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Leadership Development

These courses provide further opportunities to help you improve your leadership and management skills. Each course focuses on a specific technique to help you lead yourself and others.


Teams are an integral part of our organization and contribute to the overall success of RIT. As a manager, or project leader, it is your responsibility to stimulate engagement and motivation within your team, as well as supervise and maintain the project’s optimum completion. Many factors can contribute to the success or failure of a team or project. To overcome these obstacles, requires the manager or project leader, to employ unique skills which support the team and execution of the project as a whole.

In-Person Courses

This session refines your team leadership skills, helping you to be more effective in developing your team and its members to achieve their professional potential.  This results in the department being positioned to better attain the organization’s strategic goals.

Areas if focus in this session are:

  • Understanding the “big picture” vision, values and goals of the university and how the participant’s team contributes to attaining this “picture”
  • “Thinking strategically” as a leader and team to target and focus their resources to succeed in their own present and future “purpose/vision” (team’s Key Result Areas)
  • “Mine, Your & Our” ~ Understanding the importance of clear roles, responsibilities & expectations for their team and its members – within the team and throughout the university
  • Defining “Team Ground Rules” that assists in building successful teamwork practices
  • Identifying resources and “action steps” to develop your team’s capabilities and create a positive and productive team workplace environment

Seats in this session are limited to managers, leaders and project leaders.

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Managers usually coach their employees in response to an urgent need: a project is off track, an employee doesn’t understand a critical process or product, an employee is using a system or tool for the first time, etc. While these efforts address critically important short-term needs, they do not necessarily develop a particular skill, nor do they ensure that the employee will retain the lessons learned.

The reactive nature of coaching means that managers often have to teach skills that may not be their own strengths. Managers, like those they manage, also have strengths and development areas.

By creating an employee development plan and a coaching plan, you can:
• Develop skills to help eliminate some of the time you spend “putting out fires”;
• Ensure you are coaching based on your strengths, which can immediately improve your coaching effectiveness; and
• Demonstrate your commitment to your employee’s professional success in the short and long term.

This workshop is divided into four sections:
Section I: Identify the skills your employees need to develop
Section II: Use your greatest strengths to coach your employees
Section III: Create a coaching plan
Section IV: Create an employee development plans (EDPs)

This class is limited to managers who have direct reports.
You will be required to bring a job description and a performance review from one of your employees to the workshop.
You will not be asked to identify your employee but will be working with the position description and performance review, so remove or black out any identifying information on the document before the workshop.

  1. Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 1:30pm to 4:30pm
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This workshop is designed especially for managers and project leaders. Using a case study, this class provides an overview of the DMAIC model. Participants also learn process improvement tools and have the opportunity to design a specific process implementing applicable skills within their department or team. 

Seats in this session are limited to managers, leaders and project leaders.

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In this group learning experience, team members will learn and apply the DMAIC problem solving model to current projects.  Discussion includes identifying ways of reducing costs using the model as well as the opportunity to practice continues process improvement skills in group activities.

Participation in the class is open to managers and project leaders along with their teams; (limit of 4 people total.)  Teams apply the DMAIC methodology to a case study and have the opportunity to discuss their solutions with the class.

New sessions to be announced.

This class can be customized for private sessions; fees apply.

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Crucial Conversations is a two-day course that teaches skills for creating alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics at all levels of your organization. By learning how to speak and be heard and encouraging others to do the same, you’ll begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment.
Please note that there are limited seats within this course and spaces are currently only for managers.  Attendees must be available for the full two days.  The next course will be on November 3 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and will resume on November 5, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

  1. Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 9:00am to Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 3:30pm
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Why is it so challenging to work with others at times? Why do some leaders seem to be more effective than others? How can you maximize your own impact at work and at home? The answer is emotional intelligence. In this workshop participants evaluate their own levels of emotional intelligence using an assessment tool designed for maximizing performance in the work place.  Throughout the workshop strategies are shared for developing emotional competence in five key areas and participants create an action plan for future development.  Resources are also be shared so that participants may take back activities to utilize with their own departments to builder stronger relationships, increase productivity and foster more positive work environments.

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Content of this session is based on Patrick Lencioni's book, The Five Dsyfunctions of a Team.

What are the magic ingredients that make some teams so successful while others seem to continuously struggle?  What kinds of behaviors and factors lead to the destruction of teams?  Using the five building blocks for creating functional teams that Patrick Lencioni outlines in his book, managers complete a team assessment, and engage in activities and discussions to evaluate the challenges in their team and identify strategies for improving in each of the five areas Lencioni outlines.

Seats in this session are limited to managers, leaders and project leaders.

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Coaching requires an ongoing commitment to people and their personal growth and development.  Two traits of successful coaches are: a positive attitude toward learning and a strong belief in people’s ability to achieve.  Self-knowledge, especially in these two areas, is a key component of effective and successful coaching. 

In this session, participants complete a self-assessment that helps to increase awareness of their current coaching abilities as they relate to vital coaching skills.  This exercise helps to build on your strengths as well as develop areas that need improvement.

Registration in this session is limited to managers, and anyone in a position of leading other people.

  1. Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 1:30pm to 4:30pm
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Managers benefit from this program through a crystal clear view of the importance of trust and an understanding the tie with accountability. They will share their own personal observations about the nature of trust and accountability. Participants will practice a five part model for how to hold people accountable in a more effective manner.
In this workshop you will explore:

  • The mistakes leaders often make when holding people accountable
  • The relationship between trust and accountability
  • A five part model for improving accountability
  • The results that are achieved by improving trust
  • How the culture will benefit by a balanced approach
  • Case studies and role playing exercises to support learning
  1. Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  2. Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 9:30am to 11:30am
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Dale Carnegie Training invites you to a workshop that could dramatically increase your leadership effectiveness and your team's performance.
Based on new, groundbreaking research we will show you the three clusters of behaviors that significantly impact engagement. Then, within each cluster we will break down the individual actions you can take to develop enthusiastic, empowered, confident and inspired employees - the type of employees who care, who want to be part of a success story and who will drive your organization to the top.
Join us and learn how you can increase productivity and reduce turnover by cultivating a workforce of engaged employees.  

  1. Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm

This session shows a crystal clear view of the importance of trust and an understanding of how it can decline. Through personal reflection and discussion, participants learn to recognize situations of low trust and learn that these are not hopeless situations. There are actions that can be taken to place leaders on a path to higher trust and transparency.

Objectives explored in this session are:

  • Why trust is the critical issue facing most organizations
  • How to maintain trust, even when draconian things must be done
  • Local and national case examples of poor transparency leading to loss of trust
  • The relationship between trust, ethics, and morality
  • A model for how to build higher trust that works in today's environment
  • The impact of technological trends on the nature of trust
  • The relationship between trust and fear
  • The relationship between transparency and respect

Seats in this session are limited to managers.

  1. Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
  2. Monday, March 21, 2016 - 9:30am to 11:30am
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It is not always what leaders and their groups say – as much as it may be what they do not say. Through interactive exercises and videos, participants are introduced to practical leadership communication challenges that can sometimes take place among diverse work settings – followed by verbal and behavioral strategies which can then be practically applied in their workplaces.


  1. Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm
  2. Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - 9:00am to 11:30am
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A values-based Leadership Program at RIT has been developed for current leaders to equip them with a deeper understanding of the leadership behaviors, values and management skills that are the foundation of a successful organization. This workshop introduces leaders to the basic framework we are using at RIT for leader development: Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading RIT.

  1. Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
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In this session, the differences between managing and leading are explained in detail through multimedia learning experiences as well as open dialogue. The identification of tasks, activities and behaviors that support effective management and leadership in relation to the RIT Core Values are discussed and help define your personal management style and leadership goals. Linking effective personal characteristics that are necessary for success in these roles is a main objective of this course.

This session has a case study pre-read which will be emailed out to registered attendees. 

  1. Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 8:30am to 12:00pm
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Managing with DISC helps managers continue increasing their knowledge of the DISC language. This session’s focus is on recognizing the styles within your teams, and adapting your own style to meet the needs of others. Through discussion, videos and group activities, participants have the opportunity to further explore the DISC language and use it to promote better communication and teamwork within their departments.

Seats in this session are limited to managers with direct reports, leaders and project leaders.

Participants must have completed a DISC report and participated in an Understanding DISC session. If you need additional information, contact The Center for Professional Development at 5-5313

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Leaders are ineffective unless people follow them. This encompasses all people - from different nationalities, races, religions ethnicities, orientations, or physical abilities/challenges. As demographics continue to change in our worlds (university, national, and global), culturally-enriched leadership skills are required to enhance inclusive organizational dynamics, student satisfaction, and employee production. This introductory program utilizes a variety of experiential exercises and current research to revitalize leaders’ cultural competencies for the purpose of maximizing their own leadership influence in an increasingly diverse world.

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This one hour session provides an overview of the next available steps after receiving “White Belt in Team Performance” certification for applying DMAIC principles to your own workplace and team. The class includes information on Yellow, Green and Black Belt certifications for those interested in taking their Six Sigma understanding to the next level. The information provided in this session allows you to consider the full range of possibilities for process improvement and how they will increase the productivity, efficiency and overall success of your office, as well as show examples of how this has been used within RIT. This class is developed by the John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics (CQAS), and reflects the knowledge and expertise of their department.

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Have you ever been to a retreat and wondered what the purpose was? Or, have you been part of team retreat planning process and seemed to get stuck on how to make the most of the time and the experience? Do you want to be part of a retreat that is memorable, useful and fun? This workshop is focused on how to plan meaningful retreats where participants leave feeling energized, motivated, informed and have built stronger relationships with colleagues.  Retreats can either be a waste of time or they can help truly build a trusting, collaborative team that is focused on results.  It takes effort, thought and know how to plan these kinds of retreats and this workshop will give you key tools, activities and other ideas to plan a memorable and meaningful experience for your team!

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RIT is committed to building an environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity at all times. Leaders personally set the example while establishing and reinforcing the standards and behaviors for respect and dignity within their teams.

Through reflection, conversation, scenario debriefs, and group interaction, we will explore together:

  • What it means to be a leader and how you personally model respect and dignity
  • The importance of civility and letting people know that they and their contributions matter
  • Communication skills and behaviors, as well as the right media, that build a work environment in which respect and dignity are consistently practiced.
  • Strategies for using experiences of incivility and disrespect as learning opportunities that create mutual understanding and reconciliation.

This session is designed specifically for RIT supervisors.  The former title of this session was Building Respect in the Workplace for Supervisors, and the content has been updated.

  1. Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 8:30am to 12:00pm
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The Office of Staff Recruitment is offering hiring managers and supervisors the opportunity to improve their hiring processes to select the best candidate for the position. We will be introducing the new staff recruitment selection & hire process checklist. In addition, three key areas addressed will be:

  • How to write an effective external job posting
  • Partnership with staff recruitment during the hire process
  • New-Guidelines for Hire & Selection Process
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Dimension Five of RIT’s 2015-2025 Strategic Plan is organizational agility.  One of the key difference makers in this dimension is the development of a less risk-averse culture (taking calculated risks in order for a greater return).  Traditionally, risk is often thought of as something to be avoided.  However, given that value is a function of risk and return, strategic-minded managers do not necessarily strive to eliminate risk or even to minimize it.  Rather, these managers seek to manage risk (both exposures and opportunities) across all parts of their organization so that, at any given time, they incur just enough of the right kind of risk to effectively pursue strategic goals.
The first step towards successfully managing risks is to implement an effective risk assessment methodology.  Risk assessment is a systematic process for identifying and evaluating both external and internal events (risks) that could affect the achievement of objectives, positively or negatively.  During this class, we will discuss the key components of an effective risk assessment process and how to integrate it into the business process to provide timely and relevant risk information to management.
By attending this class you will learn:

  • Definitions of various risk types (i.e., inherent, residual, fraud).
  • Key components of an effective risk management process.
  • Key principles and strategies for risk identification.
  • Examples of risk models and assessment tools.
  • Key concepts for risk evaluation.
  • The importance of risk interactions.
  • Key considerations when prioritizing risks.
  • Risk response strategies

Who should attend?
RIT managers and staff  who are interested in taking the first steps towards promoting a less risk-averse culture at RIT and who want to sleep better at night knowing that key risks affecting RIT’s ability to achieve its objectives are being appropriately managed.

  1. Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
  2. Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
  3. Tuesday, August 2, 2016 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
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Additional Resources

Lean Six Sigma is a simple problem-solving methodology that uncovers hidden costs and improves productivity.  “Lean,” means striving to eliminate the seven non valued costs in order to shorten cycle times.  “Six Sigma” means applying the DMAIC approach to ensure that the customer’s needs are met the first time.  Both Lean and Six Sigma results in delivering high quality support services for students, parents and employees.  Typically, Lean Six Sigma is applied to a manufacturing setting.  This workshop transfers the methodology to

DISC is a powerful assessment tool used to detail individual work styles and work behaviors.  By learning and understanding these behavioral characteristics, we strengthen our communication skills, and our understanding of each other, resulting in higher performing teams and better working relationships.  

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