Leadership Friday Series

The Leadership Friday Series presented by the University of West Florida allows employers to further develop members of their leadership team or begin developing those with strong leadership potential.

Smiling business team

Training workshops help employees strengthen skills in leadership, professional coaching and mentoring. Our experts in professional leadership and development will help members of your team rethink the way they focus their leadership energy to ensure greater success.

Each session in the Leadership Friday Series addresses a different aspect of the leadership skill set. From time management practices to diversity and working well with others, sessions provide tactics to optimize desirable workplace outcomes. This series allows individuals across all industries with varying levels of experience to develop flexible, situational approaches that empower team members.

Leadership Friday Series

Help your team rethink the way they focus their leadership energy to better empower team members to enhance innovation, collaboration and forward thinking.

September 20, 2019 - April 17, 2020.
Times: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Registration is $1,500 per seat for the entire series. For each full price seat purchased, an additional seat can be purchased at a 25 percent discount. Purchased seats are yours to fill; send specific employees to the entire series or divide the sessions across different team members. 

Leadership Friday Series Informational Brochure

Location: UWF Pensacola Campus
Tuition: $1,500
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The Leadership Friday Series features seven sessions. Each 3-hour session features workshops covering two main leadership topics. Workshops are facilitated by nationally recognized UWF faculty members Athena du Pré, Ph.D., and Jane Halonen, Ph.D. 

Session 1 (Sept. 20, 2019) — Positive Strategies for Leadership Success

Leadership Presence: Prepare to Hit the Ground Running in Any Direction
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

Leadership demands are remarkably complicated. This session reviews some basic “do’s” and “don’ts” associated with professional success. The exercises in this session will help you capture your primary leader characteristics and identify both the advantages and disadvantages of specific leadership styles.

At the completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe their best leadership assets
  • Predict what vulnerabilities are associated with their leadership style
  • Develop some reasonable expectations about how to cope with complexity

Happiness Matters: Connecting to the Joys of Leadership
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

“Follow your bliss.” This idealistic advice is based on the idea that on-the-job happiness is essential to living a high-quality life. This session explores the basic ideas behind the science of happiness and examines how happiness factors into a productive workplace. We will also actively plan how to increase your “happiness quotient” as a leader.

At the completion of this session, participants should be able to:

  • Reflect on the personal importance of being happy
  • Recognize the extent to which the pursuit of happiness motivates action
  • Articulate strategies that can enhance satisfaction in the workplace
Session 2 (Oct. 18, 2019) — First Things First: Establishing Priorities as a Leader

How to Stop Bailing Water and Fix the Canoe Instead
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

You’re not imagining it. There really aren’t enough hours to do everything on your to-do list, much less handle the unexpected needs that arise every day. This workshop will help you rethink the way you focus your energy as a leader. The emphasis is on empowering others, engaging in high-impact leadership activities, and identifying root-cause solutions so you can spend your time making a positive difference rather than handling avoidable calamities.

This session prepares participants to:

  • Implement strategies that empower team members
  • Demonstrate active listening and team-building strategies
  • Design a personal strategy for focusing on high-impact leadership activities

What I Stand For: Creating a Leadership Philosophy Statement
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

This workshop offers the rare opportunity to stop and think about who you are as a leader and how you can convey your core values, goals, and expectations to others. This is a hands-on session in which each participant will walk away with a personal leadership philosophy statement.

Among the topics participants will consider and articulate are:

  • Their personal definition of leadership
  • Their expectations of self and others
  • Must-do and never-do principles to help team members succeed
Session 3 (Nov. 15, 2019) — Building High-Performance Teams

Turning Conflict into Innovation
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

For most people, dealing with conflict is an unappealing prospect. But that may be because they’re doing it wrong. This workshop lays out a collaborative method of handling tough issues that can strengthen relationships, inspire innovation, and safely bring dreaded topics into the open.

This session prepares participants to:

  • Identify the pitfalls of avoiding conflict
  • Recognize common conflict management styles (including their own)
  • Practice the techniques of collaborative problem solving

The Art of Delegating: How and Why to Avoid Doing Everything Yourself
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

There are many reasons to do things yourself: You have more experience. It’s quicker to do it yourself. You know exactly what you want… the list goes on. But what if, by not delegating, you’re actually holding the team back? This workshop explores the reasons why well-intentioned leaders often avoid delegating, why they should consider another way, and strategies for delegating in ways that inspire and motivate others.

In this session, participants will:

  • Examine their assumptions and fears about delegating
  • Integrate well-researched ways to enhance teamwork and professional development
  • Strategize delegation strategies that strengthen teams and inspire excellence
Session 4 (Jan. 17, 2020) — Navigating Tricky Situations

Bring It On! The Art of Turning Snarly Problems into Innovative Solutions
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

Most of us start out life as creative beings. Somewhere along the way we may become persuaded that we have joined the noncreative majority, relinquishing much of the joy that comes in life that derives from novelty. This session explores the basic components of creative thinking and applies those principles to typical problems that surface in the workplace.

This session prepares participants to:

  • Identify normal obstacles that interfere with creative living
  • Determine strategies that expand problem-solving skills
  • Generate creative alternatives to typical workplace problems

How to Survive the Big Bad Boss and Other Toxic Characters
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

In every person’s professional life there are bound to be an assortment of challenging, if not impossible, people that not only make the workplace less functional, but less fun. We will examine some psychology frameworks that help identify different kinds of workplace malfunctions. Then we will explore different techniques for trying to tame the impossible co-worker, regardless of how high up that person might be in the work hierarchy.

In this session, participants learn to:

  • Differentiate types of difficult behavior that compromise workplace functionality
  • Predict when certain toxic behaviors may be amenable to change
  • Express their concerns in a manner that promotes change
Session 5 (Feb. 21, 2020) — Making Lemonade as a Leader

Discussing Touchy Subjects
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

One conundrum of leadership is that the most important issues are often the hardest to talk about. What should you do when someone is underperforming? How can you announce controversial decisions tactfully? How might you help team members overcome disagreements and hurt feelings? This workshop offers techniques for discussing emotional subjects sensitively and respectfully without being a pushover.

In this session, participants learn how to:

  • Identify the factors that underlie touchy situations
  • Become comfortable raising difficult issues in a way that is fair but frank
  • Apply principles of effective conflict management to workplace scenarios

I Goofed: Humility and Recovery After a Blunder
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

Make no mistake about it, you will mess up now and then, and everyone may know about it. That’s leadership for you. But take heart. The implications of a well-intentioned mistake arise in large part from how you act after it happens. This workshop explores experts’ advice on recovering from embarrassing goofs while maintaining your confidence and dignity.

In this session, participants learn to:

  • Embrace the lessons and potential advantages of messing up occasionally
  • Distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable mistakes
  • Practice experts’ advice on what to do after a blunder to minimize the damage and move forward
Session 6 (March 20, 2020) — Feedback Matters: Tips on Coaching and Mentoring

“How Can We All Be Above Average?”: The Puzzle of Performance Evaluations
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

Performance evaluations have become a fixture in the workplace, but many managers find the obligation of providing feedback to be one of the most difficult challenges they face. This session explores why this practice tends to be dreaded from both parties involved in the evaluation. We will also examine best practices related to encouraging the best performance through carefully designed coaching and mentoring.

Participants who complete this session will:

  • Face required performance evaluations with reduced dread
  • Practice assertive communication styles that tend to optimize desirable outcomes
  • Develop a greater sense of sturdiness about receiving feedback on their performance

Nicely Done: Recognizing and Celebrating Excellence
Facilitated by Athena du Pré, Ph.D.

With challenges clamoring for your attention as a leader, it’s easy to overlook the good stuff. This workshop offers a chance to revel in what’s going well and devise ways to honor excellence and celebrate success.

In this session, participants will:

  • Develop meaningful ways to track progress
  • Explore diverse strategies for honoring individual and team success
  • Devise a plan for celebrating excellence with their own teams
Session 7 (April 17, 2020) — Thriving Over Time

How to Work Effectively with Diverse Populations
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

Diversity is highly valued in the workplace because different perspectives can facilitate great problem-solving. However, sometimes diverse backgrounds can cause a strain since dissimilar backgrounds can make others’ behavior hard to predict. In this session, we will consider how we can adapt and work well with others who are “not like me.” Special consideration will be given to millennials, culturally diverse individuals, and even volunteers who may constitute an important piece of the leadership challenge.

Participants who complete this session should be able to:

  • Identify individual differences that can have an impact on workplace functioning
  • Develop strategies for exploring common ground
  • Promote a spirit of collaboration and cohesion among diverse colleagues

Staying Excited and Other Strategies for Avoiding Burnout
Facilitated by Jane Halonen, Ph.D.

Are you temporarily bummed out about how things are going or is your strain more serious than that? Burn-out is a distinctive set of symptoms that combines low energy, depression, and worry. When burn-out sets in, it may be difficult to function at work so the threat of losing your livelihood adds to your worry. In this session, we will focus on positive strategies that build resilience so burn-out will be less of a threat.

In this session, participants will:

  • Recognize the symptoms of burnout as well as the long-term toll burnout can take
  • Discriminate the array of choices that can resolve the conditions that give rise to burnout
  • Build resilience to reduce burnout vulnerability

About Our Faculty Facilitators:

Dr. Athena du Pré
Faculty Portrait

Dr. Athena du Pré, a Distinguished University Professor in Communication, teaches leadership, health communication, workplace dynamics, and interpersonal communication. She also directs graduate programs in strategic communication and leadership, and health communication leadership.

Dr. du Pré has diverse experience working in journalism, public relations and academe. She has authored or co-authored five books and several chapters and articles on various aspects of communication. She is author of “Communicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives,” in 5th edition, and co-author of “Understanding Human Communication,” which is a best-selling communication textbook soon to be in 14th edition.

Dr. du Pré is a recipient of the Teaching Incentive Program award and has twice been honored with the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She was named UWF Distinguished University Professor in 2014. She is the director of two year-long leadership development programs at the University — one for staff members and one for faculty. In the community, she has served as a leadership development coach in health care, finance, law enforcement and aerospace organizations.

Dr. Jane S. Halonen
Faculty portrait

Dr. Jane S. Halonen, professor, teaches introductory, positive, and social psychology as well as senior courses in the history of psychology, and psychology vs. pseudoscience. Halonen is a psychologist who has dedicated her academic career to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

She is co-author of “The Psychology Major’s Companion: How to Get You Where You Want to Go” with Dana Dunn, and primary author of “Critical Thinking Companion for Introductory Psychology,” now in third edition, with Cynthia Gray.

Dr. Halonen served as Dean of the UWF College of Arts and Sciences for 10 years where she oversaw 22 departments. She has helped the American Psychological Association develop guidelines and standards on academic performance from high school through graduate levels of education; and co-chaired the association’s Summit on National Assessment in Psychology. A board member of the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology, she has also presented at almost every regional teaching conference in psychology. She co-directed the international conference on Improving University Teaching from 2001 through 2008.

She has been recognized for her commitment to the profession. In 2013, she received the Applications in Education and Training Award, and was named an “Eminent Woman” in Psychology by the American Psychological Association (2003). She won the American Psychological Foundations Distinguished Teaching Award in 2000. In 2009, the Society for the Teaching of Psychology designated their Early Career Award in her honor in recognition of the generations of psychology faculty whom she has mentored.