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Leadership Development Workshops

We work from a “palette” of about 60 unique learning experiences—each with its own objectives, exercises, facilitator guide, presentation, and participant materials— to design a customized leadership curriculum for you. We cover a wide range of leadership and management development topics using the LEADS framework, and tailor each module to fit your needs. We are happy to develop additional material to cover any gaps or provide greater emphasis. Modules vary from 2 to 7 hours and can be combined to create half-day, 1-day, 2-day or longer programs. All are highly interactive, using best adult learning practices.

Leadership Development Designed for You

Our Approach

Leading Self

Who gets in your way more than anybody?

These workshops focus on personal development, in particular self-awareness, understanding one‘s nature, and effect on others. Participants enhance emotional intelligence, deepen their understanding of role and responsibilities, refine their decision-making, and build resilience.

Understanding Personality (Half-Day)

This workshop will help participants examine and understand one’s own perspectives and biases to develop an awareness of how others perceive their leadership style and develop practices that foster an empathetic mind-set. Exercises will guide participants to understand how to lead by example and improve their understanding of others. As well, through assessing results from their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), participants will reflect on their own behavior to build self-awareness and understanding of how to respond effectively to others.


Decision Making Dynamics

Effective leaders and managers know how to consider both the “big picture”—achieving the mission, vision, and values—and manage day-to-day task decisions, even in tough times. Leaders are called upon to use different decision-making styles, depending on the context. In this workshop, participants will gain tools to understand the differences and application of different decision-making styles and explore scenarios that illustrate the strengths of each style. As well, participants will learn how each style can positively or negatively affect employee motivation, and gain experience with how to apply empathy when using each style.


Engaging Your Emotional Intelligence

Strong individual contributors are often promoted to management or leadership roles without the opportunity to develop the skills needed in the new role. Skilled leaders are not only aware of their own emotional responses, but know how to take the “emotional pulse” of the team and adjust their approach accordingly. Emotional intelligence describes the intra- and inter-personal aspects of intelligence. The activities for this course will teach participants how to recognize emotional responses and use emotional intelligence to inform leadership decisions.


Building Resilience and Adaptability

Both resiliency and adaptability are necessary to respond creatively and constructively in the face of adversity or change. Adaptability is required to quickly adjust to changing situations and/or circumstances; resiliency is the capacity to withstand challenging and/or unexpected environmental shifts. Participants will gain an understanding of what it takes to develop individual resilience and adaptability, and develop practical, personal strategies to become increasingly adaptable and resilient in the workplace.


Leading Others

Often we know the technical aspects of our work but struggle to get the best from our team. These workshops help supervisors, managers, and senior managers create and sustain teams that function well. Participants learn how to build coaching relationships, reframe conflict, and develop skills to enhance team performance.

Leadership Communication

Most managers and leaders know that good communication is important, but given the busy, fractured, interruption-driven nature of most work environments, it’s not always easy to practice what you’ve learned. This course includes practical steps for how to use everyday communication to reinforce a connection to core mission, vision, and values and model good communication practices with staff. Participants will review theories, ask questions, observe others, and practice their skills.


Building Effective Teams

Learn about building effective teams in this virtual workshop series. Effective leaders create virtual and traditional teams that are cohesive, resilient, engaged, and productive. In this series of ten virtual workshops, leaders and team members explore the nature of collaboration and apply best practices in building effective teams—in other words, they learn to “manage for the team they want.” Participants discuss the stages and challenges of building effective teams. Participants learn how to positively influence team development, and practice beneficial behaviors in a virtual team setting. PDF materials are included.


The High Performing Virtual Team

Learn how to create a high performing virtual team, deepening your understanding of collaboration using real-world scenarios. This customized virtual workshop series reviews key topics from the Building Effective Teams workshop series and expands on themes of collaboration, team alignment, and other best practices. Based on research and working with your suggestions, real-world scenarios will be used to allow participants to put theory into action. This workshop is best suited for those eager to create a high performing virtual team, ideally for intact teams of professionals, managers, or executives. Participants will be presented with challenges specific to their team development and encouraged to develop solutions that work for them. Participation it is usually limited to 15 participants, and features pre- and post-assessments of team effectiveness.


Creating an Engaging Workplace

Leaders are champions for—and guardians of—the organization’s vision, mission, and values. Leaders also understand that each individual’s sources of inspiration and motivation are unique. To inspire others to achieve the organization’s goals, effective leaders must listen to employees to understand motivating forces, and communicate with employees about how the employee’s efforts are critical to the overall mission. Participants will develop tools to foster a sense of purpose with each employee, improve communication, express appreciation, and encourage “hard-to-reach” employees.


Reframing Conflict – Part I

In Part 1 of this workshop, participants will explore various forms of conflict, and its underlying causes. They will uncover their own preferred conflict handling style, and the ‘seed thoughts’ that give rise to conflict in their worlds.


Reframing Conflict – Part II

In Part 2 of this workshop, participants will explore different modes of conflict management and learn how to reframe conflict as an opportunity for collaboration. Participants will be given the tools to succeed when dealing with competing stakeholders and will build a personal “contingency” model for handling difficult situations or stakeholders. We examine five basic styles that people use to address conflict. Depending on the context, each style can be useful.


Manager as Coach – Part I

This coaching program for managers is designed to help you boost productivity, employee satisfaction, and employee retention. Part of a manager’s job is to develop staff so that each employee can perform to the best of their ability. Coaching-based performance management can do just that. It assumes that each employee can achieve substantially higher levels of performance with the right attention and encouragement.


Manager as Coach – Part II

Changing circumstances require managers to be agile leaders, adapting to change and supporting their people in continuous learning and growth. This workshop will help you become that sort of agile leader. Building on the principles covered in Manager as Coach (Part I), you will broaden and deepen your understanding of coaching skills for managers, practice these skills, and develop plans to employ coaching with your team. We’ll cover the essentials: questioning skills, active listening techniques, diagnostic tools, and tips for integrating coaching into performance management. Participants will practice by addressing a “real-world” concern, and leave the workshop with tips and strategies.


Coaching Fundamentals (eLearning)

This eLearning module is about coaching for managers. It introduces coaching philosophy, terminology and methods, with a focus on coaching at work. It can stand alone as an introduction to managerial coaching, or as preparation for an in-class or virtual workshops like 4Forward’s Manager as Coach series. The lessons are self-directed so participants can proceed at their own pace. Self-assessments follow at the end of each lesson to gauge understanding and progress.


Leading the Organization

How do you inspire an entire organization to embrace a major change? In these workshops, participants learn to create a positive, measurable impact on the organization. Topics include leading change, organizational systems, thinking strategically, and building collaborative networks both inside and outside the organization.

Change Management – Part I

Change is an inevitable part of your work as a leader. Leaders need to embrace and promote change when necessary, recognizing the challenges placed on people and processes. Leaders also need to evaluate and initiate plans for change, build a realistic strategy, and course-correct throughout the process. Part I of this workshop explores several models of change.


Change Management – Part II (Half-Day)

In Part II of this workshop, participants apply models of change with scenarios and their own examples.


Collaborative Leadership

Leaders are often called upon to participate in projects that span several organizations. Effective leaders view other teams as allies, actively supporting collaborative projects that contribute to the organization’s mission. Participants are presented several proposed new project scenarios, each sponsored by a different department, each requiring cross-functional collaboration, and each benefiting one department more than others. In the role of a department manager, participants develop reasons why the other managers should allocate employee time to their project. The facilitators use the scenarios to highlight key issues promoting and hindering collaboration.


Creating Consensus Out of Chaos

How does a leader handle large group decision making when you have several conflicting points of view, and several competing “solutions”? Do you have any ‘wicked’ problem in your organization, city, county, state or nation that you’d like to see resolved? Want to learn a process that can solve even the most challenging problems in your organization or community? This virtual or in-person workshop provides a framework for dealing with such challenging situations. It focuses on conflict resolution strategies designed to bring stakeholder groups with opposing or contradictory interests together, to consensus.


Crisis Communication – Part I (Half-Day)

Given the frantic, interrupt-driven nature of most crisis situations, it’s not easy to deliver consistent, helpful, and accurate information to those affected—or to the general public. Part 1 of this course focuses on how to put together an effective crisis communication plan, touching briefly on emergency operations planning, incident command systems, and related technology.


Crisis Communication – Part II (Half-Day)

Using in-person gamification and simulations, Part 2 of this course focuses on how to craft effective crisis communication messages, and deliver effective communication in a crisis situation, again touching briefly on emergency operations planning, incident command systems, and related technology.


Strategic Leadership

Building on Peter Senge’s model of creative tension, participants discover how they can become conscious strategic leaders. Creative tension comes from seeing where we want to be (our vision) and an honest assessment of where we are (our current reality). The gap between vision and current reality generates a natural tension. Having an accurate assessment of the current reality is just as important as a compelling picture of a desirable future. A grand vision without an honest understanding of the current situation is more likely to foster cynicism than creativity.


Technical Mastery

Whether Marketing, Finance, Operations, or Human Resources, 4Forward has a wide array of technical training offerings that can be customized to your environment. This section includes a sampling of those courses.

Risk Management

As a manager, a risk management plan is your blueprint for preventing or minimizing potential risks to your organization and helping ensure business continuity. Your risk management plan contains strategies to reduce risk and contingency plans that define what to do in the event of loss, injury, death, or other catastrophic event. In this workshop, participants learn how to implement risk management strategies and comply with relevant legislation in their jurisdiction.


Inventory Management

The viability and financial success of many departments is affected by how well you manage your inventory. Participants learn how to use and maintain an inventory system, methods and procedures for managing inventory, how to monitor inventory levels, the importance of counting stock and maintaining accurate records, and how to adjust inventory levels to reflect changing needs.


Marketing Management

Marketing is a critically important responsibility for leaders and managers in almost any enterprise, including for-profit and non-profit organizations. Managers must continually monitor the needs of their customers or clients to ensure they are offering the products and services that customers want. Creating and periodically assessing the effectiveness of your website and other promotional materials and activities is one of your key responsibilities as a manager. Any organization can become complacent, stagnant, and ultimately go out of business or get “de-funded” if it does not re-evaluate its offerings and marketing methods on a regular basis.


Recruiting Essentials

Hiring staff is a critically important responsibility of leaders and managers. Hiring takes time and money, and organizations can incur substantial costs of lost business from poor or hastily made hiring decisions. Clearly the effort that a manager puts into finding and hiring qualified people with the right skills and attitudes has substantial long-term benefit to the organization. This workshop covers determining staffing needs, recruiting staff, interviewing applicants, and more.


Event Planning

This course is designed to help current and future event coordinators gain a deeper understanding of event plans—how to produce one, how to monitor one, and how to modify one. It also provides an opportunity for participants to contemplate a realistic event planning scenario, and practice their skills in developing and modifying an event plan.


4Forward brought a level of clarity that we had not seen from other firms. They didn’t bombard us with jargon or complicated training models – just a clear plan to help us get what we needed."

— Craig MacDonald, Former Manager, Training and Curriculum Development

Tourism HR Canada

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