to Your Personal Communication Strategy

Thurs., Nov. 15 at 11 a.m.

It has never been more challenging to get the attention of people in your organization whose active support you need to get your ideas implemented - and to advance in your career. In this webinar, we'll help you take a step back to think more strategically about who matters most to a particular project and how to adapt your message content, timing and method to help ensure others' support and advocacy.

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December: Going Beyond Work-Life as Struggle: Creating a Life with Work, Family and Renewal

Thurs., Dec. 13 at 11 a.m. (one week early due to Christmas holiday)

While we struggle to achieve "work-life" balance, we rarely stop to ask if such a goal is even attainable, given the intense demands we all face in handling work and family responsibilities, while trying to make time for volunteer work, hobbies and even some good old-fashioned down-time. In this webinar, we'll talk about the increasing intensity of the work-life struggle, and unearth the source of hidden pressures we all face to do more, more, more.

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January: Always On: Building & Nurturing Your Professional Network Online in 15 Minutes a Day

Thurs., Jan. 17 at 11 a.m.

How much of a network do you have outside of the people you work with in your current job? If you wanted (or had) to look for another job tomorrow, would you have a network of professional contacts that you could reach out to in order to identify quality, relevant opportunities?...

In the hecticness of our daily lives, we often skip networking because it feels unauthentic, because we convince ourselves that we don’t have time, because networking feels like we’re being disloyal to our current employer, or that an unexpected managerial change or layoff “won’t happen to me.”

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February: Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

Thurs. Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.

How much time do you spend reading and responding to emails every day? A 2012 report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that the average person spends 28% of each work day – about two hours every day (650 hours every year!) – navigating email. 

Even more distressing? This is more time than workers spend actually collaborating with colleagues (19%) or researching their job tasks (14%). Sound familiar?...

In this webinar, we will discuss specific strategies for writing emails that will help you and your recipients save time and get more done every day. 

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March:Navigating the Hidden Dynamics of Workplace Culture

Thurs. March 21 at 11 a.m.

Communication creates, maintains, and transforms organizational culture. This session will highlight practical case studies that point to the power of organizational culture. Participants will even critique the ‘dark side’ of organizational culture and its negative effects. Participants of this session will gain a better understanding of the important role communication and organizational culture play in our occupational lives and to appreciate the complexity of organizational culture overall. 

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April: The Ties that Bind: How to Build a Workplace Culture that Generates Organizational Commitment & Employee Engagement

Thurs. April 18 at 11 a.m.

Who do you feel the strongest connection with at work, who feels like “us” at work? Our work group? Coworkers who started the organization around the same time we did? People with the same job responsibilities or professional background? The organization as a whole? 

In this session, we’ll explore our various sources of identification with our work and how this relates to our levels of commitment to our work and our organization? We’ll also explore practical tips for managers, leaders and human resource professionals for helping to affirm employees’ professional identities and feelings of connection to the organization.

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May: Office Humor and Communication:  When “I’m Just Being Funny” Crosses the Line 

Thurs. May 16, 2018 at 11 a.m.

Humor at work can simultaneously create fun and productive workplace cultures, as well as offensive and destructive team dynamics. This session will look at the positive and negative effects of workplace humor. Participants will better understand strategies for constructing healthy workplaces where humor is effective and results in stress relief, creativity, and problem-solving. Best practices for avoiding offensive and destructive types of humor will be reviewed. 

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June: Politics at Work - Navigating Name-calling, Nastiness, and Negativity in Uncivil Times

Thurs. June 20 at 11 a.m.

The current political landscape in the United States seems more negative and uncivil than ever. Negative news, below-the-belt campaign attacks, and social media trolls, among many other behaviors, prompt politicians, academics, and journalists to call for a more civil political environment. Yet there are challenges to building civil political spaces, most notably that partisans tend to disagree about what even counts as incivility.  

This session will begin by overviewing the history of political incivility in the U.S. It will then share research detailing the role of partisanship and power in perceptions of incivility, as well as the effects of negativity on citizens’ engagement with politics. 

Finally, participants will learn about innovative steps institutions are taking to build more civil communities, as well as what individuals can do to overcome partisan biases in their own political lives and workplace conversations. 

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July: “She’s Nice — and Very Dependable”: Overcoming Gender Biases & Reframing the Way We Talk about Women at Work 

Thurs. July 18 at 11 a.m.

According to a 2016 report by Catalyst, women hold only 4% of CEO positions among S&P 500 companies. This, despite countless, well-intentioned workplace initiatives to recruit, retain and promote women into management and leadership positions. 

So, what might be the issue here? In this session, we’ll explore the more prevalent—and often hidden—everyday communication-related biases that can limit women’s voices, visibility and advancement in today’s workplaces. 

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August: From Gossip's Grapevine to the Rumor Mill: Speculation and Communication at Work 

Thurs. Aug. 15 at 11 a.m.

Gossip and rumor are informal aspects of many organizations. While these types of communication are popular, they often have a bad reputation. Learn how gossip and rumor simultaneously create productive and destructive outcomes in most organizations. Participants in this session will learn how to navigate informal communication networks of gossip and rumor in ways that will minimize its destructiveness and maximize its benefits. 

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September: Managing Up: Strategies for Turning Your Boss into Your Advocate 

Thurs. Sept. 19 at 11 a.m.

Our communications with our supervisors may be routine or out-of-the-ordinary. They may be about organizational policies and practices, about what needs to be done and how it could be done, about others and their problems, or about ourselves. Our communications upward are most effective when they demonstrate our awareness of the organization’s needs, as well as our own abilities to think strategically and generate solutions to problems. 

However, workplace pressures, including insufficient time and pressing deadlines, may lead us to dash off a quick email that may not highlight the insights we meant to offer. In this Link & Learn, we’ll consider the value of stopping ourselves for a moment before sending that email and taking a few moments to plan upward communication that is more strategic and effective in earning our boss’ trust, approval and advocacy for our ideas.

As a result of this webinar, you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize the value of stopping and planning an upward communication
  • Identify the action objective of your communication
  • Focus on the person you’re addressing and that person’s context
  • Make it easy for the reader or listener to understand what you want or need

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October: Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

Thurs. October. 17 at 11 a.m. 

Workforce demographics are dynamically changing.  The landscape of our workforce now includes higher percentages of employees who are women, racial/ethnic minorities, and four different age cohorts. These changing demographics require industries and professionals to be globally minded, culturally competent, and inclusive. 

This session will share research on how issues of diversity and inclusiveness impact our workforce, workplace relationships, organizational productivity, and employee satisfaction and dignity. Furthermore, participants will learn strategies about how to communicate across cultural differences in ways that promote inclusive organizational cultures. 

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November: Beyond Generational Stereotypes: Recognizing Workplace Factors that Cause Generational Tensions – and What to Do About It

Thurs. Nov. 21 at 11 a.m.

The workforce is currently more diverse – and in more ways - than ever before. Yet, workplace diversity represents new challenges for organizations also adapting to factors of globalization and technology that are constantly reshaping their marketplace. 

All of these factors mean that workplaces today need not only to havea diverse workforce, but to engage and includethat diversity of voices in everyday decision-making and product development.  For this reason, it’s important for organizations to recognize not just what year an employee was born (i.e, their “generation”), but also recognize their frame of reference about what it takes to work effectively in today’s version of work and their current worklace in particular.

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December: New Year, New You? Practical Tips to Help You Think About the Next Step in Your Career

Th. 12/12 11am-12pm (one week early due to impending holiday)

It’s that time of year, the time when we start thinking about a potential career move. In this session, we’ll surface the mindset issues that tend to hold us back and take some initial steps toward planning a potential career move, either now or in the future. 

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February: New Year, (Re)New You: Strategies for Reconnecting with Your Professional Network Online and In-Person for 2018

What do you do when you are planning to meet someone important - or after you meet someone interesting -  at a networking event? Do you check out their Linked In profile? Ask a trusted colleague what they know about that person? Networking - or cultivating longer-term relationships with individuals in professions and industries relevant to your career - has never been more complex or necessary as it is these days.

Video coming soon

March: Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

How much time do you spend reading and responding to emails every day? In this webinar, we will discuss specific strategies for writing emails that will help you and your recipients save time and get more done every day.

Watch video

April: A New Approach to Preventing Sexual Harassment - How to Build a Culture of Respect, Professionalism and Accountability

Sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are not new to the workplace - but the now widespread awareness about its prevalence across every industry and organizational level is triggering new questions -- and an impetus to build organizational cultures that prevent these behaviors, respect women, and hold perpetrators accountable in meaningful ways.

Watch video

May: Beyond Generational Stereotypes -- Understanding and Engaging with the Desire for Connection and Meaningful Work

The workforce is currently more diverse - and in more ways - than ever before. Yet, diversity also represents new challenges for organizations still adapting to the relatively rapid, ongoing diversification and globalization of the workplace.

Watch video

June: Communicating for Inclusion -- Constructing Welcoming Workplaces that Welcome Difference

Workforce demographics are dynamically changing. The landscape of our workforce now includes higher percentages of women employees, racial/ethnic minorities, and four different age cohorts. This session will share research on how issues of diversity and inclusiveness impact our workforce, workplace relationships, organizational productivity and employee satisfaction and dignity.

Video coming soon

July: Addressing the Evolving Forms of Workplace Conflict Why Can't We All Just Get Along? Recognizing and Navigating Workplace Conflicts

Workplace conflict is an inevitable part of organizational and professional life. This session will address two dominant types of workplace conflicts, five commonplace conflict management strategies, and techniques for breaking a stalemate -- among other communication skills.

Watch video

August: When Smart Phones Cause Dumb Problems -- The Role of Communication Technologies and Social Media in Creating & Amplifying Workplace Conflict

The old boundaries between our personal and professional lives have been obliterated by the "always on" nature of smart phones, texting, and social media. These technologies offer both benefits and drawbacks to our workplace relationships.

Video coming soon

September: "But I Can't Rat Out My Buddy - or My Boss": Handling Everyday Ethical Conundrums in the Workplace

Have you ever been asked to do something unethical? Seen a coworker do something unethical but felt hesitant to speak up? In this session, we'll explore the concept of workplace ethics and discuss why it can be more challenging than we often realize to "speak up" and do the "right" thing.

Video coming soon

October: When the Professional Feels Personal -- Understanding the Relationship Between Emotions and Work

"Gee, why are you getting so emotional?" or "Don't take it so personally!" Have you been on the receiving end of these types of exclamations and questions? This webinar will review the emotional aspects of work and the constraints placed on the expression of emotion at work, as well as highlight how emotions generated by our work impact us and our relationship with others.

Video coming soon


Negotiating Hierarchy: Recognizing and Managing Ageism, Classism and Rankism in the Workplace

Watch video

Going Beyond Work-Life as Struggle: Creating a Life with Work, Family and Renewal

Watch video

"I Never Thought of That!" - Leveraging the Benefits of Generational Diversity Across Teams and Organizations

Watch video

Incivility and Bullying in the Workplace: Prevention and Response Strategies for Targets, Bystanders & Managers

Watch video

We Used to Be Friends: Communication Strategies for New Team Leads and Managers 

Asking the Right Questions: Powerful Skills for Building Relationships, Framing Problems, and Advancing Your Career

Politics and Professionalism: Navigating the Hidden Dynamics of Workplace Culture


Why Didn't You Say Something?: Uncovering the Workplace Power Dynamics that Silence Employees

Beyond the Performance Review: Giving and Receiving Meaningful, Effective Feedback

Managing Change Through Communication Strategy: Stakeholders, Methods and Message


Effectively Integrating New Hires into Teams & Organizations

Handling Emotion in the Workplace: Acknowledging Others, Caring for Yourself

Beyond the “Open Door Policy:” Engaging Your People with Follower- Centered Leadership Communication

Everyday Communication Skills for Navigating Workplace Relationships and Conflicts

Making Meetings Meaningful

Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

Quantity or Quality? Crafting a Personal Networking Strategy that Works for You

Communicating for Inclusion Across Boundaries of Place and Culture

Learn More — Request Info

Angie Pastorkek, Ph.D.
Program Manager and Faculty