Personal Development

Defensive Driving

Description: This one-hour course will provide simple defensive driving techniques to reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. The content in this course is designed to comply with the intent of the applicable regulatory requirements – define defensive driving, recognize accident prevention methods, identify the importance of seat belts, describe the facts concerning the impact of “drinking and driving”, and identify vehicle safety measures on the job. Duration: 1.0

Developing Good Time Management Habits

Description: Time management shouldn’t be a separate activity–it should be an integral part of the way you do things. For this to happen, you need to be able to develop good time management habits and avoid bad ones. An effective use of time also involves managing your environment, managing your use of technology, and managing the time-wasting activities of people around you. Today we are often overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork that crosses our desks, or the number of e-mails that appear on our screens. There is a real danger that we end up being reactive rather than creative, and spend all our time responding to what we have been sent, rather than initiating new ideas. To avoid this, you need to develop techniques for handling paperwork, telephone calls, and e-mails to maximize their value, and minimize their disruptive potential. Technology makes it possible for us to be more efficient–get more done–in many different ways. But you need to make sure that you are really controlling the technology so that it also helps you to be more effective–getting the right things done, rather than allowing it to control you. There are many time stealers. Demands and interruptions from bosses, peers, or customers can prevent you from achieving your goals, and these must be dealt with appropriately. Not all time thieves are external. Most of us are prone to some degree of seemingly harmless procrastination, but this can be the most insidious and dangerous time waster of all. Duration: 4.5

Dynamic Decision Making

Description: Your decisions determine your life. Nowhere is this simple statement so unabashedly evident as in today’s business world. Made consciously or unconsciously, your decisions represent the fundamental tool you use in facing the opportunities, challenges, and uncertainties of life. It’s not a case, however, of “make a decision, any decision.” The increased complexity and competition of the 21st century marketplace calls for dynamic decision making–the kind of decision making that significantly boosts productivity. The objective of this course is to turn you and others in your organization into dynamic decision makers. You’ll gain the skills necessary to avoid the psychological pitfalls that adversely affect decision making. You’ll hone your decision-making ability in risky and uncertain circumstances. You’ll walk away from this course with concrete and powerful decision-making tools, both rational and statistical. When you use the decision-modeling techniques presented here, you’ll enjoy enhanced accuracy and, hence, business confidence. Then, with these strategies in hand, you’ll explore ways to better make decisions even when you’re working with others who aren’t completely “on your side.” It’s true that decisions determine your life. It’s time now to better determine your decisions. Duration: 2.5

Ethical Decision Making

Description:  What is an ethical decision? Many studies show that businesspeople have an intuitive understanding of right and wrong, but that they find difficulty in explaining their judgments. This course provides the conceptual framework for discussing business ethics and the tool kit for making ethical decisions. Duration: 3.5

Foundations of Effective Thinking

Description:  Albert Einstein once remarked that “the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” It necessarily follows that you must raise your own level of thinking in order to solve pressing business problems and make effective decisions. In this course, you’ll explore how to think about the most critical business skill of all–thinking itself. You’ll first learn about the counterproductive thinking patterns and tendencies most people naturally fall prey to. You’ll then discover how these largely intuitive tendencies manifest themselves in problem-solving mind-sets and decision-making styles. Finally, you’ll take the necessary steps to neutralize ineffective thinking habits and instead practice dynamic and results-oriented thinking strategies. The result? You’ll become a better thinker, someone who can apply these new-found techniques to achieve organizational goals within the current climate of great institutional change. Duration: 3.5

Framing the Problem

Description: When you frame a picture, you intend for the viewer to examine everything within that border. Problem framing is similar in that you must not only consider what objectively makes up the problem itself but also what subjective tendencies influence your view of the situation. This course is designed to help you effectively frame problems so that you’re sure your line of sight is aimed straight toward the solution. You’ll discover how to recognize and gather information about a problem so that all contingencies are accounted for and all subtleties considered. You’ll learn how to uncover the various assumptions, both conscious and unconscious, that are typically made about problems. After identifying these assumptions, you’ll be able to tell the productive ones from the nonproductive. You’ll also explore specific strategies for getting to the heart of any problem and learn dynamic techniques for framing that problem so that success is greatly enhanced. In the end, your ability to frame problems will be museum-quality. Duration: 3.0

Generating Alternatives in Problem Solving

Description: When faced with any problem, it’s tempting, especially in today’s frenzied business atmosphere, to either take the easiest route or rely on the old tried-and-true methods. But how many times have you taken a certain action and realized afterward that you had more options than you realized? Now more than ever, today’s business world is complex and multifaceted. As a positive result of that complexity, however, you can enjoy the benefits of increased opportunities in problem solving. This course is designed to equip you with numerous and productive alternative generation strategies that will enable you to draw from a pool of expanded options. By so doing, you’ll better recognize and act on the best possible business choice. You’ll explore ways to begin generating alternatives and get into the flow of enlarging your store of possible solutions. Using both rational and creative approaches to problem solving, you’ll be sure that no good idea is left unnoticed. And even when you get stuck, when that rut becomes tiresomely deep, you’ll be able to right your course by using the dynamic strategies provided here. Options and alternatives are valuable commodities to possess. Get ready to take them to the bank. Duration: 2.5

Managing Your Anger

Description: You’re angry and you want to let everyone know it. But, is this really a good idea? What will your co-workers or your supervisor think of your outburst? Is there something that you could do to control your anger? This course will help you manage your anger so that you will be less angry and will be able to channel your energy into more constructive activities. You will learn the three stages of managing your anger and techniques that will be useful for preventing your anger from getting out of control. This series provides techniques that a motivated person can use to deal with manageable anger. These techniques do not replace counseling or other professional assistance where such attention is appropriate. Duration: 5.5

Perspectives on Organizational Change

Description: The way that you respond to your new job role, new responsibilities, or fresh procedures is unique to you. The way that you react to change is intensely personal. But, to a large extent, organizations change in predictable ways and for predictable reasons. Similarly, the ways in which people respond to change tend to follow predictable patterns. Being able to see yourself as part of this larger picture is a big help when you set out on a journey of change. “Perspectives on Organizational Change” gives you an insight into the basic principles that drive change. You also gain an understanding of the factors that impact on the readiness and ability of people to change. The course also shows you how to deal with the fear that may be generated in a situation where change is just around the corner. Duration: 3.0

Strategies for Better Balance

Description: “It’s not the hours you put in your work that counts, it’s the work you put in the hours.”–Sam Ewing. This course focuses on the actions you can take to achieve a more balanced life. It begins by helping you to explore ways in which you can create some space in order to bring more nourishing and energizing activities into your life. The course will show you how to build practical systems into your days and weeks that will support you in making the necessary adjustments to your life. As life balance constantly shifts, you will also consider early warning signs to look out for, so that you can make the necessary adjustments as you go along. Finally, this last course in the series will enable you to create a vision of a satisfying, balanced life for yourself. Duration: 5.0

Success over Stress

Description: “Stress is the psychological, physiological and behavioral response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health.” Stephen Palmer, “Occupational Stress”. Contrary to popular belief, stress itself is never a good thing–it is always harmful. This course will show you the difference between pressure, which spurs you into action and helps you to perform at your peak, and stress, which impedes your performance, and has long-term health implications. Stress is produced by your own feelings and reactions to certain external events, rather than by the events themselves. This means that once you recognize how you respond to certain situations, you can change your response to one that is more helpful and productive. Duration: 4.5

Taking Control of Your Time Simulation

Description: You are the Senior Editor for the catalog and online home furnishings company, House and Homes Furniture. Currently, you are working against a deadline to complete the copy on the company’s new Polynesian Settings collection, which is a collection of indoor and outdoor Polynesian-inspired Koa wood furnishings. This is a brand-new line, and it has been a constant scramble and struggle to have these pieces included in the upcoming catalogs. The copy is due to both the print and web publishers by Friday, and it is already Wednesday. Additionally, you belong to the employee activities committee and the company employee barbecue and softball tournament is fast approaching. This is an event that you oversaw the planning of last year, and you’ll have to decide what contributions you can realistically make this year based upon your schedule. You barely have enough time to get your work done, so how you balance and manage your time and other activities is critical to your success. Because different personality types inherently have different strengths and weaknesses for managing time, it is important to not only pay attention to your own personality type but also those of your coworkers. This simulation is based on the SkillSoft series “Take Control of Your Time by Working More Effectively” and has links to the following courses: pd_01_a01_bs_enus. pd_01_a02_bs_enus, and pd_01_a03_bs_enus. Duration: 0.5

Techniques for Better Time Management

Description:  If you don’t feel that you are the organized type, or if making lists or drawing up detailed plans doesn’t come naturally, don’t worry. There isn’t just one way in which time can be managed effectively. This course will introduce you to several different techniques for improving your time-management skills–experiment with them, and then choose and apply the tools which best suit your own situation. In order to achieve anything it is important to establish goals. You need to know what you want to do, before you can decide how and when you are going to do it. You then need to establish deadlines. If these deadlines are unrealistically tight, your interest and commitment in the task may be undermined, or you may experience stress which can have a negative effect on your performance. Deadlines are important, but they have to be realistic. Making “To-do” lists is a useful technique, but you can end up feeling overwhelmed by the amount that has to be achieved in a day, a week or a month. It is vital to prioritize the tasks, and the Priority Matrix is a quick and effective way of sorting the urgent, from the less important. It is relatively easy to make changes to the way in which you work while you are concentrating on making improvements, but it can be much more difficult to sustain these improvements. Once you have taken better control of the way in which you manage time, you need to find ways of maintaining this control. The final lesson in this course will provide some suggestions as to how this can be done effectively. Duration: 4.5