You are here

Course Descriptions


 1-to-1/Group Intervention

Course Description: Third party assistance may be the key toward moving past current stumbling blocks within working groups. We can provide this service on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Paul Biwan, Associate Director, Learning & Organizational Development, to discuss your needs.

 1-to-1 Performance Coaching

Course Description: Would you like the opportunity of a trusting partnership that better helps you recognize the gap between where you are currently operating and where you want to be? Through communication, feedback and support, your partner will help guide you towards a realistic and workable plan to close that gap. Coaching helps individuals accelerate their progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choices. To inquire more about this individual program, visit the Performance Coaching web site.

 A Simple Coaching Process

Course Description: Performance coaching is a series of expertly guided conversations that enable the person being coached to discover and implement personal solutions to challenging problems and mental blocks. These solutions, because they are intrinsic to the "coachee" and his or her situation, are far more likely to succeed and endure than solutions imposed externally. This session is about a simple conversational process that reminds us that we’ve got an alternative to telling people what to do. 

 Attitude: The Wallenda Factor

Course Description: Understand the relationship between your attitude, and your beliefs and behaviors, and learn about the “Wallenda Factor” and how self-fulfilling prophecy effects outcomes. (Also available online)

Being Effective in Times of Uncertainty

Course Description:A high level of uncertainty in organizations will affect each of us differently. Some of us may thrive in ambiguity. Others are dominated by feelings of anxiety, fear, and doubt which can impact clear thinking and productivity. This class will be an open conversation to explore choices and strategies that will allow us not only to cope, but to continue to be effective. 

 Building Bridges to Achieve Results

Course Description: Creating strong relationships is vital to developing win-win outcomes in today's work environment. Developing these connections goes beyond the simple exchanging of tasks--it requires long-term planning and day-to-day practice. Discover how the PRAM model can help you develop and effective strategy for building your network. This process is important to build credibility and a trusting relationship. Building trust in groups will be a component for this workshop. 

 Customer Service

Course Description: Meeting the needs and expectations of those doing business with you is critical to your unit's overall success. Environmental factors and interpersonal skills can affect the customer relationship. Examining strengths, identifying areas for growth, and developing strategies to improve customer service will highlight this program. Series topics include 1) developing an ethic of service, 2) delivering exceptional service and 3) handling customer complaints. This course is designed to be taken sequentially.  

 Dejunking Your Life

Course Description: "I have files and things to read that are over a year old"..."I organize my projects by piles that have taken over my desk"…"My e-mail is out of control"…"I find it difficult to focus because of the dozen items I'm juggling every day." This program is designed to help you manage the small and big things in life that clutter your psyche. Specifically, we'll work with the concepts of bringing items to completion, being more fully present and organizing your self to minimize clutter. At least yearly, it makes sense to clean out the "junk" in our lives and reflect on how we can manage these items better to maintain a high level of effectiveness. 

 Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

Course Description: What is the cost of mediocre service to your unit? Meeting the needs and expectations of those doing business with you is critical to your unit's overall success. Environmental factors and interpersonal skills can affect the customer relationship. Examining strengths, identifying areas for growth, and developing strategies to improve customer service will highlight this program.  

 Difficult Conversations

Course Description: Too often we opt not to have a conversation that deep down we know really matters. We may think to ourselves, "If only I knew this conversation would turn out, then I would have it." Unfortunately there are no guarantees, and we feel safer to not have the conversation. What we don't realize is that avoiding the discussion can cost us at many levels. This program is about managing the difficult conversation and increasing the likelihood that it will be productive and have a positive outcome. Tools, techniques and conversational processes will be illustrated to increase your effectiveness when faced with a difficult conversation.

  E-Mail for Professionals

Course Description: This two-part course gives you tips that will give you credibility in the workplace and help you to move work forward more quickly and efficiently by following streamlined business practices. (Available online only)

 Employee and Labor Relations

Course Description: Understand the role of a supervisor in a union environment, maintain proper documentation of employee performance, understand progressive discipline steps and more. (Also available online)

 Ethical Foundations for Public Service

Course Description: A 3-part training series that will help you to understand and become familiar with public sector ethics, principles and practices for OSU supervisors and managers. Series includes: Philosophy and Principles, Practical Applications for OSU and Case Studies and Scenarios. (Also available online)

 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Course Description: What types of leave qualify for coverage under FMLA? What are the roles and responsibilities in administering FMLA? What is the difference between the Oregon and Federal FMLA? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this informative workshop. (Also available online)

 Five Conversational Themes for Enhancing Community

Course Description: More than ever, a leader's role requires engaging members in purposeful conversation. To effectively engage a group, the questions a leader asks are often as important as the answers the group provides. Thoughtful questioning can generate dialogue that not only brings about meaningful answers, but also enhances the quality of community and invites ownership through the process. Five conversational themes that a leader needs to develop will be shared along with the related questions. This class is designed to be interactive to experience introduced methods.

While this class is designed for those in leadership, managerial or supervisory roles, or those leading communities and groups, it is open to anyone. 

 Foundations for Running Effective Meetings

Course Description: A meeting is a series of conversations intended to produce a set of outcomes. Yet, most meetings are not run very well. Great meetings don't just happen--they're planned. The emphasis of this program will be on understanding and applying fundamental principles that can improve meeting productivity. Many of the ideas can be applied whether you lead the meeting or serve as an active member. 

 Giving Feedback: A Gift or a Brick?

Course Description: Giving and receiving feedback is a skill-based tool that can significantly enhance performance. When done well, feedback is a valuable gift that helps to improve skills. When not, it is transformed to a ton of bricks to be dragged about, slowly eroding performance. This class is focused for those who supervise, but is open to all. Feedback as a conversation will be dissected into its parts. Strategies and tools for both giving and receiving feedback will be emphasized. 

     Handling and Turning Around Employee Complaints

    Course Description: Employees have complaints at times, and this is good--it demonstrates they care about their job and their workplace. However, not all employees know how to express their concerns constructively, and some workplaces openly discourage employees from airing their concerns. If employee complaints are not handled, a climate of resentment, low morale, low productivity and increased turnover can reside. The focus of this program is to create an avenue for raising and addressing complaints effectively, with strategies offered to create a healthy work environment. 

     Increasing Time Awareness

    Course Description: A common theme for most of us..."I have too much to do and not enough time." One critical factor towards improving time management is realizing how much time a task actually takes. You will be asked to complete an easy exercise the week prior to the course. This will be used to increase your awareness of time-task relationship, empowering you with a useful tool when considering saying "yes" or "no" to additional tasks. 

     Integrating New Employees

    Course Description: The key to helping new employees get off to a great start lies in how they are integrated into the workplace. The emphasis of this program will be on what managers and work units can do to assimilate new employees so that they can be productive in their new positions. Creating a an environment that is supportive of new employees will contribute to their overall success. Presenter(s): Paul Biwan, Associate Director, Learning & Organizational Development.

    Journey into Leadership

    This series propels you into a journey of self exploration where you will discover and forge your own leadership trail. Your trail will be like no other with footprints as original, authentic and diverse as there are different types of leaders among us. Visit the Leadership web site for more details. 

     JOY is not a Four-Letter Word: Promoting Happiness in the Workplace

    Course Description: Positive thinking is connected to positive energy. This workshop will increase your awareness of how personal challenges and struggles impact you and others, and will help you to develop tools to view your world in a different way. You'll learn that CHOOSING your attitude can bring a healthy, empowering balance to your life. Presenter(s): Parcella Provence, Memorial Union Business Office and Cohort.

     Managing People Through Change

    Course Description: If progress requires change, why can change be so difficult? Understanding how the change process impacts us is important to directing change efforts. As a participant, you will learn what to expect in the cycle of change and how to work with each phase to ease transitions for yourself and others. 

     Managing Your Career

    Course Description: Work is evolving and changing; where do you fit in? Strategies for managing your career in an ever changing work environment will be explored. Examining your current skill set relative to where you would like to be and committing to on-going development are keys to positioning yourself to take advantage of future opportunities. 

     Mission, Vision and Values

    Course Description: Understand how mission statements can be used as a leadership tool, and how individual and collective energy is used to create shared vision. (Available online only)

     Moving Beyond Scarcity: Reaching your goals when resources are tight

    Course Description: When times are tough, it is common for our thinking to become limited and confined by the scarcity issues for which we are confronted. In this workshop, you will experience a process designed to help you identify the limits you may be placing on yourself and your unit. This process will be explored further to help you move beyond scarcity to pursue your organization’s aspirations. 

     OSU Core Curriculum for Managers and Supervisors

    Course Description: The Oregon State University Core Curriculum is a 4-day program designed to strengthen knowledge and skill competencies essential to providing effective management and a common vision for state and university service. OSU's Core Curriculum focuses on three areas of competency: state and university service, performance management, and worklife management. To find out more information, check out the Core Curriculum page.

     Performance Goal Setting

    Course Description: Goal setting techniques serve to focus and direct the efforts of a work group towards project completion. This program is designed to increase goal setting skills and abilities, and provide some practical steps for writing goal statements and carrying them out. The performance goal setting tools explored in this workshop will empower those who are part of shaping the outcomes of their department, unit or group. 

     Performance Management Cycle

    Course Description: (A 4-Part Series.) Effective performance management is one of the most important contributions a supervisor can make towards achieving excellence at OSU. As a cycle that continues throughout the year, successful performance management aligns the efforts of supervisors and employees with department and campus objectives, and motivates all employees to perform at their best. (Also available online)

     Principles of Moving from Good to Great

    Course Description: What does it mean to be great as opposed to being just good or average? Great that is not driven by ego, but out of being focused and with good intentions will consistently produce solid results at work and in other domains of our life. These principles be explored with an emphasis on applying them for ourselves. Implications of these ideas at the organizational level will be shared as well. 

     Resume and Job Application Writing

    Course Description: This workshop addresses the principles of resume writing and completing job applications and will build on the program Managing Your Career; however, this is not a prerequisite. 

     Road Trip: The Art of Managing Expectations

    Course Description: Whether stated or not, expectations exist between all of us with regard to our relationships and activities. Unmet expectations lead to diminished outcomes and can result in relationships that are less than ideal. If expectations were understood and discussed up front, they could be managed so that the end result was optimum. The concept of meeting expectations will be captured through an experiential exercise working with a family vacation. 

     Sexual Harassment: Recognizing and Responding

    Understand what sexual harassment looks like, how it's handled at OSU, and your responsibililtes as a supervisor.  Presenter: Office of Equity and Inclusion. (Also available online)

    Sit Less, Move More & Healthy Food Choices for a Busy Life

    Prolonged sitting contributes to harmful health consequences, but it's what we do all day! We'll review the latest findings on physical inactivity and explore ways to incorporate more physical activity into your day. The session will include a 20-minute resistance band workout you can do anywhere. Also, to lead a healthy and effective life, we need to fuel our bodies and minds with good food. However, most of us are too busy to spend the time creating beautiful, healthy, homemade meals to bring with us everywhere. So, the question is, "How do I make healthy food choices that fit into my busy life?" Get answers to this and other questions. Presenter(s): Danielle Caldwell & Erika Hanselman-Green, Recreational Sports and Julie Jacobs, Linus Pauling Institute

     Stretch Goals: Taking Your Performance to the Next Level

    To take your performance to another level, you have to be willing to stretch your possibilities and work outside your comfort zone.This means setting both short- and long-term goals that you don't necessarily know you can reach. A key to success is to develop a support structure that keeps you working towards the desired goal. This concept will be explored by illustrating both work and non-work examples. Achieving goals that stretch your current ability ultimately increases your effectiveness, takes your performance to the next level, and makes the extraordinary possible. Working towards and achieving a goal that stretches beyond your current reality is also a contributing factor in feeling alive. 

     The Power of Your Network

    Course Description: Establishing a solid network is important to your success. People who develop strong networks and understand how to use them are more effective, especially during difficult times--not unlike that in which the university currently faces. This program will provide an opportunity for you to examine your network, engage with others in the class, and explore how you can more fully develop your network to increase your effectiveness. A facilitated discussion and participant interaction will be emphasized. 

     Three Legs to a Balanced Workplace

    Course Description: Personal and organizational pressure to produce results, particularly in difficult times, can actually diminish work performance. Paradoxically, by promoting a workplace that does not over emphasize results alone and places more value on the complete work experience, performance will improve without additional resources. You’ll learn the “three legs” for creating balance within your unit and explore implementation strategies.

     Understanding Communication Styles

    Course Description: The same message can mean different things to different folks. You will be asked to complete the SDI instrument. This will be used to identify your communication style under two conditions: when everything is going well and when faced with conflict. Awareness of your own and others' communication style can help strengthen or improve work and personal relationships. Great course for a working group or team! 

     Understanding Conflict and Moving to Resolution

    Course Description: Conflict in the workplace is inevitable. If the process of conflict resolution is viewed as an opportunity for growth and change in a work environment, the potential for a positive outcome is great. Your response to conflict can make all the difference. The focus of this program is to understand the nature of conflict, your response to it, and strategies to bring about resolution. 

     Understanding OSU's Land Grant Status

    Course Description: Understanding OSU's Land Grant status as well as the responsibilities that we carry as recipients of this designation is a key to developing department goals to meet the charge. (Also available online)

     Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act

    Understand what qualifies as a disability, how workplace accommodations are determined and more. Presenter:  Office of Equity and Inclusion.  (Also available online)

     Understanding Worker's Compensation

    Course Description: Do you know what to do when someone gets hurt on the job? What are your legal responsibilities? Whom do you contact and when? This informational workshop will provide answers to many questions involving worker's compensation policies and procedures, and explain how recent changes will impact you. Presenter(s): Employee Benefits Staff, Office of Human Resources. (Also available online)

     Unleashing Human Potential: FISH! Philosophy

    Course Description: Imagine a workplace where everyone chooses to bring positive energy, passion and a great attitude each and every day. An environment in which people are truly connected to their work, to their colleagues and to their customers. Impossible? Not at all. The video Fish! will be featured as a motivational tool towards creating such a culture. The Fish! philosophy of "play, make their day, be there and choose your attitude" will be explored. If you are looking for something to lift your spirits, this is it. 

     Working through Problems

    Course Description: What is your fundamental reaction to a problem? Typically, our culture views problems as negative and we choose to deal (or not deal) with them accordingly. But, what if we shifted the context of problems so that they were "expected" and the freedom to discuss them led to break through's, great discussions, even openings for positive change? Participants will be given several processes to help provide new ways of looking at and working through problems. 

     Working with Metrics for Increased Performance

    Course Description: "Work not measured, cannot be managed." A significant shortcoming of many organizations is the lack of performance metrics. Without adequate standards of performance, "running" a unit successfully can become a burdensome process. In this workshop, you will learn to identify areas to measure, how to gather data, and how to manage standards to increase performance. Presenter(s): Paul Biwan, Associate Director, Learning & Organizational Development.

     You Can Lead a Horse to Water...

    Course Description: But will it drink? The institution is in tremendous transition. And what do we know about change? Research shows that information alone seldom influences real behavioral change. So what models, techniques and tools exist that can increase a leader's ability to implement successful transitions? A least five will be presented. This program is geared towards managers, but not limited to managers. 

    Learning and Organizational Development Staff List

    Learning & Organizational Development - 204 Kerr | email
    Paul Biwan Paul Biwan Associate Director 541-737-0545
    Leigh Larkin Learning Systems Specialist 541-737-3207
    Sara Monk Web & Document Management 541-224-6703