Essential Skills for the Developing Leader

This Learning Program is designed to introduce critical skills and concepts to those aspiring to leadership positions with Washington State University.   Click on each of the Concept Areas below to expand the section and review the specific titles within.

The course selections include both online courses and live Instructor Led Training Courses (ILT):

  • Online Courses: click on the “Access the Online Training” link associated with each course to begin
  • ILT Courses:  click on the “Enroll in Upcoming Session” link to learn specific dates and register

If you choose to pursue the entire series, please add the “Emerging Leader” Learning Program to your training plan.  To do so, click here and select “Add to My Plan.”  This will automatically track and display your progress through the series.

As with all WSU training opportunities, obtain supervisory approval and review Appropriate Use of Training Time and WSU Policy on Release Time for Training before beginning these courses.

Last updated 2/8/2017

How to Enroll in Instructor Led TrainingHow to Track Progress


Moving Into Management

These courses examine key leadership basics for employees moving into their first management role.

The Roles and Responsibilities of the Supervisor

(Online course – 1.3 hours)

This online course provides an overview of the multiple roles and legal responsibilities of the supervisor.  Additionally, the four primary functions of the supervisor are addressed along with the supervisor’s responsibilities to the organization and to the employees.

Access the Online Training


First Time Manager: Challenges

(Online course – 1 hour)

High expectations are often placed on first-time managers. Along with these expectations comes the pressure to succeed and the need to prove you belong in a management position. Establishing credibility early and building new working relationships can go a long way in helping a first-time manager succeed in adjusting to his or her new responsibilities. This course describes ways to establish credibility and manage former colleagues effectively.

Access the Online Training


Introduction to WSU Employment Policies

(Live Instructor Led Course – 1.5 hours)

What is a WAC?  An RCW?  A BPPM, a bargaining unit, a layoff unit, etc., etc., etc.?  This course provides an overview of the rules, regulations, and policies that govern WSU employment.   It defines basic terms and concepts along with some of the background that has led to the development of current practice.  The goal of the course is to help all employees experience greater success through clearer understanding of the employment systems in place. Additionally, it is a recommended course for employees aspiring to leadership positions at WSU.

Enroll in upcoming session


Management Essentials: Directing Others

(Online Course – 1 hour)

This course provides information on the key proficiencies required to effectively direct others. Specifically, the steps for setting direction and establishing clear objectives and goals with your direct reports are explored. Communicating for clarity and direction, including listening skills, barriers to effective communication, and tips for overcoming communication barriers are covered.

Access the Online Training


State Ethics Law

(Live Instructor Led Course – 1.5 hours)

Each Washington State officer and employee has the personal responsibility to comply with the Ethics in Public Service requirements found in RCW 42.52 and WAC 292. This introductory overview is intended to provide answers to such questions as: To whom do the ethics requirements apply? Who is responsible for interpreting ethics laws and adopting ethics regulations? What are the major principles of the ethics requirements? Where can further information be obtained?

Enroll in upcoming session


Business Policies, Procedures and Records Retention

(Live Instructor Led Course – 1.5 hours)

This workshop discusses how to use WSU’s Business Policies and Procedures Manual, how the manual is updated and its history. Specific attention is given to records scheduling, records retention and state records requirements.

Enroll in upcoming session


Supervisor as Safety Manager

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2 hours)

WSU is dedicated to providing a workplace where employees can be productive and free from injury and in complying with state safety laws. This course includes information on the New Employee Safety Checklist, the Supervisors’ Safety Manual, WSU’s Accident Prevention Program, Hostile Intruder Response, WSU’s Alert System  and the supervisor’s role in performing inspections and reporting and investigating accidents.

Enroll in upcoming session


Effective Communication

The ability to clearly express vision and direction is critical to leadership, as is the ability to attentively listen to the ideas and concerns of others.  These topics explore effective workplace communication.

Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2.5 hours)

Washington State University is dedicated to providing a workplace where employees can be productive and free from injury and in complying with state safety laws. This course includes information on the New Employee Safety Checklist, the Supervisors’ Safety Manual, WSU’s Accident Prevention Program, Hostile Intruder Response, WSU’s Alert System  and the supervisor’s role in performing inspections and reporting and investigating accidents.

Enroll in upcoming session


Communicating for Results

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2.5 hours)

This course will explore how to tailor communications to best address the needs and interests of your audience. It includes a review of the “Rules of Asking for Cooperation,” a personal assessment of social styles, and communication tips for increasing the likelihood of productive relationships.

Enroll in upcoming session


Interpersonal Communication that Builds Trust

(Online Course – 28 minutes)

Communication works best when your intention is clear, your audience is engaged, and your verbal and nonverbal behavior are respectful. When you hit these notes, you’ll build trust with the people you communicate with. To maintain that trust, you also have to be aware of and manage emotions – yours and those of others. In this course, you’ll explore how a clear intention drives a communication, and how understanding your audience ensures that the message gets delivered. You’ll also learn how verbal signals, nonverbal behavior, and emotional intelligence can help make or break your communications.

Access the Online Training


Building a Productive Team

The value of teams in the workplace is undisputed.  These topics introduce the concept of team building and team effectiveness.

Overview of Recruitment and Selection at WSU

(Live Instructor Led Course – 1.5 hours, also available as an Online course – 1 hour)

How do we recruit individuals to apply for positions at WSU? What are the laws, policies and procedures of which  we need to be aware? This course is an overview of the recruitment processes for those who wish to learn about recruitment and selection at WSU. Great refresher for those who have previously taken Faculty/Staff Recruitment Basics.

Enroll in upcoming session OR  View additional Recruitment and Selection courses


 Leading Teams: Developing the Team and Its Culture

(Online course – 1 hour)

This course outlines the role of the team leader on a high-performance team and highlights the importance of taking steps to develop the team culture early on during team formation. It offers methods used to encourage team participation and provides some key strategies used to build a cohesive team culture by encouraging social interactions, establishing team member competencies, and promoting interdependence.

Access the Online Training


Understanding Conflict

(Live Instructor Led Course)

We all experience conflict in our lives.  It is normal and natural – as well as stressful.  What exactly is conflict, how does it develop, and what are its sources?  This workshop takes a look at different types of conflict, our individual responses to it, and offers tips to effectively manage conflict when it occurs.

Enroll in Upcoming Session


The Benefits and Challenges of Engaging Employees

(Online course – 1 hour)

Creating an engaged and motivated workforce can help make an organization more innovative, productive, and profitable. This course reviews the benefits of having an engaged workforce and defines the attributes and actions of engaged employees. It also explores employee motivation and commitment challenges and examines how employee engagement links to the bottom line.

Access the Online Training


Developing and Empowering Others

WSU’s most valuable resources are its employees. These courses help the emerging leader recognize the professional needs of their employees, develop their skills and motivate their performance.

Management Essentials: Developing Your Direct Reports

(Online Course – 1 hour)

This course provides an overview of the importance and benefits of developing direct reports, and tactical strategies for doing so. Specifically, this involves an examination of the steps required to assess the development needs of your employees by differentiating individual requirements. Also covered is the importance and methods for creating a development plan with your employees based on their individual requirements, and ways to support the development plan by creating opportunities for practice and growth in skills and abilities.

Access the Online Training


Treating Your Direct Reports Fairly

(Online Course – 1 hour)

This course focuses on what fairness means in the relationship between managers and their direct reports. It discusses the benefits of treating employees fairly and examines areas where showing fairness is most essential – for example, when dealing with different groups and individuals, when distributing information, and when applying standards.

Access the Online Training


Cultural Competency Training

(Live Instructor Led Course – 3 hours)

WSU’s Diversity Education Program provides this course to give participants a competitive edge in today’s multicultural labor market. Participants will learn how to deal with different cultural values, norms, customs and expectations in today’s workplace using best practice techniques and real world leadership skills.

Enroll in upcoming session


Introduction to Performance Management

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2 hours)

Performance review is a key component of employee development. However, the benefits of the performance review are generally realized only after first acquiring a working knowledge of Position Descriptions and Performance Expectations. Properly written and updated, these documents provide the foundation for effective performance management.

This course provides a basic introduction to the criteria of well-written position descriptions and performance expectations, as well as the successful application of the performance review. It is intended for employees aspiring to leadership positions at WSU.

Enroll in upcoming session


Coaching for Growth

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2 hours)

The responsibilities of the supervisor include planning for the professional development of his/her employees.  Among the many techniques available for accomplishing this is coaching.  A blend of highly directive and highly supportive behaviors, coaching successfully implemented leads to improved performance, higher productivity, and increased retention.  This course examines the value of coaching as an essential element in every supervisor’s toolbox. 

Enroll in upcoming session


Successful Delegation

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2 hours)

No supervisor is a super hero, unfortunately.  Even the best supervisors require help to get things done and, without a well-performing staff, will ultimately fail.  One of the best ways to accomplish departmental goals is through effective delegation.  Not only does it yield production results, it also grooms employees for advancement and higher level tasks. This course examines the criteria of effective delegation in the workplace.

Enroll in upcoming session


Dealing with Personnel Challenges

(Live Instructor Led Course – 2 hours)

A wide range of issues and conditions impact performance in the workplace.  What are the best supervisory approaches to such things as internal conflict, tardiness, unsafe behaviors, negativity and gossip?  This course takes a case study approach to the help develop the awareness and skill to manage difficult personnel challenges.

Enroll in upcoming session


Visionary Leadership

True leadership includes the capacity to inspire change. This requires the personal confidence, courage and vision to lead others into a better future.

Managing Change: Dealing with Resistance to Change

(Online Course – 1 hour)

This course outlines the aspects of overcoming the emotions, anxiety, and underlying causes which are often manifested in employees’ resistance to change, including . It surveys the active and passive symptoms of resistance to change, goes deeper to explore the emotional and thought-based causes of these symptoms, and provides strategies for dealing with root causes through direct conversations with employees

Access the Online Training


The Voice of Leadership: Inspirational Leadership

(Online Course – 1 hour)

People are inspired when they trust their leaders and can move toward common goals. Inspiring leaders create enthusiasm and bring relevant experience and sound judgment to their organizations. They paint a future for others that’s grounded in reality and demonstrates ethical and courageous behavior in the tasks put before them. This course examines what people look for in an inspiring leader. It steps through the behaviors that inspirational leaders exemplify, explaining how to develop these traits.

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