VIG Course Catalog

Becoming Conflict Competent

Topic
Conflict Management
Half-day Course
Overview
Conflict is a fact of life in any organization, but it need not undermine your mission. Understanding the nature of conflict in the workplace has distinct benefits: 1) gaining confidenceas a manager 2) developing a repertoire of appropriate responses and 3) avoiding or mitigating the harmful effects of conflict. As a more effective mediator, you can help improve your organization’s morale, productivity and chances for success. The class will focus on the constructive and destructive effects of conflict in the workplace, hot buttons, and techniques to diffuse problems before they magnify. You will analyze the results of your Conflict Dynamics Profile and apply the knowledge you gain to real-world conflict scenarios.   
Outcomes
analyze the impact of conflict in the workplace
evaluate your responses to past conflict situations
assess your personal conflict management style
apply a new behavioral conflict model in role-play situations
increase your options for addressing conflict in your workplace
Target Audience
Human resources staff, supervisors, team leaders, and managers

Behavioral Interviewing

Topic
Behavioral Interviewing
Full-day Course
Overview
Have trouble finding the right person for the job? Depend too much on intuition to assess candidates? Using behavioral-based interviewing may be the solution. Behavioral-based interviewing was developed on the premise that past behavior and performance predicts future behavior and performance. By asking specifically designed questions, you can discover a candidate's real skills, strengths, and weaknesses. This workshop will help anyone involved in making hiring decisions to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities required for a position; develop a structured interview plan; and develop a set of behavioral based questions based on specific guidelines.
Outcomes
define behavioral interviewing
master a three–step process for preparing and conducting a successful behavioral interview session
look at knowledge, skills, and abilities and examine how they relate to behavioral interviewing
write behavioral interview questions for a potential interview
recognize “things to avoid” when conducting a behavioral interview session
Target Audience
Supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors

Business Writing Basics

Topic
Communication
Half-day Course
Overview
The ability to write a good business letter is as important as dressing appropriately for work: both reflect who you are. In fact, your business contacts may know you only through your written correspondence. A clear, concise business letter reflects well on you and your organization. Good business writing communicates exactly what you mean to say in a way that the reader will understand; a well-written letter, memo, or email will help you get the results you want. In this course, you will learn 8 basic steps to writing effectively, including organizing your thoughts, analyzing your audience, and enlivening your message using simple, clear language.   
Outcomes
assess your audience
determine and prioritize your key points
use clear, concise language rather than technical jargon and out–of–date words and phrases
strengthen your writing weaknesses
Target Audience
Front line, supervisory, management—anyone who prepares business communication. All employees.

Coaching & Mentoring

Topic
Coaching & Mentoring
Full-day Course
Overview
Coaching and mentoring are two of a supervisor’s most important responsibilities. Your ability to master both sets of skills affects the degree to which your employees can improve their performance and develop their potential. An effective coach knows how to communicate expectations of performance to employees, provide continuous feedback, assist in removing obstacles, and ensure that appropriate resources are available. Much like coaches of sports teams, supervisors must keep their work teams focused on shared goals for success.   This class will help you develop your abilities as coach and mentor. You will learn how to use strategies to enable your employees to perform their jobs at a level that benefits the individual employee, team, and organization.
Outcomes
define coaching and mentoring
explore and compare components of coaching and mentoring
develop skills through practice exercises and group activities
Target Audience
Supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors

Conflict Management

Topic
Conflict Management
Full-day Course
Overview
Heavy workloads, differing opinions, the need for accuracy, deadlines—these inevitable stresses present challenges for today's busy manager. The effective manager can conquer controversy by seeking mutually acceptable outcomes for difficult situations. Learn negotiation techniques for conflict resolution and discover strategies for improving communication and building effective work teams and addressing conflicts proactively. This class provides participants an opportunity to assess their own conflict dynamics style and use that to develop an action plan for constructive conflict behavior. 
Outcomes
recognize the difference between effective and ineffective conflict strategies
identify your normal reactions to conflict and determine their effectiveness
identify skills needed to successfully resolve conflicts at work and at home
develop an action plan for developing constructive conflict behavior and reducing the behaviors that create negative consequences
learn a simple process for resolving conflicts
apply what you know about conflict to resolving issues with difficult people
Target Audience
All Employees

Continuous Improvement: Using a Model that Changed a Nation

Topic
Continuous Improvement
Half-day Course
Overview
Japan’s highest industrial award for quality and productivity is named for an American, W. Edwards Deming. This honor was repayment to Deming, a statistical analyst, for helping Japan become the world’s foremost automotive and electronic manufacturer. How did he do it? He introduced a system of continuous process improvement that brought about unprecedented efficiency and quality control. This class will introduce you to Deming’s improvement model and demonstrate how you can apply its principles in your own organization.   
Outcomes
examine the four phases of PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act)
identify tools and techniques found within each phase
practice using the PDSA model
determine how and when to use the model back in the work environment to improve processes at all levels within your organization
Target Audience
All Employees

Critical Conversations: We Have to Talk

Topic
Communication
Full-day Course
Overview
Most of us approach critical conversations with trepidation and sweaty palms. Understandably, we try to avoid these exchanges, but often to our disadvantage. They involve tough issues, varying opinions, strong emotions, and high stakes. Learning to converse skillfully enables us to talk with honesty and authenticity so that we can be heard—and can hear others. Better relationships, enhanced productivity, new ideas, and high quality decisions are just a few of the results. Whether the conversation is with a colleague, employee, or boss, the necessary framework and skills are the same to reduce misunderstandings and minimize conflict. Armed with your new skills, you will enter into your next critical conversation with confidence and dry palms. 
Outcomes
describe how avoiding a critical conversation may be keeping you from reaching your goals
identify skills necessary to prepare and engage in a difficult conversation with anyone, no matter their position, power or authority
share strong opinions without shutting down a contrary view
conduct (through class practice) a critical conversation you’d like to have back on the job
Target Audience
Employees at all levels

Dealing with Differences: Generation Gap

Topic
Difficult Behavior
Half-day Course
Overview
In today’s workplace it is common to have several generations—as many as four— working together. It’s no longer unusual for a 30 something to supervise a 50 something. It seems like the work world has turned upside down. Generational differences exist on many levels, from etiquette, language, and dress to values, skills, and work styles. This diversity can be a source of conflict or of cooperation, depending how it’s managed.   
Outcomes
identify key characteristics of the 4 generations at work—Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials
distinguish the different sets of expectations they have about their careers and employers
recognize factors that motivate each generation
develop approaches to improve communication among the generations
use techniques to turn generational differences into positives
Target Audience
Employees at any level who interact with a diverse staff that includes multiple workforce generations.

Dealing with Difficult Behaviors using Customer Service Techniques

Topic
Difficult Behavior
Full-day Course
Overview
The ability to respond to difficult people appropriately is a useful tool at work and at home. In this workshop, participants will examine their own style of managing conflict, and they will practice strategies for dealing effectively with difficult people while staying calm and in control. Participants will also learn strategies for taking responsibility for making relationships work.   
Outcomes
evaluate their own conflict management style
implement a 3-step plan for reaching agreements
use effective communication skills to defuse difficult situations
respond to challenging situations with appropriate empathy and listening skills
build stronger relationships
handle conflict with increased confidence
Target Audience
All Employees

Don’t Sweat the Spotlight—Improving Your Presentation Skills

Topic
Presentation Skills
Full-day Course
Multi-day Course
Overview
For many adults, speaking in front of a group is something they avoid at all costs. Yet being able to present a report, budget, or recommendation is an important skill and one that sets those who do it well apart from those who do not. Day one of this workshop provides guidelines for creating an effective, professional presentation and using visual aids appropriately. The second day focuses on delivery tips with time for practice and one-on-one coaching. 
Outcomes
identify common mistakes speakers make and learn how to avoid them
analyze their audience
determine how much information is “enough”
create openings that grab the audience’s attention and closings that finish strong
manage nervous behaviors
use the right visual aids at the right times
facilitate a Q&A session
Target Audience
All Employees
Class size is limited to 6-8 participants.

Effective Grant Writing: Keys to Unlocking the Vault

Topic
Grant Writing
Full-day Course
Overview
As public resources decline, government and nonprofit managers should know how to secure grant funding to augment budgets. A successful proposal must be well written, conform to the grantor’s guidelines, and make a compelling case regarding your organization’s needs and ability to deliver and evaluate thoroughly programs. This one-day workshop will provide a detailed introduction to the grant writing process, covering the eight parts of a model grant proposal: 1) history of your organization, 2) problem/need statement, 3) objectives, 4) process, 5) evaluation plan, 6) future funding plans, 7) budget, and 8) project timeline.   
Outcomes
locate funding sources for your project
evaluate grant application guidelines
determine grantor’s chief interest area (i.e., cost, creativity, accountability) and build a strategy around that idea
craft your proposal so that it has the greatest chance of receiving funding
analyze a sample grant proposal
think as an entrepreneur
Target Audience
Anyone responsible for locating and acquiring grant funds.

Emotional Intelligence

Topic
Emotional Intelligence
Half-day Course
Full-day Course
Overview
According to a leading outplacement firm, 75% of people whose careers derailed faltered for reasons related to their emotional competence. In a study of 62 CEO’s in large companies, the longer the company was run by a management team that didn’t get along, the poorer that company’s market return was. Emotional intelligence, the ability to manage and use one’s emotions and relate effectively to others, is a key requirement for success at work and in our personal lives. Fortunately, it can be learned. This workshop helps participants appreciate their emotional intelligence and identify ways they can raise their EQ. 
Outcomes
understand the concept of multiple intelligences.
identify why emotional intelligence is important in today’s workplace.
learn the various components of emotional intelligence.
learn ways to increase your EQ
Target Audience
The workshop can be tailored for any audience.
The one-day workshop uses the EQ Map, an assessment tool. Cost is $30.00 per person, with quantity discounts. The assessment is recommended but not mandatory.

Engaging Employees: from Compliance to Commitment

Topic
Supervisory Skills
Full-day Course
Overview
Annual Gallup polls since 2000 have found that 71% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their jobs. Not surprisingly, this employee disengagement costs the US a lot—about $300 billion per year—in lost productivity. Today, the pressure is on us, as leaders, to reverse this trend and create an environment that fosters motivation and commitment. This workshop will examine fundamental principles of and catalysts for engaging and motivating employees. You can move your employees from disengagement to reengagement by supporting their progress and making their work meaningful. Even if you have attended a workshop on motivation before, it is time to become acquainted with the newest research. 
Outcomes
identify key drivers in engagement
examine some of the latest research about the link between engagement and high performance
create a more autonomous environment for your employees
replace “if-then” rewards with “now that” rewards
lead and engage different generations
develop engagement strategies and an action plan to put to work back on the job
Target Audience
Supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors

Ethics, Decision Making & Critical Thinking

Topic
Ethics
Full-day Course
Overview
We all make thousands of decisions daily. While most are simple, and without consequences, everything we say and do represents a choice we have made either consciously or unconsciously. This session is about making better quality decisions—decisions which are well thought- out, as well as lawful, ethical and values-based. In this session, you will examine the emotional, physical and mental factors that impact your decision-making including why rational decision making isn’t really rational, the value of hindsight and why you should listen to your mother. You will practice models of decision-making that guide you through the steps and outline the relevant questions to ask to find your way through difficult issues. You will also use tools to identify short and long-term consequences of your decisions and identify strategies for recovering from wrong decisions.   
Outcomes
increase awareness of the decision making processes used by you and others
improve the quality of information you receive from others
improve the quality of the decisions you make
Target Audience
All Employees

Facilitation Skills for Managers & Team Leaders

Topic
Facilitation
Full-day Course
Overview
There are many times when we don’t have the opportunity/resources available to have both a meeting leader and a trained facilitator. This course offers managers a tool kit of facilitation skills to use during those meetings when the manager has to wear “both hats.”   
Outcomes
create a results-based meeting plan and design an agenda to accomplish it
deal effectively with difficult situations/people using practiced intervention skills
implement a variety of facilitation tools
identify adult learning techniques
document meeting decisions and next steps
Target Audience
Anyone leads meetings and deals with group dynamics.

Genius or Genius Maker: Adapting Your Leadership Style to Boost Employee Performance

Topic
Leadership
Full-day Course
Overview
As managers, we often get comfortable with a style of leadership that is generally effective for us—but is it always right for our employees? Are we too hands on when we should be stepping back? If we are under or over supervising, we might actually be draining the capability and intelligence from a team or individual. One of the most essential skills of an effective manager is to learn to “multiply” team intelligence and capabilities by fostering employee independence. In this workshop, we will look closely at what it takes to tap into our employees’ potential, and what we may unwittingly be doing to block employee growth and accountability. 
Outcomes
determine if you are a “multiplier” or “diminisher” and compare the effects of each approach on your employees
identify four levels of professional development and what employees need from their managers to succeed at each level
study four key leadership styles and practice applying them in diverse workplace scenarios
create a plan you can use back on the job to “multiply” intelligence and enhance performance
review and practice communication skills essential to conducting those difficult performance conversations
Target Audience
Supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors

Introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ®

Topic
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Full-day Course
Overview
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ® has been used successfully by organizations and businesses for more than 50 years. Its validity and reliability has been tested again and again, and individuals and teams continue to find it one of the most effective tools for better understanding behaviors in the workplace. The instrument is also useful in helping individuals work better with others, manage their own work and make good career choices. This interactive workshop introduces participants to type and a better understanding of the behavior of others as well as their own behavior. 
Outcomes
Discuss the 8 personality differences
Appreciate the strengths of their own preferences
Identify areas that they may need to further develop
Gain a deeper appreciation and awareness of personality differences
Discuss practical applications of MBTI® theory in leadership, team building, career planning, time management and problem solving
Target Audience
All Employees

Is that your Final Answer? Going from Good to Great Decisions

Topic
Decision Making
Full-day Course
Overview
In your role as leader or manager, you make hundreds of decisions a day. You have to rely on others for details and opinions so that you can make an informed decision. This workshop helps leaders and managers make more creative, more informed, and more thoughtful decisions. You will also learn how to coach others to make more effective decisions. It outlines ways to improve the quality of information you receive from others and presents strategies for helping others improve their decision-making processes.   
Outcomes
increase awareness of the decision making processes used by you and others
improve the quality of information you receive from others
improve the quality of the decisions you make
coach others to enhance their decision making abilities
Target Audience
Upper level managers

It’s Showtime! Delivering Effective Presentations

Topic
Presentation Skills
Full-day Course
Overview
Effective presentations take planning and practice— whether there are 2, 20, or 200 people in your audience. In order to sell your ideas or convey your message, you have to grab your listeners’ attention and hold it. This workshop will prepare you to speak in public with confidence. You’ll learn how to define your audience, determine your key objective, structure the content, create a strong beginning and end, maintain your focus, and use visual aids. You’ll be able to practice a variety of techniques during the session by preparing and delivering a short presentation. Participants should come with an idea and related information to use in developing and delivering a 10-minute presentation.   
Outcomes
identify the basics of Adult Learning Theory
analyze your audience
prepare a presentation outline and design appropriate handouts
recognize the 10 deadly sins when making presentations
look at the why and how of audio visual aids
calm the butterflies and survive stressful situations
Target Audience
Anyone whose job requires making formal presentations

Leading a Collaborative Culture

Topic
Collaboration
Full-day Course
Overview
Do you have great ideas at work but struggle to get the right people to listen? Do you have colleagues whose support you need but who do not seem to want to aid your efforts? At one time, individual skills and abilities were the paths to success. Today’s workplace requires you to collaborate, build coalitions, and navigate through the diverse perspectives of others. The ability to collaborate is now a key to effectiveness. This workshop will help you assess your collaboration strengths and your areas of development. Join us and learn how to be a great collaborator!   
Outcomes
learn several key skills of Principled Negotiation as they apply to collaboration among teams, across agencies, and with customers themselves
identify communication differences that can impede cooperation among colleagues and agencies
learn how to move superficial collaboration to a deeper level, especially when conflict or lack of common vision are the barriers
analyze how collaboration as well as lack of collaboration can affect customer service
Target Audience
Supervisors, team leaders, managers and directors