Five people sitting at a table in a meeting

Link & Learns

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 KU Communication Studies faculty.

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

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

Register for individual sessions using the links below.
 

Upcoming Sessions

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

February 2022: Cultural Agility: Everyday Strategies for Building Productive Working Relationships with Global Colleagues

Thurs., February 17 at 11a.m.

Increased globalization and the growth of multicultural teams has made cultural competence an essential skill for long-term career success. Cultural competence is the ability to understand the values and practices of other cultures and apply that knowledge appropriately in business and personal settings.

In this session we will examine five areas where cultural differences frequently impact relationship-building and problem-solving in multicultural teams:

  1. Expectations about how leaders should behave
  2. How different types of decisions should be made
  3. How trust is built and lost
  4. How conflict is dealt with, or not
  5. How respect demonstrated.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Define the four primary dimensions on which cultures differ
  • Recognize the difference between surface culture vs. deep culture
  • Learn five rules for leading multicultural teams
  • Identify helpful guidelines for giving feedback across cultures
  • Practice recognizing the impact of cultural difference through a case study exercise

Guest Facilitator: Jeannette Terry, CEO, Tercon Partners Inc. and Instructor, Master’s Degree Program in Organizational Communication, KU School of Professional Studies.

Register for the February 2022 webinar

March 2022: Stepping Up: Developing a Community & Industry Engagement Model that Supports Your Company’s Mission and Your Career Goals

Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 11 a.m.

How active and known are you in the local and industry communities you serve through your everyday work? Defining what external community engagement can look like for you can be difficult. And identifying the Return on Investment (ROI) you can use to convince company leaders to invest time and money in these additional activities can be equally challenging.  Whether you are already actively engaged in external activities, or don’t know where to begin, this session can help you take your professional impact to the next level.

So, what exactly is community engagement (CE)? CE can encompass a variety of activities, including business development, civic leadership, board or foundation membership, and/or securing research grants, to name just a few.  

This session will help you develop a personalized, authentic model of external community engagement to meaningfully engage with the industry and community stakeholders your organization serves. These activities can help generate new opportunities for your employer, while also helping you diversify your own professional network and career opportunities.  You will leave the session with a clearer understanding of external community engagement, giving you heightened visibility, bolstering your professional impact and helping to position you for new leadership opportunities.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  1. Why is community engagement important to you and your employer?
  2. Learn about different engagement models and why it is important to track return on investment (ROI)
  3. Learn about the community engagement activities most appropriate for you and begin planning your initial actions steps

Guest Facilitator: Carolyn McKnight, EdD, Director of Community Engagement, KU Edwards Campus

Register for the March 2022 webinar

April 2022: Reconnecting: Strategies for Building More Supportive Relationships at Work

Thurs., April 21 at 11a.m.

Do you have a best friend at work? Do coworkers seek you out to share their concerns and ask for advice? Do you have a teammate you is always able to help you see new possibilities and press forward during your team’s most stressful times? 

Developing mutually-supportive relationships at work is more important than ever. Research shows that leading with compassion and forgiveness builds trust. In this session, we’ll explore practical strategies that can be used to communicate your trust, appreciation for others’ perspectives and constraints can help build more engaged, productive teams.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the five types of emotions we navigate at work
  • Explore the types of team and leadership communication that builds trust between individuals and across teams
  • Discuss how our relationships with coworkers, managers and leaders ultimately affect organizational commitment, workplace culture and employee retention
  • Review the forms of active listening and responses that build trust
  • Discuss four types of social support and examples of each in team communication

Register for the April 2022 webinar

May 2022: Disability and Dignity: Communication that Cultivates Accessible and Inclusive Workplaces for All

Thurs., May 19 at 11:00 a.m.

According to the Department of Labor, there are over 18 million disabled employees in the U.S. workforce. Workplaces increasingly realize the importance of inclusive and supportive cultures for their employees with disabilities, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's good for business.

This session will provide strategies to highlight the ways organizations can support employees with disabilities by discussing various types of disability, interpersonal and organizational implications of supportive workplaces, and actionable communication strategies employees and leaders can take to promote inclusion. When workplaces are accessible, employees bring their best selves to work, and employers get the best contributions from their employees.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Define disability and identify differences in people-first and identify-first language
  • Discuss the ways in which organizational commitments to inclusion and accessibility benefit individual employees and organizations
  • Analyze real world case studies and identify communication strategies relevant to inclusion in the workforce

Guest Facilitators: Greta Underhill and Gaby Byrd are doctoral candidates in the Communication Studies Department at the KU Lawrence Campus. They research disability, communication and workplace inclusion, as well as teach courses in business and interpersonal communication.

Register for the May 2022 webinar

June 2022: Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

Thurs., June 16 at 11:00 a.m.

Workforce demographics are dynamically changing.  The landscape of our workforce now includes higher percentages of employees who are women, racial/ethnic minorities, non-native English speakers, variety of gender and sexual identities, wide range of (dis)abilities, and at least 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. 

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the influence of changing demographics on the workforce
  • Defining commonplace language
  • Start to develop cultural sensitivity in communication
  • Learn strategies recognize and address cultural insensitivity
  • Learn practical strategies to promote inclusiveness in the workplace

Guest Facilitator: Angela Gist-Mackey, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, KU Lawrence Campus

Register for the June 2022 webinar

July 2022: Everyday Strategies for Managing Distraction and Communication Overload in Turbulent Times

Thurs., July 21 at 11:00 a.m.

Technology was intended to help us “balance” or “integrate” our personal and professional lives, but for many of us, it has become something that can – at least at times – be distracting and even overwhelming. From workplace social media like Slack and Teams, to the various online apps that constantly ping us with notifications to log on and check out the latest new posts, it can difficult to tune out. Additionally, in the workplace we can feel real and perceived pressure to respond immediately to various requests at all hours. So, how can we manage these distractions and help ensure our productivity?

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Discuss 7 dimensions of communication overload
  • [Additional learning objectives will be posted online via Zoom registration link]

Register for the July 2022 webinar

August 2022: Everyday Negotiation: From Pushing Back to Pay Raises and Promotions

Thurs., August 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Negotiation is a strategic communication skill that can help you foster success and well-being in the workplace. Failure to negotiate on your own behalf can leave you overworked, underpaid, and undervalued in your occupational life. However, skilled negotiators are empowered to leverage their social, cultural, and economic capital in ways that lead to long-term investment in well-being, success, and satisfaction.

Participants in this session will learn strategies and best practices for using communication to advocate for themselves at work. Learn how to identify opportunities for negotiation, foster dialogue that cultivates win-win outcomes, and navigate power dynamics in social interactions.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand how to strategically use communication to negotiate
  • Learn how to use negotiation to advocate for yourself
  • Identify ways to recognize opportunities to negotiate
  • Learn best practices for starting, navigating, and closing negotiations

Guest Facilitator: Angela Gist-Mackey, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, KU Lawrence Campus

Register for the August 2022 webinar

September 2022: “She’s Nice -- and Very Dependable”: Overcoming Gender Biases & Reframing the Way We Talk about Women at Work

Thurs., September 15 at 11:00 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.

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

  • Define key terms related to gender bias and discrimination
  • Define the four types of bias women face in the workplace based on factors including job role, race, and family status
  • Identify gendered differences in language used to describe men’s and women’s performance and potential in letters of recommendation, performance evaluations, and everyday workplace negotiations
  • Discuss research findings about the financial and innovation-related benefits gender diversity creates for teams and organizations
  • Highlight communication practices and policies that can help women minimize bias and discrimination – and proactively support the inclusion and advancement of other women

Register for the September 2022 webinar

October 2022: Beyond “Boomers” & “Millennials” – Recognizing the Workplace-Specific Generations that Really Shape Your Organization’s Culture

Thurs., Oct. 20 at 11:00 a.m.

Description: If you're ready for a fresh take on the challenges and opportunities of nurturing a generationally-diverse workplace, this session is for you!

We’ll focus on exploring the interaction between age-based generations and *organization-specific "generations," including workplace tenure cohort and personal life-stage factors (i.e, new college grads in their 20's compared to a mid-career, early 40's employees).

We'll also highlight the professional pitfalls of self-stereotyping (i.e., “I’m having a senior moment” or, “I know that's another one of my crazy Millennial ideas!”), as well as how to be an ally for building age-diverse teams and career development practices.

And finally, we'll highlight why it's important for all of us to think beyond age-based workplace stereotypes and instead create structures that help us fully realize the untapped benefits -- for us as individuals and the long-term success of the business -- of a fully engaged and curious generationally-diverse workforce.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify four different categories of generations in any workplace (age/birth year cohort is only one!)
  • Explain why thinking about the role of organization-specific “generations” like tenure difference can help generate understanding and avoid conflict
  • Discuss mini-case studies related to common workplace generation factors
  • Discuss what you and your organization can do to more effectively tap into the potential of cross-generational collaboration (and the personal benefits of cross-generational workplace friendships)

Register for the October 2022 webinar

November 2022: Managing Up: How to Secure the Boss’ Buy-In for Your Big Ideas

Thurs., November 17 at 11:00 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:

  • Identify the ways making a request or suggestion to your boss is different than communication with peers or customers
  • Define what a stakeholder is and identify what your boss’ “stake” in your concern or suggestion as a strategy for piquing their interest
  • Apply an easy-to-use process for planning the content of an upward communication
  • Identify what you want your boss to do as a result of your communication
  • Review editing tips for tailoring you’re the formatting of your upward message to help you achieve your intended goal

Register for the November 2022 webinar

December 2022: Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

Thurs., December 8 at 11a.m.

How much time do you spend reading and responding to emails every day? According to a 2019 study by Adobe, the average person spends over three hours of each day checking their work email (and another two hour a day checking personal email!).

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.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Review the psychology of email senders and receivers
  • Identify common email pet-peeves – and the common root of these frustrations
  • How to write action-oriented subject lines
  • Identify strategies for crafting content appropriate for your specific recipients
  • Decide when and whom to :cc on a particular email
  • Apply formatting strategies that will help trigger quicker replies
  • Quickly edit your email content and structure to ensure the most concise and appropriate message

Register for the December 2022 webinar

 

Workplace Communication Insight Series

Reconnecting: Strategies for Building More Supportive, Responsive Workplace Cultures in Turbulent Times

Watch "Reconnecting: Strategies in Turbulent Times" recording
 

When the Personal and Professional Collide: Communication Skills for the New Era of Extreme Remote Work

This year, many of us rapidly transitioned to full-time remote work in the blink of an eye, some with no previous experience doing so. Additionally, many of us have young children and other family members also at home full-time as we try to balance the pressures of remote work...and yet others face the reverse challenge -- living alone and being completely isolated from teammates, friends and family.

On top of this, we might also be working for managers or leaders who struggle with how to effectively manage without micromanaging (or, we may be afraid to admit that we’re struggling because we are one of those managers who has never received training in managing the productivity and needs of a remote team).

The combination of these different factors – on top of the general pandemic-related uncertainty and stress related to helping those close to us stay safe and healthy – means that "working from home" just got much more stressful.

In this interactive session, we’ll unpack strategies for managing the tensions that bubble up for us in this current form of extreme remote work.

Watch Workplace Culture Summit recording

 

From “Complaints” to Commitment: Tapping into the Power of Employee Dissent

Part of our daily work as team leads, managers and leaders involves receiving ideas, feedback and the dreaded "constructive criticism" from direct reports and peers. Yet, while we continue to tell our teams we have an "open door" policy and encourage people to "speak up" if they have a great idea or see something wrong, the demands on our time can make it really easy to dismiss these dissenting perspectives as simply employees "whining and complaining" (sound familiar?). 

This session will blend research and practice to help you question your own deeply held assumptions about employee dissent, while helping you build and practice skills to more positively engage with dissent, providing a new skillset for boosting your team's engagement, productivity and creativity.

Watch From "Complaints" to Commitment video

Link and Learn Schedule

Questions?

Angie Pastorkek, Ph.D.
Program Manager and Faculty
913-897-8665
apastorek@ku.edu

Archive of Recordings

January, New Year, New You: Strategies for Setting Boundaries & Avoiding Burnout

Thurs., January 20 at 11a.m.

Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with an overwhelming amount of project tasks, individual requests for help/input, and the daily demands of navigating everyday conflict at work? You are not alone.

In this session, we’ll identify different types of role strain, as well as conversational strategies you can use with peers and managers to help you reduce the hidden forms of work that zap your energy and productivity, so that you can begin to recharge and focus that energy on doing the work you find most meaningful.

Watch Video

January: When the Personal and Professional Collide: Navigating the Tensions of Extreme Remote/Virtual Work

Thurs., Jan. 16 at 11 a.m.

In 2020, many of our workplaces transitioned to full-time remote work in the blink of an eye. As a result, many of us continue to face challenges related to balancing overlapping personal, professional and family pressures -- while also adapting to new technologies and team communication expectations.

On top of that, we may have been brand new to working and/or managing remotely, or had colleagues who were adapting on the fly to this new way of working – leading to unacknowledged, ongoing tensions and conflicts, as we all work to manage expectations and our professional responsibilities.

As a result of this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the root causes of that feeling of overwhelm through the concepts of multicommunicating and communication overload
  • Recognize how to check our assumptions about other’s work-related behaviors
  • Identify our emotional triggers when working remotely, as well as how to effectively support colleagues who might be struggling
  • Discuss strategies for monitoring your team’s productivity without micromanaging
  • Explore the importance of recognizing and accounting teammate’s privacy-related concerns when working remotely

Watch Video

February 2021: The Neuroscience of Trust – Does Your Communication Inspire Trust and Commitment from Others?”

Thurs., February 18 at 11 a.m.

One of the key conclusions reached by Paul Zak while researching the neuroscience of trust is this: Joy at work comes from doing purpose-driven workwith a trusted team of colleagues. Trust-building is a competency and, fortunately, it is something that you, your team, your organization and your friends can get better at.

 In this session we will start off with the subject of interpersonal trust- defined as a mutual confidence that neither party will intentionally exploit the other’s vulnerabilities. Key communication behaviors that build and erode trust in interpersonal relationships will be presented and applied. Then a five-step model for restoring interpersonal trust when lost will be presented.

Next, we will focus on trust in the workplace including the vital role that communication transparency plays in a leader’s ability to inspire trust and commitment from others. Finally, we will look at the challenges of establishing and maintaining trust on remote teams and how to address perceived “trust violations”.

Guest Facilitator: Jeannette Terry, CEO TerconPartners Inc., M.A., Communication, University of Kansas.

Watch Video

March 2021: The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility: Thriving Organizations, Great Results

Thurs., March 18 at 11 a.m.

This webinar will explore a new model of leadership, one rooted not in financial criteria or business expansion, but rather in leader humility and commitment to affirming the dignity of employees and other stakeholders. During such uncertain and historic times, this new model of leadership provides a new, much-needed pathway for business, community, and civic leaders to understand how to take their organizations to the next level. Attendees will learn why humility is a core component to organizational success -- and how existing C-suite leaders have employed this model in their own leadership, helping them achieve success to in their industries despite often insurmountable odds.

Special guest facilitator and author of the new book, The Extraordinary Power of Leader Humility (2020) --Marilyn Gist, PhD, Professor Emerita and former director of the Executive MBA program at Seattle University

Watch Video

April 2021: Dealing with Difficult People: Strategies for Building Successful Workplace Relationships

Thurs., April 15 at 11 a.m.

In both personal and professional relationships, most of us encounter “difficult” people with whom we must interact from time to time. Their behavior may include chronic complaining, or blame-placing, or hyper defensiveness or claiming “victimhood.”

As a result of the frustration of having to deal with these behaviors, we may resort to unproductive strategies when communication with them including: 1) Trying to convince the other person that we’re right and they’re wrong, or 2.) getting mired down in arguing about the problem instead of focusing on potential solutions, or 3.) compromising our own needs in order to avoid another uncomfortable conversation. Whether it is your boss, someone who reports to you, or your partner, it’s important to acknowledge that difficult conversations are part of everyone’s world.

Self-awareness is essential for being able to communicate successfully with difficult people. In this session we will explore the topic of Emotional Intelligence, among others, and learn practical strategies for taking care of yourself during difficult conversations, managing the emotions of others, and increasing the odds of achieving a mutually acceptable outcome, even in the most challenging situations.

Guest Facilitator: Jeannette Terry, CEO TerconPartners Inc., M.A. Communication Studies, KU

 

May 2021: When “Good People” Make Biased Decisions: Recognizing How Implicit Bias Shows Up in Everyday Workplace Decision-Making

Thurs., May 20 at 11 a.m.

In an effort to help make their organizations more inclusive, many organizations continue to offer implicit bias training. While well-intentioned, these sessions typically fail to identify and explore the ways implicit bias shows up in everyday workplace conversations and decision-making norms.

In this session, we’ll explore how power dynamics specific to the workplace can make it difficult to recognize how “the way we do things around here” is preventing more inclusive decision-making – and necessary change in organizational practices, policies and priorities.

Watch Video

June 2021: Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

Workforce demographics are dynamically changing.  The landscape of our workforce now includes higher percentages of employees who are women, racial/ethnic minorities, non-native English speakers, variety of gender and sexual identities, wide range of (dis)abilities, and at least 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.

Watch Video


August 2021: Workplace Civility: Building a Workplace of Respect and Dignity for All

Workplace civility seems to be rare in what feels like an increasingly cynical time. However, everyone deserves to experience a workplace where they are respected and treated with dignity. The negative consequences of incivility in the workplace can be extremely detrimental to individual health and well-being, as well as organizational performance and success.

Learn how to recognize incivility and stop it from spiraling in your organization. This session will teach attendees how to cultivate a culture where civility, respect, and dignity become the norm. Participants will also be able to identify civil and respectful communication strategies they can employ in their own occupation.

Watch Workplace civility video
 

September 2021: Beyond “Generational Differences” in the Workplace - Why Building & Engaging a Generationally Diverse Workforce is a Competitive Advantage

If you're ready for a fresh take on the challenges and opportunities of nurturing a generationally-diverse workplace, this session is for you!

We’ll focus on exploring the interaction between age-based generations and *organization-specific "generations," including workplace tenure cohort and personal life-stage factors (i.e, new college grads in their 20's compared to a mid-career, early 40's employees).

We'll also highlight the professional pitfalls of self-stereotyping (i.e., “I’m having a senior moment” or, “I know that's another one of my crazy Millennial ideas!”), as well as how to be an ally for building age-diverse teams and career development practices.

And finally, we'll highlight why it's important for all of us to think beyond age-based workplace stereotypes and instead create workplace structures that help us fully realize the untapped benefits -- for us as individuals and the long-term success of the business -- of a fully engaged and curious generationally-diverse workforce.

Watch Generational Differences video

 

October 2021: Speaking Up: How to be an Effective Ally in the Workplace

What does it mean to be an ally for marginalized individuals or groups in your workplace? Should you speak up at the moment when something problematic is said? What if these comments are coming from your boss, an “untouchable” colleague, or a particularly valued customer? Do you wait for the “right time”? What’s the “right thing” to say – and to whom..and when?

In this session, we’ll define what it means to be an ally – and what meaningful, action-oriented allyship looks like. We’ll also discuss common issues specific to workplace power dynamics that can cause people to be hesitant to speak up when they see minoritized colleagues experience problematic communication and exclusion.

Finally, we’ll discuss a 4-step model of allyship that can help you feel confident and courageous in not only speaking up in the moment, but pushing your organization for meaningful, long-lasting change in workplace culture, policies, communication practices and decision-making.

Watch the Speaking Up video

 

 

November 2021: Managing Up: How to Secure the Boss’ Buy-In for Your Big Ideas

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.

 

December 2021: Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

How much time do you spend reading and responding to emails every day? According to a 2019 study by Adobe, the average person spends over three hours of each day checking their work email (and another two hours a day checking personal email!).

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 Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

January: Your 2020 Personal Career Success Squad: Finding Allies, Coaches, Mentors & Sponsors

Thurs., Jan. 16 at 11am

Do you feel like you are “working hard” and “doing all the right things,” yet finding yourself struggling to get the career-making project assignments and/or promotions you’re yearning for? You are not alone. While we are taught that we will be rewarded for “working hard,” and “playing by the rules,” there is another (hidden) factor that is crucial to our career success.

The secret sauce to career growth – and personal fulfillment with work – is the presence of your own team of influential, experienced people who can guide you access the hidden pathways to success – and avoid the quicksand pits that can derail your opportunities. In this session, we’ll talk about the four types of people you need on YOUR team in order to access the opportunities that can help make 2020 the year that gets you where you want to go.

Watch January 2020 Video

 

February 2020: Everyday Negotiation: From Pushing Back to Pay Raises and Promotions

Thurs., Feb. 20 at 11am

Negotiation is a strategic communication skill that can help you foster success and well-being in the workplace. Failure to negotiate on your own behalf can leave you overworked, underpaid, and undervalued in your occupational life. However, skilled negotiators are empowered to leverage their social, cultural, and economic capital in ways that lead to long-term investment in well-being, success, and satisfaction.

Participants in this session will learn strategies and best practices for using communication to advocate for themselves at work. Learn how to identify opportunities for negotiation, foster dialogue that cultivates win-win outcomes, and navigate power dynamics in social interactions. 

Watch February 2020 Video

 

March 2020: Everyday Strategies for Facilitating A Culture of Employee Engagement

Thurs., March 19 at 11am

Are you concerned by the number of teammates or employees you see as disengaged? Does your organization struggle to retain high performing talent? Is frustration with your team members' performance reducing your own effectiveness?

You are not alone. According to the most recent Gallup workplace report, 67% of U.S. employees are not engaged at work. This level of disengagement costs employers billions of dollars in lost productivity. Fortunately, strategies exist that can improve employee engagement and increase your company’s bottom-line. 

Watch March 2020 Video

 

May 2020: Adaptive Leadership in the Workplace: Practical Skills for Making Meaningful Change

Thurs., May 21 at 11am

Adaptive leadership does not reside is a person’s status, title, or authority. It is a process that anyone can engage in and refers to mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive. When systems and organizations thrive, a strong sense of commitment, satisfaction, and adaptability is reflected among its members. 

Participants in this session will be introduced to the adaptive leadership framework and learn skills that can be used to help make progress on adaptive challenges in the workplace. Some of these skills include learning how to diagnose the situation and intervene skillfully. 

Watch May 2020 Video

 

June 2020: Connection or Chaos: Getting Real about the Benefits & Drawbacks of Our Social Media Use

Thurs., June 18 at 11am

We live in an always connected, always on culture. But, what benefits -- and drawbacks - does it really bring us to always be available to others?

When does our social media use stop being beneficial and become problematic? In this session, we'll will try to understand factors that lead to our habitual social media use, and how we can transform those habits to become more present and more engaged in our personal and professional relationships.

Watch June 2020 Video

 

July 2020: "Sounds Good!": Unpacking the Hidden Decision-Making Biases that Hurt Team Outcomes

Thurs., July 16 at 11am

The problem with bias is that everyone else has it, and we don’t (right?). In this session, we'll identify and explore common cognitive biases that plague team and organizational decision making processes. Biases covered will include: confirmation bias, the fundamental attribution error, bias blind spot, the Abilene paradox, and the rewards folly. 

Watch July 2020 Video

 

August 2020: Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

Thurs., Aug. 20 at 11am

Workforce demographics are dynamically changing.  The landscape of our workforce now includes higher percentages of employees who are women, racial/ethnic minorities, non-native English speakers, variety of gender and sexual identities, wide range of (dis)abilities, and at least 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. 

Watch August 2020 Video

 

September 2020: Overwhelmed & Exhausted: Strategies for Setting Boundaries & Avoiding Burnout an “Always On” Workplace

Thurs., Sept. 17 at 11am

Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with an overwhelming amount of project tasks, individual requests for help/input, and the daily demands of navigating everyday conflict at work? You are not alone. 

In this session, we’ll identify different types of role strain, as well as conversational strategies you can use with peers and managers to help you reduce the hidden forms of work that zap your energy and productivity, so that you can begin to recharge and focus that energy on doing the work you find most meaningful.

Watch September 2020 Video

 

October 2020: Thinking Beyond “Generational Differences” in the Workplace - Why Building & Engaging a Generationally-Diverse Workforce is a Competitive Advantage

Friday, Oct. 16 at 11am

If you're ready for a fresh take on the challenges and opportunities of nurturing a generationally-diverse workplace, this session is for you!

We’ll focus on exploring the interaction between age-based generations and *organization-specific "generations," including workplace tenure cohort and personal life-stage factors (i.e, new college grads in their 20's compared to a mid-career, early 40's employees).

We'll also highlight the professional pitfalls of self-stereotyping (i.e., “I’m having a senior moment” or, “I know that's another one of my crazy Millennial ideas!”), as well as how to be an ally for building age-diverse teams and career development practices. 

Finally, we'll highlight why it's important for all of us to think beyond age-based workplace stereotypes and instead create structures that help us fully realize the untapped benefits -- for us as individuals and the long-term success of the business -- of a fully engaged and curious generationally-diverse workforce.

Watch October 2020 Video

 

November 2020: Bad Apples or Bad Barrels?: Navigating Everyday Ethics Issues in the Workplace

Thurs., Nov. 19 at 11am

In this session, we'll explore that beyond our own strongly-held moral values - and our company's carefully crafted values -- our everyday work life is filled with ethical choices that fall outside those lines. And these decisions are further complicated by the power dynamics embedded in our coworker relationships, management practices, and workplace policies/HR practices (for example, what do you do when your boss is the one behaving unethically?)

Specifically, we'll discuss how to recognize issues of ethics in our everyday work lives, and discuss some strategies for both navigating the pitfalls of speaking up, and steps organizations can take to build a culture committed to living its ethical values. We’ll also discuss what it takes for an organization with leadership committed to ethical values to grapple with what it means to support employees' expressions of dissent and avoid retaliation against those with the courage to "speak up." 

Watch November 2020 Video

 

December 2020: My Way or the Highway: Embracing and Navigating Workplace Conflicts 

Thurs., Dec. 10 at 11am

Workplace conflict is an inevitable part of organizational and professional life. Learning to embrace it and channel conflict positively can radically alter a professional’s ability to thrive occupationally, manage workplace relationships and expectations, and better solve work-related problems. 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 December 2020 Video

February: Writing Emails that Save Time and Get Results

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 workday – 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. 

 

March: Navigating the Hidden Dynamics of Workplace Culture

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. 

 

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

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.

 

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

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. 

 

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

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. 

 

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

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. 

 

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

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. 

 

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

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

 

October: Communicating for Inclusion: Constructing Workplaces that Welcome Difference

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. 

 

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

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 have a diverse workforce, but to engage and include that 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 workplace in particular.

 

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

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Managing Change Through Communication Strategy: Stakeholders, Methods and Message