Professional Development Academy

Below is the list of available Professional Development Academy classes at College of the Ouachitas for local business and industry. The purpose of the academy is to help better prepare and advance the managerial and leadership skills for the participants and for the organizations they represent. Each class is four hours in length and can be held at the COTO CAST building at 829 MLK Blvd, Malvern, AR 72104 or at your location.The cost for each session is $109 per participant and payment may be invoiced to the company or paid to the business office before each class. Corporate rates and group discounts are available. Click here to register for a course or call 501.332.0236 or see Laurie Hawthorne at the CAST building.



Communicating for Leadership Success

Jan 25, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
Jan 18, 2019


This foundation course introduces leaders to the essential interaction skills that are critical to leadership success.  These Interaction Essentials are the core behaviors that leaders need to possess to be effective in the many situations they handle on a daily basis, such as coaching, delegating, and driving change.  Leaders will learn how to meet the personal and practical needs of their team members, and how to communicate in order to spark action in others to achieve business results.  They will also learn how to provide positive feedback that recognizes and motivates individuals and teams, as well as developmental feedback that helps others get back on track.  This foundation course is a prerequisite for many of the courses in the Interaction Management® Exceptional Leaders series.

Coaching for Peak Performance

Feb 8, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
Feb 1. 2019

This course helps leaders handle both proactive and reactive coaching discussions.  By understanding the importance of four coaching techniques, learners can have more effective and efficient interactions.  The session incorporates a fast-paced game to understand the techniques.  Since both proactive and reactive coaching discussions can be challenging, participants will use their own situations to make the course especially relevant to them.  Prerequisite: Communicating For Leadership Success

Driving Change

Feb 22, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
Feb 15, 2019

This course helps leaders implement change in the workplace so they can avoid the problems that plague 70% of failed change initiatives.  Driving Change provides the skills and resources leaders need to accelerate the process of implementing change with their team members and to create an agile work environment where people are more open to change.  Leaders will learn how to use three Change Accelerators to turn resistance into commitment and inspire team members to take ownership of change.  Prerequisite: Communicating For Leadership Success

Setting Goals and Reviewing Results

March 8, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
March 1, 2019

People are more engaged and strive for better results when they feel ownership of their work in both the process and the outcomes.  Unfortunately, leaders fail to engage and reinforce this sense of ownership in performance management discussions.  This course will show the positive effect of shifting the traditional role of planner and evaluator from the leader to a shared responsibility between leader and employee.  This shift builds ownership with the employee and frees up time for leaders to focus on coaching and developing throughout the performance cycle.  Leaders will experience how to use effective (SMART) goals to help them and their employees track progress and fairly evaluate outcomes.  A well-written performance plan is also a powerful tool for leaders to use when determining where to focus their development and coaching discussions with their employees.  Prerequisite: Communicating For Leadership Success

Delegating With Purpose

March 29, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
March 15, 2019

Delegation is a critical skill for leaders in today’s “do more with less” business environment.  Fewer resources, changing motivations, virtual employees, and global workforces are just a few of the challenges leaders face as they attempt to meet ever-increasing workplace demands.  In this course, leaders learn the skills they need to address these challenges, gain the commitment of team members, develop individual skills and abilities, and enhance the overall capability and capacity of their teams and, ultimately, the organization.  Leaders learn to identify the tasks they need to delegate, select the most appropriate individuals, assess capabilities and commitment, and plan the delegation discussion including the level of decision-making authority, amount of support, and methods for measuring and monitoring the delegation.  Prerequisite: Communicating For Leadership Success

Resolving Workplace Conflict

April 12, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
April 5, 2019

Today’s business environment presents new and growing challenges forcing organizations to continually increase productivity, improve quality, shorten cycle time, and reduce costs.  Survey after survey confirms that people are working longer and harder at jobs that are more complex and have a wider range of responsibilities.  At the same time, the way people work and communicate with one another is changing, creating added stress and complexity.  The homogenous, single-function, co-located group is being replaced by dispersed, cross-functional teams with diverse areas of expertise.  An unfortunate but natural by-product of these challenges is conflict.  While conflict can lead to discoveries such as new ideas and innovative breakthroughs, it can, if allowed to escalate, result in damage to critical working relationships.  This course teaches leaders how to recognize the signs of escalating conflict and take appropriate action to minimize damage.  Leaders are introduced to two resolution tactics—coach and mediate—and practice using the Interaction Essentials as they coach an associate to resolve a conflict.  Prerequisite: Communicating For Leadership Success

Maximizing Team Performance

April 26, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
April 19, 2019

Managers can misdiagnose the root causes of team conflict or less-than-optimal team performance when they consider only the capabilities or character of individual team members.  Often there are more systemic conditions that undermine a team’s cohesiveness, collaboration, or ability to achieve goals.  This course focuses on how leaders can work with their teams to build the infrastructure that enables maximum performance.  Leaders gain experience in diagnosing and applying the five Team Success Factors: Results, Commitment, Communication, Process, and Trust.  A resource guide and sample Team Charter is included.

Planning and Managing Resources

May 10, 2019
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Registration Deadline:
May 3, 2019

This course helps informal and formal leaders develop the skills they need to use time and manage resources more effectively so they are able to make stronger contributions to your organization.  Planning and Managing Resources, begins by helping leaders set appropriate priorities for themselves and their team.  Next, they will learn how to divide large tasks into manageable size and figure out how long they should take.  Learners will be able to find, schedule, and leverage resources—human and otherwise—to do those manageable tasks.  Using the tips, techniques, and tools in this course will also help learners complete projects successfully by anticipating obstacles and devising a plan to address them.

Please note that the Communicating for Leadership Success is a suggested prerequisite for many of the other classes.

DDI’s Interaction Management®: Exceptional Leaders (IM: ExLSM) series creates transformative development experiences for your frontline leaders.  IM: ExLSM engages learners throughout the whole experience as they participate in courses that are timely and relevant with connections to the challenges they face on the job.  IM: ExLSM also offers content, tools, and resources for organizations and managers that sustain learning because DDI understands that driving learning beyond a formal event leads to business impact.

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