Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

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The Essentials

Learning for Professionals

Skills for success with these focused programs.

Communication Essentials Courses


Note: If you are planning to use these courses as electives in the Business Administration Diploma, please contact us for academic values. 

ESS 797 The Art of Active Listening (0.5 days)

Arguably the most important communication skill is also the most underrated.  That is, the art of active listening.  It is far more important to actively listen than it is to talk. In this half day course you will identify the importance of active listening and the high cost of not listening in terms of lost productivity and morale.  You will learn effective listening strategies and the importance of Listener-Centered Communication -- putting yourself in the talker's shoes and understanding things from the other person's perspective.

Instructors: Lori Stephenson

ESS 800 Dealing with Difficult People (0.5 day)

Throughout our workday we interact with a variety of people. Whether they are customers or managers, employees or peers, some people can be difficult.  How we handle these people and the difficulty they cause will determine either a positive or negative outcome for us—and for them. Get equipped with a variety of techniques to manage the emotional upheaval triggered by difficult behaviours. Tools and strategies are also offered to enable the participants to deal with difficult people face-to-face. Since many of us avoid speaking up because we don’t know what to say, an opportunity will be given to prepare the actual words with which to address a variety of difficult behaviours.

Instructors: Laura Cole

ESS 805 Unconscious Bias: How We Make Decisions - NEW! (0.5 Days)

Our behaviour is impacted by the assumptions, biases, and stereotypes, both positive and negative that exist in our subconscious. We tend to believe that we are seeing everything in its complete form, however it’s not possible for us to see the world as it is because we see it through the lens of our experiences, biases and various identity factors. As a result, the assumptions we hold shape the decisions that we make. Unfortunately, these decisions may be creating unequal outcomes for everyone that we interact with -our employees, peers and even strangers.

For leaders, it is important to be aware of how our biases can influence the way in which we communicate, how we approach and resolve conflict, how we make decisions and ultimately how we lead. This course presents an introduction to unconscious bias, its impacts, and ways to mitigate.

Instructors: Heather MacNeil

ESS 807 Strengthening Communications with True Colors* (1 day)

True Colors™ is an internationally renowned model for understanding yourself and others based on one's personality temperament. The model uses four colors: Orange, Green, Blue and Gold to differentiate the four central personality styles. Everyone possesses a combination of the colors; yet one of the colors is usually the most dominant. By gaining an understanding of the different colors and becoming aware of your own dominant color, you can strengthen your communication approach with others and adapt your style if needed to help maximize positive results. This insightful tool is easy to remember and has application in a wide range of personal and professional situations. Participants will have the opportunity to practice applying strategies in a variety of communication scenarios during the session.

ESS 809 Gender-Inclusive Communication & Collaboration (1 Day)

In this course, we recognize the significance of gender diversity training but go beyond it to become gender-inclusive. First, we distinguish between the biological-driven aspects of our behavior from the socially and culturally entrenched ones, likening it to an iceberg. Next, using organizational studies and through interactive learning activities, we examine the interplay in how gender shapes the workplace and its organizational culture, from our communication patterns, perceptions of hierarchy and power, to our networking, collaboration and leadership styles. Then, we use various insights from researchers, organizational development experts and thought leaders to showcase workplaces that are more gender-diverse and gender-inclusive in their culture and decision-making. As a key learning outcome and takeaway, learners will be given a diagnostic tool that can help assess the relative gender inclusion at their workplace and learn strategies to help create more gender-inclusive workplaces.

ESS 817 Business Storytelling (1 day)

The art of leadership and management includes the ability to ‘weave a tale’ that engages, motivates, and inspires. Storytelling gives context and adds meaning; it helps strengthen the links between individual teams and bigger organizational goals. Effective managers need to learn how to connect in a more meaningful and intimate way with people to achieve buy-in and commitment. People tell business stories to communicate and connect with employees, customers, colleagues, partners, suppliers, and the media. Business stories differ from regular stories, in that you tell them with an objective, goal, or desired outcome in mind, rather than for entertainment. Participants will learn: how to communicate and connect better with their audience; how to build their story repertoire; how to distill their message; and how to improve their business speaking and writing skills.

ESS 821 Leading Millennials - NEW! (0.5 Days)

In an environment in which 40% of the workforce is comprised of Millennials, and disruption of industry, product, and process is constant and unrelenting, understanding and learning how to lead this generation has become an integral part of organizations’ people strategy. This course presents a framework for practices that support the recruitment and retention of Millennials. A look at the Millennial experience and the unique attributes of this generation are examined, and the impact on recruitment, engagement and retention strategies are explored. Leadership that understands how to attract, recruit and retain top talent for the future is essential for thriving in a culture of disruption and change.

Instructors: Jennifer Hagen

ESS 834 Giving & Receiving Constructive Feedback (1 day)

Interested in honing your verbal delivery skills and your ability to really hear and process feedback?  Typically one of the most dreaded interpersonal interactions we face, this course is packed with interaction and practical techniques for both the "giver" and "receiver" of constructive feedback.  Learn how to remove or minimize the fear that surrounds this common and often stressful communication necessity.

Instructors: Laura Cole

ESS 835 Emotional Intelligence at Work* (1 day)

A growing body of research shows that Emotional Intelligence is more important to personal and professional success than IQ, and that it is the single most important contributor to effective performance and leadership. During this interactive presentation you will be introduced to a wide variety of concepts and techniques related to effectively applying Emotional Intelligence. Explore how to better understand, manage and leverage your and others' emotions in order to manage conflict, deal with stress and to relate to others more effectively and productively. Implications for leadership and management capacity will also be discussed. A common theme that runs through this course is people, and the ability to understand, connect, react and relate to them. This courses includes an assignment that must be completed prior to the course.  Registrants will be emailed instructions approximately one week prior to the course.

Instructors: Lori Stephenson

ESS 838 Delivering Powerful Presentations (1 day)

This fun, effective and interactive course provides practical and proven strategies for planning, preparing and delivering powerful presentations. Learn and practice how to combat nervousness associated with public speaking along with understanding how to effectively construct the elements of a meaningful and purposeful presentation.

Instructors: Paul Lawton

ESS 877 Negotiation Skills (1 day)

Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties.  It can be very difficult to do well. Even the most experienced negotiators often fall prey to common biases and errors in judgment. The purpose of this course is to help you understand the theory and process of effective negotiations. The best way to learn negotiation skills and actually internalize them is to negotiate in a setting where insight is offered, feedback is plentiful, personal reflection is encouraged, and careful analysis is required. Therefore, the course relies primarily on “hands on” learning to help participants understand the negotiating process and their own strengths and weaknesses. Note: This course is intended for general business situations.

ESS 895 Effective Business Writing

People are sometimes too busy to read all e-mails and other written correspondence that comes across their desks. Correspondence needs to be well-written to be well-read! This course helps participants prepare correspondence that gets attention and makes it 'reader-friendly'. This one-day course is designed to help participants prepare better written communication in their work environment, whether it is a letter, report or an e-mail. Actual examples of workplace writing are examined to show participants how to improve.

ESS 899 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (1 day)

This one-day course will assist you in understanding your individual style of conflict resolution and both the positive and negative impacts of your style in managing conflict effectively. Discuss why conflict happens in the work setting, and discover practical tips for managing conflict. You will also learn about constructive routes to communication and agreement, consider your own ways for dealing with conflict and practice various ways of communicating more effectively.

Instructors: Lesley Calvin

ESS 902 Coaching & Mentoring (2 days)

This two-day Coaching & Mentoring course is highly interactive and experiential, giving participants the opportunity to understand the concepts and practice use of the skills in a coaching conversation. Mentoring relationships have existed for many years in the workplace on an ad hoc basis. While the concept has existed, there is still mystique around the meaning and value. A half-day session will enable participants to understand the value of mentoring and more importantly, develop skills to create and manage mentoring relationships, both as mentors and mentees. The remainder of the course is devoted to coaching.  Coaching is fundamentally about facilitating change that will lead to desired results: facilitating movement from a current state to a desired future state. This 1 ½ day session will provide leaders with the skills needed to use coaching to leverage the organizations investment in human capital (people).

Instructors: Lori Stephenson

ESS 903 Managing in a Unionized Environment - NEW! (1 Days)

Managing in a unionized environment can be a complex and overwhelming experience for many organizational leaders. Regular changes to labour laws, human rights codes, governance frameworks, policies, and collective agreements can increase workplace anxiety and impact the effectiveness of daily operations for managers and unionized employees. This informative and practical course is designed for supervisors and frontline leaders across diverse industries who are responsible for leading and managing teams within unionized settings. In this course, participants will acquire an understanding of the legal framework within which unions operate including labour relations and collective agreements. Through a combination of lecture, discussions, group activities, and case studies, the following will be explored: the history and origin of unions in Canada, progressive discipline, performance management, grievances, and arbitration procedures. By understanding the foundation of labour relations, supervisors and frontline leaders will be enabled to apply consistent approaches to managing in a unionized environment. Such expertise will ultimately lead to an increase in employee engagement.

Instructors: Laura Cole

ESS 904 Influencing Others with Confidence and Success - NEW! (0.5 Days)

Work is increasingly complex. More and more we are asked to collaborate with multiple colleagues and stakeholders, other teams and diverse partner organizations. Because of this highly matrixed interconnectivity, autonomy and authority aren’t a given. In these situations, success is often tied to our ability to influence direction and decisions while maintaining effective and positive working relationships. To be an effective and successful influencer, one needs to be able to compellingly communicate the issue and link it to outcomes, all the while appreciating the perspectives and priorities of the other stakeholders and team members.

Instructors: Lori Stephenson

ESS 905 Remote Work – Strategies for Efficiency - NEW! (0.5 Days)

Remote work is here to stay. The good news is working remotely can be productive, effective, and convenient. To achieve this, we need to be prepared, which means thinking beyond technology. Remote work involves structure, clear goals, and strong communication practices. Virtual teamwork, collaboration, and meetings all benefit from a deliberate effort to create engagement and accountability. In addition to these strategies, working remotely means setting clear boundaries to support a healthy work-life balance.

ESS 906 How to Pick Up the Pieces – Leadership, Motivation, and Gratitude in Action - NEW! (0.5 Days)

The “How to Pick Up the Pieces – Leadership, Motivation, and Gratitude in Action” program has been designed to support those with the responsibility to inspire others through unforeseen change, crisis, or disruptive transitions in their personal or professional work environment. As an example, the world has come to a stand-still with Covid-19 and created uncertainty that we must all learn to grow from. How do we do this? This course guides a participant to re-center themselves and define how they will “show up” to lead others, how to hit the mark on what truly motivates people, and how to better understand the power of gratitude to inspire continuous improvement and growth. This is a course for persons from all backgrounds and demographics, regardless of job title. When difficult things happen to good people, it requires everyone to find the leader within.

ESS 907 Effective Prioritization to Improve Decision Making, Manage Workload and Improve Well-being (0.5 Days)

As leaders, there is a chain of events associated with everything we do and decide. The bigger the decision, the more life-changing the chain of events will be for both people and the organization. It is estimated that the average adult makes about 35,000 decisions each day. In our personal and professional lives, each decision carries certain consequences. As a leader, you are called upon to make important decisions that affect the workload of your team, the success of your organization, and the health and well-being of all those who work for you. Leaders are responsible for more than just getting the work done on time; they must lead with empathy, inspire inclusion, and ensure timely and efficient attainment of goals. This course will explore strategic practices that help leaders better prioritize their time to improve the quality of decision-making, manage workload to reduce stress, and, ultimately, improve the morale of their teams.

Instructors: Jennifer Hagen

ESS 908 Unconscious Bias: Moving from Bystander to Advocate - NEW (0.5 Days)

Unconscious bias impacts the way we think, the way we make decisions, and the way we interact with people in our personal and professional lives. Unconscious bias is powerful, resulting in assumptions that exist in our subconscious and influence our behaviour and attitude. It is critical that we not only understand and mitigate our own biases but that we advocate moving towards an inclusive and diverse society. We must work to create equal opportunities for all, to address the consequences of biases, and to tackle entrenched, systemic, and intercultural inequalities, exclusion, and discrimination. Designed to move us from bystander to advocate, this course will provide opportunities to challenge our thinking and in turn, help us identify and improve policies and practices consistent with an inclusive workplace and world. ESS 805 Unconscious Bias: How We Make Decisions, is the recommended pre-requisite course.

Prerequisite: ESS 805 Unconscious Bias: How We Make Decisions
Instructors: Heather MacNeil

ESS 909 Developing Your Social Media Brand with Style and Confidence (0.5 Days)

You have chosen your profile picture, written the perfect bio, and are sharing carefully curated links. Crickets. Your best take? One like. Your reply? Unacknowledged. What is going on? How do people gain influence through social media? This half-day course examines the sociology and psychology behind online influence as well as the basic building blocks employed by the world’s top influencers and brands to capitalize on the social media platforms that have come to dominate our personal, professional, and political lives. We will discuss the rules of establishing an online presence that is worth a follow. We will explore a set of techniques designed to generate cultural relevance and create real value that will generate attention.

Instructors: Paul Lawton

ESS 910 Best Practices for Sustainable Living (0.5 Days)

Are you a sustainable leader? Do you believe that you live a sustainable lifestyle? Encouraging sustainable lifestyles and making responsible choices are vitally important to helping our planet. Sustainable living is about citizens minimizing the use of global resources and reducing the damage of human interaction with the environment. As a primer on best practices for leading a sustainable lifestyle, this course introduces defining sustainable living by offering a practical philosophy for making positive choices for personal reduction, improving environmental impact, and contributing to societal well-being. Participants will explore a cross-section of sustainability issues and reflect on efforts for addressing them. Participants will explore environmental, economic, and societal issues facing individuals, organizations, and community groups pursuing sustainable development and practices. The role of personal leadership in sustainability will also be explored.

ESS 912 Your Energy Currency: Enhancing and Improving Your Emotional Self-Awareness

Your energy is your currency, both personally and professionally. Do you know what your energy is saying? This interactive and dynamic workshop provides an understanding of your current emotional Energy and a framework for developing your emotional self-awareness and improving your emotional self-management in ‘normal’ conditions and under stress. In this workshop, participants will learn a framework to better support themselves in managing their emotional energy and behaviour. Through activities and learnings, participants will begin to comprehend how their emotions shape who they are, and how they relate to others. Participants will learn about emotional energy and how their energy can fundamentally define who they are and how they may be perceived by others. Participants will leave the session with the tools necessary to identify and uncover their energy triggers, explore where their unconscious energy lies, and how to use the Energy of Leadership Index for enhancing self-awareness.

Instructors: Lesley Calvin

* Students must enrol at least two weeks before the start date to allow time for an online assessment to be completed prior to the course