Special Topics

This category includes a variety of courses designed to review specific and trending topics and training needs within the university.

Series

The “Grab n’ Go” series provides attendees with information on various topics related to work, personal success and goal-setting. These succinct, one-hour courses provide strategies that can be immediately applied on the job. Many of these courses feature experts from outside RIT who provide fresh ideas. We hope you can attend multiple sessions throughout the series to fill your toolkit. 

In-Person Courses

The current economic climate brings both challenges and opportunities from a financial perspective. You may wonder during these challenging times: “What should I be most careful about” and “What should my family and I work towards?” The 10 financial tips discussed in this workshop will get you on the road to financial well being during challenging times.

This course will touch on pertinent topics such as how to prevent identity theft, common ways identity theft occurs, and what to do if you become a victim of identity theft. Participants will also be educated on the resources available to them if an identity theft situation occurs.
 

One of the top financial goals for individuals and couples is to be financially secure in retirement. This goal is not
one that can be planned for in just the last few years leading up to the planned retirement date, but must be set and
have milestones identified throughout the different stages of life. There are many “rules of thumb” or theories on
the proper amount and type of savings and investments one should have in setting aside money for retirement, but in
reality, there is not one plan or solution that fits everyone.

Many of us are impatient at times. And when we lose control of our patience it hurts not only us, but those around us. Impatience raises our stress levels and over time can even inflict physical harm to our bodies.
But it seems that patience is a skill that is quickly diminishing, but one that constantly needs improving. You see examples of impatience and patience throughout each day; when you’re stuck in traffic, when you’re waiting in line for the grocery store, and when your children are taking too long to get ready for school in the morning. Even if you don’t rate your own level of personal patience as being very high, the good news is that with practice, you too can learn to be more patient in your life.

Using the philosophy that “those who are happy at home perform better on the job,” this workshop was developed
for those who feel burdened with too many responsibilities and without enough time for personal enjoyment. This
workshop will help participants explore and define home responsibilities, identify career requirements and prioritize
leisure time. The resulting better balance will help achieve more in one’s career and at home.

In today’s work world, we often need to work in groups of people who have many differences, and yet are supposed to seamlessly form an effective team. We’ve all heard the term “teambuilding,” and at one point or another most of us have gone through a teambuilding process, whether we know it or not. But what exactly is teambuilding and how can it be successfully used to help diverse groups work together more effectively? Understanding the main building blocks and development stages of teams can give any group of people the right tools to form a cohesive and productive group.

Overwhelmed by all of the investment choices in your retirement plan?  Feeling intimidated by investment decisions? Finance and Administration is now offering the first course in the Financial Education Series: Beginner's Guide to Investing designed specifically to alleviate the anxiety associated with making investment decisions. The topics covered in this course include:

  • Why companies issue stocks and bonds
  • What a mutual fund is
  • Why individuals invest in stocks 

In work and life, successful people avoid making excuses, and instead take responsibility for their actions. “It’s not my fault,” and “I can’t believe they did this to me” exemplify that type of thinking that holds people back. We all think that way sometimes, and the key is to catch ourselves, look in the mirror, and turn that thinking around. This workshop defines what it means to be accountable, and offers some tips to help people build accountability into their own lives.

Whether in your personal or your professional life, are you the kind of person that brings out the best in others? Do people shine around you, or do they tend to withdraw, hesitant to show their best? Some people seem to have a knack for challenging, motivating and inspiring their friends, family members and coworkers. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to do your part to make sure others are at their best around you.

For a long time, the scientific community believed we are born with a certain number of brain cells and neural pathways that once damaged, could not be repaired. In reality, our brains are much more flexible. Depending on our lifestyle, we can destroy/weaken connections or create new/stronger ones. Engaging regularly in certain behaviors and activities, like physical exercise, addressing mental health issues, meditation, and learning a new language or musical instrument, support new wiring and can make existing pathways stronger. Essentially, we can slow down or somewhat prevent cognitive decline, by doing challenging mental exercises to keep our brains fit for optimal power. 

Trust is an essential component of successful relationships both at work and in one’s personal life. By establishing yourself as a person in whom others can put their trust, you can position yourself for greater personal happiness and professional success. Earning trust can take time and is not always easy, however. This workshop will describe several practices that help people build personal trust and credibility.

An important part of recruitment for faculty and staff positions is dispositioning the candidate pool during the initial review process. This class will demonstrate how to disposition candidates, and functionality in the system for ease in the process.

“Communicating with DISC” builds on information that was introduced in "Understanding DISC." Please note that individuals may only take this course if they have completed "Understanding DISC" and the DISC assessment. This session focuses in on how to use DISC as a communication tool by analyzing how to best communicate with each style. This course also covers more details about adapting our styles in order to best communicate with one another.        
 
DISC INFORMATION
DISC is a powerful assessment tool used to detail individual work styles and 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.  
 
This session is private and participants must have completed their DISC assessment prior to attending the session. There are two different DISC assessments employees can take:  Communicating with Style ($30.00) and a management version ($60.00). If individuals are interested in completing the assessment, a department chargeback number will have to be provided to Carla Pennello prior to the assessment being sent out. Team-based sessions can also be arranged by contacting Carla Pennello directly.

Have you ever had something you really wanted to say to someone, but held it back because of some kind of fear or shyness? Have you ever given in to someone else’s way, and then regretted doing so because you believed strongly in your position. Do you wish you had the confidence to stand up for yourself more firmly in some situations? This workshop will give you some tips on how to add the confidence that helps you feel like you’re in control.

Your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. This is often called the “mind/body connection.” When you are stressed, anxious or upset, your body tries to tell you that something isn’t right. For example, high blood pressure might develop after a particularly stressful event, such as the death of a loved one. People with good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. They feel good about themselves and have healthy relationships.
Poor emotional health can weaken your body’s immune system, making you more likely to get colds and other infections during emotionally difficult times. Also, when you are feeling stressed, anxious or upset, you may not take care of your health as well as you should. You may not feel like exercising, eating nutritious foods or taking medicine that your doctor prescribes. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs may also be a sign of poor emotional health.

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when the Stakes are High, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillian and Al Switzler, is a course that teaches how to create alignment and agreement by fostering open dialogue around high stakes, emotional or risky topics, at all levels of our organization.  This activity – focused session gives participants a sample of the full 16 hr. course.  Along with seeing the crucial conversations model in its entirety, this activity-focused session gives participants the opportunity to learn what creates a crucial conversation and practice 2 of the 16 skills described throughout the full course.

In today’s increasingly competitive business climate, there is a need for continuous innovation and value-added solutions. Individuals and organizations alike are discovering that new ideas have become the global currency of the future. Unfortunately though, as adults, we often limit our thinking and problem solving to fit known patterns and solutions by creating boundaries around our problems and circumstances. Enhancing our creativity can help us break through these boundaries.

No matter what your financial situation is, everyone looks for ways to cut down their grocery bills. Don’t let the idea
that healthy food is expensive keep you from striving for a balanced diet. Take some time to learn new strategies to
stick to your budget while enjoying healthy, nutritious foods.

Why is interpersonal communication important? Personal success depends on our ability to communicate. Effective human relations depend on our communication skills. Overall, interpersonal communication skills are necessary for understanding and for action. This workshop explores interpersonal skills and techniques necessary for successful interactions.

How to use Career Zone to effectively manage your candidate pool during the search process.

The staff recruitment team will provide a demonstration the Career Zone system and processes. You will also be asked to provide feedback to the Office of HR Recruitment feedback on the system for future process improvement. 

The Office of Staff Recruitment is offering this program to assist RIT staff in their professional development. You will be given an overview of how to prepare for a phone interview; onsite interview or a behavioral interview.

 

The Office of Staff Recruitment will provide an overview of cover letter resumes do’s and don’ts. Find out what hiring managers look for when they review cover letters and resumes. Please note-no individual review or feedback will be done during this session.

The United Stated Department of the Treasury has proposed a set of financial core competencies that will be used to establish a clear understanding about what all adults should know regarding the basic concepts of financial literacy. The five core concept areas identified are:

›› Earning
›› Spending
›› Saving
›› Borrowing
›› Protecting against risk

This session covers the basics (or essentials) of each area and describes practical skills needed to competently address (or manage) their personal finances.

Gratitude is a skill anyone can learn as an alternative to regret and fear. We can focus on the positive elements of
our lives with a few simple practices. Providing sincere compliments can help us build relationships and be grateful for
others. Rather than being grateful because we “ought to,” we can choose gratitude as a way of looking forward to each
day.

Why do some people seem happy and others just seem miserable all the time? Science suggests that each person has
a range in their capacity to experience happiness and that range is different for each person. However, it is possible to
live our lives in the upper end of that range if we apply ourselves and follow certain principles. There is no one key to
happiness but a set of principles that are critical to follow. This training incorporates a brief happiness questionnaire,
a description of the various factors associated with happiness and concludes with a substantive discussion of specific
ways to increase your happiness potential.

There are many effective tools in Career Zone that you as an employee have access to. Come learn the ways to use Career Zone!

There is a difference in being motivated and being engaged in the workplace. Sure, you may be motivated to come to
work each day for the paycheck, but are you truly engaged in what you are doing?
Stars tend to be internally motivated to begin with, but put that motivation together with truly being engaged in what
you do and you have the formula for capturing the most “prizes” the organization has to offer—the most interesting
work, the salary increases, promotions and possibly bonuses

Each year private foundations give away over $50 billion in grants. Corporations give away nearly $18 billion. In the last five years, the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations raised over $75 million for RIT to support scholarships, endowed professors, the establishment of new centers on campus, research support and more. Your work could be next!

As we move through life, our needs, priorities and situations change, as well as our skills, competencies, interests and values. How often do we take the time to assess our current situations to see if it aligns with our work/life goals? When attempting to achieve these goals, are work or personal habits working for us or against us? Developing new success habits that move us toward our goals will help us achieve better results in our work and personal lives.

Receiving criticism is an important and valuable skill. To achieve success in any endeavor we must be able to tolerate critical feedback and learn from it. However, receiving criticism is difficult for most people. Upon receiving criticism we feel vulnerable and become defensive and thereby miss opportunities to benefit from feedback. This workshop will help you explore why we become defensive, deliver tips for knowing when your “hot button” has been pushed and how to accept and integrate useful criticism. The training will also instruct though examples and/or role plays.

This session will review the new online payment options including Special Assignment and Add Pay types.  In addition we will be reviewing the new  approval rules and hierarchy for all payment types including Adjunct and Overload payments.

While you obviously need the appropriate knowledge and skills to do your job, the mind-set with which you approach your work plays a dominant role in your ability to perform. If you’re discouraged, you work sluggishly, think small and give up easily. However, when you feel good, confident and exhilarated you can win people to your side and create dazzling projects. This workshop will help participants explore how attitude can change their life and will provide them with opportunities to develop a more positive mind-set.

There are conversations in which the stakes are high: asking for a raise, ending a relationship, giving a critical
performance review, confronting disrespectful behavior, apologizing or disagreeing within a group. This workshop is about developing the skills to initiate the conversations which most people find difficult, unpleasant and generally avoid.You will learn the practical skills involved in framing a problem without blame or defensiveness and how to keep the conversation productive.

Global financial markets and the state of the U.S. economy continue to dominate the headlines. Take advantage of this latest opportunity to improve your knowledge in the areas of financial markets and investments. Finance & Administration is now offering the second course in the Financial Education Series: Intermediate Guide to Investing. The topics covered in this course include:

  • How and where are securities traded
  • The role of fund managers
  • Investment strategies employed
  • Role of diversification in a portfolio
  • Key information to look for in a prospectus
  • Lifecycle funds

The Office of Staff Recruitment will provide hiring managers and supervisors with the tools to conduct effective, compliant phone and onsite interviews. 

This course is specifically designed for people that have not had an opportunity to create a resume in the past or have limited experience in creating a resume.  It will share a basic understanding of resume writing and the guidelines associated with composing a resume.

Professional comedians shouldn’t be the only people to use smiling, laughter, humor and play as part of their daily routine. These skills are valuable for everyone. A good smile has long been a key tool for anyone who needs to influence others. Laughter is now shown to improve our pain tolerance. Humor and play can be the building blocks of problem-solving. Together they can improve our happiness and effectiveness.

GuidanceResources® is RIT’s provider of employee assistance program (EAP) services. Your GuidanceResources benefits will give you and your family members confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. These services are provided at no charge to you. 

What is the EAP? The EAP can help you live the life you want, achieve your personal goals and work through the issues that may be challenging you. The EAP is a free-of-charge, confidential service that provides work-life support, legal and financial consultation, and counseling. The EAP is available to you, as an RIT employee, and to your eligible family members. The EAP is completely confidential. No information about your participation in the program is provided to RIT.

 

Life can be stressful. Your EAP is designed to provide short-term counseling services for you and your family members to help you handle concerns constructively, before they become major issues. Call any time about concerns such as marital, relationship and family problems; stress, anxiety and depression; grief and loss, job pressures and substance abuse.  Resources are also available to assist you with matters such as child and elder care, legal and financial concerns.

 

Please join us to learn about our new EAP program!

 

If you are unable to join us but want to contact the EAP, you can reach them as follows:

Call toll-free: 844-572-9730/V and 800-697-0353/TTY

Go online: www.guidanceresources.com; enter the Web ID: RITEAP

As announced in our recent benefits open enrollment newsletter, we have selected GuidanceResources® as RIT’s new provider of employee assistance program (EAP) services as of January 1, 2015. Your GuidanceResources benefits will give you and your family members confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues. These services are provided at no charge to you. 

What is the EAP? The EAP can help you live the life you want, achieve your personal goals and work through the issues that may be challenging you. The EAP is a free-of-charge, confidential service that provides work-life support, legal and financial consultation, and counseling. The EAP is available to you, as an RIT employee, and to your eligible family members. The EAP is completely confidential. No information about your participation in the program is provided to RIT.

 

We understand that as a Manager or supervisor you manage many roles and we think that the EAP can help support you both professionally and personally. The EAP can be a referral resource for you when you may have an employee who is facing challenges that may at some point impact their work. Examples of this would include, loss of a child care, new concerns about an elderly relative, family discourse that they may have shared, challenges outside of work etc. The EAP can be there as an expert to help guide employee’s and support them to be successful in their responsibilities.

 

Life can be stressful. Your EAP is designed to provide short-term counseling services for you and your family members to help you handle concerns constructively, before they become major issues. Call any time about concerns such as marital, relationship and family problems; stress, anxiety and depression; grief and loss, job pressures and substance abuse.  Resources are also available to assist you with matters such as child and elder care, legal and financial concerns.

 

 

Please join us to learn about our new EAP program!

 

If you are unable to join us but want to contact the EAP, you can reach them as follows:

Call toll-free: 844-572-9730/V and 800-697-0353/TTY

Go online: www.guidanceresources.com; enter the Web ID: RITEAP

Stress is experienced in the body as tension. To manage stress we have several choices: reduce or eliminate the stressor, think about the stressor differently so it no longer causes tension or change the way our body reacts to stress. The course will address the third option through exploring a variety of relaxation techniques to calm the body and mind. The class will allow participants to learn and experience several simple relaxation tools such as progressive muscle relaxation, abdominal relaxation breathing and visualization.

“Living the Good Life!” How often have we heard that statement? Usually it’s meaning is about happiness, health and satisfaction within our lives. In this session we’ll discuss what’s needed to accomplish “the good life”: what to bring along on life’s journey, what to leave behind, what to acquire along the way.

In these sessions, you will receive tips to identify, control and prevent ergonomic risk factors at home and at work.

Topics covered include:

  • What is Ergonomics?
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders
  • Risk Factors
  • Ergonomics everyday

Whether going back to school or changing careers, starting a family or retiring, change brings both opportunities and
turmoil. In today’s fast paced world, change has become a constant. Even when we are able to see the advantages of
change, it can be hard to say goodbye to what’s changing. This workshop will provide you techniques to deal effectively
with change.

Somewhere along the way, many of us have replaced our positive self-regard, with a critical voice. Like a shadow, it hoovers at our side, reminding us of our flaws and our “unworthiness.” To live a fulfilling, serene, happy life, we must learn to love and accept ourselves, flaws and all. This workshop covers the basics of self-acceptance, factors that contribute to a poor self-image, and practical tips for loving yourself unconditionally.

The Office of Staff Recruitment is offering hiring managers, supervisors, support staff, and frequent system users an overview of the career zone system with regards to the selection and hire process. You will be given the tools to improve your hiring & selection process, along with a demonstration of shortcuts in using the system for an effective search.  You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback with regards to the system for future process improvement. 

The idea of mindfulness or being mindful is complete engagement in the present moment. It is a state where you are not thinking, reflecting, judging or deciding, but are instead simply experiencing the things currently in your available experience. In many ways people are largely unaware of our present moment, and often operate on “auto-pilot” to some degree. The auto-pilot mode is our default mode of operation. Even when we find ourselves in a pleasurable quiet moment we automatically begin to daydream about others, plan/worry about the future or ruminate about the past. We miss living in the present moment because we fail to pay attention to it. Mindfulness is about waking up to the present moment and paying attention to our experience. Learning mindfulness is not difficult; however, it is difficult to remember to do it. This training discusses mindfulness and how to incorporate its practice into your life.

This session reviews the basic navigation and functionality of E-Learning Zone as well as how to utilize the Center for Professional Development for your professional development interests and needs.

Come to the new 90-minute session which provides an overview of Lean Six Sigma training. If you are interested in using Lean Six Sigma to improve the quality of the processes in your department, this session will cover the benefits of Lean Six Sigma, and tools that you can immediately use as a Yellow Belt to make a measurable impact on your business.  You will understand how to go further with the application of process improvement. Our overview session will also cover the advanced studies of Green and Black Belt so that you understand all of the options offered at RIT.
 
If you have questions about Lean Six Sigma or want to understand how to learn the tools and techniques of this industry-leading approach, this is the overview for you.  

Have you ever had a day where everything played out exactly how you planned? Probably not. In this interactive workshop we will use the principles behind the art of improvisation to learn strategies that can be used in your everyday work environment for dealing with the unexpected in a positive, creative and productive way.

Taking time to clean out your paper files is about as exciting as when your mother told you to clean your room. Who has time for that when there are so many projects hanging over your head? Yet, chances are your file cabinets are so full they are about to explode and you’ve restored to stacking and stuffing your paper. On top of that, do you really know what is in all of those files? Take the first step to reclaiming your filing cabinets and learn about how to conduct a successful File Clean Out Day.

Certain individuals appear to succeed against all odds. Despite severe hardships such as living through war, witnessing
the death of a loved one, having a chronic illness, being a victim of abuse or dealing with unemployment, certain people
not only adapt but actually thrive. These people possess a quality known as “resilience.” This workshop will examine
the characteristics of resilience and discover ways to introduce greater resilience into our lives.

This workshop will help you not only to survive but also thrive in today's high pressure world. By unleashing your energy, igniting your enthusiasm and finding fun in your job, you're sure to maximize your work performance and even enjoy it. 

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

Work, family and personal life responsibilities can feel overwhelming, and it sometimes seems as if a 24-hour day simply isn’t long enough to get everything done. Unfortunately, no one has yet found a way to add a 25th hour to the day, so we’re all forced to do the best with the time we have. By following the principles discussed in this workshop, you may still never get everything done, but you should feel more in control of your very busy life.

It seems that more than ever, people are living busy, chaotic lives that often leave them feeling overwhelmed and out of control. Between work, parental responsibilities, community involvement, exercise, hobbies, friendships, family responsibilities and more, sometimes it feels as if keeping track of it all is just impossible. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help people gain control, though sometimes sorting through what’s available can add what seems like even more chaos to life. Smartphones, day planners, alarms, e-mail systems, priority grids, voice mail systems, note pads, to-do lists, contact lists, address books, folders, file cabinets and more—the purpose of this lunch-and-learn is to help you sort through the tools available to help you organize your life, and pick the ones that will work for you.

“Understanding DISC” is an engaging introduction to fundamental information of the DISC model. This session helps attendees understand and decipher their personal report by reading and interpreting their graphs and provides an in-depth look at each of the four behavioral styles. This session covers how DISC can be used as a communication tool with colleagues and how individuals can adapt their style to better communicate with each other.    
 
DISC INFORMATION
DISC is a powerful assessment tool used to detail individual work styles and 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.  
 
This session is private and participants must have completed their DISC assessment prior to attending the session. There are two different DISC assessments employees can take:  Communicating with Style ($30.00) and a management version ($60.00). If individuals are interested in completing the assessment, a department chargeback number will have to be provided to Carla Pennello prior to the assessment being sent out. Team-based sessions can also be arranged by contacting Carla Pennello directly.

Kindness is an admirable aspiration for anyone, and it also can be an effective way to achieve success. By being concerned about others we can build relationships and gain support. By serving others we can be happier about ourselves. Kindness can be more than the right thing to do, it can be a path to success and happiness.

Whether they take place in the workplace or in one’s personal life, conflicts are inevitable; however, that does not mean that they must always be damaging. When emotions are understood and reason is used to handle conflict, the result can actually be strengthened relationships rather than damaged ones. This workshop discusses how you can replace pure emotion with rational decision-making when dealing with conflict.
 

Goal setting gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. The process of setting goals allows you to choose where you want to go in your personal life as well as your professional career. A life without goals is like a road trip without a map. By knowing exactly what you want to achieve, you are less likely to get lost, and you will be happier and less frustrated along the way.