Professional Development Series

These offerings serve as an investment in an employee’s future at Boston College by providing opportunities for full professional development beyond one's current role and job description. Programs offered can improve specific skills, enrich the work experience, increase job satisfaction and/or stimulate individual career progress.

Professional Development Series

Part 1: You say Yes. I say No: Navigating Communication Challenges during Covid 19

September 28

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Program description:

When one person’s misinformation is another person’s fact, or one person’s public safety measure is another person’s authoritarianism, communication can easily go off course. Covid-19 has created an environment that is rife with uncertainty. Our fundamental need for safety, our desire for certainty, prompts us to seek guidance from friends, family, favored leaders and news outlets who we trust. As stress mounts, we can become emotionally invested in our positions and resist letting in new information or considering conflicting sets of data.  In the current climate we often do not share the same sources of information and find it difficult to agree on the same basic, set of facts.  

This two-session program will focus on key factors that will help you navigate these turbulent waters.

Part One will help you to

Understand the stress response, and the varied ways it manifests in ourselves and in others. Learn simple practices that can slow down the stress response to shift from fight or flight to rest and digest (or listen and learn). Understand two common stress reaction patterns that complicate communication—the jump to conclusions and to generating drama—and how to effectively respond.

 

Part Two will introduce you to

Basic communication tips that help people give and receive clear messages under stress. Scenarios based on frequently asked questions that are sources of stress in the workplace. Simple steps to slow down the stress response, to clarify issues at play, and to generate options for responses that will build rather than damage trust.

Register here.

How to Respond to Students in Distress

September 30

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

As a caring college community, we are invested in creating a responsive and educated community that can support and respond to students at risk. This workshop was designed to provide current information, strategies, and resources that will enable staff to identify and respond to Boston College's students in distress. This year we will include information regarding how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected college students and will consider ways in which we can respond to students as they adjust to a fuller and in-person campus life. We hope you will join us in this conversation.

Register here.

Part 2: You say Yes. I say No: Navigating Communication Challenges during Covid-19

October 05

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

When one person’s misinformation is another person’s fact, or one person’s public safety measure is another person’s authoritarianism, communication can easily go off course. Covid 19 has created an environment that is rife with uncertainty. Our fundamental need for safety, our desire for certainty, prompts us to seek guidance from friends, family, favored leaders and news outlets who we trust. As stress mounts, we can become emotionally invested in our positions and resist letting in new information or considering conflicting sets of data.  In the current climate we often do not share the same sources of information and find it difficult to agree on the same basic, set of facts.  

This two-session program will focus on key factors that will help you navigate these turbulent waters.

Part One will help you to

Understand the stress response, and the varied ways it manifests in ourselves and in others. Learn simple practices that can slow down the stress response to shift from fight or flight to rest and digest (or listen and learn). Understand two common stress reaction patterns that complicate communication—the jump to conclusions and to generating drama—and how to effectively respond.

 

Part Two will introduce you to

Basic communication tips that help people give and receive clear messages under stress. Scenarios based on frequently asked questions that are sources of stress in the workplace. Simple steps to slow down the stress response, to clarify issues at play, and to generate options for responses that will build rather than damage trust.

Register here.

Managing Stress: A Deeper Dive - Understanding Emotions

October 19

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Presenters: Pat Touzin and Michael Connolly

Managing Stress: A Deeper Dive

Stress is not an intellectual matter. It is a full-body experience. Our experience of stress changes along with changes in our inner and outer environment. We can ride waves at the surface where the environment can be volatile and turbulent or take a deeper dive into waters that are calm. The deeper dive allows more focused, contemplative, and deliberate approaches to understanding and navigating the undercurrents of our stress.

This series will take a three-dimensional approach to manage stress. Participants may attend one, two, or all three sessions. Attending all sessions enables participants to explore practices over a period of time, but this is not necessary.

Part One: Understanding Emotions

Understanding stress involves understanding the language of emotions. All emotions contain information for us. There are no “bad” emotions.  Whether the experience is pleasant or unpleasant, we must be able to read and interpret our emotions accurately. Often this is more challenging than we expect. In session one, we will explore tools and practices to recognize, accurately label and understand the needs expressed through our emotions. Recognizing and fulfilling needs are fundamental aspects of sustainably managing stress. 

Additionally, workshop participants are invited to a 20 - 25minute follow up Zoom session led by Michael Connolly one week after each workshop, on Thursday at noon.  In these gatherings, we will compare experiences of resilience tools and practices, explore what's working, and share resources.

Register here.

Go Beyond Satisfaction: Customer Service Strategies and Tactics

October 21

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

According to a study from McKinsey & Company (management consulting firm), 70% of a customer's journey is based on how the customer feels they are being treated.  The customer service experience is present within each and every department on the Boston College campus, and it is not going anywhere!  This presentation will utilize real-world examples, statistics, and group conversation/activities to validate the importance of customer service, and attendees will be able to:

  • Identify at least three tactics for dealing with an irate/frustrated customer
  • Recall at least three benefits of a positive customer service interaction
  • Recognize at least one aspect/barrier of their current customer service plan/program that could be improved

Register here.

The Mysterious World of Financial Aid

October 26

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

If you are a parent of a college-bound child, you probably have many questions about the college financial aid process. This seminar/workshop will provide you with a short presentation on the financial aid process, followed by a hands-on workshop on completing the FAFSA and the Profile financial aid forms.

The first part’s topics will include: What is financial aid? What are the types of financial aid? How do (or should) I apply for financial aid? What is financial aid need? How is need/aid determined? How do I appeal for more aid? How do I pay the remaining costs? The second part will focus on the financial aid forms such as the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and College Board’s Profile Form.

Register here.

Overview of the University Performance Management Program

October 27

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

This session will provide an overview of the University’s Performance Management Program. We will spend time talking about performance management as an ongoing and dynamic process for managers and employees, the role of goals and competencies, the skills needed to effectively utilize and benefit from the program, and the resources available to support both managers and employees throughout the process.

In addition, we will review how to effectively prepare for the appraisal form completion and University's Annual Merit Review.

Register here.

Drive Your Career: 9 High-Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Success

October 28

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Individuals who want to ensure their career is moving in the direction they want it to go are drivers. They think about the work they are doing and how this work can help them grow and advance. They talk with key leaders to raise their visibility and to increase their knowledge of what is important to their organization. They do not sit back and wait for someone else to help them; they rely on themselves to help themselves.

Drawing on Ed Evarts’s multi-year career working with leaders - from supervisors to Presidents - across multiple disciplines of organizations, Drive Your Career: 9 High-Impact Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Own Success, will help leaders at all levels of an organization focus on key behaviors and actions in which they must invest to drive their career.

Register here.

Building Your Skills in Public Speaking

November 09

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Do your legs buckle when someone asks you to say a few words in a group? Are you comfortable talking but are looking for ways to engage your audience better? Whether it's introducing ourselves or elucidating important content, we're often called upon to inform, persuade or entertain others. This workshop will cover the fundamentals of public speaking to increase your confidence and the effectiveness of your presentation. You'll learn several key tips that will elevate your public speaking immediately.

Register here.

Managing Stress: A Deeper Dive - Shifting Energies

November 10

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Presenters: Pat Touzin and Michael Connolly
 

Managing Stress: A Deeper Dive

Stress is not an intellectual matter. It is a full-body experience. Our experience of stress changes along with changes in our inner and outer environment. We can ride waves at the surface where the environment can be volatile and turbulent or take a deeper dive into waters that are calm. The deeper dive allows more focused, contemplative, and deliberate approaches to understanding and navigating the undercurrents of our stress.

This series will take a three-dimensional approach to manage stress. Participants may attend one, two, or all three sessions. Attending all sessions enables participants to explore practices over a period of time, but this is not necessary.

Part Two: Shifting Energies

Stress is the body’s energetic response to a threat. Within seconds, the system is flooded with 1400 biochemical markers to provide the resources needed to fight or to flee. Under this surge, suggestions that we “settle down” or “cheer-up” or “not cry over spilled milk” -- though well-intended -- offer no means to help us shift the energy of stress. Without relief, we become exhausted.

The body loves rhythm. The body loves balance. The stress response indicates imbalance, uncertainty, loss of rhythm. The goal is to return to balance. The part of the brain that governs the stress response thinks in pictures, not words. This session will explore the physiology of stress and the power of imagery to shift energies from an unsettled to a settled state. With awareness and choice, we can build new pathways in the brain that are the means to shifting set points and sustainably managing stress.

Additionally, workshop participants are invited to a 20 - 25minute follow up Zoom session led by Michael Connolly one week after each workshop, on Thursday at noon.  In these gatherings, we will compare experiences of resilience tools and practices, explore what's working, and share resources.

Register here

Leadership at a distance

November 11

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Continue to inspire and motivate your team across virtual space.

  • Discover the power of clarifying roles and expectations
  • Learn how to “invest in trust” to maintain a united team
  • Maintain the ability to empower and motivate staff screen-to-screen
  • Learn proven techniques to conduct thoughtful and effective virtual meetings
  • Create team unity by recognizing the impact of stressful situations on individuals

Register here.

Dizzy over Data? Information Governance 101

November 17

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Does your office maintain a variety of information(data)?  How do you collect it?  How do you share it?  How do you know your information is current?  How to you measure the quality of information you produce?  Are you able to describe your information in ways that are meaningful to those who need to use it?

These questions all relate to information governance, a hot topic that is especially the buzz in higher education.  Many of our peer institutions have formal programs and positions assigned to address information governance. Developing and delivering quality information is not by chance. 

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn the building blocks of information governance through a variety of exercises and games
  • Hear about cutting edge ideas from industry leaders
  • Preview of some of the tools and programs being developed at BC to assist employees in managing their data 
  • Discuss key roles for developing a successful information governance program including the role we all play in improving the quality of our University data

Register here.