Career Development

HRD500- Better Business Grammar and Usage

Regardless of how relevant the content, if your letters, memos, e-mail messages, proposals or reports contain grammatical errors, you won’t be taken seriously. This course will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in your everyday business correspondence by providing a comprehensive and lively review of the basic principles of grammar, capitalization, word usage and sentence structure.

Key Points

Through discussion and in-class exercises, you will learn how to:

  • Identify and correctly use the eight parts of speech
  • Spot errors of agreement, consistency problems and pronoun mistakes
  • Write clear, complete sentences, fix sentence fragments and rewrite run-on sentences
  • Understand and correct misplaced and dangling modifiers
  • Use phrases and clauses effectively
  • Change passive voice to active voice
  • Use that or which, who or whom appropriately
  • Abbreviate and use capital letters and numbers correctly
  • Avoid troublesome words and phrases

This two-part workshop meets once a week over two consecutive weeks; please plan to attend both dates.

HRD960- Crucial ConversationsĀ®

Crucial conversations take place every day in our work. You know the type -- conversations where there are high stakes, differences of opinion, and strong emotion. The difference between mediocre and top performance lies not in strategies, hardware, or even in processes, but in how people handle those difficult conversations. At the heart of all problems in a team or organization are conversations that are either not being handled, or not being handled well.

Key Points

  • Identify the conversations that are keeping you from your desired results
  • Speak persuasively not abrasively, no matter the topic
  • Make it safe for others to share their honest opinions
  • Deal with people who either clam up or blow up
  • Gain control of your own emotional responses
  • Disagree without being disagreeable
  • Influence without exerting force
  • Improve teamwork, productivity and effectiveness

This practical and powerful two-day workshop is based upon a top-ten best-selling business book, Crucial Conversations.

HRD575- Developing a Content Strategy for your Website

This workshop-style course is an introduction to Web Content Strategy. It guides participants through the critical step of planning a site's identity, voice and tone. After reviewing strategies for developing these messaging goals, we will do a series of fun hands-on activities to create tools, such as an identity statement and voice and tone guidelines. If possible, attend this course with other members of your team!

HRD580- Document Design: Make the Most of Your Message

A well-designed document is more than just pleasing-it is easier to read, understand, scan and review. This workshop will help you organize information and design your letters, memos, e-mail messages and reports so that you will be able to make your point more skillfully and effectively. You will learn how to:

  • Choose the correct format, design and typeface
  • Think about the best design before you get started
  • Use headings, subheads, bullets and white space effectively
  • Use graphics, tables and charts to create impact
  • Use visual devices to emphasize main ideas and increase readability
  • Design flyers and announcements

HRD630- Speaking with Confidence and Clarity

This foundation-level presentation skills workshop helps participants gain self-awareness, manage their nerves, and get their presentations started on the right foot. In this interactive workshop, in which you work on your own real-life content, you’ll apply the fundamental principles of The Orderly Conversation. This workshop uses video-recorded exercises and private video review to help you identify and develop the skills you need to succeed. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be introduced to skills and strategies that will help you:

  • Manage nervousness and gain self-awareness
  • Engage listeners and speak with confidence
  • Think on your feet
  • Frame your presentations using a simple organizational strategy
  • Introduce the presentation clearly and succinctly so that it communicates (1) purpose, (2) clear direction, (3) context, and (4) a reason to participate
  • Answer questions with confidence
  • Set appropriate next steps

Speaking with Confidence & Clarity includes pre-work and access to eCoach. You’ll receive reusable job aids and reference materials to help you apply what you learn in class to the situations you face outside of it. You’ll also receive a copy of The Orderly Conversation: Business Presentations Redefined.

Who Should Attend:

Attendees should have some presentation experience.

HRD645- Getting Things DoneĀ®

Are you experiencing a constant deluge of email and phone calls? Do your daunting projects seem impossible to complete? Is the avalanche of incoming information and outstanding action items keeping you awake at night? This full-day Getting Things Done® Essentials workshop will provide tools and tips for implementing an improved work-life management system that can transform uncertainty into stress-free productivity.

Workshop participants will receive a copy of David Allen’s bestseller Getting Things Done and several practical resources for future success using the GTD methodology.

Key Points

This engaging and interactive workshop will teach you how to:

  • get your email inbox to empty
  • make responsible commitments to new ideas and projects
  • maximize return on your time — to do more with less
  • gain clarity of what is more and less important
  • improve the balance of proactive versus reactive behaviors
  • get projects unstuck

HRD660- Grace Under Pressure

*The cost of Grace Under Pressure is funded by the Office of Human Resources Work/Life Division. A cancellation no-show fee of $225 applies to all registrations.*

It's that sort of day.

The phone is ringing off the hook. You're put on the spot in a meeting. All the problems are getting dumped in your lap.

You can feel yourself becoming reactive. You know you're not thinking clearly, that you're not being effective, but you don't know what to do. How can you turn a bad situation around?

“Grace Under Pressure” offers new tools for remaining calm, focused and open-minded during difficult encounters – real physical techniques that counteract what our bodies do during stress.

Many of these new approaches come from recent brain research.

In this lively, memorable half-day workshop, you'll go far beyond theory. You'll practice these techniques and make them your own, ready to put to use the next morning – or even on the way home that night.

Key Points

  • Maintain composure in difficult situations
  • Reduce stress on the spot
  • Reverse the “fight or flight” reaction
  • Think more clearly under pressure
  • Be more present in difficult situations

HRD675- Interacting with Customers

Customer service has become more important than ever, but it’s also harder to do well.  No wonder:  everyone is stressed, and there’s so little time to get things right.

How can you determine what your customers need, help them find solutions, and send them off happy – even on those days when nothing seems to work?

“Interacting with Customers” will give you tools to create an outstanding customer experience for all the people you interact with.  And since the University environment has its own special considerations, you’ll have opportunities to practice your new approaches in realistic, Northwestern-style situations. 

Making your customers’ lives easier will make yours easier as well. 

You’ll learn about:

  • What customers want
  • Setting expectations
  • Creating positive customer relationships
  • Managing difficult conversations
  • The appropriate apology
  • Owning the problem, not the blame

HRD632- Mastering Your Presentations

This two-day comprehensive workshop is interactive and realistic. It builds the skills you need to manage with confidence all aspects of the presentation process. Throughout, you will work on your own real-life presentation. Taught by two instructors, this workshop uses video-recorded exercises and private instructor-led video review to help you develop skills you need to succeed. You’ll learn how to:

  • Organize information so that it’s persuasive and listener-focused
  • Create effective visual aids to support key messages
  • Engage listeners in a comfortable, flexible, conversational process
  • Be clear and concise
  • Use visual aids effectively whether seated or standing, projected or hardcopy
  • Think on your feet
  • Manage and facilitate interactions with listeners

Mastering Your Presentations includes pre-work as well as job aids for applying what’s learned in class to situations you face outside of it.

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is designed for business presenters, facilitators and trainers with some presentation experience. Comfort with PowerPoint or other presentation software is a plus.

HRD540- Proofread Like a Pro

Proofreading is more than just rereading what has been written. Good proofreaders can identify mistakes and improve the quality of writing even under tight deadlines. By using numerous in-class exercises, this workshop will teach you proven tips and techniques to perfect your documents. You will learn how to:

  • Use several successful proofreading strategies
  • Proofread for overall coherence and organization
  • Spot and correct the most common mechanical errors

HRD545- Writing Compelling Employee of the Year Nominations

Is there someone in your department who goes above and beyond his or her normal duties, is dedicated and effective, and deserves to be recognized? Has he or she worked full time at Northwestern for three or more continuous years? If you've answered yes to both those questions, then this class is for you. In one lunch-time session, you will learn how to write an Employee of the Year Nomination that is both specific and meaningful.

By the end of the class, you will be able to:

  • Make sure your candidate is qualified
  • Identify what makes a successful submission
  • Use concrete examples to make your case
  • Write a clear, concise, and compelling submission

HRD520- Writing Difficult Messages

Rejecting an applicant, denying a request, issuing an apology, or responding to a complaint can be delicate. A masterfully written letter or memo can build goodwill or, at the very least, minimize negative feelings. This workshop will teach successful ways to approach difficult correspondence and communicate bad news tactfully.

Key Points

  • Decide what and how much to say
  • Choose the appropriate tone and style
  • Soften a negative message but get the point across
  • Say no and still maintain goodwill
  • Choose when and how to deliver the message
  • Write five different types of difficult messages

HRD530- Writing for Results: Effective Letters, Memos & E-mail Messages

At the least, poorly written letters, memos, and e-mail message waste time and cause miscommunication. At worst, they are not read at all. This workshop will teach participants to organize and write strong, action-oriented business correspondence to get the reader's attention and the desired results.

Key Points

  • Analyze your audience and define your purpose
  • Effectively organize your ideas and information
  • Choose the appropriate tone and style
  • Write strong opening and closing paragraphs
  • Reduce rambling and get to the point right away
  • Use format and type to emphasize your main ideas
  • Revise and edit for overall organization and coherence

HRD555- Writing for the Web: Introduction

Writing for the web isn't as simple as putting your handbook, brochure or lesson plan online. This hands-on workshop teaches the specific strategies needed to get your message across online.

Key Points

  • Write for typical web users who scan instead of read
  • Use the right tone for this immediate and informal medium
  • Repackage institutional language and marketing speak
  • Prune your site of unnecessary content
  • Write for higher search engine rankings
  • Make key information prominent and links visible
  • Keep user needs at the forefront of your mind as you write

HRD565- Writing for the Web: Intermediate

If you know the basics of web writing but need some assistance on a particularly thorny page or section from your site, this workshop is for you!

In a small-group setting, you will receive suggestions and work through problems facing your online content. You will also hone your editorial skills by assessing and providing suggestions for the online content examples submitted by fellow workshop participants.

Prior to the workshop, participants will submit up to three webpages for instructor and group review. The submissions must be from a University-related site. If you submit more than one web page for review, please note that additional pages will be assessed as time allows.

HRD572- Leveraging Social Media: Introduction

There is much more to social media than news updates on what's happening in your school, department, or organization. This hands-on workshop teaches specific strategies on how to use social media to achieve your goals. We will concentrate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while answering questions on any other social media platforms.

Key Points:

  • Play by the rules — governance and smart interaction
  • Know your audience(s)
  • Treat each social channel separately
  • Develop a content plan and editorial calendar
  • Filter your content towards your brand and communication goals
  • Focus on value exchange
  • Capitalize on the value of imagery
  • Create conversations and engagement
  • Track analytics
  • Use analytics to drive more engaging content