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RGS Training Session Topics

Outside of our Academies, RGS has also developed additional training courses to meet your agency’s leadership and employee development needs. Topics have evolved and grown over time in response to agency requests, regulatory compliance, as well as shifts and trends in leadership and staff development.

RGS Training Topics

Below are the course titles for our training session topics. Course length is typically from 4 to 8 hours in length, unless otherwise indicated in title. Click to access the RGS Training Course Catalog for descriptions and learning outcomes of each course.

Click the plus sign for a description of course topics.

Keeping the workplace free of harassment and abusive conduct is critical to agencies. Beyond being mandated, this course can help strengthen your agency culture by educating leaders about the impact of harassing behaviors and how to address them if they occur. This is a two-hour, interactive class is compliant with new anti-harassment and prevention of abusive conduct laws.

The training includes:
  • Material compliant with SB 1343, AB 2053, and AB 396.
  • Required DFEH elements.
  • A means to contact our trainer for questions after the training.
  • Questions that assess learning of participants.
  • Skill-building activities to assess understanding and application of content.
  • Hypothetical scenarios about harassment with discussion questions.
  • Certificates of completion for those that participate actively in all training elements.
Keeping the workplace free of harassment and abusive conduct is critical to agencies. Beyond being mandated, this course can help strengthen your agency culture by educating employees about the impact of harassing behaviors and how to address them if they occur. This is a 60-minute, interactive class is compliant with new anti-harassment laws.

Our training on Anti-Harassment includes:
  • Material compliant with SB 1343, AB 2053, and AB 396.
  • Required DFEH elements.
  • A means to contact our trainer for questions after the training.
  • Questions that assess learning of participants.
  • Skill-building activities to assess understanding and application of content.
  • Hypothetical scenarios about harassment with discussion questions.
  • Certificates of completion for those that participate actively in all training elements.
How do you answer that age-old interview question “Where do you want to be in five years?” Chances are you know where you want to be, you just don’t have a plan for getting there. A map plays a key role in all successful road trips!

In this course we will talk about putting together your map:
  • Identifying your destination - Conducting information interviews
  • Setting SMART goals
  • Identifying the skills/experience you need for take you to the next step
  • Developing a plan
  • Networking – what it is and how to do it
Effective interpersonal skills are essential in all organizational relationships. The purpose of this course is to be better at understanding others and better understood by others.

This one-day course is designed to enhance your interpersonal skills through advanced listening, assertiveness, non-verbal communication, and how to solicit information from others. During this course, participants have the opportunity to practice, discuss, and solve interpersonal issues.

Participants will:
  • Recognize why “understanding” in communication can be challenging.
  • Use the skills of an expert listener to be a more valued and influential leader.
  • Assess dominant communication pattern.
  • Distinguish between Passive, Aggressive, and Assertive communication.
  • Practice being assertive in communication.
  • Apply a method of inquiry to convey interest, and empathy, and gain clarity.
Different viewpoints and tensions in the workplace are inevitable. Yet too often work doesn’t get done because of what’s going on between people. Managed well, disputes create stronger connections, resilience and increased capacity to deal with difficulty. Handled poorly the effects are far reaching and costly.

In this half or full day session participants will:
  • Discover personal success practices and challenges in handling differences.
  • Practice the key communication tool that helps you avoid unnecessary conflict.
  • Learn how to keep the focus on what’s important not on competing fixed positions.
  • Use a step by step method to hold tough conversations.
  • See how leaders can act as mediators to help staff solve issues.
Ninety-four percent of executives and 88% of employees believe a strong culture matters (Deloitte). Many of us work in strong culture, but we’re not so sure it is the “right” culture. In this session you will gain tools to assess your agency culture, identify strengths and strategize how to mitigate weaknesses. We will discuss your role in creating and maintaining a positive environment, as well as how to engage and involve your staff.

Key areas we will touch on during this session include:
  • How culture influences your employees’ behavior
  • Core beliefs that underlie culture
  • The role of stories in shaping your agency’s culture
  • Strategies for engaging and involving employees
This one-day course is designed to improve customer service delivery at all levels. The purpose of this course is to develop greater competency in the provision of customer service, both internally and externally, with an emphasis on why this is important to your agency.

In this course, participants will:
  • Maximize listening and empathy to establish rapport and build trust to partner with customers in resolving their issues.
  • Apply method(s) of inquiry to fully clarify customer problems when alternative solutions to ambiguous regulations and customer needs are called for.
  • Be aware of unconscious bias, its impacts on customer service interactions, and how to avoid it.
  • Use strategies of crisis intervention teams to de-escalate difficult customer interactions.
  • Clarify and summarize expectations, deliverables, and timing, as needed.
Local government employees often have to do more with less, in terms of staffing, budgets, and time. Effective delegation can help employees make the most of those resources. Effective delegation serves as a critical nexus between time management, employee development, and workforce engagement.

RGS’ Delegation Training provides an opportunity for leaders and staff to learn how to delegate effectively and/or fine tune existing delegation skills.

In this workshop participants:
  • Evaluate their own delegation skills
  • Define effective delegation
  • Discuss benefits and barriers to delegation
  • Successful delegation practices
  • Plan their next delegation
Everything DiSC® assessments provide participants the opportunity to gain a better understanding of themselves and how to be more effective with others. Personalized feedback helps participants recognize their strengths and develop strategies to be more successful at work. Half or full-day workshops are delivered using the Everything DiSC Workplace, Productive Conflict, Management and/or Work of Leaders assessments.
The average office worker spends over five hours each week in meetings (and four hours preparing for them). Unfortunately, there is not always a correlation between time spent in meetings and effective use of time. The focus of this half day workshop is to help participants prepare for, and, skillfully conduct meetings.

In this course, participants will:
  • Develop outcome-based agendas with decision-making method clearly identified
  • Use facilitation tools to keep a group focused and on-track
  • Practice managing difficult meeting dynamics without shutting down communications
Based on the book, Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, this full day workshop explores the role of trust, conflict, commitment and accountability in determining the team’s result. The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team™ assessment (a Wiley brand) is used to help your team create a cohesive team culture that allows each person to bring their best to work. Training can be conducted for both intact teams as well as supervisors trying to learn more about cultivating a cohesive team.

In this class, participants will:
  • Gain an understanding of the five key elements of effective teamwork
  • Discuss the current team climate and the impact each element has on their ability to work well as a team
  • Problem-solve issues and create an action plan to help their team move forward.
One of the most important things leaders do is provide feedback to the people that report to them. But leaders often struggle with this task due to apprehension about how the feedback will be received.

This course helps leaders reframe feedback as a powerful tool to give employees information about how they are performing and the overall goals of the department and agency. It provides a foundation for discussing performance, suggest areas for improvement, and talk about goals in the future.

In this course, participants will:
  • Link feedback to observable performance and strategic goals
  • Learn effective feedback delivery techniques
  • De-charge emotional reactions to feedback
  • Understand when and how often feedback should be given
  • Learn how to relate performance feedback to long-term goals
Most courses teach participants how to give feedback, but rarely touch on how to receive feedback appropriately. Feedback is a gift that provides the recipient with an opportunity to become more self-aware and make conscious choices at work. Receiving feedback graciously, helps build relationships that are open and transparent.

In this 90-minute virtual class for employees at every level, we will discuss:
  • Why defensiveness tends to be the first reaction
  • How “reacting” minimizes the amount of feedback you receive
  • Cultivating a sense of curiosity when receiving feedback
  • Staying focused on your role
  • Asking for clarification
The COVID-19 pandemic has exponentially increased the number of employees that work from home. While some employees may have recently returned to work, many employees remain at home with mixed teams of onsite, field, and remote workers. This 90-minute webinar helps supervisors and managers understand how to keep your team engaged and productive while working remotely.

RGS has been a virtual agency since its creation in 2002, so we know virtual teams can be just as effective as in-person, onsite teams. Benefit from our extensive knowledge in leading effectively no matter where you or your employees are working.

We will specifically address:
  • Challenges of supervising remote employees
  • Tools that facilitate communication and coordination of work
  • Establishing parameters and expectations
  • Gauging what an employee needs from you to move projects forward
This one-day class is designed to help supervisors and managers understand the negative impacts of stress on health and wellness and introduce research-based strategies to experience relief from stress. This is a highly experiential course in which participants will practice multiple strategies that will leave them refreshed by the end of the day.

In this class, participants will:
  • Become familiar with the physiological costs of stress.
  • Implement practical stress reduction strategies.
  • Use tools designed to reduce stress and repair its impact on the body.
  • Leave with a sense of well-being by the end of the day.
Managing the performance of other’s is a key function in supervision. Unfortunately, performance management is often equated to writing performance reviews. Performance reviews are a piece of effective performance management—but not the only piece.

In this half-day workshop participants will:
  • Recognize all the elements of the performance management cycle
  • Deliver effective feedback
  • Identify and write clear performance goals (technical and interpersonal)
  • Document performance throughout the year
  • Write evaluations giving clear, useful feedback that aligns with the performance rating selected
A 2014 poll by Chapman University found that public speaking is the number one fear of Americans. It doesn’t have to be that way. This workshop focuses on skills required to be an effective communicator in a group setting whether it’s a community meeting or a Council presentation.

In this two-day workshop, participants will:
  • Identify the “real” audience and assess their needs/interests
  • Practice tools to improve confidence when speaking in public
  • Create visuals that support key points and enhance their presentation
  • Anticipate questions
  • Respond to tough questions/situations
  • Develop and practice delivering presentations they must give at work
  • Receive feedback and suggestions on how to be a more effective public speaker
This one-day class guides supervisors and managers how to facilitate effective team problem-solving and decision-making. Team problem-solving and decision-making promotes better decisions, commitment to decisions, and better teamwork. It helps team members improve critical thinking through the process of analyzing a problem objectively. It fosters greater cooperation, collaboration, and ethical decision making by leaders and their teams.

In this class, participants will
  • Practice accurate problem definition.
  • Write an accurate problem statement.
  • Use processes to analyze problems and generate/select solutions.
  • Apply ethical decision-making to evaluate propriety of solutions.
  • Develop action plans.
This class is designed to help supervisors and managers resolve employee performance issues effectively. Through instruction, activities, and dialogue between our trainer and attendees, participants will:
  • Identify their style of resolving performance issues
  • Assess and identify the cause of performance problems
  • Surface and respond to performance issues in a way that impacts performance
  • Stay focused when the cause of the problem may be a moving target
  • Understand the importance of documentation
This training is available in a 90-minute webinar format, or, can be customized for on-site delivery. Click here for future webinar dates.
Most conflict is predictable. It’s not a function of personality as much as it is a logical outcome of an organizational “misfire.” In this session we will focus on both prevention and intervention strategies to resolve work-related conflict.

It’s estimated that 85 percent of employees deal with conflict on some level. We usually attribute conflict to personal style. However, the majority of work conflicts are systemic in nature. The conflict lives in your agency. If you were to take the two people who are in conflict, out of the organization and replace them, the two new people would have exactly the same the conflict.

In this session, we will discuss:
  • Predictable conflict and how to prevent it
  • Intervention strategies when the conflict is interdepartmental
  • Tools for bringing disparate views together and developing agreements to move forward
Change in inevitable. In this session we will focus on your role as a change agent, countering resistance to change and strategies to build involvement, commitment and buy-in from those around you.

Twenty years ago, the internet was in its infancy; Ten years ago smart phones didn’t exist. Five years ago, “Alexa” was created. Two years ago, over 2/3 of the world’s population used a smart phone to make purchases. The rate of change is accelerating and most of us are scrambling to keep up. Developing a clear strategy and implementation plan for change are key skills for today’s leaders.

In this session, we will:
  • Consider all elements included in an effective change strategy.
  • Increase your awareness of resistance to change and how to counter it.
  • Identify strategies to build involvement, commitment and buy-in.
  • Understand what it takes to successfully manage the impact of change on your staff.

Format

Virtual classes offer an opportunity for learning in an environment that can be accessed from diverse locations. They give busy local government professionals the flexibility to learn at their own pace and on their own terms. Virtual learning can also increase participation, as chat, polls, or other interactive tools allow multiple ideas and reactions to surface simultaneously in real-time. This creates a powerful and immediate group learning experience.

Additional benefits of virtual learning include elimination of travel costs, delivering content more quickly, ensuring delivery of consistent information across dispersed locations, and improving employee engagement. These benefits make virtual training a critical resource for today's local government agencies that struggle with to manage COVID-19 impacts as well as limited resources and time.

RGS’ virtual classes are not typical “sit and listen” webinars or workshops. There are multiple opportunities for interaction, asking questions, and getting feedback on individual situations. Our instructors are knowledgeable in topic subject matter and skilled at engaging participants in virtual learning.
*Currently due to COVID-19 restrictions, RGS is only delivering the virtual version of our in-person training courses in 2020.

Additional Details

Costs for our training topics, outside of our virtual classes, vary based on several variables including, but not limited to: topic, class size, class length, location of training, number of classes needed, etc. RGS works to make the training economical for your agency. RGS can work with your agency to create the right course/package with the right content in the time frame within which you need results. We can work with you to customize our standard course content, include elements that your agency needs, and create custom packages for multiple training topics delivered agency-wide or to sub-groups of employees. To get more information, or request a quote for specific training courses or packages, contact Richard Oppenheim at 650-587-7313 or roppenheim@rgs.ca.gov.
See the home Training and Development page for a list of upcoming training courses and academies. Remember that registration must take place prior to the start of the first day.