When Denise Wynn began her role as the director of Decision Support for the Duke University School of Medicine’s Office of Research Administration in February, she found herself heading a new three-person remote team that needed to collaborate with different units throughout the school.
While Wynn had experience as a manager, she knew guiding her team through the web of new relationships, during a pandemic, would come with challenges. In the past few months, Wynn has been honing her leadership skills with virtual courses from Duke Learning & Organization Development (L&OD), part of Duke Human Resources.
“Because of the situations we see with COVID, we’ve got to think of people emotionally in a different perspective,” said Wynn, who completed the Situational Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Fundamentals of Coaching and Keys to Supervisory courses. “Situations can change things for a person, so you may not need some sort of performance management, but maybe the situation needs to be addressed differently. So those courses were advantageous to me.”
Duke staff and faculty can continue to expand their skillsets in the new year as L&OD’s newly announced 2022 course list features 104 courses on a variety of time management, communication, leadership and technical topics. Courses range from $49 for single-day technical courses to $600 for multi-day management courses.
In addition to individual courses, L&OD also offers consultation services, such as coaching, performance improvement and strategic planning.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, employees can register for two courses with in-person instruction. The courses are Personality & Effective Communication on June 18, 2022, and the three-day Train the Trainer Boot Camp on October 17, 24 and 31, 2022. Both classes take place at 402 Oregon St.
Assistant Director of Duke Learning & Organization Development Gina Rogers, who will teach the in-person Personality & Effective Communication course, is excited to get back in the classroom and feel the energy of working in-person with participants.
And she said feedback from participants suggests that the Personality & Effective Communication course, which offers individualized feedback and advice for improved communication, would hit home when delivered in-person.
“While we heard from a lot of people that the virtual experience was spot-on and delivered, we were also told that, if there was an opportunity to teach this class in-person, they’d like that as well,” Rogers said. “We want to attend to everyone’s learning styles, and there are some people who really need those human interactions to let the content sink in a little better and help make it more relevant.”
Among the virtual professional development courses are Managing a Hybrid Team (January 25, March 10, May 19 and July 20); Managing Multiple Priorities (March 4, May 18, September 20 and December 12); and Resilience: Building Skills to Endure Hardship and Prevent Burnout (February 16 and November 7). Sessions take place on WebEx, which gives participants the opportunity to communicate with video and chat and use breakout rooms and whiteboards.
Among the 2022 courses are 41 technology courses, which teach basic skills and advanced strategies for popular programs such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
Diane Satterfield, manager of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center’s biorepository, has used Microsoft Excel for decades, but took two courses on the spreadsheet program earlier this year so she could get more efficient with it.
“I have always worked with Excel, but I’d never had actual classes in it,” Satterfield said “I just thought, let’s just see what other tricks I can learn and find out how to work more efficiently. With some of the calculations and actions that we do, you may have taught yourself how to do it. But when you learn there’s an easier way to do it, it’s like ‘Wow, that’s easy.’”