Personal Effectiveness Offerings

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Fall 2017

​Fall session runs from September to Decdember 2017.​

Advanced Interview Skills for Graduate Students (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning

GPS Credit: 1
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness

For graduate students, preparing for job interviews is a multi-stage process that requires research, networking, and significant planning. A thorough understanding of differences between academic and non-academic job interviews is also essential. Through lectures, interactive exercises, and mock interviews, this session will guide participants through the interview process twice—first for a job outside academe and second for an academic position. Activities will include case study exercises that will engage participants in determining how to research, network, plan and execute their strategy for both types of interviews.  Visit the UTSC GPS page for details.


Career Professionalism

Program Partner: Mitacs
GPS Credits: 2
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness

When working with others, we often forget the impressions and impact we have on those around us. We often dismiss just how important our personal reputation impacts the way we are perceived and, in turn, how others relate to us and ultimately, what opportunities are open ​to us. From first impressions to making a lasting impression, this one-day workshop will provide you with tips, tricks, and tools from dressing the part to knowing how to apply effective communication techniques and professional behaviour when working closely with others. View the Mitacs calendar for details.

Community-Engaged Learning Seminar

Program Partner: Centre for Community Partnerships
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness, Communication & Interpersonal Skills
Dates: Application due in Summer 2017

The Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto is offering a new Community-Engaged Learning Seminar for doctoral students in 2016-17. This seminar will bring together 15 doctoral students from across U of T to discuss community-engaged learning and other forms of community-U of T engagement. In a​ddition to seminar meetings, students may participate in an experiential collaborative project with fellow seminar participants and a community partner. Doctoral students preparing for faculty positions can enrich their teaching, research, and professional service through community engagement. Doctoral students who plan to pursue non-academic positions can develop new skills and networks through community engagement.

Seminar details: The Community-Engaged Learning Seminar will establish a community of practice among doctoral students at U of T who are interested in community engagement and will provide resources to make this engagement a rewarding and integral element of their future careers. In six seminars over the course of the academic year, a multidisciplinary cohort of students will discuss the literature of community-engaged learning and their experiences in the field, undertake reflective exercises, and benefit from professional development activities to enhance their knowledge and practice in the following areas:

  • Community-engaged learning (based in service-learning pedagogy and including experiential education theory)

  • Other forms of community engagement (including asset-based community development and community-based research)

  • Reflection and assessment in community-engaged work

  • Diversity, ethics, power, and privilege in community-engaged learning and scholarship

  • Strategies for incorporating community engagement into academic and non-academic career and personal development.

View CCP page for details.

 

Conflict Resolution Fundamentals: Conflict, Communication & Negotiation

Program Partner: Conflict Resolution Centre (CRC) for Graduate Students
​GPS Credits: 2 (for 3, 2-hour workshops)
​​Skill Areas: Communication Skills,Personal Effectiveness
Location: Grad Room, 66 Harbord St, lower level

A series of workshops that will help graduate students understand what conflict is, various approaches to conflict, triggers for conflict escalation and the role of effective communication and negotiation in conflict resolution.
Students will have an opportunity to practice various strategies for resolving and de-escalating conflict.

View CRC webpage for details.

Conflict Resolution Advanced Practice

Program Partner: Conflict Resolution Centre (CRC) for Graduate Students
GPS Credits: 1 (for 3-hour workshop) 
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Date: Fall 2017

This session will build upon the skills developed in the Conflict Resolution Fundamentals series.  For graduate students who are looking for a more in-depth and practice-based understanding of conflict resolution techniques such as negotiation and active listening.  View CRC webpage for details.

CV-Resumé-LinkedIn: Branding Yourself on Paper and Online (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning; the Academic Advising and Career Centre
Credit: 1
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness

Through hands-on exercises and activities, this workshop helps participants enhance their understanding of the effective resume and CV. Everyone will receive individual feedback on a resumé or CV that they tailor to a job ad of their choice. Additionally, participants will learn how to build a professional online presence on LinkedIn. As part of the Job Market Preparation for Graduate Students series, this session is co-sponsored by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the Academic Advising and Career Centre, and the Graduate Students’ Association at Scarborough.  View UTSC GPS for information.​

Developing Resilience: Coping Strategies for Stress Management

Stress Management for Graduate Students

Distressed? Easily irritable? Teary? Overwhelmed by challenges of life as a graduate student? Unable to cope with your personal and academic concerns? Come to this workshop and explore different ways of dealing with your life stressors. In this interactive session, graduate students will learn about contributing factors and the physiology of stress, and strategies for coping with stress. Students will also have the opportunity to practise some of the stress management techniques in the session.

Program Partner: Health & Wellness
GPS Credits: 1 combined​ GPS credit for both sessions

Coping: When Everything Seems to be Going Wrong

In this session, graduate students will build upon the coping skills introduced in Developing Resilience 1. Students will become more aware of unhelpful thoughts and actions that may contribute to, exacerbate, and/or maintain stress. The aim of this session is to learn how to improve personal productivity and reduce stress through problem-solving techniques targeting cognitive and behavioural roadblocks.

Program Partner: Health & Wellness
GPS Credits: 1 combined GPS credit for both sessions.

Enhancing Your Soft Skills for Networking

Program Partner: Academic Advising and Career Centre UTSC
GPS Credits: 1 
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness

Soft skills are a critical requirement for success in any career. This workshop offers graduate students the chance to assess and hone their soft skills under the guidance of a highly experienced human resources consultant. Part 1 of the workshop will begin with an activity that allows students to experience the exercise of soft skills in the context of networking and follow with a framework that inventories the major categories of soft skills. This part will also review associated micro behaviours that demonstrate the use of soft skills. In Part 2 of the workshop, students will assess their soft skills and their readiness for networking. In Part 3 of the workshop, students will deepen their understanding of networking and work in small groups to practice specific soft skills in four different networking situations.

Presenter: Ruth Louden, Career Counsellor, Academic Advising and Career Centre

Ruth Louden (MEd, MES) has delivered workshops for students and mid-career professionals on all aspects of the job search process. Prior to joining the university in 2001, Ruth worked for 15 years in human resources consulting with an emphasis on recruitment.

Note: pizza will be provided, compliments of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Please bring your own water or beverage.


 View UTSC GPS page for details.

Foundations of Project Management 1

Program Partner: Mitacs
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Research-Related Skills

This two-day workshop provides an experiential, collaborative learning experience to enable participants to integrate the principles of project management, team building, group dynamics, and leadership that participants can apply immediately and in their future careers and lives. Participants experience the processes of collaborative planning and managemen​t and can see the benefits first hand.  View Mitacs calendar for details.​

Foundations of Project Management 2

Program Partner: Mitacs
GPS Credit: 4
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Research-Related Skills

This two-day workshop provides an experiential, collaborative learning experience to enable participants to integrate the principles of project management, team building, group dynamics, and leadership that participants can apply immediately and in their future careers and lives. Participants experience the processes of collaborative planning and management and can see the benefits first hand.​  View Mitacs calendar for details.​

Graduate Service-Learning Program

Program Partner: Centre for Community Partnerships
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Dates: February 20​17

The Graduate Service-Learning Program is an intensive project-based community service event for students to explore the concepts of learning through service, leadership for social change, and comm​​unity development. This co-curricular service-learning program gives students the chance to learn more about the local region and various social issues, and to learn and practice leadership skills by leading and contributing to community-defined group projects. Projects take place mid-February and consist of a pre-service leadership training and orientation, 2.5 days completing a community service project, and critical reflections.

Summary of Training: “Walk the Talk: Preparing for Service in Diverse Communities” will give you some insights into why awareness of culture and development of intercultural communication skills can help you build constructive relationships despite differences. Through reflective and participatory practice you'll get the skills needed to interact in a variety of group community service settings. This workshop will link an understanding of cultural identity concepts with communication and conflict resolution skills to provide tools for cultivating a respectful environment and supporting the development of constructive community relations.

Community Projects: Graduate students will be assigned a community project which can range from direct service activities to higher-level projects which will draw on their academic knowledge and technical skills View CCP website for details.

Graduate Professional Day (UTSC)

Program Partner: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness, Teaching Competence
Date: January 2017

With a focus on professional development and preparation for the workplace, this free one-day program offers a mix of workshops, seminars, and a panel discussion. Refreshments and lunch are included. Concurrent sessions will allow participants to tailor the day to their needs and interests. The event is open to all U of T graduate students, affiliated with any of the three campuses, but it is only offered at UTSC. GPS credit is available for those who attend at least three of the day’s sessions and complete an assessment of those sessions.  View UTSC GPS calendar for details.

Leadership Fundamentals

Program Partner: Office of Student Life
GPS Credit: 1 GPS credit for 2 workshops, 2 GPS Credits for 4 workshops
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness, Communication & Interpersonal Skills
View website for details.

Collaborative Leadership: From Theory to Practice

Leadership used to be thought about as a relatively simple construct; however, it is a very complex phenomenon. In this session, you will learn about different leadership theories and how they have evolved over time. You will gain an understanding of an emerging leadership paradigm for the 21st century and how the six practices of collaborative leadership may impact you in a pe​rsonal and professional context.

StrengthsQuest: Leadership Identity Development

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? In this workshop, you will learn about your natural talents (strengths) and how you can further develop and apply them to your everyday life, academics, careers, and relationships. You will receive a code to complete the Clifton StrengthsFinder which will provide you with a unique report along with online tools and resources (including online PDF of StrengthsQuest book). You will leave understanding your talents and how they can assist you in developing both personally and professionally.

Prioritization: Tools & Techniques

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, states: “The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”. This workshop will identify strategies to improve prioritization through discussion of effective tools and techniques. You will begin to understand the importance of long- and short-term goal setting and ideas around simplicity and balance to increase success both personally and professionally.

Making Meaning: Values & Reflective Practice

Transformational learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings, and actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and permanently alters one’s way of being in the world. Critical reflection is the distinguishing characteristic of adult learning, and is the vehicle by which one questions the validity of their world-view. This workshop will provide a model for critical reflection that you will apply in conjunction with speaking about values; we will examine the ideas of reflection and value—and how they relate to your experiences in both a personal and professional sense.

Group Dynamics

We live in a diverse world. 75% of the population is significantly different from you: they think differently, communicate differently, and handle emotions differen​tly. These differences are often a major source of friction within organizations and small groups. The power of understanding these differences is making them work for and not against you. In this seminar, you will learn to use diversity as an advantage by discovering how to utilize different work styles and the “phases of a team” in order to see how these dynamics influence effective collaboration.

Resolving Conflict

How can you de-escalate conflicts while still creating a space in which legitimate concerns can be raised? How can you confront someone with something they might not want to hear without making them defensive or angry? In this seminar, you will learn how to relieve tension within group settings; i.e., colloquia, committee meetings, or tutorials – without limiting constructive discourse and diverse points of view. You will learn that effective communication is essential to maintaining good relationships within groups and to managing disagreements as they arise.

Facilitation

Do you have trouble dealing with difficult behaviour within groups? Do your group meetings lack focus and continually go off-track? Good facilitation skills can make the difference between an unsuccessful meeting and one that's effective and productive. Learn how to lead and focus group discussions to encourage involvement among all participants and to stay focused on content and group process.


miniMBA

Program Partner: Graduate Management Consulting Association
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Dates: February 2018 to March 2018
Location: St. George campus
Cost: $40 plus course book Ten Day MBA by Silbiger

Graduate students in non-business disciplines such as Science and Engineering have overwhelmingly expressed interest in learning business fundamentals. Success in many of the careers, which these students will enter, demands some business knowledge for career advancement. Additionally, many students lack an understanding of the range of career options open to them after completing their degree.

This 10-lecture program will give graduate students and postdocs:

  • A solid grounding in fundamental business concepts

  • The opportunity to learn from business experts

  • The chance to apply this new knowledge to solving business cases

This year the lectures will be presented by professionals from a diverse set of disciplines, including strategy, operational, and financial consulting as well as professionals in investment and risk management.

Course format: Each class will consist of a mini group case practice on a specific topic, followed by a group presentation of the solution. There will then be a one-hour lecture on the same topic. The course will cover concepts from the popular book Ten Day MBA by Steven Silbiger. At the end of the course, students will participate in a case competition which will be judged by a panel of consultants.

*Please note, this is a very popular offering and our waiting lists are usually full. If you cannot attend all of the lectures, please consider taking the class the next time it is offered.  Visit application page.​

Motivation and Time Management for Graduate Students

Program Partner: Academic Success Centre
GPS Credits: 1
Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness
Location: St. George campus

The Long Haul: Building and Rebuilding Motivation

This workshop will offer a learning skills and personal counselling perspective on motivation. We will explore blocks and barriers that graduate students commonly encounter, and strategies for analyzing and overcoming them. This is an interactive session that will involve information sharing, experiential exercises, and discussion. Active participation is encouraged.

Time Management for Graduate Students: Balancing Work and Life

In this hands-on workshop, we will explore practical ways to plan a well-rounded life, balance competing priorities, manage large projects, and structure unstructured time. We will consider strategies for students with major non-academic responsibilities (e.g., caregiving duties, jobs, long-term extracurricular commitments) and discuss ways to detect, relieve, and prevent burnout.

Networking Skills

Program Partner: Mitacs
GPS Credits: 2
GPS Skill Area: Personal Effectiveness

You've all heard the saying, “you are only as good as your network,” but have you ever wondered how to get one? This full-day workshop is designed to provide insight and interaction along with the know how to build and stabilize business relationships through effective networking. We will cover who-what-where-when-and-why to network, and participants will have the opportunity to practice what they learn. Details on the actual networking exercises will be determined by the location of each event. Activities will be customized to reflect the interests of the participants.  View Mitacs calendar.

Online Tools for Organizing Your Research

Program Partner: U of T Libraries
GPS Credit: 1
Skill Areas: Research-Related Skills & Personal Effectiveness
Location: Robarts Library, 4th floor electronic classroom

Graduate students require so much digital information during their research process that it can be difficult to remain organized. This workshop will introduce students to tools that will help increase their personal productivity during the research process. Students will look at citation management software programs that help save, organize, and share references and files, as well as create bibliograp​hies and interface with word processing programs.​ 

View U of T Libraries calendar.

Oral Presentation Skills (for Native Speakers of English)

Program Partner: ELWS
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Dates:September, October/November, January, February/March, May 

Does the thought of standing in front of an audience to present your work make you nervous? Would you like to present your ideas more clearly and more confidently? If the answer to these questions is yes, then this course is for you. In this course, you will receive guidance on various aspects of presenting, such as how to structure presentations, to design visual aids, to manage nerves, and to handle the question period. You will have a valuable opportunity to learn from the presentations of others and to practice what you learn in front of an informed and supportive audience of your peers. As a member of that audience, you will be able to practice active observing to further improve both your listening and presenting skills. Students will have the opportunity to receive a digital recording of their own presentation. Please note that this course will not address the specific linguistic needs of non-native speakers of English.

Course duration: 5 weeks with an optional tutorial in the sixth week. View ELWS course calendar.

Oral Presentation Skills (for Non-Native Speakers of English)

Program Partner: ELWS
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Communication Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Dates: September, October/November, January, February/March, May

​This course is designed to help graduate students improve their oral presentation skills. Students receive guidance on various aspects of presenting, such as how to structure presentations, how to design visual aids, and how to use body language to enhance the clarity and impact of oral presentations. The course offers a valuable opportunity for students to learn from others’ presentations and to apply what they learn in front of an empathetic audience. View ELWS course calendar.

​​Presenting Your Case Effectively: Advocating for Oneself & One's Family

Program Partner: Family Care Office
GPS Credits: 1 credit for combined workshops equal to 3 hours of instruction
Skill Areas: Communication & Interpersonal Skills, Personal Effectiveness

Graduate students have a lot on their plate. When a problem arises—be it academic, family related, personal, or professional—advocating for oneself and one's family can feel like a daunting task, particularly if the stakes are high. Traditionally defined as the "art of persuasion", rhetoric is a powerful tool that students can utilize to better communicate through the written word. What is the best way to present one's case? How can emotions be conveyed strategically and diplomatically? When writing a letter, what should come first—the presentation of the problem or the suggested solution? This workshop will touch upon these questions by focusing on the strategic use of rhetoric in letter writing.

Prerequisite: Students will prepare and bring with them to the workshop a claim letter/memo requiring adjustment when something has gone wrong. View Family Care events page.

Prewriting Strategies for Developing & Organizing Yo​ur Ideas (Humanities & Social Sciences)

Program Partner: ELWS
GPS Credits: 4
Skill Areas: Research-Related Skills, Personal Effectiveness
Date: September, October/November, February/March, May

In order for a research paper to be clear to readers, it must first be crystal clear in the mind of its author. Whether you are writing a course paper, a journal article, or a thesis, this course will help you clarify in your own mind the content and structure of your argument before you begin to write. Participants will be introduced to a range of strategies for developing and organizing their ideas—strategies such as organizing notes through key words, outlining, diagramming, use of Aristotle's Topics, etc.—and will be encouraged to consider which strategies work best given their own learning styles. Drawing on techniques from classical rhetoric, the course will give students the chance to practice strategies for investigating and organizing ideas at both the pre-writing and mid-writing stages. The course is designed for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences.

Course duration: 4 weeks. View ELWS course calendar.

SGS Academic Career Series—-Landing the Academic Job

GPS Credits: 4
GPS Skill Areas: Personal Effectiveness

​​What skills do you need for an academic job? Join us for this four week series and explore how to prepare for an academic career. Week one is a skill-based session on how to optimize your research management environment by using online tools for organizing your research. Week two is a workshop on the shifting scholarly publishing landscape. Week three features a panel discussion and Q&A by various faculty members on the ‘human side’ of working as a faculty member. We will help you to visualize (or ‘see) yourself in that academic role.

Week four features a panel discussion with faculty members and department chairs on the future of higher education. ​

SGS Expanding Your Leadership Toolkit—Managing Change and Keeping Agile

GPS Credits: 4
Skill Area: Personal Effectiveness

Managing change and adapting to rapidly changing circumstances are key skills on both a personal and professional level. For those making a transition in their work, it’s a given that “what got you here won’t necessarily get you there.” Consequently, being “agile” and able to negotiate your way in varied situations are highly valued assets in today’s rapidly evolving workplaces.

Join us for this unique workshop series that aims to prepare you to deal proactively and productively with change. This series will be of special interest to graduate students transitioning from academia to non-academic careers in the corporate, governmental, or NGO sectors.

​This series is composed of four modules, with the first three exploring different aspects that influence the transition process (personal, interpersonal, and community). The fourth module introduces a solutions-oriented coaching model that enables participants to better negotiate change.

Module 1: Through directed discussions (in the World Café style), examine personal foundations for making successful transitions, i.e., the qualities within ourselves that play a role in how we cope with change such as mindfulness, grit, and resilience.

Module 2: Consider the interpersonal aspects of managing transitions primarily through “interest-based negotiation,” also known as “win-win bargaining.” Look at strategizing when negotiations fail by developing a “best alternative to a negotiated agreement“ (BATNA). In addition, participants will critically engage with a relevant case study and participate in a negotiation.

Module 3: Focus on how community networks play a role in making successful transitions. Participants learn how to conduct a network analysis and develop strategies that refresh and maximize the effectiveness of their personal, operational, and strategic networks.

Module 4: Examine how solution-focused coaching can overcome personal obstacles to change and to support other people’s transitions. Moving beyond problem identification, learn how to move forward using specific coaching questions designed to lead to solutions. In addition, students will apply lessons in this workshop series and integrate key material from previous modules to this process.​

Soft Skills for Networking (UTSC)

 ​Program Partners: UTSC Centre for Teaching & Learning and the Academic Advising & Career Centre

GPS Credit: 1
Skill Areas: Communication ​Skills, Personal Effectiveness

For graduate students, soft skills are a critical requirement for success in their career, whether they pursue roles in academia, business, government, or non-government agencies.

Part 1 of this workshop will begin with an activity that allows students to experience the exercise of soft skills in the context of networking and follow with a framework that inventories the major categories of soft skills. This part will also review associated micro behaviours that demonstrate the use of soft skills. In Part 2 of the workshop, students will assess their soft skills and their readiness for networking. In Part 3 of the workshop, students will deepen their understanding of networking and work in small groups to practice specific soft skills in four different networking situations. View calendar of GPS offerings at UTSC

Stuck in the Middle: Juggling School and Family Life

Program Partner: Family Care Office​
GPS Credit: 1 credit for combined workshops equal to 3 hours of instruction
S​kill Area: Personal Effectiveness

“Stuck i
n the Middle” is a session on dealing with constant challenges of having family responsibilities, working and being a student. This session is geared towards graduate students with multiple responsibilities. It will address feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children and/or your loved ones. It’s for everyone who feels overwhelmed. This is an interactive session where most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of ‘stuckness’ and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy, and change. View information on Family Care events and workshops.

Time Management

Program Partner: Mitacs
GPS Credit: 2
S​kill Area: Personal ​Effectiveness

This workshop gives you real tools to measurably improve your productivity, performance, and reduce stress within and outside the workplace.​

Learn how to get your projects and activities done on time, what makes a successful action​ plan or to-do list,​ and how to implement your plans effectively. Manage time thieves such as procrastination, distractions, interruptions, and over-commitment. Discover effective time management tactics that work for our modern world. View Mitacs calendar.​​