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Center for Professional Development student using her hands to talk to the group. The others around her listen intently.

All CPD spring courses are canceled.

Management and Leadership

Develop the skills that will help you elevate your career.

Professionals should invest in soft skills as fervently as they invest in their technical skills. Both are imperative for those looking to climb the organizational ladder. And for professionals newly entering leadership roles, successfully navigating the transition from individual contributor to supervisor is especially critical to professional advancement.

The Center for Professional Development (CPD) offers a variety of management and leadership courses aimed at propelling careers forward by helping professionals develop the talents needed to become more effective leaders, managers or supervisors. Our practical, skills-based learning experiences cover a variety of essential topics, including coaching, delegating, assessing talent and boosting team effectiveness.

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Communication Skills for Professionals

Tools to help you gain credibility and confidence.

Have you ever been awed by someone who always seems to know what to say and how to say it, in any situation? That may look like simple natural talent, but successful professionals who regularly display such prowess know the hard work and preparation that goes into making a strong impression during important moments.

The Center for Professional Development (CPD) can help you develop the essential skills for effective writing and speaking through courses from our Communication Skills for Professionals series. You’ll learn to communicate with poise, diplomacy and confidence. Develop practical tools and techniques that will help you project a positive, polished and professional image in all written and verbal interactions.

Your communication skills reveal a great deal about you and your organization, so sign up today to become the one who wows the room!

Professional Development for HR Pros

Advance your education and develop the competencies and HR expertise you need to be the HR pro that your organization depends on. Courses from the Management and Leadership track and the Communication Skills track support key behavioral competencies from the SHRM BoCK. Courses from the Professional Development for HR Pros track help you develop new knowledge and skills in the core domains and functional areas that are essential for your success.

Society for Human Resource Management Recertification Provider Seal

With a rotating list of courses offering at least six professional development credits each, you’ll find yourself quickly earning the PDCs you need to maintain your valuable HR credentials.

Extreme Productivity: Create an Extraordinary Quality of Life

Instructor: Lisa Te Slaa
Tuesday, May 5; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Today’s business world moves at the speed of light, often leaving us stressed out, sleep deprived, irritable, dissatisfied, and frustrated. Yet we keep plugging along, doing the same things in the same way day after day while expecting different results—the very definition of insanity. This productivity course combines current neuroscience research with proven productivity principles to help you better manage your decisions, attention, and energy. You’ll leave this course able to increase your productivity with a renewed sense of engagement and accomplishment. 


  • Understand your relationship with time
  • Learn the real reason we set goals and how to master achieving them
  • Unlock the secret powers of planning and priority setting
  • Create balance and establish boundaries
  • Deal with time-wasters and learn how to say “No!”
  • Develop a plan of action

Who should attend: Professionals looking to navigate the business world with optimum productivity

Championship Coaching: Motivate Your Employees to Reach Their Potential

Instructor: Heather Zweifel, Ed.D.
Tuesday, March 10; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

You recognize the potential in your employees, of course, but how do you consistently bring it out? Unleash your team’s potential through proven coaching techniques that foster new levels of commitment and performance. A recent study featured in Harvard Business Review found that managers can improve their coaching in a short amount of time if they invest in sharpening their skills. Championship Coaching will teach you how to employ the methods used by great coaches to help others eliminate behaviors that erode success in favor of approaches that advance achievement.


  • Identify your own coaching skills and triggers
  • Learn the difference between coaching, managing and feedback and when to use each
  • Develop your listening skills
  • Discover high-impact questions that help your “coachee” get to the root of the issue
  • Learn a five-step coaching model
  • Build a reputation in which people seek your coaching
  • Practice new skills

Who should attend: Supervisors and managers who want to develop authentic leadership skills

Building a Five-Star Customer Service Plan: Design Your Customer Experience

Instructor: Joel Sylvester
Tuesday, March 24; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Prioritizing the customer experience is no longer an option; it’s a requirement. As brand loyalty decreases, customer service asserts itself as the key driver of decision making. Customers remember their experiences with companies when determining whether to return for repeat business. This course will introduce tools for providing great customer service experiences and demonstrate how to build and manage a high-performing customer service team. Bonus: All participants will leave the course with their own customer service plan tailored to their business or organization, one that is sure to help their customers return again and again.


  • Develop your own customer service action plan
  • Apply customer service principles to develop and evaluate your own customer service plan
  • Assess the customer service landscape and apply the knowledge to improve customer experience
  • Gain insight into managing employees throughout the generations that can be applied within your organization
  • Access tools to cultivate a company culture that is focused on world-class customer service

Who should attend: Business and organizational leaders wanting to tackle and improve the customer experience

Supervise for Success: Equip Your Employees to Perform Their Best Work

Instructor: Stephanie McGovern, M.A.
Wednesday and Thursday, April 8 and 9; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$750 per person; group discounts available

Congrats! You’re being promoted to supervisor or are ready to further advance in your role as leader. That’s a good thing, right? Yes, but as you shed the role of functional expert to deliver results through other people, you need to prepare for some significant challenges. New supervisors encounter complex and sometimes perplexing situations such as how to delegate tasks, how to be the “boss” to former peers, and how to give performance reviews. Supervise for Success will teach you the fundamental supervision and management skills needed to ease your transition and instill lasting effectiveness as a supervisor.


  • Create a positive and productive work climate
  • Apply appropriate leadership strategies based on employee needs
  • Delegate effectively, knowing what, how, and when to do so
  • Manage the process of day-to-day performance
  • Give feedback and performance review data to reinforce and/or change behavior
  • Accurately diagnose performance problems
  • Set development goals for continued success

Who should attend: New or aspiring supervisors and managers looking to build skills that lead to successful outcomes for their teams and organizations

Valuing Diversity: Create Inclusive Workplace Practices

Instructor: Kira Kimball
Friday, May 8; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

In this era of workforce development challenges and changing demographics, businesses need to think differently about recruitment to broaden the workforce pool and to develop competencies around inclusivity. This course will focus on identifying and discussing differences, establishing practices that support inclusivity, and demonstrating how diversity and inclusion can improve engagement and performance in the workplace.


  • Gain an understanding of the complexity of differences in the workplace
  • Learn the value of a diverse workforce and its impact on workforce shortages, productivity and performance, and on community well-being
  • Take steps to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace
  • Recognize barriers that impede inclusivity in the workplace and their impact on engagement
  • Gain competencies regarding navigating differences

Who should attend: Human resources professionals and community advocates interested in culture, people, learning, organizational development, and employee engagement

Developing High-Performing Teams: The Building Blocks to Success

Instructor: Stephanie McGovern
Wednesday, May 20; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Organizations need teamwork to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges, but building high-performing teams is no easy task. This course will teach you the fundamental building blocks of creating and managing high-performing teams, whether they’re ongoing or project-based. Learn how to increase group effectiveness through research-based approaches that create and sustain high performance.


  • Discern between a work group and a real team
  • Identify the building blocks of creating and sustaining high-performing teams 
  • Apply tools and skills to be an effective team leader 
  • Quickly assess team strengths and areas for improvement
  • Identify team roles needed for effective team performance
  • Assess and improve team meeting effectiveness
  • Establish an action plan for improving team effectiveness

Who should attend: Managers, program leaders, project leaders, supervisors, team leads, and contributors who wish to build high-performing teams

Communicating Effectively in the 21st Century Workplace: Real-World Techniques You Can Use Now

Instructors: Tamien Dysart and Vaney Hariri
Wednesday and Thursday, April 22 and 23; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$750 per person; group discounts available

Improving your employees’ communication is one of the best ways to build a healthier and more productive organizational culture. This engaging and interactive session addresses the critical impact that less-than-optimal communication can have on workplace environments and teaches the necessary communication skills to maximize personal and professional potential. Participants will gain simple yet effective ways to enhance their skills in order to improve communication in the workplace.


  • Establish a baseline for your personal communication skills and identify opportunities for growth
  • Explore the challenges that lead to poor communication
  • Learn the skills of timing, tact, and delivery as the foundation of effective communication
  • Limit your exposure to the fatiguing aspects of communication by learning how to focus on what's effective
  • Practice key tools to enhance your effectiveness
  • Learn applicable techniques that will help your organization improve effective communication

Who should attend: Managers, leaders, and individual contributors who want to develop skills and leadership competencies

Writing to Win: Turbocharge Your Business Writing to Gain Greater Results

Instructor: Jeff Vostad, Ed.D.
Thursday, March 19; 9 am – 4 pm
$395 per person; group discounts available

Most everyone in a professional setting writes, so how do you ensure that your high-stakes proposals, interoffice memos, client emails, and performance reviews get the attention of decision makers? This hands-on course will help you hone your business writing skills so you can craft concise workplace communication that clearly expresses your goals and achieves desired results.


  • Understand your audience
  • Recognize and examine the qualities of effective business writing
  • Avoid common pitfalls with clear, purposeful writing
  • Gain understanding by evaluating strong and weak writing examples often seen in daily communication
  • Apply your newly gained knowledge to construct writing that has great clarity and focus
  • Analyze writing methods and approaches to enhance your individual business writing needs

Who should attend: Anyone who wants to articulate their thoughts clearly and professionally

Communicating to Connect: Ensure Results Oriented Communication

Instructor: Lisa Te Slaa
Wednesday, April 15; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Miscommunication costs business and industry millions of dollars each year, and behavioral research suggests that the most effective people understand themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. In this course, we will complete the DiSC assessment and look at the four DiSC dimensions of normal behavior (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance). We will explore how to leverage behavioral knowledge for increased success and discuss the keys to communicating with others based on behavioral styles, allowing team members to become more effective and increase overall productivity.


  • Learn the four primary styles of DiSC
  • Identify and understand the impact of your style
  • Identify, understand, and appreciate people who have a different style
  • Understand how behavior style affects communication
  • Increase productivity at home and in the workplace through better communication
  • Communicate with technology efficiently and effectively
  • Develop a plan of action that leads to more successful communication

Who should attend: Anyone interested in improving their communication effectiveness in the workplace

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Instructor: Jill Tyler
Tuesday, April 28; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

We make dozens of decisions every day in search of more reliable and relevant evidence on which to base our plans. Each decision is approached through the critical processes of inquiry, interpretation, and judgment. This course will help you sharpen your critical-thinking skills to access and evaluate information more effectively, recognize the most common personal and social pitfalls of high-stakes decision-making, and build solid and persuasive arguments to prove the worth of your solutions to yourself and others.


  • Develop an understanding of individual cognitive habits and biases
  • Evaluate the credibility of various types of evidence
  • Identify typical fallacies and flaws in thinking
  • Practice individual and group decision-making, using the critical skills of inquiry, interpretation, and judgment necessary in effective decision-making

Who should attend: Early, mid-level, and experienced managers and professionals; individuals and teams are welcome to participate

Navigating Conflict: Build Stronger Relationships and Solve Problems Creatively 

Instructor: Laura Vostad
Friday, May 15; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Is conflict good or bad? The best answer is both, as its usefulness depends on how you respond to it. This course will address the sources of personal and professional conflict, explore how conflict can trigger different responses, and provide strategies to leverage differences of opinion to generate more creative problem solving. Participants will learn how to approach conflict in a manner that helps them build stronger relationships at home and at work.


  • Understand sources of conflict
  • Identify healthy and unhealthy conflict patterns
  • Leverage conflict for creative problem solving
  • Resolve conflict to build stronger relationships

Who should attend: Anyone who has ever been angry, irritated, hurt, or upset. In other words, virtually everyone can benefit from this course.

Strategic Workforce Planning: Align Your Talent to Drive Results

Instructor: Heather Zweifel, Ed.D.
Thursday, April 2; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball to predict the future? When you’re constantly in “recruit and select” mode, it can be challenging to accurately forecast your people needs and create a strategy that puts the right people in the right place at the right time. A workforce planning strategy is critical to your ability to meet your organization’s long-term goals. In this forward-thinking course, learn how to align your organization’s human capital precisely to its business direction.


  • Analyze the employee life cycle
  • Define and use key workforce metrics and analytics
  • Assess talent needs at the individual and organizational level
  • Identify succession planning and mapping
  • Develop a talent supply-chain gap analysis
  • Determine when and how to develop talent
  • Apply new skills and tools to your organization

Who should attend: Leaders and HR pros who want to take their organization to the next level

Create Best-in-Class Internship and Mentorship Programs that Differentiate Your Organization

Instructor: Kira Kimball
Friday, April 17; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person, group discounts available

Gone are the days of interns merely filing and making copies while they observe “real” professionals at work. Today’s interns expect meaningful experiences as a solid introduction to the skills, behaviors, interests, characteristics, and values that resonate with employers. This course will help you develop and implement internship and mentorship programs that help your organization and its interns/mentees mutually explore future employment possibilities. Best-in-class internship and mentorship programs can differentiate your organization from others by reinforcing your company’s brand and maximizing employee engagement, all while strengthening recruitment and retention.


  • Define your employer brand
  • Develop a vision and build a framework
  • Get buy-in and involvement from the team
  • Create content/activities/experiences/timeline
  • Identify your audience
  • Craft a marketing strategy

Who should attend: Human resources professionals focused on talent recruitment, organizational development, culture, and people

Realizing Your Team's Potential: High-Impact Approaches to Employee Development

Instructor: Laura Vostad
Friday, April 24; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
$395 per person; group discounts available

Talent development is a competitive differentiator and a fundamental requirement for business success. In this course, we will discuss the ever-changing professional environment and establish strategies to develop talent ready to address tomorrow’s challenges. Learn a variety of novel and cost-effective approaches for talent development that contribute to business results.


  • Connect business strategies to development needs
  • Understand development approaches and their impact
  • Curate an effective and realistic development plan
  • Harvest the learning for true growth

Who should attend: Human resource professionals and business leaders focused on employee development